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(Some professor)   A half century ago America's full-time workers earned an average hourly wage of around $50, in today's dollars, including health and pension benefits. Today, America's largest employer is Walmart, whose average employee earns $8.81 an hour   (robertreich.org) divider line 135
    More: Fail, Wal-Mart, salary, big-box retailers, unfair labor practice, workers earned, Sam Walton, technological change, pensions  
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2989 clicks; posted to Business » on 22 Nov 2012 at 10:00 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-22 01:50:03 AM
Oh, oh, now do a CEO. Then show how the dollar has gone down the shiatter the past 40 years.
 
2012-11-22 07:16:37 AM
Only communists complain about being exploited by global corporations.
 
2012-11-22 07:24:13 AM
If we get rid of the unions things will be better. If we get rid of the auto workers things will be better. If we get rid of the public sector employees things will be better.
 
2012-11-22 07:40:12 AM
Saw this in another thread, think it's appropriate to leave here...

i.imgur.com
 
2012-11-22 07:42:23 AM
So stop shopping at Walmart. It's not rocket surgery.
 
2012-11-22 08:37:42 AM
What would be great is if Obama turned out to be a true socialist, and did something like said "American can't tolerate subsidizing the Walmart family any longer" and then nationalized the business, just took it over.

Epic lulz. Won't happen, but America needs an aggressive prosecution of companies that shove their expenses out onto the public (not providing health care, underpaying its employees leading to them being on food stamps, etc) .. while pocking billions in profits.

All so you dumb sh*ts can have cheaper crap from china.


// haven't shopped a wal mart in decades.

/// still visits peopleofwalmart.com though
 
2012-11-22 08:45:31 AM
What do you expect when the currency is devalued by overprinting? 50 years ago? I would settle for 5 years ago.
 
2012-11-22 08:54:28 AM
"America's full-time workers earned an average hourly wage of around $50, in today's dollars--"? That made me furrow my brow, forcing me to read the article. Curse you, subby!

In the interest of accuracy, how about:

A half century ago, the biggest private employer (GM) offered the inflation-adjusted equivalent of $50 an hour in wages and benefits. Today, the biggest private employer (Walmart) offers an average of $8.81 in wages, with a third of the employees ineligible for benefits because they work less than 28 hours per week

/I know, it's more boring that way. "People making cars a half century ago earned a lot more than people in retail do today" is not much better, though.
 
2012-11-22 09:06:42 AM

Snarfangel: "America's full-time workers earned an average hourly wage of around $50, in today's dollars--"? That made me furrow my brow, forcing me to read the article. Curse you, subby!

In the interest of accuracy, how about:

A half century ago, the biggest private employer (GM) offered the inflation-adjusted equivalent of $50 an hour in wages and benefits. Today, the biggest private employer (Walmart) offers an average of $8.81 in wages, with a third of the employees ineligible for benefits because they work less than 28 hours per week

/I know, it's more boring that way. "People making cars a half century ago earned a lot more than people in retail do today" is not much better, though.


I'm sure a hell of a lot of those retail workers would be delighted to be making cars instead. Oh but wait, we can't. Unions are to blame for high wages.

You see how it is, Tea-mitters?

High wages are to blame, not sh*tty management decisions, not vulture capitalists, not execs making 300 times what they used to, oh hell no.

Its those damn union guys again. Eff those guys.

Now back to work Thursday Retail .
 
2012-11-22 09:45:00 AM
I just love how unified the message is from the corporate press - it's ALWAYS the unions fault when things go wrong. And that's even assuming you can get a story about unions on air in the first place. just look at this recent 'black friday' strike that's being organized against wal-mart. it's fairly easy to learn about via online discussions....but CNN? Fox News? if they mention it at all, it's to either laugh at it or shade the story to make the union organizers as shady people out to steal from 'honest hard working people'...
 
2012-11-22 10:03:55 AM

Weaver95: I just love how unified the message is from the corporate press - it's ALWAYS the unions fault when things go wrong. And that's even assuming you can get a story about unions on air in the first place. just look at this recent 'black friday' strike that's being organized against wal-mart. it's fairly easy to learn about via online discussions....but CNN? Fox News? if they mention it at all, it's to either laugh at it or shade the story to make the union organizers as shady people out to steal from 'honest hard working people'...


