We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Friday, July 25. 2014
Reason TV didn't wait for this to go viral before they provided a smackdown to both Kristin and Funny or Die:
It's doubtful Remy's exposure of the hypocrisy of Kristin's work will get as much exposure.
While Funny or Die, or Kristin Bell, may start lobbying to make other people do what they want via government diktat, it would behoove them to start living up to their own sense of moral superiority. Minimum Wage Laws are a primary reason so many teens are unemployed, as are the vast array of other restrictions preventing them from working. I held my first job at 13. Today, you can't get a job at 13 and it's just as difficult to find one at 15. Neither of my sons worked before the age of 16, not for lack of trying.
More importantly, studies have shown very few people actually 'live' on a minimum wage. Most minimum wage earners are under the age of 25 and are the second or third wage earner in a home.
What happens when automation pushes all these low wage earners out the door? I don't know. Perhaps we should ask the blacksmiths, since they all lost their jobs with the advent of the automobile. Why wasn't their union looking out for them so we could all be riding horses today? To be honest, I have a friend who is blacksmith. He does quite well for himself today, since there are few people with his skill set. Maybe Mike Rowe is on to something.
Tracked: Jul 26, 10:59
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)
Hmmm? You know what you don't see much anymore outside the richest households, a nanny. And you'd see far fewer of them once the rate went up by near 50%. That doesn't mean they don't deserve it, it just means that they can't find work at that wage.
Farriers are the "blacksmiths" who lost out to the automobile. The straight up blacksmiths lost out to the machinist, the tool and die maker, the manufacturing. And as one now passed gentleman I had acquaintance, the coming of diesel locomotives and traction motors. In my town he had the distinction to being the last blacksmith to forge the timing bar for a steam locomotive. But let's not forget the machinist is losing out to CNC and robots. The draftsman has been over run by CAD.
And China already has a burger machine that makes fresh burgers by the hundreds. Italy has a pizza vending machine that starts with fresh dough.
Now all they need to do is invent a robot to eat the burgers and pizza, cycle complete!
I don't know if it has any bearing on all this, but four years ago I was employed. I went to restaurants two, three times a week. Took long drives, etc... In short, spent money. Then they shipped my job to India. Today I go out for a beer once a week. In all ways I am careful with my money. Meaning I'm handing it to other people (for one thing or another) far, far less often. I wonder how those folks are doing?
Drudge headline this morning "America getting poorer". Wow, is that my fault?
We've had those robots for years. They are called teenagers. Problem is, sooner or later they become self-aware. Sometimes they strike out on their own, but other enslave their creators.
I've been unemployed 4 times over the last 15 years or so. Total amount of time on the beach? 2 years of the 15.
Each time, I readjusted my spending to account for potential decreases in pay. Each time, I took a job at a lower pay scale, but worked it back up to a higher one over time. I've never stayed at a job, during that period, for more than 3 years, and twice I saw my income fall by 50%.
Despite the unemployment, the increased inflation, and all the other 'bad stuff' in the economy, I'm better off today than I was 15 years ago.
I'm sure many people I used to spend money with 15 years ago miss my money. So do people I used to spend money with 20, 25, 30 and 35 years ago. My tastes tend to change, as do my spending patterns (and so do most people's).
We THINK we're getting poorer, and in some ways we are every time the government engages another regulation or rule. But our economy is still dynamic and flexible enough to find new solutions to seemingly intractable problems. Politics is seeking ways to stop that. The best example of this, recently, is the story of Uber and Lyft - solving for out of control (or non-existent) cab rates and coverage. Politicians are seeking to kill some of the most heavily managed and monopolistic markets of any industry in the United States.
That said, automation does not kill jobs. In fact, it creates many more. Those jobs, however, often appear in other fields.
One reason I've been able (at my advanced age) to remain relevant is re-invention within my field. I pick up on new ideas and technologies easily and learn them, then find new ways to apply them or think about them. Younger people may think they are open-minded, but I've found them to be extremely close-minded when it comes to business. They do things a certain way, assume there is no other way possible, and tend to shun new ideas which potentially threaten how they do things because they don't understand them or it requires CYA behavior since they've been doing something inefficiently for a very long time.
While automating low-skilled labor like hamburger flipping may work out for fast-food restaurants, it's likely those jobs will shift somewhere else, where they are needed. Which is yet another reason why minimum wage laws hurt the economy. As a business start-up, minimum wage laws hurt the entrepreneur (or at least the mom and pop start-up, but really all start-ups) because costs need to be contained. Minimum wage laws impose a cost which may, in some rare cases, be excessive.
