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Thread: Democrats need to dumb down their message

  1. #551
    Radical Centrist BigLeRoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neomalthusian View Post
    There's a reason liberals have to rewind more than a century to hand-select Ford as an example, but what is usually overlooked was that his manufacturing process innovations cut his labor hours per vehicle by something like seven-eighths. It was because of that, and only that, that the price of vehicles he made dropped precipitously despite increasing working pay (and addressing his turnover problem). If it had not been for his assembly line process, raising his wages would have only reduced his turnover problem, but would not have made autos affordable, whether for his own workers or most of society. They would have been too expensive to be affordable were it not for his assembly line efficiencies.



    But this is the obvious logical thinking error most liberals latch onto, deluding themselves to think that businesses succeed by paying workers more money so that they will turn around and spend more money buying the products they just made. Anyone who can't think through why this doesn't work is an idiot, sorry to say.

    Again, what is most responsible, by far, for his workers being able to buy the autos they assembled was not that he increased their pay to $5 a day, it was that the price of a Model T went from $900 in 1910 to $260 fifteen years later. What made that price drop possible? Extreme efficiency gains in assembly processes.
    But I was nowhere disputing any of this! NOWHERE in what I wrote was I arguing against the point you are making here, that it was Henry Ford's introduction of the assembly line that resulted in the big drop in the price of the Model T over time. Not disputing that AT ALL. You are correct about that.

    But you are nowhere even close to refuting the point that I was making. Which was simply this: That Henry Ford was paying his workers more than he needed to. And that ought to be obvious to any thinking person. To quote yourself back to you, anyone who disputes this is an idiot, sorry to say.

    How do we know this? Simple. We have those photographs, of thousands and thousands and thousands of people lined up, eager to get one of those high-paying jobs at Henry Ford's automobile factories.

    You were arguing with a point that I was NOT making, and you did NOT refute the point that I WAS making. Sorry.

  2. #552
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigLeRoy View Post
    But I was nowhere disputing any of this! NOWHERE in what I wrote was I arguing against the point you are making here, that it was Henry Ford's introduction of the assembly line that resulted in the big drop in the price of the Model T over time. Not disputing that AT ALL. You are correct about that.

    But you are nowhere even close to refuting the point that I was making. Which was simply this: That Henry Ford was paying his workers more than he needed to.
    That's subjective. Anyone who pays anyone else more than the statutory minimum wage could be said to be paying more than they need to. What a business "needs" to do is subjective based on what outcome they're pursuing and how to get there.

    What Ford decided to pay his workers at that particular point in time in the auto manufacturing industry was concurrent with a couple of other pretty highly unusual things. The industry turnover rate was higher than 350%, which was just stupid, AND, again, the assembly innovations were reducing the labor hours per vehicle needed by seven-eighths. Oh, and their particular business was going to change the course of human history, that's also fairly uncommon from a business standpoint.

    If I'm running a business and (1) my business could potentially explode if I can bring prices down, and (2) will change the course of human history if I can mass-produce it, and (3) I figure out a way to cut my labor hours involved in producing whatever I produce by seven-eighths, and (4) I figure all this out pretty much before any of my competitors, and (5) I have a mind-bendingly high turnover rate that is zapping my business of productivity, then you bet your ass I'm going to hike the pay I offer to workers. I'll hike it as much as possible, because all indicators point to my business exploding, the labor hour intensiveness of producing what I produce is plummeting, and I'm the first one that really figured it out. This will eliminate my turnover problem and my competitors will get leftovers for workers, whereas I'll get the cream of the crop. And I'll become a billionaire in the process. As Ford did.

    The conditions for Ford doing this were perfect. Only a few companies throughout history had the particular conditions Ford did. Those conditions do not exist for most modern businesses most of the time. Most businesses are not on the cusp of discovering a way to reduce their labor hours needed by seven-eighths while figuring out how to mass-produce an invention that will change the course of human history.

    In other words, what was going on with Ford in the 1910s is not generalizable to business and employment in general, and therefore only an idiot would go back over a century and hand-select Ford as an example with which to badger employers today generally for not just up and deciding to hike their wages like Ford did. There's a reason people go all the way back to Ford even today, rather than cite more recent historical examples.