Yeah, and Hostess went under because the labor unions looted the place and left it with a billion dollars in debt, and the poor poor hedge funds had to clean up the mess out of the goodness of their own hearts.

Sickening.
 
2012-11-22 10:10:16 AM

Marcus Aurelius: Weaver95: I just love how unified the message is from the corporate press - it's ALWAYS the unions fault when things go wrong. And that's even assuming you can get a story about unions on air in the first place. just look at this recent 'black friday' strike that's being organized against wal-mart. it's fairly easy to learn about via online discussions....but CNN? Fox News? if they mention it at all, it's to either laugh at it or shade the story to make the union organizers as shady people out to steal from 'honest hard working people'...

Yeah, and Hostess went under because the labor unions looted the place and left it with a billion dollars in debt, and the poor poor hedge funds had to clean up the mess out of the goodness of their own hearts.

Sickening.


But if I kiss enough corporate ass like some wanna-be Pinkerton jackass, doesn't that mean I've got a million percent chance of becoming a job creator? The 1% always stands up for their moronic lapdogs, doesn't it?
 
2012-11-22 10:12:49 AM

Marcus Aurelius: Weaver95: I just love how unified the message is from the corporate press - it's ALWAYS the unions fault when things go wrong. And that's even assuming you can get a story about unions on air in the first place. just look at this recent 'black friday' strike that's being organized against wal-mart. it's fairly easy to learn about via online discussions....but CNN? Fox News? if they mention it at all, it's to either laugh at it or shade the story to make the union organizers as shady people out to steal from 'honest hard working people'...

Yeah, and Hostess went under because the labor unions looted the place and left it with a billion dollars in debt, and the poor poor hedge funds had to clean up the mess out of the goodness of their own hearts.

Sickening.


if you ONLY followed the corporate news, then yes - that's what you'd end up believing. there has been VERY little analysis about how Hostess ended up in such deep fiscal trouble. when I point out the facts to my conservative friends I'm met first with flat out disbelief and denial, followed by accusations that i'm lying or distorting facts. when I prove my statements true with valid third party neutral sources, from that point the reactions diverge into 'oh yeah well you just don't understand finance' to 'I don't wanna talk about this stuff, lets go shoot zombies or something'.

I honestly don't know what to say at that point. Hostess was run into the ground by an elite group of investors who made bad decisions and looted the company then shifted the blame to the unions. were the unions completely blameless? well, i'm sure you could find SOMETHING they did wrong....but even if you wanted to go that route you STILL have to look at the CEOs and board of directors who kept giving themselves pay raises while forcing workers to take pay cuts and question their motives. Most of my conservative friends WILL NOT blame a CEO under any circumstances. I find that reluctance to be quite strange.
 
2012-11-22 10:13:52 AM

Snarfangel: "America's full-time workers earned an average hourly wage of around $50, in today's dollars--"? That made me furrow my brow, forcing me to read the article. Curse you, subby!

In the interest of accuracy, how about:

A half century ago, the biggest private employer (GM) offered the inflation-adjusted equivalent of $50 an hour in wages and benefits. Today, the biggest private employer (Walmart) offers an average of $8.81 in wages, with a third of the employees ineligible for benefits because they work less than 28 hours per week


The bolded part in the headline implied to me what your bolded alteration said.

Unless there's a semantic different I'm not aware of.

/always up for semantics
//Typed that as "sementics" at first. Not up for those.
 
2012-11-22 10:20:20 AM
The greedy assed corporations will kill their own golden goose.
For the past 30 years, wages have been declining as the money flows up into private wealth hoarding accounts. Declining wages undercut demand, which undercuts profits, which the ownership uses to require cost savings in the form of layoffs, which undercuts demand and so on and so on and so on, until the whole thing goes under.

Welcome to the vicious circle.
 
2012-11-22 10:23:03 AM

born_yesterday: But if I kiss enough corporate ass like some wanna-be Pinkerton jackass, doesn't that mean I've got a million percent chance of becoming a job creator? The 1% always stands up for their moronic lapdogs, doesn't it?


Yeah.
And everybody sits at home watching their goggle boxes being programmed to buy things and be aspirational voters for the elites.
It's some sad stupid shiat.
 
2012-11-22 10:27:05 AM
Remember 2008 and all of the calls for guillotines in the street, conpared to now when we're holding our breath and hoping that taxes on income over $250,000 can go up just a tiny little bit, please?

