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Fed Governor Sarah Bloom Raskin says financial inequality resulting from stagnating incomes for...

Fed Governor Sarah Bloom Raskin says financial inequality resulting from stagnating incomes for most Americans and rapid growth in wealth for the richest 1% is undermining the recovery. The disparities help “drag down maximum economic growth and are anathema to the social progress that is part and parcel of such growth."
Comments (75)
  • montanamark
    , contributor
    Comments (1446) | Send Message
     
    really. then stop giving the big banks free $. dismantle the fed which is poison for the average american
    29 Jun 2011, 02:00 PM Reply Like
  • davidingeorgia
    , contributor
    Comments (2713) | Send Message
     
    And all the while the Fed is working night and day to make those disparities worse. Hypocrisy much? Jeez.
    29 Jun 2011, 02:03 PM Reply Like
  • Joe Morgan
    , contributor
    Comments (1559) | Send Message
     
    More class warfare.....

     

    The problem with the disparity has been augmented because of the lack of math, engineer, science skills, the education instilled by the Department of Education also contributes to this decay in skills.....
    29 Jun 2011, 02:04 PM Reply Like
  • OptionManiac
    , contributor
    Comments (3392) | Send Message
     
    There are plenty of good programmers who have seen their jobs go overseas, not because of a lack of skill, but because their companies bottom line. Do not dis our educational system, China is now trying to copy it. Their system of learning by rote discourages creative thinking, and they know it.
    US students were dead last in the western world when testing was first done in the 60's and have been moving steadily up since then. My kids have learned a lot more than my parents ever did. Blame parents who don't get on their kid's butts to get off of the game system. What kid fiddles with their car or electronics any more?
    29 Jun 2011, 02:22 PM Reply Like
  • Bear Bait
    , contributor
    Comments (690) | Send Message
     
    I can't say that I agree 100% with optionmaniac but it's pretty darn close to 100%. Another concern of mine is that too many parents are more concerned about whether Jack/Jill made the ball team than they are about their grades.
    29 Jun 2011, 02:39 PM Reply Like
  • OptionManiac
    , contributor
    Comments (3392) | Send Message
     
    Living vicariously thru their kids.
    29 Jun 2011, 05:06 PM Reply Like
  • OptionManiac
    , contributor
    Comments (3392) | Send Message
     
    The new "communism" will be when shareholders of a company have a real say in the compensation paid to top management. After all, they do have ownership in the company. Today, top management salaries are in the stratosphere compared to twenty years ago while the grunts under them who are hired and fired at will have seen their salaries stagnate.
    There is no "fair" way rectify the situation, the only way out is super low unemployment in which the workers can name their own price. Unfortunately, until then, top management control their own wages and the wages of the people under them.
    Yes, I will hear from you that anyone who has half a mind and works hard can also become wealthy. If it were only so easy.
    29 Jun 2011, 02:07 PM Reply Like
  • eggfaced
    , contributor
    Comments (293) | Send Message
     
    Capitalism is the ultimate road out of poverty and into wealth. Not corporate cronyism, facism, and the perpetual welfare state which is exactly what we have here in America. Ohh yea, and the Fed printing money, driving the cost of everything up and making everyone poorer.
    29 Jun 2011, 02:09 PM Reply Like
  • Dana Blankenhorn
    , contributor
    Comments (8254) | Send Message
     
    The facts don't fit your ideology. The top 1/10th of 1% of people are gaining an increasing share of the nation's wealth, and an increasing share of our nation's income.

     

    I think the point the Fed governor was trying to make is that this it not really in the best interest of anyone -- even the very wealthy. They're getting a bigger piece of a smaller pie, when they could do better with a slightly smaller piece of a much bigger pie.

     

    This happens sometimes, because the competition of capitalism leads to fewer-and-fewer winners over time. The situation today is comparable to what we found in the 1890s, only without that age's excuse of a capital shortage.
    29 Jun 2011, 02:16 PM Reply Like
  • OptionManiac
    , contributor
    Comments (3392) | Send Message
     
    You are absolutely right. Fairly played capitalism is how mankind survived. Companies running their kingdoms like fiefdoms will eventually fail.
    29 Jun 2011, 02:18 PM Reply Like
  • jferreiro
    , contributor
    Comments (86) | Send Message
     
    Left wing kooks always claim that the top 1% control the wealth yet the assumption that it is always the same 1% is completely wrong. Just look at the Forbes 400. The list today is different than the list from 30 years ago. The question is did the top 1% earn their wealth or did they use Govt interference to help get it (think AlGore). The Socialists are always crying about how much wealth the top 1% control but in Socialist countries the top 1% control an even greater % of the national wealth and they never give it up (no creative destruction when the Govt can steal from whoever they want)
    29 Jun 2011, 02:36 PM Reply Like
  • Dana Blankenhorn
    , contributor
    Comments (8254) | Send Message
     
    Too often over the last decade the government has stolen from the middle class and its power has been used to give that wealth to the very rich. Not just through the tax code, but through criminality of various kinds.

