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Author Topic: USA #1 - most income inequality, highest incarceration rate.  (Read 2801 times)

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Offline mecch

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USA #1 - most income inequality, highest incarceration rate.
« on: August 15, 2013, 04:49:08 PM »
Yesterday I read some article about the incarceration rate.
(Don't remember where, but here's the Wiki page about the same thing)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_incarceration_rate

Today this article about income inequality.
(just the developed world, though, of course)
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/15/income-inequality-wall-street_n_3762422.html?utm_hp_ref=business




What's your opinion?
How does USA fix this?  Or should it, I guess...  Maybe not seen as a problem by some...
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline bocker3

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Re: USA #1 - most income inequality, highest incarceration rate.
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2013, 06:11:31 PM »
Again -- your relentless focus on the "bad" USA -- how do the European countries fix their increasing income inequality??  The US may have a higher movement, but Europe has a good number.  How many rich Europeans "move" to avoid their countries high taxes?  How does that play into this chart??  Just looking at European Tennis players -- a good number of the top guys now "live" in Monte Carlo -- why is that???  Oh yeah, to avoid the high tax rates.

Plus -- what is YOUR opinion on how this gets fixed?  Hopefully it is something better than the schemes tried in most of Europe that has the whole continent on the brink of economic collapse -- even the "well managed" ones, like Germany are at risk now.

Why your constant focus on the US, when you say you live in Switzerland -- a country that helps the rich of all nations hide their money from the tax man.  How do you propose they fix that??

M
Atripla - Started 12/05
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Offline GSOgymrat

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Re: USA #1 - most income inequality, highest incarceration rate.
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2013, 07:19:30 PM »
What's your opinion?
How does USA fix this?  Or should it, I guess...  Maybe not seen as a problem by some...

Of course some don't see this as a problem but I think many people are not fully aware of these problems and the impact they have on American society. I am curious why you chose to pair these two problems. Do you have a theory how they relate to each other than the established correlation between poverty and crime?

There are many factors affecting the high prison population rate in the US but I think the biggest factor is non-violent offenders and drug offenders being incarcerated at a higher rate and kept in prison longer. Non-violent drug offenders alone make up 25 percent of the US prison population. Except for homicide, the US crime rate is comparable to most European countries. I suspect we are seeing the consequences of politicians who have furthered their careers by using "tough on crime" and "war on drugs" fear mongering to enact mandatory sentencing policies, which limit options. There are other factors at work but as far as a fix a good start would be to sentence non-violent drug offenders to mandatory treatment and monitoring and create consequences for non-violent crimes that do not involve extended periods of incarceration.

As far as income inequality, that is easily fixed: use the government to redistribute the wealth through taxation, strengthening unions and other social policies. The question is do we really want to do that? The US economic system is incredibly complex and intertwined with other global economies. I would not even pretend to guess the most effective way of giving more US citizens more money, which is really the goal, and preventing the super rich from excessively influencing the US government. Frankly I am suspect of any simplistic approach to this problem (and I do think it is a problem) such as "tax the rich" or "let the free market decide."

P.S. - I almost didn't post this because I try not to post opinions on topics in which I am not fully versed. I guess I feel like venting today.

Offline mecch

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Re: USA #1 - most income inequality, highest incarceration rate.
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2013, 08:40:05 PM »
I found the article on incarceration.  Also was in Huffington Post. It struck me because of the graphic image
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/13/incarceration-rate-per-capita_n_3745291.html
and also, while I knew the US incarceration rate was high, I hadn't realised that high....

Gymrat, I created the thread and link the two together just as I described, because I saw one article yesterday and the other today and both figures really struck me for some reason, having something to say to each other.
(Just a week or so ago MITT ROMNEY was on Today saying any debate about income equality is about "envy and class warfare".  But it seems to me income inequality is shaping up to be a major debate topic.)
I just scratched around a bit and there are scholars doing this research, I think this one at the Kennedy School is a big cheese in this area
http://scholar.harvard.edu/brucewestern
Here is a link to one of his more recent articles (2010), (coming after his book on the same topic in 2006)
Incarceration & Social inequality
http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1162/DAED_a_00019

I'm thinking along similar lines to you about how to put more money into average folks' hands...  The population has to vote in governments willing to significantly raise the minimum wage, and let the so called "free market" figure out how to deal with that fact, after the legislation... I doubt this would be painless, that's for sure. This, combined with union strength.  The President of the Service Employees International Union
http://www.seiu.org/a/ourunion/mary-kay-henry.php
made some pretty basic, compelling arguments in her recent appearance on Colbert
http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/428406/august-07-2013/fast-food-workers-strike---mary-kay-henry

If the jobs available are service jobs, then the service jobs must be converted in solid secure work that provide a dignified standard of living. 

I suppose most of you saw that TRAGIC Mcdonald's "personal finance planning" campaign this summer, for its own employees. That had the GALL to say the way to make ends meet as a McDonald's full-time employee was to get a 2nd job, in addition!!!!

So basically, enough with the anti-union climate.  Must vote out Republican governors who are busting unions.  Etc etc.

And, progressive taxation on higher incomes.  And real, collected, corporate taxation..  We need that money to shore up the safety nets... There's no way around this. (Well, cut the Military too, but thats a can of worms and a different topic.)

I think you make a great point about incarceration:
 I suspect we are seeing the consequences of politicians who have furthered their careers by using "tough on crime" and "war on drugs" fear mongering to enact mandatory sentencing policies, which limit options.

It seems to me something is off in the system, that the Financial Crisis wiped out a lot of wealth, but perhaps it was the middle classes who principally will feel the longest and most permanent losses from that. As the wealthiest recoup. But the financial meltdown was preceded THEN followed up by immense transfers of wealth to the richest, and through (what I consider) criminal business practices, and that wealth did NOT disappear.  And we see what....? What about the criminal aspect of this???  This week, perhaps, two low level bankers to be criminally prosecuted.  2 people...

And yet the prisons filled with people from the bottom of the economic hierachy. People who are locked in a very bad life.

Barred for life: How social inequality and prison population growth are two sides of the same set of cuffs

http://news.streetroots.org/2012/02/02/barred-life-how-social-inequality-and-prison-population-growth-are-two-sides-same-set

I think you don't get to be #1 through lack of effort. There's been a concerted effort to reach these status as most incarcerated (OF ALL COUNTRIES, not just the rich, ones - which are in fact way down the list, generally), and most inequal... 

