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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 pstarr » Thu 17 Sep 2009, 11:02:47

The wealthy have robbed America. Income disparity is worst ever, worse than during the run up to the Great Depression. The wealthy own the cities, the country, the agriculture lands, and the media. All you have is your little lot in the sprawl-zone, your pretty late-model car and a few electronic trinkets. We are victims of the Big Lie.

And what is really scary about all this? 8O The wealthy are too stupid and greedy to know when to stop. They want it all and they will crush you harder and harder until you revolt and hang their manicured bodies from billboards.
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Re: US wage earners make less now than 10 years ago

Unread postby rangerone314 » Thu 17 Sep 2009, 11:23:37

pstarr wrote:The wealthy have robbed America. Income disparity is worst ever, worse than during the run up to the Great Depression. The wealthy own the cities, the country, the agriculture lands, and the media. All you have is your little lot in the sprawl-zone, your pretty late-model car and a few electronic trinkets. We are victims of the Big Lie.

And what is really scary about all this? 8O The wealthy are too stupid and greedy to know when to stop. They want it all and they will crush you harder and harder until you revolt and hang their manicured bodies from billboards.

When will people revolt? When the wealthy invoke "Prima nocta" and start deflowering new brides on their wedding night? When they don't believe "drill baby drill" or "death panels"?

People are too stupid they will probably be starving to death and will believe the lies they are fed by the media that it is the fault of foreigners or some external threat. More mentally-challenging for people to believe their own idolized leaders have betrayed them with the venality, stupidity, greed and incompetance.

When he was president, GW Bush could probably have carved up a live baby on national TV and ate it at his desk and the Limbaughs and Hannitys of the world would have found some excuse for it.

99.9% of us are sheeple, who will be marched quietly to bankruptcy, starvation, or cattle cars bound for concentration camps.
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Re: US wage earners make less now than 10 years ago

Unread postby MarkJ » Fri 18 Sep 2009, 07:21:22

vision-master wrote:I C. :)

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


We do more complete retrofit Furnace and A/C installations than add-on or replacement/upgrade A/C installations. Much more profit, plus forced air units are piece of cake to replace while you have everything torn apart to install new plenums, coils etc.


The big bucks are in retrofit boiler or boiler/indirect water heater(s) installations in existing construction structures. You can make an easy 2 /3/4K for a days work if your fast, plus have the right knowledge, skills, tools, equipment, hardware and supplies. When I work alone, I can knock out some of the easy jobs in less than 8 hours.

There's also good money in newer salvaged boilers, furnaces, water heaters, A/C equipment, tanks, salvaged parts and salvaged iron, steel, copper and brass. Some equipment we replace due to fuel conversion, oversizing, expansion, efficiency, space, system re-design, landlord single to multiple unit conversions etc is less than a couple years old.

The biggest gravy jobs are mobile home furnaces. I once installed 6 in one day in a single mobile home park @ a profit of around $1500 each, plus many of the units were worth 2 or 3 hundred bucks in salvage parts. You just lift the old ones off the base, set the new one on the base, plug it in, connect fuel lines, connect roof jack, purge, bleed, combustion test and you're done.

Plenty of extras in mobile home service as well since many need new roof jacks, roof repair, duct repair, new fuel tanks, new lines, freeze-proofing etc.
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Re: US wage earners make less now than 10 years ago

Unread postby JoeW » Fri 18 Sep 2009, 12:32:35

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?


That's interesting, because I earned a B. S. in Computer Engineering from a very good school, and there are no jobs in the field to be had, at least where I live. I've worked as a chip designer for IBM and Lucent. The division of IBM where I had once worked is no longer in business. Lucent laid me off in 2001 (the so-called dot-com bust). I've filled the last eight years doing information technology work, where there are frequent layoffs and company-wide pay cuts.

I'm considering going back to school to be a teacher, since they actually get pay increases. I thought that getting the engineering degree was the smart thing to do, but if I had gotten a teaching degree instead, I'd be making at least 30% more than my current salary, and enjoying summers off. Kids can be evil, but not nearly as much as corporate America's so-called "leaders". The dimwit companies specializing in IT are just glorified pimps, interested only in selling my skills to the highest bidder and seeing how much they can smack me around before I quit.
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Re: US wage earners make less now than 10 years ago

Unread postby jdmartin » Fri 18 Sep 2009, 12:59:25

turner wrote:
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.