    Some businesses and other employers should increase their wages. And many do it all the time, because it dawns on them how they can make their business operate better. For example, maybe it dawns on an employer that she or he hires 3 low-skilled dolts and pays them shit wages to do a crappy, inefficient job with something that one high-paid, high-skilled person with the appropriate technological tools can do single-handedly, and so they make that change. This happens all the time, and it doesn't make news.

    Over time, larger amounts of low-paid, low-skilled jobs are replaced with fewer higher-paying, high-skilled, high-tech jobs that take advantage of the newest and best tools and methods. These changes are in pursuit of efficiency, not hiking wages for the sake of hiking wages out of a kind heart. But instead of companies being praised for shedding large amounts of low-wage labor in favor of smaller amounts of higher-wage labor, they're usually chastised all the same because this efficiency-seeking results in layoffs, despite this being very much in the same spirit as what Ford was doing in the 1910s.
    Last edited by Neomalthusian; 13th May 2018 at 09:51 AM.

  3. #553
    Radical Centrist BigLeRoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neomalthusian View Post
    That's subjective. Anyone who pays anyone else more than the statutory minimum wage could be said to be paying more than they need to. What a business "needs" to do is subjective based on what outcome they're pursuing and how to get there.

    What Ford decided to pay his workers at that particular point in time in the auto manufacturing industry was concurrent with a couple of other pretty highly unusual things. The industry turnover rate was higher than 350%, which was just stupid, AND, again, the assembly innovations were reducing the labor hours per vehicle needed by seven-eighths. Oh, and their particular business was going to change the course of human history, that's also fairly uncommon from a business standpoint.

    If I'm running a business and (1) my business could potentially explode if I can bring prices down, and (2) will change the course of human history if I can mass-produce it, and (3) I figure out a way to cut my labor hours involved in producing whatever I produce by seven-eighths, and (4) I figure all this out pretty much before any of my competitors, and (5) I have a mind-bendingly high turnover rate that is zapping my business of productivity, then you bet your ass I'm going to hike the pay I offer to workers. I'll hike it as much as possible, because all indicators point to my business exploding, the labor hour intensiveness of producing what I produce is plummeting, and I'm the first one that really figured it out. This will eliminate my turnover problem and my competitors will get leftovers for workers, whereas I'll get the cream of the crop. And I'll become a billionaire in the process. As Ford did.

    The conditions for Ford doing this were perfect. Only a few companies throughout history had the particular conditions Ford did. Those conditions do not exist for most modern businesses most of the time. Most businesses are not on the cusp of discovering a way to reduce their labor hours needed by seven-eighths while figuring out how to mass-produce an invention that will change the course of human history.

    In other words, what was going on with Ford in the 1910s is not generalizable to business and employment in general, and therefore only an idiot would go back over a century and hand-select Ford as an example with which to badger employers today generally for not just up and deciding to hike their wages like Ford did. There's a reason people go all the way back to Ford even today, rather than cite more recent historical examples.

    Some businesses and other employers should increase their wages. And many do it all the time, because it dawns on them how they can make their business operate better. For example, maybe it dawns on an employer that she or he hires 3 low-skilled dolts and pays them shit wages to do a crappy, inefficient job with something that one high-paid, high-skilled person with the appropriate technological tools can do single-handedly, and so they make that change. This happens all the time, and it doesn't make news.

    Over time, larger amounts of low-paid, low-skilled jobs are replaced with fewer higher-paying, high-skilled, high-tech jobs that take advantage of the newest and best tools and methods. These changes are in pursuit of efficiency, not hiking wages for the sake of hiking wages out of a kind heart. But instead of companies being praised for shedding large amounts of low-wage labor in favor of smaller amounts of higher-wage labor, they're usually chastised all the same because this efficiency-seeking results in layoffs, despite this being very much in the same spirit as what Ford was doing in the 1910s.
    This is rapidly becoming one of the sillier economic arguments I have ever had. There is nothing even remotely 'subjective' about this. For one thing, there WAS no 'statutory minimum wage' at the time. But there IS photographic proof that enormous numbers of people very much wanted the jobs that Henry Ford had on offer. I have no idea why you would want to argue with such blatant historical photographic proof of the FACT that Henry Ford was paying more than needed to, in order to acquire the labor he needed. The intellectual contortions you are putting yourself through here are a sight to behold, in truth. And there are PLENTY of more "recent historical examples". Gosh, almost ALL high-technology corporations pay above-market equilibrium wages. They do try to keep their employees happy. Low morale is bad for business. Dave Packard and Bill Hewlett certainly knew that, and they are a far more recent example than Henry Ford. Shrug.

