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Subject: Worker wage hikes worry CEOs rss

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J.D. Hall
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After almost a decade, average American weekly wages has finally grown somewhat, barely ahead of 2007 levels. And of course, the CEOs are freaking out:

http://money.cnn.com/2016/07/25/news/economy/us-wages-ceos-t...

If it comes down to a choice between double-digit dividends or single-digit dividends and more money in the pockets of working people, well, screw the investing class. The real driver here is (according to the CEOs) is not "gasp" the big bad government. Employment has finally reached a point where there are fewer unemployed available to take jobs.

Good article with several charts.
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of course it would worry ceos if every worker gets a small raise then the ceo can only award themselves 179 times the average salary instead of a 180 times. After they should get rewarded for adding value to the process.
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Mac Mcleod
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It's been my hope that retiring boomers would tighten the labor market faster than automation, robots, and offshoring would create a labor glut. It would be nice if the millenials at least got a decade that wasn't so bad.
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Steve K
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maxo-texas wrote:
It's been my hope that retiring boomers would tighten the labor market faster than automation, robots, and offshoring would create a labor glut. It would be nice if the millenials at least got a decade that wasn't so bad.


True. They make better organ donors that way.
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Chapel
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CEO's complain about labor supply and demand. Boo hoo. They want a return to low labor demand, higher profits and big cash reserves.

The workers make the company, without them, there are no profits, so they now have to pay more for them. Great.

But I wouldn't expect anything less from CEO's. It's their job.

Truthfully, higher wages is a good problem to have...while it lasts.
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Steve K
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MWChapel wrote:
CEO's complain about labor supply and demand. Boo hoo. They want a return to low labor demand, higher profits and big cash reserves.

The workers make the company, without them, there are no profits, so they now have to pay more for them. Great.

But I wouldn't expect anything less from CEO's. It's their job.

Truthfully, higher wages is a good problem to have...while it lasts.


I think they want someone to pick up the tab for transitioning to robots.
 
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Jon Badolato
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growlley wrote:
of course it would worry ceos if every worker gets a small raise then the ceo can only award themselves 179 times the average salary instead of a 180 times. After they should get rewarded for adding value to the process.


I believe the actual number is closer to 300 times the average worker !

http://www.epi.org/publication/ceo-pay-has-grown-90-times-fa...

Note that CEO salaries have increased over 900 percent since 1978. The S and P 500 around 500 percent and average worker salary around 11 percent in that same time frame.

So I have little sympathy for CEO's that might whine that worker salaries are increasing.
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jeremy cobert
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MWChapel wrote:
The workers make the company


I can only assume you have never started your own business.This is probably the 3rd dumbest statement you have ever made.

jonb wrote:
So I have little sympathy for CEO's that might whine that worker salaries are increasing.


I assume you will also have little sympathy for the workers who eventually lose their jobs to outsourced labor ?
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Mac Mcleod
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jeremycobert wrote:
MWChapel wrote:
The workers make the company


I can only assume you have never started your own business.This is probably the 3rd dumbest statement you have ever made.

jonb wrote:
So I have little sympathy for CEO's that might whine that worker salaries are increasing.


I assume you will also have little sympathy for the workers who eventually lose their jobs to outsourced labor ?


I assume you've never interviewed 17 candidates over 5 months trying to find one who can do the work you need done.

I assume you've never lost an experienced employee who knew your business rules so well that you didn't lose sleep at night wondering what the next horrific error or angry multi-million dollar customer you would have to deal with.

I assume you've never had to deal with infosys employees who say yes to everything and lack the skills the people they replaced had to do the job quickly, efficiently, and correctly as well as say "no" when what you were asking for wasn't possible so yer ass wasn't left hanging in the wind 4 months later.
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J.D. Hall
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I can't code or diagnose illnesses. I'm not a lawyer and I have no idea what exactly engineers do.

But I understand business really well. I understand that CEOs are chosen to maximize returns (dividends) for investors. There may be other issues, but that's the main one. That's why CEO contracts are incredibly detailed and why there are those infamous "Golden Parachutes" in almost all CEO contracts. In business, the bottom line is the ONLY line, and while there are a host of factors that impact the bottom line, investors only care about what number is on the bottom line. So of course the old mantra of "minimize costs, maximize profits" will always be with business.

