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    Re: McDonald’s fresh hope to turn around slumping sales: Ordering burgers from a mach

    It's not real food... as evidenced by mcdonalds fries and burgers being in food museums.

    Aside from that, I don't support food companies that get their beef from third world places that are clear cutting rainforest for cattle grazing.

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    Re: McDonald’s fresh hope to turn around slumping sales: Ordering burgers from a mach

    Quote Originally Posted by EnigmaO01 View Post
    But wasn't the point that the machine would bring down the cost and they will pay the remaining employees more?
    As long as there's a steady supply of competent labor at whatever wage they choose to pay? Why would they raise starting salaries? And, as long as their employee retention rate is within acceptable limits, why would they pay more? That's just common sense. And if you'd ever owned a business, you'd understand it.
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    Re: McDonald’s fresh hope to turn around slumping sales: Ordering burgers from a mach

    Quote Originally Posted by face, your View Post
    Ya 5 Guys is awesome and they have better fries too not to mention the quantity not just the quality is better as well, have you been to a McDonalds recently?
    What? Are 5 Guys fries supposed to be limp and soggy with oil? I've had them twice and they were like that both times. Ugh.
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    Re: McDonald’s fresh hope to turn around slumping sales: Ordering burgers from a mach

    Quote Originally Posted by JasperL View Post
    We'd been discussing the two sides of the same coin. But maybe you should complain to the moderator that the topic expanded from the original OP. That never happens on this place..... and oddly it's very selectively 'enforced.'
    Look, you were trying to claim I was off topic. Don't start bitching and moaning about selective enforcement and all that crap now that you have to accept that you are off topic.

    And no, welfare is not the other side of the coin in this discussion. It is just another discussion entirely.

    I forgot I was debating the "definition of 'is' is" person.... Sorry, I'll be more careful in the future.
    A PR company for a car company doesn't make cars. Saying the government should promote the modernization of the workforce is not the same as saying they should do the work.

    You're making baseless assertions. The key to quality of American products is competition. You've mentioned cars a couple of times, and it might not surprise you that when the auto industry had dozens of competitors, we led the world in automobile innovation, and as the industry consolidated into the big three, focus went from innovation and competing based on quality to gobbling up competitors and protecting market share through brute force.
    And they could do that because the market was protected from outside competition.

    And it's an objective question whether the low, low prices of goods at Walmart, and the offshoring of all the plants that make them, are a negative or positive for the bottom 50% or so. I'm not sure how you look at productivity and wage data from the post WWII period - where the incomes from the top to the bottom rose at roughly the same rate as productivity gains - and compare it to the free trade era where nearly ALL the real income gains have gone to the top slivers, and say 'free trade' (and that's a term that shouldn't be used to describe our trade deals - they are heavily managed trade for the benefit of the behemoths) has been good for the bottom half. Real income for the poor has declined.


    It's funny - you point out the spending on the poor has increased by some unknown amount but hasn't budged rates of poverty, then you say that the post free trade era has been good for the poor who despite rising spending on their behalf are still losing ground and remaining in poverty. You want it both ways, apparently.
    When did I ever say that?

    You didn't, but we were in a massive bubble. And construction jobs now are at about the same level as 1989 despite the population growth since that time.

    The data is in the jobs and pay and wealth figures. Here's a good article on that: Inequality: Wages, income, and time for gardening | The Economist



    Bottom line is pay peaked in the 1970s, declined through the 80s and early 90s, rose a bit during the tech boom, and 40 years later is only about 5% higher than in 1970 for the bottom 40%, despite productivity gains of 2-3% PER YEAR.


    So free markets started in 1974? Nope. So how did that divide happen?

    First, the graph is misleading and form fitted. It tries to compare two generally disjointed statistics of major market productivity and per worker compensation. These lines don't have a causal relationship. They can split for a number of reasons that have nothing to do with big evil CEOs and wage slavery. In fact, the primary way these curves diverge is by an increase in the workforce. With more employees doing equal amounts of work more work gets done. So did something happen to the workforce in the 70s that is worth noting? Why yes, something did happen: A major jump in Employment participation rate, driven partly by a dramatic increase in the number of women entering the job market and also the conversion of baby boomers from children to working age adults.