Good times, good times.
 
2012-11-22 10:29:21 AM

HotIgneous Intruder: born_yesterday: But if I kiss enough corporate ass like some wanna-be Pinkerton jackass, doesn't that mean I've got a million percent chance of becoming a job creator? The 1% always stands up for their moronic lapdogs, doesn't it?

Yeah.
And everybody sits at home watching their goggle boxes being programmed to buy things and be aspirational voters for the elites.
It's some sad stupid shiat.


Imma kill two birds with one stone--and eat Thanksgiving dinner right at the Walmart!

/Which reminds me, Happy Thanksgiving everybody!
 
2012-11-22 10:30:42 AM
False. Robert Reich is a liar and is lying to you.
 
2012-11-22 10:30:58 AM
If you want to understand the problem, and the solution, please read Retail's Hidden Potential: How Raising Wages Would Benefit Workers, the Industry, and the Overall Economy by Catherine Ruetschlin.
 
2012-11-22 10:35:25 AM
its all about the shareholders (owners) now, babycakes.

they call that 'Freedom/Liberty'.

the Freedom to exploit this Nation's citizens and undermine our Democracy. bust those Unions, otherwise, the workers might start having some rights and might start being treated fairly.

this process began 30 years ago and we're seeing the fruits of that process now.

and we're seeing the middle class fade away into the poor class.

and the owners think that is just fine, even though they are too stupid/short sited to see that they're undermining themselves and that they'd make more money in the long haul if our country had a prosperous thriving middle class.

Greed/selfishness blinds even those with the best eyesight.
 
2012-11-22 10:36:32 AM
Reich pulls some real fast ones in that article. He compares the equivalent wage at General motors (full-time, skilled workers) with the average wage at a company that hires a lot of UNskilled workers.

He also lies a bit. Wal-Mart's starting "sales associate" (starting) salary average is about where he claims their average is (yes, they pay some people less - in areas where living costs are much, much lower). Their overall average is closer to $12 an hour, which is pretty good for mostly-unskilled labor... and much, much higher (adjusted) than unskilled labor used to get in the 1950s. US average pay is not, by the way, $50 per hour - it's closer to $20 per hour, and that includes skilled and unskilled pay.

The real kicker? When you compare average hourly wages for the whole US, with adjusted dollars, pay has increased by about 50% in the last half-century.

Of course, in 1960, Federal government spending was a bit over 1% of GDP. Now, it's over 7%...
 
2012-11-22 10:37:16 AM

born_yesterday: Imma kill two birds with one stone--and eat Thanksgiving dinner right at the Walmart!


You could use some teevee trays and eat in the teevee department, right in front of all the teevees!
Pure genius.

Back at you.
 
2012-11-22 10:41:32 AM
cirby

Doesn't change the fact that the auto industry (GM, Chrysler, etc.) was the largest employer in the country back then, and their wages lifted wages for all workers. Walmart is now the largest employer, and their piss-poor wages are contributing to falling wages for all workers.
 
2012-11-22 10:49:26 AM
The problem with Unions is that both sides are right.

Without Unions, we probably wouldn't have a minimum wage, or a 40 hour work week, or any one of zillions of other workers rights. If you can be part of a union with any actual teeth to it (I know a few people in "unions' which basically just collect dues and roll over when Management tells them to), it's a good deal for the worker.

On the other hand, unions pull some shady shiat.

Here's one big example that always stood out to me of union attitudes.

A decade or so ago, a convention moved from one city, where it had been held for decades, to another, larger city a couple of states over. The new city had larger convention halls, more hotels, and was generally much better to hold a national convention in. The problem was, the new city was in a very union-friendly place, and everything was unionized.

The day before the convention was due to open, the trucks for the exhibitors and vendors rolled in. They'd been going to this convention (and others in the same field) for years, or decades. They knew the normal deal, roll in, set up your booth, unload your merchandise, get ready for tomorrow when tens of thousands of visitors would be strolling by.

