Cut grandson's hair or put him in a dress

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Re: Cut grandson's hair or put him in a dress

Postby Pdxfashionpioneer » Thu Sep 26, 2019 11:26 am

I hope everyone's sitting down right now, because I agree with all of the major points Carl is making in his post just above.

There is some clarification that should be provided; no less an expert on Capitalism than Adam Smith, author of The Wealth of Nations published in 1775, said that setting the legal framework, including the boundaries of the playing field, for commerce was one of a national government's responsibilities to make sure the whole enterprise didn't run off the rails. One of the major contributors to the 2009 Global Financial Crisis was Alan Greenspan's overreliance on the Invisible Hand of the Market to regulate the financial industry. Believe it or not, under his direction, the SEC allowed companies to police themselves. They were trusted to identify, report and assign the appropriate fines for their SEC violations. We all lived through how well that worked! Later Greenspan admitted that he'd had too much faith in the discipline of the marketplace.

My interest in reversing the Trump tax breaks for American corporations and the 1% and then doubling down by increasing the top tax brackets to the 90+% rates is not only to incentivize the companies and the uber-rich to reinvest in their businesses but also to decrease the runaway deficits and at some point pay for the needed social investments in our environment, our infrastructure and our people.

As to collusion amongst HR departments to depress wages, they haven't had to. There is plenty of public information available to tell them what a given job category is being paid. If other states are like Oregon, the state Employment Department has that data on their website in incredible detail. The problem is one of relative power. Starting with the Reagan Administration, the legal protections for workers attempting to unionize have been ratcheting downward and union membership and the relative prosperity of lower class, working class and middle class people along with it.

On the other hand, a few years ago the US Dept. of Labor determined that the CEO's of the top technology companies in Silicon Valley had conspired to not poach each others' software developers, hardware engineers, etc. so they could keep their wages down. It took several years to uncover, but it was there.

Raising the minimum wage on a national level has not significantly raised prices in the past and would be less likely now than then for the simple reason that direct labor is a smaller percentage of the selling price of products than it ever has. Thanks to competition and the fact that supply and demand determines prices, not costs, individual companies would probably first find other ways to make up the cost of higher wages than price increases. Part of the reason is that it takes a while for the ripple effect of a minimum wage increase to take hold. That is, just because the minimum wage increases on say July 1st doesn't mean that everyone who was making more than the old minimum wage is going to get a proportionate increase that same day. No, there's a time lag for those people to ask for, let alone get an increase. And those increases may or may not be proportionate.

Be that as it may, the University of Kansas Agricultural Economics Dept. did a study on what would happen at McDonalds if the minimum wage was raised to $15/hr. and all other salaries and wages were increased proportionately. To make the same amount of profit on their $1 hamburger (yes, they still have one) they would only have to increase the price to a $1.17. We all know that just doesn't have the same market appeal as a "Buck Hamburger," so they probably would just trim everything down enough to maintain the dollar price point. Kind of like what they do with candy bars and cereal. You know, to maintain the price point they don't change the size of the wrapper or the box, they just make the candy bar smaller or don't fill the box as full.

All of the political polling shows that the Republicans got no political mileage with the average voter for their tax cuts for the richest 10% and the major corporations. I guess us average schnucks in the lower 90% don't have much heart; we didn't feel the rich folks' tax time pain. How unfeeling of us! Consequently, when the electorate is shown that increasing the percentage and number of the top tax brackets isn't going to affect their taxes or at worst not by much, but will deliver some tangible benefits, I'd say the polling says that wouldn't be unpopular with too many voters and would probably gain some support.

Ditto with improving the ACA. While there are people who still hate Obamacare, most of them really like that Affordable Care Act! (I know and you know they are one in the same, there are too many people out there who don't know that and do feel exactly as I described!) At this point it's not at all clear what the American version of single-payer would look like. How could there be? We haven't even had that conversation as a country. If the Republicans would ever retire their "Socialism" bogeyman and actually discuss the issue, we could probably come up with something great! Thanks to the Republican suggestion of Cap and Trade, we solved the acid rain crisis faster and cheaper than anyone ever believed it could be done. So yeah, with a little government guidance our capitalist, free enterprise, market economy CAN produce wonders! (cf. Hoover Dam and the US economy as the WWII Arsenal of Democracy [including the Soviet Union])

I can't let it pass without comment that despite Carl's rock-ribbed belief in the US having morphed into an oligarchy, he still has enough faith in our governmental system to vote in every election.