     

    When ideology doesn't even serve the interests of wealth, let alone the national interest, its principles have crossed a dangerous line.

     

    Many of the Forbes 400 either inherited their wealth or "earned" it through manipulation of government largesse -- control of the public lands, control of the public's spectrum, and control of the government itself.
    29 Jun 2011, 03:08 PM Reply Like
  • Tony Petroski
    , contributor
    Comments (6373) | Send Message
     
    "Sarah Bloom Raskin says financial inequality resulting from stagnating incomes for most Americans and rapid growth in wealth for the richest 1% is undermining the recovery."

     

    Sarah (Bloom-Raskin or is it just Bloom Raskin)

     

    How precious.

     

    This gives me a thought--let's spread the wealth around.

     

    (Sorry, someone already figured that one out)
    29 Jun 2011, 02:10 PM Reply Like
  • Dana Blankenhorn
    , contributor
    Comments (8254) | Send Message
     
    The people who figured it out were the Republican politicians of the Progressive era. People like John Sherman (brother of William T.) for whom the Sherman Anti-Trust Act is named. Theodore Roosevelt. Even William McKinley.

     

    When all the wealth is concentrated on fewer hands, spending declines, because there are only so many yachts you can own. It's no coincidence that for over 80 years the market has done better under Democratic Presidents than Republican ones. Republicans forgot the secret of their own success.
    29 Jun 2011, 02:22 PM Reply Like
  • jferreiro
    , contributor
    Comments (86) | Send Message
     
    You are ignoring the reign of FDR when we had a decade plus of >20% unemployment. You also fail to account for who controls the House which controls the purse strings. Much of Bill Clinton's claim to fame is that a somewhat tightwad group of Republicans seized power in the House.
    29 Jun 2011, 02:30 PM Reply Like
  • OptionManiac
    , contributor
    Comments (3392) | Send Message
     
    You have your history wrong. 25% unemployment when he took office. 15% when FDR started building roads, bridges, and dams, many still standing today.
    29 Jun 2011, 02:34 PM Reply Like
  • Bear Bait
    , contributor
    Comments (690) | Send Message
     
    Today's Republican party is not the party I professed to be a part of and voted for for 40 years. I'm voting Democrat unless things change.

     

    The US became the world's #1 economic power due to the ever increasing middle class. If the middle class continues to decline so will the US. Today China's economic power is derived from the ever increasing middle class. Recognize the story.
    29 Jun 2011, 02:46 PM Reply Like
  • eggfaced
    , contributor
    Comments (293) | Send Message
     
    @Dana,

     

    The argument that wealthy people don't spend their money and thus hurts the economy is a complete fallacy.

     

    If they save their wealth instead, that capital can be deployed in the form of loans and investment which spurs employment and capital investment which ultimately makes workers more productive. This has a much greater beneficial impact to the economy than just plain consumption.

     

    The problem is the government is restricting proper deployment of that wealth with taxes and regulation, and diverting it to disfunctional sectors of the economy like housing and banking. That capital that actually stays in the US is being used inefficiently.
    29 Jun 2011, 03:00 PM Reply Like
  • CaesarRenasci
    , contributor
    Comments (9) | Send Message
     
    "Today's Republican party is not the party I professed to be a part of and voted for 40 years. I'm voting Democrat unless things change. "
    You can vote in any way you want, of course -- it's still, to some extent, a free country. But your position makes no sense: is the Dem Party what it was 40 years ago? Today they would run out people lie John Kennedy out of town. He was a patriot and an anti-communist. Today's Dems cannot find a dictator they wouldn't want to hug and a one-world government they'd not want to submit to. Domestically, there are no socialist measures that they would forego. So, please stop telling us how much you dislike Republicans: if you want to abandon our Constitution and change the nature of this great country, please tell us honestly. If you like redistribution of wealth and be ruled by the "United" Nations and some world court, tell us that honestly, too. Because that is what you'd be voting for if you vote Democratic. Just don't tell us a decade from now that you did not know, as Germans did after the war.
    29 Jun 2011, 04:24 PM Reply Like
  • OptionManiac
    , contributor
    Comments (3392) | Send Message
     
    Hmmm...I think throwing all dems in one basket is not becoming of you. Most of think Chavez is a little toad - certainly not a socialist, but a fascist.
    29 Jun 2011, 05:10 PM Reply Like
  • OptionManiac
    , contributor
    Comments (3392) | Send Message
     
    So the rich have no money left to spend? I think they can only spend so much. The lending remark doesn't wash, interest rates are as low as can be and those who can borrow are borrowing, there is plenty of money around.
    29 Jun 2011, 05:12 PM Reply Like
  • Dana Blankenhorn
    , contributor
    Comments (8254) | Send Message
     
    Capital seeks a return. Returns come from sales. Sales come from markets. Markets are made up of people. With money.