Now, when they showed up, there were union reps waiting at the convention center. That convention center was a union shop. Since the vendors weren't part of the Union, they couldn't unload their own trucks, they couldn't set up their own booths, they couldn't even plug in their own lamps for their tables. They had to hire union laborers, union carpenters, and union electricians to get everything done, at union rates and union rules. Basically each vendor was being shook down for around a thousand dollars, on-the-spot, or they wouldn't be allowed to set up. Pay 3 guys for a minimum of 8 hours of labor despite only working about 1 hour each, at $30/hour, plus some hefty fees directly to the union). The workers could collect a full day's pay for simple unpaid labor (you shouldn't need a freaking electrician to plug a lamp into a socket on the wall, or a carpenter to set up a folding table and a couple of signs) at three times a reasonable rate for an hour of work, then do it again for a different vendor, getting paid for an entire weeks work at union rates in one afternoon.

There was a bit of a showdown, as you might imagine. Many vendors & exhibitors didn't have a thousand dollars or so to just throw at Union organizers on the spot to let them set up the trade show booths they'd already paid for with the convention organizers. Apparently some of the vendors from large corporations just threw them the money to end it, but some of the small businesses refused and started to do the work themselves (to threats and intimidation by the union members, and apparently formal complaints by the unions to venue management demanding they be banned from ever being allowed there again). The small businesses that ignored the unions said they basically had to keep a worker at their booth around the clock during the convention because occasionally, including late at night, goons would come by to see if the booth was unstaffed, presumably so they could damage/vandalize it.

After that, the convention stayed in the city, but some back-room deals had to be made with the unions between the convention organizers and the venue management. Unions didn't harass the vendors again in future years, but there was a curious spike in the cost of a booth at next years show.

It's behavior like that, that makes people not like unions.
 
2012-11-22 10:49:55 AM

Weaver95: I just love how unified the message is from the corporate press - it's ALWAYS the unions fault when things go wrong. And that's even assuming you can get a story about unions on air in the first place. just look at this recent 'black friday' strike that's being organized against wal-mart. it's fairly easy to learn about via online discussions....but CNN? Fox News? if they mention it at all, it's to either laugh at it or shade the story to make the union organizers as shady people out to steal from 'honest hard working people'...


imagemacros.files.wordpress.com
 
2012-11-22 10:53:43 AM

Generation_D: High wages are to blame, not sh*tty management decisions, not vulture capitalists, not execs making 300 times what they used to, oh hell no.

Its those damn union guys again. Eff those guys.


Well considering even the union guys are not averaging $50/hour anymore I fail to see how this argument holds up, but unions are to blame for a lot of the downturn in the car industry with their selective striking against the big 3 back in the 70s to force them to submit to terms.

What was really amazing is that when they had to retool their lines for different makes or models, you would think the workers would help the plants do that since they are employees, right? No, there is a separate entity that retools the lines so I guess the other workers get put to work somewhere else or have to take time off during that re-tooling right? Well that would make sense but instead they get to come to the plant and "work" by playing cards, watching TV, eating donuts for 95% pay during that time, same as when they have sluggish sales, they show up to sit in a room then find out whos working then go home but they still got a lot of their pay.

Unions served a purpose at one time because of safety, now they are a hindrance to innovation and union leaders are just as shiatty as the companies from who they are supposed to "protect" workers. Im sure most of the 15,000 former Hostess employees would rather be working for a slight pay cut that was due to have half reinstated in a year rather than telling their families they wont have much of a Christmas this year. Unions seem to think they should be immune to economic downturn but thats not how business works, oh and before you think I am defending management, Im all for a federal law mandating that companies cannot give bonuses to execs if their lose money or take bailout funds.
 
2012-11-22 10:55:08 AM
I am watching Kidz Bop perform The Jackson 5's ABC at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and reading about a class conciousness that the United States has somehow always been inable to grasp.
 
I picked the wrong day to stop sniffing glue.
 
2012-11-22 10:59:52 AM

Silverstaff: The problem with Unions is that both sides are right.

Without Unions, we probably wouldn't have a minimum wage, or a 40 hour work week, or any one of zillions of other workers rights. If you can be part of a union with any actual teeth to it (I know a few people in "unions' which basically just collect dues and roll over when Management tells them to), it's a good deal for the worker.

On the other hand, unions pull some shady shiat.

Here's one big example that always stood out to me of union attitudes.

[long story]...


So, to summarize:

1. Exhibitors showed up
2. Union folks offered their services
3. Some companies hired them, others set their booths up themselves
4. The convention went on

Wow, unions are AWFUL.
 