So obviously it will take time and effort to reverse this. 

But with 45% of the population amendable to this status quo?...What to do....
« Last Edit: August 15, 2013, 08:48:36 PM by mecch »
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline tednlou2

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Re: USA #1 - most income inequality, highest incarceration rate.
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2013, 01:53:43 AM »
Income equality, upward mobility, and the incarceration rate are definitely linked.  If you are poor and have basically no chance of getting ahead, then you are more likely to have had run-ins with the law. 

We know blacks and Hispanics are more likely to be stopped.  If you're white and poor, driving a beat up car, then you are more likely to be stopped.  You could have a joint on you, and you'd be arrested in many towns and cities.  A rich guy in his Lexus could have some crack, but he is less likely to be stopped.  If the rich guy is stopped and arrested, he can get a good lawyer and he would probably just get probation and maybe sent to a drug rehab center.  I mean, Rush Limbaugh was doctor shopping with how many docs and was taking how many pills?  I seem to remember numbers in the thousands.  I've read stories of some being arrested for carrying their own pain pill loose in their pocket.  The police say the law is they must be in the bottle.  But, Rush was never arrested? 

Once you are arrested, it becomes very difficult to get a job.  Most employers now do background checks.  I ran into this problem.  My ex lied to police, after I kicked him out.  He said I assaulted him, was calling and terrorizing him, and stole his stuff.  That's all it took for them to put out a warrant on me.  He may have had his new bf say he witnessed it.  Not sure.  The police surrounded my house, like I was a murderer.  I was arrested.  In court, the judge found his claims to be lies, so it was dismissed.  But, it still showed up on my report.  I guess there is some law that employers have to offer you a job, before doing a background and drug screen.  Or, they just think it is cheaper to do it that way.  I had 7 job offers.  They all offered me the job, and then did the background.  They all rescinded their offers.  While the charge said it was dismissed, they saw the charges.  I am sure they thought I really did it, but was able to get a good lawyer and have it dismissed.  If I had money, I am sure my lawyer would have gotten it totally expunged from my record. 

So, I lost out on 7 jobs.  This affected my ability to take care of myself.  I had parents, who could help with bills.  Many don't have that.  So, they may be tempted to turn to drug dealing, prostitution, or stealing, in order to get by.  I was finally able to find an employer, that did not hold it against me.  If you have a drug conviction, you are barred from federal student aid.  Unless that has been changed, then it is still in effect.  So, you can't find work and you can't go to school.  Many in that situation would end up in trouble with the law. 


Offline GSOgymrat

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Re: USA #1 - most income inequality, highest incarceration rate.
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2013, 02:09:19 AM »
Mecch, thanks for posting the links to Incarceration and Social Inequality and Barred For Life. Very interesting. They reminded of this excellent TED Talk on race, poverty and incarceration: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c2tOp7OxyQ8.

Ted, you are right and it really comes down to how much money you have when facing legal problems. Today I was talking with one of my sisters about her son who has a felony conviction related to his substance abuse history. He is in his late 30s, has two children and the best job he has had is delivering pizzas.

Offline buginme2

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Re: USA #1 - most income inequality, highest incarceration rate.
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2013, 03:01:49 AM »
Some day,  I don't know when.  America is going to have a come to Jesus moment.

"All I need are some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and I'm fine."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6e0gcEC1TWE

Offline Theyer

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Re: USA #1 - most income inequality, highest incarceration rate.
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2013, 04:46:17 PM »
Thanks for starting the thread Meech , good links , too .In the UK the presant Government is slashing legal aid provision , thus reinforcing the link between wealth and Law. I sigh off standing on the edge off collapse in Northern Europe .
"If we can find the money to kill people, we can find the money to help people ."  Tony Benn

Offline Matts

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Re: USA #1 - most income inequality, highest incarceration rate.
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2013, 05:29:42 PM »
I wanna come back to bocker3. Par exemple the income inequality in Germany gets worse and worse. The rich people and Stars like Boris Becker, Michael Schumacher (Formula 1) and many others move to Switzerland or Austria. Experts say that there are 333 Billions $ of  german "black money" (we call it here so, I dont know the english term), are illegal in Switzerland. We need this money desperately for education and other things here. All negotiations with Switzerland have failed so far. Maybe in some years there will be an end for these fiscal paradises. The people should pay their taxes in the country where they have earnt it.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2013, 05:43:50 PM by Matts »
tivicay/kivexa

Offline bocker3

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Re: USA #1 - most income inequality, highest incarceration rate.
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2013, 10:47:22 PM »
I wanna come back to bocker3. Par exemple the income inequality in Germany gets worse and worse. The rich people and Stars like Boris Becker, Michael Schumacher (Formula 1) and many others move to Switzerland or Austria. Experts say that there are 333 Billions $ of  german "black money" (we call it here so, I dont know the english term), are illegal in Switzerland. We need this money desperately for education and other things here. All negotiations with Switzerland have failed so far. Maybe in some years there will be an end for these fiscal paradises. The people should pay their taxes in the country where they have earnt it.

Oh no -- only the USA is such an evil place -- Europe is Eden!!

 ::)

M
Atripla - Started 12/05
Reyataz/Norvir - Added 6/06
Labs - Pre-Meds
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Offline tednlou2

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Re: USA #1 - most income inequality, highest incarceration rate.
« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2013, 01:27:26 AM »
Not even discussing justice system issues, we know the middle class is shrinking.  It takes 2 incomes to get by, when a husbands income use to take care of the whole family.  We were just talking about this today.  In 1980, my mom made $10 an hour at G.E.  That was great money back then.  I had another family member working for Cummins Engines, and he made $16 an hour, in the early 80's.  These were both factory jobs. 

Today, both of these employers start people at $8-$12 an hour.  The wages have gone backwards, while gasoline, utilties, clothes, insurance, and rent has all jumped dramatically.  I hear family members say how they had all sorts of surgeries, back in the 70's and early 80's.  Many didn't have health insurance.  I asked how the hell they were able to pay for back surgery out of pocket.  Mine was $20,000 in 1999.  The answer was the medical industry was not all out of whack.  The average CEO made 40 times the salary of the average worker, back then.  Today, it is 400 times more.

Offline GSOgymrat

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Re: USA #1 - most income inequality, highest incarceration rate.
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2013, 01:45:57 AM »
Not even discussing justice system issues, we know the middle class is shrinking.