     

    Cut the number of people with money to spend and you cut the size of the available market, thus you cut sales, returns, and capital has no place to turn except, perhaps, nonsense like that of the last decade. Which went bust.
    29 Jun 2011, 05:13 PM Reply Like
  • Conventional Wisdumb
    , contributor
    Comments (1802) | Send Message
     
    I don't recall her voting against QE2, do you?

     

    Bernanke: QE2 helped to lift stock prices
    Fed chairman said central banks' bond purchases are lifting stocks, but said it is due to stronger economy, not an asset bubble.
    By Chris Isidore, senior writer
    CNNMONEY.COM — 01/13/11

     

    "I do think that our policies have contributed to a stronger stock market, just as they did in March of 2009," he said, referring to the Fed's initial round of quantitative easing."
    Ben Bernanke

     

    Forget about that pesky rise in food and energy costs - who needs to eat, drive, or heat/cool their home?
    29 Jun 2011, 02:22 PM Reply Like
  • jferreiro
    , contributor
    Comments (86) | Send Message
     
    This woman is a tool. The essential problem in the US is that the banking elites (of which Raskin is a mouthpiece) have seized control of the national currency and the political process. Mainstream media is a mouthpiece for the likes of Ms Raskin. The solution is default on our debts and denationalization of money which would imply the abolishment of the Federal Reserve which is a cartel of PRIVATE banks.
    29 Jun 2011, 02:27 PM Reply Like
  • KSAccountant
    , contributor
    Comments (770) | Send Message
     
    But would taxing the richest Americans really help? Warren Buffet himself sat onstage with Bill Gates and stated rather plainly, "if I didn't want to pay any federal income tax, I wouldn't have to." So how do "we the people" change a political system where the watchdogs (SEC, FDA, etc...) hinder the progress of small businesses in favor of "too big to fail" or "too big to regulate"? How do "we the people" change a political system where the Senate and House are filled with mostly millionaires in whose best interest it is to keep the tax laws favorable to the elite? And, if we tax the richest Americans, what do we do with the money? Plow it back into infastructure to give people work or buy more votes from those who would rather collect a government check?
    29 Jun 2011, 02:30 PM Reply Like
  • OptionManiac
    , contributor
    Comments (3392) | Send Message
     
    Who hinders small business is the local governments. Ever have to jump through hoops to gratify the good ole boy local network?
    29 Jun 2011, 02:35 PM Reply Like
  • Bear Bait
    , contributor
    Comments (690) | Send Message
     
    Vote the Republicans out of office. Check campaign contributions and see which party gets the most from big money. Does anyone really expect the Republicans to bite the hand that is making them rich?
    29 Jun 2011, 02:50 PM Reply Like
  • KSAccountant
    , contributor
    Comments (770) | Send Message
     
    OptionManiac, I totally agree but since I live in rural KS "red tape" is not as bad as larger cities (I just heard this morning that New York does not allow merchants to cut cheese off of cheese wheels...what the crap is up with that?) But, you neglect State redtape as well. I spent a day or more (if you add total hours) assisting a business from Nebraska that is carrying out a very simple and small two month project in the State of Kansas set up all their required tax accounts and filing the proper paperwork. I am well trained at jumping through flaming hoops!
    29 Jun 2011, 03:09 PM Reply Like
  • KSAccountant
    , contributor
    Comments (770) | Send Message
     
    Bear, I am a registered Republican but I vote Libertarian most of the time for two reasons: 1. We need more viable parties in the US. 2. I believe in VERY limited government (as in, please do not tell me how many french fries I can have with me greasy cheeseburger).
    29 Jun 2011, 03:11 PM Reply Like
  • Dana Blankenhorn
    , contributor
    Comments (8254) | Send Message
     
    The most dangerous thing we can do for our children's future is to throw up our hands and give up on democracy. Small "d." The power to change the system remains in the hands of the people, and for over 200 years our ancestors used that power to control the small elites that sought absolute control over our lives.

