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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 Sixstrings » Mon 14 Sep 2009, 19:23:58

snip, accidental double post
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Re: US wage earners make less now than 10 years ago

Unread postby dsula » Mon 14 Sep 2009, 20:26:24

Sixstrings wrote: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.

What the hell of an elite are you talking about? Did you ever own your business? Do you know how f*** tuff it is to survive in this world competing with foreign companies? And pay all the social taxes, insuranance, benefits for all your workers?

What it boils down to is that the CONSUMER (that is YOU and 300M others) want CHEAP stuff. And they go out of their way to buy the CHEAPEST they can find. If you as a company can't provide for CHEAP, you're OUT of business. SO BLAME YOURSELF for buying chineese, don't blame the companies for your own behaviour.
But I guess it's america. The obeese blame the mcdonalds, the smocker blame phillip morris, the alcoholic blame anheuser busch, the blacks blame the white, the white blame the mexicans, the murderer blames the glock. Nobody steps up and takes responsibility for their actions. Nothing new here.

if you can't find an American engineer then it is crucial to LET THAT SHORTAGE EXIST

wrong. If you let that shortage exist the company will either MOVE to where the skills are available, OUTSOURCE or go OUT of business. None are good for the nation as you want to preserve the skills to be as self sufficient as possible.
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Re: US wage earners make less now than 10 years ago

Unread postby Kristen » Mon 14 Sep 2009, 22:11:02

Outsourcing is absolutely evil. "I'm going to pay my workers five dollars a day, and make shirts for twenty cents, then sell them in America for twenty dollars!" Does anyone else realize how unfair and insane that is!!!

I'm aware that's capitalism for you, but as an idealist i am disturbed that people can defend this kind of thinking. It will be the death of the middle class, and soon, the people of the United States will understand what it is like to live in serfdom.

There are still ways to find happiness however. One must simply follow the first two of the four noble truths.

1. Life is Suffering

2. In order to end suffering one must detach themselves of desires of materialism. Get rid of status symbols and stop creating needs for new products through advertising!
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Re: US wage earners make less now than 10 years ago

Unread postby Sixstrings » Mon 14 Sep 2009, 23:12:46

dsula wrote:Did you ever own your business? Do you know how f*** tuff it is to survive in this world competing with foreign companies?


No, I've never owned a business. So what.. does that negate my opinion as a citizen? Should I stop voting, seeing as how I'm just a worker?

By the way, let's not forget here that NINE OUT OF TEN new businesses fail within the first two years. Contrary to what Joe the Plumber thinks, the vast majority of Americans will never be their own boss. And of those that try, 9/10 will go bankrupt and fail. So let's not start saying you have to be a business owner to have an opinion.

Having said that, I understand where you're coming from. You're doing what's in your best financial interest, which of course consumers do as well (by buying cheap imports).

This is capitalism at work.. the only problem is that it's on a global scale, and under those conditions it is a surety that most Americans will get washed into poverty along with most of the world. But it doesn't have to be that way.. as I said earlier, I'd be happier with a French-like approach, wherein workers are protected and yet capitalist business can still operate.

wrong. If you let that shortage exist the company will either MOVE to where the skills are available, OUTSOURCE or go OUT of business. None are good for the nation as you want to preserve the skills to be as self sufficient as possible.


You are correct, assuming we continue our participation in a wide-open globalist system. If we got serious about protectionism, then there would be no cheap import to undercut you.. you'd pay what it takes to get Americans to do the job, and you'd charge prices to reflect that. Since we'd be in a national (but not global) free market, labor would be attracted to the higher prices and eventually it would stabilize.

But if we keep importing H1B Phd's from the endless supplies of Asia and India, then the local American market will remain hobbled and unable to work the way a market should.

With globalsim, all we've done is traded our national sovereignty for a shared sovereignty with China and India. Markets have a leveling effect, and what this means is that the American people are going be leveled right into the muck with the world's teeming masses of poor.
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Re: US wage earners make less now than 10 years ago

Unread postby rangerone314 » Tue 15 Sep 2009, 07:26:10

You just have to love it when rich people complain about unfair taxes, etc.

