Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Tax Law May Send Factories and Jobs Abroad

In Indiana, Missouri and Pennsylvania, President Trump used the same promise to sell the tax bill: It would bring jobs streaming back to struggling cities and towns. "Factories will be pouring into this country," Mr. Trump told a crowd in St. Charles, Mo., in November. "The tax cut will mean more companies moving to America, staying in America and hiring American workers right here." The bill that Mr. Trump signed, however, could actually make it attractive for companies to put more assembly lines on foreign soil. Under the new law, income made by American companies' overseas subsidiaries will face United States taxes that are half the rate applied to their domestic income, 10.5 percent compared with the new top corporate rate of 21 percent.

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"It's sort of an America-last tax policy," said Kimberly Clausing, an economist at Reed College in Portland, Ore., who studies tax policy. "We are basically saying that if you earn in the U.S., you pay X, and if you earn abroad, you pay X divided by two."

What could be more dangerous for American workers, economists said, is that the bill ends up creating a tax break for manufacturers with foreign operations. Under the new rules, beyond the lower rate, companies will not have to pay United States taxes on the money they earn from plants or equipment located abroad, if those earnings amount to 10 percent or less of the total investment.

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"Under the new law, income made by American companies' overseas subsidiaries will face United States taxes that are half the rate applied to their domestic income, 10.5 percent compared with the new top corporate rate of 21 percent.

"It's sort of an America-last tax policy," said Kimberly Clausing, an economist at Reed College in Portland, Ore., who studies tax policy. "We are basically saying that if you earn in the U.S., you pay X, and if you earn abroad, you pay X divided by two."

Thanks Trumpeters who can't recognize a f*****g liar when you see one. To say you're stupid is an understatement, y'all are monumentally stupid, there is no excuse, it was obvious from the beginning. And Y'all independents or third party voters, don't even get me started. When will any of you actually put the welfare of our nation ahead of your own stupid prejudices?
Oh, and claim Hillary is corrupt again idiots, too bad multiple investigations by Congress could never demonstrate that and that she came off, after every one, as a hero. She's a woman, we get that. If you don't think misogyny played a part in her defeat you are simply naive.

#1 | Posted by danni at 2018-01-09 11:12 AM

YEAH!

But I got a pack of gum and the fantasy of filing on a postcard

Sincerely
Mustberlyocentre

#2 | Posted by ChiefTutMoses at 2018-01-09 11:12 AM

And remember, the corporate changes are PERMANENT.

#3 | Posted by 726 at 2018-01-09 12:00 PM

Does anyone actually believe that the consequences of this tax law change were not anticipated or even planned? Is Trump the most dishonest man ever to be President? This is exactly opposite of what he said he was going to do, and hey, now they are talking about cutting Medicare, Medicaid and SS, completely contrary with his professed plans when he was running for President. Trumpeters, I hope you idiots are proud. I'd hide if I were you. I'd be too embarrassed to show my face.

#4 | Posted by danni at 2018-01-09 12:00 PM

This is what happens when you let lobbyists write a bill in secret and it is crammed through with an hour to read 500 pages of legaleaze.

Anyone that thought it was going to bring jobs back to the US is severely stupid. Taxes were a small reason to move jobs overseas. It was always labor and environmental regulations.

But hey, good luck filling out that postcard.

#5 | Posted by 726 at 2018-01-09 12:02 PM

Danni,

I would dare say that Trump couldn't even be bothered to be briefed on what is in the bill. His actions over the past year make it clear he only wants the fame and adulation of the public and doesn't give a crap about doing the job.

#6 | Posted by 726 at 2018-01-09 12:04 PM

"I would dare say that Trump couldn't even be bothered to be briefed on what is in the bill."

I'm sure you are right about that and what it means about his promises during the election.

#7 | Posted by danni at 2018-01-09 01:02 PM

News flash Jamie Dimon predicts 4% gdp for US

#8 | Posted by DavetheWave at 2018-01-09 01:21 PM

So what Dave?

#9 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2018-01-09 01:45 PM

"News flash Jamie Dimon predicts 4% gdp for US"

Wages won't rise, that's a stock market bubble which will eventually pop. We've seen this movie before and not all that long ago. Hey, can we start calling it "that great Trump economy" and then blame its collapse on the next President like we did the last time? Citing Jamie Dimon, hilarious!

#10 | Posted by danni at 2018-01-09 02:30 PM

News flash Jamie Dimon predicts 4% gdp for US

So? What does that do for the average American?

Wage Stagnation in Nine Charts

#11 | Posted by Whatsleft at 2018-01-09 02:44 PM

So tiny nation has 11 people. 1 gets paid $1 million and the other $10 get paid $100. The GDP rises 4%. What do the people earn now?

If they followed the recent American trends, the millionaire would now get paid $1,040,040 and the other 10 would get paid $100

#12 | Posted by hatter5183 at 2018-01-09 02:58 PM

Now that the Drama Queens have spoken, if you read the article you realize that "may" is fairly tenuous:

Under the new rules, beyond the lower rate, companies will not have to pay United States taxes on the money they earn from plants or equipment located abroad, if those earnings amount to 10 percent or less of the total investment.

The Republican vision for the tax plan was to make the United States a more competitive place to do business. Supporters contend that the new rules do not encourage companies to locate overseas. Rather, they say, slashing the corporate rate will make it more attractive to set up shop at home, since many other advanced economies now have higher taxes.

Many multinationals effectively paid no American tax on their overseas earnings. The new bill, supporters point out, will prevent that from happening on such a large scale in the future.

"It's a vast improvement from what was on the books," said Ray Beeman, a tax lawyer at Ernst & Young who worked on a tax reform proposal that was a precursor to the current law when he was counsel to the House Ways and Means Committee, under Republican leadership, from 2011 to 2014.

Companies will get credit for up to 80 percent of the taxes they pay to foreign governments. But if the total still comes to less than 10.5 percent of the income they earn abroad, they have to make up the difference with a check to the American government.

The new rule could make a big difference for small and medium-size companies, which make up a vast majority of American businesses. When those companies used to ask him whether to open offices abroad, he advised against it if they needed to bring their cash home.

Some companies may not want to leave the comforts of home for a cut in their tax bill. Plants are expensive -- they can cost more than $1 billion to buy and to outfit with the necessary industrial machinery. Manufacturers also gravitate toward stable, affordable locales where they can reach their customers easily and hire skilled workers.

"You may prefer to stay in the U.S., with the protections of our legal system, our infrastructure and our labor force," said Steven M. Rosenthal, an expert at the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center.

For small and medium-size companies, which is what the author is focusing on, the costs of building a plant abroad (which is what we are talking about) would be prohibitive. As for large multi-nationals, the new rules require them to pay a delta on taxes that are lower than the US now charges, and we are now in the lower half of effective Corporate tax rates (at around 11%).

Note that they are talking about actual taxes paid on profits to other countries, not their posted rate. Since effective rates are about half of the posted rate, the delta here (.5%) is not significant.

You are now free to resume circle flapping.

#13 | Posted by Rightocenter at 2018-01-09 03:21 PM

#13 | POSTED BY RIGHTOCENTER

MNCs are already supposed to pay taxes on earnings abroad. The thing is, it isn't enforceable.

Keep dreaming if you think they will willingly change course and pay up.

#14 | Posted by IndianaJones at 2018-01-09 03:30 PM

#13 | POSTED BY RIGHTOCENTER

That's some pretty hefty double speak there....

On one hand, it doesn't encourage them to leave because they can't get a tax cut by doing so. On the other hand, while they can get a tax cut for leaving, they may really like it here and want to stay.

So....which is it?

Just be honest. You just gave a tax cut to some companies to move their businesses overseas to third world countries. Not all companies, but some.