2012-11-22 11:02:02 AM
>>A half century ago America's full-time workers earned an average hourly wage of around $50, in today's dollars, including health and pension benefits. Today, America's largest employer is Walmart, whose average employee earns $8.81 an hour


A half century ago America's full-time workers at General Motors (not the entire US workforce) earned an average hourly wage of around $50, in today's dollars, including health and pension benefits. Today, America's largest employer is Walmart, whose average employee, if you include the 400,000 part-time workers, earns $8.81 an hour. 

/replaced the parts you decided to remove
 
2012-11-22 11:04:50 AM
Hostility to unions is just an expression of jealousy.
But we're getting to the point where the owners would rather cash in and kill and eat the golden goose than deal with those pesky irritating expenses like wages and benefits.
 
2012-11-22 11:07:17 AM

stiletto_the_wise: So, to summarize:

1. Exhibitors showed up
2. Union folks offered their services
3. Some companies hired them, others set their booths up themselves
4. The convention went on

Wow, unions are AWFUL.



No.

1. Exhibitors showed up.
2. Union folks said they weren't allowed to set up without paying off the union.
3. Some companies paid off the union, others didn't and were intimidated and threatened consistently for the next few days for not using union labor.
4. The convention went on, vendors threatened to leave, not come back, and generally the convention threatened to leave the town over the whole stink.
5. A back-room deal was made where the cost of booths went up, so the unions would get a kickback from the con in exchange for not bothering the convention. Now the unions get money from the convention for doing no labor at all.

Yeah, unions can be awful, when they just see places to shake down people for money.  You shouldn't need goddamn union thug permission (or around $1000 of payoff) just to unfold a table, plug in a lamp and a cash register, and unpack a few boxes of products.
 
2012-11-22 11:09:42 AM

RickN99: >>A half century ago America's full-time workers earned an average hourly wage of around $50, in today's dollars, including health and pension benefits. Today, America's largest employer is Walmart, whose average employee earns $8.81 an hour


A half century ago America's full-time workers at General Motors (not the entire US workforce) earned an average hourly wage of around $50, in today's dollars, including health and pension benefits. Today, America's largest employer is Walmart, whose average employee, if you include the 400,000 part-time workers, earns $8.81 an hour. 

/replaced the parts you decided to remove


?

So it didn't suck at GM, but Walmart is horrible. That was his point wasn't it?
 
2012-11-22 11:12:21 AM
Wouldn't $8.81 an hour today be about a brazillion $$$ in the future? Wal-Mart is creating future millionaires! What's wrong with that?
 
2012-11-22 11:15:39 AM
In 1961, things weren't so different:
Mr. Frederick Donner, Chairman of the Board of the General Motors Corporation, received in salary and bonuses an amount of $2,922,000 for the period from 1956 through 1960. By contrast, the wages of an average GM hourly worker totalled $28,329, assuming that he worked 52 weeks each of these years, which the average GM worker did not. Mr. Donner received in this period more than 100 times the compensation of a GM worker.

From here.


Further, using the b>BLS inflation calculator, I see that the average wage of the GM worker in 1960 of $28,329 is the 2012 equivalent of earning $221,384.44.
 
2012-11-22 11:19:07 AM
Also, $10 an hour in 1913 would be $233.65 today.

Because irrelevant comparisons are irrelevant.
Except that I'd bet my last worthless dollar that in 1913, chairman and CEOs and etc., were earning 100 or 200 times more than the lowest-paid workers in their firms.
 
2012-11-22 11:20:00 AM

Silverstaff: Yeah, unions can be awful, when they just see places to shake down people for money.  You shouldn't need goddamn union thug permission (or around $1000 of payoff) just to unfold a table, plug in a lamp and a cash register, and unpack a few boxes of products.


Apparently they didn't need permission from any union thug. Was anyone physically prevented from setting up their own booths?

I'm not arguing that their attitude wasn't bad, but it just sounds to me like a bunch of pushy guys being asshats about not being hired to set up exhibitor's booths. Big whoop.
 
2012-11-22 11:22:33 AM
subby is lying, but she knew that.

she claims that the 50 years ago, the average worker was making the same as the average GM worker (the average GM worker made 50/hour in today's dollar).

Then compares that to a low end retail worker.

