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Thread: New Study Confirms That American Workers Are Getting Ripped Off

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by labrea View Post
    By Eric Levitz

    America’s unemployment rate is hovering near half-century lows. There are now more job openings than unemployed workers in the United States for the first time since the government began tracking that ratio. For America’s working class, macroeconomic conditions don’t get much better than this.

    And yet, most Americans’ wages aren’t getting any better, at all. Over the past 12 months, piddling wage gains — combined with modest inflation — have left the vast majority of our nation’s laborers with lower real hourly earnings than they had in May 2017. On Wall Street, the second-longest expansion in U.S. history has brought boom times — in the coming weeks, S&P 500 companies will dole out a record-high $124.1 billion in quarterly dividends. But on Main Street, returns have been slim.

    snip

    ...a new report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) offers a more straightforward — and political — explanation: American policymakers have chosen to design an economic system that leaves workers desperate and disempowered, for the sake of directing a higher share of economic growth to bosses and shareholders.

    snip

    American workers are more likely to be poor (by the standards of their nation). In the United States, nearly 15 percent of workers earn less than half of the median wage. That gives the U.S. a higher “low-income rate” than any other developed nation besides Greece and Spain.

    OECD Study Confirms That U.S. Workers Are Getting Ripped Off
    I give this a D+ for objectivity. Where to start?

    1) The title is pathetic clickbait. Being "ripped off" means being cheated or swindled. There is nothing in the article that indicates workers are being "cheated" or "swindled."

    2) What the article then alleges is that the OECD gives a political explanation for the data, but then immediately admits othewrise that the OECD did not actually say this... "explicitly," but rather the author the basically interprets the data this way by drawing their own comparisons, assumptions and conclusions. This is how intellectual weaklings try to steal credibility from other sources. They claim that a more objective source of information makes a claim that it didn't make. "Credible and objective source says American politicians screw the little guy!" And the footnote: "Just kidding, the source didn't say that, but that's what I think, how can it be anything different?!"

    3) The United States has never in recent history, or probably ever, closely resembled western Europe. OECD comparisons are convenient for people who want to bash us over the head with reminders about how much worse this country is than western European ones, but OECD country comparisons are not inherently objective. Three-fourths of the world's population lives in countries that are not OECD countries. Size and population have to matter for something. 72% of OECD countries have populations smaller than the state of California. 41% of OECD countries have populations smaller than New York City. The entire European Union is only 1.6x larger than just the United States by itself, and only 1.1x larger than the US+Canada+Mexico.

    If you want to compare the United States to something, why not just compare it to the entire EU? Or compare the entire EU to North America? Why put the U.S. on a list with countries like Iceland, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Estonia, Lithuania, and Denmark? Oh, right, because it's a more useful political tool to put the United States on a chart where it's already a glaring natural outlier... in order to make the argument that the United States is an outlier.

    This "new" study doesn't show "workers are being ripped off," and in fact it doesn't really show anything at all that we don't already know, which is that the U.S. is not quite like small European countries. I realize the American left will never shut up about this. But there's nothing new about it. We get it. The U.S. is not like small European countries. Or the EU as a whole, in a lot of ways.

    Also potentially noteworthy? Eric Levitz is a raging unionist. So pro-union that he attacks Democrats for not being nice enough to them.
    Last edited by Neomalthusian; 9th July 2018 at 03:39 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigLeRoy View Post
    As you might well guess, training and education have always been my schtick, or better, my clarion call to America, for almost 40 years now. I've been preaching that America needs a giant Sputnik Shock for just about that long. And I have come to be more and more pessimistic that anything of the sort will happen in time. It is already too late, in my opinion. America is near the breaking point.
    For China, the time is now.

    The Chinese government, eager to sustain the country’s rapid emergence as a scientific superpower, is opening the door wider for people like him. On 22 May, the Ministry of Science and Technology issued guidelines that encourage science ministries and commissions to consult foreign experts and attract non-Chinese to full-time positions within China. In a striking change, foreign scientists are now allowed to lead public research projects.

    With generous funding and top-tier jobs, China seeks to lure science talent from abroad | Science | AAAS
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  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by labrea View Post
    By Eric Levitz

    America’s unemployment rate is hovering near half-century lows. There are now more job openings than unemployed workers in the United States for the first time since the government began tracking that ratio. For America’s working class, macroeconomic conditions don’t get much better than this.

    And yet, most Americans’ wages aren’t getting any better, at all. Over the past 12 months, piddling wage gains — combined with modest inflation — have left the vast majority of our nation’s laborers with lower real hourly earnings than they had in May 2017. On Wall Street, the second-longest expansion in U.S. history has brought boom times — in the coming weeks, S&P 500 companies will dole out a record-high $124.1 billion in quarterly dividends. But on Main Street, returns have been slim.

    snip

    ...a new report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) offers a more straightforward — and political — explanation: American policymakers have chosen to design an economic system that leaves workers desperate and disempowered, for the sake of directing a higher share of economic growth to bosses and shareholders.

    snip

    American workers are more likely to be poor (by the standards of their nation). In the United States, nearly 15 percent of workers earn less than half of the median wage. That gives the U.S. a higher “low-income rate” than any other developed nation besides Greece and Spain.

