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September 24, 2015

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...ah, but when the fines are assigned under McKTx's plan, surely the right will find the political will to enforce it...

McKinney: Because we are short on labor intensive jobs, and none of them have a great future except some construction trades, we are importing a large underclass.

We can come up with endless varieties of labor intensive jobs, but for some reason we insist these jobs pay squat, even though, on the whole, our society produces such an incredible amount of wealth that this need not be the case.

Hence the need to "import" that large underclass, because it ensures that these jobs with "no future" remain low paying ones.

The rationale the left advances is we need these folks to do the shitty work we won't.

I don't know what the left thinks.

I think "crap" jobs are now, and have always been, the entry level path into the US economy. Whether that's for young people just entering the job market, or people of any age just arriving in the US.

I worked my share of them, now I don't. I got ahead, just like most folks eventually do. Just like most immigrants do, or if they personally don't their kids do.

Nothing wrong or shameful about doing an honest day's work, says I. If native-borns don't want to do them as a way into gainful employment, more the fools are they.

We all start somewhere.

And who is enforcing this?

I don't know. Hence my second question.

Bobby, you might want to consider this.

Considering conforting Panglossian permutations is really not my style.

We could, however, reassess our agricultural trade policies that drove many of Mexico's poor off their land. Or our drug policies that have turned areas of the globe into narco states in all but name. Or our trade policies that impose huge economic rents on just about everybody to pay royalties for "intellectual property". Or our currency policy that pits auto workers against their counterparts abroad. Or our guild system that spares accountants, lawyers, and doctors from similar foreign competition.

But of course, such changes would shift economic rewards from the well off to the less well off.

But consider. It would all be for the better, would it not?

Jesus. The rationale the left advances is we need these folks to do the shitty work we won't.

Given that people far more patient than me have tried to explain your notion of 'the left' exists only in your head, I'll leave that be. I'd just point out that speaking for myself rather than for 'the left', those folks are already doing that shitty work and it would cause such an upheaval in the fabric of society to rip them out that we need to find a way to let them stay without criminalizing them.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/alabama-law-drives-out-illegal-immigrants-but-also-has-unexpected-consequences/2012/06/17/gJQA3Rm0jV_story.html

http://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2012/05/17/the-law-of-unintended-consequences-georgias-immigration-law-backfires/

Though I assume you are invoking Jesus Christ because he would have had them frogmarched out of the country.

McKT, just wondering if you are familiar with the arguments defending birthright citizenship as a constitutional right.

"As for the quaint notion that immigrants from the south don't commit a lot of crime--travel around in Mexico and Central America. Know what a good business is to be in down there? Selling and installing decorative window bars."

You want to convince me that the people who leave Mexico and Central America commit a lot of crime based on the fact that the people who DON'T leave Mexico and Central America commit a lot of crime? I guess this did not occur to you, but there might be variable that would explain a predictable difference in criminal behavior between those two populations.

"It is bullshit that illegal immigrants don't commit a ton of crime. We see it everyday here in Texas. If you haven't read the Atlantic link, please do so."

Your anecdotal experience is unconvincing to me in the face of contrary evidence. See, for example, this: http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-mythical-connection-between-immigrants-and-crime-1436916798

Julian, you won't convince anyone if you're going to link to a well-known 'left wing' propaganda site like 'wsj.com'.

If McTx wants to decrease his marginal income tax rate, taking a job as an agricultural worker (one less illegal!) would do the trick. Or, perhaps, that would be a "shitty work you don't want"?

Not that anyone is still reading but "wop" does not originate as an acronym for "without papers." It's an anglicization of the word "guappo," from the Neopolitan version of Italian, where it means tough guy, and more particularly, a member of the Camorra, the Mafia-like organized crime secret society of Naples. It comes originally from the Spanish word guapo, meaning handsome, bold or elegant (the Spanish ruled in southern Italy off and on for several hundred years.) "Guappo" is pronounced with a very soft "g," a consonant that doesn't exist in English, so it sounds to an American like "wwappo," which became "wop."

