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We can't afford to raise the minimum wage?

But we can always afford a big pay increase for the CEO. Always. Even when sales are down for the year.

   McDonald's Corp. more than tripled the pay packages last year for its new CEO Don Thompson and the man he replaced, Jim Skinner.


    McDonald's, based in Oak Brook, Ill., gave Thompson a package worth $13.8 million, up from the $4.1 million he received in 2011, according to a regulatory filing made Friday.

    Skinner's pay meanwhile rose to $27.7 million from $8.8 million the year before, reflecting a $10.2 million payment as part of his retirement under his contract agreement.

   McDonald's gave a $9 million dollar raise recently to their new CEO. $9 million dollars that didn't "Trickle Down", $9 million dollars that didn't help workers at McDonald's unless they have a second, better paying job as a waiter at the nicer restaurants the CEO of McDonald's goes to. McDonald's can't afford paying their workers enough to climb out of poverty but just happened to find $9 million lying around to give to their CEO. The golden arches are actually golden parachutes too.

    Over the last 40 years this has been the trend. Worker's wages stagnate but for some reason CEO salaries go through the roof. The result is growing poverty. No one who works full time should be poor. No one.

And yet these CEO's then proceed to lecture us about being lazy and how they can't afford raises this year, maybe next year, and the stock markets rise and the CEO salaries rise but the rest of us will just have to wait.

But the CEO never has to wait. He always gets his raise. Always.

Over the last few decades the CEO's of corporate America have made themselves filthy rich by paying themselves instead of labor. The boss gets a raise, you don't. You are lucky just to keep your job. Any profit made goes straight to the wealthiest 1% and stays there.

And if you complain they call you a socialist.

If you notice the 800 lb CEO in the room, they say you hate capitalism.

We all have to ignore how rich the rich have become in order for the never ending austerity brigade's working class death march to make any sense.

Because you must suffer so that record corporate profits can live.

With Wall Street and corporate profits at record highs we should be swimming in trickle down goodness right freaking now.

But we are not. Because trickle down is bullcrap.

So the boss gets a raise and you don't. The boss gets a bigger raise than he would have otherwise by not giving you a raise. Scrooge gets to count coins, Cratchet gets a piece of coal, maybe. If he is lucky.

And Tiny Tim? Humbug!

Overpaid CEO's can not be the end-all-be-all of our economy, sneering Mitt Romney types who think you are lazy and want to be dependent on food stamps, because working to death being dependent on the kindness of a heartless millionaire wasn't good enough.

I could understand maybe if NO ONE at McDonald's was getting a raise this year. If they were cutting executive salaries and that sort of thing, but McDonald's isn't, nor is WalMart or the other big box stores that wiped out your local Mom and Pop stores. All those businesses are still chugging out profits and raises for executives, but the workers are ass out in the deal, No raise for you, Cratchet! Because the CEO's of these huge corporations have decided they would rather steal your raise so they can get a bigger raise themselves. That's the only way we get record profits AND growing, record poverty at the same time, the rich are making the poor even poorer for their own profit. It's that simple.

The rich are getting richer by PREVENTING "trickle down" from happening.

And they don't even bother lying to you about how it will "Trickle Down" anymore, do they? It's all austerity all the time now, and if you even mention that it isn't "Trickling Down" conservatives get mad at you for even bringing it up. The say you are engaging in class warfare if you dare mention that the "Trickle Down" isn't working. The Right Wing's plan for the poor is basically "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", meaning the right wing has nothing to offer the poor other than animosity and Republicans would rather you not ask since they don't like to talk about the poor anyway.

So you get pushed into whatever low wage job you can get and you struggle to survive and your measly pay isn't even enough to get by on and here comes your local Republican to make things harder for you if you ever need food assistance or unemployment insurance. We can't have you being dependent on anything other than your credit card, can we? In Republican America paying taxes is slavery and working for poverty wages until you die is freedom so quit complaining.

The next time you hear some meathead tell you that we can't raise the minimum wage or prices will go up ask them if that means ANYBODY should ever get a raise again? I mean, if rising wages means rising prices doesn't that mean that all wage increases are bad, or is that just wage increases for poor people? Does that mean that giving huge pay increases to the already rich might drive up the price of certain things like oh say housing? This logic says that paying poor people more is a bad thing, but paying rich people more is good because "trickle down".

Try as you might to make sense of this you can't. There is no logic to talking points against raising the minimum wage. It is just rooted in poor people = bad/lazy and rich people = Randian Supermen who must be coddled at all times and told how awesome and brilliant they are. The same crap Mitt Romney embodied that the GOP breathes on a daily basis, open hostility towards the poor and working class, is embedded in this notion, that poor people have it too good and should just try harder. Because if poor people aren't kept in constant misery they may get lazy and stop contributing, unlike rich people who shit pure rainbows.

McDonald's can afford to pay their workers better, they just don't want to. They refuse to. McDonald's, WalMart and all of these other big box stores has created a class of poor people stuck in dead end jobs who will always be poor and they call them "Associates". McDonald's and these other corporations will not pay their employees decent wages until they are forced to. The rich will lie and lie and say they can't afford to pay their employees, they will lie and say raising wages will force them to raise prices, it's a lie, a lie to keep you poor so they can continue to make themselves rich.

They will say anything to justify not paying their employees a better wage. And this is the basis for our entire economy. The rich are getting richer BECAUSE they are keeping the poor as poor as they can. Keeping you from getting a raise means my CEO compensation might triple this year. Some businesses like CostCo might do the right thing and pay their workers a good wage, but others will not, and that is why we need laws to set a fair floor for wages so that people don't get trapped having to work until they die just to stay poor. Poor people wouldn't need food stamps if they just got paid better, and if some CEO's weren't as grossly overpaid as they are maybe there would be a little money leftover to pay everyone else a raise.

Justifying greed is what conservatives live for. Hating the poor is just a bonus. The people who nominated Mitt Romney as their Presidential candidate a year ago bristle with hostility whenever you mention the poor. Resentment is a dish best served buffet style at the RNC convention. But at the heart of it is this, when conservatives say they are against raising the minimum wage they are admitting that trickle down is not supposed to help "those people". Conservatives are admitting that helping the poor simply isn't in the trickle down plan. Nope, the plan is bigger tax cuts for the rich. The better to eat you with.

So let's give a big round of applause to the people who are marching against McDonald's and WalMart and all the big box stores that make huge profits by keeping their workers underpaid, and remember, they always have money to give their CEO's a big pay increase each year, so when they say they can't afford to pay better wages they are just lying to you.

My apologies for not having written much lately, getting adjusted to life with my newborn daughter Janis has made it difficult for me to sit down and think, let alone write. I will be on the Ed Schultz show tonight on MSNBC. Hopefully you catch me there.

Peace and love to all,




Originally posted to MinistryOfTruth on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 08:13 AM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions.