And the CBO doesn't expect the change to increase our tax earnings from multi-nationals either.

Your article's double speak doesn't change the fact that its a lose/lose from the country.

#15 | Posted by Sycophant at 2018-01-09 03:45 PM

MNCs are already supposed to pay taxes on earnings abroad. The thing is, it isn't enforceable.

Keep dreaming if you think they will willingly change course and pay up.

Wrong.

The signed bill requires them to pay a one time tax regardless of whether they keep that money offshore or not.

U.S. multinational companies are preparing to pay hundreds of billions of dollars in tax on profits they made overseas in the last 30 years.

New American tax rules mean firms can no longer avoid paying tax on past international profits by keeping the money outside the United States. They must pay tax whether they bring this cash back to the U.S. or not.

U.S. companies will pay billions in tax on offshore cash piles

I know that this runs counter to what MediaHuffWashTalkingDailyNYTMattersPoPoPointsKosMemo and the DNC told you to believe, but you really need to stop believing everything that the echo chamber tells you and start thinking for yourself.

#16 | Posted by Rightocenter at 2018-01-09 03:48 PM

Tax bills are much like cooking.

Pretend something half baked is fine and someone's gonna suferrrrrrrrrrr. >:)

#17 | Posted by Tor at 2018-01-09 03:52 PM

On a scale of 1 to 10 how should one rate Trump's Lying???

15 at least. There have been rare occasions when he's openly stated that was his strategy all along.

#18 | Posted by bayviking at 2018-01-09 03:53 PM

Syco-

1. It's not my "article", it is the NYT advancing their narrative that the Tax Bill "may" be bad. They have been wrong about most of it so let's see if they are right this time.

2. The CBO didn't factor in the mandatory tax in #16 and its math was incorrect about the % of people who would get tax breaks under the final bill, since they couldn't see the final bill.

#19 | Posted by Rightocenter at 2018-01-09 03:53 PM

Maybe the next time Trump has a Press Conference, he can be asked some of the fine points of the new tax system. He is a genius, after all.

#20 | Posted by Bubba10 at 2018-01-09 04:02 PM

"U.S. multinational companies are preparing to pay hundreds of billions of dollars in tax on profits they made overseas in the last 30 years."

Far less than what they actually owe and they learn a valuable lesson. Leave your money offshore due to taxes and wait for a friendly Republican majority to give you a big discount on the taxes owed.

#21 | Posted by danni at 2018-01-09 04:20 PM

Leave your money offshore due to taxes and wait for a friendly Republican majority to give you a big discount on the taxes owed.

As opposed to the lesson that during 16 of those 30 years a Democratic majority would just ignore it?

#22 | Posted by Rightocenter at 2018-01-09 04:45 PM

"The CBO ... couldn't see the final bill."

#MAGA

#23 | Posted by snoofy at 2018-01-09 05:54 PM

#23

No one could, since it hadn't gone through Joint Committee yet...but you knew that is how the process works.

#24 | Posted by Rightocenter at 2018-01-09 06:42 PM

News flash Jamie Dimon predicts 4% gdp for US

#8 | Posted by DavetheWave at 2018-01-09 01:21 PM | Reply | Flag:

The Jamie Dimon that misled investors and regulators in the London Whale that lost JP Morgan $6.2 BILLION? That Jamie Dimon?

Hardy har har.

#25 | Posted by 726 at 2018-01-10 12:40 PM

So tiny nation has 11 people. 1 gets paid $1 million and the other $10 get paid $100. The GDP rises 4%. What do the people earn now?

If they followed the recent American trends, the millionaire would now get paid $1,040,040 and the other 10 would get paid $100

#12 | Posted by hatter5183 at 2018-01-09 02:58 PM | Reply | Flag:

And the adminstration would say "average" wages went up $3,640.

#26 | Posted by 726 at 2018-01-10 12:42 PM

"So? What does that do for the average American?"

Does it hurt them?

Terrible article, BTW. Fit to line a cat box.

"If they followed the recent American trends, the millionaire would now get paid $1,040,040 and the other 10 would get paid $100"

And?

Are they 10 any worse off than they were before.

#27 | Posted by madbomber at 2018-01-10 01:37 PM

"Now that the Drama Queens have spoken, if you read the article you realize that "may" is fairly tenuous"

You take out the drama...there's not much left. This whole thread is littered (pun intended) with half-truths intended to appeal to emotion.

#28 | Posted by madbomber at 2018-01-10 01:41 PM

"Are they 10 any worse off than they were before."

Is that your standard of success, not doing worse?
Most people choose doing noticeably better as their measure of success.
Why don't you view success as improvement?

I'm sure you've encountered terms like Continuous Process Improvement or Quality Improvement. You must think there's no further room for improvement, to gauge success not by gains, but by limiting losses.

#29 | Posted by snoofy at 2018-01-10 01:43 PM

"I'm sure you've encountered terms like Continuous Process Improvement or Quality Improvement. You must think there's no further room for improvement, to gauge success not by gains, but by limiting losses."

So...on my parents property, there used to be this old, broken down tractor. It still ran, but not well. I don't think you could have ever really done anything with it...and it was too much trouble to get rid of. I don't think that an increase in GDP for that tractor would have ever resulted in increased economic value...the thing was just a piece of ----.

From an economic standpoint, people are like that too. The economy can increase by 1% or 100%...it's not going to make those people have more value...and as such, there's no reason for people to pay them more. It would be utterly retarded and against any rational concept of economics (with some possible exceptions) to think that there would be something you could do to increase their economic value. Really, only they can do that.

#30 | Posted by madbomber at 2018-01-10 01:53 PM

When I look at median household incomes over time...I'm actually pretty shocked that there haven't been steep declines within the bottom two quintiles. There's really just no demand for unskilled labor anymore. Especially when you consider the supply available.

#31 | Posted by madbomber at 2018-01-10 01:55 PM

"From an economic standpoint, people are like that too. The economy can increase by 1% or 100%...it's not going to make those people have more value"

So where's the 100% increase come from, since it wasn't from the value of the labor outputs of the workers?

#32 | Posted by snoofy at 2018-01-10 01:56 PM

"When I look at median household incomes over time...I'm actually pretty shocked that there haven't been steep declines within the bottom two quintiles."

Suggestion: Try looking at household wealth.

#33 | Posted by snoofy at 2018-01-10 01:59 PM

"So where's the 100% increase come from, since it wasn't from the value of the labor outputs of the workers?"

From the 11th guy, if this theoretical market looks anything like reality. Because in the United States, the increase in worker productivity is solely due to increased technology, itself coming not from something that labor is doing differently, but from increased capital investment.

#34 | Posted by madbomber at 2018-01-10 02:24 PM

"Suggestion: Try looking at household wealth."

Sure...if you wanted to correlate GDP to something that's not at all related.

#35 | Posted by madbomber at 2018-01-10 02:27 PM

You dont think GDP correlates to wealth? It's not the case that the wethiest nations also have the highest GDP???

Do you think economics is about generating income, or generating wealth?

Feel free to phone a friend on that one, okay?

#36 | Posted by snoofy at 2018-01-10 02:49 PM

"You dont think GDP correlates to wealth? It's not the case that the wethiest nations also have the highest GDP???"

Not really. The US has a net worth of around $124T. The GDP was %18.6T.

Income (realized as GDP) is certainly wealth, but only represents about 15% of the total wealth (2016)...also not taking into account wealth that was lost in any given year.

#37 | Posted by madbomber at 2018-01-10 03:05 PM

I think you're chasing your tail on this one, lil' buddy. Hope you're having fun.

#38 | Posted by madbomber at 2018-01-10 03:05 PM

From the 11th guy, if this theoretical market looks anything like reality. Because in the United States, the increase in worker productivity is solely due to increased technology, itself coming not from something that labor is doing differently, but from increased capital investment.