In English, there weren't any words made from acronyms until around WWII. So no, tip does not mean to insure prompt service, and fuck is not for unlawful carnal knowledge, and posh is not port out starboard home.

On the other hand jeep really is GP (general purpose) and snafu really is situation normal, all fucked up.

Bloix,

Do you happen to know when "wop" came into widespread use? It must have been before 1915, for PG Wodehouse used it in Psmith, Journalist, published that year.

Also, I will take your word about acronyms and American English, but are you confident about British English? Either way, where does "posh" come from? Is it an import from somewhere in the Empire, maybe?

--TP

Bloix, thanks for the info. One of the joys of this blog is not only the new information I get, but the mis-information that I get corrected.

"we insist these jobs pay squat, even though, on the whole, our society produces such an incredible amount of wealth that this need not be the case."

This is not supported by the math.

Marty, you are welcome to show your math, these examples suggest that it is

http://www.triplepundit.com/2014/02/3p-weekend-10-companies-pay-living-wage/

http://www.alternet.org/story/150685/if_walmart_paid_its_1.4_million_u.s._workers_a_living_wage,_it_would_result_in_almost_no_pain_for_the_average_customer

Every generation seems to think that acronyms are a "new thing".

I'm just not sure how you're supposed to pronounce that latin word "SPQR" that's written all over Rome.

US GNP/US population > $50,000

US GNP/US population > $50,000

That's excellent math, if only the cost of GNP was all in human resources.

A study released this week found that if the nation's largest low-wage employer, Walmart, were to pay its 1.4 million U.S. workers a living wage of at least $12 per hour and pass every single penny of the costs onto consumers, the average Walmart customer would pay just 46 cents more per shopping trip, or around $12 extra dollars each year.

I would be glad to show my math, bobbyp's is a good start, but their math proves my point. I am not sure how many people consider $12 an hour a living wage. In large parts of the country is simply not. In the South in many places it is close.

But that's 1.4M people, some of whom already make $12. Even if you illogically paid everyone in the US the same amount of money, you would be pushing a lot more people into poverty than you brought up. And, of course, there would be zero investment dollars so that average number would just decline over time

US workforce is about 150M.

So, GDP is about %18T, divided by 150M is about $120K.

Per capita US income / average US income, which seem like reasonable proxies for how much of GNP is converted to income to people, are both around $42K / $43K.

Median personal income as of 2013 was about $28K. Note that "median" means half the population makes less than that.

So, to the casual observer, it would appear that there is some headroom there.

not everybody who works needs to make a living wage. there are plenty of people who are are supported by others or by other sources of money: high school students who are still living with their parents, college students doing work/study, retired people who work for supplemental income (or just to get out of the house), spouses who could afford to stay at home but who work to keep themselves busy, etc..

but people who do need to work for a living should be able to do so.

and, if you want to cut down on crime, making it less difficult for people to support themselves legally seems like a win/win/win.

US GNP/US population > $50,000

What that shows is how well we could afford to do by everybody. After all, even if we just returned to 1950's levels of comparitive salary levels for workers and CEOs, the low end wages would be significantly higher.

But for the purposes of this discussion, the median wage is a lot more meaningful than the average. And the 10th percentile more useful still.

Conclusion: Golden unopened parachutes for the poor and the lower middle class would cause rampant yacht and penthouse inflation, causing the Fed to tighten, and incentivizing CEOS to stop investing corporate capital, or resume investing corporate capital, whichever seemed more likely to raise bonuses and call option prices, into job-killing automation and outsourcing abroad, not to mention enhanced money for nothing options programs for themselves, whichever seemed more likely to f*ck as many people as possible.

It's behind a firewall, but this Sunday's New York Times Magazine sports an article by Paul Theroux regarding corporate titans' charitable impulses, this after hollowing out the nation's decent job base by sending jobs abroad, and cutting pay and benefits, especially among poor and lower middle class whites in the deep South.