The minimum wage should be

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  •  Tips for raising the minimum wage (207+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ericlewis0, htowngenie, Horace Boothroyd III, undercovercalico, Sylv, virginwoolf, tardis10, Cofcos, congenitalefty, Dem Beans, Dave in Northridge, wayoutinthestix, Debbie in ME, DRo, MKSinSA, edwardssl, mconvente, anodnhajo, FisherOfRolando, Russ Jarmusch, Lily O Lady, millwood, Aint Supposed to Die a Natural Death, zbob, Raggedy Ann, Shippo1776, jan4insight, Polly Syllabic, No one gets out alive, elwior, koosah, profundo, Statusquomustgo, TDDVandy, Involuntary Exile, The Marti, socialismorbarbarism, Eyesbright, middleagedhousewife, greenbastard, NYFM, TomP, IamNotaKochsucker, MKinTN, BocaBlue, reginahny, JBL55, Youffraita, vacantlook, Betty Pinson, bobandstella, TomFromNJ, kimoconnor, IndieGuy, GoGoGoEverton, Marjmar, Constantly Amazed, dagnome, ColoTim, fixxit, Black Max, golem, prettygirlxoxoxo, draghnfly, Mentatmark, zerelda, Shadowmage36, divineorder, Damnit Janet, AJ in Camden, Ammo Hauler, ord avg guy, Hayate Yagami, GeorgeXVIII, Buckeye54, Gowrie Gal, roses, Hillbilly Dem, TFinSF, EJP in Maine, Eileen B, kenwards, shopkeeper, TracieLynn, karma5230, rb608, gulfgal98, YucatanMan, VeloDramatic, Anima, oldliberal, MadMs, whenwego, commonmass, Doc Allen, tofumagoo, Most Awesome Nana, a2nite, P Carey, translatorpro, kevinpdx, Tool, Simple, wader, La Gitane, FloridaSNMOM, ksuwildkat, SheilaKinBrooklyn, Cronesense, Subterranean, minidriver, Crabby Abbey, mrsgoo, Chaddiwicker, jadt65, Librarianmom, Buckeye Nut Schell, BlueMississippi, Nicci August, SherwoodB, Assaf, maggiejean, frugal, mickey, rasbobbo, Spirit of Life, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, wxorknot, Darwinian Detrius, buckstop, Egalitare, otto, BobboSphere, greenomanic, DerAmi, Santa Susanna Kid, J M F, OleHippieChick, NoMoreLies, eeff, Teiresias70, jediwashuu, bbctooman, althea in il, theKgirls, GwenM, JayRaye, Simul Iustus et Peccator, theBreeze, Matt Z, shortgirl, Tinfoil Hat, kpeddicord, wozzlecat, carpunder, Miss Jones, Tonedevil, Lefty Coaster, jennyp, Siri, jamess, Glen The Plumber, kurt, Just Bob, gfv6800, peachcreek, skybluewater, ctsteve, susakinovember, Random Brainwaves, Lost and Found, jexter, BadKitties, BYw, sunny skies, offgrid, emal, HiKa, jguzman17, DisNoir36, hwy70scientist, CA Nana, GAS, LSmith, pixxer, Chi, goodpractice, DavidMS, reflectionsv37, terabytes, Gygaxian, JerryNA, Creosote, OooSillyMe, Sychotic1, Celtic Merlin, RUNDOWN, Eric Nelson, Bernie68, PDiddie, ThereAughtToBeABetterWay, TheLawnRanger, orangecurtainlib, Darth Stateworker, Temmoku, Iron Spider, Oh Mary Oh

    I'd say $15 per hour is a fair start

    Regulate banks, not vaginas

    by MinistryOfTruth on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 08:12:58 AM PST

    •  At least I work for a half-way decent company (20+ / 0-)

      If the company I currently work for doesn't meet its revenue goals, bonus money is cut for everybody, but management takes a bigger cut in pay than the individual contributors.  I like that even though I am a manager.

      •  Management is always at fault, usually the (13+ / 0-)

        highest management is most at fault for really stupid decisions.

        It makes zero sense to cut bonus money for people who cannot control the direction of the company.  It's half-way decent, but not all the way. "The little people" suffer for dumb ideas of the bosses. That's just not right.

        "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

        by YucatanMan on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 10:34:35 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  High Flying McDonalds.... (17+ / 0-)

          Let us not forget that in October, it was learned that MickeyD's execs were getting a new corporate jet.

          Nancy Salgado has been working at McDonald's in Chicago for 10 years, and for that whole time she has been working at Illinois' minimum wage, now $8.25 an hour. As a mother with two young children, that puts her below the poverty line of $19,530.

          McDonald's says it can't afford to pay her and the company's more than 700,000 other American nonmanagement employees a wage that would lift them above the poverty line. What McDonald's Corp. can afford to do, though, is buy itself a new corporate jet.

          That's right. Bloomberg News reported earlier this week that McDonald's Corp. has purchased for the use of its executives a Bombardier Challenger 605, a 12-seat plane that goes for between $27 million and $35 million. (Fries and soft drink not included.)

          and to add to the outrage:
          Taxpayers are spending an estimated $1.2 billion a year supporting McDonald's workers, according to a recent National Employment Law Project study, because McDonald's would prefer to tell its employees to get public assistance to pay their food, housing and health care bills than to pay them a wage adequate enough for workers to meet those expenses without government help.

          That figure is less than the $1.5 billion in profits that McDonald's earned in one quarter – the three months ending September 30.

          Listen up putting its own workers on welfare with low and almost-never-raised wages, McDonalds is effectively paying for its pay raises AND its corporate jets with YOUR dollars.  

          Still want fries with that?

          Free markets would be a great idea, if markets were actually free.

          by dweb8231 on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 02:02:42 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  It makes total sense. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          You can't and shouldn't try to make it rain money you don't have. And while workers under the management can't control the direction of the company, they also don't have the responsibility nor are a lot compelled to want to be in such a position. Shared pain with more pain for the more responsible is totally equitable.

          Feel free to run a company like you profess. See how long it takes you to run out of money and create a company where no one wants to be management, or if they do are highly resentful.

          The U. S. Constitution doesn't guarantee happiness, only the pursuit of it. You have to catch up with it yourself.

          by Tony Stark on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 05:32:49 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Don't need the current top down management (0+ / 0-)

            system, and it's probably time it dies.

            "Great" CEO's are few and far between, and like in politics - the truly brilliant have no appetite for that "system" (where they are only tools of the top shareholders) - so the clowns move in.

            Cooperative company governance is a superior system to the current "dictatorship" system.

            And looking at the management ladder, those at the middle and lower rungs aren't doing that much better - and with all the "empowerment" and "delegate" BS of the last 20 years, we have hourly workers taking on more and more management responsibility for a pittance of a raise.

            Think about how "resentful" they are.

            “Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.” ... Voltaire

            by RUNDOWN on Sat Dec 07, 2013 at 11:15:43 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Think about how little you've done (0+ / 0-)

              to ever make your words happen. Propose all you want on paper. It makes no difference unless you plan on putting it into action.

              The U. S. Constitution doesn't guarantee happiness, only the pursuit of it. You have to catch up with it yourself.

              by Tony Stark on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 05:07:19 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  appeal to accomplishment fallacy (0+ / 0-)


                This is a version of "Get back to me when you've built up a multi-billion dollar empire of your own. Until then, shut up."

                and is fallacious. Cheers!

                •  You are predictably wrong. (0+ / 0-)

                  I am not saying his argument is false because he hasn't put them into action. I am telling him that applying his thoughts into action would make them actually meaningful.

                  I expect your apology is forthcoming. We all know how well  you take loss.

                  The U. S. Constitution doesn't guarantee happiness, only the pursuit of it. You have to catch up with it yourself.

                  by Tony Stark on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 09:32:22 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  assumptions (0+ / 0-)

                    You said his words are "nothing" while assuming he had "done little" - very clearly a way to discount his argument.

                    And as I recall, it was you who flounced from our conversation when the questions got too hard. I hope you gin up the courage and get over your pricked pride enough to respond (it seems the only ones expected to be inured insult around here are black people!), I'm particularly interested in how you think a "structural argument" is capable of answering the question of whether or not Rall's cartoon is racist, and where that structural argument of yours is located, and further if you have any idea what a structural argument is.

                    •  You are reinterpreting my words falsely again. (0+ / 0-)

                      And I've said my piece on the previous conversation. You were reinterpreting falsely then as you are now. But by all means continue. In fact, there are many posts which you missed. Your commitment to your proposed venture is lacking.

                      The U. S. Constitution doesn't guarantee happiness, only the pursuit of it. You have to catch up with it yourself.

                      by Tony Stark on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 09:58:20 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  if you've said your peice, (0+ / 0-)

                        why did you bring it up here, other than to get back into it?

                        To prove you were arguing from good faith (as opposed to arguing from fallacy, which I've shown), you'd have to first define what a "structural argument" is, because we both know you have no clue. Here's a hint - you don't spread a good structural argument over several posts. Just admit you have no idea what you're talking about and then we can move on to the question of why you do nothing but derail.

