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  • #46
    Originally posted by Snydley View Post
    I believe that CEOs should make far more than the lowest paid employee, but I feel this difference should be reasonable, should be, frankly, humane. Let's say 30X difference- so the lowest paid person makes 30K/year and the CEO 900K. Who on earth needs to make more than 900K per year??
    Fine. If a company wants to make that their policy and the Board of Directors and shareholders agree, go for it. I don't think anyone will argue that point. However, the government shouldn't pass a law that mandates that.

    Liberals feel everyone deserves a living wage. They think the system is rigged more than ever for the rich families to get richer while the former middle class evaporates.
    I'll say it again. Don't assume all liberals are the same. I don't think the system is "rigged more than ever". I also think that the whole "middle class evaporates" thing is greatly misunderstood. The lower class hasn't been expanding. If the middle class has contracted it's because the upper class has grown. People have been upwardly mobile. The number of millionaires in this country is higher than ever. Also, what constitutes "lower class" looks very different than it did 50 or 100 years ago. I worked in one of the poorest cities in America for 17 years. My patients had homes and cars and iPhones and health insurance and kids going to college and trade school. Yes they were earning low incomes but they were living far better than the lower class lived a generation or two ago.

    I see it in my own working class town- many fellow parents telling me they are sending their kids to the tech high school to learn a trade because they don't have the $ for college and they don't want their kids saddled with huge undergrad loans with 6-8% interest. I never saw this happen as a middle class high school student.
    This is a much larger discussion but college doesn't have to involve huge loans. I know plenty of people today who are attending community colleges and getting their degrees with little to no debt. Several of my coworkers are in nursing school. One just graduated this week from community college. He works full time and our employer has tuition reimbursement. His out of pocket costs have been pretty modest. There are readily available ways to get a degree without burying yourself in debt.

    Also, there's absolutely nothing wrong with learning a trade. In fact, there is a tremendous shortage of tradespeople because of the huge push for everyone to go to college the past few decades. It's getting harder and harder to find a plumber or electrician or carpenter under the age of 40-50. We need more people going into trades, which generally pay very well and are in high demand.
    My peers in science (fellow faculty, biotech scientists, etc) are sending their kids to colleagues' labs to get experience to sweeten their college and grad school applications; these same kids have extensive private tutoring whenever needed, including for the SAT and graduate entrance exams. This puts middle and lower class kids at a huge disadvantage. There weren't so many of these elite 'hyper-groomed' kids when I was applying to undergrad/grad school.
    I would push back on this. I'm 54. I graduated high school in 1982. My dad was an accountant. My mom was a housewife. We were about as middle class as it got back then. But I took SAT prep classes and volunteered at the local hospital and shadowed our family doctor in his office to help "sweeten" my college and med school applications. That has been going on forever. And it wasn't just the upper class folks doing it.

    I cannot understand this argument that raising the minimum wage won't help these employees because they will have to raise prices, etc. To cover the cost, lower the executives' pay from the ridiculous sky-high amounts they currently are. Take less (but still very very high!!) profits.
    Again, if a company wants to do this, they are free to do so. They just need to answer to their shareholders. If the stock tanks and profits plummet, that benefits nobody, especially those workers low on the totem pole because their jobs will be the first to get cut when the belt tightening occurs.
    Steve

    * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
    * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
    * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

    Comment


    • #47
      Expanding a little on college costs for middle class, I'd think they are all entitled to the American Opportunity Tax Credit, as long as their joint income is under 160k https://www.irs.gov/credits-deductions/individuals/aotc.

      You get back $2500/yr or 10k over 4 years. With some planning, and I guess some luck depending on the area of the country you live, that 10k can be the equivalent to one year of tuition if you can commute. Plus your student should get some sort of merit scholarship, that is pretty close to 1 years tuition for the 4 years. So that leaves 2 years worth of tuition to pay. Work, work, work and take a little bit in loans.

      I know it can be done in my area because my kids are doing it. Oldest graduated with 10k in loans. Sometimes you have to think about things for a while and come up with a plan to get it done.