Right on the money. Great post. Concur 100%
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Re: US wage earners make less now than 10 years ago

Unread postby Maddog78 » Fri 18 Sep 2009, 13:04:17

JoeW wrote:
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?


That's interesting, because I earned a B. S. in Computer Engineering from a very good school, and there are no jobs in the field to be had, at least where I live. I've worked as a chip designer for IBM and Lucent. The division of IBM where I had once worked is no longer in business. Lucent laid me off in 2001 (the so-called dot-com bust). I've filled the last eight years doing information technology work, where there are frequent layoffs and company-wide pay cuts.

I'm considering going back to school to be a teacher, since they actually get pay increases. I thought that getting the engineering degree was the smart thing to do, but if I had gotten a teaching degree instead, I'd be making at least 30% more than my current salary, and enjoying summers off. Kids can be evil, but not nearly as much as corporate America's so-called "leaders". The dimwit companies specializing in IT are just glorified pimps, interested only in selling my skills to the highest bidder and seeing how much they can smack me around before I quit.



That makes me sad to read that.
I wish you good luck in the future.
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Re: US wage earners make less now than 10 years ago

Unread postby VMarcHart » Fri 18 Sep 2009, 14:59:46

Median household fell to $50,303 last year, from $52,163 in 2007. In 1998, median income was $51,295. All these numbers are adjusted for inflation.
Is it using the official inflation, or the real deal?
...a median is described as the number separating the higher half of a sample, a population, or a probability distribution, from the lower half.
I added the 2nd quote to emphasize half of the wage earners now earn less than $50K. When you think that to get out of the recession, J6P needs to spend money to re-fuel the economy ... well, good luck with that.
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Re: US wage earners make less now than 10 years ago

Unread postby AgentR » Fri 18 Sep 2009, 17:11:26

pstarr wrote:The wealthy are too stupid and greedy to know when to stop. They want it all and they will crush you harder and harder until you revolt and hang their manicured bodies from billboards.


You might like to imagine that the wealthy are destined to be strung up in a revolt like ancient peasant revolts or a french revolution.

For good or ill however, the wealthy have done something different this time.. WHO are they politically aligned with? Does the redneck with a beer, an AK47, and 12 acres of marginal land vote with the liberal or conservative party? Does Toba cheer for Palin or does he cheer for Obama? In past societies, Toba and Bubba would be anathema to the wealthy, land owning elite; this time around, they are the protected majority... Toba's Ma is more worried about the EPA taking or destroying her land than she is about International Inc doing it. Bubba is more concerned that the city dwelling serfs are going to demand his weapon, than he is about Lord Farthington demanding he give up his weapon.

The wealthy have split the prolitariate. And the lefty side of the prolitariate takes great glee in demeaning and insulting the passions and values of the righty side of the prolitariate; thus strengthening their tie to the wealthy Lord of America.
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Re: US wage earners make less now than 10 years ago

Unread postby Starvid » Fri 18 Sep 2009, 18:35:25

Stagnating median wages for the last 10 years? More like the last 35...

Why you Americans accept this I have no idea.
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Re: US wage earners make less now than 10 years ago

Unread postby vision-master » Fri 18 Sep 2009, 18:45:58

Starvid wrote:Stagnating median wages for the last 10 years? More like the last 35...

Why you Americans accept this I have no idea.


bc the yougner sheeple ppl have bought into the idea that unions are obsolete. Unions are for lazy non-skilled ppl. Well, keep the lone ranger attitude, while you get grinded into poverty, lose all yer benefits and get fired 'at will'. :)
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Re: US wage earners make less now than 10 years ago

Unread postby Starvid » Fri 18 Sep 2009, 18:49:33

Guys, comparative advantage doesn't make sense in a world of free capital flows. Sorry about that.

