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View Diary: It's Not Wage Stagnation, It's Wage Robbery (151 comments)

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  •  $20/hr minimum wage? (0+ / 0-)

    Where do you get that number from?

    •  various calculations done by economists (6+ / 0-)

      Joel Rogers for example at U of Madison

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      by Tasini on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 11:14:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Will look that up. That seems pretty high (0+ / 0-)

        for where I live.

        •  It is based... (8+ / 0-)

          on productivity gains.

          "[I]n the absence of genuine leadership, they'll listen to anyone who steps up to the microphone...They're so thirsty for it they'll crawl through the desert toward a mirage, and when they discover there's no water, they'll drink the sand."

          by cardboardurinal on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 11:37:06 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's correct (10+ / 0-)

            Thought that was clear from the post. But to emphasize: typically, in the old days (say pre-1979), productivity gains translated roughly into wage benefit gains. Since 1980 the rate of productivity has risen a a pace that should equal roughly a minimum wage of $20 an hour--and, no, you cannot credit technology with all that productivity gain (a bit of nonsense floated by some who would deny workers' contributions).

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            by Tasini on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 11:50:19 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Oh, why can't you? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Sparhawk
              you cannot credit technology with all that productivity gain (a bit of nonsense floated by some who would deny workers' contributions).
              Are you arguing the workers are smarter or harder working than previous generations?

              The modern worker certainly isn't working longer hours, on average.

              •  Your link in support (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                ozsea1

                of your sarcastic question provides no support for what you seem to be asserting by default.  Why?

                Longer hours != productivity gains.  Productivity gains are measured in output per hour/shift/some other measure of time.  

                In other words, simply saying people don't work longer hours than they used to not only doesn't lend support to your rhetorical question - it basically reflects that the exact opposite is true:  If workers are working similar hours as before, yet, as shown in other statistics, productivity is up, workers are accomplishing more in the same amount of time.  Period.

                "There was no such thing as a "wealthy" hunter-gatherer. It is the creation of human society that has allowed the wealthy to become wealthy. As such, they have an obligation to pay a bit more to sustain that society than the not-so-wealthy." - Me

                by Darth Stateworker on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 04:01:32 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Yes, I'm not arguing they're not. (0+ / 0-)

                  I'm just saying, once you take efficiency from technological gains out the question, how much is left?

                  I'd say "not much if any."  Are people better lawyers these days?  Better engineers?  Or can they simply do more work because technology has made their work easier?

                  Wages aren't based on productivity.  Labor is a cost, when you need less people to do the same or more work, there's no reason to pay workers more, if anything, the supply has increased, while the demand has decreased.

                  The only way you get higher wages from higher productivity is if the workers and the owners are the same people. (As a side note, the benefits of higher productivity are new and cheaper goods, not higher wages.)

                  •  That's your opinion. (0+ / 0-)

                    And you're entitled to it.

                    However, as the other poster noted, there really isn't much evidence out there to support the assertion that productivity gains are all or even mostly related to technology picking up some or part of the workload.

                    Reality is that business processes themselves get improved over time and become more efficient.  They always have, and this is a historical fact.  As such, it seems that much of the productivity gains are from items as simple as business process refinement.

                    Wages aren't based on productivity.
                    Firstly - that depends:  a commission-based saleperson would certainly disagree with you on that point, wouldn't they?  It also brings to mind a company I read about recently in an article about  unique working conditions.  I believe it was Conde Nast.  Basically, they have no set hours.  You simply earn your salary by completing your assigned tasks.  Sounds like a productivity based wage, no?

                    Secondly - they should be if capitalism isn't simply going to be uberly exploitative of the working class.

                    "There was no such thing as a "wealthy" hunter-gatherer. It is the creation of human society that has allowed the wealthy to become wealthy. As such, they have an obligation to pay a bit more to sustain that society than the not-so-wealthy." - Me

                    by Darth Stateworker on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 07:01:43 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Does this matter? (0+ / 0-)
                      However, as the other poster noted, there really isn't much evidence out there to support the assertion that productivity gains are all or even mostly related to technology picking up some or part of the workload.

                      Reality is that business processes themselves get improved over time and become more efficient.  They always have, and this is a historical fact.  As such, it seems that much of the productivity gains are from items as simple as business process refinement.

                      Does this really change the argument, though?  Whether productivity increases are due to technology, process refinement, or economies of scale, they're unrelated to general worker quality.
                      Firstly - that depends:  a commission-based saleperson would certainly disagree with you on that point, wouldn't they?  It also brings to mind a company I read about recently in an article about  unique working conditions.  I believe it was Conde Nast.  Basically, they have no set hours.  You simply earn your salary by completing your assigned tasks.  Sounds like a productivity based wage, no?
                      A company can compensate employees based on productivity if they wish.  If technology allows your salesman to make $300k a year instead of the $100k he was making, though, and you could retain or replace him for $100k, you're overpaying for labor (and should reduce the sales commission.)
                      •  You're not getting it, sport. (0+ / 0-)
                        Does this really change the argument, though?  Whether productivity increases are due to technology, process refinement, or economies of scale, they're unrelated to general worker quality.
                        .

                        This is a baseless assertion - just as baseless as your prior assertion.  When it boils down to it - when a business process improves - in many cases it improves because the guy doing the work suggests ways to make it more efficient.  So yes, I'd say that's a clear example of worker quality improving productivity.  I have no idea what you do for a living, but clearly, you don't have all that much experience dealing with workers that are allowed to think independently.  I remember it wasn't that long ago people used to praise the ingenuityworking man - because they were wise enough to realize it was generally the working man who had all the bright ideas.  Today, with the blind worship of capital - as you seem to be doing - our economy sucks.  Go figure.

                        A company can compensate employees based on productivity if they wish.  If technology allows your salesman to make $300k a year instead of the $100k he was making, though, and you could retain or replace him for $100k, you're overpaying for labor (and should reduce the sales commission.)
                        Thus perpetuating the exploitative nature of unfettered capitalism.  Capitalist systems will fail following such rules.  The only way capitalism is workable long-term is if labor and capital have equal power - which means capital couldn't do this kind of bullshit to labor.

                        You can argue all the textbook, libertarian Austrian school capitalist cheerleading bullshit you want, but there's an idea why such ideas aren't implemented outside a classroom: because they only work in a vacuum.  They fail miserably in the real world.

                        Honestly, with your almost standardized right wing views on labor policy and economics policy, I wonder if you might be on the wrong website.

                        "There was no such thing as a "wealthy" hunter-gatherer. It is the creation of human society that has allowed the wealthy to become wealthy. As such, they have an obligation to pay a bit more to sustain that society than the not-so-wealthy." - Me

                        by Darth Stateworker on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 07:30:08 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

          •  I wonder (0+ / 0-)

            Does it take into account increased foreign competition?

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