    Labor Force Rate.jpg

    So if productivity and wages grew like they did for most of our history, workers would have over double current wages on average. That might buy a few phones and TVs.
    Like I said, their is no logical causal relationship between per-employee wages and major market productivity, they "fit" becaise the late 60s because labor participation rate remained steady within 2 percentage points.

    Another interesting graph from your economist article is this:

    7-Wages-at-the-high-end-grow-faster_without_titles.jpg

    What happened in 1997 that sparked the increase in income for the 10th and 20th percentile people?

    Hmmmmmmmmm...

    More data is in our trade imbalance. People have talked about how deficits are unsustainable. Well so is the U.S. sending $500 billion net per year overseas to buy goods.

    But value is created by making stuff, growing stuff, or mining stuff and so we can't have a sustainable 'service' economy. Sustainable consumption can't in the long run be more than value created by the economy. And right now we're sending $500 billion per year overseas. That money has to come back and buy something in the U.S. Lots of that money has returned here when foreign governments and companies buy U.S. debt. But what isn't used to buy debt has to buy land or businesses or stocks or something. It's just not sustainable. That's why offshoring gets attention and the normal turnover of businesses doesn't. Besides, you're comparing the net loss of value creating manufacturing jobs to a gross number of one side of business turnover.
    As I hinted at previously, there is still a lot of production work that simply can't be outsourced. A guy in India can't run fiber optic cable in St. Louis or replace broken hard drives in a data center in Sioux Falls or drive a truck full of produce from Orlando to New Orleans.

    Sure, crap service jobs with low pay and benefits, which is reflected in a 40 years of stagnant at best wages.
    Wages have remained stagnant, but PPP has increased:

    worldeconomy-20111111T022314-r599cvn.jpg

    So while the number doesn't change, what they can buy with the dollar has increased.

    But construction is limited to some fairly fixed share of the economy. It boomed in the bubble, then collapsed, as it had to.

    And if you're OK with sending our manufacturing jobs overseas, then I have no idea why you'd object to illegals coming here to work construction. It's the same thing accomplished through different mechanisms. It's funny - conservatives are all for the free movement of capital, so they have no problem with U.S. manufacturers closing down a plant and moving it to Vietnam where they can get workers for 30 cents per hour, but want to start a revolution over free movement of labor. I've never understood that. Certainly, big companies don't see the difference and so support loose immigration laws and offshore their manufacturing work.

    To be sure, some liberals have the same problem in reverse - oppose offshoring but support immigration. I don't. I support border control measures and stringent rules on employers against hiring undocumented workers. The only limiting concern is humanitarian - for example NAFTA allows U.S. farmers to sell heavily taxpayer subsidized corn to Mexico, which has killed small farmers in Mexico, and so they come here to work because we've eliminated those jobs in Mexico.

    No, it isn't the same thing. Let me know when the people on the assembly line at Foxconn start to have kids collecting TANF/Medicaid and Food Stamps...
    Last edited by jmotivator; 09-18-14 at 03:18 PM.
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    Re: McDonald’s fresh hope to turn around slumping sales: Ordering burgers from a mach

    Quote Originally Posted by JasperL View Post
    OK, but why is that? And what would the poverty rate be if we zeroed out all anti-poverty spending?

    You've got three variables 1) The underlying poverty rate independent of transfer payments, 2) (inflation adjusted) transfer payments (broadly speaking), and 3) the poverty rate AFTER transfer payments.

    If 1) is increasing and 2) remains the same, then we'd expect 3) to increase. If 1) is increasing at rate X% and 2) is only increasing at rate (X-2%) then we'd also expect to see 3) (poverty) increasing.

    Edit to add that the transfer payments have to be adjusted for inflation relevant to services used by the poor, which might be more or less than the CPI.
    It isn't so black and white.