Let me give you a classic example. Imagine you can only produce two goods, wine and cloth, and there are only two countries in the world, Portugal and England. Portugal is better at producing both wine and cloth than England is, ie., they can produce both cheaper. But they can produce wine comparatively cheaper than they can produce cloth. In such a world, English capitalists will produce cloth and Portugese capitalists will produce wine, and then they will trade their products for mutual enrichment, according to the David Ricardo's theory of comparative advantage. So far so good.

But in a world with free capital flows, like our world, something very different will happen: all capitalists, English as well as Portugese, will hunt the highest risk-adjusted return in the entire world, which means all capital will flow to Portugal because that's where production of both cloth and wine is most efficient. England will be starved off capital. English workers will get cheaper cloth and cheaper wine, but that won't help because they will all be unemployed. The only solution is creating not only free movement of capital but also free movement of workers, so English workers can emigrate to Portugal where the jobs are, until equibrium is reached.

Now, what does this tell us? It tells us that what matters in the current world is not comparative advantage, but absolute advantage. This is not very alien when you get used to it. For example, corporations don't get orders because they have a comparative advantage but because they have the absolute advantage - they deliver the best product at the best price.
Last edited by Starvid on Fri 18 Sep 2009, 18:56:32, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: US wage earners make less now than 10 years ago

Unread postby AgentR » Fri 18 Sep 2009, 18:54:04

Starvid wrote:Stagnating median wages for the last 10 years? More like the last 35...
Why you Americans accept this I have no idea.


I wish I knew more about Sweden than I do so I could draw a more cutting parallel; but I'll guess a bit. As a point of reference, lets stipulate that you are a median wage earning Swede who spends most of his free/recreational time fishing. Along comes a political movement over a few decades time fracturing the populace, such that a good half of the median and below workers are much more interested in preventing you from engaging in the cruel sport of fishing than they are in modestly increasing your and their wages. On the other side of the spectrum, the well off decide, hey, we'll take the position that we won't let wages slip (much) but we will expend enormous political effort to make sure you can keep fishing, keep living where you live, and enjoying your activities as you always have.

This is the problem in America politically; Joe Bob can associate himself with labor politicians, but then those labor politicians are only moderately interested in helping Joe Bob economically, while also being exceptionally hostile to every cultural and behavioral preference that Joe Bob has. Or Joe Bob can associate himself with the conservative politicians who have little interest in helping or harming Joe Bob economically, but will throw a spectacular fit any time Joe Bob's cultural or behavioral preferences are even modestly threatened.
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Re: US wage earners make less now than 10 years ago

Unread postby VMarcHart » Fri 18 Sep 2009, 19:00:36

vision-master wrote:...the yougner sheeple ppl have bought into the idea that unions are obsolete. Unions are for lazy non-skilled ppl. Well, keep the lone ranger attitude, while you get grinded into poverty, lose all yer benefits and get fired 'at will'. :)
Not that I think getting fire at will is cool, but unions mostly care for their members only, with blunt disregard to customer satisfaction. So much for keeping jobs, when nobody wants to buy the products. I.e, GM, school districts, etc.

As things evolve in life, no different than healthcare insurance companies becoming obsolete and costly, there's bound to be something better than unions, something that carries the good and ditches the bad.
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Re: US wage earners make less now than 10 years ago

Unread postby vision-master » Fri 18 Sep 2009, 19:22:28

VMarcHart wrote:
vision-master wrote:...the yougner sheeple ppl have bought into the idea that unions are obsolete. Unions are for lazy non-skilled ppl. Well, keep the lone ranger attitude, while you get grinded into poverty, lose all yer benefits and get fired 'at will'. :)
Not that I think getting fire at will is cool, but unions mostly care for their members only, with blunt disregard to customer satisfaction. So much for keeping jobs, when nobody wants to buy the products. I.e, GM, school districts, etc.

As things evolve in life, no different than healthcare insurance companies becoming obsolete and costly, there's bound to be something better than unions, something that carries the good and ditches the bad.