      Comment


      • #48
        Originally posted by Snydley View Post
        To present the opposing side to TexasHusker, briefly:

        I believe that CEOs should make far more than the lowest paid employee, but I feel this difference should be reasonable, should be, frankly, humane. Let's say 30X difference- so the lowest paid person makes 30K/year and the CEO 900K. Who on earth needs to make more than 900K per year?? You can say, well they deserve it, they got there..but rest assured unless someone is equivalent to di Vinci (with unequivocal ability to truly change the world with their genius)...no one should be worth 165 billion dollars. No one. That is disgusting.

        Liberals feel everyone deserves a living wage. They think the system is rigged more than ever for the rich families to get richer while the former middle class evaporates. I see it in my own working class town- many fellow parents telling me they are sending their kids to the tech high school to learn a trade because they don't have the $ for college and they don't want their kids saddled with huge undergrad loans with 6-8% interest. I never saw this happen as a middle class high school student.

        My peers in science (fellow faculty, biotech scientists, etc) are sending their kids to colleagues' labs to get experience to sweeten their college and grad school applications; these same kids have extensive private tutoring whenever needed, including for the SAT and graduate entrance exams. This puts middle and lower class kids at a huge disadvantage. There weren't so many of these elite 'hyper-groomed' kids when I was applying to undergrad/grad school.

        I cannot understand this argument that raising the minimum wage won't help these employees because they will have to raise prices, etc. To cover the cost, lower the executives' pay from the ridiculous sky-high amounts they currently are. Take less (but still very very high!!) profits. Be fair to everyone. Market Basket in Massachusetts does this - they treat their employees very well, with good pay, insurance, pensions, etc..and guess what? The employees work hard, are loyal to the company and the shoppers feel good about shopping there. The CEO is plenty rich but likely not nearly as rich as he COULD be.
        1. It isn't up to the government to determine what someone "deserves" to make, unless you live in a Communist country.

        2. Cutting CEO wages to offset raising minimum wages would be the equivalent to leaving your front door open with the A/C on to counteract global warming.

        Allow me to illustrate:

        There are approximately 153 million full and part time workers in the U.S., with an average earnings of around $22.60 per hour.

        There are about 235,000 folks in the U.S. earning $1 million or more per year. Let's just assume for the sake of conversation that the "average" salary of those above $1 million per year is $2 million. And let's say you go in and say "you don't deserve $2 million, you only deserve $1 million, so we are cutting your salary in half and giving it to the rest of the workers who deserve it."

        That would raise the hourly rate of the average worker about $.87 per hour. The actual amount would be way less - perhaps half as much - as many people earning more than $1 million per year are not drawing that as a salary or compensation.

        So while the Robin Hood approach sounds noble, the math doesn't work. By the way, were you aware that we are already doing this to the "rich" through our tax code? The top rate is 39.6%! The top 1 percent of earners are paying over 43% of our taxes, and 45 percent of Americans are paying ZERO! https://www.marketwatch.com/story/45...tax-2016-02-24

        I don't make a million a year owning businesses, but I do earn a comfortable living. If someone came in and said "You don't deserve that...we are giving you half", I'd say piss on that, close the businesses, and live off of rental income. I don't need any more hobbies and I'm not running a charitable foundation.
        Last edited by TexasHusker; 05-19-2019, 09:19 PM.
        How can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat?

        Comment


        • #49
          So what these wealthy people pay in taxes, they get a boatload in return from having access to high return money making printing presses.

          There is a group of people that deserve nothing, and these are hedge find managers whose sole purpose is to manipulate the market on the backs of individual and retirement investors. I argue that the S&P would have given everyone a better return if these manipulators are gone. Also they bring in zero value for society and while creating negative contribution by spreading fake news.