That being said, I have zero sympathy for multi-millionaire CEOs who are sweating a couple of percentage points. They've already "earned" more money than 10 normal people will make in 10 lifetimes. Their lives so far removed from the day-to-day grind 99 percent of us face that they have no concept of what our lives are really like.

I know I keep harping on this, but this issue -- income disparity -- is the issue I worry would/could spark a bloody civil war in America. Not guns. Not race. Not abortion. Not anything else. Money impacts everybody, all 330 million Americans. They keep getting the short end of the stick while billionaires tell them the market is "adjusting" and something really, really dire is going to happen. Unfortunately, most of the 1 percent are clueless and selfish.

By the way, I ran a weekly newspaper for 10 years as the general manager. Profit margin never dropped below 25 percent. Raises were given every year. Always took the staff (three others) out for steak, cheesecake and Margaritas at Christmas. When the owners sold the paper to a corporation which allowed bonuses, I shared whatever bonus I got with my staff. We had OSHA and EPA regulations to satisfy (emulsion film developing chemicals) as well as EEOC and other regulations.

Just in case people thought I was all hat and no cattle, as the Texicans say.
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Chengkai Yang
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Didn't public disclosure of CEO pay make this whole mess worse? Maybe if we do similar with everyone it'll help balance out this mess.
 
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J.D. Hall
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draxx01 wrote:
Didn't public disclosure of CEO pay make this whole mess worse? Maybe if we do similar with everyone it'll help balance out this mess.

No, it made us more aware of the problem.
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J.D. Hall
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Drew1365 wrote:
remorseless1 wrote:
After almost a decade, average American weekly wages has finally grown somewhat, barely ahead of 2007 levels.


I wonder who was in charge while the economy was so stagnant? That person should take some blame, maybe?




Santa Claus?
The Tooth Fairy?
The Easter Bunny?
The Great Pumpkin?

Nope, none of the above:

It's the GOP-majority Congress!!!!!

Nice try Drew....
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Robert Stuart
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maxo-texas wrote:
jeremycobert wrote:
MWChapel wrote:
The workers make the company


I can only assume you have never started your own business.This is probably the 3rd dumbest statement you have ever made.

jonb wrote:
So I have little sympathy for CEO's that might whine that worker salaries are increasing.


I assume you will also have little sympathy for the workers who eventually lose their jobs to outsourced labor ?


I assume you've never interviewed 17 candidates over 5 months trying to find one who can do the work you need done.

I assume you've never lost an experienced employee who knew your business rules so well that you didn't lose sleep at night wondering what the next horrific error or angry multi-million dollar customer you would have to deal with.

I assume you've never had to deal with infosys employees who say yes to everything and lack the skills the people they replaced had to do the job quickly, efficiently, and correctly as well as say "no" when what you were asking for wasn't possible so yer ass wasn't left hanging in the wind 4 months later.


I worked in the research department for a large corporation for ten years. The CEO was a good guy, but compared to the top workers -- the people who really knew the business and cared about the company & its products* -- he was in the dime-a-dozen category. I'm convinced that he and the top senior managers could have been replaced at half the cost, with the top workers & top junior managers receiving a hefty pay raise, and the return to the investors would have increased. So, what kept his salary high and theirs relatively low? It was not, from what I could see, a rational and well-researched decision to maximize profits.

* and there were quite a few like that
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Lee Fisher
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Drew1365 wrote:
remorseless1 wrote:
Drew1365 wrote:
remorseless1 wrote:
After almost a decade, average American weekly wages has finally grown somewhat, barely ahead of 2007 levels.


I wonder who was in charge while the economy was so stagnant? That person should take some blame, maybe?




Santa Claus?
The Tooth Fairy?
The Easter Bunny?
The Great Pumpkin?

Nope, none of the above:

It's the GOP-majority Congress!!!!!

Nice try Drew....


Really? So when the economy crashed in 2008 . . . who was in charge then?



Bush?
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Mac Mcleod
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Drew1365 wrote:
remorseless1 wrote:
Drew1365 wrote:
remorseless1 wrote:
After almost a decade, average American weekly wages has finally grown somewhat, barely ahead of 2007 levels.


