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US wage earners make less now than 10 years ago

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Re: US wage earners make less now than 10 years ago

Unread postby Snowrunner » Mon 14 Sep 2009, 01:17:22

Tyler_JC wrote:But employees have little loyalty these days. If you spend thousands of dollars training them and they disappear the minute they have their certifications, where does that leave the employer?
It makes more sense to outsource the cost of training to someone else and then select from the best. The problem works both ways.

I think that started on the business side of things when they rename "Personell" into "Human Resources" and started treating people like something they can use up.

When the "hiring and firing" on demand started people soon picked up on that as well and started to look for their own best interest.

Loyalty would have to cut both ways, but I think after 20 years of this there is no trust left, much less do I currently see a basis for this to change anytime soon.
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Re: US wage earners make less now than 10 years ago

Unread postby Roy » Mon 14 Sep 2009, 07:31:48

Actually you should be thankful for the H1B program.

Actually I think you are full of bologna. Why should I be thankful for some Indian or Chinese PhDs that will work for $30k per year (like they did at the university where I was formerly employed)?

So they can undercut me as I try to earn a living wage?

If I was a capital owning person I would be thankful because I could maximize my profits by capitalizing on labor spreads.

If I have to work for a living, it makes me feel betrayed by the capital owner and the government who allows this type of thing.

Since most people are the latter and not the former (workers not owners), I don't think you'll find a whole l that would agree with you. I certainly don't. Perhaps you would also like to tell us how great free-trade-globalism is for the US economy and all of us who participate in it, as well? :lol:
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Re: US wage earners make less now than 10 years ago

Unread postby MarkJ » Mon 14 Sep 2009, 08:03:35

Auntie_Cipation wrote:
MarkJ wrote:I've doubled many of my residential/commercial rents and leases in the last ten years as well.

I would've expected rents to rise while real estate prices were rising, and then to continue rising (or remain steady) while real estate peaked and began dropping, but within 2-3 years of real estate starting to decline I would have expected rents to start dropping as well (as good tenants become harder to find due to more affordable purchase prices). Maybe because of the credit crunch people can not afford to switch from renting to buying on the lowered costs alone -- they are still having trouble getting mortgages.

Comments, Mark? What have you seen along these lines in your area (if I recall you're in a wealthy area, but you must have an idea of how the market is going in the broader region in this regard)?



Rents in my home regions have been rising steadily for the last decade, but I've kept my rents below average for above average places since I own my properties outright and don't like tenant turnover. Sometimes I've waited too long to raise rents, which leads to rent increase shock.

Due to the incredible growth of luxury apartments and condos in the Saratoga region, the region is fast becoming an upscale renter culture. Many people are looking at condos vs housing due to the condo tax break as well. Many qualified buyers are also renting vs buying. I have many tenants that are qualified buyers, but they've been sitting on the sidelines for years waiting for the killer deal. Some of these buyers are fussy, fussy, fussy. Many have looked at hundreds of homes, but they're still haven't found the killer deal.

Property values outside the Saratoga region are much lower, but rents are still quite high since property taxes are very high, plus there are fewer apartments for rent due to landlords exiting the business, landlord foreclosure and vacant or abandoned rentals. For example, one local city where I used to own 30 units often averaged well over 100 units for rent in in the 90s. Currently they average maybe 20 to 30 units in the paper. For sale signs dot the streets like picket fences and there are literally hundreds of vacant/abandoned homes or rentals. These regions have also lost many homes, mobile home parks, building lots, acreage and farmland to investors, commercial and residential development. The numerous $1,000 plus per month apartments in Saratoga just aren't affordable to the working class, especially since many are unemployed.

Many of the cheaper rentals really aren't cheaper since many of these large uninsulated/poorly insulated 1800s to early 1900s structures with single pane windows and 50 plus year old heating systems cost a small fortune to heat, plus they generally don't include heat and hot water. They're only cheaper to rent if the tenants receive heating subsidies like HEAP and Emergency HEAP and/or if they receive rent subsidies.