     

    It's the flexibility of the American system, its ability to respond to challenges, even from the "malefactors of great wealth," that make this country great.
    29 Jun 2011, 03:12 PM Reply Like
  • CaesarRenasci
    , contributor
    Comments (9) | Send Message
     
    ". Check campaign contributions and see which party gets the most from big money. "
    Yes, you do the same. Wall Street sends 80% of the money to Democrats, election after election. Now what?
    29 Jun 2011, 04:25 PM Reply Like
  • Joe Morgan
    , contributor
    Comments (1559) | Send Message
     
    @Bear Bait....Don't make me laugh....

     

    Wall Street loves Obama, they were the biggest donors in Obama 2008 campaign....

     

    Jamie Dimon and Jeff Inmelt, buddies of Obama and the poster boys of
    cronyism Capitalism....
    29 Jun 2011, 04:57 PM Reply Like
  • Dana Blankenhorn
    , contributor
    Comments (8254) | Send Message
     
    Really? Wall Street is all made up of Democrats now? Doesn't show up in Fundrace.org or anywhere else where such statistics are collected. The finance industry has long been a bastion of Republican giving.

     

    If you like crony capitalism, however, you'll love the oil business.
    29 Jun 2011, 05:14 PM Reply Like
  • KSAccountant
    , contributor
    Comments (770) | Send Message
     
    Dana, you are correct about not giving up. Rome remained strong as long as Romans believed in Rome but faltered when Romans began thinking their country a failure.

     

    However, I must reprint Thomas Jefferson's words found in a letter written after the Shay's rebellion. (See Link: www.earlyamerica.com/r...)

     

    "I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical. Unsuccessful rebellions, indeed, generally establish the encroachments on the rights of the people which have produced them. An observation of this truth should render honest republican governors so mild in their punishment of rebellions as not to discourage them too much. It is a medicine necessary for the sound health of government." Thomas Jefferson.
    29 Jun 2011, 05:18 PM Reply Like
  • Dana Blankenhorn
    , contributor
    Comments (8254) | Send Message
     
    Oh please. Jefferson's words have been deliberately twisted by every failed revolutionary from that day to this, including the Confederates. When you twist them that way they can excuse anything, and make Jefferson himself seem the greatest enemy to democracy the world has ever known.

     

    We have the opportunity for rebellion every two years. It's called an election.
    29 Jun 2011, 06:06 PM Reply Like
  • Poor Texan
    , contributor
    Comments (3533) | Send Message
     
    "The power to change the system remains in the hands of the people"

     

    Rather, in the hands of the less than half of the people who bother to vote (worse in state and local elections). Try talking politics to the man in the street and watch the deer in the headlights expression.
    29 Jun 2011, 06:18 PM Reply Like
  • KSAccountant
    , contributor
    Comments (770) | Send Message
     
    Good point. However, I support why the Confederacy rebelled. Everyone misconstrues the Civil War as a fight over slavery. It was not, it was a fight over State's rights and ever since the Union won, the Central government has grown ever stronger which is not what many of our founders had in mind. Additionally, we are a country ruled by the minority as Poor Texan points out less than 50% of us actually vote and an even smaller percentage of us actually know who and what we are voting for. And, remember, Hitler took power with less than 30% of the German vote and a great deal of manipulation.
    29 Jun 2011, 06:41 PM Reply Like
  • Dana Blankenhorn
    , contributor
    Comments (8254) | Send Message
     
    OK, good. I know where you're coming from. Thanks for writing it.
    29 Jun 2011, 08:24 PM Reply Like
  • Dana Blankenhorn
    , contributor
    Comments (8254) | Send Message
     
    Not voting is voting. Not voting is accepting the verdict of those who vote. There are countries where voting is mandated, and I don't know if I can trust the choices of people who vote only because they have to.

     

    As to the "deer in the headlights" expression, that's democracy for you. It's worse than any governing system ever developed, as Churchill said. Except for all the others.
    29 Jun 2011, 08:25 PM Reply Like
  • KSAccountant
    , contributor
    Comments (770) | Send Message
     
    Dana, please do not get me wrong, I still think we have the greatest country in the world and, I believe, the greatest political system to enact change if the people get upset enough (think Progressive movement of the early 20th century that busted the Trusts and enacted a great deal of public safety regulation or the implementation of the SEC in the 30's after some of the stock swindles of the 20's).

     

    However, I fear that certain political elites have become so entrenched that no amount of elections can remove them. I always think back to Boris Pasternak's Dr. Zhivago in which Komarovsky an admitted bad guy under the Czars becomes an admitted bad guy under the Bolsheviks, the revolution changed nothing. I fear the same thing is happening in the US we may vote out all 535 members of Congress only to have the same rules and regulations passed because of all the staff and political workers will keep running things as usual. Or, a more applicable example, what about the Fed Chairman? He has rather great power in the US but "we the people" do not vote for him.
    29 Jun 2011, 11:56 PM Reply Like
  • Dana Blankenhorn
    , contributor
    Comments (8254) | Send Message
     
    I think our present challenges pale in comparison to those of the past. I'll admit to having been a real pessimist in the late 1990s, because I looked over the horizon and saw a cliff.