    As I just posted, from your economist article, the income of the 10th and 20th percentile brackets increased about 20% after the passing of Welfare reform that went into effect in 1997. Cutting welfare on the able bodied welfare population didn't appear to have the effect you'd expect.
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    Re: McDonald’s fresh hope to turn around slumping sales: Ordering burgers from a mach

    Quote Originally Posted by JasperL View Post
    But here's an article about automation in the U.S. and barriers to McD. http://www.chicagobusiness.com/artic...he-kiosk-race#

    There are many logistical and business reasons why kiosks aren't in widespread use, chief among them - per the article - is the amount of food they sell through drive-thru windows. But reading the widespread success of kiosks even with low minimum wages supports my point - when the businesses can put in machines and make them work, they'll do it whether minimum wages are $8 or $15.
    No, you have over simplified the economics. The decision to install kiosks is not a stand alone decision. The up front cost of the kiosks and the cost of maintenance have to be compared to the similar cost of keeping human staff.

    If, for instance, 1 employee at $8/hour can process 30 orders per hour and 1 Kiosk costs effectively $9/hour and processes the same number of orders then the decision to keep the person is easy. But is the government now imposes a $10/hour minimum wage now the kiosk is the better choice. The choice to use kiosks has EVERYTHING to do with the cost of labor.

    The drive through isn't really a special case. Replace speakers and menu boards with a kiosk and a smartphone app. Cooks (until they are automated) can simply put the foot on a conveyor for delivery to the drive through window or the counter.

    You won't likely eliminate ALL employees at a fast food restaurant but if you cut down the staffing need from 8 to 2 then the 2 minght get $15 and hour but that is small consolation to the other 6.

    But that depends on a couple of things. First is what the poverty rate would be without the spending. You've offered nothing on that. Second, you're lumping in dozens of programs, which might be a problem by itself, but the point is those programs are distinct and should be evaluated on their own merits. EITC is huge. It's different than the amount spent on Section 8 housing or low income housing credits. Do low income housing credits work? I don't have the evidence on that, but we don't discover ANYTHING about that question by looking at the poverty rate overall. And if we find that low income housing credits don't work, that says nothing about EITC or food stamps.
    We;ve rarely gotten to see a reprieve from increased social spending in this country in that time, but as I have shown with the Economist graph, when welfare was cut in 1997 the income of the 10th, 20th and 50th percentiles increased by as much as 20%.

    The point was you're lumping in a bunch of stuff into one basket and making sweeping conclusions. More appropriate is to do what you just did and discuss programs on their own merits. All you've done here is separate out Medicare and SS. You can also evaluate Medicaid (used heavily by poor seniors), and Social Security spending (roughly $200B per year) for the non-elderly disabled. And then look at the various components of anti-poverty spending.
    I didn't lump them together in the way you seem to think. I was not including SS and Medicare in my evaluation of welfare spending except insofar as I was discussing the increase in entitlements in general, but the trend of entitlement spending is largely the same even absent Medicare (and SS has not increased dramatically until recently due to increased numbers of recipients), and the results are the same: no change, no return on investment.
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    Re: McDonald’s fresh hope to turn around slumping sales: Ordering burgers from a mach

    Quote Originally Posted by jmotivator View Post
    A PR company for a car company doesn't make cars. Saying the government should promote the modernization of the workforce is not the same as saying they should do the work.
    Right, the meaning of 'is' is...

    And they could do that because the market was protected from outside competition.
    Right, but the point of anti-trust laws is to maintain competitive markets. We've decided to quit enforcing them, and a growing share of our economy is dominated by just a handful or less of firms. The automakers were just the first to buy enough influence to enable them to form into behemoths that made it infeasible for competitors to emerge. We don't have to have "free trade" to have competition in the marketplace. That's a choice we made as a country to allow the Big Three to form.

    When did I ever say that?
    You made an unsupported assertion that free trade is good for the poor. I don't believe that is true.

    So free markets started in 1974? Nope. So how did that divide happen?
    I haven't studied it but it's likely because wages didn't keep pace with inflation for various good reasons.

    First, the graph is misleading and form fitted. It tries to compare two generally disjointed statistics of major market productivity and per worker compensation. These lines don't have a causal relationship. They can split for a number of reasons that have nothing to do with big evil CEOs and wage slavery. In fact, the primary way these curves diverge is by an increase in the workforce. With more employees doing equal amounts of work more work gets done. So did something happen to the workforce in the 70s that is worth noting? Why yes, something did happen: A major jump in Employment participation rate, driven partly by a dramatic increase in the number of women entering the job market and also the conversion of baby boomers from children to working age adults.
    Of course they have a causal relationship - real wages cannot grow unless productivity grows. It's how we get real increases in the standard of living.

