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

  1. #21
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    Re: WAL-MART CEO: Things Aren't Getting Better For America's Middle Class

    Quote Originally Posted by soot View Post
    I disagree.

    The numerous one-sided free trade agreements that the government has negotiated are at the root of the current problem.

    Foreign manufacturers can import raw materials and piece-parts from America for cheap, then manufacture finished goods on the back of slave labor (or tantamount to), then export those goods back to America for cheap.

    As long as that continues unabated (hell, it's actually increasing with each no FTA) there's no hope for us.

    Add in Chinese currency manipulation and the attendant trade imbalance that creates and we're truly screwed.
    True free trade agreements, not these thousand page agreements that we currently have, are much better. If there were not so many taxes and incentives to ship jobs overseas, then we would see manufacturing back here. It is the job of the government to create a free market where everybody can thrive, not pick winners and loses. Other then that the economy can self recover without intervention from the government that only holds back the recovery process.
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    Re: WAL-MART CEO: Things Aren't Getting Better For America's Middle Class

    Quote Originally Posted by What if...? View Post
    If it is profitable to do so.

    If it is more profitable for most to stay poor, then they will stay poor.

    What you're saying SOUNDS good. I just don't see those competing to see whose money pile is bigger giving that game up. Especially when population is higher and more resources have been expended.

    There was no altruistic motive to outsourcing. In some places its just a livestock model. Enough to keep their resources healthy. Not enough for them to get comfortable enough to start negotiating for a larger percentage of what they produce. They have some money for consumption, little for saving.

    It is interesting that when we were sold all the free trade agreements nobody bothered to mention a protracted stagnation or lowering of wages for the vast majority of the population of this country so that billions could be raised from abject poverty. IIRC, we were told quite the opposite. And opponents predicted what we're seeing now. American workers in DIRECT competition with people in RADICALLY different economies. And a profit motive in maintaining low wages and dominance over labor. Plenty of money to spread around to keep 'em hungry

    This whole argument reeks. It gives an impression that global businesses are lovingly raising the wretched up. Reality paints a different picture on the ground.
    True. It was not explained to the public that if the consumer wanted to t-shirts to cost almost nothing the labor producing it would be less than before. Nobody told the public that winning the Cold War would accelerate the process of equalization aggregate income between the low income regions and the rich areas nor that the addition of the people freed by the fall of the Iron Curtain would shift the relativ rarity of labor towards capital which is now much more in demand relatively.

    But, would you really have said: Let the other half starve.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by What if...? View Post
    I might go along with that, but only workers are experiancing difficulties. Owners are making money hand over fist.
    I recommend you change that to some owners are making money hand over fist. I offer that suggestion from personal experience.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by iacardsfan View Post
    It is not the role of the government to "recover" the economy. Granted, Obama has hindered the economy's ability to recover by itself, but the businesses are the ones that need to take the lead. While I understand why the CEO of Wal-Mart does not wish to pay employees more, I would hope that he would not criticize the well-being of the middle class when he plays a large role in keeping people on the poverty line.
    He pays what the marketplace decides he has to pay. He wouldn't be doing his job if he paid more. When the supply/demand curve moves in favor of demand, he will have to pay more and will pay more. We have a free market economy and that is how it works. If you want wages to increase, the economy has to get better and unemployment has to decrease. I won't write a book here on how to get the economy to be better.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by fmw View Post
    He pays what the marketplace decides he has to pay. He wouldn't be doing his job if he paid more. When the supply/demand curve moves in favor of demand, he will have to pay more and will pay more. We have a free market economy and that is how it works. If you want wages to increase, the economy has to get better and unemployment has to decrease. I won't write a book here on how to get the economy to be better.
    That is why I pointed out that Wal-mart should not pay more if they do not wish. But I still stipulate that they should not make comments on how poor the middle class is if they are not willing to raise pay because they contribute a large amount to that. I understand the free market and how supply demand determines wages, that is also why I called on the government to stop its restrictive business practices.
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    Re: WAL-MART CEO: Things Aren't Getting Better For America's Middle Class

    His comments are about the economy in general not about personal wage scales.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by soot View Post
    That isn't how Walmart keeps people in poverty.

    Of course general retail help is going to earn minimum wage or close to it. That's the nature of the entry-level retail world.

    But what Walmart does, and has the power to do as the result of economies of scale, is negotiate wholesale prices down to the point that they force their vendors to either manufacture overseas or import from overseas (where manufacturing labor is dirt cheap) if they want to sell through Walmart.

    Since most consumer packaged goods manufacturers and jobbers can't continue doing business unless they sell through Walmart (because their competition certainly will and since everyone shops as Walmart the lack of sales would drive them out of business) they're forced to either move operations offshore or contract with foreign-owned operations that are already capitalizing on third-world labor.

    That's one of the biggest reasons that "good paying middle-class manufacturing jobs" are now so scarce in America.

    Yes, we still have an enormous manufacturing sector here, probably the largest in the world.

    But it used to be, in a general sense, the only manufacturing sector in the world for American purposes and was significantly larger than it currently is.

    All the folks that used to do those good-paying (relatively speaking) manufacturing jobs (the 60% of Americans who have traditionally been the high school diploma bearing blue-collar backbone of the economy) are now taking minimum wage jobs at Walmart and McDonalds and etc...

    Without that middle-class purchasing power driving the economy we have no real hope of a real recovery.
    Can you really blame Walmart for U.S. labor pricing itself out of business?

    Competitive wages are important but they are only one factor. At this point in an increasingly anti-business United States, those low wages only moderately offset the losses from absurd labor, environmental, etc. policies. It doesn’t matter how low wages are when the work force is on strike and environmentalists are closing down factories.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by joG View Post
    True. It was not explained to the public that if the consumer wanted to t-shirts to cost almost nothing the labor producing it would be less than before. Nobody told the public that winning the Cold War would accelerate the process of equalization aggregate income between the low income regions and the rich areas nor that the addition of the people freed by the fall of the Iron Curtain would shift the relativ rarity of labor towards capital which is now much more in demand relatively.

    But, would you really have said: Let the other half starve.
    What people freed by the cold war are being outsourced to?

    And it wasn't cheap goods but more markets for ours that were promised.

    And we didn't get the choice of letting them starve or accepting a multi-generation reduction in standard of living with no guarantee that it will ever go up again while increasing capitals advantage the whole time.

    And seriously, so you honestly believe that there are adequate resources and energy to raise all those starving people to a first world level? Because that's what it will take for first world peoples' incomes to start going up again.

    "Bait and switch" is an applicable term. What we're getting is nothing like what we were promised.
    Anyone wondering what I'm talking about start here:
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    Re: WAL-MART CEO: Things Aren't Getting Better For America's Middle Class

    Quote Originally Posted by fmw View Post
    He pays what the marketplace decides he has to pay. He wouldn't be doing his job if he paid more. When the supply/demand curve moves in favor of demand, he will have to pay more and will pay more. We have a free market economy and that is how it works. If you want wages to increase, the economy has to get better and unemployment has to decrease. I won't write a book here on how to get the economy to be better.
    So how many generations before all the desperate people on the planet come up to a level where it starts to push up American wages again?
    Anyone wondering what I'm talking about start here:
    The Psychology of Persuasion

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

    Quote Originally Posted by What if...? View Post
    So how many generations before all the desperate people on the planet come up to a level where it starts to push up American wages again?
    That has nothing to do with it. It is a matter of supply/demand within the U.S. economy.

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