     

    Now I look forward and see immense opportunity. We can save more energy than any country. We have more great scientists and engineers -- the best want to work here and not China. We still have a pretty neat capital system, an educated workforce, and the rule of law.
    30 Jun 2011, 09:08 AM Reply Like
  • jferreiro
    , contributor
    Comments (86) | Send Message
     
    If smarts, drive and ambition are key to accumulating wealth and it is known that these are not evenly distributed then why would it surprise anyone that wealth is not distributed evenly. I think that the problem people have is when wealth is accumulated via govt meddling on the behalf of certain people. Think AlGore, Immelt at GE, Goldman Sacs, etc.
    29 Jun 2011, 02:39 PM Reply Like
  • Dana Blankenhorn
    , contributor
    Comments (8254) | Send Message
     
    Al Gore isn't getting rich because he was in government. He's getting rich in the private sector, working in venture capital, helping to create wealth.

     

    And he didn't even get involved with John Doerr until 6 years after he left government.
    29 Jun 2011, 03:14 PM Reply Like
  • Duude
    , contributor
    Comments (3398) | Send Message
     
    Sarah Bloom Raskin has a BA in economics. That's all it took for Obama to appoint her to the board in 2010. Oh uh, other than her previous income re-distribution indoctrination. She's an attorney, but that has as much to do with serving on the Fed board as is playing on the water polo team.
    29 Jun 2011, 02:48 PM Reply Like
  • KSAccountant
    , contributor
    Comments (770) | Send Message
     
    Since when has experience mattered in government since the rise of the professional politician class (i.e. Woodrow Wilson and forward)?
    29 Jun 2011, 03:13 PM Reply Like
  • Dana Blankenhorn
    , contributor
    Comments (8254) | Send Message
     
    Ms. Raskin's background is admittedly more that of a cop than a robber. Here's her bio page on the Federal Reserve Board site. www.federalreserve.gov...
    29 Jun 2011, 03:16 PM Reply Like
  • The Enterprising Value Inve...
    , contributor
    Comments (553) | Send Message
     
    Unbelievable that she has the level of position she does and then makes such a blanket socialistic comment like this.

     

    Economic growth is hindered by social equality not the other way around. As a policy maker you have a choice between efficiency and equity. You can't have both. One is capitalist and the other is socialist.
    This is Econ 101 (no really I pretty sure its in Mankiw's text for econ 101 classes, haha)
    29 Jun 2011, 03:05 PM Reply Like
  • CaesarRenasci
    , contributor
    Comments (9) | Send Message
     
    "Sarah Bloom Raskin has a BA in economics. "
    This explains her ignorance: there is no connection between income inequality and growth. This is just socialist propaganda, which works quite well with our dumbed-down population. Think of 1800s, when the inequality was perhaps greatest in our history, but which was the period of the most rapid growth we've ever experienced.
    None of this is about economics. The recession under Carter was greater than now, and the misery much worse: over 10% unemployment and 14% mortgage rates. Yet nobody questioned capitalism then. The socialists are using our frustration to advance their own agenda. And they are apparently succeeding.
    29 Jun 2011, 03:20 PM Reply Like
  • Dana Blankenhorn
    , contributor
    Comments (8254) | Send Message
     
    Economic growth is hindered by social equality? Really? Really. So growth in the last decade should be higher than growth was during the 1950s and 1960s, when social equality (measured by income) was great.

     

    Better yet, let's take away the vote from anyone with a net worth under $1 million, as the Founders intended. 10 states in 1790 had property requirements for voting, and with inflation the $1 million figure is probably a good estimate. www1.cuny.edu/portal_u...
    29 Jun 2011, 04:30 PM Reply Like
  • Dana Blankenhorn
    , contributor
    Comments (8254) | Send Message
     
    Capitalism rides on democracy. To have one without the other is to merely have another form of dictatorship. There was much less economic inequality in the 1970s than there is today, which may indeed be why more people question the system now than did under Carter.

     

    I have nothing against rich people per se, but wealth that doesn't serve the interests of society and is routinely passed down whole to wastrel-after-wastrel is mere Paris Hilton feudalism. Which I vote against.
    29 Jun 2011, 04:33 PM Reply Like
  • The Enterprising Value Inve...
    , contributor
    Comments (553) | Send Message
     
    Looks like you have as much economic acumen as our Fed Governor here.