It reminds me of a rapist who complains about the sex.
An ideology is by definition not a search for TRUTH-but a search for PROOF that its point of view is right

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

Unread postby turner » Tue 15 Sep 2009, 10:50:05

Sixstrings wrote:With globalsim, all we've done is traded our national sovereignty for a shared sovereignty with China and India. Markets have a leveling effect, and what this means is that the American people are going be leveled right into the muck with the world's teeming masses of poor.


I tend to agree.

The theory of comparative advantage underpins globalisation and a good argument can be made for such policy in terms of utilising natural resources and taking advantage of economies of scale, eg. Saudi Arabia sells oil to the US in exchange for food - each capitalising on it's natural resources, Australia sells it's abundant mining output and buys back manufactured goods - taking advantage of other's economies of scale. In times of reasonably abundant oil it really did make sense to be transferring goods in this way. However, what has happened in more recent times has been an explosion in globalisation based on the cost of labour, the consequences of which are far reaching.

When countries allow cheap imports in and their own companies to outsource labour abroad it should come as absolutely no surprise that their own labour markets will be decimated.It's obvious that local labour will not be able to compete with the poor wages paid in the manufacturing countries of Asia and elsewhere. The trouble is while everyone's making money and the consumer is getting really cheap goods nobody wants to question the long term effects. The impact should have been noticed earlier but that hasn't happened because we have had a debt induced bubble economy and a consequent rapidly growing service industry that masked the wages and unemployment indicators. Now that the fire is out the results are plain to see.

Aside from the devastating effects on the labour market there has been a big global price to pay for this cheap consumerism. Goods are not made to last which means ever increasing use of resources to produce duplicates, ship them and discard them. The cheap goods are actually really expensive but we haven't really worked that one out yet.

But what can be done about the monster that has been created? The consumer is addicted to cheap stuff, the companies that sell it will find it extremely difficult to compete if they sell a better quality home produced product, and in the current market conditions who thinks they can afford such goods? In the old days you actually had to save to buy long lasting items. Protectionism might be useful if there is actually a developed home market to protect, but in many areas that is probably not the case any more. Politically it would also be extremely difficult to introduce tariffs when the US has advocated free trade all along. Once the collapse has played out fully there will perhaps be opportunity/need to restructure, but in the current environment I can't see much changing.
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Re: US wage earners make less now than 10 years ago

Unread postby Roy » Tue 15 Sep 2009, 13:08:04

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.

Quote:
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.


So you say you oppose immigration above and you say that immigration degrades our culture.

Ok. But previously you admitted that you hire H1B's, which directly contradicts your statements above.

If I oppose something I don't do it. Doing otherwise would cause me some serious emotional distress.

So, being a thinker as you claim to be: how do your actions affect you emotionally? Can you sleep at night going against your own (self admitted) racist, xenophobic beliefs just to make a buck?

Your life must be a living hell.

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

Unread postby rangerone314 » Tue 15 Sep 2009, 13:33:41

Roy wrote:So you say you oppose immigration above and you say that immigration degrades our culture.

Ok. But previously you admitted that you hire H1B's, which directly contradicts your statements above.

If I oppose something I don't do it. Doing otherwise would cause me some serious emotional distress.

So, being a thinker as you claim to be: how do your actions affect you emotionally? Can you sleep at night going against your own (self admitted) racist, xenophobic beliefs just to make a buck?

Your life must be a living hell.

LMAO

His life isn't necessarily a living hell... the human brain HAS something for that situation: its called "Cognitive Dissonance".
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 Sixstrings » Tue 15 Sep 2009, 14:48:44

Roy wrote:If I oppose something I don't do it. Doing otherwise would cause me some serious emotional distress.

So, being a thinker as you claim to be: how do your actions affect you emotionally? Can you sleep at night going against your own (self admitted) racist, xenophobic beliefs just to make a buck?

Your life must be a living hell.


Well, let's not bash the guy personally. By hiring immigrants, he's just just being a smart capitalist and operating under the rulebook as it exists today.

