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Honored Advisor

Re: Latest survey on poor in America

We are talking totally enclosed, heated well in winter, and fans with the mist make it nice and cool in summer. Worst part is in wintertime, coming out with your skin damp and pores open. I would stash a towel and set of dry clothing and shoes, so I could change in the heat before going out. Not the greatest, but I have done way worse things. As for the pipe,I have spentmwhole summers of my life toting an setting joints in tobacco fields. Fun putting it overhead, to clear tall crop,, and having the water and sand run down your face and neck.... I think the worst jobs I got to do involved ground suckers and ground primings in tobacco. You just cannot stand still after pulling them all day...your muscles will freeze up stiff. Miserable work. Glad it is behind us now.
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Veteran Contributor

Re: Latest survey on poor in America

I'm having trouble following the logic of saying no job is better than a low paying job.  Without the low paying job, the potential employee would be completely dependent on "welfare, food stamps or school lunches to feed the family."  A low paying job takes some of the pressure off of these and decreases the unemployment rate creating more competion for jobs and raising the wages in general when multipied over the thousands times jobs are offered.

 

James is rightly scolding the rich oppressors who cheat their employee's out of their wages.  I do not believe an employer is oppressing an employee by paying wages as agreed to even if some would consider the wages low.  It's not like the employee will be locked in debt in a company store and forced to continue working there even if a better job opportunity comes along.  Employers don't have that much power since they must compete with other employers for workers in our society.  James is more concerned about businesses that commit fraud by failing to honor their agreements, imho.

 

Finally if wages are raised everywhere to a so-call "living wage" then that will put pressure to raise the prices of the products and services provided.  This in turn will make the previous levels of "living wages" too low and they will have to be raised again.  It doesn't really gain anything.  Real wealth, as defined as more products and services available for people, is not created.

 

A low paying job is not ideal but it does create products and services for people and takes some of the pressure off of the social support systems and makes the employee productive without limiting his chance for advancement, possibly with other employers.  I do not agree that that is oppressing the employee if wages are paid as agreed.  We still have freedom to look for another job when opportunities arise.

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Advisor

Re: Latest survey on poor in America

Good question.  The cynic in me asked the same question.

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Advisor

Re: Latest survey on poor in America

The worst work I ever did was picking cotton by hand and dragging the bags with my shoulder.   Correction; that was the second worst work I ever did.  The worst was cleaning a 10K bushel grain bin of moldy grain and scraping and wire brushing the sloping concrete floor of the bin to apply a sealant.  Boss never gave us masks to wear.  I had to get them from home.  Coughed up junk for a week.  Boss's son refused to obey his own dad to help.  I quit after finishing the job.

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Advisor

Re: Latest survey on poor in America

Perhaps you've never been on welfare and unaware how things work.  Income triggers are set too low.  Wages earned, even low wages, can reduce benefits received.  If you are unemployed, depending the state, generally wages more than $200 per week (in my state). will kick you out of the unemployment compensation and you have to pay back the previous compensation check and wait two weeks before you can reapply and receive help.  It penalizes individual incentive.

 

A low paying job, if that's all the options one has, will never propel the individual along far enough to reach the higher rung of the employment ladder.  It may decrease the unemployment rate, but will never solve the long term problem of poverty.  That's why the numbers keep going up every year.

 

With the James quote, it's not just fraud, but intent to deprive a man of proper wages.  There are many ways to deprive a man of his/her wages, other than not paying what is owed.  A local college used a bait and switch tactic to achieve savings in payroll expenses by eliminating a full-time, tenured teaching position and hiring two part-time adjuncts.  Saved $20-30K+ per year by not having to pay benefits and retirement, plus salary differential to a full time faculty member.  It wasn't fraudulent, but it was not moral nor ethical.  Nor were they paying a fair wage for the part-time people who actually were looking for full-time employment but took this work on the outside chance it would be a stepping stone into full time work.  Believe me, they were extremely disappointed when the "truth" came out some time later.