     

    Economic growth was so strong in the 50's and 60's for two basic reasons:

     

    1) Labor productivity went up as capital per worker increased substantially as businesses invested for the huge consumer boom going on in the US following WWII. Demand for US goods was also particularly strong because most of the industrial production of our competition (Europe and Japan) was particularly damaged.

     

    delong.typepad.com/sdj...

     

    2) Large population growth following the war. This was the onset of the "Baby Boom" generation and created an above average population growth spurt.

     

    So you had population growing faster than normal, plus improved technology and capital following the war boosted labor productivity. The factors were the contributing force towards US economic growth. In fact, differences in income equality have little to do with effects on economic growth.

     

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

     

    Note the above chart mapping out the Gini coefficient a measurement for income equality where 0 = perfectly equal and 1 = perfectly inequal. Note that Gini seems to have little correlation between economic growth. India is relatively equal while China is not. Economic growth has been strong there. Brazil is very unequal but is growing well, US is relatively unequal but not growing that well.
    29 Jun 2011, 04:47 PM Reply Like
  • Dana Blankenhorn
    , contributor
    Comments (8254) | Send Message
     
    Economic growth cratered, and economic inequality blossomed, during the last decade. The experiment's been run. And we all know what happened. So going back to those good days is not an option for me, or for many others.

     

    I'm happy to pay Clinton-era tax rates if I can get Clinton-era economic growth. And I think we can. Once we realize we can stop looking for stuff to burn and start harvesting the energy abundance that's all around us, something that's getting cheaper all the time.
    29 Jun 2011, 05:17 PM Reply Like
  • The Enterprising Value Inve...
    , contributor
    Comments (553) | Send Message
     
    Clinton era growth wasnt fueled by productivity due to the internet, etc.

     

    economistsview.typepad...

     

    Post 90's we were doing 3+% productivity growth per year. You look during the 50's and 60's and it was even higher.

     

    Capitalism still remains the best way to boost economic growth. What people don't understand is that is says NOTHING about the spread of income equality, just that the OVERALL trend in income will be the greatest in those countries that engage in free trade and open, capitalistic markets.
    29 Jun 2011, 05:30 PM Reply Like
  • Dana Blankenhorn
    , contributor
    Comments (8254) | Send Message
     
    You're making some Seeking Alpha readers want to join a union, Fin. Productivity growing like gangbusters and most of us are losing both money and rights?
    29 Jun 2011, 06:07 PM Reply Like
  • OptionManiac
    , contributor
    Comments (3392) | Send Message
     
    "Post 90's we were doing 3+% productivity growth per year."

     

    Fewer workers per widget = more unemployment = lower wages = higher salaries for management for improving the bottom line.

     

    Hey, it's just the way things are. Is this the new economy? Is this the capitalism you are all talking about? Lower wages for most of us and higher wages for a few?
    29 Jun 2011, 05:50 PM Reply Like
  • Dana Blankenhorn
    , contributor
    Comments (8254) | Send Message
     
    The beauty of our democracy is that we, the people have the power to change things, once we decide things are intolerable.

     

    That's the point of Jefferson's Shay's Rebellion quote that is often deliberately misinterpreted by advocates of violence. We built revolution into the system, as the results of the last few elections demonstrate.
    29 Jun 2011, 06:10 PM Reply Like
  • OptionManiac
    , contributor
    Comments (3392) | Send Message
     
    Hmm...and you have a supposed grass roots movement like the teaparty who are financed by billionaires. It is tough not to be manipulated anymore.
    29 Jun 2011, 06:16 PM Reply Like
  • KSAccountant
    , contributor
    Comments (770) | Send Message
     
    Dana, I hope you did not think my quotation of Jefferson as a way to incite violence. I was thinking more civil disobedience.

     

    I am tired of being told by government workers (no offense to them, it is their bosses that tell them what they can and cannot do), "well, that is the law." Unfortunately, the law makes no sense. Case in point, Colorado is sending collection notices to Kansas individuals who received 1099 notices from Colorado companies even though the work was performed in the State of Kansas (and, thus, is Kansas income). I have a letter from the company stating that the work was performed in the State of Kansas in 2006 and all years forward. I sent the letter to Colorado for 2006 (the year requested). Within a month, I received another notice requesting proof for 2007. I called Colorado to ask why I had to send proof when I had done so for 2006. I was told, the law requires proof for every year and one letter will not satisfy that requirement. I cannot change Colorado law but yet it effects me and my clients. How is one supposed to change laws in States they do not vote in?
    29 Jun 2011, 06:49 PM Reply Like
  • OptionManiac
    , contributor
    Comments (3392) | Send Message
     
    Yes, there are a lot of very stupid regulations out there, and a lot made not just by the Fed government but by local ones as well. But, that being said, we are human so we do need laws and we do need regulations. Granted, I work in the industry and food industry standards are tougher than the fed, but there are food companies that will poison you if it means profits. (without any food regulations and the FDA to investigate, how would anyone know what killed you).
    You think there should be no regs for mine safety? There is a role for the fed government.
    29 Jun 2011, 07:07 PM Reply Like
  • The Enterprising Value Inve...
    , contributor
    Comments (553) | Send Message
     
    Sorry but that is slightly incorrect again.

