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Income inequality
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PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2015 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vraith wrote:

They're not mad about the difference in height peeps reach...
They're mad about the differences in the floor peeps start from, and
restricted access to the stairs.
How high must the floor be raised before people stop being pissed about it? If you're not acknowledging that the floor has been raised many times over, then this is not an absolute measurement from the bottom (away from which even our poorest keep rising), but one that is defined merely by its proximity to the top. So it *is* the height people are reaching that pisses some off. We don't hear phrases like "conspicuous consumption" as a pejorative nearly as much as we used to, but it used to be applied just for driving an SUV! Your height doesn't have to be very high for people to disdain you. The language has changed slightly, but the hatred is still there. No one is buying this denial.

The Left certainly isn't praising productivity, success, and innovation. Sometimes it's difficult to tell if they're actually for anything at all, instead of being motivated by a collection of grievances (in history's most prosperous, pampered nation).

[Edit: oh yeah, the stairs ... upward mobility is still possible. Public education is free. The rest is up to you. No one is restricting access to the ''stairs." Getting rich is difficult, and no one knows exactly how to do it on any individual level, but collectively we know what works: free markets, which the Left would slow down and make less free. Not a single Democrat or Big Government policy has ever made anyone rich.]
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PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2015 7:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SoulBiter wrote:
I would also point out that you dont need to be in the 1% to be very very well off. Had I started investing much earlier in life, I probably would have made it. But I am not looking at this as a competition. I just want to make enough to pay my mortgage, groceries, insurance, a vacation now and again, etc etc.... and I do have a goal of 1Million plus in retirement money and my house paid off, before I retire. Good thing compound interest is working in my favor.


Same here. Now that have gone from apartment to house our monthly expenses have gone down--most people don't realize that a mortgage is less than rent--but my income has stayed the same this works in our favor. I figure three years to get most of our current debt paid off (or mostly paid off, four years for sure) and we will be in quite a comfortable position despite not being "rich". The kids will be out of college in 10 years (youngest is 12 right now) and at that point we'll probably cough up a lump sum, refi the house to a 15-year note, pay it off early *or* just keep sacking back money and get a payoff quote. Either way, the plan is for the house to be paid off before retirement to minimize the monthly expenses.

Most people think "getting rich" is the goal but that is an unrealistic goal. Dave Ramsey recommends "having no debt" is a much more worthy and easily attainable goal. Yes, you will still have your regular monthly expenses--the electric bill, the phone/cable/Internet bill, etc--but if you aren't saddled with student debt, credit card debt, car payment, mortgage, etc you will find that life becomes much more manageable and that you are able to retain more money than you thought you had coming in.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2015 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Los Angeles City Council [url=america.aljazeera.com/articles/2015/6/10/los-angeles-approves-15-minimum-wage.html]has approved a measure to raise the minimum wage in the city to $15 by 2020[/url], but the measure still has to be signed by the mayor. Once he signs it we should keep track of the small business job numbers in that city. It will be less costly to demand increased productivity in people going from the current $9 to the new $15 than it will be to hire a new person at $15 and some jobs--I am speaking to you, fast food workers--will be phased out by automation processes (specifically, self-ordering kiosks for the customers).
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2015 4:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's like an extra $1.25 each year until 2020. What's your inflation rate?

(It will probably be absorbed like any other price increase, if its spread out like that.)

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2015 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hashi Lebwohl wrote:
will be phased out by automation processes (specifically, self-ordering kiosks for the customers).


That's going to happen regardless. In fact, I suspect that the tech already exists right this second to replace 90% of them PLUS, and do so in an efficient profit-margin boosting way.---they're just afraid to fire that many workers in too short a time span, and won't do it as long as some profit is being made.
[[[I suspect current tech could replace at least a third of the workforce right now, efficiently and profitably---and 2/3rds within a decade. And tech isn't just eating away at poor/lazy folk jobs. It's eating away good paying, and even billionaire-creating, work.]]]

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This person's opinion is simply ri-god-damned-diculous. [url=america.aljazeera.com/opinions/2015/6/is-the-fight-for-15-the-next-civil-rights-movement.html]Is "Fight for $15" the next Civil Rights Movement?[/url]

$15 per hour as a minimum wage is not a civil right and it is not a human right. The market pays what it pays. If you don't like the pay you are receiving then get off your ass and do something about it rather than whining for more pay.