Why don't you compare what an average retail worker made 50 years today vs. today if you want to at least pretend to be honest?

apples != oranges.
 
2012-11-22 11:24:39 AM

tenpoundsofcheese: subby is lying, but she knew that.

she claims that the 50 years ago, the average worker was making the same as the average GM worker (the average GM worker made 50/hour in today's dollar).

Then compares that to a low end retail worker.

Why don't you compare what an average retail worker made 50 years today vs. today if you want to at least pretend to be honest?

apples != oranges.


I believe he is comparing the two largest private-sector employers in the United States.  I was somehow able to suss that information out from the first two paragraphs.  
 
2012-11-22 11:26:26 AM

HotIgneous Intruder: In 1961, things weren't so different:
Mr. Frederick Donner, Chairman of the Board of the General Motors Corporation, received in salary and bonuses an amount of $2,922,000 for the period from 1956 through 1960. By contrast, the wages of an average GM hourly worker totalled $28,329, assuming that he worked 52 weeks each of these years, which the average GM worker did not. Mr. Donner received in this period more than 100 times the compensation of a GM worker.

From here.

Further, using the b>BLS inflation calculator, I see that the average wage of the GM worker in 1960 of $28,329 is the 2012 equivalent of earning $221,384.44.


2,922,000 in 1960 is about 23M today. So CEOs were paid well then also.
That is just salary and bonus for those 5 years. Who knows what his stock would be worth today.
 
2012-11-22 11:28:28 AM
Subby is indeed wrong to turn Reich's midcentury GM wage (America's largest employer) into "Average American Wage."

I'm not happy with this state of affairs, but I encourage everyone to note/remember what stuff cost in the 1950s-60s (clothing, household goods, etc.). A November 1962 Torrance, CA paper has turkey prices would equate to about $5.50/lb today--does anyone today pay that much (except for a uber-artisinal-organic turkey)? Or a non-lux, smallish 1962 gas stove at what equates to almost $2500 right now? 

One more (same paper, Dec. 1962):

Link

The 29.50 Remington shaver you might buy as a gift for "the man in your life" = $216 today; but if your 2012 Walmart charged even a third of that, wouldn't you gripe?
 
2012-11-22 11:28:42 AM
Actually, the average GM worker of 1960 made $106 an hour in today's dollars.
 
2012-11-22 11:29:17 AM

brap: tenpoundsofcheese: subby is lying, but she knew that.

she claims that the 50 years ago, the average worker was making the same as the average GM worker (the average GM worker made 50/hour in today's dollar).

Then compares that to a low end retail worker.

Why don't you compare what an average retail worker made 50 years today vs. today if you want to at least pretend to be honest?

apples != oranges.

I believe he is comparing the two largest private-sector employers in the United States.  I was somehow able to suss that information out from the first two paragraphs.


That is now what the subtard wrote.
She wrote that average worker made $50/hour back then and then compared it to Walmart wages.

Then made it worse by comparing full time workers with wages that included part time workers..

That is a lame lying spin.
 
2012-11-22 11:32:20 AM

cirby: Reich pulls some real fast ones in that article. He compares the equivalent wage at General motors (full-time, skilled workers) with the average wage at a company that hires a lot of UNskilled workers.

He also lies a bit. Wal-Mart's starting "sales associate" (starting) salary average is about where he claims their average is (yes, they pay some people less - in areas where living costs are much, much lower). Their overall average is closer to $12 an hour, which is pretty good for mostly-unskilled labor... and much, much higher (adjusted) than unskilled labor used to get in the 1950s. US average pay is not, by the way, $50 per hour - it's closer to $20 per hour, and that includes skilled and unskilled pay.

The real kicker? When you compare average hourly wages for the whole US, with adjusted dollars, pay has increased by about 50% in the last half-century.

Of course, in 1960, Federal government spending was a bit over 1% of GDP. Now, it's over 7%...


Well, it's true that the piece is a bit biased to cause outrage that maybe shouldn't exist. But you also want to remember that the people who went to GM weren't skilled when they started. You could skate through high school with a C average, get a job at GM and soon enough you'd be making a family-supporting wage. There are still a lot of people skating through high school with a C average, but now they can't get those jobs anymore so when they meet somebody and start making kids there's not enough money to raise a family anymore.