Since many of these urban rentals lack parking, the tenants often have to pay to rent parking spaces, or they pay parking tickets, towing and impound fees. Since these rentals are far from suburban jobs, the cost of transportation also adds to the cost of rent. For example, many people that work in the Saratoga County region commute from Fulton and Montgomery county region since they can't afford Saratoga housing or rent prices.

Many of these people have poor credit, poor work history and no savings, so they can't buy a home and can't rent a decent apartment even though they may currently have fairly decent incomes. The desperate landlords in the low income urban areas are often willing to rent to people without running credit checks and without security deposits, last months rent etc. These slumlords will also accept Section 8 tenants and tenants with several kids, dogs cats etc. These tenants also won't report landlords for numerous code violations since they don't want to be tossed out on the street.

Since many landlords no longer include heat, hot water, electric, snow removal, maintenance, repairs, new paint, carpet etc this lack of utilities and services are effectively stealth rent increases.


The poor local family used to be able to buy or rent a mobile home cheaply, but many mobile home parks no longer exist, many mobile homes were junked, plus many manufactured homes are banned in most regions due to zoning laws. Zoning laws in regards to square footage, subdivision, acreage, lot size, road frontage, setback etc have also made homes less affordable.

Many income/credit challenged renters are on multi-year waiting lists for subsidized housing, so they're not actively looking to buy or rent. Many are living with family, friends or renting a slumlord unit while they wait for an opening.
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Re: US wage earners make less now than 10 years ago

Unread postby vision-master » Mon 14 Sep 2009, 08:12:11

This is exactly what has happened in the USA. Those on top with no working middle class anymore.
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Re: US wage earners make less now than 10 years ago

Unread postby pup55 » Mon 14 Sep 2009, 08:22:14

haven't found anybody suitable


The reason you "haven't found anybody suitable" is that you do not want to pay them what it will take to attract them.

open floodgates of the H1B visas.


I tried in vain to walk away from a rant on this issue.

I can absolutely assure you that the H1B visa program costs me at least $25,000 per year.

and they, namely the government, the Silcon Valley people, and others, keep the system going for no other reason than to keep costs under control for the software and other electronic people.

And, "they" also keep the system going because for every H1B case they have admitted to the country, they bring with them a brother, a sister, a couple of cousins, a mom and dad and a flock of kids, they are all consumers. They buy a house, a couple of cars, some cellphones, and generally make up for the zero if not slightly negative population growth among the rest of the US population. So, the realtors and a lot of others want to keep the system going or expand it because of a "shortage" of US-born technical people, but what they really want is more customers.

In my region of suburbia, a little "Korea Town" has sprung up. There are a number of strip shops, a big grocery store, and a couple of other establishments, with Korean signage, run by Koreans, who presumably do not have a PhD in electrical engineering but got into the country on an H1B coattail someplace and are running a dry cleaner, a nail place, a convenience store, and a couple of other places nearby.

Question: if you are a young white male in a US high school, what do you do? Do you compete with your serious "legally blonde" young white females, who are bright, hard working, and follow the rules, and are now populating half of the top 10% of the class ranking at the local high school? Do you compete against the "Asian Try-Hards" who spend 6 hours a night studying the violin with their pushful parents standing behind them tapping their foot, and populating the other half?

No, you aspire to become a video game champion, studio guitarist, or basically sit around and be decadent. Perhaps you spend your time surfing a lunatic fringe website. Reason: Perceived lack of opportunity because someone you know got his software engineering credentials and now cannot find a job because a lot of this activity was either outsourced altogether, or is being "insourced" by an H1B case....

Do you have any idea how dangerous this is? A lot of bright kids with plenty of testosterone walking around with a lot of time on their hands, frustrated because there is no way to get a life established?

I am an older fellow, it is true, and in my case, the choice is: Hire a knowledgeable expert in the field with some credentials and some experience, or bring in a 30-year old arrogant Indian or Pakistani PhD for about 3/4 the amount, even though he cannot solve a problem, ticks off everyone around him, and is so theoretical he or she does not have a clue about the chaos that exists in the real world. Too often, the choice is to save the money. It's ridiculous. I can tell you stories.