I think they are hoping that by combining their movement--many people who support Fight for 15 also support Black Lives Matter--that neither one will die. The truth of the situation is that both movement will ultimately die because a) corporations will push back against a $15 minimum wage, usually by automating tasks or outsourcing more jobs and b) all lives matter, not just black ones.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 5:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They are now implementing automated grocery stores..

consumerist.com/2015/06/18/could-automated-grocery-stores-be-in-our-future/
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hashi Lebwohl wrote:
This person's opinion is simply ri-god-damned-diculous. [url=america.aljazeera.com/opinions/2015/6/is-the-fight-for-15-the-next-civil-rights-movement.html]Is "Fight for $15" the next Civil Rights Movement?[/url]

$15 per hour as a minimum wage is not a civil right and it is not a human right.
Our government education system is so substandard, people look back on the marches and outrage of the Civil Rights movement and think that all you need for a new Civil Rights movement is more marches and outrage. They have confused syntax for semantics, style for substance. Just because you can muster a mob of like-minded angry people does not mean that your concerns are any sort of right.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Possible changes to overtime pay are [url=america.aljazeera.com/articles/2015/6/30/obama-moves-to-extend-overtime-pay-for-millions.html]in the works[/url].

Quote:
Salaried workers who earn nearly $1,000 per week would become eligible for overtime pay under a proposal President Barack Obama unveiled Monday evening, saying that too many Americans are working too many hours for less pay than they deserve.

The long-awaited overtime rule change, first reported by Politico, from the Labor Department would more than double the threshold at which employers can avoid paying overtime, from the current $455 a week to $970 a week by next year. That would mean salaried employees earning less than $50,440 a year would be assured overtime if they work more than 40 hours per week, up from the current $23,660 a year.

"We've got to keep making sure hard work is rewarded," Obama wrote on The Huffington Post. "Right now, too many Americans are working long days for less pay than they deserve. That's partly because we've failed to update overtime regulations for years … ”

Obama's rule change aims to narrow a loophole that the president has long said some employers exploit to avoid paying overtime.

As it stands, employees who make above the salary threshold can be denied overtime if they are deemed managers. Some work grueling schedules at fast food chains and retail stores, but with no overtime eligibility, their pay may be lower per hour than many workers they supervise.

The proposed changes will be open for public comment and would most likely be completed in 2016 because, as a rule change which is akin to an executive order, it does not have to go through Congress.

The rule change involves updating labor standards set in 1938 under the Fair Labor Standards Act, which included a national minimum wage, and a provisions for time-and-a-half pay for certain salaried and hourly workers after they had put in a 40-hour week, according to Jared Bernstein, a senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities writing in the Washington Post.

The existing salary cap, established in 2004 under President George W. Bush, has been eroded by inflation and now puts a family of four making just above the cap into poverty territory. Obama has long charged that the level is too low and undercuts the intent of the overtime law.

Although the Labor Department's estimates suggest the proposal would raise wages for 5 million people, other estimates are far higher. The Economic Policy Institute, a liberal think tank, recently estimated that a threshold of $984 a week would cover 15 million people.

Under the current threshold, only about 8 percent of salaried workers are eligible for time-and-a-half pay when they work overtime. The EPI estimates that doubling the salary level would make up to 40 percent of salaried workers eligible.

Randy Johnson, a vice president at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said Monday that making more employees eligible for overtime will lead to a drop in the number of full-time jobs and that some workers would lose benefits and opportunities for promotions.

“This change is another example of the administration being completely divorced from reality and adding more burdens to employers and expecting them to just absorb the impact,” Johnson said in a statement.

But supporters of the proposal, including Judith Conti at the National Employment Law Project, say overtime pay protections were created not to increase workers' pay but to promote the 40-hour workweek.

“Some people will work fewer hours for the same money and have more control over their lives, some will work the same hours for more money,” Conti said.


Note that this change will really apply to salaried people; the typical Fight-for-15-er won't get anything out of this rule change, presuming it is approved. I can see the need for this sort of update given that I used to be a retail store manager and I worked like a dog for a lot less money than I make now without the possibility of overtime pay.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hashi Lebwohl wrote:

[color=green]Note that this change will really apply to salaried people; the typical Fight-for-15-er won't get anything out of this rule change, presuming it is approved. I can see the need for this sort of update given that I used to be a retail store manager and I worked like a dog for a lot less money than I make now without the possibility of overtime pay.


I have to say I agree with this. I remember being abused under this system. I was forced (well forced meaning, do it or find a new job) to go on Salary, where I was working upwards of 10 to 12 hours a day and getting overtime, to just getting 8 hours of pay but still being expected to turn the same work out.

