Category Archives: minimum wage

Banker elite Alan Greenspan is 90 and fabulously wealthy. Why he wants to cut your Social Security.

Alan Greenspan, former Federal Reserve chairman, current hubby of Andrea Mitchell (Hillary Clinton’s talking head at NBC), and long-time member of the Trilateral Commission, has a big problem

Populism!

Al isn’t mad at the “pop” in pop-out-of-the-cake by some former girlfriend, like Barbara Walters. He sees a dangerous “pop”, the worst kind  – the potential revolt of what he might call the “vast unwashed multitude of the deplorable and nonredeemable.”

Google identifies the threat to Al this way: Continue reading →

British want to fight inequality – it’s worse here!

British Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbin is starting a campaign against inequality that should be emulated by all (five, ten?) American politicians not controlled by big business.

“One proposal is pay ratios between top and bottom, so that the rewards don’t just accrue to those at the top,” he said.

“Of the G7 nations only the US has greater income inequality than the UK, and pay inequality on this scale is neither necessary nor inevitable.”

Corbin is talking about real compensation – wages, salaries and bonuses – while many reports for the American public will note an executive $1 million wage, but exclude their $12 million bonus. That trick is good PR for the overpaid, but not good statistics when comparing worker to CEO. Also not mentioned is that company owners (with no work required) usually make much more than the executives. When comparing apples to apples, the mismatch is onerous.

“Total direct compensation for 300 CEOs at public companies increased 5.5% to a median of $11.4 million in 2013, concluded an analysis by The Wall Street Journal and Hay Group. A separate AFL-CIO study of CEO pay across a broad sample of S&P 500 firms showed the average CEO earned 331 times more than the typical U.S. worker last year. In 1980, that multiple was 42,” according to a report in the Wall Street Journal in November, 2014.

Gave you halfThe record of being the most unequal of G7 nations – Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, and United States – is a distinction without merit. So-called pay inequality solutions here include lowering the taxes on the highest paid, sheltering savings of the richest Americans, and maintaining government subsidies to the poorest workers (EITC), rather than really raising (not $10.10) the minimum wage. And those negative plans are the ones endorsed by many in the Democrat Party. Most in the GOP also want to privatize everything from national parks to public roads and schools – in short, anywhere a buck can be squeezed.

“Another proposal would be to bar or restrict companies from distributing dividends until they pay all their workers the living wage,” Corbin explained.

“Only profitable employers will be paying dividends, if they depend on cheap labor for those profits, then I think there is a question over whether that is a business model to which we should be turning a blind eye.”

During the 2008 financial crisis, it was common that many, running for public office, also espoused caps on highest salaries to five or ten million dollars. Continue reading →

Rich look poorer, poor much richer – report distorted to make average Joe happy – despite Depression

350px-Personal_Household_Income_UIt’s so very wonderful to learn this week that “median household income” in 2014 was $53,657, even if it was down from $57,843 in 1999. You can still buy a nice basket of goodies on $50 grand a year. If only it were true.

Most jobs pay about $31k. Many families have just one parent or one spouse working. Something doesn’t add up. Welcome to the world of making statistics lie to fool the peons into believing serfdom is almost as good as living in a castle.

First, the bad news for the poor. The government is reporting your household income much higher than your wages. You may be earning $20k at a lousy job, but Uncle Sam’s statisticians massage that number upward by adding:

  • The value of the free lunches your children eat in school.
  • The estimated net price of the Medicaid and Medicare received for healthcare.
  • Pensions, unemployment insurance, welfare, workman’s comp.
  • Social Security retirement and disability payments.
  • Tax refunds, alimony and childcare payments to you.
  • Supplemental Social Security and Earned Income Tax Credit.
  • Heating and utility subsidies for the poor.
  • Women’s and children’s subsidized clinic care.
  • The estimated value of government-provided childcare.
  • Employer cost of healthcare premiums, pension payments and insurance.

Continue reading →

Lies about minimum wage – it’s not even a lousy $7.25 an hour

One of the least discussed provisions of the minimum wage law in this country is how we treat workers under the age of 20 – those high school and college students deprecated on FOX News, for example, as overpaid burger flippers, toilet cleaners, gardeners, and other manual workers. The concept of raising their wages to $15 an hour drives most of the GOP and some Democrats up the wall.

wagesIf you are under 20 and planning to spend most of your summer raising money for college, the thought of even $7.25 an hour (less 50 cents FICA) might sound attractive. So, you agree to your new job of flipping meat for eight hours behind the hot grill without asking about wages, and you assume you will be paid minimum wage of $7.25 or more.

The plan is work hard to reduce your student loan debt, especially since college costs go up 5% or more every year.

Paid every two weeks, after an exhausting struggle, there is your first paycheck, and something is very wrong. You go to your boss and ask – why is my pay so low? Is this for just one forty-hour week?

The employer paid you gross – before taxes – a total of $340. After FICA and state and local taxes, you take home about $300 – and your boss explains it is for 80 hours of work. Welcome to crony capitalism!