        •  YM - bonus pools are typically formed from profits (0+ / 0-)

          If profits are lower the bonus pools are smaller. Plus in most companies a bonus is not salary and not guaranteed. There are lots of variables that are used to determine an individual bonus, but he big one is usually overall profits of the corporation.

          "let's talk about that"

          by VClib on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 06:45:06 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  However, CEOs on BoD's *decide* their bonuses. (0+ / 0-)

            You know many CEOs sit on or have friends on Boards, who decide CEO compensation, or that bonuses and severance are decided in advance. ("You scratch my back, I raise your pay & bonus in return.") In many cases, they get their big bonuses & pay whether or not companies benefitted or did poorly under their tenure. They can fire workers, downsize the companies, game dividends, raid pensions, split off divisions, harm shareholders (owners), effectively damaging the long term prospects and profitability of the company, and leave with golden parachutes (more millions in unearned income).  CEOs don't work for their companies as careers, they're effectively short term hired managers.  They often come in for a couple or a few years, so the "risk" they take with their stock option "equity" is nearly nil.  The idea that they somehow "deserve" to make 500x more than employees who make the products and "deserve" to pay 2x lower effective tax rates than those same employees is criminal (not just laughable).

            •  Jerry - there are still abuses in executive pay (0+ / 0-)

              but as someone who has been a public company director since 1988 and has served as Chairman of numerous compensation committees the improvement has been dramatic due to more disclosure and transparency, and regulations by the exchanges that prohibits you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours type of situations. The last public board I was on made it a policy that no one on the comp committee could have any business or social ties to any member of management and that is becoming more common.

              This isn't a blanket defense of senior executive compensation but the institutional shareholders, the exchanges and the SEC have combined to make significant, structural changes in how executive compensation is determined and reported. I have witnessed it firsthand.  

              "let's talk about that"

              by VClib on Sat Dec 07, 2013 at 09:15:12 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Thank you for that information. And yet... (0+ / 0-)

                CEO compensation has gone up 9-10x relative to workers over the last 40 years.  While corporate governance rules have gotten tighter, they have not effectively limited the rise in CEO compensation in any meaningful way.

                •  Jerry that's true (0+ / 0-)

                  There are lots of reasons for that wage gap and I have been thinking about writing a diary on executive compensation. I have watched executive compensation from an interesting perch. I was a corporate headquarters officer of a Fortune 200 company by the time I was 30. We were grossly underpaid because the CEO and senior executives total compensation wasn't that large and it put downward pressure on the junior executive compensation. There were about ten of us who were being groomed to be the senior management in ten years and we all left. Within two years I was earning four times as much, nearly what the President of the Fortune 200 company was earning, at a smaller more entrepreneurial company.

                   Starting in 1988 I began serving on public company boards and have watched executive compensation from the perspective of someone who actually determines CEO and other senior executive pay.  It would be a fair amount of work to write a good diary on this topic and I wonder if the readers here would really care? I might even be flamed. Any information that doesn't fit the script here can often be poorly received.

                  The Fortune 1000 have become increasingly multinational so what happens in the US has less impact on total profitability and executive compensation. As companies have become more global wage competition has put downward pressure on US wages, particularly for hourly workers. So the multinational nature of corporations and the globalization of workers have both had a significant impact on the compensation gap.

                  I don't think it is the government's job to lower executive compensation, even if the ratios seem very unfair between senior executives and hourly workers. The correct public policy response is to tax higher earnings at higher marginal rates.

                  "let's talk about that"

                  by VClib on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 12:04:28 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

        •  RE: Management is always at fault, usually the (0+ / 0-)

          Used to work for an American company who used to build PC's here in America...up to about 15 years ago. In the two years I worked there...saw at least three sets of VP's throw money into their hair-brained ideas. The former set would spend millions...while the newer set would come through with some more ideas which were always over turned by the next set of VP's.

          Coming up to the 2013...their computers are still being built with the old nameplate...but not anything close to the quality of what they used to be. The owners are now in Asia and building everything out of China with no way to custom build a PC the way they used to.

          Don't get me wrong...I made a great wage there 13 or so years ago...but having to learn new tasks which would not be usable at any other business (because of the hubris of executives with money to burn) is not the way to ensure long-term employment in any field.

    •  I have a couple ideas: (5+ / 0-)

      First, as a (very) small business owner, I understand the impact that a sudden doubling of the minimum wage would have and it wouldn't be good.  So, I would be in favor of some sort of subsidy/tax credit to help small businesses hire and keep employees for a few years, until the economy adjusts.

      I also think the raises need to be gradual, and eventually linked to some appropriate gauge of economic growth.  There is absolutely no reason why the minimum wage shouldn't be adjusted annually, automatically.

      "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

      by La Gitane on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 11:07:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  And (14+ / 0-)

        I don't see why we couldn't have a "maximum wage" either.

        It wouldn't be that hard to impose tax penalties on the company if the top salaries are more than, say, 5x the median salary in their company....

        If profits are good, then the execs would be motivated to hand out raises across the board; if all employees make more money, then the CEO makes more.  It also incentivizes more capital investment.

        And, it could be written in a way that would include offshore wages.  LOL!!  Yeah, take that Mr. CEO - your salary is pegged to the slave wages you're paying in Indonesia....

        "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

        by La Gitane on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 11:13:48 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not just salary, total compensation (7+ / 0-)

          The games played with stock options, deferred compensation, etc should be taxed at the market value on the  day given.

          "Searches with nonspecific warrants were ‘the single immediate cause of the American Revolution.’” Justice Wm. Brennan, referring to the 4th Amendment

          by Nailbanger on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 11:57:21 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Market value of an option on day 1 (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            La Gitane, goodpractice, JerryNA, VClib

            is pretty much zero (well, that's the intrinsic value, for sure).  So, they'd pay zero tax on day 1, and then when they exercise they'd have long term capital gains when they exercise rather than earned income.

            re: deferred comp: people are taxed on income when they receive it, with a handful of exceptions.  

          •  Nailbanger - options have no value on day 1 (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            and taxes at W2 rates are paid as the option vests, assuming the option is in the money. No equity compensation paid to senior executives of the Fortune 1000 qualify for long term capital gains tax rates so all of their compensation, salary, bonus, benefits, and equity are reported as W2 income and taxed a the maximum marginal rate.

            "let's talk about that"

            by VClib on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 06:39:30 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  try off lowest wage instead of median (13+ / 0-)

          Think it needs to be 5-10 times the lowest paid Worker.

          the reason for this, in a corporation, the lowest paid tend to be janitorial. Which they view as non essential, but is actually very important because without a clean work environment, the business fails, because everyone gets sick or dies as result.  Also the appearance of cleanliness attracts business.  

          The whole point of capping wages for board members/management is to force them to take care of the whole business instead of just themselves and the shareholders.

          I worked at the largest indoor carwash in the world back in 98' ish  The owner of this small business under a chain limmited his own salary to 45,000 a year. he put all the excess money back into the business. including giving us raises and reduction based on overall performance.
          He also had a rule that if we exceed a certain number of cars, lunch was on him, for the entire staff.(happens 2-3 times a year.)
          His motto was "you have to spend money to make money. "
          He had fallout with the chain headquarters because the headquarter did not like several of his core business practice, which was making the rest of the chain look bad.
          He sold the business for 3.2 million to competitor rival chain.(think he bought into the chain for $113,000 or so) That chain followed the same business model as his former chain did(not my boss) and within 3-6 months the new chain killed the thriving business. Because they did not follow the "spend money to make money."
          spend money to make money is focusing on the entire aspect of the business as a symbiosis.

          •  I don't think that would work as well (0+ / 0-)

            That's why I said "median" instead of "average".

            To raise the median wage, wages at all levels need to go up.  Simply raising the lowest wage would just lead to mid-level workers making the same as the lower level workers.

            If it were average wage, then they could easily raise that by simply raising the upper-level wages.