          Comment


          • #50
            Originally posted by Singuy View Post
            There is a group of people that deserve nothing, and these are hedge find managers
            Of course, somebody thinks they deserve to be compensated very well so they must be creating value for somebody even if it isn't you and me.
            Steve

            * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
            * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
            * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

            Comment


            • #51
              Another thing to consider if you decide to redistribute wealth is there is a whole segment of the economy devoted to the wealthy - travel, dining, housing, vehicles, jewelry, art, etc. Stop paying people millions and you put thousands and thousands of people out of work.
              Steve

              * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
              * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
              * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

              Comment


              • #52
                Originally posted by disneysteve View Post
                Another thing to consider if you decide to redistribute wealth is there is a whole segment of the economy devoted to the wealthy - travel, dining, housing, vehicles, jewelry, art, etc. Stop paying people millions and you put thousands and thousands of people out of work.
                "Soak the rich" is a popular war cry, but it usually has devastating consequences and rarely affects the rich. When Congress imposed a 10 percent luxury tax on yachts, private airplanes and expensive automobiles during the Clinton administration, Sen. Ted Kennedy and then-Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell crowed publicly about how the rich would finally be paying their fair share of taxes.

                Within eight months after the change in the law took effect, Viking Yachts, the largest U.S. yacht manufacturer, laid off 1,140 of its 1,400 employees and closed one of its two manufacturing plants. Before it was all over, Viking Yachts was down to 68 employees. In the first year, one-third of U.S. yacht-building companies stopped production, and according to a report by the congressional Joint Economic Committee, the industry lost 7,600 jobs. When it was over, 25,000 workers had lost their jobs building yachts, and 75,000 more jobs were lost in companies that supplied yacht parts and material. Ocean Yachts trimmed its workforce from 350 to 50. Egg Harbor Yachts went from 200 employees to five and later filed for bankruptcy. The U.S., which had been a net exporter of yachts, became a net importer as U.S. companies closed. Jobs shifted to companies in Europe and the Bahamas. The U.S. Treasury collected zero revenue from the sales driven overseas.

                As for the rich, they just quit buying yachts. At least in the U.S.
                How can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat?

                Comment


                • #53
                  Originally posted by Singuy View Post
                  So what these wealthy people pay in taxes, they get a boatload in return from having access to high return money making printing presses.

                  There is a group of people that deserve nothing, and these are hedge find managers whose sole purpose is to manipulate the market on the backs of individual and retirement investors. I argue that the S&P would have given everyone a better return if these manipulators are gone. Also they bring in zero value for society and while creating negative contribution by spreading fake news.
                  My employees probably say something similar about me.
                  How can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat?

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    Originally posted by TexasHusker View Post

                    My employees probably say something similar about me.
                    yup, all you do is roll in, take all the money that they've earned for you, then ride off into the sunset with your brand new corvette. Good for nuttin

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      Sorry for the delay in my reply.

                      To respond to some points quickly:
                      Originally posted by Snydley View Post
                      I believe that CEOs should make far more than the lowest paid employee, but I feel this difference should be reasonable, should be, frankly, humane. Let's say 30X difference- so the lowest paid person makes 30K/year and the CEO 900K. Who on earth needs to make more than 900K per year??



                      Fine. If a company wants to make that their policy and the Board of Directors and shareholders agree, go for it. I don't think anyone will argue that point. However, the government shouldn't pass a law that mandates that.
                      Ok, maybe the government shouldn't set a 900K cap on CEOs (and TexasHusker would agree)..however, when a CEO of one company is worth more than 100 billion dollars, we have a massive problem. I hear "no more government" frequently from those with more conservative viewpoints, but we need a reasonable middle ground here, and/or we need strong unions. This is my opinion. We need to give everyone the chance to excel/earn lots of money but we need to have a system where we care about our fellow citizens on a basic level. This is also why I feel everyone should have basic covereage of health care.

                      I see it in my own working class town- many fellow parents telling me they are sending their kids to the tech high school to learn a trade because they don't have the $ for college and they don't want their kids saddled with huge undergrad loans with 6-8% interest. I never saw this happen as a middle class high school student.