Middle class? Why Ted, that's Marxism talk! "Since when in America do we have classes?"

http://www.salon.com/2013/08/16/santorum_term_middle_class_is_marxism_talk/


All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others

Offline GSOgymrat

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Re: USA #1 - most income inequality, highest incarceration rate.
« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2013, 03:50:38 PM »
Interesting article headlining CNN today:

http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/2013/08/17/u-s-wakes-up-to-its-prison-nightmare/?hpt=hp_t1

Well it seems that finally, common sense is prevailing. Attorney General Eric Holder made an important speech this week admitting that our prisons are overcrowded and costly. He specifically called for a reduction in mandatory sentences for low-level drug offenders. ...

The greatest challenge in pushing these numbers further down will be the prison lobby. Believe it or not, many of our prisons are run by private companies that then lobby state legislatures massively for bigger prisons, larger budgets, and of course more prisoners. According to the non-profit Justice Policy Institute, the two largest private prison companies in America together generate revenues of $3 billion a year – paid by taxpayers, of course. These private prison companies also happen to be major donors to a number of state campaigns, lobbying for more resources.

If our politicians can take on the prison lobbies, there really is hope for America

Offline mitch777

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Re: USA #1 - most income inequality, highest incarceration rate.
« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2013, 04:08:19 PM »
Middle class? Why Ted, that's Marxism talk! "Since when in America do we have classes?"

http://www.salon.com/2013/08/16/santorum_term_middle_class_is_marxism_talk/


All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others
Your link would be funny if it weren't for the fact that it's scary people actually think this way. Yikes!
31 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

Offline mecch

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Re: USA #1 - most income inequality, highest incarceration rate.
« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2013, 09:06:26 PM »
Masters of Money - Pt. 3 - Karl Marx
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mX65Yej7S0Y
Posted this a couple weeks ago.

Just listen to the first minute introduction, "the most dangerous man in Europe" whose "incendiary teachings" are still "so radical and so revolution" they're still considered "dangerous" and "continue to divide the world".  A "surprising good place to start" to understand the global economic crisis today, says this British (and Marxist?) economist/host of an interesting documentary.

When I studied labor history in the 80s and critical theory in the 90's, we read Marx in most classes and it nobody thought it was un-American. hmm......  ??? ???
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline buginme2

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Re: USA #1 - most income inequality, highest incarceration rate.
« Reply #15 on: August 18, 2013, 09:20:41 PM »
Interesting article headlining CNN today:

http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/2013/08/17/u-s-wakes-up-to-its-prison-nightmare/?hpt=hp_t1

Well it seems that finally, common sense is prevailing. Attorney General Eric Holder made an important speech this week admitting that our prisons are overcrowded and costly. He specifically called for a reduction in mandatory sentences for low-level drug offenders. ...

The greatest challenge in pushing these numbers further down will be the prison lobby. Believe it or not, many of our prisons are run by private companies that then lobby state legislatures massively for bigger prisons, larger budgets, and of course more prisoners. According to the non-profit Justice Policy Institute, the two largest private prison companies in America together generate revenues of $3 billion a year – paid by taxpayers, of course. These private prison companies also happen to be major donors to a number of state campaigns, lobbying for more resources.

If our politicians can take on the prison lobbies, there really is hope for America


I would like to mention that there are parts of the US that are changing.  This weekend was Hempfest here in.Seattle.  The police were there handing out bags of Doritos with information about marijuana on them and the new law here.  In Texas and Florida and many other parts of the country and world police would be throwing the same people in jail.

It's a start.
"All I need are some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and I'm fine."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6e0gcEC1TWE

Offline mecch

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Re: USA #1 - most income inequality, highest incarceration rate.
« Reply #16 on: August 18, 2013, 09:22:42 PM »
West Coast stoner hippy freaks are bringing the nation down!   >:( >:( >:( >:(
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Online Jeff G

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Re: USA #1 - most income inequality, highest incarceration rate.
« Reply #17 on: August 18, 2013, 09:36:03 PM »
My grandma caught me smoking pot and warned me that was the stuff Charles Manson was hopped up on and there wasn't any telling what I might do if I didn't stop .

She was right because later that night I slaughtered a whole pecan pie and felt no remorse .   

Offline buginme2

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Re: USA #1 - most income inequality, highest incarceration rate.
« Reply #18 on: August 18, 2013, 10:10:01 PM »
Quote
West Coast stoner hippy freaks are bringing the nation down!   >:( >:( >:( >:(

250,000 people were at Hempfest.  You quickly see that most are not stoner hippy freaks.  It makes you think, wow a lot of these people who are just like me could be thrown in jail and have their lives ruined if this was occurring in Tulsa instead of the west coast.

I on the other hand am proud to be a stoner hippy, although I don't think I'm a freak.
"All I need are some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and I'm fine."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6e0gcEC1TWE

Offline skeebo1969

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Re: USA #1 - most income inequality, highest incarceration rate.
« Reply #19 on: August 18, 2013, 10:32:25 PM »



   All this weed talk is giving major urges.  I haven't had any since June 19, 2011 at 7:03 pm.   If I have timed the 10 hour drive correctly, along with stops for gas, I should be smoking the good stuff at about 6:37 pm on August 30th. 
I despise the song Love is in the Air, you should too.

Offline mecch

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Re: USA #1 - most income inequality, highest incarceration rate.
« Reply #20 on: August 18, 2013, 10:56:47 PM »
SIDNEY, Ohio -- Authorities in Ohio say a man who ordered a gun safe online opened it up only to discover 280 pounds of marijuana inside.

Shelby County Sheriff John Lenhart in western Ohio says the safe was made in Nogales, Mexico, and that it was sent by truck to Ohio.

He says the marijuana has a street value of $420,000.

Federal authorities who are investigating say the truck driver who brought the shipment into the United States is now missing.


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/18/marijuana-gun-safe-ohio-man-280-pounds_n_3776823.html
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline buginme2

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Re: USA #1 - most income inequality, highest incarceration rate.
« Reply #21 on: August 19, 2013, 03:26:13 PM »
I ran across this article on Huffpo that talks about how there are some that are trying to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour in Seattle.  I think the current minimum wage is about $10 an hour.

On the surface it sounds like a fine and dandy idea.  However, is this the solution or is it a shortsighted stop gap measure that would have some economic unintended consequences?  I'm torn.  If it puts small independent stores out of business then whats the point?