Here’s why this is allowed, according to the Department of Labor (DOL) minimum wage rules:

A minimum wage of not less than $4.25 may be paid to employees under the age of 20 for their first 90 consecutive calendar days of employment with any employer as long as their work does not displace other workers. After 90 consecutive days of employment, or when the worker reaches age 20 (whichever comes first), the worker must receive at least the Federal minimum wage.

Just as you are ready to qualify for $7.25 an hour, it’s time to leave your job and go back to Continue reading →

FOX News lies about auto worker hourly wages

FOX News yesterday proclaimed on the web:

The new GM deal would raise labor costs from $55 to $60 an hour, a 9 percent hike, according to a study of the deals from Kristin Dziczek of the Center for Automotive Research and Art Schwartz, a former GM labor executive and president of Labor and Economic Associates. The union contract at Ford also reached the $60 hourly rate over the next four years, a 5 percent increase from its current rate of $57. Those hikes pale in comparison with Chrysler, where average hourly wages will spike nearly 20 percent from $47 to $56.

Imagine “average hourly wages of $56” at Chrysler and equally high “labor costs” at GM and Ford. That $56 an hour times 40 hours times 52 weeks, equals $116,480 a year! What a great job – fantastic pay!

The turkeys at FOX News consider this the reason cars cost so much and will cost even more. They even printed (and so authorized by moderation) this comment on the website story:

  Well, here comes the NEXT set of lost Manufacturing Jobs in America.   Either it will come by NON-USA cars being made overseas because of the price or More Robots will be doing their job.

I have watched these Assembly lines making cars on TV  – – Not sure it takes a $124,800 (no overtime) person to do it (plus the best Insurance and benefits, probably puts it over $150,000) to do what I saw.

I am happy for them but everyone must be realistic  – – you can price yourself out of a job if you  get too greedy.     This sounds a bit greedy.  Not sure it takes a Master degree in engineering to do this job, and I know lots of Engineers that would love to make this much.

And this gem:

Democrat definition of a living wage. Making $60/hour to do a job that a trained monkey could do, soon to be replaced by robots.

And this one:

Union workers are remarkably stupid.  History is going to repeat itself here.  Unions priced workers right out of work before and are well on their way to doing it again.  But union bosses keep raking it in, don’t they?  Union workers will get what they deserve.

However, the article is a big lie….

The Kristin Dziczek quoted by FOX News explains what the corporate shills Continue reading →

Trump card is the minimum wage. My bet: he just lost any chance of winning the Republican Presidential nomination

serfIn the Middle Ages an average duke or earl’s property was about 38,000 acres, and the “little people” grew the food and paid taxes to these aristocrats of yore, and the humble were called serfs and lived like dogs to support the castles for the very few.

The present crony capitalism is different. Our aristocrats elect public officials, set prices by corporations, and there are no serfs, just the “working class.”

Today’s lords and masters also make the dukes of old look like the pikers that defended them. Donald Trump, for example, boasts about $9 billion in wealth. That wouldn’t just buy him 39,000 acres, but at $10,000 an acre, he could acquire 900,000 acres or 1,400 square miles – enough to fit all New York City’s boroughs inside – four times – and still have 200 square miles remaining for golf courses and towers. At that size, Trump’s land could hold 40 million inhabitants at NYC density.

Asked if he is in favor of raising the minimum wage this week:

trumpDONALD TRUMP: I can’t be, Neil (Cavuto). And the reason I can’t be is [that] we are a country that is being beaten on every front economically, militarily. There is nothing that we do now to win. We don’t win anymore. Our taxes are too high. I’ve come up with a tax plan that many, many people like very much. It’s going to be a tremendous plan. I think it will make our country and our economy very dynamic. But, taxes too high, wages too high, we’re not going to be able to compete against the world. I hate to say it, but we have to leave it the way it is. People have to go out, they have to work really hard and have to get into that upper stratosphere. We can not do this if we are going to compete with the rest of the world. We just can’t do it. – most recent Republican debate

Donald Trump has a mixed bag of economic solutions, many bereft of the international Continue reading →

Tax credit cuts will make Britains work much harder – like Chinese or Americans – British Health Secretary tells the poor

hunt-ja

Smirk, smug and telling you to work harder

British Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt thinks the British don’t work hard enough because they have too generous tax credits – a benefit similar to the U.S. Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).

Hunt seemed like a money-grubbing rich person when he explained:

“My wife is Chinese. We want this to be one of the most successful countries in the world in 20, 30, 40 years’ time. There’s a pretty difficult question that we have to answer, which is essentially: are we going to be a country which is prepared to work hard in the way that Asian economies are prepared to work hard, in the way that Americans are prepared to work hard? And that is about creating a culture where work is at the heart of our success.”

“Dignity is not just about how much money you have got … officially, children are growing up in poverty if there is an income in that family of less than £16,500 (a £ is worth about $1.52 U.S.). What the Conservatives say is how that £16,500 is earned matters.

