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Thread: WAL-MART CEO: Things Aren't Getting Better For America's Middle Class

  1. #151
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    Re: WAL-MART CEO: Things Aren't Getting Better For America's Middle Class

    Quote Originally Posted by Dittohead not! View Post
    Except those government handouts amount to a subsidy for employers who pay low wages, which in turn encourages people to work for low wages and employers to pay those wages.
    that is false. If (for example) the government were to cut food stamps tomorrow, there is no mechanism by which that would force minimum wage employers to increase their salary, nor any mechanism by which such a move would force the low-skill workforce to suddenly have greater value-added, justifying such an increase.

    Back when I was an unskilled worker, which was in the '50s and early '60s, wages in comparison to the cost of things was much higher than it is now, but there weren't all the government handouts that we have today. It seems to me that the economy was a lot stronger as a result.
    Yeah. Bombing your industrial competition into ash and poverty and grime helps, too.

  2. #152
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    Re: WAL-MART CEO: Things Aren't Getting Better For America's Middle Class

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    that is false. If (for example) the government were to cut food stamps tomorrow, there is no mechanism by which that would force minimum wage employers to increase their salary, nor any mechanism by which such a move would force the low-skill workforce to suddenly have greater value-added, justifying such an increase.
    Sure there is, it's called competition. I'm pretty sure you have heard of it, it's the backbone of the free market capitalistic system.

    If low wage workers couldn't receive means tested welfare benefits, then they would be more motivated to seek higher paying employment. thus low wage employers would have to compete harder for workers, and compensation would rise.

    Many of those low wage workers are capable of doing something else, or are at least capable of obtaining more skills though education, but as long as they are comfortable earning a low wage, they won't bother to improve their employment situation.

    Regardless, another mechanism could be the higher minimum wage.
    Quote Originally Posted by ocean515 View Post
    ...I'm not interested in debating someone who is trolling for an argument....
    Quote Originally Posted by Papa bull View Post
    I see a big problem with the idea that whatever the majority wants is OK.

  3. #153
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    Re: WAL-MART CEO: Things Aren't Getting Better For America's Middle Class

    Quote Originally Posted by rabbitcaebannog View Post
    Racist stuff aside, why wouldn't we want to decrease demand for low value labor?
    Because that means that low-skill, low-education, low-experience workers become structurally unemployable, and are never able to improve their position, but are rather trapped in lifelong poverty or forced into illegal enterprise.

    Also, Keynes solution to unemployment was not to reduce wages and prices but to raise consumption through the spending of money through the government.
    Part of Keynesian economic theory is to decrease the real value of wages through inflation, provided by government expenditures. That's how you solve the problem of stickiness. Inflation is supposed to be good for us, remember?

  4. #154
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    Re: WAL-MART CEO: Things Aren't Getting Better For America's Middle Class

    Quote Originally Posted by imagep View Post
    Sure there is, it's called competition. I'm pretty sure you have heard of it, it's the backbone of the free market capitalistic system.
    Yeah. Competition is going to have the opposite of the effects you are arguing in favor for with regards to low-skill, low-education labor.

    If low wage workers couldn't receive means tested welfare benefits, then they would be more motivated to seek higher paying employment. thus low wage employers would have to compete harder for workers, and compensation would rise.
    We currently have a large unemployed populace indicating a glut in low-skill, low-education labor. Simply that "people would want more money" does not mean that they will be able to demand higher pay for the same amount of value-added. SOME would, which is why we should eliminate welfare cliffs. However, the idea that our low-income populace are really just a large section of budding electricians, certified computer programmers, and qualified mechanical engineers lounging about on a burger-flipping salary isn't tenable. By and large minimum wage jobs are held by those whose value of labor meets the minimum threshold. They can improve themselves from there (and should be enabled in doing so), but they have to start there.

    Many of those low wage workers are capable of doing something else, or are at least capable of obtaining more skills though education, but as long as they are comfortable earning a low wage, they won't bother to improve their employment situation.
    Some are. Your typical minority high school drop out with a drug charge under his belt and no experience to speak of in the legal workforce not so much.

    The children of middle and upper middle class will do okay - they will have access to the schooling and the social capital to achieve it. It is the vulnerable in our society who will suffer.

    Regardless, another mechanism could be the higher minimum wage.
    That is a mechanism that will only succeed in (again) harming the poorest amongst us.