    OECD Study Confirms That U.S. Workers Are Getting Ripped Off
    Meanwhile, there is a steady decline in the membership and relative power of unions.

    I think maybe there is a cause and effect relationship there.
    Thanks from labrea

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neomalthusian View Post
    I give this a D+ for objectivity. Where to start?

    1) "Ripped off" is a very misleading way to characterize the data. Not even the article you linked suggests anyone is being "ripped off." What the article alleges is that the OECD provides a political explanation for the data, but the immediately admits that the OECD did not say this "explicitly," rather the authors basically just surmise the explanation is political by drawing their own comparisons and conclusions. This is how intellectual weaklings try to steal credibility from other sources. They claim that a more objective source of information makes a claim that it didn't make. "Credible and objective source says American politicians screw the little guy!" And the footnote: "Actually we were lying, the source didn't say that, but that's what we think, how can it be anything different?!"

    The United States has never in recent history, or probably ever, really resembled western Europe. Being "ripped off" means being cheated or swindled. There is nothing in the article that indicates workers are being "cheated" or "swindled."

    2) OECD comparisons are convenient for people who want to bash us over the head with reminders about how much worse this country is than western European ones, but OECD country comparisons are not inherently objective. Three-fourths of the world's population lives in countries that are not OECD countries. Size and population have to matter for something. 72% of OECD countries have populations smaller than the state of California. 41% of OECD countries have populations smaller than New York City.

    The entire European Union is only 1.6x larger than just the United States by itself, and only 1.1x larger than the US+Canada+Mexico. If you want to compare the United States to something, why not just compare it to the entire EU? Or compare the entire EU to North America? Why put the U.S. on a list with countries like Iceland, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Estonia, Lithuania, and Denmark? Oh, right, because it's a more useful political tool to put the United States on a chart where it's already a glaring natural outlier... in order to make the argument that the United States is an outlier.

    This "new" study doesn't show "workers are being ripped off," and in fact it doesn't really show anything at all that we don't already know, which is that the U.S. is not quite like small European countries. I realize the American left will never shut up about this. But there's nothing new about it. We get it. The U.S. is not like small European countries. Or the EU as a whole, in a lot of ways.
    I guess that would depend on how you define "cheated" and/or "swindled". The middle class sure isnt getting a fair share of the wealth it creates as the graphs in the article clearly show.
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  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dittohead not! View Post
    Meanwhile, there is a steady decline in the membership and relative power of unions.

    I think maybe there is a cause and effect relationship there.
    Hmm - could be.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by labrea View Post
    I guess that would depend on how you define "cheated" and/or "swindled". The middle class sure isnt getting a fair share of the wealth it creates as the graphs in the article clearly show.
    You believing "the middle class" isn't getting "a fair share of the wealth" that it "creates" is absolutely chock full of pure subjectivity and political overtones, from start to finish. If you personally feel like all workers should be paid more for whatever it is they do, unless they're paid a lot, in which case you presumably think they should be paid less, that's all your personal feelings. But those feelings do not meet any semblance of a definition of "cheated" or "swindled" or "ripped off."

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dittohead not! View Post
    Meanwhile, there is a steady decline in the membership and relative power of unions.

    I think maybe there is a cause and effect relationship there.
    There is literally nothing any union can do that a lawmaking, taxing, monetarily sovereign government cannot do. In fact unions have long completely relied on special treatment and rules from governments in order to even exist or function.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldGaffer View Post
    We are only 25th out of 26 industrialized nation in poverty rate
    When you hand-pick a list of countries that you know score better than yours on some measure, and omit all the ones that rank worse, then yeah, your country will be last on that list. Because you set the list up that way.

    so we can still drop one more before we fall into third world shithole status.
    Arbitrarily declaring that everywhere on Earth that isn't quite as good as the United States in some respects is therefore a "third world shithole" is profoundly ignorant and inherently xenophobic. I've reminded you of this repeatedly. Yet you keep saying it over and over like it's something new.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neomalthusian View Post
    There is literally nothing any union can do that a lawmaking, taxing, monetarily sovereign government cannot do. In fact unions have long completely relied on special treatment and rules from governments in order to even exist or function.
    So, labor is relying on the government to bring about more equitable pay, and where is it getting them? You can't always rely on governments. Sometimes, you have to have representation that will single mindedly fight for your rights.
    Thanks from labrea

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    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Dad View Post
    Wages are negotiated. If the employers says that they will pay $10 per hour for the job and you think you are worth $15 and hour, walk. As long as there aren't a line of people willing to take it for $10 per hour, you might get called back.
    But don't take any of your co-workers with you. That would organized labor and that's baaaaad.
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