                      This is a much larger discussion but college doesn't have to involve huge loans. I know plenty of people today who are attending community colleges and getting their degrees with little to no debt. Several of my coworkers are in nursing school. One just graduated this week from community college. He works full time and our employer has tuition reimbursement. His out of pocket costs have been pretty modest. There are readily available ways to get a degree without burying yourself in debt.
                      . I'm not disagreeing with you, but with private schools at insane prices (MIT, for example, is ~75K year including room and board) with interest rates on loans 3x what I paid it is harder to get to that bachelor's degree than when I was 18. I'm not saying trade school isn't the right match for many people, but I'm seeing families discourage kids from even considering 4 year school, and I never saw this when I was in high school, even among families with no savings or much of an income.


                      My peers in science (fellow faculty, biotech scientists, etc) are sending their kids to colleagues' labs to get experience to sweeten their college and grad school applications; these same kids have extensive private tutoring whenever needed, including for the SAT and graduate entrance exams. This puts middle and lower class kids at a huge disadvantage. There weren't so many of these elite 'hyper-groomed' kids when I was applying to undergrad/grad school.


                      I would push back on this. I'm 54. I graduated high school in 1982. My dad was an accountant. My mom was a housewife. We were about as middle class as it got back then. But I took SAT prep classes and volunteered at the local hospital and shadowed our family doctor in his office to help "sweeten" my college and med school applications. That has been going on forever. And it wasn't just the upper class folks doing it.
                      I'm not takling about taking a Kaplan SAT course or shadowing the family doctor- this are all within the realm of normal prep for med school. A colleague of mine was on the MD admissions committee at my university- she said every application included time in Africa or related countries, working with doctors without borders, etc for months..really out there stuff that require $$ and an in to do as a undergrad. Also, the SAT scores are so inflated now, not from a basic prep course, but extensive, expensive tutors to beat the test..that I suspect it will be thrown out within 5 years. We just got rid of GREs on our PhD admissions committee because they put minorites at such an extreme disadvantage. GRE/SATs aren't really measuring aptitude anymore due to the insane prep for them.

                      I also think that the whole "middle class evaporates" thing is greatly misunderstood. The lower class hasn't been expanding. If the middle class has contracted it's because the upper class has grown. People have been upwardly mobile.
                      I completely disagree, I can't imagine having this perception, to be honest. I just drove across the very top of NY state this past weekend, to my husband's hometown. His town was a solid, flourishing middle class area when he was young, with plenty of jobs provided by the Alcoa plant. The plant cut most of those jobs, and now what you see is homes in disrepair, shuttered business, increased crime, and about 1 in 5 homes for sale then last time we counted. My husband's childhood home (a small but nice cape on a side street with a backyard) sold for 25K ~ 5years ago. His town looks like other neighboring towns, and it's the same through the rust belt of the US. Even in big cities the change is dramatic- take the change in mission district of San Francisco in the last 10 years...in come the uber wealthy paying insane rents and goodbye to the thriving mexican community that was there when I lived in the city. I could go on and on.


                      Comment


                      • #56
                        Originally posted by Snydley View Post
                        Sorry for the delay in my reply.

                        To respond to some points quickly: Ok, maybe the government shouldn't set a 900K cap on CEOs (and TexasHusker would agree)..however, when a CEO of one company is worth more than 100 billion dollars, we have a massive problem.

                        Which CEOs in the U.S. are worth 100 billion dollars again?
                        How can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat?

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          Jeff Besos (Amazon). Although I'd set the cutoff way lower than that- some $ that you couldn't realistically ever spend in your lifetime and couldn't possibly improve your quality of life in any way.

                          Comment


                          • #58
                            Originally posted by Snydley View Post
                            Jeff Besos (Amazon). Although I'd set the cutoff way lower than that- some $ that you couldn't realistically ever spend in your lifetime and couldn't possibly improve your quality of life in any way.
                            Well, you said we have a massive problem with people worth over $100 billion - I'm just trying to figure out who that is exactly. Bezos is worth $73 billion.

                            I don't understand why we need to be telling people what they can be worth. Is it any of my business that the founder of Microsoft is worth $86 billion, so long as he is a tax-paying citizen like the rest of us? He risked his arse to start that company and keep it going. Why should what he is worth be any of my concern? Should the government seize some of that and give it to you and me because he doesn't "deserve" it? If it wasn't for Bill Gates and his company, I might not have my own businesses. In my book, he made me financially independent, and made most of the world more productive, not less.