I also remember refusing a promotion on 3 occassions (having learned from the above) because it would move me to Salary and I would be getting a defacto pay cut.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 5:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SoulBiter wrote:
Hashi Lebwohl wrote:

[color=green]Note that this change will really apply to salaried people; the typical Fight-for-15-er won't get anything out of this rule change, presuming it is approved. I can see the need for this sort of update given that I used to be a retail store manager and I worked like a dog for a lot less money than I make now without the possibility of overtime pay.


I have to say I agree with this. I remember being abused under this system. I was forced (well forced meaning, do it or find a new job) to go on Salary, where I was working upwards of 10 to 12 hours a day and getting overtime, to just getting 8 hours of pay but still being expected to turn the same work out.

I also remember refusing a promotion on 3 occassions (having learned from the above) because it would move me to Salary and I would be getting a defacto pay cut.
Agreed. I can vividly remember working 80-90 hours a week when my daughter was born and not getting a dime out of it.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2015 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Employers can (and probably will) just cut hours to avoid overtime, like they did with Obamacare to avoid expensive health care plans. So people will make less. Yea! Another Obama rule that merely cuts jobs with a feel-good "solution" that doesn't solve anything, only makes it worse.

My wife prefers to be salaried. No mandatory breaks to meet a government regulation ... she just takes off whenever she feels like it. She also enjoys not having to keep track of her time minute-by-minute. She does work more than 40 hours/week, but since she works at home, much of that is simply time taken back from the commute she no longer does ... not to mention getting all dressed up for the office.

These decisions should be left up to the people, not authoritarian bureaucrats.

I note that the new law doesn't address the heavy taxes on overtime pay. If the government really wanted us to make more money, it wouldn't pass ineffectual legislation that casts employers as the bad guys, it would instead acknowledge its own role in keeping our take-home pay low, and lower our taxes.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2015 11:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zarathustra wrote:
My wife prefers to be salaried. No mandatory breaks to meet a government regulation ... she just takes off whenever she feels like it. She also enjoys not having to keep track of her time minute-by-minute. She does work more than 40 hours/week, but since she works at home, much of that is simply time taken back from the commute she no longer does ... not to mention getting all dressed up for the office.


Not everyone can be this fortunate, though. Many lower-level managers who are salaried are seriously overworked and if their group/department productivity falls behind or doesn't meet quarterly expectations then they may be termed with cause.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2015 2:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zarathustra wrote:
Employers can (and probably will) just cut hours to avoid overtime, like they did with Obamacare to avoid expensive health care plans. So people will make less. Yea! Another Obama rule that merely cuts jobs with a feel-good "solution" that doesn't solve anything, only makes it worse.
.


You misunderstand. These are salary workers that are being asked (forced) to work 50, 60, 70 hours a week without any compensation. Cutting hours is exactly what these workers want!

Nothing like having your hourly job made into a salary job but still working the same hours but with less pay

Most salary workers do NOT get to just go home when they want and the expectation is that you will work over 40 hours a week. I can work from home but not often. I am expected to be in the office. Just yesterday (End of quarter) I was in by 5AM and logged off at 10PM after syncing the inventory for two systems. No extra pay, no extra time off later. Just the expectation for end of quarter.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2015 2:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SoulBiter wrote:
Zarathustra wrote:
Employers can (and probably will) just cut hours to avoid overtime, like they did with Obamacare to avoid expensive health care plans. So people will make less. Yea! Another Obama rule that merely cuts jobs with a feel-good "solution" that doesn't solve anything, only makes it worse.
.


You misunderstand. These are salary workers that are being asked (forced) to work 50, 60, 70 hours a week without any compensation. Cutting hours is exactly what these workers want!
Obama was touting this as a way to get more money in workers' pockets. My comment was that it won't. Because employers will simply cut hours. It's not going to be a bonanza of overtime pay.

Don't most people CHOOSE to work a salary job? Why do we need the government to take these choices away from people?
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2015 10:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SoulBiter wrote:
Zarathustra wrote:
Employers can (and probably will) just cut hours to avoid overtime, like they did with Obamacare to avoid expensive health care plans. So people will make less. Yea! Another Obama rule that merely cuts jobs with a feel-good "solution" that doesn't solve anything, only makes it worse.
.


You misunderstand. These are salary workers that are being asked (forced) to work 50, 60, 70 hours a week without any compensation. Cutting hours is exactly what these workers want!