As do I.

My only reason for calling out "Carl's rock-ribbed belief" was so that no one who has been voting regularly stops doing so. And so that those of you who haven't been voting don't use Carl's posts as yet another excuse to not do your civic duty of learning about the candidates and their positions and then exercising your hard-earned right to vote!
David, the PDX Fashion Pioneer

Social norms aren't changed by Congress or Parliament; they're changed by a sufficient number of people ignoring the existing ones and publicly practicing new ones.
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Re: Cut grandson's hair or put him in a dress

Postby Sinned » Thu Sep 26, 2019 2:44 pm

Dave, I think that some of the criticisms against you are due to the sarcastic comments that you make, particularly against someone in particular. There are ways of sying things that don't raise the hackles as they do with me and others. Moderate the ways that you say things and you may have a more receptive audience.
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Re: Cut grandson's hair or put him in a dress

Postby moonshadow » Thu Sep 26, 2019 5:21 pm

Pdxfashionpioneer wrote:Raising the minimum wage on a national level has not significantly raised prices in the past and would be less likely now


True, but on the other hand, we're not just talking about raising it, we're talking about more than doubling it, which is something never done in recent history. We're in uncharted territory. We're talking about raising it to the point where virtually everyone I know locally will suddenly be a minimum wage worker. Understand the economy of Appalachia is a little different than Portland Oregon.

Pdxfashionpioneer wrote:direct labor is a smaller percentage of the selling price of products than it ever has.


Direct labor? Maybe, but all labor, including indirect labor goes into the price of the final product. Labor is everything! There is more that goes into that 99 cents hamburger patty than the 16 year old hand the flips it. There is the labor associated with getting the patty to grill, the truck driver that brought it. The dock worker that put it on the truck, the slaughter house that produced it, the livestock farmer who raised the beef, the feed that was also brought by truck, everything that went into the feed.

Back at the restaurant, there are the people who built the grill, the salesman who sold it, the service man who keeps it operational and fixes it when it breaks down. There is the gas that comes from the utility to fire the burners, the electric for the controls, the miners who brought the coal out if the ground, shipped it on a truck to a rail yard where it is delivered to the power plant....

None of these people are going to work for minimum wage. All of these people are going to want raises, that will further drive up cost all down the line. Not everything can be automated. Machines fail, and let's see that minimum wage high schooler troubleshoot why that pilot won't stay lit, or change out that leaking dishwasher seal, or rebuild a mixer clutch.... and those are the easy repairs....

So yeah we'd demand more money, though a lot of us are going to have to change jobs to get it, as our employers will hold out to the last minute thus requiring us to start all over on benifets, vacation, tenure, etc...

Besides, if us middle classers are expected to negotiate higher wages, why can't those on minimum wage now do the same? The fact that there are already people making $15 suggest it can indeed be done if one plays their cards right... and no, not all middle classers are white. There are people doing fine across all races and genders. Why? Because they know what they're doing and they're not sitting their with their hand out and an entitlement attitude. They see what they want, and they go earn it, rather than have someone give it to them for nothing.

Pdxfashionpioneer wrote: Kind of like what they do with candy bars and cereal. You know, to maintain the price point they don't change the size of the wrapper or the box, they just make the candy bar smaller or don't fill the box as full.


Yes, which is retail dishonesty, and plays consumers for a fool (I know I know... the bar is pretty low on that one)

I notice it, and it infuriates me. I can't stand hidden price increases in this matter. Not to mention when the box is just as big for a smaller amount of product, that just increases waste and creates more garbage in the landfill.