#34 | POSTED BY MADBOMBER AT 2018-01-10 02:24 PM | REPLY

Completely wrong. Go into a working foundry. Machine cells using the same equipment they bought in the 80s are being run faster with fewer employees. For example a local company that makes automotive parts has a machine cell that has been making crankcases for push mowers with almost no change to anything in 40 years with the exception that the machine cell with a die cast machine, a trim press, a robot extractor, a dunk tank, and 2 C&C machines that had a quota of 25 parts per hour and a 5 man crew in 1987 when I worked there as a college student paying his own way now running not just the same kind of equipment but the same actual equipment making the same part has a quota of 44 parts per hour and a 3 man crew. In addition the payscale has actually fallen. I was paid $18/hr in 1987. Now they start at $11.50/hr and cap line workers at $14.50/hr

Their labor cost per part has dropped from about $5/part to less than $1 per part.

This is not isolated to any one industry. Labor cost per dollar of profit has been steadily falling since the republicans convinced their rubes that giving money to rich people would benefit them more than giving them money would

#39 | Posted by hatter5183 at 2018-01-10 04:24 PM

The 10 guys making didly are the source of the entire $1,041,040.

The guy making $1,040,040 didn't do any work he just collected the income generated by the labor of the other 10.

#40 | Posted by hatter5183 at 2018-01-10 05:14 PM

This is why Trump is pushing the apprenticeship programs so much, ironically. These jobs have been going over seas, continue going over seas, and will not be coming back. But apprenticeships count as jobs, even though there's no guarantee of a direct hire at the end of the apprenticeship (most often there is). So Trump hopes the drop in jobs because of the tax bill will be substituted with apprenticeship opportunities. The job numbers are vague, so apprenticeships can LOOK like career opportunities even when the industry demand is not present.

For the record, though, I support his push for apprenticeship programs. The strictly academic focus in schools is hamstringing our future workers.

#41 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2018-01-10 05:19 PM

"Completely wrong. Go into a working foundry. Machine cells using the same equipment they bought in the 80s are being run faster with fewer employees."

Either the company invested in some sort of technology that allowed the company to produce more with fewer people (most likely), or the quotas for the 1987 crew were well below production capacity.

When I first started flying, my aircraft used these old, brick-sized magnetic tapes to load mission data into the avionics. It was late 1960s/early 1970s technology, and it was very finicky. In the mid-200s, they replaced a processor, which reduced the amount of time needed to load the missions to around one minute. All the operating controls were the same, it was the back-end stuff. In fact it was even easier, because there were fewer button pushed required. In this case "productivity," measured by what I was able to accomplish over time, increased dramatically. But not because of something I, the worker, did.

But that's not the full explanation. Like all other commodities (or elements that behave like commodities), labor is subject to market forces. Depending on the number of people who are capable and willing to fill that job, it could be the market that is driving down wages.

But generally, if the market value of your labor is $18 and hour, you're going to get at least that.

#42 | Posted by madbomber at 2018-01-10 05:24 PM

"The guy making $1,040,040 didn't do any work he just collected the income generated by the labor of the other 10."

Why would they give him their income. And even if they choose to do so, is it anybody's business but theirs?

"For the record, though, I support his push for apprenticeship programs. The strictly academic focus in schools is hamstringing our future workers."

I agree. I would submit that a plumber or bricklayer is going to be more value-added (economically) to society than your average fine arts major. And there are actually a lot of trade jobs out there that pay better than if you had a college degree.

#43 | Posted by madbomber at 2018-01-10 05:29 PM

"Either the company invested in some sort of technology that allowed the company to produce more with fewer people"

That makes the labor output more valuable, right?
But the labor input isn't more valuable?
That means the value must have been added through something other than labor, right?
And that thing is the technology, right?

So why should the gains go to the bosses. They aren't technology. They're just another form of labor, and one that didn't add any value anywhere along the line.

There must be different rules for labor and for the ownership class.

#44 | Posted by snoofy at 2018-01-10 06:02 PM

"The guy making $1,040,040 didn't do any work he just collected the income generated by the labor of the other 10.
#40 | POSTED BY HATTER5183"

Different rules is why.

#45 | Posted by snoofy at 2018-01-10 06:10 PM

39

More anecdotal than anything.

Technology has driven productivity. You appear to be arguing that fact. Why?

And what that foundry was doing has nothing to do with tax policy. In other words they would've done exactly what they were doing anyway

#46 | Posted by eberly at 2018-01-10 06:22 PM

"Technology has driven productivity. You appear to be arguing that fact. Why?"

Bevause the gains in productivity aren't going to technology, despite the gains being the consequence of technology, is my guess.

Where should they go, in your opinion?

#47 | Posted by snoofy at 2018-01-10 06:29 PM

"Because the gains in productivity aren't going to technology, "

What does that mean?

#48 | Posted by eberly at 2018-01-10 07:16 PM

It means what it says.
The gains don't go to technology.

Try this one, "When I pay for my Starbucks, the money doesn't go to the espresso machine."

If you can understand that, I'm confident we can get through this together!

#49 | Posted by snoofy at 2018-01-10 07:24 PM

"The gains don't go to technology."

the gains are realized....they don't "go" anywhere.

#50 | Posted by eberly at 2018-01-10 07:44 PM

If the gains didn't go anywhere them what's the point in gaining???

#51 | Posted by snoofy at 2018-01-10 07:56 PM

when you say "gains" do you really mean money? the additional money or profit earned from the increase in productivity?

#52 | Posted by eberly at 2018-01-10 08:04 PM

"despite the gains being the consequence of technology"

so, you accept productivity gains are the result of technology....then why did you stick your nose into this?

that was my point. And Hatter seems to disagree. He is apparently arguing that technology didn't drive the productivity in the foundry he worked at.

I hardly need you to show up and whine that the profit wasn't returned to the workers.

But thanks anyway.

#53 | Posted by eberly at 2018-01-10 08:08 PM

"when you say "gains" do you really mean money"

...

I mean gains in money due to application of technology to labor inputs, I think.

#54 | Posted by snoofy at 2018-01-10 08:12 PM

"the profit wasn't returned to the workers."

Nor was it returned to the thing which enabled the company to generate more of it, which is technology.

So, where does it go, and why?

#55 | Posted by snoofy at 2018-01-10 08:15 PM

"Bevause the gains in productivity aren't going to technology, despite the gains being the consequence of technology, is my guess."

Actually, it does. As of now, technology doesn't invent itself. So when a company invests in technology as a means of creating a more efficient process, the additional revenues captured will go at least partly to the firm, but much of it will also go to the entity that provided the technology.

Consider this. A company has 11 employees, but invests in technology that will allow them to achieve the same output with five employees. The end-state is that the company now has the salaries of six employees to play around with. Much of it will likely go to the group providing the technology, but the firm will capture some as well. Otherwise, why do it.

I have a buddy who has held senior positions at a number of companies. One of his companies didn't charge their customers anything for the technology they provided. They only wanted a percentage of the savings that the company would realize by adopting their processes.

#56 | Posted by madbomber at 2018-01-10 08:29 PM

But I think that all of this probably exceeds your Mother Jones understanding of economics and business.

#57 | Posted by madbomber at 2018-01-10 08:30 PM

"As of now, technology doesn't invent itself. So when a company invests in technology as a means of creating a more efficient process, the additional revenues captured will go at least partly to the firm, but much of it will also go to the entity that provided the technology."

"Partly to the firm"

Be more specific. Who at the firm, and why?

#58 | Posted by snoofy at 2018-01-10 08:33 PM

58

Not the worker. Isn't that your point?