Nothing like having your hourly job made into a salary job but still working the same hours but with less pay

Most salary workers do NOT get to just go home when they want and the expectation is that you will work over 40 hours a week. I can work from home but not often. I am expected to be in the office. Just yesterday (End of quarter) I was in by 5AM and logged off at 10PM after syncing the inventory for two systems. No extra pay, no extra time off later. Just the expectation for end of quarter.
This. I worked for around a year making somewhere in the low 30s and putting in 80-100 hours a week. I would have been happy to have had my hours cut if my employer didn't want to pay overtime.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2015 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cail wrote:
This. I worked for around a year making somewhere in the low 30s and putting in 80-100 hours a week. I would have been happy to have had my hours cut if my employer didn't want to pay overtime.


Think about that. Lets say 16 dollars an hour is what low 30's is. If you are working 80 hours your actual per hour pay is, 8 dollars an hour. At 100 hours its about 6 dollars an hour....

Zarathustra wrote:
Obama was touting this as a way to get more money in workers' pockets. My comment was that it won't. Because employers will simply cut hours. It's not going to be a bonanza of overtime pay.

In some instances it will and in others the business will need to hire another body. The work still needs to be done (or it wasnt that important after all). Business has used the 'Salary' model for lower incomes to get people working more hours but not have to pay the over time.

Zarathustra wrote:

Don't most people CHOOSE to work a salary job?

[/quote]
Not always. More than once in my early career I was moved from hourly to Salary and it was not a choice. Your only choice at that point is to work the hours and lose the pay, or find a new job. That is a choice of sorts but its a damned poor one. When I dealt with it last, it was the 80's and the other recession was in full swing. There were no jobs to go to. So I sucked it up for a while.

Zarathustra wrote:

Why do we need the government to take these choices away from people?


Its giving them better choices, not taking anything away from people. Much as I am a proponent of free market capitalism, I also know that business will get away with what they are allowed to. If the govt didn't force them to pay overtime wages there would not be overtime wages. So now I'm paying you 20 to 30 hours of overtime a week. Damn that's expensive. I know! I will move your position to Salary and not pay the overtime!!!! As you can see I'm not the only one that has been the receiver of this kind of abuse.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2015 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SoulBiter wrote:

Its giving them better choices, not taking anything away from people. Much as I am a proponent of free market capitalism, I also know that business will get away with what they are allowed to. If the govt didn't force them to pay overtime wages there would not be overtime wages.


At best, many businesses will start making even salaried employees keep track of their time; if they go over 40 they may get in trouble unless they have express permission from their boss that they may work some extra hours to finish a project that needs to be finished. Some lower-level salaried positions might be converted back to hourly, which may also save the businesses some money by not having to pay bonuses (as may happen with some retail store managers).

This rule change is really only going to have an effect on the lowest tier of salaried managment, in any event. I am hourly; the rate is really great but it's still hourly. My boss is paid salary; he sometimes has to put in extra hours at the data center if a new server is going in or a RAID has failed. His boss is salary but there is no way he puts in more than 40 hours a week--his job is to delegate work, not do work. His boss...well, I like our SVP of IT but I would surprised if he spent 30 hours in his office during the week. At that level you can hardly call it "work" any more. Oh, you have to sit through another hour-long presentation this week? You might need to break open that bottle of scotch you have sequestered in your office (this isn't a joke--he really has one in there).

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2015 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are ways around this. Recently, when I was a contractor working hour by hour, I would put in a LOT of unreported overtime. This is because I was trying to get into a salaried position with benefits and (perhaps more important) job security, so I was trying to get everything done and then some while not costing the company a lot of money in the process (the expectation being that, if I reported the overtime, the contract would not be renewed and I'd be back to not having a job).

Essentially, fear of losing one's job will always trump "rules and regulations". Even if you are required to keep track of hours, that just means some hours will go unreported. The "rules and regulations", though they are meant to protect the vulnerable tend to only help those secure and invulnerable.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2015 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Orlion wrote:
There are ways around this. Recently, when I was a contractor working hour by hour, I would put in a LOT of unreported overtime. This is because I was trying to get into a salaried position with benefits and (perhaps more important) job security, so I was trying to get everything done and then some while not costing the company a lot of money in the process (the expectation being that, if I reported the overtime, the contract would not be renewed and I'd be back to not having a job).

Essentially, fear of losing one's job will always trump "rules and regulations". Even if you are required to keep track of hours, that just means some hours will go unreported. The "rules and regulations", though they are meant to protect the vulnerable tend to only help those secure and invulnerable.


For larger coprorations I dont think you would see this. Where I work you would be fired for working off the clock and your supervisor and manager might also be fired because they are supposed to be ensuring it doesnt happen. Its a very strict policy.
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