            Median - everyone has to go up.  But, you can still pick and choose for merit.  If a few workers deserve more of a raise than others, you would still have the freedom to do that.  Just as long as the median goes up.

            "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

            by La Gitane on Sat Dec 07, 2013 at 11:20:23 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  La Gitane - what company would want to be (0+ / 0-)

          headquartered in a country that had those compensation rules? The correct public policy position is higher marginal tax rates. Trying to put limits on compensation doesn't help the US create an environment that encourages companies to keep their headquarters in the US or expand their US operations.

          "let's talk about that"

          by VClib on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 06:42:21 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's the thing (0+ / 0-)

            It wouldn't be a limit; it would simply be pegged to the median wage.  If the upper say 10% of employees wanted to make more, then they would have to raise the median wage.

            "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

            by La Gitane on Sat Dec 07, 2013 at 11:16:52 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  And I'm sorry but (0+ / 0-)

            it's ridiculous to think that our country would suddenly see a mass exodus of corporations.  We have the largest economy in the world; if they want to sell things here, then they would have to operate here.

            People say that about California too, because of the high taxes and regulation.  And people do bitch about it.  But guess what - California is doing just fine because people want to live here.

            Business owners bitch in France too; believe me, Americans that complain about our taxes have no idea what they're talking about.   Yet there are businesses that function.  And yes, there are rich people - even in a socialist hell like France!

            "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

            by La Gitane on Sat Dec 07, 2013 at 11:24:00 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  La Gitane - you have to get shareholder approval (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              La Gitane, nextstep

              but it's relatively easy to move the country of incorporation from the US to Bermuda or the Cayman Islands. It doesn't require you to stop any of your business activities in the US and would allow you to pay your senior executives any amount you desired without conforming to the maximum pay ratios. Plus the right public policy is to raise marginal tax rates on all high income earners. Corporate executives shouldn't face different rules than athletes or entertainers. Either all high income earners should be paying higher taxes or none of them. Plus, at the margin, taxes do matter in business decisions.

              Because you mentioned it the top state income tax rate in California at 13.3% will have a measurable impact in the next decade. I personally know a dozen people who have significant appreciated stock, because they were founders of successful startups, who have moved their tax residence to Nevada. After they have completed their one year residence requirement they will sell their shares and pay no state tax on the profit. The difference in state taxes will be a multiple of what it cost them to buy an additional residence in Nevada. Also as wealthy boomers retire, and no longer need to be in CA to be physically present at an office, they too will move their tax residence to a no or low income tax state. In most cases they will keep their low property tax home in CA. They can live in it six moths per year.  In CA we are losing people at, or near, the top in terms of marginal tax rates and adding residents at the bottom who pay little state income taxes.

              Executive cash compensation, represents a fraction of 1% of total cash expenses for the Fortune 1000. High executive compensation, which I think in some cases is outrageous, isn't inhibiting any company from paying higher wages to employees. The amount of cash paid to the senior executives just isn't enough to matter in a Fortune 1000 size company.

              "let's talk about that"

              by VClib on Sat Dec 07, 2013 at 11:47:03 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I see what you're saying (0+ / 0-)

                and I certainly don't disagree on raising the marginal rate at all.  Slashing capital gains taxes, and allowing shares to be given in lieu of compensation in the eighties is what kicked off this whole crazy disparity thing in the first place.

                But, we also need to regulate offshoring in general.  It wouldn't be too tough to penalize that; just treat an off-shored company as a foreign corporation that wants to do business here.  Tariffs.  We used to have those too.

                "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

                by La Gitane on Sat Dec 07, 2013 at 12:10:04 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  You can't have tariffs on goods made in the US (0+ / 0-)

                  Plus tariffs are now part of legally binding trade agreements. My understanding is that we don't have the ability to do much on the tariff front any more, although I don't know if that includes China.

                  "let's talk about that"

                  by VClib on Sat Dec 07, 2013 at 12:35:20 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

    •  I remember when it was $2.75 and fighting for (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kurt, Sychotic1

      $3 at Sultan & Sons drapery factory in Lauderdale.
      Good on you for writing so well, Jesse. Thanks.

      "He went to Harvard, not Hogwarts." ~Wanda Sykes
      Teh Twitterz, I'z awn dem.
      Blessinz of teh Ceiling Cat be apwn yu, srsly.

      by OleHippieChick on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 01:07:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Pay workers a fair wage directly.... (5+ / 0-)

      and you reduce or eliminate our tax dollars paying the difference via highly inefficient welfare programs and food stamps.

      Workers get good wages....they have a better life.  They don't have to stand in line trying to get bureaucratic approval for welfare benefits and food.  We save tax dollars and reduce government spending in less effective and efficient programs.

      Sounds like a deal even a CONSERVATIVE could love.

      Free markets would be a great idea, if markets were actually free.

      by dweb8231 on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 02:05:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  "No one who works full time should be poor." (0+ / 0-)

      The other trick corporations use is part time labor.
      Even if it's up to the state maximum of "part time" hours that doesn't conflict with federal law (the latter being courtesy of the ACA).
      Some states had part time as up to 35 hours per week.
      Anyone under 40 hours per week were still part time if the average was at their state magical number for a period of time (quarter or annual, typically).
      Of course, full time employees got all of those evil benefits, like a 401k program, health insurance, etc.
      Those cost money, so corporations hated and still hates them. They'd far prefer legalized slavery.
      No, truth be told, they'd prefer zero employees to maximize profits. They'd also prefer zero maintenance, zero material costs, etc.
      But, in reality, wages can be limited, especially with part time workers, as wages are an entire compensation package, which includes benefits for full time workers.
      And none for part time workers.
      Well, beyond workers compensation for injured workers.
      Dodging that one is a topic of a full encyclopedia collection of articles.

  •  Mystery tippers ... (11+ / 0-)

    do you think those huge tips popping up across the county might be CEO's who feel a bit guilty about the gross paychecks they receive?  

    Nah.  Can't imagine it.  

    How do these CEO's sleep at night?  

    We are all in this together.

    by htowngenie on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 08:22:32 AM PST

    •  Libertarians Promoting the Idea That Charity (20+ / 0-)

      and philanthropy are the only legitimate responses to poverty.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 08:32:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Which is utter nonsense. Anyone but me (24+ / 0-)

        is what they are saying. "Sure we should do something about poverty, but not taxes, can't someone else do it?"

        If charity could fix poverty alone it would have done it already, That is just wishful thinking and passing the buck. But I hear you Gooserock, Libertarianism always gets hazy after the first few drags.

        Regulate banks, not vaginas

        by MinistryOfTruth on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 08:37:06 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Charity at the level you're talking about is a (12+ / 0-)

          scam and a tax dodge.

          Think about it.  Take Walmart. (please, lol) The Waltons give make a zillion dollars a year, each and they collectively give a million or so to charity. That's a tiny tiny fraction of what they made. It doesn't hurt them a bit and it's never noticed. They are most likely asking their accountant to pick the amount of charity they give that will allow them to qualify for a certain tax bracket.  

          Meanwhile, the people receiving that charity only need to get charity because they work at Walmart. If they had decent jobs they wouldn't need SNAP or subsidized housing and LIHEAP (energy assistance) and maybe their kids wouldn't need free and reduced lunches.  Etc.

          The workers at McDonald's and Target and Papa Johns all have taxes taken from their pay to subsidize each others crappy pay. To pay for SNAP and LIHEAP and HUD, etc.  

          Meanwhile, the CEOs of those places make a fortune and avoid their share of taxes by finding the level of charitable giving that will allow them to do that.

          Now let's all go to a banquet dinner in their honor to tell them how wonderful they are for "giving back" to their communities. Thank you, rich people.  Thank you for the "FREE" crumbs! (Choke! Gag! Barf!)      

          "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle stand like a rock." Attributed to T. Jefferson

          by koosah on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 09:17:59 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Most likely. But I see charity as (9+ / 0-)

        another scam where those who administer the charitable funds get the lion's share and those in whose name the funds were raised get a pittance.