#59 | Posted by eberly at 2018-01-10 08:40 PM

My point isn't really fleshed out yet; but it's lurking somewhere in the answer to "Why not to the workers?"

So, why not to the workers?

More to the point, why did the person who applied the technology get any of the gains? Did their relative position in the labor market change? Or are they not being remunerated according to the value of their labor as a commodity, and if not... Why the hell not!!??

#60 | Posted by snoofy at 2018-01-10 08:49 PM

60

I think it requires an individual understanding of how specific businesses work in order for you to understand who gets the gains and why.

I work in a real business every day and decisions are always being made regarding employees and their individual value to the company. Real world.....not abstracts.

#61 | Posted by eberly at 2018-01-10 09:11 PM

So, where does it go, and why?

#55 | POSTED BY SNOOFY

At the very least it should go to the shareholders. But technology companies have kind of ruined the old dividend thing.

#62 | Posted by IndianaJones at 2018-01-10 09:13 PM

"individual understanding of how specific businesses work"

If that's not required to understand the valuation of labor as a commodity, then why is it required to understand the value of management as a commodity?

I know why, I think. Bevause the value of labor is understood as a commodity, but the value of management is arrived at via some other paradigm.

Does that sound right?

If so, why the double standard?

#63 | Posted by snoofy at 2018-01-10 09:17 PM

#63 | POSTED BY SNOOFY

Because if you judged management by the same standards as labor, you'd come to the conclusion that 99% of management is worth nothing at all.

#64 | Posted by IndianaJones at 2018-01-10 10:22 PM

#84

Make sure you say that exact same thing to your boss tomorrow, I am sure that he/she will be amazed at your business acumen...and then tell you to STFU and change out the oil in the fryer.

#65 | Posted by Rightocenter at 2018-01-10 11:17 PM

Ragging on a bill that all the media failed to understand originally and has just gone into effect.

Yes, the insistence on evidences and knowledge still prevail here at the DR... (by the way, does Skiz still write everything with an ellipses?)

#66 | Posted by HeuristicGratis at 2018-01-11 05:29 AM

"The guy making $1,040,040 didn't do any work he just collected the income generated by the labor of the other 10."
Why would they give him their income. And even if they choose to do so, is it anybody's business but theirs?
"For the record, though, I support his push for apprenticeship programs. The strictly academic focus in schools is hamstringing our future workers."
I agree. I would submit that a plumber or bricklayer is going to be more value-added (economically) to society than your average fine arts major. And there are actually a lot of trade jobs out there that pay better than if you had a college degree.

#43 | POSTED BY MADBOMBER AT 2018-01-10 05:29 PM | REPLY |

They don't give them their income. They never get it. He never gives it to them he is the business owner. He gets ALL of the revenue and only passes $100 to the workers whose labor created it. That is the business model of every corporation.

#67 | Posted by hatter5183 at 2018-01-11 09:09 AM

"Be more specific. Who at the firm, and why?"

It's not a who thing...it's the firm that's saving money. What the firm chooses to do with those savings is dependent on the company.

"So, why not to the workers?"

Why the workers? Does paying workers more for doing the same thing make the firm more competitive? Does it improve their market position? Does it make them more attractive to shareholders? If paying the workers more does accomplish those goals, then yes, it would go to the workers.

#68 | Posted by madbomber at 2018-01-11 09:19 AM

"More to the point, why did the person who applied the technology get any of the gains? Did their relative position in the labor market change? Or are they not being remunerated according to the value of their labor as a commodity, and if not... Why the hell not!!??"

Because the technology results in increased revenue, decreased operating costs, or both. Like I said, my buddy's company installed equipment free of charge. They only generated revenue from the company they were servicing if that company saw decreased operating costs.

And what you find in the real world is that many workers are getting paid more. Wages for skilled employees continue to increase, and the demand for top tier workers means that firms must be willing to offer more in order to hire top talent. But the less value you have to offer the firm, the less you can expect to earn. Again, Econ 101.

#69 | Posted by madbomber at 2018-01-11 09:24 AM

"If that's not required to understand the valuation of labor as a commodity, then why is it required to understand the value of management as a commodity?"

A manager is still a laborer. Still behave as a commodity, albeit a much rarer commodity. Like difference between gold and dry edible beans.

#70 | Posted by madbomber at 2018-01-11 09:26 AM

"Because if you judged management by the same standards as labor, you'd come to the conclusion that 99% of management is worth nothing at all."

When Salvador Allende was elected president of Chile, one of the results was that leftist paramilitaries within the country were emboldened to take over businesses and properties and hand them over to the workers. Allende directed his minister of the interior to not get involved when the owners of these enterprises came in seeking justice. The result was that Chile went from being a next exporter to importing virtually everything the country needed to survive. The root cause of this dramatic shift is that none of the workers had the skills to do manage a company or a farm. And so it all went to seed. Literally in some cases.

#71 | Posted by madbomber at 2018-01-11 09:31 AM

There is a fundamental disconnect in corporate America. A company is the sum total of all of its components. None can function without the others. In a perfect world when things are going well the spoils of victory should be shared by labor, management, and the shareholders. If the company does better they should all do better. That was the way things worked up until the late 70's. Somehow labor got cut out of the mix and is now viewed as something separate and apart from the corporation. Labor is now a cost to be minimized for the gain of management and the shareholders. When a company does better none of that or at best a few crumbs are shared with the laborers who are essential to the creation of that wealth. Most of the gains do not come from ideas from the top. The ideas are generated by people doing the work who maybe say something as simple as "If we spend 1 minute doing X here we can save a few minutes there. So they make doing X part of the process and production rises.

Then the employee who suggested doing X gets his quota increased and the gains realized get passed on to shareholders who never did anything for the company.

Anyone who has worked a low level position can tell you that in todays world the reward for working harder is higher demands for work from management. The stats show this to be true not just for specific anecdotal businesses but for our economy in total for the last 40 years.

All improvement in technology and efficiency comes from the bottom. It comes from a worker saying what if.

#72 | Posted by hatter5183 at 2018-01-11 09:31 AM

"More to the point, why did the person who applied the technology get any of the gains? Did their relative position in the labor market change? Or are they not being remunerated according to the value of their labor as a commodity, and if not... Why the hell not!!??"

#69 | POSTED BY MADBOMBER AT 2018-01-11 09:24 AM | REPLY |

Why the hell not is what every underpaid worker in America has been screaming at your deaf ears for 40 years.

#73 | Posted by hatter5183 at 2018-01-11 09:32 AM

"They don't give them their income. They never get it. He never gives it to them he is the business owner."

Untrue. Unless the owner has a legal right to the product of the worker's labor, unless they're slaves, the workers control the right to sell (or not sell) their labor. And when and if they do choose to sell, it will only be in circumstances that produce the best possible outcome.

Econ 101, yet again.

#74 | Posted by madbomber at 2018-01-11 09:34 AM

"When Salvador Allende was elected president of Chile, one of the results was that leftist paramilitaries within the country were emboldened to take over businesses and properties and hand them over to the workers. Allende directed his minister of the interior to not get involved when the owners of these enterprises came in seeking justice. The result was that Chile went from being a next exporter to importing virtually everything the country needed to survive. The root cause of this dramatic shift is that none of the workers had the skills to do manage a company or a farm. And so it all went to seed. Literally in some cases."

And then the U.S. assasinated him. Did Madbomber cheer? Inquiring minds want to know.

#75 | Posted by danni at 2018-01-11 09:35 AM

"Why the hell not is what every underpaid worker in America has been screaming at your deaf ears for 40 years."

What are you talking about...underpaid workers?

How do you determine whether someone is underpaid without first knowing the market value of their labor?