What ya think?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/19/seattle-minimum-wage-campaign-washington_n_3778980.html
"All I need are some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and I'm fine."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6e0gcEC1TWE

Offline mecch

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Re: USA #1 - most income inequality, highest incarceration rate.
« Reply #22 on: August 19, 2013, 04:43:30 PM »
I ran across this article on Huffpo that talks about how there are some that are trying to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour in Seattle.  I think the current minimum wage is about $10 an hour.

On the surface it sounds like a fine and dandy idea.  However, is this the solution or is it a shortsighted stop gap measure that would have some economic unintended consequences?  I'm torn.  If it puts small independent stores out of business then whats the point?

What ya think?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/19/seattle-minimum-wage-campaign-washington_n_3778980.html

I think its only a part of a solution. 

But for years there have been "progressive" cities willing to fight for a better standard of living for their working class citizens...  SF with its minimum wage and health insurance, for example.

As with Affordable Care Act, i think it will be easy to find examples where it will hurt some people and it is easy to argue against it with explanations about how it hurts this kind of business or that, or is not free market.

Finally, on the level of a nation, its up to the nation to have this dialogue and come to a consensus and compromise if a VERY RICH developed nation wants to have a living wage and health security, or not....   If not, there there will be more pockets of progressive policies and more and more pockets of misery, poverty, and insecurity...

“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline GSOgymrat

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Re: USA #1 - most income inequality, highest incarceration rate.
« Reply #23 on: August 19, 2013, 05:33:32 PM »
I ran across this article on Huffpo that talks about how there are some that are trying to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour in Seattle.  I think the current minimum wage is about $10 an hour.

On the surface it sounds like a fine and dandy idea.  However, is this the solution or is it a shortsighted stop gap measure that would have some economic unintended consequences?  I'm torn.  If it puts small independent stores out of business then whats the point?

What ya think?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/19/seattle-minimum-wage-campaign-washington_n_3778980.html

It is beyond my understanding. I get that more residents with more income will generate more sales. However I assume Seattle businesses will need to increase the cost of their products/services to pay their employees the higher wage. This income-expenditure may equal out for Seattle residents but visitors would also be paying more, which is great if people continue to come but not if people choose other cities for destination because Seattle is expensive. I think a higher minimum wage would put a damper on new business, especially in manufacturing, because who wants to pay employees $15 per hour to make widgets in Seattle when they can pay $10 in Tacoma. Another troublesome result would be if Seattle employees use this extra income do more shopping online rather than shopping locally. Yet another problem would be if Seattle residents use the extra income to pay off credit cards, car loans, student loans, etc. Is this wage enough of an increase to put these employees in another tax bracket? Ack! Too many variables and unknowns!

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: USA #1 - most income inequality, highest incarceration rate.
« Reply #24 on: August 19, 2013, 06:29:21 PM »
Chinese tourists are the largest group for visiting Seattle, and they also spend the most of any non-US tourists -- just eight years ago they were only ranked 7th and bought mostly souvenirs, not they spend on luxury items.

Brazilians are similar for places like Florida and NYC. The focus shouldn't be on American tourists from Greensboro :) keeping in mind that after France the US is the most sought after place to visit in the world, and frankly we've only begun to make adjustments to tap into all of this. Tourism is the largest employer in 29 US states, and it could really be expanded by microtargeting extranationals vis-a-vis their preferred US destinations based on geography etc. as well as adjusting visa eligibility (especially the cumbersome system for Brazilians. These are huge markets that will quickly grow larger as they love higher quality US products, but don't want to spend money at Cracker Barrel ) though Brazilians love Outback Steakhouse.
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Offline GSOgymrat

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Re: USA #1 - most income inequality, highest incarceration rate.
« Reply #25 on: August 19, 2013, 07:02:50 PM »
I suspect raising the minimum wage would work best in tourist destinations like Seattle. I guess this is related to the idea that America needs to continue transitioning to a more serviced-based economy as opposed to manufacturing.

... though Brazilians love Outback Steakhouse.

I didn't know that. Why in the world would Brazilians want Outback when Brazilian steak houses are generally far superior? Believe it or not, there is actually a good Brazilian churrascaria in Greensboro.

Offline buginme2

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Re: USA #1 - most income inequality, highest incarceration rate.
« Reply #26 on: August 19, 2013, 07:24:31 PM »
I suspect raising the minimum wage would work best in tourist destinations like Seattle. I guess this is related to the idea that America needs to continue transitioning to a more serviced-based economy as opposed to manufacturing.

I didn't know that. Why in the world would Brazilians want Outback when Brazilian steak houses are generally far superior? Believe it or not, there is actually a good Brazilian churrascaria in Greensboro.

I cringe every time I hear that the country should transition to a service based economy.  Service sector jobs are usually low paying, unskilled jobs that don't do much to support an economy other than keeping a large poverty base and a few wealthy business owners. 

Take Arizona for example.  They focused on tourism and service industries in the eighties and now they have a large population that makes minimum wage.  they have a large working poor population.  Same with Nevada (Las Vegas).

This topic is so complex and I didn't get my phd in economics.

Outback steakhouse?  What a horrible representation of a steakhouse.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2013, 07:27:05 PM by buginme2 »
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Offline mecch

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Re: USA #1 - most income inequality, highest incarceration rate.
« Reply #27 on: August 19, 2013, 08:08:58 PM »
I cringe every time I hear that the country should transition to a service based economy.  Service sector jobs are usually low paying, unskilled jobs that don't do much to support an economy other than keeping a large poverty base and a few wealthy business owners. 


Listen to interviews with service workers unions and their leaders.
People have to deal with reality.
If there is a certain percentage of service work positions in the economy, then they can NOT be low paying forever... It just wont float an economy.
I also disagree that service work is "unskilled"...   It may be that you don't need certain diplomas, but everyone, but EVERYONE, needs skills to succeed in a job, and to eventually advance. 

The concept of a living wage is that ALL labor contributes to the well-being of a national economy, so if the economy is generally rich, then the lowest wage should still support a dignified life style.  ALL labor. All labor is difficult and all of it should be paid a living wage.  (The minimum wage does NOT support a secure life, in the US.) 