     

    www.federalreserve.gov...

     

    Fewer workers per widget = higher productivity = higher wages

     

    The correlation between unemployment and productivity is relatively positive during recessions (during the last one, we saw a significant correlation.) But as you can see during the 90's, productivity and EMPLOYMENT were positively correlated, suggesting that there might not be a strong, statistically significant correlation between the two.

     

    Right now, productivity has increased substantially and wages and salaries are rising again, as is nominal wages per week. The issue that is occurring is that most of that wage increase is accruing to the trained worker, the doctor, lawyer, nurse, marketer, etc.

     

    Unskilled labor is the US suffers from multiple headwinds:

     

    One, they are flat out too expensive for most corporations to use. Both minimum wage laws and unions have caused unskilled labor in this country to be quite noncompetitive. Add to that technology and the ability for countries to access labor elsewhere and you have a recipe for high unemployment in the unskilled sector in the US. I will admit, though, that housing/construction has played a pivotal role in unskilled employment in the past decade so that may have made the problem even worst.

     

    The second, and most important factor, is that overall education should be improved. Again this goes back to the above chart. If you want to raise a nation's per capita income you MUST do it by raising their productivity. One of the best ways to increase productivity is to improve technologies and improve the education system. The US has done moderately well on the first one (we can look at a country like Korea for how to do it well) but for education the US has really failed miserably outside of universities.
    30 Jun 2011, 08:42 AM Reply Like
  • KSAccountant
    , contributor
    Comments (770) | Send Message
     
    Fin858, America does have issues with its education system and does have problems (I will not get on my soapbox for that at the moment). However, my brother is a teacher and constantly complains about the "oh well" attitude of his students. They play on their cell phones on Facebook more than paying attention and have the idea that they will find work or money somewhere. He tells me this "who cares, oh well" attitude gets worse every year. I spoke with a number of my former (now retired) teachers and they quit teaching for the exact same reason. We can build all the facilities we want to and hire all the best teachers but until the students actually want to learn...it is for not.
    30 Jun 2011, 10:19 AM Reply Like
  • The Enterprising Value Inve...
    , contributor
    Comments (553) | Send Message
     
    To fix that, you stop handing them everything.

     

    Pretty simple really. As soon as they realize that their performance is directly correlated to both income, standard of living, and level in society, I will bet anyone they will start to pay attention in class.
    30 Jun 2011, 10:22 AM Reply Like
  • Dana Blankenhorn
    , contributor
    Comments (8254) | Send Message
     
    I am tired of hearing people complain about "those young people today." Education needs to be more engaging. Just throwing money at teachers alone won't do the job. But most of the reforms needed don't really cost money. Stop lecturing and hectoring kids from the front of the room. Give them engaging materials and help the kids one-on-one. Reformers with knowledge have been saying this for decades, but no one in a position to do anything -- on either the labor or management side -- has moved forward.
    30 Jun 2011, 10:34 AM Reply Like
  • KSAccountant
    , contributor
    Comments (770) | Send Message
     
    Dana, actually my brother is a very engaging teacher. I wished I would have had him as a science teacher as he is always doing cool little experiments and other nifty things to illustrate points (he made ice cream in class once to illustrate how salt makes water colder). He even plants a garden plot and takes his kids out to till the soil and plant the seeds to demonstrate certain biology topics. The result? Three or four kids out of twenty really get into the project, the rest stand around bored and will not participate until my brother tells them what needs to be done and even then it is very begrudgingly as they have to put down their cell phone. Most still stand around talking and ignoring the lesson my brother is trying to convey. One even asked if he brought some pot seeds if they could raise pot.

     

    I think it goes back to what Fin858 said, stop giving them everything.
    30 Jun 2011, 10:46 AM Reply Like
  • KSAccountant
    , contributor
    Comments (770) | Send Message
     
    BUT, having just said all that...you are very correct about engaging kids as my best teachers in college and high school were those who actually involved us and did not just sit and lecture. I even had one college class where those who grasped the topic had to go around and "tutor" those who did not (it was an information systems class). My college information systems classes (I have a double major) were very "hands on" and engaging as we did most of the teaching (as in, the professor did not necessarily lecture, we had to go out, study and then present to our fellow students...talk about hard to do at times).