 

 

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Advisor

Re: Latest survey on poor in America

What amazes me is how nobody in America sees opportunity to improve when the chips are down.  Where's the innovation and ingenuity that made America great?  I need to find that article, but about a year ago, i read a column that reported the increased costs of shipping goods to the US were making American made counterparts competitive, that some corporations were actually closing down their factories in China and bringing the manufacturing back to our shores.  The challenge is to find the weakness where we can compete, not only on price, but certainly on quality and beat their pants off in the marketplace.

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Veteran Advisor

Re: Latest survey on poor in America

Also, minimum wage is not enough to raise a family on.  True, but it was never MEANT for that.  In my opinion, it is there so that an unscrupulous employer can't take advantage of some high schoool kid, or someone with limited intellect.  Minimum wage jobs exist, to give the average worker, job experience, and a work record, to be a stepping stone for something better.  Without low-paying jobs, many workers would get no work experience.  With no work experience, they wouldn't be hired for better jobs. 

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Veteran Contributor

Re: Latest survey on poor in America

The fact that welfare and/or unemployment system penalizes the person who wants to find work is not the fault of the employer offering a job.  Depending on the point of view there are at least two ways to look at this.  Either the welfare system should continue higher benefits when a person gets a job, or the second opinion held by many (the one you'd disagree with) is that the safety net has become too much of a hammock.  Either way the employer is doing no harm by offering a job.  No one is forced to take it.

 

You keep moving the goalposts in your arguements.  My example of an employer offering a job at a wage some would consider low but paying as agreed is a far cry from your example of the college that did a bait and switch.  It is possible to offer a low wage and not be dishonest or depriving a man of wages.  He is offering some wages that may not be available otherwise.  Good for him.  I will not judge him so harshly.  He could have just sat on his cash and spent if frivolously.

 

You ignored the fact that someone earning something...anything... at a job where they are working produces products and services increasing the wealth available for everyone and is also taking some of the burden off of the welfare system.  Actually, you complained that it took too much burden off of the welfare system, when you said income triggers are set to low.  Fix that instead of blaming an employer for providing and opportunity to earn a living even if it must be supplemented in your opinion.

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Highlighted
Veteran Advisor

Re: Latest survey on poor in America


@smokeyjay wrote:

Perhaps you've never been on welfare and unaware how things work.  Income triggers are set too low.  Wages earned, even low wages, can reduce benefits received.  If you are unemployed, depending the state, generally wages more than $200 per week (in my state). will kick you out of the unemployment compensation and you have to pay back the previous compensation check and wait two weeks before you can reapply and receive help.  It penalizes individual incentive.

 

A low paying job, if that's all the options one has, will never propel the individual along far enough to reach the higher rung of the employment ladder.  It may decrease the unemployment rate, but will never solve the long term problem of poverty.  That's why the numbers keep going up every year.

 

With the James quote, it's not just fraud, but intent to deprive a man of proper wages.  There are many ways to deprive a man of his/her wages, other than not paying what is owed.  A local college used a bait and switch tactic to achieve savings in payroll expenses by eliminating a full-time, tenured teaching position and hiring two part-time adjuncts.  Saved $20-30K+ per year by not having to pay benefits and retirement, plus salary differential to a full time faculty member.  It wasn't fraudulent, but it was not moral nor ethical.  Nor were they paying a fair wage for the part-time people who actually were looking for full-time employment but took this work on the outside chance it would be a stepping stone into full time work.  Believe me, they were extremely disappointed when the "truth" came out some time later.

 

 


Plus, if they are gettin rent assistance, that gets kicked out, and etc, etc.  I know of more than one individual who never cares to be more than part-time employed, because if he works harder, his benefits go down, his rent goes up, etc.  Granted, this is not the most ambitious person in the world, because his reason for not working full time is that he lives pretty much the same this way, and has 'more free time'.  However, if the benefits would taper off slowly, leaving him with more of his paycheck, chances are, he would work harder, if he got to keep more of it.  The way it is now, he is kept in a condition of all his major needs met, but at this rate will never really amount to anything.  I doubt he is the only one.

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Advisor

Re: Latest survey on poor in America

Be careful with the arguments presented.  Nothing has changed and goal posts haven't moved.  My responses are to your specific questions requiring specific answers.  Do not mix two answers together when they addressed different questions.  If you continue with this, we are done here.

 

 

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