I suppose one could explain this with the idea that the 1946-73 period was a labor bubble and that a normally functioning economy is meant to have many people just scraping by in a low-paying job.
 
2012-11-22 11:34:04 AM

GrizzledVeteran: Subby is indeed wrong to turn Reich's midcentury GM wage (America's largest employer) into "Average American Wage."

I'm not happy with this state of affairs, but I encourage everyone to note/remember what stuff cost in the 1950s-60s (clothing, household goods, etc.). A November 1962 Torrance, CA paper has turkey prices would equate to about $5.50/lb today--does anyone today pay that much (except for a uber-artisinal-organic turkey)? Or a non-lux, smallish 1962 gas stove at what equates to almost $2500 right now? 

One more (same paper, Dec. 1962):

Link

The 29.50 Remington shaver you might buy as a gift for "the man in your life" = $216 today; but if your 2012 Walmart charged even a third of that, wouldn't you gripe?


That really is an excellent point.
Look at how much batteries cost back then, or a gas powered lawnmower, or a quality stereo.
 
2012-11-22 11:34:59 AM
All the pesky comparisons aside -- which actually serve well to show that the more things change the more they stay the same -- the Wallyworld serfs should at least be given benefits or raises enough to cover health insurance. This would take the social welfare burden off the government, in other words, the taxpayers, you and me.
I'll bet Walmart could get a hell of a group rate on employee insurance.
 
2012-11-22 11:46:42 AM

tenpoundsofcheese: That really is an excellent point.
Look at how much batteries cost back then, or a gas powered lawnmower, or a quality stereo.


You know, I'd trade those cheap 2010-era batteries and stereos any day, for a 1960-era job that would let me buy a house, raise a family, afford medical care, and a pension to take care of me when I'm old--all on one income.
 
2012-11-22 11:54:33 AM
Okay, so what's a GM worker earn today, in wages and benefits? Let's compare apples to apples. Anyone know anyone who works for GM?
 
2012-11-22 11:54:52 AM

steamingpile: Generation_D: High wages are to blame, not sh*tty management decisions, not vulture capitalists, not execs making 300 times what they used to, oh hell no.

Its those damn union guys again. Eff those guys.

Well considering even the union guys are not averaging $50/hour anymore I fail to see how this argument holds up, but unions are to blame for a lot of the downturn in the car industry with their selective striking against the big 3 back in the 70s to force them to submit to terms.

What was really amazing is that when they had to retool their lines for different makes or models, you would think the workers would help the plants do that since they are employees, right? No, there is a separate entity that retools the lines so I guess the other workers get put to work somewhere else or have to take time off during that re-tooling right? Well that would make sense but instead they get to come to the plant and "work" by playing cards, watching TV, eating donuts for 95% pay during that time, same as when they have sluggish sales, they show up to sit in a room then find out whos working then go home but they still got a lot of their pay.

Unions served a purpose at one time because of safety, now they are a hindrance to innovation and union leaders are just as shiatty as the companies from who they are supposed to "protect" workers. Im sure most of the 15,000 former Hostess employees would rather be working for a slight pay cut that was due to have half reinstated in a year rather than telling their families they wont have much of a Christmas this year. Unions seem to think they should be immune to economic downturn but thats not how business works, oh and before you think I am defending management, Im all for a federal law mandating that companies cannot give bonuses to execs if their lose money or take bailout funds.


Well, 92% of the Hostess union voted against accepting the offer, so... no, it seems they were pretty much on board with it.
 
2012-11-22 11:59:37 AM

stiletto_the_wise: Silverstaff: The problem with Unions is that both sides are right.

Without Unions, we probably wouldn't have a minimum wage, or a 40 hour work week, or any one of zillions of other workers rights. If you can be part of a union with any actual teeth to it (I know a few people in "unions' which basically just collect dues and roll over when Management tells them to), it's a good deal for the worker.

On the other hand, unions pull some shady shiat.

Here's one big example that always stood out to me of union attitudes.

[long story]...

So, to summarize:

1. Exhibitors showed up
2. Union folks offered their services
3. Some companies hired them, others set their booths up themselves
4. The convention went on

Wow, unions are AWFUL.


Your amazing reading comprehension obviously missed the point where the unions were doing a shakedown saying the vendors had to use the union contractors, or risk intimidation and/or vandalization of their booths.
 
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