Seems like the long way around to improve their self images.

Ever wonder who filth Trump et al, of all people, appeal to?

When the powers that be decided long ago to defeat inflation, that meant deliberately stagnating pay and benefits at 1980 levels for working people.

Just a big f*cking money transfer.

Goldman Sachs's cost of GNP was all in human resources, about 20 of them, who make so much more inflated money than the average low-wage worker that political fixes are bound at this late date to fail.

That doesn't leave much left in the range of options to correct the situation, except rancid, pigf*cking anger.

The dreams of a very rich man:

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/brazils-richest-man-dreams-taking-201023981.html

I expect the dreams of 100,000 Coke employees involve stocking up on guns and ammo and surrounding this pigf*cking Custer-f*ck of a bastard.

I would hope, knowing this, all of them are working overtime stealing the recipe for Coke and selling it in the open market and/or posting it on the internet, because if their lives are now worthless sh*t, so should be that intellectual property for sugar water.

Warren Buffet cohorts with this scum. I'm a shareholder of Berkshire Hathaway. I think I'll write a letter to warren and then off myself for congenital hypocrisy.

The US workforce is 185M people last I looked. So that number is close to 97k.

http://cdn.financialsamurai.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/top-income-earners-2015.png?aa4556

My math based on this table is that if you took every penny that is reported to the IRS and divided it equally among the workforce, I'm using the 185M, everybody would make just above poverty level at 42000 a year. That means in huge swaths of the Northeast and California you could not live on this. It also leaves no money in the hands of an investor class to create new businesses to maintain that standard.

And, of course, no one would pay Federal income tax.

not everybody who works needs to make a living wage. there are plenty of people who are are supported by others or by other sources of money

That's really a conservative point. Are you sure we should be considering who does and doesn't NEED to make a living wage. After all, that thinking laid the groundwork for the disparity between men's and women's wages that exists today.

divided it equally among the workforce, I'm using the 185M, everybody would make just above poverty level at 42000 a year. That means in huge swaths of the Northeast and California you could not live on this.

Oh come on! If everybody was making $42K, the cost of living in New York and California would necessarily drop substantially. For ecample, you don't build and price houses at $1M+ if nobody can afford to buy them. You only do it is you have a market for them.

"And, of course, no one would pay Federal income tax."

For a conservative, is that the good news or the bad news?

I bet there would be plenty of money left for political donations to keep it that way.

"My math based on this table is that if you took every penny that is reported to the IRS and divided it equally among the workforce, I'm using the 185M, everybody would make just above poverty level at 42000 a year. That means in huge swaths of the Northeast and California you could not live on this. It also leaves no money in the hands of an investor class to create new businesses to maintain that standard."

How about a bonus or a paid national holiday then for the low-wage workers who as patriots sacrifice to maintain everyone else's standard of living and the Department of Defense?

Or maybe just a pep talk to inure them to the advanced economic theories that explain that their low pay is the basis for all of civilized society, especially the civilized gated community part of it?

People, thank you for accepting a pittance, because it keeps the wolf from our doors.

Now go sit by the door.

Every generation seems to think that acronyms are a "new thing".

This may be true, but the current pervasiveness of them is a consequence of widespread and specialized literacy.

And beyond even that, backronyms are generally the most suspect of all folk etymologies - and that's saying something.

What that shows is how well we could afford to do by everybody.

Precisely. So why don't we do a better job of it?

Take a family of 2 adults and 2 kids. Their income by this measure is $200K. Median (not mean) family income is less than half that (mid 70's).

That still leaves plenty of room for taxes and investment.

Or take the elderly. An old geezer maxing out Social Security is getting something in the $20,000+ range. For nearly 40% of beneficiaries, Soc. Security is 90% of their retirement income. For a third of them, it is their only retirement income. $50K each/yr means a decent, humane retirement.