I have to say though, I really love it when that rare business comes along that tries something different. We have a local shipping company around here (privately owned, 30 million annual revenue). The owner is pretty darn smart.. he's fanatical about reducing errors down to zero. So how does he do this? Well, he pays bonuses that equal the worker's weekly wage. So, the warehouse workers who are really putting in 110% on the job end up making over $50k a year (unheard of wages around here for that kind of work).

Also, he gives the entire company free catered lunch every day -- it's like a blue collar Google. The owner admits that the bonuses and free food cost a lot of money, but he thinks that boost in productivity and morale is worth it.
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Re: US wage earners make less now than 10 years ago

Unread postby Sixstrings » Tue 15 Sep 2009, 15:03:17

turner wrote:When countries allow cheap imports in and their own companies to outsource labour abroad it should come as absolutely no surprise that their own labour markets will be decimated.It's obvious that local labour will not be able to compete with the poor wages paid in the manufacturing countries of Asia and elsewhere.


Thank you Turner for more succinctly saying what I've been trying to get across.

I would just point out though that you only mentioned manufacturing work, as if outsourcing and insourcing were limited to that industry. Fact is, it's everywhere, and it's spreading -- it was likely an immigrant who picked the food you ate today, if you ate at a restaurant an immigrant may have cooked it. Immigration overload and the subsequent downward wage pressure is happening in healthcare, and you've heard the complaints from the engineers in this thread.

Immigration will continue, both legal and illegal, until conditions in this country become worse than those in India, China, and Mexico. Only then will the immigrants stop coming, since the better opportunities will be right there at home.

And when that day comes, don't think for a second that China and India will welcome in the huddled mass of American poor.
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Re: US wage earners make less now than 10 years ago

Unread postby HeckuvaJob » Tue 15 Sep 2009, 15:31:57

dsula wrote:And yes, I'm xenophobic, and I'm proud of it. And I'm also a racist. And I'm proud of that, too.

Are you really? What's the name of your company and (if you're an exceptionally proud racist) your position?
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Re: US wage earners make less now than 10 years ago

Unread postby turner » Wed 16 Sep 2009, 04:43:59

Sixstrings wrote:
turner wrote:When countries allow cheap imports in and their own companies to outsource labour abroad it should come as absolutely no surprise that their own labour markets will be decimated.It's obvious that local labour will not be able to compete with the poor wages paid in the manufacturing countries of Asia and elsewhere.


Thank you Turner for more succinctly saying what I've been trying to get across.

I would just point out though that you only mentioned manufacturing work, as if outsourcing and insourcing were limited to that industry. Fact is, it's everywhere, and it's spreading -- it was likely an immigrant who picked the food you ate today, if you ate at a restaurant an immigrant may have cooked it. Immigration overload and the subsequent downward wage pressure is happening in healthcare, and you've heard the complaints from the engineers in this thread.

Immigration will continue, both legal and illegal, until conditions in this country become worse than those in India, China, and Mexico. Only then will the immigrants stop coming, since the better opportunities will be right there at home.

And when that day comes, don't think for a second that China and India will welcome in the huddled mass of American poor.


I didn't mean to imply that it was only manufacturing, I guess I was thinking about how this all got started. Following the financial rewards in outsourcing labour in manufacturing, the trend has continued into service industries and food processing and anything else business can think of!

Legal immigration is a slightly different issue - if you allow people in you surely need to give them an opportunity to work. Government presumably will tighten up policy in this regard.
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Re: US wage earners make less now than 10 years ago

Unread postby Eddie_lomax » Wed 16 Sep 2009, 06:52:16

dsula wrote:
Sixstrings wrote:Oh, and let's not forget the open floodgates of the H1B visas.


I've been looking for a knowledgable electronic desing engineer for over a year now and haven't found anybody suitable. What choice do I have than bring somebody in from abroad? Seems the only thing taught at US universities is law, art or banking. All useless crap of no true value. Where are the engineers that create stuff?

Actually you should be thankful for the H1B program. At least somebody educated is moving to the US. That's badly needed to balance the scores of mexicans who just know enough to spell their names or the flood of somali refugees who don't even know that much.