I wonder who was in charge while the economy was so stagnant? That person should take some blame, maybe?




Santa Claus?
The Tooth Fairy?
The Easter Bunny?
The Great Pumpkin?

Nope, none of the above:

It's the GOP-majority Congress!!!!!

Nice try Drew....


Really? So when the economy crashed in 2008 . . . who was in charge then?



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presidency_of_George_W._Bush
Quote:

The presidency of George W. Bush began on January 20, 2001, at noon Eastern Standard Time, when he was inaugurated as the 43rd President of the United States of America. The oldest son of former president George Herbert Walker Bush, George W. Bush was elected president in the 2000 general election, and became the second U.S. president whose father had held the same office (John Quincy Adams was the first).

After two recounts, Democratic presidential candidate Vice President Albert Gore filed a lawsuit for a third. The Supreme Court's highly controversial decision in Bush v. Gore resolved the dispute. The Florida Secretary of State certified Bush as the winner of Florida. Florida's 25 electoral votes gave Bush, the Republican candidate, 271 electoral votes, enough to defeat Al Gore. Bush was re-elected in 2004. His second term ended on January 20, 2009.


And since Bush was in power from 2001 to 2008 (and slightly beyond into 2009), one could reasonably conclude his actions (and those of his staff and appointees (Greenspan)) lead to the historic economic collapse in 2008.

Personally, I put more on greenspan for holding interest rates too low too long. This pulled forward economic activity artificially and left the government without the traditional tools it used to manage the business cycle.

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J.D. Hall
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Actually, presidents have far less Constitutional power to affect domestic issues than Congress -- unless the president goes dictator, which none of them have. So, if you want to blame someone in the political sector for the economy, thump Congress.

If you really want to blame those responsible, blame those worthless jagoffs on Wall Street and in the investment groups and the banks too big to fail. Plus the morons who bought homes far out of their price range with the hopes of flipping it in a few months for profit. And Congress.

Hate those guys.
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Steven Woodcock
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Drew1365 wrote:
remorseless1 wrote:
After almost a decade, average American weekly wages has finally grown somewhat, barely ahead of 2007 levels.


I wonder who was in charge while the economy was so stagnant? That person should take some blame, maybe?





Blind defense of Obama-san in 3...2....1....



Ferret
 
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Donald
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Ferretman wrote:

Blind defense of Obama-san in 3...2....1....



Ferret


Blind 'blind defense of Obama' deflection post 4...5...6... hours late.


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Donald
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maxo-texas wrote:


And since Bush was in power from 2001 to 2008 (and slightly beyond into 2009), ....


and since economic policy doesn't take hold and change things as soon as it is signed, even longer in 2009.

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Mac Mcleod
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Donald wrote:
maxo-texas wrote:


And since Bush was in power from 2001 to 2008 (and slightly beyond into 2009), ....


and since economic policy doesn't take hold and change things as soon as it is signed, even longer in 2009.



True, but it really was an exceptionally dumb post even for Drew. I wasn't sure why he tossed such a slow softball straight over the plate.

Technically, you'd need to wait for the house to vote on policies, then the senate, then reconcile them, and finally for the president to sign them before you could even start implementing them.

Timeline of congressional actions
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/111th_United_States_Congress

Timeline of the financial crisis.
http://www.bankrate.com/finance/federal-reserve/financial-cr...
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Steve
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maxo-texas wrote:
Donald wrote:
maxo-texas wrote:
And since Bush was in power from 2001 to 2008 (and slightly beyond into 2009), ....

and since economic policy doesn't take hold and change things as soon as it is signed, even longer in 2009.


True, but it really was an exceptionally dumb post even for Drew. I wasn't sure why he tossed such a slow softball straight over the plate.

Technically, you'd need to wait for the house to vote on policies, then the senate, then reconcile them, and finally for the president to sign them before you could even start implementing them.

Timeline of congressional actions
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/111th_United_States_Congress

Timeline of the financial crisis.
http://www.bankrate.com/finance/federal-reserve/financial-cr...

Oh come on Stephen.