Yes, these are rough numbers. But they demonstrate just how bountiful our annual economic effort really is.

oops

Fixed, Bobby

everybody would make just above poverty level at 42000 a year.

Just above poverty level? Really? Where do you get your numbers for that statement? Per HHS's 2015 guidelines, $42k is indeed "just above [the] poverty level" of $40,890... if we assume everyone is the head of a household of 8. Single is $11,770, and duo is $15,930.

Full time at $15/hr is still only $31k, far below what you appear to perceive as poverty levels. Current minimum wage is actually pretty much in line with the current 1+1 poverty line, although all of these are pre-tax, and while income taxes might be avoided at that level, EIC would not necessarily offset payroll taxes.

Which is a long way of repeating my question about what's the basis for stating that 42k is just above poverty levels.

http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2015/10/lets-experiment-minimum-wage-and-eitc

NV, ok, substantially above poverty level but still qualifying for food assistance. So, in that scenario everyone, except me and the Count (and anyone else that doesn't qualify), that comments on this blog has their salary reduced to 42k a year. Everybody in?

Let the low wage areas of the country sleep on it, if they can, and get back to you.

http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2015/10/folks-west-virginia-arent-getting-enough-sleep

If you look at the far northwestern corner of Colorado on that map, you'll notice folks in that sparsely populated area near Dinosaur National Monument aren't getting much shuteye.

I was just there last weekend sleeping on the hard ground in a tent for three nights and I slept like a baby.

What gives?

Sorry, Marty, you can't reduce my salary to $42K. Since, last year, it was $12 -- no, that is not a typo, it really was twelve dollars total. I got lots of equity, which someday may (or may not) be worth something. But minimal actual salary income.

Admittedly I did also have about $14K in retirement income, from a job a long time ago. But that was the sum total of it.

It's not poverty. But only because I saved a lot more than most of my contemporaries over my working life.

Count, it occurs to me that those sleep statistics may, in large part, reflect willingness to complain.

Count,
They asked this question:

“During the past thirty days, for about how many days have you felt you did not get enough rest or sleep?”

I guess people in Appalachia are pickier about how much sleep they should get. I know if I don't get my nap I'm cranky, and if they tried to survey me during my nap it would not have been good.

Are you sure we should be considering who does and doesn't NEED to make a living wage.

i'm saying: in the context of the kind of back-of-napkin math going on here (#workers / $GDP = possible avg salary), #workers doesn't realistically need to count every worker.

i have no idea how such a distinction could fairly happen in reality.

The US workforce is 185M people last I looked.

I'll meet you somewhere in the middle. BLS says about 157K.

My math based on this table is that if you took every penny that is reported to the IRS and divided it equally among the workforce, I'm using the 185M, everybody would make just above poverty level at 42000 a year.

The 185M is, as noted above, somewhat high, but your result is not far off of the reported per-capita income for the US.

It's true, $42K won't get you far as a household income, but it's a hell of a lot better than the $28K median.

And, as cleek notes, not all employees need to be paid at head-of-household rates. And, these days, most or at least many households have more than one earner.

In any case, I take your point, mine is that headroom there for folks to be paid better.

Russell, I'm not against trying to make progress on minimum wage and, to some reasonable extent,wage equality. I simply font think that raising the minimum wage solves a lot. Nor is it realistic to expect the movement of wages down the scale to ant great extent. So I'm still looking for ways to renew the rising tide. We are s rich country, in some ways that id reflected in the definitions we have for poverty. I believe we can improve everyone's life, the math just doesn't really support short term solutions.

If something will fix it more quickly it will be the rising expectations that corporations should have a greater sense of social responsibility, weighed more equally with the growth of the bottom line.

So it was a "wake up and go to sleep" poll?

My mantra on all of this stuff is distribution, not re-distribution. I'd be delighted if corporations decided they needed to pay their employees more.

I'm not holding my breath about it, though.