  5. #155
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    Re: WAL-MART CEO: Things Aren't Getting Better For America's Middle Class

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    ...
    Part of Keynesian economic theory is to decrease the real value of wages through inflation, provided by government expenditures. That's how you solve the problem of stickiness. Inflation is supposed to be good for us, remember?
    Keynes did suggest to Roosevelt in a letter than he could improve our economy with welfare programs, but he also explained that government jobs which produced something of value would be preferable (ie the Hoover Damm).

    However, inflation itself is not part of Keynsian theory. Its the side effect of too little production to meet demand. Wages also tend to follow inflation, when inflation is occuring, generally most everything goes up, s ncluding wages. During the late 70s and early 80s, when inflation was double digit, my parents were getting cost of living increases twice a year.
    Quote Originally Posted by ocean515 View Post
    ...I'm not interested in debating someone who is trolling for an argument....
    Quote Originally Posted by Papa bull View Post
    I see a big problem with the idea that whatever the majority wants is OK.

  6. #156
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    Re: WAL-MART CEO: Things Aren't Getting Better For America's Middle Class

    Quote Originally Posted by imagep View Post
    Keynes did suggest to Roosevelt in a letter than he could improve our economy with welfare programs, but he also explained that government jobs which produced something of value would be preferable (ie the Hoover Damm).
    Producing Value was of little import to Keynes - he thought you could improve the economy by paying one set of people to bury money and another to dig it up. Insanity.

    However, inflation itself is not part of Keynsian theory. Its the side effect of too little production to meet demand.
    Or it is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon, or it is the result of artificially depressed interest rates or it is a handy way to sidestep the problem of sticky wages and depreciate workers incomes in ways they are less likely to oppose, making them more employable at the new real rates. Inflation is supposed to give us fuller employment in precisely that manner. It doesn't, which is part of why Stagflation was such as serious challenge to Keynesian economic theory. But according to the theory it is supposed to.

    Wages also tend to follow inflation, when inflation is occuring, generally most everything goes up, including wages.
    Unless you are in a period which should see wage depreciation, such as during a recession - which is what Keynes was writing about.

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    Re: WAL-MART CEO: Things Aren't Getting Better For America's Middle Class

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    Producing Value was of little import to Keynes - he thought you could improve the economy by paying one set of people to bury money and another to dig it up. Insanity.
    Not according to a letter he sent to Roosevelt which Keynes suggested work programs creating infrastructure would be a better use of money than welfare.
    Quote Originally Posted by ocean515 View Post
    ...I'm not interested in debating someone who is trolling for an argument....
    Quote Originally Posted by Papa bull View Post
    I see a big problem with the idea that whatever the majority wants is OK.

  8. #158
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    Re: WAL-MART CEO: Things Aren't Getting Better For America's Middle Class

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    Because that means that low-skill, low-education, low-experience workers become structurally unemployable, and are never able to improve their position, but are rather trapped in lifelong poverty or forced into illegal enterprise.
    That's a ridiculous argument.

    Part of Keynesian economic theory is to decrease the real value of wages through inflation, provided by government expenditures. That's how you solve the problem of stickiness. Inflation is supposed to be good for us, remember?
    There is a specific formula used by economist when a certain amount of inflation is considered fine for the economy. That does not mean Keynes wanted to reduce wages

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    Re: WAL-MART CEO: Things Aren't Getting Better For America's Middle Class

    Quote Originally Posted by rabbitcaebannog View Post
    That's a ridiculous argument.
    No it is a factual one, and one that has undergirded minimum wage since its inception.

    There is a specific formula used by economist when a certain amount of inflation is considered fine for the economy. That does not mean Keynes wanted to reduce wages
    No - he wanted to reduce real wages. He recognized that wages themselves would tend not to reduce.

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    Re: WAL-MART CEO: Things Aren't Getting Better For America's Middle Class

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    No it is a factual one, and one that has undergirded minimum wage since its inception.



    No - he wanted to reduce real wages. He recognized that wages themselves would tend not to reduce.
    It's not factual to claim "Because that means that low-skill, low-education, low-experience workers become structurally unemployable, and are never able to improve their position, but are rather trapped in lifelong poverty or forced into illegal enterprise." That is called opinion based on nothing more than speculation. Raising the minimum wage to index for inflation does not mean that an individual will never be able to improve his/her position, and/or be trapped in a lifetime of poverty be or forced into illegal enterprise. That's an erroneous statement.

    Also, he did not want to reduce wages.

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