        "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

        by Lily O Lady on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 08:43:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not always, but enough to make the news (6+ / 0-)

          Susan Komen and the American Red Cross with Elizabeth Dole being two examples.

          •  Apologies for going OT here but... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ColoTim, divineorder, johnny wurster

            Susan Komen  is highly rated, 82.1% goes towards programs.

            Charity Navigator

            •  I thought when Susan Komen's conservative (7+ / 0-)

              values became prominent they were shown to pay only a pittance to actual breast cancer prevention and high salaries to their execs.  Have they changed, or am I confused as to what programs they actually fund?

            •  As opposed to Medicare or Social Security where (8+ / 0-)

              nearly all the money goes to the recipients. Only 2-5% is used for administration.

              Susan Komen may send money to "programs" but have you looked into how much reaches research?  What about cutting off Planned Parenthood's exams and counseling?

              It's "pink washing" for big corporations to increase their sales off of people caring about cancer.

              The money - all the money - would be better distributed by the government.

              "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

              by YucatanMan on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 10:38:10 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  tax loophole (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                htowngenie, YucatanMan, BYw

                actually the majority of donations is about the loopholes in the tax codes.

                they donate a certain amount and as a result they get a tax write-off worth much more than the donation.

                Thus leaving more money for themselves and shareholders that otherwise would of had to be paid in taxes.

                The extra benefit of the donation is they get to dictate who gets the money, where the tax money is decided by outside interests.(government)

                •  no, that's not how it works. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  kurt, VClib

                  most donations are cash or securities, and the value of the deduction is the value of the property contributed.  Since it's cash or securities, there's no fudging the value.

                  •  No fudging value? (5+ / 0-)

                    If you donate a Picasso to your church that you bought for $25 sixty years ago, you get to write off the current market value on your taxes.  

                    Yes, the church (or whatever 501 c 3 got the benefit of your "largesse") gets a great gift.  But at what cost to the common weal?

                    And this is true for stock too. If you inherit a bunch of stock, say from your dad who founded Walmart, you can give the stock to a non-profit without selling it and write off the current market value, not the basis.  

                    And you don't have to wait until you die to get the write off, either.  You can bequest the stock gift during your life, continue to receive the dividend income (taxable), but you transfer the rise in value of that stock to a non-profit so that no taxes are ever paid.

                    The tax system got screwed.  The tax system is me and you, the people.  The people with Picasso's and stock they inherited?  Mostly the 1%, but some of us economic peons benefit a little, too.  

                    We are all in this together.

                    by htowngenie on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 01:22:21 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  htowngenie - everyone, in every tax bracket (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      is always better off selling the appreciated capital asset, paying the capital gains tax, and putting the net proceeds in the bank than contributing that appreciated asset to a charity for the tax benefit. The math is very simple.

                      "let's talk about that"

                      by VClib on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 06:35:51 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Right (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:

                        I mean, do you want a million in cash, or to get to deduct $400k in taxes? The answer is obvious.

                        (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                        Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                        by Sparhawk on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 07:00:57 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  It's not that I don't understand the math. (0+ / 0-)

                        I have a degree in Finance and am a retired VP of a TBTF bank.  So basic math is probably not the problem in my understanding of this tax situation.  

                        Let's examine it from three scenarios:

                        1) A Poor Person- so poor they have no cash.  But, they have 25 shares of Walmart they got from a relative on their 1st birthday that's been stashed away all these years. They've received dividend income over the years, but it's not enough to live on although it has been used to pay the electricity every now and again.  Now, times are tough and they need the money from the underlying asset. They sell it and pay long term capital gains on the proceeds. They have nothing left to leave to the next generation.

                        2) A Middle Class Person - they do okay and have managed to save enough they have a small portfolio (typically an IRA) Now, times are tough and they need the money. They sell stocks from the portfolio and pay capital gains on the proceeds. Over time they will probably spend it all if they live long enough and just maybe, they'll be able to leave a little something for the next generation.

                        3)  A Rich Person - they've inherited a stock portfolio so large, they've never worked and have lived off the dividends all their life (see the Forbes 400 for some examples).  The dividend cash flow is large enough, they've been able to re-invest some of it over the years and increase their wealth. Even when times are tough, they don't need to sell stock to make ends meet. However, they do need the tax break (or maybe they feel a moral necessity to give back) from charitable contributions. So they agree to give 1000 shares of Walmart to the American Red Cross when they die and write off the long term capital gains as a charitable donation. In the meantime, they still receive the dividend income. Who cares if the underlying asset is held in a column of a spreadsheet with their name at the top or the non-profits? At the end of life, they still have plenty left over to fund the next generation.

                        The difference in these three scenarios is that the US Government has received a tax nod from the first two while receiving nothing in the third.  

                        When 80% of the nations asset wealth is held by the top 10%, this tax policy does nothing to alleviate our national debt or fund our social policies and instead contributes to the gulf between rich and poor.  

                        As we go into budget negotiations again, why do we have to keep looking for things to cut, instead of looking for ways to bring in more income?  

                        In my estimation, 501 c 3's have become a tax haven for the wealthy. True charity does not consider tax consequences in the act of giving.  

                        We are all in this together.

                        by htowngenie on Sat Dec 07, 2013 at 07:07:02 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  htown - no one ever "needs" a tax break (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:

                          In every instance the person is money ahead by selling the asset, paying the long term capital gains tax, and putting the cash in the bank. It always costs the donor real CASH to make a charitable contribution. This notion that rich people make charitable contributions because they need tax write-offs is complete nonsense.

                          Rich people do construct their charitable giving and estate planning in a tax savvy fashion, because they have good tax lawyers.

                          "let's talk about that"

                          by VClib on Sat Dec 07, 2013 at 09:32:58 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

            •  Programs. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Lily O Lady, BYw

              Programs include "outreach", which is really just Komen advertising.  

              "Searches with nonspecific warrants were ‘the single immediate cause of the American Revolution.’” Justice Wm. Brennan, referring to the 4th Amendment

              by Nailbanger on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 11:58:48 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Yes, I went to a lovely Breast Cancer Center (8+ / 0-)

              in the medical center here in Houston.  Leather couches, original art on the wall, spa like locker room with plushy robes and twinkly music.  6 mammogram machine rooms and a radiologist on duty to read the exams immediately.  Amazing.  

              Problem was - they had no customers, er, I mean patients.  I was the only one and they had to brow beat me into making the appointment.  I had a mammogram 18 months earlier and the CDC had recently changed course and said 2 years was often enough.  No family history of breast cancer (or any cancer for that matter).  Why should I go every year for a painful procedure?  When the radiologist called me into her beautiful office to tell me all was clear, she wanted me to make an appointment for next year right there and then.  

              That was a year ago Oct.  This October I got a lovely letter from the Breast Cancer Center on lovely stationery asking me to contact my family doctor for a referral for my annual mammogram.  

              When I get high pressure sales tactics, I step back and examine why.  

              Something is wrong in this picture and it may be the money going to all those programs.  Meanwhile women with actual breast cancer and no health insurance die.  

              Our world is sick and I'm not referring to germs and cancer cells.

              We are all in this together.

              by htowngenie on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 01:12:06 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Wow! This is a great illustration of how (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                private is not better than government. Is this breast cancer center in the Med Center where all the med schools and fancy hospitals are? That area has mushroomed in the last few years, even with the crappy economy. It shows we have the best medicine in the world---for the 1%! The rest of us are on our own.

                "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

                by Lily O Lady on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 02:19:13 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  LOL. And then give nothing. (0+ / 0-)

        For thee, not me.
        And sometimes a "concerned" note.

        "He went to Harvard, not Hogwarts." ~Wanda Sykes
        Teh Twitterz, I'z awn dem.
        Blessinz of teh Ceiling Cat be apwn yu, srsly.

        by OleHippieChick on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 01:12:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  No. CEOs have no guilt. (9+ / 0-)

      Goes with that lack of soul.