#76 | Posted by madbomber at 2018-01-11 09:37 AM

"And when and if they do choose to sell, it will only be in circumstances that produce the best possible outcome."

No, the best possible outcome will only come when labor is united and can collectively negotiate for the best wages, working conditions and benefits possible. An individual negotiating with an employer is powerless and you know it.

#77 | Posted by danni at 2018-01-11 09:38 AM

"Bevause the value of labor is understood as a commodity, but the value of management is arrived at via some other paradigm."

define "management". mid-level, line supervisor, upper, C-suite?

Again...this is where we need to talk real world and not in abstract.

I believe some of the opinions rendered here are uninformed when it comes to the value of "management". your knowledge ends at the jealousy you hold towards someone in "management" who is an idiot or married their way into it or something like that.

#78 | Posted by eberly at 2018-01-11 09:38 AM

"How do you determine whether someone is underpaid without first knowing the market value of their labor?"

Collective bargaining, strikes, negotiating collectively so that the worker has actual power in the negotiations.

#79 | Posted by danni at 2018-01-11 09:38 AM

"And then the U.S. assasinated him. Did Madbomber cheer? Inquiring minds want to know."

I wasn't alive. And it wasn't the US that assassinated him. He committed suicide when he realized the country had turned against him, socialism had failed, and he was never going to get to join the ranks for the world's great socialist dictators.

#80 | Posted by madbomber at 2018-01-11 09:39 AM

"An individual negotiating with an employer is powerless and you know it."

Including you?

#81 | Posted by eberly at 2018-01-11 09:39 AM

"I believe some of the opinions rendered here are uninformed when it comes to the value of "management". your knowledge ends at the jealousy you hold towards someone in "management" who is an idiot or married their way into it or something like that."

Checks.

And there is a difference between mid to upper level management and senior management...particularly at large firms. The labor for someone like the VP of marketing at a firm making $10M a year would behave largely like a commodity, and would have a salary comparable to a VP in a similar company. The labor of a CEO at a billion dollar firm is going to behave more like a differentiated product. Jack Welch is a differentiated product, as would people like Larry Ellison, John Chambers, Bill Gates, etc.

#82 | Posted by madbomber at 2018-01-11 09:44 AM

"Jack Welch is a piece of crap."

FTFY

#83 | Posted by danni at 2018-01-11 09:46 AM

"Collective bargaining, strikes, negotiating collectively so that the worker has actual power in the negotiations."

None of those things really alter the value of the labor. What they do is shift the demand curves.

And the worker always has power, because at the end of the day his or her labor is his or hers to sell or not sell, based on the conditions of the sale.

#84 | Posted by madbomber at 2018-01-11 09:46 AM

#83

To retweet Eb...

"I believe some of the opinions rendered here are uninformed when it comes to the value of "management". your knowledge ends at the jealousy you hold towards someone in "management" who is an idiot or married their way into it or something like that."

#85 | Posted by madbomber at 2018-01-11 09:46 AM

"Including you?"

Pretty much. I work for a decent employer but still feel I work for less than I am worth but at my age it is a little scary to make a fuss about it.

#86 | Posted by danni at 2018-01-11 09:47 AM

"None of those things really alter the value of the labor."

Well no, not when you believe labor is worthless.

But if you believe your workers are a cog in your success, why shouldn't they share in increasing profits?

#87 | Posted by Danforth at 2018-01-11 09:57 AM

"Pretty much. I work for a decent employer but still feel I work for less than I am worth but at my age it is a little scary to make a fuss about it."

Why do you feel that way?

Here's how I look at it. If you took 10 random people off the street and one or more could do your job, you're probably getting paid what you're worth. of course I say that not knowing what it is you do, or what workers in comparable positions are making.

#88 | Posted by madbomber at 2018-01-11 09:59 AM

"And the worker always has power"

Just to calibrate my truth-o-meter, do you believe the workers have the same "power" in a depressed area as in a full-employment area?

#89 | Posted by Danforth at 2018-01-11 10:00 AM

"Here's how I look at it. If you took 10 random people off the street and one or more could do your job, you're probably getting paid what you're worth."

Do you use that same barometer regarding owners?

#90 | Posted by Danforth at 2018-01-11 10:01 AM

"But if you believe your workers are a cog in your success, why shouldn't they share in increasing profits?"

You would.

The friend I referenced earlier in this thread is now the president of a mid-sized manufacturing firm that employs union welders. Under the union contract, the welders are promoted not by merit, but by seniority. The result is that a lot of lower quality workers get promoted (and paid more) simply because they've been there longer, while hard working welders get nothing because they're newer.

But yeah, the bottom line is that those workers who really are value adders are always going to get recognized is some way...because they're the ones that other employers are always going to be sniping for.

#91 | Posted by madbomber at 2018-01-11 10:03 AM

"Just to calibrate my truth-o-meter, do you believe the workers have the same "power" in a depressed area as in a full-employment area?"

Absolutely. Because that worker has the ability to move. We're not talking about trees here.

"Do you use that same barometer regarding owners?"

I'm not sure what you're asking. The owner of a firm only gets paid when he or she meets the needs of the customer, and is able to cover the cost of meeting those needs. I would say that if you're asking if one out of ten doughnut shops can do what your doughnut shop does...doughnut shops are largely interchangeable, and doughnuts are largely commodities.

#92 | Posted by madbomber at 2018-01-11 10:06 AM

"Because that worker has the ability to move."

And we all know being unemployed makes it sooooo much easier.

"I'm not sure what you're asking."

It's fairly clear: if I could pick 10 random people from the street, and one could run a donut shop, is the owner overpaid?

#93 | Posted by Danforth at 2018-01-11 10:13 AM

"Absolutely. Because that worker has the ability to move. We're not talking about trees here."

A worker living on a paycheck to paycheck level has little power to move. You'd know that if you ever had to live that way.

"Under the union contract, the welders are promoted not by merit, but by seniority."

What's wrong, is management too stupid to negotiate well? Sounds like typical management whining. So much incompetence finds its way into management and then they whine like babies when things don't go their way.
In my experience, the most experienced workers are usually more valuable to the company the the less experienced and I've been around blue collar jobs most of my life. Your complaint is hollow, baseless. Don't blame the incompetence of the management on the experienced workers and that is exactly the scape goat companies have been using for years. GM blamed workers for the bad designs they produced in the 80's and 90's.

#94 | Posted by danni at 2018-01-11 10:18 AM

"GM blamed workers for the bad designs they produced in the 80's and 90's."

For proof, look at Ford, who had (roughly) the same union contract, and flourished.

#95 | Posted by Danforth at 2018-01-11 10:23 AM

For a large percentage of workers their pay is not based on the value of the labor but rather on what the minimum rate they can pay to fill the job. There is a significant difference between the two.

Just as the cost of a machine is not linked to the revenue it generates.

The paradigm has shifted from lets get a bunch of people together and do this work and make a bunch of money to lets get a few people together and buy some labor to make us a bunch of money.

labor is viewed as separate from and antagonistic to the corporation rather than an essential partner.

#96 | Posted by hatter5183 at 2018-01-11 10:24 AM

"It's fairly clear: if I could pick 10 random people from the street, and one could run a donut shop, is the owner overpaid?"

Are you talking about ownership or management...they are two separate concepts?

"A worker living on a paycheck to paycheck level has little power to move. You'd know that if you ever had to live that way."

Hmm. Sounds like they're very different from those filthy rich Central Americanos who brave all sort of threats and hazards to cross the 2K miles to get to the US.

#97 | Posted by madbomber at 2018-01-11 10:26 AM

"What's wrong, is management too stupid to negotiate well?"