I've been looking around the world for a digital electronics job (ASIC/FPGA), depressingly though Canada has removed electronics from their skills shortage list, so there are not many places left to emigrate to.

The US for someone from the UK is actually one of the tougher ones since the only scheme I can get into the country on is one where I'm offered a job from abroad, and since the UK has so many people emigrating to the US that we don't qualify for the other schemes (if I was illiterate and from Somalia I'd have better options for entering into the US, that's just how the system works).

At least right now I'm currently working and the company is going ok, although I couldn't say the same for living in the UK, all I know about our current financial plan is that house prices must not be allowed to fall) and I'm seeing the same sort of problem from an employee side of things.

The industry in the UK though has been shrinking with the number of qualified graduates trying to enter the profession going down faster then the jobs. Its been great in the short term as an employee since I'm in demand, but long term its just going to mean there is zero industry as companies move out to places that have people they can hire. Especially when I'm in a niche type of job I'm finding it harder and harder to get a job since smaller outfits want a jack-of-all-trades type of guy (e.g. must be expert at VHDL, PCB design and write C++...).

I've got a feeling we are already reaching the critical levels now. The big regional centres for the jobs are gone now (Reading used to be massive, not seeing much advertised there at all these days) so each job seems to involve moving to a different area of the country like a nomad. Its not inviting for a new graduate, but then again most graduates prefer to study something more fun in the Arts, or some sort of money shuffling qualification.
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Re: US wage earners make less now than 10 years ago

Unread postby Eddie_lomax » Wed 16 Sep 2009, 07:17:12

Sixstrings wrote:With globalsim, all we've done is traded our national sovereignty for a shared sovereignty with China and India. Markets have a leveling effect, and what this means is that the American people are going be leveled right into the muck with the world's teeming masses of poor.


Perfectly summed up, going back to peak oil principles even if we managed to make everything use 1/2 the amount of oil/other resources overnight there just isn't a fraction of the resources needed to give everyone a 1st world standard of living with 6 billion humans on the planet, and its not going to help either when there are 9 billion.
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Re: US wage earners make less now than 10 years ago

Unread postby The_Toecutter » Wed 16 Sep 2009, 13:10:10

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 leaves the employer with a choice: do somethinmg to keep the employee(eg. pay raise, more vacation, ect.), or lose them. The amount of time for which it takes to gain a PE certification in most of the U.S. is such that by the time it has been acquired, the employer will have made tens of thousands of dollars off of the employee in question. A loyal employee will not be had if they are treated as a commodity. The employer has to give the employee an incentive, and not merely demand of them without paying them accordingly.

It makes more sense to outsource the cost of training to someone else and then select from the best


If the goal is to provide a lack of incentive for Americans to study engineering, then you would be correct. American engineers will never be able to compete with third world wages unless the U.S. itself becomes a third world nation with the accompanying desperation and low living standards. If they want the best, they should pay for it accordingly, otherwise there won't be any incentive for someone to go into this field. We are seeing just this today, and with it comes lower quality products and services that stop selling once the consumer discovers that they don't meet their expectations.

It makes sense for the capitalist who will take the short term gains and divest before the reprecussions are apparent, but everyone else involved loses.

Eddie_lomax wrote:I've got a feeling we are already reaching the critical levels now. The big regional centres for the jobs are gone now (Reading used to be massive, not seeing much advertised there at all these days) so each job seems to involve moving to a different area of the country like a nomad. Its not inviting for a new graduate, but then again most graduates prefer to study something more fun in the Arts, or some sort of money shuffling qualification.


That is precisely what is happening in the U.S. Where I used to reside in St. Louis, there was a substantial shortage of engineers, yet those hiring would not settle for the ones available; they wanted people with unrealistic amounts of experience but with pay commensurate to entry level, and expected relocation. I had to relocate 1,200 miles away to find my employment, and by the looks of things, it will be temporary given this economy. A qualified PE with a family and assets at their current location is not going to accept this treatment. I have heard of one engineer hired in an office near me who had just relocated and purchased a new dwelling, who was layed off a mere 2 months after relocation.