We had just blamed the lack luster recovery on the Repud controlled Congress. Why wouldn't Drew want to make us see our hypocrisy?

He just conveniently forgot the Repud Congress that Bush also had.

So, I blame the crash on: a] Pres. Clinton for deregulating the banks, etc., b] Bush, and c] the Repuds in Congress for their (includes Bush's) misguided economic theories.

Some economists have said that when taxes on the rich are less than around 50% then they are motivated to pay the workers less, but when their taxes are over 50% they share more of their businesses revenue with the workers because they see that as better than giving it to the Gov.

And it is actually good for business for all businesses to be motivated to pay their workers more because this results in their customers having more money to spend on the businesses' products.


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Chad Ellis
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jeremycobert wrote:
MWChapel wrote:
The workers make the company


I can only assume you have never started your own business.This is probably the 3rd dumbest statement you have ever made.


I'm in the first year of my new business. Having excellent staff is absolutely critical to our success. We attract good people by a mix of treating them really well, creating an enjoyable and rewarding work environment, and paying them more than our competitors. I recently hired a woman who was a shift manager where she worked; I recruited her because I shopped in her store and knew she was exceptional. She's starting at our part-time-starting wage and is still making $2/hr more than she did before. She'll make another $3/hr within the next six months or so.

The workers make the company is simplistic if taken literally, but if we read it normally (rather than as a thirteen-year-old) it's both true and fairly obvious. Of course, the owners and managers are also critical and also make the company, but I doubt Chapel was suggesting otherwise.
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Mac Mcleod
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Steve1501 wrote:
maxo-texas wrote:
Donald wrote:
maxo-texas wrote:
And since Bush was in power from 2001 to 2008 (and slightly beyond into 2009), ....

and since economic policy doesn't take hold and change things as soon as it is signed, even longer in 2009.


True, but it really was an exceptionally dumb post even for Drew. I wasn't sure why he tossed such a slow softball straight over the plate.

Technically, you'd need to wait for the house to vote on policies, then the senate, then reconcile them, and finally for the president to sign them before you could even start implementing them.

Timeline of congressional actions
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/111th_United_States_Congress

Timeline of the financial crisis.
http://www.bankrate.com/finance/federal-reserve/financial-cr...

Oh come on Stephen.

We had just blamed the lack luster recovery on the Repud controlled Congress. Why wouldn't Drew want to make us see our hypocrisy?

He just conveniently forgot the Repud Congress that Bush also had.

So, I blame the crash on: a] Pres. Clinton for deregulating the banks, etc., b] Bush, and c] the Repuds in Congress for their (includes Bush's) misguided economic theories.

Some economists have said that when taxes on the rich are less than around 50% then they are motivated to pay the workers less, but when their taxes are over 50% they share more of their businesses revenue with the workers because they see that as better than giving it to the Gov.

And it is actually good for business for all businesses to be motivated to pay their workers more because this results in their customers having more money to spend on the businesses' products.




Well, actually I agree with Drew's other point that Obama was the boss during this period. So he does bear some responsibility. He could have pushed the h1b issue harder for example. He did oversee rises in minimum wage which is a start. I think it's healthy for the country but if I can't get a better return it will force me to work more as prices rise so that sucks.

However, it was much easier for Bush to crash the economy by not replacing Greenspan who was holding interest rates artificially low for years too long than it is for Obama to do anything about wages. Wage changes require changes to the law and Republicans behaved in an unprecedented way to block everything vs negotiating in good faith.
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Chad Ellis
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Drew1365 wrote:
So, when a Republican is President, and Congress has a Republican Majority, then economic failure belongs to Republicans. Yep. Totally on board with that.


I don't think even that is fair. A lot of economic problems have long roots; you can't just look to who is in charge at the moment that it happens.

I think Bush handled the crisis poorly, overall, and I think McCain and Romney's approach to it would have risked a far worse outcome than we had, but I think if we're assigning blame for it then a good chunk goes all the way back to Clinton and the GOP Congress who laid a lot of the groundwork with banking deregulation.

One of the reasons I give Obama good overall marks as President is that I think his approach to the financial crisis was much better than most people would have managed. YMMV, but I think the whole, "Who was in power when it happened?" game is absurd on its face.
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