The union wouldn't budge on this. In fact my buddy has had workers come up and ask how they in-unionize. According to the contract it's not something he can help them with. There would have to be a vote amongst the workers. In my buddy's case, his company was actually willing to increase pay across the board if they could promote by merit, but the union rejected it. They want to retain control of who gets promoted and who doesn't.

My brother is a small business owner as well, and employed union labor. He had similar problems, and several years ago his workers voted to de-unionize. The result was more than one death threat to him and his employees.

#98 | Posted by madbomber at 2018-01-11 10:31 AM

"For a large percentage of workers their pay is not based on the value of the labor but rather on what the minimum rate they can pay to fill the job. There is a significant difference between the two."

The two are one in the same.

"Just as the cost of a machine is not linked to the revenue it generates."

You're not going to buy equipment that won't pay for itself.

"labor is viewed as separate from and antagonistic to the corporation rather than an essential partner."

Would you say that this applies to all factors of production?

#99 | Posted by madbomber at 2018-01-11 10:33 AM

"Hmm. Sounds like they're very different from those filthy rich Central Americanos who brave all sort of threats and hazards to cross the 2K miles to get to the US."

Refugees are more desperate than Americans who have jobs and homes. So, we can clearly see how you think we should motivate Americans. If only we could make American labor as desperate as refugees from Central America......Madbomber's plan for labor.

#100 | Posted by danni at 2018-01-11 10:37 AM

"In my buddy's case, his company was actually willing to increase pay across the board if they could promote by merit, but the union rejected it."

Management failed to convince labor of the benefits of changing. You never seem to recognize the incompetence of management. I honestly believe I could convince a union of the benefits to them of such a change but I also know management people who couldn't convince anyone of anything because they are, in truth, stupid.

#101 | Posted by danni at 2018-01-11 10:40 AM

I just don't have a lot of sympathy for people who lack the initiative to improve their own situation...because if you're being honest, even a fry cook like you is enjoying a standard of living that would be considered lavish in most of the world.

#102 | Posted by madbomber at 2018-01-11 10:40 AM

"There would have to be a vote amongst the workers."

And all it takes is one vote, won by a simple majority. Why can't your buddy organize that much?

#103 | Posted by Danforth at 2018-01-11 10:43 AM

"Management failed to convince labor of the benefits of changing. You never seem to recognize the incompetence of management."

In this case it was union management that was the "problem," and I don't even think they saw it as a problem. They wanted to retain a greater degree of control over the workers, even if it was at the worker's expense. They knew exactly what they were doing.

#104 | Posted by madbomber at 2018-01-11 10:46 AM

"I just don't have a lot of sympathy for people who lack the initiative to improve their own situation...because if you're being honest, even a fry cook like you is enjoying a standard of living that would be considered lavish in most of the world."

Unionization is all the "fry cooks" getting together and improving their situation even though you don't want them to.

#105 | Posted by danni at 2018-01-11 10:46 AM

"And all it takes is one vote, won by a simple majority. Why can't your buddy organize that much?"

By contract he's not allowed to. That's a decision that his employees would have to make on their own.

#106 | Posted by madbomber at 2018-01-11 10:46 AM

"I just don't have a lot of sympathy for people who lack the money to move when they're out of work"

FTFY.

#107 | Posted by Danforth at 2018-01-11 10:47 AM

"In this case it was union management that was the "problem," and I don't even think they saw it as a problem. IMHO"

FTFY

#108 | Posted by danni at 2018-01-11 10:47 AM

"Unionization is all the "fry cooks" getting together and improving their situation even though you don't want them to."

And the response to unionization just might be purchasing a machine that makes French Fries with fewer or no fry cooks.

#109 | Posted by madbomber at 2018-01-11 10:47 AM

Clue to Madbomber, union workers aren't looking for you sympathy. They want the bosses' money. You can keep all your sympathy, no one cares.

#110 | Posted by danni at 2018-01-11 10:48 AM

I have been a shop steward for two different unions. I have never heard of a Union not allowing an employee to get a raise. The Union scale is always a minimum.

Negotiations are negotiations. If your buddy signed the contract he signed the contract. He had the same option the workers had. He could have not signed the contract.

He could move his company.

Or are only employees supposed to pack up and move when the other side is incorrigible?

#111 | Posted by hatter5183 at 2018-01-11 10:49 AM

"even a fry cook like you is enjoying a standard of living that would be considered lavish in most of the world."

So as long as there's someplace worse? Is that your theory???

#112 | Posted by Danforth at 2018-01-11 10:51 AM

"And the response to unionization just might be purchasing a machine that makes French Fries with fewer or no fry cooks."

Good luck with that. When I was in high school, McDonalds was a fairly new concept to us and they did have a machine which actually created fresh french fries. They were beyond delicious. McDonalds switched to the frozen garbage they serve today. I rarely to go McDonalds today, I drive far out of my way to Char Hut to get a decent burger with fries. BTW, their help seems to be heads and shoulders above the level of employee at the typical McDonalds. I'm guessing, buy I'd bet they make much better money than the Mcdonalds employees.

#113 | Posted by danni at 2018-01-11 10:51 AM

"I have been a shop steward for two different unions. I have never heard of a Union not allowing an employee to get a raise. The Union scale is always a minimum."

Have you ever heard of a union that promoted on seniority rather than merit?

#114 | Posted by madbomber at 2018-01-11 10:52 AM

You're right...ultimately it's not something that is going to have a huge impact on my buddy's company. Things that need welded will still get welded. The company was literally willing to pay more for increased authority in promoting workers.

It's the workers who lost here.

#115 | Posted by madbomber at 2018-01-11 10:53 AM

"If your buddy signed the contract he signed the contract. He had the same option the workers had. He could have not signed the contract."

You mean, he could have moved? Same option as the employees had. What? It would have been too expensive to relocate? Too much disrtuption to his business? Sort of like the exact same problems an employee has when told to just move. I moved once, from Jacksonville to S. Florida. It took me a year to recover from the disruption. It was a good move for me but I wouldn't want to have to do it again.

#116 | Posted by danni at 2018-01-11 10:54 AM

"You're right...ultimately it's not something that is going to have a huge impact on my buddy's company. Things that need welded will still get welded. The company was literally willing to pay more for increased authority in promoting workers."

So, the union benefited the workers even after it was gone. Unions do generally raise wages for even non-unionized employees in the same market, it's been that way since the beginning of the union movement. It's actually a great argument for unions.

#117 | Posted by danni at 2018-01-11 10:55 AM

#113

I was in Belgium a few months ago. Obviously, I had to go in and order a Royal with Cheese. And I did...on a touch screen. There was nobody there to take my order.

#118 | Posted by madbomber at 2018-01-11 10:57 AM

"By contract he's not allowed to. That's a decision that his employees would have to make on their own."

My apologies; I meant why can't the disgruntled employee lead the decertification. One day, one vote, one majority. What could be easier?

And I agree with Hatter: anyone who tells you "the union" kept him from a raise doesn't understand how unions work. Have you ever considered the guy might've been fibbing?

#119 | Posted by Danforth at 2018-01-11 10:57 AM

It's like the $15 minimum wage. IT will benefit all employees earning less than $50,000, when those earning more than the minimum realize the benefit it will bring to them it will happen.

#120 | Posted by danni at 2018-01-11 10:57 AM

"I was in Belgium a few months ago. Obviously, I had to go in and order a Royal with Cheese. And I did...on a touch screen. There was nobody there to take my order."

So, if we keep wages low enough automation won't happen? Ridiculous. Automat was a food service restaurant in NY many decades ago.

#121 | Posted by danni at 2018-01-11 11:00 AM

"And I agree with Hatter: anyone who tells you "the union" kept him from a raise doesn't understand how unions work."

I'm not sure how this discussion drifted into raises...the topic was promotion and the authority to promote.