     

    However, my point is just how difficult it is to engage kids today as they are more interested on their friends latest Facebook posts and texting/sexting their friends across the room (my brother has issues with cell phones all the time).
    30 Jun 2011, 10:51 AM Reply Like
  • OptionManiac
    , contributor
    Comments (3392) | Send Message
     
    I agree with most of what you have said. I think wages below minimum will create a class of homeless workers. You can't live on minimum wage let alone a lower wage, unless you are counting on deflation. We are entering into a new economy, due to technology, where "unskilled" workers are left out, the term unskilled being highly relative. Budweiser hires engineers to run its bottling line, and it doesn't take many. Our local brewery has 80 guys running three shifts. I know a kid how applied there, (engineer major), didn't take it, and they counter offered his salary.
    US education has been improving compared to the rest of the world since we were dead last in the western world in the '60's. We could do better, but we have to rely on the parents. Unfortunately, teachers are retiring in droves now because they are seen as the enemy by the tax payer.
    30 Jun 2011, 10:56 AM Reply Like
  • OptionManiac
    , contributor
    Comments (3392) | Send Message
     
    I agree with each of you. Take away all the single parent families whose kids have issues, and I wonder what the improvement in average test scores would be. As a kid, we fiddled with our cars and not cell phones, I can still change my own brakes today. And with each car I own I learn something new.
    Parents have to take a greater role in their kids education, because, unfortunately, there are too many distractions out there.
    30 Jun 2011, 11:03 AM Reply Like
  • Dana Blankenhorn
    , contributor
    Comments (8254) | Send Message
     
    I'll see your brother the science teacher and raise you my brother the math teacher. He's such a good math teacher he has poor kids in LA going to big-name private schools, and he's been teaching math teachers how to teach at UCLA for some years now.

     

    From what you write, and what I know of my brother, engagement is the key. Your brother plants a garden. My brother makes calculus entertaining.

     

    But not every teacher is as talented as your brother, or mine. Engagement is the key.
    30 Jun 2011, 11:32 AM Reply Like
  • KSAccountant
    , contributor
    Comments (770) | Send Message
     
    But that might require personal responsibility... Actually OptionManiac, I believe engagement in education begins at home and my brother can prove that point. He has taught in four different districts in different parts of Kansas ranging from Western Kansas to the middle of Kansas, both public and private, and generally smaller districts and in every school the kids whose parents/parent were involved in their kid's education (be it telling my brother to let them know if their kid acted up, coming to parent-teacher conferences, coming to games, etc...) were the kids who excelled or at least performed well. The kids whose parents/parent blamed my brother for their kid's poor performance, never showed up to parent-teacher conferences, and generally did not care about the school were below average to failures. I have confirmed these points with other teachers I know. My observations may not be scientific but I believe there is some truth to engaged parents making for engaged kids.
    30 Jun 2011, 11:39 AM Reply Like
  • OptionManiac
    , contributor
    Comments (3392) | Send Message
     
    Yeah, my dad was a high-school principal and had the same observations. He also observed that paddling kids had no effect. The same kids would come back for more as if they enjoyed it. Unfortunately, he did not let this observation change his views on home discipline. And no, I never enjoyed it.
    30 Jun 2011, 12:40 PM Reply Like
  • KSAccountant
    , contributor
    Comments (770) | Send Message
     
    Ha, ha, ha...neither did I! But, I am young enough that paddling was generally illegal by the time I moved through the grades. Unfortunately, many of the problem kids my brother has simply want someone to actually care about them.
    30 Jun 2011, 02:44 PM Reply Like
  • Poor Texan
    , contributor
    Comments (3533) | Send Message
     
    "Give them engaging materials and help the kids one-on-one."

     

    Yes. My experience with home-schooled children indicates this works. So we probably need to reduce class sizes to two or three to get the kiddies interested.:-(
    30 Jun 2011, 04:12 PM Reply Like
  • KSAccountant
    , contributor
    Comments (770) | Send Message
     
    Dana, I think that is just great!!
    30 Jun 2011, 04:23 PM Reply Like
  • Dana Blankenhorn
    , contributor
    Comments (8254) | Send Message
     
    Technology lets you do that, and with a professional guide at the side instead of a sage on the stage.

     

    Unfortunately, you say "materials" and you get lost in political arguments over whether you should be teaching, say, that the Confederacy revolted over slavery instead of tariffs, and whether Andrew Mellon, not FDR, should be the great economic savior of his time.
    30 Jun 2011, 05:50 PM Reply Like
  • OptionManiac
    , contributor
    Comments (3392) | Send Message
     
    Problem kids who succeed manage to find a "mentor", an adult who listens to them. But it has to happen before they are too far down the vortex.
    30 Jun 2011, 06:13 PM Reply Like
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