My feeling about minimum wage is the same as it is about lots of things. It's not a great solution, it won't fix everything, it will create problems as well as solve them.

But it's better than doing nothing.

As far as "movement of wages down the scale", if by that you mean very high earners being paid less, I think you're right. Not likely to happen. That's not the same as saying the current distribution of incomes isn't insanely and bizarrely out of wack.

Somebody making $10M, which is actually not an extraordinary annual compensation in some industries and/or for some positions, makes 400 times the median US personal income.

So, that person makes in one year what the median wage earner would have to work 400 years to earn.

400 years is 1615 to now. James I was King of England, Shakespeare's plays were having their first runs at the Globe. Somebody goes to their first day of work way back then, and goes back every working day, every year, until now.

Another guy works one year.

Same pay.

As far as short-term, working people's wages have been stagnant for something like 30 years. That takes any solution, of whatever kind, out of the short-term category.

"As far as short-term, working people's wages have been stagnant for something like 30 years."

You know, before 30 years ago workers wages had a hell of a time being stagnant. We would regularly give, or get, a raise for doing a good job of 2-3 percent and then a cost of living raise to try and keep us up with inflation. Stagnant real wage *scales*, which is what we are talking about, aren't really that awful. It is that the lower end has actually declined in real terms that is the problem.

None of the employed people I know haven't gained in real income levels by getting promotions, more senior jobs, etc. over the last thirty years. As long as pay scales keep up with inflation then that doesn't seem horrible.

Of course, the real issue there was the standardization of payscales and ranges driven by Hay in the late 70's and 80's. Prior to that there could be reasonably different pay in different companies, now its all a formula across industry.

When people talk about wage stagnation, they are I think talking about stuff like this. The chart is from Pew Research, who are IMO fairly credible. The upshot of the chart is that the *value* of wage compensation, in constant dollars, is about the same as it was 35 years ago.

In contrast, the US GDP is about two and a half times larger than it was back then. In constant dollars.

There are more people working, but not two and a half times more people.

Yes, I personally make more than I, personally, made in 1980, in constant dollars. We, as individuals, usually get better jobs and more money as time goes on.

But the person doing a job comparable to what I do now, 30 or 35 years ago, made about what I make now.

There's more wealth being created by the economy - two and a half times more, relative to ~1980 - but that wealth is not finding its way into the pockets of people who create it through their work.

If the wage scale for *everyone* was unchanged since 1980, different story. That's not how it is.

Russell, last I looked the number of people in the work force had just about doubled in the last 35-40 years. I can go find the specifics but the numbers were from about 80 million to about 165 million the last time I researched it. There is, I'm sure, a delta between total growth and the workforce, possibly driven by the last ten years of companies aggressively maximizing the bottom line at the expense of growth.

But it not 2.5 to 0.

From 1980 to now, it's grown about 50%.

About 107M in January 1980, about 156M in September 2015.

So, 2.5 to 1.5.

Lots more money, little to none of it going to the vast majority of people.

That is the history of the last 30+ years, in the US.

But think how much more productive people are nowadays under enlightened management:

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/under-carly-fiorina-hp-employees-162312955.html

Well, those are interesting numbers but they don't account for the decline in participation rate. I simply don't have time to find it in the BLS statistics right now. But lets just say its somewhere between 0 and 2.5, some of which is accounted for by other cost.

I should add that I think the Pew piece is pretty balanced if not very detailed.

Marty,

A graph by BLS of LFPR can be found here. You can generate your own start-end dates.

More data from an article I found in Atlantic Magazine here.

An aging workforce is one major structural component in the fall of the LFPR. If you believe an aging workforce is a "big crisis" then a lot of healthy young immigrants offsets that. Just saying.

Thanks bobbyp, the Atlantic article pretty much correlates with my rough view of the problem. I think the workforce participation has shrunk much faster than the retirements account for. In the medium term, training for the 20-35 generation should move people into the right kind of jobs as boomers retire out of the shrinking wring kind. I'm glad we have that plan being executed.

