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View Diary: What about the pay ethic? (294 comments)

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  •  But what do you do? (1+ / 0-)
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    Mandate a living wage (maybe $18/hr?) for unskilled high school graduates?

    In that case, what if the corporations decide to close their physical stores and sell everthing via the internet?    

    Would lower income earners (who might not even have reliable internet access) be any better off?

    As far as making stuff, yes, that's a great idea - but under today's "system" there's no way we can do that because we can't compete with low wage/no regulation countries.  And increasing the minimum wage would only excerbate that problem.

    •  Low wage, no regulation countries do not (yet)... (6+ / 0-)

      make high-tech solar connectors and high-speed trains (not counting China making them on it's own behalf).

      Raise tariffs. Increase stimulus to fund supermodern infrastructure AND research on future infrastructural investments. Remove corporate incentives to outsource outside North America. Increase corporate incentives to "near shore" jobs into rural america. Manhattan companies should open plants in nowheresville, Georgia.

      That's how.

      What I don't have is 60 votes.

      "The enthusiasm gap has more to do with abnormally high levels of Republican interest in the election than with despondent Democrats." -Nate Silver

      by malharden on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 07:59:02 AM PDT

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      •  There probably are not any qualified workers (0+ / 0-)

        for high tech manufacturing in Nowheresville Georgia (there might be in Michigan & Ohio, but not broadly everywhere where there are low skilled US workers in need of jobs).

        You might recall a few years back when Toyota & Nissan situated some assembly plants in Canada because they didn't want to pay UAW wages in Michigan and were wary of worker quality in the US South (eventually they figured out they could replace written instructions with picture diagrams to train the workers, but still, it's clearly not feasible to expect every company to be that accomodating).

    •  the widget sells for the market price... (4+ / 0-)
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      Ivan, salmo, kurt, isabelle hayes

      how the costs of production are divided up vary from country to country.

      Our country strongly favors management and finance, so the money gravitates to those jobs.

      Other countries, with a stronger pay ethic and stronger (non-corrupt) unions, value the producers, and allocate a larger share of the costs to workers than to management. We used to do that, too, back in the days when wages were good, but in the last 30 years, there's been a concerted attack, through legislation, on worker's salaries and working conditions in order to bolster the amount of money going to management and finance.

      There's a big rationale about it, but industries in other countries manage to pay their workers more and the management less and still produce high quality goods that sell in the international market place.

      Not surprisingly, workers have more to spend, more time to spend with family and friends, more social services that enhance the quality of life, and much less personal debt than US workers, on average. We work longer and longer for less and less, our social services deteriorate, a war of all against all emerges, while all the value added of our productivity flows upwards. Now, we don't have enough to spend, and so our economy will remain sluggish for a long time.

      We have adopted several myths like these that are our undoing and unravelling.

      People are rightfully angry, but lash out at the wrong targets, and we end up with the party in waiting that only knows tea... and that, not very well.

    •  In my dream world (3+ / 0-)

      The highest person in any company would be capped at 10x the salary of the lowest person.

      Or if not capped, then everything above that amount is taxed at 95%.

      That would solve quite a few problems.

    •  Higher wages are not the only solution (4+ / 0-)

      to the mess we've made of the "war on poverty".

      However high the minimum wage is, the low-skilled worker will always have an impossible, uphill climb toward a decent life.

      What would go further to lift people and future generations out of poverty would be exactly what European countries have done: government finances higher education as well as elementary grades, government finances universal health care, government finances housing to an extent, government finances pensions, government protects workers' rights.

      I realize that European countries are in trouble now, but who do you reckon will come out of this global economic mess with their country in better shape: the EU or the US?

      It's not about the hundred people whose minds you can't change. It's about the two people you empower. ~ Beth Ditto

      by dejavu on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 08:47:01 AM PDT

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    •  Actually, we can compete (1+ / 0-)
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      The lower labor costs in a place like China account for only about a 10% difference in product costs on the shelves.  There are a host of other costs that are at least that significant - just think what it costs to pay those plutocrats and overpaid CEO's who add little or nothing.  We can compete.  Our corporate overlords are actively engaged in erecting barriers to entry to prevent domestic competition from succeeding - it beats the hell out of the kind of class warfare where they used to hire the Pinkertons.

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