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Honored Advisor

Re: Latest survey on poor in America

You are doing what I have always done - what my numbers- oriented OCD tendencies have sort of done on their own, almost subconsciously - running the numbers and sensing the lie. The problem with most of the populationnis that someone can spout numbers that male absolutely no sense, and they blndly accept them as a rationale. I see the numbers and start to calculate underneath my conscious level, and the lie smacks me upside the head. It is sort of like being abletocathc one of those con hames where the guy hands the csshier a bill, then asks for change in different denominatiions...the vast majority fall for the words, and lose track of the numbers. My brain follows the numbers, and evidently yours does, too. I was the one person who was having such an epiphany in an entire meeting room of citizens who were fighting a mega- landfill back in the eighties. Before I knew it, I was on my feet, totally out of order, challenging the county manager, whose sole purpose in being hired there was to confuse and confound the superviors with new debt, then "save the day" by having a waste company ride in as a white knight, bearing tipping fee revenues. I didn't even see the TV reporter's microphone shoved under my chin as I spoke...that is how it is when you are caught up in the numbers. The real trick is being able to get other people to see the numbers, too. Down the road, imade a visual presentation very similar to the math lessons I had been teaching in school to kids. That is about the level you have to present numbers to the general public...math literacy rarely rises above middle school level in most places. Reading literacy was about eighth grade in the old days, before the educational system fell apart, so I fear to see what it is today. We are following a uranium mining proposal in VA and downriver in NC now...and I know the quality of oversight that one would receive...the same bunch that couldn't police a sands mining operation on my home place. Scares the beejeebers out of me....
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Senior Contributor

Re: Latest survey on poor in America

I've apologize for not reading all the posts on this thread.  I've read most and sped through some.  I'd love to pay higher wages but how do I stay in business.  Suppose I need to hire someone else to run my only source of income then maybe they could figure out how to pay the help more and still be competitive.

Veteran Advisor

Re: Latest survey on poor in America

That's where the"' herd ""  theory really comes into play the last couple of decades---throw out some numbers and give it a 15 second sound bite it turns to Gospel---maybe we need the  word  ""accurate"" redefined and or remove the emphasis's on the word disclaimer ---

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Advisor

Re: Latest survey on poor in America

Not everyone is capable of starting his/her own business, nor are they all capable of managing a career that they have the skills to manage.  This isn't a slam nor a put down, but not all people are alike in gifts and abilities.  Just because we who operate our own farm business does not mean everyone can do it.  We may have abilities that gives us an advantage, because we have been exposed to a management perspective from day one.  That's life on the farm.

 

 

 

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Advisor

Re: Latest survey on poor in America

The key to sound business expansion is to look at all the "what ifs" in a business proposal and see whether you have the financial capability to survive an economic setback.  Dr. David Kohl, an Economics professor and consultant has put forth general guidelines for sustaining the full-time employment of an individual.  For instance, in a cash grain operation, his guideline suggests you must increase revenues by $150K to justify adding one employee (or family member), $75K if you are in livestock.

 

In any other business, there are similar guidelines, I'm sure.  Remember, we are talking about full time employment.  Anyway, just because one doesn't have the time to do all the work does not mean you should go out and hire the first pair of pants that comes your way.

 

As for part time, hiring seasonal work is justifiable, we all do that from time to time.  However, part time implies a short period of time, with a beginning and an end.  It's not a perpetual, open ended period of employment that runs just under the definition of full time employment so one can escape from paying benefits and having to pay unemployment compensation to the state and federal programs.  These are the jobs I am primarily talking about.  If you expect these people to permanently live off of the wages you pay, then you need to own up to your responsibility and either pay them a living wage or cut back.

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Highlighted
Advisor

Re: Latest survey on poor in America

A sibling works at a large WalMart in another state.  I wouldn't recommend working there unless there is no other option for putting food on the table.

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Advisor

Re: Latest survey on poor in America

Kay, poor choices is certainly a big part of it.  I see it every day when reading the legals in the weekly paper.  People grow up without any skills or work ethic, they have no people skills.  Their parents were AWOL as they were growing up. 

 

Bad luck is the catch all phrase.  Yes, an excuse to blame everyone but yourself.  Sometimes, it actually is bad timing or being at the wrong place at the wrong time.  But yes, it is an excuse most of the time.

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Veteran Contributor

Re: Latest survey on poor in America

"If you expect these people to permanently live off of the wages you pay, then you need to own up to your responsibility and either pay them a living wage or cut back."

 

What if someone wanted the job at the wages that you considered to low?  What if they disagree with your assessment of how much is needed to live on?  What if the person wanted a full time job but already had some assets to supplement this income?  Would the employer be wrong in hiring such a person?  Another way of asking this is, what business is if of yours what an employer and an employee agree to for wages?  They both might be happier than you think and they would be providing a product or service that otherwise may not be produced for the good of society.

 

Also in the article you posted they say that "low income" would be a family of four living on $45,000.  Would such a family really be in danger or malnutrition as the rest of your first post was concerned with?  $45,000 is quite a bit of money and if that is considered low income then our low income are now richer than most of the previous generations ever hoped to be and richer than most of the rest of the world.  Kay asked the same type of question I had regarding your first post.  If only 10% of a person's wages are used for food why would at least some of the other 90% not be available for buying food with higher nutrition?

 

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Honored Advisor

Re: Latest survey on poor in America

You know, I am absolutely certain I have been in the wrong place at the wrong time lots of times.  I think a lot of getting out of scrapes is looking ahead and making a quick turn before you hit one, or one hits you. 

 

The one worst poor choice so many kids make is to blow off their freee public education...a HS diploma is an entry ticket to so many better opportunities, and is where the qualtiy and quantity of choices improves astronomically.  Lacking that, you are out of military, advanced education, and most job description options. 

Honored Advisor

Re: Latest survey on poor in America

In constructing a job description/compensation pakacage for the position, I try to employ the Golden Rule: Would I work for myself, doing those tasks, for that pay and perqs? 

 

We have been very conservative about hiring.  I am quite conscisous that I am asking a person to spend their life's hours to help us earn a living.  We have both worked off-farm for others, so I think may have more perspective on this work/pay issue than people who have always farmed might.

 

I refuse to live in a house with comforts, and see the people working for us do without.  Perhaps part of this understanding an dfeelgin for who works for us is because our #1 employee is our daughter.  Then again, everyone is somebody's baby. 

 

I feel we do pretty well as employers...the guy who works under our daughter's management was here once before, got called back to his construction job by his brothers, and then came back to us.  His wife and children were crying their eyes out the first time they left, and they sure took more with them than they had arrived with, materially.