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View Diary: Report: Post-recession jobs don't pay as well as the ones that were lost (131 comments)

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    •  I worked for GM in 1975 (17+ / 0-)

      in Marion Indiana, made about $5/hr.  They are fighting to get $8-10/hr jobs there 35 years later.  The RCA picture tube plant that employed thousands is shut down.  General Tire is shut down, Anaconda wire is shut down, and thats just off the top of my head, GM had approx 3400 people working there, now under a thousand.  Good luck making money like we made in industry when its mostly service and some warehousing.

      I Know a place where a Royal Flush never beat a Pair" T. Waits

      by NearlyNormal on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 02:16:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  20 years ago, a GM worker made 6x what a GM de... (13+ / 0-)

        ...Mexico worker made.

        Today, that multiple is down to 3x for new GM hires.

        From 6x to 3x, in only 20 years.

        And people wonder why only 21% of Americans believe that the US is on the right track??!!!!

        Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. http://www1.hamiltonproject.org/es/hamilton/hamilton_hp.htm

        by PatriciaVa on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 02:35:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  not that the Mexican workers (0+ / 0-)

          should deserve any less than those in Detroit.

          If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

          by marykk on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 04:45:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Mexicans recently stopped migrating north (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kurious, greengemini, NearlyNormal, neaguy

          They are better off in Mexico with the support of family, friends and community.

          look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening. "It's the planet, stupid."

          by FishOutofWater on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 05:10:52 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Why should we make so much relative (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CS in AZ

          to people doing the same work in Mexico? Reminds me of Iowans who think themselves entitled to the first caucus, forever. IMO the desperate people in the third world did nothing to "deserve" to make 6 times less than us.

          I'm in the I-fucking-love-this-guy wing of the Democratic Party!

          by doc2 on Wed Jul 27, 2011 at 05:38:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  indeed, it is pure racism to assume that "they" (0+ / 0-)

            "don't deserve" as much as "we" do.

            People doing the very same job, should be getting the very same pay for doing it. Whether they live in Tennessee, Tibet, Timbuktu or Tegucigalpa.

          •  Perhaps it's not that, but because of what (0+ / 0-)

            American workers did, in organizing, is why they 'deserve' to make six times more. Because they fought for it? I totally get what your're saying. I had the same reaction to the comment, to be honest. But I don't know.

            I don't think it's in any way "fair" to people who make far less doing the same jobs elsewhere. Nor is it fair to American workers who have no jobs now, to be out of work because a company can get the work done for 3 times less by taking the jobs elsewhere.

            Nothing about this is fair or right. But what is the answer? Outlaw international companies and globalization? Good luck with that. Not gonna happen. I suppose I do think this is basically the new normal. Unless people here get pissed off enough to start fighting back by electing politicians who will change the laws to protect us more by taxing those companies that do that and redistributing the wealth back to us. Forget giving us jobs. Just give us the money!!!

            •  you are right-the jobs will go where the wages are (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              samddobermann

              lowest. No matter how many flags we wave at the bosses, or how many patriotic songs we sing to them, or how much we appeal to their patriotic duty to give us all good-paying jobs.

              If we want jobs to stop flowing away, we have only two choices---either we lower our wages to match theirs, or we raise their wage to match ours.

              Which do we prefer?

              •  We don't need to do anything. (0+ / 0-)

                Their wages will rise, ours will sink, until (after adjusting for shipping and quality) their production costs are the same as ours.

                I'm in the I-fucking-love-this-guy wing of the Democratic Party!

                by doc2 on Wed Jul 27, 2011 at 06:44:49 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  their wages are rising . . . because (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  18038

                  they are fighting--unlike us.

                  In China, several major strikes -- STRIKES !!!! -- have pushed wages in some industries higher by as much as 30%.

                  The Chinese government has now been forced to begin writing off entire low-wage low-value-added manufacturing industries, allowing them to relocate to Cambodia or Vietnam, and has begun instead focusing on higher-wage higher-value-added jobs like infrastructure.

                  Wages are not determined by "the market"---wages are determined by the ability and willingness of workers to fight for higher wages.  Workers who fight for better wages, get them.  Workers who don't fight, don't.

                •  only if you (anyone) is doing the (0+ / 0-)

                  same old job.

                  There are 3 million job openings now in good paying jobs — and some places can't expand or even keep up with orders.

                  BUT they need people who can deal with math for some and other things like that.  North Dakota needs oil men...

                  one problem is the folks can't move be4cause their house is underwater and they can't sell it for enough.

                  I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

                  by samddobermann on Thu Jul 28, 2011 at 03:30:05 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Actually, if Americans really wanted (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              samddobermann

              to, they could simply not buy the cheaper products. The savings in production costs do not end up as profits for the corporation; they have resulted in lower prices for consumers. The American consumer (as well as the corporations) has been the beneficiary of globalization. So we don't need any fancy laws, we just need to care enough to be willing to pay more for American-produced goods. Which we aren't.

              I'm in the I-fucking-love-this-guy wing of the Democratic Party!

              by doc2 on Wed Jul 27, 2011 at 06:43:45 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  several problems with that (0+ / 0-)

                First of all, this:

                The savings in production costs do not end up as profits for the corporation; they have resulted in lower prices for consumers.

                simply isn't true-----global corporations are making record profits, in the middle of a global recession, for a reason.