Have you ever heard of a union that didn't allow the employer to promote? That retained that ability at the union level?

"Have you ever considered the guy might've been fibbing?"

It's possible. But I trust him, and I would suspect that you and hatter were fibbing, or at least fudging the truth based on your own biases in favor of unionism. I don't really care one way or the other. I don't think my buddy cares that much, other than the union is doing what benefits the union...at everyone else's expense.

#122 | Posted by madbomber at 2018-01-11 11:13 AM

"It's like the $15 minimum wage. IT will benefit all employees earning less than $50,000, when those earning more than the minimum realize the benefit it will bring to them it will happen."

Do you think a higher minimum wage would be of even more benefit to everyone else?

Do you think there's a point where a minimum wage would stop being beneficial?

#123 | Posted by madbomber at 2018-01-11 11:15 AM

You don't have sympathy for someone who wont improve themselves.

I don't understand why you don't get the simple fact that we need a lot of fry cooks. No amount of self improvement will change that. If everyone got PHD's tomorrow we would still need 40 million Americans doing those jobs that pay $10 an hour or less. The simple fact is that technology and automation advancements mean that over time we need less workers. I am in the heart of America's Dairyland. I know farmers who had to have dozens of workers just a few years ago who can maintain the same herd with only a few now. Once driverless vehicles are perfected, the truck diving profession will start shrinking. Why pay $250,000 for a truck and trailer and then pay a driver $60,000/year who can only drive 70 hours a week when you can pay $300,000 one time and get a truck that can drive 24/7/365?

There is this wierd meme on the right that people working these jobs have no ambition or they are lazy. Most often people work these jobs because they have rent to pay, need to eat, and would love to learn a better skill but still have to pay rent and eat NOW.

#124 | Posted by hatter5183 at 2018-01-11 11:22 AM

"They wanted to retain a greater degree of control over the workers, even if it was at the worker's expense. They knew exactly what they were doing."

It wasn't at "the worker's expense", it was at "some workers'" expense. And which ones? The ones with the most loyalty to the company. Current policy ensures the guy with ten extra years of experience doesn't lose a promotion to a suck-up.

In addition, who would pay a manager with 10 days experience the same as a manager with 10 years experience? Your claim it was at "the worker's expense" doesn't match the real-life equation: paying an inexperienced manager less, nets more money in the owner's pocket.

#125 | Posted by Danforth at 2018-01-11 11:23 AM

"I have been a shop steward for two different unions. I have never heard of a Union not allowing an employee to get a raise. The Union scale is always a minimum."
Have you ever heard of a union that promoted on seniority rather than merit?
#114 | POSTED BY MADBOMBER AT 2018-01-11 10:52 AM | REPLY

I have never heard of anyone getting promoted by a union. Union sets minimum pay scale. I have seen plenty of people get raises above scale. Most places I have worked supervisors and up are non-union. I have never heard of a union preventing someone from getting a raise. I have seen companies that refuse to give raises above scale and blame the union

#126 | Posted by hatter5183 at 2018-01-11 11:26 AM

"I would suspect that you and hatter were fibbing, or at least fudging the truth based on your own biases in favor of unionism."

Dude...it's no secret: unions establish minimums, not maximums. Not that hard to discover.

#127 | Posted by Danforth at 2018-01-11 11:27 AM

"I have never heard of anyone getting promoted by a union."

Same here, in my 20+ years on multiple union boards.

#128 | Posted by Danforth at 2018-01-11 11:29 AM

"If everyone got PHD's tomorrow we would still need 40 million Americans doing those jobs that pay $10 an hour or less."

Going back to Econ 101...if everyone had the same abilities, labor would be virtually interchangeable, and the differences in pay would be based everything but ability. So there would be no jobs paying $10 an hour...the market wouldn't support it. Just like there would be no jobs paying $200,000K a year, which also wouldn't be supported. The average US income is around $80K. You'd likely see some variation, but not a lot.

"There is this wierd meme on the right that people working these jobs have no ambition or they are lazy."

Wages have literally skyrocketed for skilled employees. I'm not sure how or why you make excuses for people who don't puruse those avenues that lead to higher pay, choosing instead to claim that they shouldn't have to. That they shouldn't be responsible for improving their position.

#129 | Posted by madbomber at 2018-01-11 11:37 AM

#128

Have you ever heard of a union that prohibited the employer from promoting?

Do you think it may be industry specific?

#130 | Posted by madbomber at 2018-01-11 11:38 AM

It's possible. But I trust him, and I would suspect that you and hatter were fibbing, or at least fudging the truth based on your own biases in favor of unionism. I don't really care one way or the other. I don't think my buddy cares that much, other than the union is doing what benefits the union...at everyone else's expense.

#122 | POSTED BY MADBOMBER AT 2018-01-11 11:13 AM | REPLY |

Unions are about getting the worker the best deal. Why would a union want to prevent an employee from getting paid more?

The role of the union is to set minimum standards by contract. No union has ever demanded that an employee not get a raise.

#131 | Posted by hatter5183 at 2018-01-11 11:40 AM

#131

Have you ever heard of a union that prohibited the employer from promoting based on merit?

#132 | Posted by madbomber at 2018-01-11 11:46 AM

Or promoting based on anything they felt warranted promotion?

#133 | Posted by madbomber at 2018-01-11 11:46 AM

Crickets?

#134 | Posted by madbomber at 2018-01-11 11:49 AM

"Have you ever heard of a union that prohibited the employer from promoting based on merit?"

Don't look at me. My unions are Actor's Equity and SAG-AFTRA. It's nothing but merit.

And I've always had the option to negotiate at a higher rate than scale.

I'll also add this: when I first got railroaded into volunteering, the set of rule books I got--one for each different type of theatre, made me wonder: How could anyone run a business with all these rules???

In the 8 years in that volunteer position, I realized the "rule book" was just a compendium of lousy treatment by employers. Temperature requirements? Some boss thought 35 in the winter and 95 in the summer was okay. Dance floor specs? Some producer thought 12 hrs a day on concrete would be fine. And I'll let you guess why there must be a rest room backstage.

National tours must post a bond so workers can be flown home if they're abandoned. I'll give you one guess why.

#135 | Posted by Danforth at 2018-01-11 12:05 PM

It's like the $15 minimum wage. IT will benefit all employees earning less than $50,000, when those earning more than the minimum realize the benefit it will bring to them it will happen.

#120 | POSTED BY DANNI AT 2018-01-11 10:57 AM | FLAG: But then there is this:

Employees at some Tim Hortons reportedly see benefits cut over minimum wage hike. Employees who work at Tim Hortons locations in the Canadian province of Ontario owned by the co-founders' children will reportedly see their benefits reduced along with paid breaks over the country's $2.40 increase to minimum wage.Jan 4, 2018
Employees at some Tim Hortons reportedly see benefits cut over ...
www.foxnews.com/.../employees-at-some-tim-hortons-reportedly-see-benefits-cut-over-...

#136 | Posted by MSgt at 2018-01-11 12:10 PM

Depends on what you mean by promoting. Most unions I know of only include lower level workers. Most often any promotion involves moving to a non-union position. They can offer those jobs to anyone they want.

As a union steward I was offered management positions on a regular basis because I was a good negotiator and they wanted to get me out of the union. I declined because the boss thought a $1.50 raise was enough to make me want to herd cats in a job I had no intention of keeping as a career.

There are lots of people who have heard all the rhetoric from the right and think they know what unions are about and really have no clue.

I had workers (usually right wing types) come up to me and say "They gave me a 3 day unpaid suspension for being late too many times" and then bitch that the union sucked when I didn't do anything other than tell them to come to work on time. They heard from their right wing radio that unions protected lazy workers. We didn't we set minimums. If you showed up on time and did the minimum necesary you would make the scale rate. The guy next to you might be getting more but nobody got paid less than scale. If you sucked at your job you could still get fired. There is no magical you can't fire anyone clause in any contract any employer would sign.