The question is how to convince all workers that its not a sin or a human failing to be qualified for service work, and therefore poverty wages.  TOO much profit off the services and goods produced by that poverty wage labor, is going to shareholders in the form of dividends, and large payout to top executives....     

Its not true that McDo and WalMart will go out of business if they pay a living wage. But those companies will have to figure out a way to have execs and shareholders accept LESS payout, and/or they will have to raise prices.  But you can only raise prices so far, if your basic brand is "discount". 

Wall Street and Executives are going to continue milking the system until something gives and they are forced to cut their take....   Frankly, its immoral and obscene to tell an entire percentage of the labor force - your labor is worth SHIT, you deserve but a SHITTY life, and if you dare ask for more, then the company will go bankrupt and you'll be out of a job, so dont even dare it...    If thats the morality of our business leadership..... well, I dunno...  Elizabeth Warren for President, I guess...


« Last Edit: August 19, 2013, 08:12:13 PM by mecch »
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Offline mecch

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Re: USA #1 - most income inequality, highest incarceration rate.
« Reply #28 on: August 19, 2013, 09:37:17 PM »
http://www.usccb.org/news/2013/13-125.cfm

Bishop Blaire In Congressional Testimony: Living Wage Essential To Society, Foundational Part Of Catholic Teaching
 
June 25, 2013
WASHINGTON—A discussion of workers' wages is a good starting point for fixing the U.S. economy, said the chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development in testimony, June 25, before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. The committee's hearing was dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the Fair Labor Standards Act, which codified the national minimum wage for the first time.

"We can begin the process of fixing our economy by returning the worker to the center of economic life," said Bishop Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton, California, in his testimony. "One of the best ways to do that is with decent jobs that pay just wages, thereby honoring human dignity and restoring hope to workers and families. Increasing the minimum wage to a level that reflects the real economic reality faced by families today would go far in building an economy worthy of the humans that operate in it."

Bishop Blaire said the Working Poor Families Project recently reported that there were 10.4 million low-income working families in 2011, including 23.5 million children. "Work should be a ladder out of poverty for families, it should not trap them in poverty," said Bishop Blaire. "Yet this is where we find ourselves – a growing number of families are working but do not make enough to live in dignity. It is a scandal that the richest country (sic. in the) world has allowed over 23 million children in working poor families to become the norm."

Bishop Blaire cited statistics from the Congressional Budget Office, which reported last year that the average income of the wealthiest one percent of Americans has increased 275 percent over the last 30 years. The income of the poorest 20 percent, on average, increased by less than 20 percent, despite an increase in worker productivity over the same time.

Bishop Blaire quoted Catholic teaching from Popes Leo XIII, John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Francis, on the rights and dignity of workers. "A just wage confirms the dignity of the worker," said Bishop Blaire. "And conversely, a wage that does not even allow a worker to support a family or meet basic human needs tears her down and demeans her dignity. The worker becomes just another commodity."
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline bocker3

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Re: USA #1 - most income inequality, highest incarceration rate.
« Reply #29 on: August 19, 2013, 10:20:29 PM »
One can WISH things were one way or another, one can CALL it shitty, or criminal or whatnot -- but how do you get where you'd like "there" to be (I suppose one must decide how far THERE is).

Sure -- McDonalds and Wal-Mart can pay more, but then prices will go up (they are FOR PROFIT companies, whether you like it or not).  Why are McD and Wal-Mart growing and mom and pops dying -- because we all want the best for the least.  If we aren't willing to pay more for things, how the fuck can we expect "others" to pay more for our service??  (which is what I am seeing, predominately, in this thread -- someone else must pay more, not I must be willing to pay more -- heavens no).

Big bad Wall Street must be willing to accept less -- but who are large numbers of "investors" on Wall Street today??  Anyone with a 401K or IRA, etc.  So, if Wall Street "accepts" less, than we all accept less upon retirement.

The economy calls for lots of decisions -- some of which have unintended consequences.  Many of these were seen before and during the recent economic meltdown -- doing a complete pendulum swing in the other direction is likely to have additional dire results. 

The way to approach this is to stop seeing it as US and THEM but see it as all of us together.  A pipedream I know, we seem to be beyond an ability to come together and find a solution that doesn't "stick it" to the other side (which ever side you come from).  We are unable, as a whole, to stand in the other side's shoes.

M
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Offline GSOgymrat

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Re: USA #1 - most income inequality, highest incarceration rate.
« Reply #30 on: August 19, 2013, 10:40:30 PM »
I cringe every time I hear that the country should transition to a service based economy.  Service sector jobs are usually low paying, unskilled jobs that don't do much to support an economy other than keeping a large poverty base and a few wealthy business owners. 

This is a interview with Mike Rowe about a skills gap which I thought was interesting. It struck me because a close friend has twin sons who both decided to go to technical school for engine repair rather than a four-year university. My friend was very disappointed with their choice but I told him I thought it was an excellent decision and they would probably end up making more money than he does with his degree in pastoral counseling. They both finished school and were immediately offered jobs with Ford and Mercedes. Meanwhile his eldest son graduated a year ago from a prestigious private university, has $80K in student loans and still is look for full-time employment.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls1YhhMHdNY

Offline mitch777

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Re: USA #1 - most income inequality, highest incarceration rate.
« Reply #31 on: August 20, 2013, 10:02:07 AM »
Speaking as a small business owner (26 years - retailer), the climate has changed drastically over the past 10 or 12 years. We have 1 full time and 6 part time employees. We pay them $10-$13 per hour with no benefits other that a few paid holidays and sick days. It's all we can afford. Luckily some are kids and most of the others are much better off financially than we are. Kenny works 50-70 hours per week. Me: not able to work any longer.

The big box stores have crushed most mom and pop stores. For the most part it really isn't about the price of a product. We are pretty competitive. Consumers wrongly perceive that they will be getting a better deal from a national chain store and the younger people are shopping online.

The playing field is not level. Amazon can build huge warehouses in the middle of nowhere at low cost. They don't need to pay top dollar for renting in a prime location to survive. Add that to the fact that in most cases they do not have to collect sales taxes like us brick and mortar stores. Hmmm.... is that fair? The states are losing hundreds of millions in revenue.

Here's an example of what our profit level is on a toaster. (we do sell high end goods) Cost: $70.00 Retail $99.99 Profit $29.99
While I won't go into detailed figures here, you've got to keep in mind the expense part of the equation. Rent, payroll, health insurance (for Kenny and me), utilities, advertising, supplies, bags boxes and giftwrap (yes, we giftwrap), taxes, credit card fees, business property insurance, repairs and maintenance, etc.
As you can see, it takes a lot of toaster sales to just break even.