                Second, and more importantly, your plan hurts poor people the most. In the United States, real wages have declined steadily for the past 30 years, the wealth held by the lowest 80% of the population has decreased drastically, and unemployment levels are at their highest in many decades. Under those conditions, consumers are forced to stretch as much value as they can out of every scarce dollar—and asking them to patriotically (and voluntarily) pay higher prices  is unrealistic at best.

                They already have virtually nothing--and you are asking them to live on even less.  

                And of course there is the simple fact that there is no “American” to buy anymore.  It is no longer the 1970’s, when Hondas were all made in Japan and Fords were all made in Detroit. All of the large corporations are now global, and none of them have any loyalty whatsoever to any national government anywhere. General Motors is no more or less “American” than BP or Toyota. Which is the “American” car?—the GM (which is partially foreign-owned) that is made in Canada, or the Toyota (which is partially American-owned) that is made in Tennessee? What happens when you have an electronics device that is made from material mined in South Africa and plastic from Germany, using semiconductors from Ireland that were designed in Costa Rica, whose parts were shipped here on a Swedish ship that's financed by an Icelandic bank, then assembled in Mexico and sold in an electronics chain store in Boston that is owned by the Japanese?

                You are defending a world that simply no longer exists.

                •  Profits are high vs. the 50's in (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  samddobermann

                  nominal dollars, sure. But what matters is the margin, and margins on consumer products have been declining for decades. Who can deny the benefit to the consumer that has come from globalization? True, we don't have the cash to spend on things because we've lost our jobs, but prices are inarguably lower for those that do have money to buy things.

                  I'm in the I-fucking-love-this-guy wing of the Democratic Party!

                  by doc2 on Wed Jul 27, 2011 at 06:58:33 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  It's a classic Catch-22 (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                samddobermann

                People who are unemployed and broke cannot afford to pay more. The lowest price is what people with little money have to look for and low prices is how companies compete for business and sales.

                But even if better-off people did that, there are few if any higher-priced, American-made options available, even for those who might be willing to do that. Where can we even find and pay more for these all-American-made-by-well-paid-American-workers products anymore?

                But the real problem is families trying to get by pretty much have to buy the most affordable things they can find. So they buy from companies that use the cheapest labor they can find.

      •  The minimum wage was $3. (0+ / 0-)

        per hour. I'll bet you had benefits.

        I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

        by samddobermann on Thu Jul 28, 2011 at 12:06:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  American workers are global fungible commodities (7+ / 0-)

      More like a fungus

      What do we need them for?

      They are so far in debt they cant even consume any more.

      /snark OK?

      They can't even afford Wal Mart;

      Walmart (NYSE: WMT), the world’s largest retailer, has seriously upped its efforts to turn around eight straight quarters of falling sales at its established U.S. stores. It also plans to repurchase close to $15 billion worth of its shares to take advantage of what it believes to be an undervalued stock price and to generate returns for its investors.

      It used to be that Henry Ford wanted auto workers to be able to buy the cars they made;

      United Auto Workers union chief Ron Gettelfinger indicated yesterday that the $14 per hour base wage earned by an entry-level worker building Chrysler, Ford and General Motors products isn’t enough to buy a new car.

      The argument comes nearly 90 years after Henry Ford began paying workers $5 per day in hopes that the workers would be able to afford one of their own products, a Ford Model T

      We are back in the 1920s.  Before we know it it will be robber baron timeagain.

      Class war IS upon us.

      Dailykos.com; an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action -1.75 -7.23

      by Shockwave on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 04:53:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Unless That Worker's Title is CEO of Course (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tardis10, mithra, LarryNM

        then all the free market rules of competition and cost evaporate like the misting of an expensive perfume, leaving only the odor to remember it by.

        Those jobs were paying quite nicely thank you before the recession and surprise, surprise, surprise, they continue their globalization-gravity defying flight after the recession, with their salaries now exceeding the pre-recession highs.

        Now that's what they call recovery.

        It's as if the laws of economics are as malleable to them as are the laws of our Country.  

        We'd rather dream the American Dream than fight to live it or to give it to our kids. What a shame. What an awful, awful shame.

        by Into The Woods on Wed Jul 27, 2011 at 05:48:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  even the low-wage jobs aren't safe (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Shockwave

        Note in the piece that "cashiers" are one of the largest low-wage job categories.

        Note also that many businesses--everything from Home Depot to our local library branches--are replacing "cashiers" and "checkout people" with "self-service kiosks", where customers scan out their own purchases.

        What do we suppose will happen when WalMart--the largest single private employer in the US--replaces all its cashiers and checkout people with automated self-service kiosks, and fires all one million or so of its cashier employees . . . . ?

      •  You missed the start by thirty years. (0+ / 0-)

        And the robber barons are no longer controlling freight trains, oil, coal, and more money than god. Religion helped. The idea that having lots of money means you were chosen by god; the elect.

        Now they control large amounts of money for investment; virtual monopolies  for operating systems & office ware like Microsoft "gave away" with every new computer; pharmaceutical corps with branded cures; and oil, plus more money than lots of gods. Religion helped. The idea that having lots of money means you were chosen by god; the elected in these days.

        They have just about won the class war. Warren Buffet has admitted it.

        I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

        by samddobermann on Thu Jul 28, 2011 at 08:44:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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