#137 | Posted by hatter5183 at 2018-01-11 12:15 PM

I'm just glad Trump saved those Carrier jobs and they didn't go to Mexico.

Wait, what??

#138 | Posted by mOntecOre at 2018-01-11 01:15 PM

"In fact my buddy has had workers come up and ask how they in-unionize.
#98 | POSTED BY MADBOMBER"

Be careful what you wish for! If they "in-unionize," people could get fired simply for being illiterate!

#139 | Posted by mOntecOre at 2018-01-11 01:17 PM

#131 Unions usually tend to, inadvertently or not, set maximum standards by contract and limit workers from going above and beyond in their job. They also hold employees down in seniority class systems and prevent newer employees from having opportunity to get ahead of more senior employees.

#140 | Posted by HeuristicGratis at 2018-01-11 02:09 PM

#131 Unions usually tend to, inadvertently or not, set maximum standards by contract and limit workers from going above and beyond in their job. They also hold employees down in seniority class systems and prevent newer employees from having opportunity to get ahead of more senior employees.
#140 | POSTED BY HEURISTICGRATIS AT 2018-01-11 02:09 PM | REPLY

Unions don't do any of those things. Businesses use the union as a scapegoat when THEY do those things to try to convince you unions are bad.

#141 | Posted by hatter5183 at 2018-01-11 02:30 PM

"Depends on what you mean by promoting."

A little back story on where this discussion originated...my buddy mentioned that his company was experiencing decreasing labor productivity...something I didn't really think was possible today. And that let into him explaining one of the contributing factors, which was promotion based on seniority as opposed to merit.

His company employs union welders. There are several different classes of welders, with fewer positions available as the class level increases. In order for a welder to be promoted from one class to the next, there has to be an opening. The company can increase pay at any level, but cannot promote from one class to the next. That is determined by seniority alone, provided they have completed the necessary training.

"There are lots of people who have heard all the rhetoric from the right and think they know what unions are about and really have no clue."

That may be true. And my buddy's company seems to have a good working relationship with the union. And like I said earlier, this isn't something that's going to put him out of business, but it something that is keeping the best workers from being promoted above those who have simply been there longer.

#142 | Posted by madbomber at 2018-01-11 04:17 PM

"Unions don't do any of those things."

That's another thing he mentioned...that in a strict union shop there are limits to what non-union supervisors are or are not allowed to do, such as do the same work as the union employees. And there have been a few national cases where unions highlighted themselves by getting stupid about this sort of thing. There was a union official in PN that went after the Boy Scouts for cleaning up a park, and demanding that they never do it again. There was the union that covers snowplow drivers in New York that got irked after a big storm when residents started clearing snow themselves. So these things do happen, but they're rare, and I don't think they represent the views or intentions of the average union member.

#143 | Posted by madbomber at 2018-01-11 04:27 PM

"I believe some of the opinions rendered here are uninformed when it comes to the value of "management"."

I haven't said how management is valued. Only how labor is valued, and a bunch of questions to elucidate if there is a different standard by which management is valued.

You haven't answered, presumably because you are a coward, though I suppose it's possible you don't actually have any clue, other than it not being due to the commodity value of their inputs to the business, like it is for laborers.

#144 | Posted by snoofy at 2018-01-11 10:16 PM

"Wages have literally skyrocketed for skilled employees."

What is an "unskilled employee?"
Please provide examples of jobs that require no skills.
Thanks.

#145 | Posted by snoofy at 2018-01-11 10:18 PM

I would say "minimum" skills rather than "no" skills.

#146 | Posted by eberly at 2018-01-11 10:20 PM

Fine.
Name the skills, and tell me which of them you have.
Can you pick produce with any sort of efficiency, for example? I seriously doubt it!

#147 | Posted by snoofy at 2018-01-11 10:21 PM

"presumably because you are a coward"

Ok.

#148 | Posted by eberly at 2018-01-11 10:21 PM

Ok.

#149 | Posted by snoofy at 2018-01-11 10:23 PM

I'm sorry, i lack the courage to answer that

Go find someone else less cowardly

#150 | Posted by eberly at 2018-01-11 10:24 PM

You are afraid to say if you can pick produce?

How about your nose, can you pick that?

#151 | Posted by snoofy at 2018-01-11 10:26 PM

What is an "unskilled employee?"

That is someone who has been hired that shows potential to learn new job skills.

Being able to read, write, count, and drive are not really considered skills.

#152 | Posted by REDIAL at 2018-01-11 10:26 PM

Driving is a skill. Commercial driving requires a commercial license, clean driving record, clean drug test, often the ability to lift 50lbs, etc.

Writing in the sense that employers are looking to hire someone into a job where they are expected to write all day is certainly a skill. Same for reading.

Counting, you probably can call that unskilled, but I'm not aware of any jobs where all you do is count.

"Tollbooth collector" used to be the old standby no-skills-required job you'd suggest losers get, but electronic toll systems have replaced them.

#153 | Posted by snoofy at 2018-01-11 10:32 PM

If you learn what you're supposed to do on the job by spending a couple of days watching videos after being hired, you're an unskilled worker.

#154 | Posted by madbomber at 2018-01-11 10:39 PM

"Driving is a skill. Commercial driving requires a commercial license, clean driving record, clean drug test, often the ability to lift 50lbs, etc."

It also pays very well.

#155 | Posted by madbomber at 2018-01-11 10:40 PM

I don't know about "very well" but it pays.

#156 | Posted by snoofy at 2018-01-11 10:53 PM

Driving is a skill.

So is walking.

Unskilled labour is a real thing. Basically, you have no degree, no trade, no work history.

Many people, including myself, are unskilled. I'm doing fine with 35 years experience in my non-skill gig.

#157 | Posted by REDIAL at 2018-01-11 10:55 PM

"If you learn what you're supposed to do on the job by spending a couple of days watching videos after being hired, you're an unskilled worker."

LOL. That's a pretty good one.

I'd also say the corollary, if you get sent to a training class that costs a few thousand dollars for a couple of days after you get hired, that's probably skilled labor.

#158 | Posted by snoofy at 2018-01-11 10:56 PM

"Unskilled labour is a real thing."

I get that, I'm just belaboring the point that any labor does actually require some skills, and some of what we call "unskilled" does in fact require real skill, like picking produce.

I am somewhat partial to more modern terms like "knowledge worker."

#159 | Posted by snoofy at 2018-01-11 10:59 PM

Driving is a robot skill.

In future, rwingers may have to open up some of their Patented Gas Chambers for former truck drivers.... you know, so they won't be hanging around, "asking for a hand-out".

#160 | Posted by Corky at 2018-01-11 11:17 PM

Dorky just came as close as you can get without invoking Godwin's Law...

#161 | Posted by Rightocenter at 2018-01-11 11:42 PM

...and some of what we call "unskilled" does in fact require real skill, like picking produce.

Absolutely. So does coal mining. So do all the other jobs in heavy industry that don't generate some kind of certificate.

It's a skill, but it doesn't mean much on a resume these days.

#162 | Posted by REDIAL at 2018-01-11 11:52 PM

#161

lawyerboy's picture next to Godwin's Law in the Meme Dictionary

i0.kym-cdn.com

#163 | Posted by Corky at 2018-01-12 12:28 AM

Nice projection, Dorkster, I'm not the one who throws the other N word out every other post.

#164 | Posted by Rightocenter at 2018-01-12 12:56 AM

No, you are the one who likes to pimp imaginary Tinkle Down.

#165 | Posted by Corky at 2018-01-12 01:04 AM

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