Funny how many schools, churches, and charities come knocking at our door for donations (which we give to) while at the same time they will shop online to save a buck or 2. I doubt if Amazon or any big box store has given a dime locally.

Then comes the subject of the healthcare costs. 300% increase in 12 years. Compare that to our 5% increase in rent during the same period.

If we were required to pay for health insurance for the one full time employee and minimum wage was raised to $15 per hour we would have to close up shop. Yes, it's that tight these days. 12 years ago I thought we could be retiring right about now. Now it looks like we've got to hang on for many years to come and still not have much of a cushion.

Not sure if any of this helps with your discussion but this is a real and very common story. Just food for thought.

m.

 





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Online Jeff G

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Re: USA #1 - most income inequality, highest incarceration rate.
« Reply #32 on: August 20, 2013, 11:20:36 AM »
Hi Mitch . I worked in the merchandise mart in Chicago for almost 10 years as a manufactures rep in a wholesale showroom . In the mid 80's we were a very profitable company and out of business by 96 because of the big box stores and knock off products from China and elsewhere .

The majority of our products were American made and if our manufactures ever filled orders for stores like crate and barrel or bed bath and beyond they lost their mom and pop client base to fill huge orders from one or two chain big box stores . We learned quickly not to pursue the chain store business and place orders with our made in America manufactures because after they placed orders for a year , they then began knocking off the product by going to china and having the products made there ... this effectively closed the doors for any made in America small mom and pop manufactures that made the mistake of doing business with them .

You cant patent a decorative accessory because changing one small element makes it a different product . I saw a whole industry destroyed in the space of 6 years by wallmart and target and other big box stores , I can only imagine what its like now for small businesses .             

Offline Habersham

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Re: USA #1 - most income inequality, highest incarceration rate.
« Reply #33 on: August 20, 2013, 11:43:58 AM »
I have been to Walmart on 2 occasions to use the rest room. It was rather dirty.

I have a degree in Finance.
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Offline mitch777

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Re: USA #1 - most income inequality, highest incarceration rate.
« Reply #34 on: August 20, 2013, 12:32:28 PM »
Hi Mitch . I worked in the merchandise mart in Chicago for almost 10 years as a manufactures rep in a wholesale showroom . In the mid 80's we were a very profitable company and out of business by 96 because of the big box stores and knock off products from China and elsewhere .

The majority of our products were American made and if our manufactures ever filled orders for stores like crate and barrel or bed bath and beyond they lost their mom and pop client base to fill huge orders from one or two chain big box stores . We learned quickly not to pursue the chain store business and place orders with our made in America manufactures because after they placed orders for a year , they then began knocking off the product by going to china and having the products made there ... this effectively closed the doors for any made in America small mom and pop manufactures that made the mistake of doing business with them .

You cant patent a decorative accessory because changing one small element makes it a different product . I saw a whole industry destroyed in the space of 6 years by wallmart and target and other big box stores , I can only imagine what its like now for small businesses .             
Jeff,
Sales reps have become a dying breed. Fewer and fewer independent retailers. The consumer shopping experience is getting whittled down to national chain stores and it's going to get boring but that's what happens when you don't support locally owned businesses.
I've seen dozens of companies fail during the past 10 years for the reason you described.
As for what it's like now....
Worse, much worse.
Since the independent retailer base is shrinking, many of the wholesalers rely more and more on the big boys.
The biggest kick in our butt came last year when a William Sonoma Outlet store opened 5 miles away. They sell many of the same products at a steep discount. That toaster that we pay $70. wholesale for is sold there for $79.99. They get a slightly better price than we do but they are working on volume. Tough to compete with that. Many manufacturers have a Minimum Advertised Price policy (MAP) which states that they can cut you off as a retailer if you advertise a product for less than their suggested price. Well, It doesn't do any good when they sell to the William Sonoma Outlet store if they are not advertising (outside of the store itself).
Some manufacturers have given us better pricing but most could care less. It's become a nasty business.
We still have a good and loyal customer base and our cooking classes do very well. Much more work and much less income never the less.
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Offline mitch777

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Re: USA #1 - most income inequality, highest incarceration rate.
« Reply #35 on: August 20, 2013, 12:33:28 PM »
I have been to Walmart on 2 occasions to use the rest room. It was rather dirty.

I have a degree in Finance.
:)
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Offline buginme2

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Re: USA #1 - most income inequality, highest incarceration rate.
« Reply #36 on: August 20, 2013, 04:00:44 PM »

If we were required to pay for health insurance for the one full time employee and minimum wage was raised to $15 per hour we would have to close up shop.
m.

This is what worries me about raising the minimum wage.  I am all for there being a minimum living wage however I worry that independent shops will close.  The Walmarts and box stores will survive, they are big enough but the small stores am not.  (Side note, there isn't a Walmart in Seattle, we won't allow them here  :) )

Living in a city that doesn't allow Walmart, part of what makes it a nice and unique place is all the independent shops and restaurants.  We really don't have many chain's in the city (you have to go to the suburbs).  The majority of restaurants here are independent and that's what makes them so good. 

I think is is going to be a struggle for us.  We are a very liberal city all for a living wage but at what cost? 
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Offline mitch777

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Re: USA #1 - most income inequality, highest incarceration rate.
« Reply #37 on: August 20, 2013, 04:54:30 PM »
Just for the record, we would love to pay our employees more but it's all in the math.
The rising costs of everything is in part due to the crazy CEO salaries. 400 times the salary of the average employee is simply pure greed. If every CEO was limited to 50 times the average employee salary perhaps they would have incentive to boost the wages of others to boost their own salary. Radical idea I guess.
Just part of the problem.
The way things are headed now I think income inequality will continue to get worse.
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Offline bocker3

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Re: USA #1 - most income inequality, highest incarceration rate.
« Reply #38 on: August 20, 2013, 05:15:52 PM »
This is a great conversation, actually.  It shows the complexity that can't be solved with an "easy fix" like raise minimum wage.  The economy is far too complex an animal for that.