      You can lead a Republican to knowledge but no matter how hard you try, you just can't make them think.

      by FisherOfRolando on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 08:36:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Ambien (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      koosah, The Marti, NYFM, niemann, Egalitare

      Please know I am not rude. I cannot rec anything from this browser. When I rec or post diaries I am a guest at some exotic locale's computer. Ayn is the bane!

      by Floyd Blue on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 08:41:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  They don't, actually (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Marti, niemann, Hillbilly Dem

      because they're so hard at work earning their bonuses and multimillion dollar salaries.

      Ha!  Just kidding.  They sleep pretty well knowing that the shareholders love them screwing the workers over.

      29, white male, TX-07 (current), TN-09 (born), TN-08 (where parents live now)

      by TDDVandy on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 08:54:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  In their way of thinking they deserve their ... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mmacdDE, YucatanMan, BYw

        ... huge salaries and bonuses precisely BECAUSE they are screwing their own workers.

        When they screw their employees it increases their profits, and that is the CEOs' job: to increase profits.  Because they're so good at their jobs -- increasing profits -- they deserve to be well paid for their great job performance.  

        (Even when profits decline ... but let's not get into that!  Then it is all due to forces outside the CEOs' control, and no doubt they did a great job in preventing things from getting even worse.)

        In the executive class way of thinking, treating employees fairly and paying them well would indicate a BAD job performance by a CEO.

    •  They sleep at night because they wear headphones (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ColoTim, Buckeye54, melo

      to listen to their Audiobook versions of Atlas Shrugged.  Have you ever tried to read that? It could put an overstimulated, hyperactive 10-year-old in a coma.

      Those headphones have the side benefit of cancelling the noise coming from the empty grumbling stomachs of their domestic slaves staff.  

      "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle stand like a rock." Attributed to T. Jefferson

      by koosah on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 08:56:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  How do they sleep at night? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      On comfy mattresses in opulent bedrooms.

      Because they EARNED it. Or rather, their WORKERS earned it, they just wouldn't give it to them.

    •  They sleep at night because (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite, BYw

      their world, their culture, and their perspective is far different than anything that would make we serfs feel pangs of guilt.  They are entitled, pure and simple.  Doing anything "because it's right" has absolutely no intrusion into their conscience.

      You can't spell CRAZY without R-AZ.

      by rb608 on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 10:29:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  answer (0+ / 0-)

      Amoral and selfishness. Greedy, and attitude that the only people that the business can't do without is them.....

  •  Congrats of the baby. (12+ / 0-)

    I've missed your posts!  

    We are all in this together.

    by htowngenie on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 08:23:02 AM PST

  •  The minimum wage should be maybe (7+ / 0-)

    1/20th of the maximum wage .
    1/20th of $13.8 million = $690,000

    "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

    by indycam on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 08:24:04 AM PST

  •  It is offensive they pay minimum wage (19+ / 0-)

    These companies should be increasing worker pay on their own, not because of a mandate.


    "Pulling together is the aim of despotism and tyranny. Free men pull in all kinds of directions.” --Lord Vetinari

    by voracious on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 08:26:07 AM PST

  •  Congratulations on the new baby! (7+ / 0-)

    I haven't been around as much because of a VERY heavy teaching load complete with two new preps (that's a brand new lecture four times a week for 14 weeks) either. That ended yesterday.

    $15 is a bare minimum. I'm reminded that when Reagan tried to rebrand "trickle-down" as "supply-side", George H.W. Bush called it "voodoo economics."Here's a nice review of that.

    Looking forward to watching Ed later!

  •  Damn, I can't get two cents for my package! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Marti

    My package ain't worth a damn!

    Please know I am not rude. I cannot rec anything from this browser. When I rec or post diaries I am a guest at some exotic locale's computer. Ayn is the bane!

    by Floyd Blue on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 08:34:45 AM PST

  •  The Golden STREAM is more like it.... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Marti, Meteor Blades, kenwards

    Waiting for the trickle down....

    And it comes in torrents, when the top execs down the single malt!

    Please know I am not rude. I cannot rec anything from this browser. When I rec or post diaries I am a guest at some exotic locale's computer. Ayn is the bane!

    by Floyd Blue on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 08:36:03 AM PST

  •  How do you think they got to be rich? (8+ / 0-)

    Give money to rich men, and they'll keep it.

    How do you think they got to be rich in the first place?

    Trickle down was always bullshit.

    “Americans are fighters. We're tough, resourceful and creative, and if we have the chance to fight on a level playing field, where everyone pays a fair share and everyone has a real shot, then no one - no one - can stop us. ”-- Elizabeth Warren

    by Positronicus on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 08:38:44 AM PST

  •  Fucking excellent piece! Great point that (7+ / 0-)

    the Reagan mantra of trickle down, which was always bullshit, but at least mentioned; is itself now taboo and un-American to even discuss.  

    It is astounding to me that "job creators" seem to act as if they are giving charity if they hire you to work.

    Please know I am not rude. I cannot rec anything from this browser. When I rec or post diaries I am a guest at some exotic locale's computer. Ayn is the bane!

    by Floyd Blue on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 08:39:53 AM PST

    •  They said it'd trickle down, they never said when (7+ / 0-)

      don't hold your breath. tax cuts for the rich always kick in immediately but the trickle down is always supposed to kick in later

      Any day now

      Trust us

      Just don't hold your breath

      It's always been bullshit and we need to call it out often and loudly. The centerpiece of GOP economic theory is pure bullshit.

      We need to call it out often and loudly

      Glad you agree : )

      Regulate banks, not vaginas

      by MinistryOfTruth on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 08:47:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  What is that GIF? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MinistryOfTruth, The Marti

    Looks like Darth Vader kicking a soccer ball to a diving goal keeper.

  •  You make some incredible (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MinistryOfTruth, The Marti, ColoTim

    arguments!  I tip and rec as long as I can use your points on my teabag relatives!

    11:11 being mindful and keepin' it real

    by Raggedy Ann on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 08:46:26 AM PST

  •  I believe in 'trickle down economics' about as (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    much as I believe in the Easter Bunny.  Less, actually.

    As some wag once put it, don't piss on my leg and tell me it's trickle down economics!

    Since Saint Ronnie The Zombie first brought up this idiotic notion, I thought it was bunk.  Time has proved me right about this, about him, and about the GOP.  I would love to have been wrong.

    How do the CEOs sleep at night?  They don't; they just lie in their coffins and wait for the sound of cash registers to alert them to more profits.


    We cannot call ourselves a civilised society if we refuse to protect the weakest among us.

    by The Marti on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 09:04:41 AM PST

  •  CEO pay is out of control (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NYFM, ColoTim, Damnit Janet

    no one can justify that salary - no one  - not of a public company - I could understand if it was a private company and the owner / founder built the place up from scratch - but these CEO's just ride into town, get paid a bunch and leave - even when they fail - they get tons of cash.  

    That said - raising the minimum helps in the short term then as prices catch up with expenses - the $15 is worth the $8.00 or whatever minimum is.  The key is to elevate people from the floor - not raise the floor.  You  will never get  ahead raising a minimum - you just raise everything else around it.

    The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

    by ctexrep on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 09:07:21 AM PST

  •  Bizarro world (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    One of the men mentioned is my mom's cousin. Stayed in his home once as a child when we went to Chicago to see a Cubs game. I've often thought of what I might say to him if I ever saw him again. Scald any Granny's this week?

    Power to the Peaceful!

    by misterwade on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 09:08:50 AM PST

  •  Just don't forget to tip the pool boy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Constantly Amazed

    Or the housekeeper after your shift!

    More McDonald's holiday tips...

  •  Excellent post, MoT! (0+ / 0-)

    Love your title.

    Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

    by TomP on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 09:12:33 AM PST

  •  It's the tax structure... (5+ / 0-)

    It is more beneficial for executives to suck money out of the company than it is to expand business.  There is no investment because it is not financially attractive.  If you have to pay 91% taxes to suck out profit - you are going to invest that money before the government gets a chunk.  If you only pay 15% - well grab as much money as you can.  Have a bad quarter?  No problem.  Turn down your quality, close down unprofitable locations and beat up your suppliers for cost reductions.  Labor has now become a set cost.  

    “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” - John Steinbeck

    by RichM on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 09:15:19 AM PST

    •  An exec will pay 45-50% tax on compensation, (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      coffeetalk, Sparhawk, nextstep, VClib, MGross

      depending on what state they're in. (note that equity compensation like stock awards and options are virtually always taxed as wage income for top execs)

    •  Re (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      If you have to pay 91% taxes to suck out profit - you are going to invest that money before the government gets a chunk.
      They also won't bother to go to work OR invest any money.

      (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
      Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

      by Sparhawk on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 10:27:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Bulshit... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Leap Year

        That was the tax rate in the 50's - one of the biggest investment periods in our history.

        “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” - John Steinbeck

        by RichM on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 11:18:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  1950's had lots of ways to avoid the high tax (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:


          The 1950s also had 3 recessions.

          The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

          by nextstep on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 12:12:10 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  not on corporations it wasn't (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sparhawk, goodpractice, VClib, nextstep

          Corporate tax rate was never at 91%, although individual income tax did get that high.

          There is a big difference though.  In the 50's when the individual rate on the highest earners were at 90%, deductions were out of control.  Most CEOs at that time had a much smaller income because the company could provide all of the meals, homes, cars, huge expense account...and write it all off.

        •  Rich - no one paid those rates (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          There were legal tax shelters with good economics and you could dial in whatever tax rate you wanted to pay. Before the Tax Reform Act of 1986, which took away all the tax shelters for individuals, I never had a federal tax rate above 10% and was a 1% earner.  

          "let's talk about that"

          by VClib on Sat Dec 07, 2013 at 09:47:32 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Not quite true. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      goodpractice, VClib

      Most companies continually invest back into the business all of the time, they just may not be investing in new employees.  But they are certainly investing in automation and cost reduction.

      Also companies invest in tax avoidance.  The US can try to tax these international corporations any amount they want, but those companies will just move the money around to avoid taxes, or will instead focus business on emerging markets like Brazil and India.

      There needs to be a balance with taxes.  Tax enough to meet the governments needs, but not so much that a company thinks it is better to do business elsewhere.  Believe me, the big corporations are already doing more business overseas than in the US...just look at GE and all of their investments in Brazil.

    •  No successful Fortune 1000 corporate executive (0+ / 0-)

      is paying a 15% tax rate. That is only available to executives who manage investment partnerships. The senior executives of public corporations are paying the top marginal rate on all  of their compensation at W2 rates, including any stock options or any other form of equity compensation.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 06:57:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The stagnation hits all workers (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ColoTim, Buckeye54

    It seems like a decent year end raise is a thing of the past for most workers.  The fortune 20 company I work for doesn't fund year end raises more than 1 or 2% anymore if we are lucky.  Stock price continues to grow and grow, CEO compensation is obscene, but all of us cogs are also suffering from wage stagnation and constant fear of layoffs.  

    My point is, McDonald's and minimum wage workers are rightly getting a lot of attention on this, but I think there are a lot of middle class folks who look at them in some level of solidarity since we are on the same Titanic, just lucky enough to not be in steerage.

  •  Well, I hate to ruin things with facts (7+ / 0-)

    but, overpaid as their CEO may be, the question of how much money McD's corporate is paying their CEO has pretty much nothing to do with whether anybody can "afford" to pay the workers at a local restaurant more.  

    McD's corporate doesn't pay the local workers.  Most McD's are franchises.  They are owned and operated by a local franchise owner, who pays McD's corporate a fee for using the name, for the recipes, for the advertising, for the branding, etc.  If you want to know whether someone can "afford" to pay the workers in your local McD's more, you have to look at the financials of the business of the local franchise owner, which pretty much has zero to do with how overpaid McD's CEO is.  

    •  what effect does higher exec comp (0+ / 0-)

      have on franchise fees?  They could just build it into the price of the mcnuggets they sell to the franchises, too.

      Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

      by Loge on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 11:45:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That just means a fatter margin for the (0+ / 0-)

        franchise owner.

      •  Individual franchisee's have no leverage to cut (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        franchise fees or food costs to create higher margins that could be used for higher wages. Businesses like fast food, which run on a franchise model, are difficult places to obtain wage increases because the profit margin at the retail franchisee level is small, typically about 5%.  

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 06:51:04 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's the point (0+ / 0-)

          The franchise margins are narrow not bc of strikes but bc of what McDonald's corporate charges.  This CEO raise cost gets passed on, and that makes it indeed harder for workers to obtain living wages.

          Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

          by Loge on Sat Dec 07, 2013 at 08:44:48 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Most executive compensation is equity (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            which isn't a cash expense so it really doesn't come from franchise fees. Senior executive cash compensation for companies the size of McDs is typically a fraction of 1% of total costs. As a separate cost item, it's very small. That's not driving any decisions about franchise fees.

            "let's talk about that"

            by VClib on Sat Dec 07, 2013 at 09:19:41 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Prices at McD's will skyrocket, right? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Norm in Chicago, NYFM

    Because that's what would've happened if the min wage went to $10, right?

    While you dream of Utopia, we're here on Earth, getting things done.

    by GoGoGoEverton on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 09:38:41 AM PST

  •  Great post MOT. I would change one thing around (0+ / 0-)


    I would have written

    Justifying greed is what conservatives live for. Hating the poor is just a bonus.
    Justifying hating the poor is what conservatives live for. Profiting from it is just a bonus.
    I'm probably feeling a bit bitter today.
  •  Raise it and KEEP it up! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    catilinus, dagnome, goodpractice

    The minimum wage should be tied to Congressional wages, if they give themselves and increase, then the minimum wage should be adjusted by the same percentage.

  •  The only job-killing pay raise is the obscene (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dagnome, goodpractice

    sums we are seeing given to these 'captains of industry'.

    If the name of 'industry' was Titanic, that would make sense.

    In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. - George Orwell, 1984

    by Ammo Hauler on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 10:04:06 AM PST

  •  Bumper Sticker: trickle down is bullcrap nt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, a2nite

    Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

    by k9disc on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 10:34:42 AM PST

  •  Jesse, I think you should replace (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, MinistryOfTruth

    Bashir in MSNBC's time-slot. I've said it before, and I'll say it again.

  •  FFS Jesse - to paraphrase the late Ted Kennedy (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NYFM, MinistryOfTruth

    "How MUCH is ENOUGH" for those people?

    And if these are the captains of industry,  why are we rewarding them for misdirecting our economy "onto the rocks"?

    This is Ted Kennedy on the floor of the senate asking Republicans  "What is the price"... (starts at 6:25)

    America's LAST HOPE: vote the GOP OUT in 2014 elections. MAKE them LOSE the House Majority and reduce their numbers in the Senate. Democrats move America forward - Republicans take us backward and are KILLING OUR NATION!

    by dagnome on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 11:04:55 AM PST

  •  Didn't you know... (0+ / 0-)
    A clown can get away with anything
    John Wayne Gacy

    You've got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know... morons. Gene Wilder as Jim, the "Waco Kid" in Blazing Saddles

    by JustBeKos on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 11:13:45 AM PST

  •  Competing with China is only for little people (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Every time some pundit or CEO talked about how American workers need to compete with the Chinese I wanted to say "you first".  That every CEO and manager in the US should make no more than a similar Chinese CEO or manager.

  •  Best Argument FOR the minimum going up (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    In my mind, corporations are always going to try and compete on their most controllable cost: labor.  It is always a "race to the bottom" in a true capitalistic society.  You need an advantage, and the winner is always going to be the most productive company.  Long term, "productive" means cheapest costs of labor per output unit.   If your company's workforce is super efficient and can outproduce the next guy by 20%, why the other guy merely has to cut wages by 25%, forcing your boss to cut yours 5%, forcing.....