Not cool.... not cool at all....
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Re: Cut grandson's hair or put him in a dress

Postby moonshadow » Thu Sep 26, 2019 5:23 pm

So can anyone say for certain that these things won't happen? Or are we just saying that they shouldnt?

Well I'm sorry... but when a politician says "trust me...." don't walk... run like hell.
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Re: Cut grandson's hair or put him in a dress

Postby JohnH » Thu Sep 26, 2019 8:28 pm

Another reason to run like hell is if someone says, "We're from the government and we're here to help".
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Re: Cut grandson's hair or put him in a dress

Postby crfriend » Fri Sep 27, 2019 12:09 am

Pdxfashionpioneer wrote:I can't let it pass without comment that despite Carl's rock-ribbed belief in the US having morphed into an oligarchy, he still has enough faith in our governmental system to vote in every election.

Imagine this -- two seemingly declared combatants actually agreeing with each other on almost every salient point. It looks like we're a heck of a lot closer on things than anybody could have guessed. We differ in the minutiae, but broadly agree on the big-picture.

Just because I don't happen to think that my vote amounts to a hill of beans does not mean I won't go and express it -- nor would I counsel that others not mark their ballots. There remain the trappings of the republic, so we should behave accordingly, and part of this means forming and expressing considered opinions -- whether they're popular or not.

When I call the place out as an oligarchy, it's because my training in complex-systems analysis forces me to back away from a problem to get a better view of the thing, and in this case I noted that due to the extreme cost of mounting a political campaign no-one of "normal" means can do so; this means either political "donations" (which lead to a sense of responsibility of paying off) or using one's own wealth to fund the thing which means one is not of "normal means" and has his own agenda. Hence, the ones to appear on the general ballot are already "gated" and thus tacitly approved to not fiddle with the status quo. So, no matter which one of them "wins" the general populace loses. So, even though the trappings of Republic remain, in practise it functions as an oligarchy. This is not an excuse to give up.

Dave makes great points, and I thank him for climbing down from the rhetoric of earlier times.

As I have written in the past, "We -- all of us -- have vastly more that unites us than divides us." I just wish that the mass media would stop fanning the flames of artificial division.
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Re: Cut grandson's hair or put him in a dress

Postby JohnH » Fri Sep 27, 2019 2:07 am

moonshadow wrote:
Pdxfashionpioneer wrote:
Pdxfashionpioneer wrote: Kind of like what they do with candy bars and cereal. You know, to maintain the price point they don't change the size of the wrapper or the box, they just make the candy bar smaller or don't fill the box as full.


Yes, which is retail dishonesty, and plays consumers for a fool (I know I know... the bar is pretty low on that one)

I notice it, and it infuriates me. I can't stand hidden price increases in this matter. Not to mention when the box is just as big for a smaller amount of product, that just increases waste and creates more garbage in the landfill.

Not cool.... not cool at all....

One reason why items at grocery stores in the US are sold using US customary units rather than metric is it's easier to disguise the shrinkage if quantities are in ounces and fluid ounces instead of grams and milliliters. Metric units are expressed as whole numbers where shrinkage is more noticeable than floating or mixed numbers (e.g., 8.45 fluid ounces or worse, 1 lb 3.25 ounces). [US customary units differ from Imperial units due to units of volume.] You would notice a change from 250 mL to 235 mL much more readily than 8.45 US fluid ounces to 8.32 fl. oz.
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Re: Cut grandson's hair or put him in a dress

Postby Ray » Fri Sep 27, 2019 6:04 am

A quick comment. We have a minimum wage in the UK. As far as I’m aware, it works pretty well.
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Re: Cut grandson's hair or put him in a dress

Postby Sinned » Fri Sep 27, 2019 9:41 am

Like the US we have basically a two party system and that's broken as well. They have a President that's maybe on the road to impeachment and we have a PM under fire from all sides. As to our vote, yes I do vote but I also wonder if it's worthwhile to do and if it means anything even when I make a protest vote. Regrettably there's never anyone from the The Monster Raving Loony Party standing in our elections! :lol:
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