So, what incentive is there for an American to study engineering when treatment as described above is now the rule, and not the exception?

It seems as if every legal opportunity for Americans to generate wealth for themselves is being robbed from them. Why should Joe Sixpack, who hasn't the capability for learning the rigours of an extremely high demand technical position(for which he will still have difficulty obtaining even if capable), exiting college with tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt for something non-technical, work at Walmart for what would amount to impoverishment when he could make a middle class income dealing crack?

And thus goes the American dream...
The unnecessary felling of a tree, perhaps the old growth of centuries, seems to me a crime little short of murder. ~Thomas Jefferson
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Re: US wage earners make less now than 10 years ago

Unread postby MarkJ » Thu 17 Sep 2009, 09:23:40

When the semi-skilled and skilled labor market was tight, we used to spend thousands per tech trainee every year, plus the costs of certification, specialized training, vehicles, tools, equipment, lost time, lost work, lost customers, mistakes, call-backs, spoon-feeding, babysitting etc.

Once trainees had a little knowledge and experience under their belt (often less than 6 months) they'd often get greedy and ask for more money, benefits, perks, loans etc. Many would target our customers and perform side jobs for cash, often with our vehicles, tools, equipment, materials, hardware and supplies.

After being fired or quitting, many of our unlicensed trainees would start their own small business working mostly off the books without insurance, plans, permits, inspections etc. Many would stay in business less than a year before they were bankrupt, being sued or in trouble for tax issues, licensing issues, code compliance or working without plans, permits variances, inspections, insurance etc.

Now that the semi-skilled labor market is over-saturated with unemployed or under-employed job seekers, it doesn't make financial sense to train unskilled, inexperienced workers. Semi-Skilled workers with several years of experience are often willing to work for a little more money than unskilled inexperienced workers.

Back in the 90s, we'd often have to pay $10 to $12 plus per hour to trainees with zero skills or experience. Currently, many skilled workers with years of experience are working for less, plus they're often working less than 40 hours.

The new "Good Job" is just about any full-time, steady, long-term job regardless of pay.
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Re: US wage earners make less now than 10 years ago

Unread postby rangerone314 » Thu 17 Sep 2009, 09:31:12

And now we find out how globalization works... we will race to the bottom in wages and living standards as fast as the Third World rises in wages and living standards.

Then Peak Oil and depletion occurs, and then the Third World will be slapped back down to where they were before their living standards started going up, and we will be lucky to have what China and India have now.
An ideology is by definition not a search for TRUTH-but a search for PROOF that its point of view is right

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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 vision-master » Thu 17 Sep 2009, 09:50:22

Back in the 90s, we'd often have to pay $10 to $12 plus per hour to trainees with zero skills or experience. Currently, many skilled workers with years of experience are working for less, plus they're often working less than 40 hours.


What's yer 'hourly rate' charge + 'truck charge'? $75 hr. :)
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Re: US wage earners make less now than 10 years ago

Unread postby MarkJ » Thu 17 Sep 2009, 10:29:27

vision-master wrote:
Back in the 90s, we'd often have to pay $10 to $12 plus per hour to trainees with zero skills or experience. Currently, many skilled workers with years of experience are working for less, plus they're often working less than 40 hours.


What's yer 'hourly rate' charge + 'truck charge'? $75 hr. :)


When we were training annual service techs in the late 90s, we were charging $120 for annual service, plus parts, parts markup, supplies and $70 per hour for additional labor over 1-1/2 hours.

Customers with multiple boilers, furnaces or water heaters receive a 20% discount on additional units.

Currently some heating service outfits are charging $250 plus for annual service, plus parts, extras (1-1/2 hours max) Even the heating assistance programs pay $150 for annual service.

We just had a new customer quoted $650 for an annual service of two easy-to-service boilers in their apartment building.
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Re: US wage earners make less now than 10 years ago

Unread postby vision-master » Thu 17 Sep 2009, 10:48:27

I C. :)

How about those A/C condenser unit replacements that you make over $1,000 on. :lol:
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