If you believe an aging workforce is a "big crisis" then a lot of healthy young immigrants offsets that. Just saying.

Shhhh bobbyp, you give away the game. Everyone will know that all us liberals just want to give away all our stuff to these immigrants...

Would it be politically incorrect of me to point out that Ben Carson is a f*cking, dangerous crazy a*shole:

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/ben-carson-gunpoint-popeyes

"Would it be politically incorrect of me to point out that Ben Carson is a yadda yadda yadda".

Thanks so very much for your contribution, CAPTAIN OBVIOUS!

It's not so much politically incorrect to point that out about Dr Carson. But it might be if you pointed out (correctly) what it says about the voters that he is doing so well in the polls at the moment.

My concern is not with those to whom it is obvious, Sargent Normal.

As you were.

But keep one ready in the breech, just in case.

i like that "conservatives" are encouraging people to rush shooters en masse, in hopes that some of them will survive to bring him down.

at least they favor collective action over calculated self-interest in some circumstances.

baby steps.

Bipartisan legislation is so hard.

Better just to gang-rush:

http://mediamatters.org/blog/2012/12/18/newsweeks-megan-mcardle-calls-for-children-to-b/191889

Prescriptions for living in a corrupt pig vermin culture filled with hardharded motherf*ckers.

Now if I were a potential mass murderer readying my arsenal and reading this advice from the as8hole c*cksucking conservative dear Abbys who have never been within hearing distance of a hail of bullets raining down on human beings, I think I'd add a couple of grenades to my collection (if you magnify the second comma in the Second Amendment, you'll find a drawing of grenade, which means I can have all the grenades I want; how the Founders knew about this stuff so long ago was exceptional of them), and to interdict any clutch of 6-year-olds olds and their overpaid f*cking first grade unionized teacher, I'd roll a grenade into the classroom first and neutralize those who might take arglemcardle' words as some sort of gospel.

I wouldn't be so afraid of Carson if he was standing there suggesting I shoot the guy next to him first because the pigf*cking republican-encouraged second amendment wannabees who do this sh*t would obviously shoot the black guy first, while skipping the questions about religion because obviously, on its face, the black guy is a crypto-Muslim/Hindu Hawaiian of some kind, so what he says or does will be pointless tout suite.

OK, if we are to just live with mass gun killings in this culture as we are being told and not do anything about the murder extention devices they accomplish the murders with because law is pointless, and have to be ready and fully armed and jumpy at all moments for slaughter, like every day is ISIS celebration day on Omaha Beach, then I say let's at least start killing the right people.


I am for mass-rushing the stage at the next Republican debate.

That might hold off wholesale murder for a short while, but I'm not hopeful.

http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2015/10/cruzs-game-plan.html

David Barton is the head of Cruz's siper-PAC.

Here's a taste:

http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/anti-gay-psuedo-historian-david-barton-tapped-run-ted-cruzs-super-pac

The mass-killer doesn't look like much to me in the video, though Charles Manson was rather slight and harmless looking too.

I suspect one guy could mass rush him and save millions of lives.

Ivanka Trump for Speaker of the House:

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/donald-trump-kevin-mccarthy-celebrates

With her pappy as President, think of the sensational headlines in the tabloids when the Donald and his daughter begin dating at the second Inaugural.

With her pappy as President, think of the sensational headlines in the tabloids when the Donald and his daughter begin dating at the second Inaugural.

Does he have a horse named Incitatus?

He did, but the Donald's prostatitus flared up and the horse left him for the lack of servicing.

Trump's story was that he fired the horse and banished the animal to the limo bound for the glue factory, but my version is closer to reality.

then a lot of healthy young immigrants offsets that. Just saying.

Not if they can't function in a complex, modern economy. Current immigrants are, as noted by many, doing the work no one else will do. Which will not replace an aging work force.

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