:) See what I mean.
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Re: US wage earners make less now than 10 years ago

Unread postby VMarcHart » Fri 18 Sep 2009, 19:24:02

vision-master wrote:
VMarcHart wrote:
vision-master wrote:...the yougner sheeple ppl have bought into the idea that unions are obsolete. Unions are for lazy non-skilled ppl. Well, keep the lone ranger attitude, while you get grinded into poverty, lose all yer benefits and get fired 'at will'. :)
Not that I think getting fire at will is cool, but unions mostly care for their members only, with blunt disregard to customer satisfaction. So much for keeping jobs, when nobody wants to buy the products. I.e, GM, school districts, etc.

As things evolve in life, no different than healthcare insurance companies becoming obsolete and costly, there's bound to be something better than unions, something that carries the good and ditches the bad.


:) See what I mean.
Yeah, but I'm not young, and hardly a sheeple, but that's just my opinion.
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Re: US wage earners make less now than 10 years ago

Unread postby Novus » Fri 18 Sep 2009, 19:30:42

Maddog78 wrote:
JoeW wrote:The dimwit companies specializing in IT are just glorified pimps, interested only in selling my skills to the highest bidder and seeing how much they can smack me around before I quit.


That makes me sad to read that.
I wish you good luck in the future.


Is what is really sad is JoeW's story is the norm not the exception.

It is a sign of the times the rich have declared war on the workers and it looks like they are winning. In the good old days there would be strikes and riots over such treatment.
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Re: US wage earners make less now than 10 years ago

Unread postby Novus » Fri 18 Sep 2009, 19:30:55

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

Unread postby Sixstrings » Fri 18 Sep 2009, 19:35:45

Starvid wrote:England will be starved off capital. English workers will get cheaper cloth and cheaper wine, but that won't help because they will all be unemployed. The only solution is creating not only free movement of capital but also free movement of workers, so English workers can emigrate to Portugal where the jobs are, until equibrium is reached.


That's the point I've tried to make over and over again.. in our world, capital has freedom but labor is in bondage. The situation would be more fair if a US worker could emigrate to where the jobs are -- be they in France, Germany, or China (shudder).

But even worldwide open borders would not help us much, since the planet is grossly overpopulated in comparison to available resources. Bottom line here is that the planet has 6.7 billion souls, of which only 300 million are American. With that kind of ratio, we just cannot win in a free trade environment -- it's a mathematical impossibility.

Now, free traders counter with the "America needs to study harder, retrain, be smarter," but I have news for you fellow Americans -- there ain't nothin special about us. In fact, due to their larger population, China has more high IQ individuals than we do. And while we've been shipping our jobs to them, they've been narrowing the education gap. Same thing for India.. which explains why I can think of five local Indian docs off the top of my head, whereas when I was in high school I'd never seen an Indian in my life.
Last edited by Sixstrings on Fri 18 Sep 2009, 20:03:32, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: US wage earners make less now than 10 years ago

Unread postby Sixstrings » Fri 18 Sep 2009, 19:36:01

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

Unread postby rangerone314 » Fri 18 Sep 2009, 21:32:49

AgentR wrote:
Starvid wrote:Stagnating median wages for the last 10 years? More like the last 35...
Why you Americans accept this I have no idea.


I wish I knew more about Sweden than I do so I could draw a more cutting parallel; but I'll guess a bit. As a point of reference, lets stipulate that you are a median wage earning Swede who spends most of his free/recreational time fishing. Along comes a political movement over a few decades time fracturing the populace, such that a good half of the median and below workers are much more interested in preventing you from engaging in the cruel sport of fishing than they are in modestly increasing your and their wages. On the other side of the spectrum, the well off decide, hey, we'll take the position that we won't let wages slip (much) but we will expend enormous political effort to make sure you can keep fishing, keep living where you live, and enjoying your activities as you always have.

This is the problem in America politically; Joe Bob can associate himself with labor politicians, but then those labor politicians are only moderately interested in helping Joe Bob economically, while also being exceptionally hostile to every cultural and behavioral preference that Joe Bob has. Or Joe Bob can associate himself with the conservative politicians who have little interest in helping or harming Joe Bob economically, but will throw a spectacular fit any time Joe Bob's cultural or behavioral preferences are even modestly threatened.


And the reason, in a nutshell for Joe Bob's situation is our lame-a$$ two party system where you have to choose one evil or the other. With more parties & more choices, you could find someone closer to your precise view.
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