                            There are countries that operate like you are describing, but they are across the Atlantic and a bit east of France.
                            How can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat?

                            Comment


                            • #59

                              [quote}"
                              I hear "no more government" frequently from those with more conservative viewpoints, but we need a reasonable middle ground here, and/or we need strong unions. This is my opinion. We need to give everyone the chance to excel/earn lots of money but we need to have a system where we care about our fellow citizens on a basic level. This is also why I feel everyone should have basic covereage of health care."[quote]

                              The beauty of this website is that we have people from all over with different life experiences.

                              My experience with a union for many years turned me OFF on them, most likely forever. Once people reached journeyman level they coasted no effort, no give a ****.
                              Zero anything could be done for those who excelled at their work so why bother...... just collect the same as the person on the next workstation staring into space barely awake.

                              The poor example of a union I was part in,... did not defend anyone or anything that was not a slam dunk, as they wanted to preserve their "friendship" or whatever they called it, as negotiations were always just around the corner JUST like re-election is right around the corner for politicians .

                              I also have worked many jobs that had better then average health coverage and simply put it did NOT make a difference in many peoples attitude or work ethic that will push them to succeed.

                              The best item I have heard lately is this
                              " we can either have equal opportunities OR equal outcomes but NOT both."

                              I think many discussions like these are not looking for anything but equal OUTCOMES.
                              Regardless of the same wage / same healthcare ( i worked in that scenario for years) some thrived while others failed.
                              With exact same wage/ healthcare and # of hours what was the difference the PERSON.



                              Comment


                              • #60
                                Originally posted by Snydley View Post
                                with private schools at insane prices (MIT, for example, is ~75K year including room and board) with interest rates on loans 3x what I paid it is harder to get to that bachelor's degree than when I was 18.
                                I totally agree that working your way through college is much harder than it used to be. Very few if any students actually pay "sticker price" because of various forms of aid but even the actual cost is out of the realm of working your way through. My daughter's school was about 52K/year. After scholarships, she/we paid about 32K. I don't know what most college students could do in their free time and summers to earn 32K/year.


                                I'm not takling about taking a Kaplan SAT course or shadowing the family doctor- this are all within the realm of normal prep for med school. A colleague of mine was on the MD admissions committee at my university- she said every application included time in Africa or related countries, working with doctors without borders, etc for months..really out there stuff that require $$ and an in to do as a undergrad. Also, the SAT scores are so inflated now, not from a basic prep course, but extensive, expensive tutors to beat the test..that I suspect it will be thrown out within 5 years. We just got rid of GREs on our PhD admissions committee because they put minorites at such an extreme disadvantage. GRE/SATs aren't really measuring aptitude anymore due to the insane prep for them.
                                Gotcha. I agree about the extreme prep stuff. As for the minority issue, I read that the SATs just added some sort of diversity score to try and adjust for some of that. I have no idea if that will work or not but certainly not all students have equal access to a quality education and that greatly impacts their ability to compete at the college level.

                                I just drove across the very top of NY state this past weekend, to my husband's hometown. His town was a solid, flourishing middle class area when he was young, with plenty of jobs provided by the Alcoa plant. The plant cut most of those jobs, and now what you see is homes in disrepair, shuttered business, increased crime, and about 1 in 5 homes for sale then last time we counted.
                                This is a common story across the country in former company towns that had one main employer in the manufacturing industry. When that company/industry died out or moved out, not much was left. Years ago, folks were more migratory and would pick up and move to where the work was. Partly due to the incessant push that everyone should own their own home, people are more tied to their location now. If you were renting, it was much easier to relocate. Not so easy when you own a house and the local economy has collapsed and nobody wants to buy it. Add to that the folks who didn't have much of an education because they were able to get a decent factory job straight out of high school. Now they're 40 or 50, the factory is gone, and they have no education or skills to get themselves another job.
                                Steve

                                * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                                * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                                * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

                                Comment

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