Just one more reason to rant. Seriously.
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Re: US wage earners make less now than 10 years ago

Unread postby MarkJ » Mon 14 Sep 2009, 08:44:12

vision-master wrote:This is exactly what has happened in the USA. Those on top with no working middle class anymore.



Many of our local workers are teenagers, college students and young adults from upper middle class households still living at home with parents. They often only need money for gas for the BMW, Waverunner, clothes and entertainment, but they're competing for jobs with people that need a job to put a roof over their head and put food on the table.

Since they live closer to the jobs, don't have transportation challenges and have few expenses, they're often able to work multiple part-time jobs for low wages since they're only looking to make some extra spending money.

Many of our daughters' friends get huge weekly allowances on top of their incomes from multiple part-time jobs.

The wealthy households also have more business and human networking connections, so it's easier for them to find jobs for their kids.

This year, some of the well off teens and college students actually took some jobs normally performed by migrant Hispanic Horse Track workers.
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Re: US wage earners make less now than 10 years ago

Unread postby dsula » Mon 14 Sep 2009, 10:23:06

pup55 wrote:
haven't found anybody suitable


The reason you "haven't found anybody suitable" is that you do not want to pay them what it will take to attract them.

I tried in vain to walk away from a rant on this issue.

I can absolutely assure you that the H1B visa program costs me at least $25,000 per year.

... a lot of blabla deleted...



I'm paying above average engineering saleries because I believe the loyal and well paid engineer is the biggest asset of the company. If I pay low, the guy leaves as soon as he finds a better place and takes the know-how with him. Not good for my business.
I've been in the high tech business for many years. I've been in cubicle farms full of chineese, indians, pakistani and europeens, each making more than $100k. We were hiring the best we could find and paid the money it took to get them. Not many americans were among them, but not because they are too expensive, but because they dont' exist.

So dude, I got an opening right now, internship, analog micro chip design engineer. You're up for it? I pay well but you got to be world-class material, we're competing with the best of the best. Drop me a mail if you are. But chances are you barely managed to finish high-school and are now surprised that better educated guys take what you think is rightfully yours.
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Re: US wage earners make less now than 10 years ago

Unread postby ian807 » Mon 14 Sep 2009, 10:37:01

dsula wrote: Not many americans were among them, but not because they are too expensive, but because they dont' exist.

What a laugh! Those engineers exist and they do so in the USA. I suggest you get on an Intel Alumni site. Hell, get on Monster.

Oh, but you won't hire them will you? They're over 50. They expect compensation commensurate with their experience, and it might take them a month or two to get current on the new techology. Can't have that.

So what your saying is that you can't find a young cheap guy you don't have to train. You're right. Not many of those around. Why's that? Well, let's see....

If I was a young person now, do I:

1) Spend my education resources on engineering so I can compete against lower paid H1-Bs or overseas engineers?

2) Spend my education resources on law, medicine or finance which are more difficult to outsource, and more lucrative?

Wonder why there are no American engineers? It's the money, honey, as in, not so much. They also saw what happened to their parents, fired in their 40s or 50s and replaced with foreign labor. Not much motivation there.
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Re: US wage earners make less now than 10 years ago

Unread postby dsula » Mon 14 Sep 2009, 10:41:01

Roy wrote:
Actually you should be thankful for the H1B program.

Actually I think you are full of bologna. Why should I be thankful for some Indian or Chinese PhDs that will work for $30k per year (like they did at the university where I was formerly employed)?

So they can undercut me as I try to earn a living wage?

If I was a capital owning person I would be thankful because I could maximize my profits by capitalizing on labor spreads.

If I have to work for a living, it makes me feel betrayed by the capital owner and the government who allows this type of thing.



I oppose immigration. However I oppose it because I believe the cultural change associated with it will lead to problems and because for me personally a mult-cultural society lowers the quality of life.