Mitch -- you bring a great example of how important the "I" is in the mix.  Am "I" willing to spend a little more to support a local business vs. saving some money to buy something at a big box store where the profit is unlikely to help a local community all that much.  Rather than expecting someone else to throw money at the problem while "I" continue to shop at Target.
However, some folks simply can't afford to shop anywhere else but the cheapest place around.  What's the answer??  Hell if I know -- but I do know that it is not a simple thing like raise minimum wages or ban certain stores or even regulate how much someone CAN make.  (A quick aside, I think that CEO figure of 400x is a bit overplayed in the media -- I know that many CEO's, including my own, draw virtually no "salary", but rather get paid in stock options - others get a salary, but a good junk of compensation is still stock based.  If the company and stock do well, so do they, if not , they don't.  Not saying that many do make a ton more than they are truly worth, but they aren't the ones who set their pay, it's the Board of Directors, who must answer to stockholders.)
If we started mandating a "Max" salary for CEO's, they likely just move the HQs outside the US.  Thus skirting that regulation AND likely finding additional ways to not pay taxes to the US.  Again -- an idea that sounds great in its simplicity, but probably has unintended consequences.

So-- again, no answer from me -- other than a need to get all sides to work together to solve our problems without using an Us vs. Them point of view.  Nothing will cause defensive posturing faster than that.

Mike
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Offline tednlou2

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Re: USA #1 - most income inequality, highest incarceration rate.
« Reply #39 on: August 20, 2013, 05:39:53 PM »
The way to approach this is to stop seeing it as US and THEM but see it as all of us together.  A pipedream I know, we seem to be beyond an ability to come together and find a solution that doesn't "stick it" to the other side (which ever side you come from).  We are unable, as a whole, to stand in the other side's shoes.

M

I get this, when we are talking about real, small business owners.  I know the little Chinese take-out next to me couldn't afford to pay workers $15 an hour.  I wouldn't mind paying more for my Moo Goo Gai Pan and potstickers, in order for employees to make a little more.  But, I know every Chinese restaurant would have to raise prices, or people would just go somewhere else.  So, I can see putting yourself in their shoes.

If we are talking about billion dollar companies, then I don't understand the idea of putting yourself in their shoes.  How could one ask a Walmart employee, who is probably on assistance programs, to put themselves in Walmart's shoes?  Walmart and McDonald's could pay employees better, and not have to raise prices.  I think their employees having more income to buy their products would fill the gap.  They could make a little less profit and still continue to dominate.  It would be the patriotic thing to do, by not putting the burden on to tax payers.  They would get people, like me, to shop there. 

So, I get the sticking it to small business owners and walking in their shoes, but I don't get that with billion dollar companies.  I don't get that with the mega-wealthy.  Romney paid 14%.  Most believe he refused to release the most current, because he paid nothing.  I would not feel bad by "sticking it" to them a little.  And, it would be just a little.  Even if rates were returned to Clinton-era rates, they wouldn't even feel it.  Making corporations actually pay taxes would not ruin them.  We've seen what they've done.  While paying no tax, companies like GE laid off workers.  They've made record profits.  When they did hire some people for our GE Appliance Park here in Louisville, they started workers out at what my mom made there in 1980.

About CEO pay-- What was the Hostess CEO making, when their downfall was blamed on workers?  Many CEOs control the board, so they get the pay they want.  They fill the board with their friends.  Companies can deduct executive pay, as a business expense.  So, they use stock options to avoid paying taxes, which is another fleecing of America. 

This is a huge URL for some reason.  Hope it works.
http://abcnews.go.com/business/t/blogEntry?id=17016652&ref=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2Furl%3Fsa%3Dt%26rct%3Dj%26q%3Ddo%2520ceos%2520pay%2520taxes%2520on%2520stock%2520options%253F%26source%3Dweb%26cd%3D1%26ved%3D0CCkQFjAA%26url%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fabcnews.go.com%252Fblogs%252Fbusiness%252F2012%252F08%252Ftaxpayers-subsidize-ceo-pay-report-says%252F%26ei%3D7uATUvO6KYWIyAGC_YCgDg%26usg%3DAFQjCNE_q7ZOoTKhA2u8T8_RI3O7UHAByw%26sig2%3DRid_73iPdr9nKbiN9erMaA%26bvm%3Dbv.50952593%2Cd.aWc



Offline Habersham

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Re: USA #1 - most income inequality, highest incarceration rate.
« Reply #40 on: August 20, 2013, 05:51:08 PM »
Target starts employees at $8.50 but their stock room employees make more and all get a raise after 90 days. Costco has long been known as the anti Walmart for providing better employee compensation and better employee benefits.

Has anyone ever heard of 'trickle up economics"?  Well compensated employees can patronize more local businesses.

The proposed increase in Seattle's minimum wage will probably cause a price increase of 3 to 4%.

I doubt any Chinese take outs will be posting gong out of business signs.

While it may not work on a national level Santa Fe has been alright.
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Offline bocker3

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Re: USA #1 - most income inequality, highest incarceration rate.
« Reply #41 on: August 20, 2013, 05:57:32 PM »
I get this, when we are talking about real, small business owners.  I know the little Chinese take-out next to me couldn't afford to pay workers $15 an hour.  I wouldn't mind paying more for my Moo Goo Gai Pan and potstickers, in order for employees to make a little more.  But, I know every Chinese restaurant would have to raise prices, or people would just go somewhere else.  So, I can see putting yourself in their shoes.

If we are talking about billion dollar companies, then I don't understand the idea of putting yourself in their shoes.  How could one ask a Walmart employee, who is probably on assistance programs, to put themselves in Walmart's shoes?  Walmart and McDonald's could pay employees better, and not have to raise prices.  I think their employees having more income to buy their products would fill the gap.  They could make a little less profit and still continue to dominate.  It would be the patriotic thing to do, by not putting the burden on to tax payers.  They would get people, like me, to shop there. 

So, I get the sticking it to small business owners and walking in their shoes, but I don't get that with billion dollar companies.  I don't get that with the mega-wealthy.  Romney paid 14%.  Most believe he refused to release the most current, because he paid nothing.  I would not feel bad by "sticking it" to them a little.  And, it would be just a little.  Even if rates were returned to Clinton-era rates, they wouldn't even feel it.  Making corporations actually pay taxes would not ruin them.  We've seen what they've done.  While paying no tax, companies like GE laid off workers.  They've made record profits.  When they did hire some people for our GE Appliance Park here in Louisville, they started workers out at what my mom made there in 1980.