    When Unions were around to a greater degree they checked this tendency.  The best times (and most egalitarian) in our society were when Unions had enough power to keep wages from falling and keeping CEOs from lining their pockets so absurdly.  Can you see UAW member 20 years ago agreeing to a pay freeze if the CEO just tripled his salary?

    Unless they are all FORCED to pay more and unless that "floor" is set high enough to matter, wages are not going to rise.  There is too much "slack" in our economy, meaning there are too many potential scabs willing  to help Management in their quest to silence labor.

    "The man who has his millions will want everything he can lay his hands on and then raise his voice against the poor devil who wants ten cents more a day" - S.Gompers

    by Copp on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 11:54:39 AM PST

  •  Can I supersize that? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    deep h20

    Yep.... I will have the Big Cack meal with extra Freedumb Fries and a Triple Thick Shakedown....and can I SuperLies that as well?

    You eat at Macs you facilitate slave labor.

    end of.

    •  Spot on (0+ / 0-)

      Just don't eat there.  The employees are not reaping the benefit of your patronage anyway and when you patronize the dumps you contribute to their continued servitude.

      Identify local restaurants that pay living wages and provide healthful, quality food and go there.  Local place here does the best burger ever, fries and a beer for less than the cost of a Big Mac, Fries, and a coke.

      Too bad that these sort of jobs are seen as careers, and not high school gigs these days.  The overall loss of employment opportunities sure has screwed things up in total hasn't it?  

  •  "Do you want lies with that?" Simply briliant! (0+ / 0-)
  •  Just make sure and hold your nose (0+ / 0-)

    ..when you dive in and start

    swimming in trickle down goodness

    It's some foul, nasty, shit.

  •  The amount of dollars fast food places get (0+ / 0-)

    from me a year doesn't reach into double digits. I don't enable these corporations. Why would I hurt them once when I could hurt them twice? I will support fair wages AND I'll avoid their garbage. Hit them on two fronts.

    The U. S. Constitution doesn't guarantee happiness, only the pursuit of it. You have to catch up with it yourself.

    by Tony Stark on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 05:35:33 PM PST

  •  Article (0+ / 0-)

    Well, it's time a boycott the "Golden Arches"! Maybe then we can get somewhere!

  •  WTF has changed about McD's that anyone deserves (0+ / 0-)

    this kind of money? They didn't create the brand. It hasn't changed in 30 years. Why would anyone deserve this? You could put an algorithm in place and it would do better.

  •  A little math on this subject. (0+ / 0-)

    McDonalds has roughly 1.6 million employees worldwide.  The compensation increase granted to the two executives mentioned, $30 million, would give workers a grand total raise of $18.75/yearly if parceled out to them instead.

    That'd work out to about $0.01/hour.

    People think high CEO salaries are exorbitant, but compared to most of the costs of a large company, they're rounding errors.

    Conversely, increasing the average salary for McDonald's worker from an assumed average of $8/hour to $15/hour would cost the company:

    $7/hour * 40 hours a week * 52 weeks a year = 14.5k worker

    14.5k a worker * 1.7 million workers = 24.752 billion dollars.  McDonald's gross (not net) revenue is only around $27.5 billion, profits are only $5.5 billion or so.

  •  Why would anyone think (0+ / 0-)

    that those who have made cachillions promoting toxic sludge as food would have any moral urging to pay a living wage? My guess is that they consider having to pay their workers anything a moral outrage and what they are really pushing for is (e) in the above poll.

  •  While you are tearing apart the GOP... (0+ / 0-)

    you forgot the gift from Bill Clinton - Welfare to Work.  This gem created the approach that created the slavery you are writing about and is the basis for why the raises are not forthcoming.  Under that bill, if you do not take the job at minimum wage with at least 20 hours of work while accepting food stamps, health care, and TANF, you lose your right to these benefits.  This creates an enforced slave force for all those low wage jobs, and now with the economy still in the basement for most of us forcing us to need those safety net programs, we must take these jobs that will not give time off for job interviews as they are supposed to do and we get stuck in them.  Just like Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich and their banker and CEO friends wanted.

    We can blame the GOP/Tea Party crowd for this mess, and they deserve their fair share of the blame, but do not leave out the Clintons and the Democrats under Pelosi and Reid for their complicity.  After all they are part of the 1% and they have their own agendas as well.

    You will not see any change in the minimum wage to a living wage until we repeal Welfare to Work and start offering help finding jobs while providing the kind of safety net that keeps us out of slavery and working at jobs that pay fair wages for a full days work.  We used to have that, and the ideal of the Welfare Queen was just a myth that the Dems and the GOP put together to serve their masters, the corporate Welfare Kings and Queens, like the CEO of McDonalds and the Walton Matriarch.  It is time to fight back against this kind of legislation and stop accepting that anyone needing help is a lazy scam artist.  It is time to stand up and say NO MORE to the enforced slavery of Welfare to Work.  Maybe then we will find ourselves once again earning a wage large enough to care for our families and ourselves.

  •  I Hate Capitalism (0+ / 0-)

    Over the last few decades the CEO's of corporate America have made themselves filthy rich by paying themselves instead of labor. The boss gets a raise, you don't. You are lucky just to keep your job. Any profit made goes straight to the wealthiest 1% and stays there.

    And if you complain they call you a socialist.

    If you notice the 800 lb CEO in the room, they say you hate capitalism.

    Yes, I hate Capitalism - as it is practiced in America...because the entire above is how it is practiced in America.

    If being in favor of working people getting a decent wage for their honest day's work makes me a socialist, then, by damn, I'm FUCKING PROUD to be a socialist!!

    Incidentally, I am also a small business owner...and my company's sole employee.

    But if my company ever had the need and means to have an employee, or employees, they would be treated right.


    For the most part, Americans are the most wishy-washy people on earth. We forgive and forget so easily. The Occupy Wall Street movement lost steam because the people got lazy and didn't want to continue the fight. NO SOLIDARITY. They could have overwhelmed the legal system to collapse! Have 1000 protesters occupy an area. The cops haul them away and another 1000 pop right back in....and so on and on.... The courts would be backed up worse than a clogged toilet!

    Fast food workers need to have solidarity. They need to ALL walk off the job at lunchtime all at once. McDonalds will have to shut down completely. How are the two "managers" on duty going to cook and serve all that food during rush-hour?

    On Thanksgiving and Black Friday, every single WalMart employee should have said "** you, we ain't coming in!".......WalMart would have lost millions and maybe learned a lesson in SOLIDARITY.

    As long as these robber-barons have the upper hand, they will continue to stomp the workers like ants. Who the hell can live on $7.25 an hour?????

  •  $9 M. pay raise represents a lot of hamburgers (0+ / 0-)

    You have to add a lot of pink slime and burros'meat to do get that kind of raise.
    Why do you eat at McDonald's again? Just boycott the place. I do.

  •  Something to warm your hands on this winter... (0+ / 0-)

    And if you complain they call you a socialist.

    If I could've registered as one...rather than a better believe I would've.

    If you notice the 800 lb CEO in the room, they say you hate capitalism.

    Along with have those who call themselves "xtians" expecting their magic words and going to church will get them a one-way trip from the hardship they've created in their "rapture".

    Something I don't hear talked about is their homes/businesses can/will burn when the poor they vilify so easily have to keep warm in the winter. They don't think their actions will be their undoing...then they've never read history from 1750 onward.

  •  boycott (0+ / 0-)

     Boycotting for 2days a week on a national level  might open their eyes......when iteffects   their pocketbooks It may capture their attention. JOIN a UNION.  The hierarcy states that these are jobs for first timers.  If there were sufficient, well paying jobs and corporations would stop being REWARDED  for outsourcing jobs, you wouldn't see anyone over 21 working there, except for aManager.A family man needs to work to feed his family, not to be denegraded for the loss of well paying jobs.

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