However I do not oppose immigration for reason of "they take my high paying job". The world is global and you have to be able to compete. You're either cheap, or you're smart. But expensive and stupid won't work.

Since most people are the latter and not the former (workers not owners), I don't think you'll find a whole l that would agree with you. I certainly don't. Perhaps you would also like to tell us how great free-trade-globalism is for the US economy and all of us who participate in it, as well? :lol:


Yes, most people are the follower type who just want to go to work, get paid real high, and go home. If they could think they wouldn't be followers.
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Re: US wage earners make less now than 10 years ago

Unread postby dsula » Mon 14 Sep 2009, 10:53:33

ian807 wrote:Oh, but you won't hire them will you? They're over 50. They expect compensation commensurate with their experience, and it might take them a month or two to get current on the new techology. Can't have that.

So what your saying is that you can't find a young cheap guy you don't have to train. You're right. Not many of those around. Why's that? Well, let's see....

If I was a young person now, do I:

1) Spend my education resources on engineering so I can compete against lower paid H1-Bs or overseas engineers?

2) Spend my education resources on law, medicine or finance which are more difficult to outsource, and more lucrative?

Wonder why there are no American engineers? It's the money, honey, as in, not so much. They also saw what happened to their parents, fired in their 40s or 50s and replaced with foreign labor. Not much motivation there.


I told you I pay above average. But I don't pay fantasy saleries. I have to sell my stuff to the chineese (yes there are still a few american companies that actually export). The chineese then build a product with it so the average joe (i assume you're one of them) can go to wal-mart an buy the latest high tech gadget and still complain about the price.

Yeah it's too bad. There's not enough engineering students out there. Even though an electronic design engineer can easily make more than $100k. That's a career not worthwile studying for, you tell me? I dont' think so.
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Re: US wage earners make less now than 10 years ago

Unread postby vision-master » Mon 14 Sep 2009, 11:03:46

However I do not oppose immigration for reason of "they take my high paying job". The world is global and you have to be able to compete. You're either cheap, or you're smart. But expensive and stupid won't work.

My name jack. I dont's speak a good a english.

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Re: US wage earners make less now than 10 years ago

Unread postby HeckuvaJob » Mon 14 Sep 2009, 11:05:34

dsula wrote:I oppose immigration. However I oppose it because I believe the cultural change associated with it will lead to problems and because for me personally a mult-cultural society lowers the quality of life.

Most will probably find your xenophobia offensive, dsula. I, however, am inspired to see a Native American rise to the level of owner/upper management.
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Re: US wage earners make less now than 10 years ago

Unread postby dsula » Mon 14 Sep 2009, 11:14:33

HeckuvaJob wrote:Most will probably find your xenophobia offensive, dsula. I, however, am inspired to see a Native American rise to the level of owner/upper management.

Yes I understand your sarcasm, and please go and ask a native american if he was happy with the cultural change of mass immigration. Probably not. And the same way I feel today. So to bring it back to topic on the H1B. I rather have 120k/yr educated professionals immigrate than 2M uneducated refugees/illigals. And yes, I'm xenophobic, and I'm proud of it. And I'm also a racist. And I'm proud of that, too.
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Re: US wage earners make less now than 10 years ago

Unread postby ian807 » Mon 14 Sep 2009, 11:53:50

dsula wrote:Even though an electronic design engineer can easily make more than $100k. That's a career not worthwile studying for, you tell me? I dont' think so.

$100K sounds to me like a decent salary, even for an old guy over 50 (like me).

The thing is, if you have the brains and the money, and you have a choice to study anything, engineering isn't your best choice from a purely monetary standpoint.

Globalization takes with one hand and gives with the other. You're probably making money and paying people which is good. Bigger picture? I doubt that we'll ever win another war on superior technology. In another decade or two, there won't *be* a significant technology industry in the USA. It will have followed manufacturing overseas. In three or four decades, I strongly doubt there'll be a USA.