    And your labor supply thing doesn't work either. Here is a link to a graph of the labor force. It's grown fairly steadily since 1948 - the first year of the series online. And as growth in the labor force leveled off and declined, we should see average wage increases, but we don't - they've remained flat.

    Here's another graph that proves the point even better: Source is here: EconoSpeak: Cheap Hustle #2: How to Lie with Statistics

    labour_productivity_real_wages_us.png

    In case it disappears, what it shows is an amazing link between wages and compensation - but this graph is of TOTAL compensation. The difference between that graph and the other is the other is median wages. The point is productivity has increased income as it must, but the income has been going to a smaller and smaller share of the workforce - the upper sliver. And recently it has gone to profits, and total wages have declined.

    What happened in 1997 that sparked the increase in income for the 10th and 20th percentile people?
    So, welfare reform that provided incentives for people to go to work increased the labor supply and therefore wages went up, and it was that and not the tech boom? Let's just say you'll have to do more than assert that for me to buy it.

    As I hinted at previously, there is still a lot of production work that simply can't be outsourced. A guy in India can't run fiber optic cable in St. Louis or replace broken hard drives in a data center in Sioux Falls or drive a truck full of produce from Orlando to New Orleans.
    Those are services, except for the fiber optic cable and that's only good if it somehow leads to creating valuable goods. And sure there is a lot of "production" work that can't be outsourced - the point is we ARE running a $500 billion trade deficit and have for years. That's unsustainable.

    Wages have remained stagnant, but PPP has increased:
    OK, and if you want to put that in terms of median PPP or something, it would be relevant to the discussion.

    No, it isn't the same thing. Let me know when the people on the assembly line at Foxconn start to have kids collecting TANF/Medicaid and Food Stamps...
    Give me a break. You were talking about the depressive effect of illegal WORKERS in the construction sector, now you're saying it's not that they're taking JOBS, but the cost of benefits to that worker's kids? Moving the goalposts I see.... I'm sure the latter is important, but so is the former - it is about jobs for a lot of the anti-illegals folks, and rightly so IMO.

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    Re: McDonald’s fresh hope to turn around slumping sales: Ordering burgers from a mach

    Quote Originally Posted by ttwtt78640 View Post
    What is your basis for the "traditional" or baseline US poverty level? The US poverty rate was dropping before the "great society" programs of the mid 1960's and has remained fairly constant (12% to 15%) since they were implemented, but at a considerable cost.

    Poverty level under Obama breaks 50-year record - Washington Times
    That's a very good question. I don't think it has a definitive answer but from what I can see, there are no good stats prior to 1959. And while the % was dropping before LBJ's WoP, his programs led to the # continuing to drop and to this day is the only thing that keeps many families from being below the poverty line.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaeger19 View Post
    the vast majority of folks that need healthcare are on Medicare.. both rich and poor..

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    Re: McDonald’s fresh hope to turn around slumping sales: Ordering burgers from a mach

    Quote Originally Posted by jmotivator View Post
    You keep seeming to miss the inconvenient half of my argument. I am arguing about the stagnation of the war on poverty as measured by the cost increases during that same period. Spending on poverty has far outpaced inflation in that time while the rate of poverty remains the same. If that spending remained in line with inflation then it would make some sense, but every program has beat inflation and the rate remains unchanged, and is climbing in the younger population.

    And, again, no, the programs have only kept poverty down for a select group, the elderly. Able bodied poverty has continued to increase from the initial decline.
    Not missing out on any part of your argument. I'm rejecting it because it's unsound.

    There is no stagflation, except maybe some in the economy as a whole
    Quote Originally Posted by matchlight View Post
    Justice Thomas' opinions consistently contain precise, detailed constitutional analyses.
    Quote Originally Posted by jaeger19 View Post
    the vast majority of folks that need healthcare are on Medicare.. both rich and poor..

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    Re: McDonald’s fresh hope to turn around slumping sales: Ordering burgers from a mach

    Quote Originally Posted by MaggieD View Post
    There's something very amusing about reading this: "Wouldn't that simplify some of those awkward moments," and glancing over at your avatar.
    Ha! That made me chuckle out loud
    “Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone.” John Maynard Keynes

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