Local businesses frequently fail, yet politicians (Progressives in particular) bemoan the loss of small business. They never stop to consider the costs they've imposed on these businesses in labor laws.
I hear you. I've been unemployed before and as you said quickly found another job (or the job found me). I've stayed in the same general field because it was broad and widespread and not limited to one region. That's the last forty years. But today I would have to get into another field, at the bottom most likely.
What's different this time is that my wife died. I just don't have it in me anymore. I have enough to live on and take care of my Alzheimer's mother. And that is what I do now.
The one thing that I could see "firing me up" is if the people in this country finally march on Washington, loaded for bear. Or skunk.
Sorry to hear that. Puts a different spin on things - and there's always more to every story we hear.
I don't do much marching. I figure it doesn't do as much as we think it does. If the march was to dismantle government altogether, I might consider it.
Until a few years ago there were stokers on British diesel and electric trains.
Their union had looked after them and forced a law that required all trains to have a stoker, whether there was actually a need for one or not.
Farriers clearly were not properly unionised or there'd have been a law requiring all motor vehicles to have horse shoes, at least one per wheel, with mandatory replacement at regular intervals...
If those stokers weren't on the train (as well as probably a few additional folk who were unnecessary), the cost of train travel would be reduced.
If the train costs were reduced, even redirected workers like stokers or farriers who wound up in minimum wage jobs would be able to afford things that others could. The inefficiency of keeping these jobs filled raises costs throughout the economic framework.
Kristin Bell and her Hollywood cohorts now charge many millions for their services, and some take a % of the gate. The cost of movie ticket in my town now exceeds $10. I love movies. I rarely go anymore. It's got to be a particularly good one to spend that kind of dough. My boys rarely take dates to the movies. They go to the basement and watch downloaded versions on the big TV.
Kristin and her Hollywood friends probably think they "deserve" their wages. Maybe they do. I won't argue that.
But when she argues for the wages of those doing tasks many other unskilled folk can (nannies are actually somewhat skilled labor - we hired a nanny for our boys for 3 years while we both worked, and we only paid minimum wage to one. She wasn't a nanny, though. She just came and watched TV with the boys until we decided we didn't need to pay someone to watch TV. She was not a good nanny.), she ignores something about what she does for a living - she has a rather rare skill.
Actually, I'd argue her skill is probably more looks-related. I don't think acting is that difficult a job. Certainly not movies. The stage is very difficult. Movies get multiple takes, multiple scenarios, etc.
Point is, if she lived up to her rhetoric about how much the rich make and took a pay cut, maybe we'd all go to movies again? Maybe not - most of them are crap.
One of my grand-uncles was an industrial wood carver, for lack of a better term. He worked in a plant that made fancy wagon wheels, mostly for hearses. When that played out, they went into fancy automobile wheels, again mostly for hearses. When that played out, they went into fancy interior automobile parts, still mostly for hearses. Then he retired (early '40s). When he retired, it was called Superior Body Company, its most visible product being school buses. I think it's still in business today making something or other up in central Ohio.
Same here. The jobs went to India, and initially, we were offered a chance to go with it. However, interest dropped when it was revealed that employment would be at the prevailing Indian pay scale.
If it's any consolation, the MegaCorp that bought our little outfit for $600 million wound up running it into the ground and sold it at a massive loss a few years after the acquisition for a tenth of the purchase price. To an Indian buyer.
Same here, company with #1 market share, billions in sales. New management ran it into the ground in less than ten years, sold for about fifty million to a California vulture that sucked all the remaining value out.
45K in matching contributions in company stock (that we couldn't sell) in the 401K disappeared. Thank God I didn't select that stock for my weekly contributions.
The minimum wage issue is a classic socialist issue. It is a marker or identifiable indicator of the persons real political belief system. People will deny being socialist but be in favor of a "livable wage" and taking from the rich and giving to the poor (taxes). If you want to know if your local politicians are secret socialist just bring up the livable wage issue.
Or, as I usually ask family and friends who support the minimum wage on the basis that "the money will be re-inserted to the economy and create more jobs":
What happens to that money when it goes to corporations instead of workers? It vanishes? Corporations redistribute the money to investors, R&D, capital, pay increases, and philanthropy. It all gets re-inserted.
More importantly, if you think that's the primary reason to support a minimum wage, then why not just set the minimum (and maximum) wage at $100,000 a year? Then we will all be rich. Every problem in economics solved!
Of course, put in those terms, people tend to back off or reply "it's not that simple." No, it's not that simple. But IT IS simple enough for them to assume their 'solution' will fix a perceived 'problem'.
I notice one of "Mary"'s complaints is the government takes too big a bite out of her paycheck. For some reason, this point is not followed up.