  4. #554
    Veteran Member sweettee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by orangecat View Post
    Does yours embarrASS you?
    Whatever. It's the ONLY thing you fucking do.

  5. #555
    #walkaway orangecat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sweettee View Post
    Whatever. It's the ONLY thing you fucking do.
    Yet only one of us has gotten banned for it, and it isn't me.

  6. #556
    Veteran Member sweettee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by orangecat View Post
    Yet only one of us has gotten banned for it, and it isn't me.
    That's because I don't suck up to the mods and I don't sit back and take the shit you tightie righties dish out.

  7. #557
    #walkaway orangecat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sweettee View Post
    That's because I don't suck up to the mods and I don't sit back and take the shit you tightie righties dish out.
    Excuses, excuses. I deal in facts. If you give me snark, I'll give it back. The weaker intellect usually crosses the ban-line first.
    Last edited by orangecat; 14th May 2018 at 10:01 AM.

  8. #558
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigLeRoy View Post
    This is rapidly becoming one of the sillier economic arguments I have ever had.
    I'm not arguing with you personally as much as I am against the idea that Ford's wages were out of kindhearted generosity that caused his business to succeed because his workers finally had enough money to buy the cars they made, which should serve as a bastion of conscience for today's CEOs. Liberals bring up Ford all the time with this argument in mind. It's a bad argument based on thinking errors. And Ford's business decisions in the 1910s were also historic and extremely anomalous. It's no wonder liberals have to rewind all the way back to 1910 for this example.

    There is nothing even remotely 'subjective' about this.
    Of course there is. What a company "needs" to pay a person is subjective. They can pay less and deal with worse quality and higher turnover, or more and have better quality and less turnover (but higher cost). What a company "needs" to pay is subjective and circumstantial. You claiming he didn't "need" to do what he felt he needed to do is part of your attempt to support the aforementioned narrative, where Ford is the "good capitalist" who understood that his business succeeds by paying his workers more. My previous posts explain the absurdity of that simplistic reduction. Ford's success depended almost entirely on his assembly process efficiencies. The pay increases were a much smaller contributing factor.

    But there IS photographic proof that enormous numbers of people very much wanted the jobs that Henry Ford had on offer. I have no idea why you would want to argue with such blatant historical photographic proof of the FACT that Henry Ford was paying more than needed to, in order to acquire the labor he needed.
    A picture doesn't demonstrate your case that there was some specific wage that Ford needed to pay and that anything above that particular wage was extra that he did not need to pay. When the industry's turnover was at its worst (and wages were lower), Ford was hiring tons of people, and tons were quitting all the time. I read somewhere that something like 4-5 times the number of jobs Ford actually had to staff were actually hired, because for every 5 hired, 4 were quitting. What Ford "needed" to do is subjective. Ford felt he needed to do this. It worked. But an enormous part of the reason it worked is because of what else was going on with his particular business in his particular industry at that particular time, which was historic. It will go down in the history books for the rest of human history, what was going on with Ford in the 1910s. It is not a generalizable example for how people should operate whatever business they operate today.

    The intellectual contortions you are putting yourself through here are a sight to behold, in truth. And there are PLENTY of more "recent historical examples". Gosh, almost ALL high-technology corporations pay above-market equilibrium wages. They do try to keep their employees happy. Low morale is bad for business. Dave Packard and Bill Hewlett certainly knew that, and they are a far more recent example than Henry Ford. Shrug.
    But (1) this is what they need to do for their business to succeed, and (2) these decisions are not altruistic, and (3) the above-market wages do not make the business successful by virtue of the employees being able to afford the tech products they're working on (which is the oft-uttered nonsensical comment we see with regard to Ford all the time).

    I've put this canard down repeatedly around here, and yet people keep resurrecting it.
    Last edited by Neomalthusian; 14th May 2018 at 09:57 AM.

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