About CEO pay-- What was the Hostess CEO making, when their downfall was blamed on workers?  Many CEOs control the board, so they get the pay they want.  They fill the board with their friends.  Companies can deduct executive pay, as a business expense.  So, they use stock options to avoid paying taxes, which is another fleecing of America. 

This is a huge URL for some reason.  Hope it works.
http://abcnews.go.com/business/t/blogEntry?id=17016652&ref=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2Furl%3Fsa%3Dt%26rct%3Dj%26q%3Ddo%2520ceos%2520pay%2520taxes%2520on%2520stock%2520options%253F%26source%3Dweb%26cd%3D1%26ved%3D0CCkQFjAA%26url%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fabcnews.go.com%252Fblogs%252Fbusiness%252F2012%252F08%252Ftaxpayers-subsidize-ceo-pay-report-says%252F%26ei%3D7uATUvO6KYWIyAGC_YCgDg%26usg%3DAFQjCNE_q7ZOoTKhA2u8T8_RI3O7UHAByw%26sig2%3DRid_73iPdr9nKbiN9erMaA%26bvm%3Dbv.50952593%2Cd.aWc

The billion dollar companies don't wear the shoes -- but the folks who have their stock in their retirement portfolios do -- so do the pension funds that folks rely on.  I'm talking about unintended consequences from trying to simplify a complex problem.  It's far too simple to say, "YOU" have more money than you need, so you must give it to others.  These big for-profit companies impact more than the workers and CEO's.  They provide a must have lower-price for those who simply can't afford anything more.  Their stocks help folks survive during retirement and lessen the burden on government and charity.

I am not saying that big companies should NOT pay more, my partner works in retail, so I know how much they make -- fortunately we are a two income house.  -- but what is more??  Who decides what MORE is??  Is More the same in Manhattan, NY as it is in Manhattan, KS?

Let's remember -- most of these "big box" behemoths started as a mom and pop, "local" business that got successful.  They grew because "we" shopped there.  So the "them" came from "us".  And that is the part that I can't get my head around.  How many who are advocating for increasing the minimum wage, at least for the big box stores, actually avoid shopping in them?  Actually, go and pay more elsewhere?  That is the dilemma??  People want stuff cheap, but they want workers to get paid a lot for selling it to them.  What is the compromise that can get us from here, closer to wherever there is?

Mike
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Offline mitch777

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Re: USA #1 - most income inequality, highest incarceration rate.
« Reply #42 on: August 20, 2013, 06:07:17 PM »
Nobody is addressing the Amazon problem. Is it fair or even right for them not to collect sales taxes?

hmmm....

http://technorati.com/business/article/amazon-reports-sales-of-21bn-in/

I'm thinking the states lose around $4 billion a year in revenue.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2013, 06:15:27 PM by mitch777 »
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Offline buginme2

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Re: USA #1 - most income inequality, highest incarceration rate.
« Reply #43 on: August 20, 2013, 06:16:52 PM »
Nobody is addressing the Amazon problem. Is it fair or even right for them not to collect sales taxes?

hmmm....

http://technorati.com/business/article/amazon-reports-sales-of-21bn-in/

I'm thinking it costs the states around $4 billion  a year in revenue.

I hate to say this because I love Amazon.   But, they are the next Walmart.  I work in the same neighborhood as the Amazon.com headquarters and just in the past year the number of employees/people in the neighborhood has increased by like a hundred times.  There are thousands of new employees.  They are growing exponentially in moving into more and more types of businesses.
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Offline bocker3

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Re: USA #1 - most income inequality, highest incarceration rate.
« Reply #44 on: August 20, 2013, 08:17:38 PM »
Nobody is addressing the Amazon problem. Is it fair or even right for them not to collect sales taxes?

hmmm....

http://technorati.com/business/article/amazon-reports-sales-of-21bn-in/

I'm thinking the states lose around $4 billion a year in revenue.

Well, it isn't fair - but neither is the need for them to deal with every state's and many localities' tax rules (clothing is taxable in some states, not in others - etc.) vs. one for brick mad mortar.  Plus, there is an added cost via shipping charges - so I think the unfair tax view, is real, but not the whole story. 

For the record, VA starts getting sales tax from Amazon this year. So, I think we are getting to "fairness" there.

Hey Mitch,  I get that this is not a hypothetical discussion for you, like it is for many of us.  Hopefully, I am keeping that in view as I discuss this - the stakes are definitely different for me than for you and Ken!

Hugs,
Mike
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Offline mitch777

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Re: USA #1 - most income inequality, highest incarceration rate.
« Reply #45 on: August 20, 2013, 08:47:13 PM »
Well, it isn't fair - but neither is the need for them to deal with every state's and many localities' tax rules (clothing is taxable in some states, not in others - etc.) vs. one for brick mad mortar.  Plus, there is an added cost via shipping charges
A simple computer program will EASILY solve the issue so I would call that a bullsh*t excuse if they go that route. It's not rocket science.
They still could afford the free shipping due to the fact their facilities are located in a low rent area as compared to prime retail space.
Level the playing field is all I'm saying.
Glad to hear Virginia wants their fare share of taxes! :)


Hey Mitch,  I get that this is not a hypothetical discussion for you, like it is for many of us.  Hopefully, I am keeping that in view as I discuss this - the stakes are definitely different for me than for you and Ken!

Hugs,
Mike
Yes, it hits close to home. Not just for Ken and I but for all smaller retailers. Sometimes a simple solution (having online retailers charge sales tax) is right, fair, and pretty darned easy to implement.
I think you have brought up many valid points in this discussion and I thank you.
Something still needs to give with our current system and I don't profess to have all the answers either.
Nice to be able to vent a bit with open minded people. ;)

hugs,
m.
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Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: USA #1 - most income inequality, highest incarceration rate.
« Reply #46 on: August 24, 2013, 06:57:13 AM »

I didn't know that. Why in the world would Brazilians want Outback when Brazilian steak houses are generally far superior? Believe it or not, there is actually a good Brazilian churrascaria in Greensboro.

Brazilians, seemingly and especially the younger generation, like American branding. I'm sure the meat isn't from the US. They also have Hard Rock Cafes in Brazil, same reason. And when they travel to Florida they go to all of these places too, in between jaunts to outlet malls. Japanese tourists used to do the same thing twenty years ago.
"I’ve slept with enough men to know that I’m not gay"

 


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