We're giving away the store, hoping tomorrow's consequences don't come too soon.

And hasn't that strategy worked out well lately?
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Re: US wage earners make less now than 10 years ago

Unread postby dsula » Mon 14 Sep 2009, 12:35:36

ian807 wrote:We're giving away the store, hoping tomorrow's consequences don't come too soon. And hasn't that strategy worked out well lately?

yes, I agree. That's the shortsighted behaviour of maximizing todays profit at the futur's expense. That's a character trait most often found in the US and fits well with the decisions of students not to go for higher education.

Giving up the manufacturing base to the chineese is one of the few big mistakes the US made, but nothing that could have been avoided. And somebody who blames companies or politicians should blame himself, as anybody who ever shopped around for a better deal is guilty.
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Re: US wage earners make less now than 10 years ago

Unread postby rangerone314 » Mon 14 Sep 2009, 13:16:00

Sixstrings wrote:Wow, that's quite an achievement. For as long as the census bureau has been tracking wages, the American worker has never been as bad off as the last ten years. And as Mish ominously points out, if the last few bubbles did nothing to bring wages up, then nothing will.

And if that weren't bad enough, we've got a southern border wide open to all of central and south america. Oh, and let's not forget the open floodgates of the H1B visas. It's almost as if someone is determined to destroy the American economy, whether through shipping the jobs out or shipping the low wage foreign workers in.

Never forget that the bubbles were created FOR and by the elite and they profited from the "gains" made in the 2001-2008 bubbles.

It was an economic redistribution (ironically not unlike the kind market-economics fanatics hate when they talk about "unfairly taxing the rich") from the middle class and poor to the wealthy.

The higher taxes in the future due to deficit spending and debt are going to be paid for on the backs of the middle class, while the rich reap the rewards of controlling the political system.
An ideology is by definition not a search for TRUTH-but a search for PROOF that its point of view is right

Equals barter and negotiate-people with power just take

You cant defend freedom by eliminating it-unknown

Our elected reps should wear sponsor patches on their suits so we know who they represent-like Nascar-Roy
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Re: US wage earners make less now than 10 years ago

Unread postby pup55 » Mon 14 Sep 2009, 13:40:49

But chances are you barely managed to finish high-school and are now surprised that better educated guys take what you think is rightfully yours.


Sorry, Chief, but you are badly wrong on this one.
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Re: US wage earners make less now than 10 years ago

Unread postby dsula » Mon 14 Sep 2009, 14:08:12

pup55 wrote:
But chances are you barely managed to finish high-school and are now surprised that better educated guys take what you think is rightfully yours.
Sorry, Chief, but you are badly wrong on this one.
I'm sorry, my bad.
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Re: US wage earners make less now than 10 years ago

Unread postby vision-master » Mon 14 Sep 2009, 15:14:23

But chances are you barely managed to finish high-school and are now surprised that better educated guys take what you think is rightfully yours.
The trick is to figure out how NOT to work. :)
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Re: US wage earners make less now than 10 years ago

Unread postby Sixstrings » Mon 14 Sep 2009, 19:18:19

This has turned into an informative thread. What began as pain among blue collars has spread to the white collar engineers, and the H1B cancer is now eating into the last bastion of earning potential -- healthcare. When I was a younger man, not all that long ago, I never encountered ANY foreign born docs. Now, it really seems like the majority of them are foreign.

Folks, this is NOT xenophobia! We have tens of millions of unemployed in this country.. and that means that open door immigration is just digging our own grave. This is a market system.. if you can't find an American engineer then it is crucial to LET THAT SHORTAGE EXIST. That shortage will push up wages, and then drive students to study for those professions. If the shortage isn't allowed to happen, then the market cannot work.

What all this comes down to are the competing interests of short term profits for the elite versus the very national security and well-being of this republic. The elite holders of capital don't give flying flip about the future of this nation.
Last edited by Sixstrings on Mon 14 Sep 2009, 19:24:27, edited 1 time in total.
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