“It matters if you are earning that yourself, because if you are earning it yourself you are independent and that is the first step towards self-respect. If that £16,500 is either a high proportion or entirely through the benefit system you are trapped. It is about pathways to work, pathways to independence … It is about creating a pathway to independence, self-respect and dignity.”

In one sense Jeremy agrees with many Americans. We do work hard. We spend too many hours at work. Many of us are underpaid. For Jeremy all that is good – because he is rich Continue reading →

“Undertime” will solve many of our economic woes

This is my proposed amendment to The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA; also referred to as the Wages and Hours Bill), a federal statute of the United States:

In addition to the payment of overtime wages at 1.5 times the normal rate for workers, who exceed eight hours per day or 40 hours a week, the Federal Government shall require employers, who schedule any employee less than 30 hours per week or six hours per day, to pay all such employees at 1.25 times the prevailing rate for the same occupation of said employee, who works more than 30 hours per week. That requirement will extend to all hours worked at an undertime schedule.

This regulation is designed to recognize that such “undertime” employees are burdened with travel to and from their place of employment, often for minimal hours which are not equivalent to the proportional burden on full time employees.

In addition this regulation recognizes that employees who work less than 30 hours per week are generally not entitled by employers to various benefits, such as vacations, sick time or profit-sharing. It would be inequitable to pay them the same wages as full time employees if they receive far fewer benefits of employment.

Finally, this change in the FLSA recognizes that the American way of life depends on adequate employment and compensation of its citizens and that undertime employment creates a deficit in earnings for millions of workers.

Let it be resolved that this amendment be instituted no later than January 1, 2016. The co-sponsors are:

The goal is to get sponsors and public recognition that working 25 hours a week is not okay in America. If employers have to pay more per hour for part-time, they will hire more full-time (less expensive) workers instead. If companies want to juggle hours and shorten the week, they can do it – but they will be the ones to pay for it, not the employees.

Law passed to exempt workers under ten

Watching Henry Paulson explain the trillions of dollars spent on the banks today, it didn’t make me yearn for the good old days when capitalism was even more unfettered than presently. He, and his friends Tim Geitner and Larry Summers, epitomize what happens when bankers and their lackeys run America.

Conservative politicians and commentators (have a “Rush”) agree that all our problems today are caused by government regulation of business and taxes levied. Those regulations restrict capitalist freedom, the right of companies to do what they want in the marketplace.

Which brings me to the free market utopia of the past – particularly Great Britain in the early 1800s. For hundreds of years the working class in that richest nation in the world lived better than some residents of Africa and Asia. That prosperity included rented houses and bread and butter.

There was a down side. Like today’s Americans, both husband and wife had to work. Fortunately for capitalism the work day was 12 hours, not eight, and six days a week, not five. That’s 72 hours. But you got Sunday off to thank God for your blessings.

There was another difference between then and now. You didn’t need a babysitter for children over eight, which saved money, as any working mother will explain today.

However, the children weren’t actually in childcare. They had jobs, to teach them responsibility and earn extra money for family luxuries, like coal to heat the house.

Speaking of coal, the mines were big employers of children. Here is a quote from http://www.dmm.org.uk/.

Drawers pulled heavy carts of cut coal to the pits surface with heavy chains around their waists.
” I am a drawer, and work from six o’clock in the morning to six at night. stop about an hour at noon to eat my dinner: I have bread and butter for dinner; I get no drink.
I have a belt round my waist, and a chain passing between my legs, and I go on my hands and feet. The tunnels are narrow and very wet where I work. My clothes are wet through almost all day long.” Girl aged 10

And life for children in the mines was dangerous. Another quote:

A trapper, only 10 years old killed in an explosion.
A horse driver aged 11. Crushed by horse.
A driver, aged 14 fell off limmers and was crushed between the tubs and a door.
A token keeper aged 14. Crushed by surface wagons on branches.
A screenboy aged 12. Crushed by surface wagons.
A trapper aged 12. Crushed by tubs.
A driver aged 12. Horse fell on him.
A bank boy aged 11. Caught by cage.
A driver aged 12. Head crushed between tub top and a plank while riding on limmers.
A trapper aged 13. Head crushed between cage and bunton while riding to bank.
Tub Cleaner, aged 13. Fell down the shaft off a pumping engine.
Boy aged 14, drowned.
Boy, aged 7. Killed in an explosion.
Trapper , aged 9. Killed in an explosion.
Driver, aged 14. Crushed against wall by a horse.
Screen Boy, aged 15. Head crushed between a tub and screen legs; too little room.

Unfortunately for free market purity, in 1847 the government passed a law forbidding the working of women and girls in mines, and all boys under the age of ten.

When we hear about deregulation, like the kind advocated by the Democratic Leadership Council, the New Democrat Coalition and the Republican Party, remember the children of years ago, and realize history teaches us that our grandchildren will face an onerous life if business is allowed to do whatever it wishes.

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