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(NPR)   Amazon's German employees are demanding higher wages, a union contract, and other considerations. And we know how well Germany treats malcontents   (npr.org) divider line 64
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1028 clicks; posted to Business » on 01 Sep 2014 at 12:53 PM (47 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-09-01 10:08:42 AM  
I want to see how this plays out. A few years ago, Walmart pulled out of Germany because they had problems dealing with that whole pesky "treating their employees like human beings" thing.
 
2014-09-01 10:11:19 AM  

Sir Cumference the Flatulent: Walmart pulled out of Germany because they had problems dealing with that whole pesky "treating their employees like human beings" thing.


and yet somehow Germany did not collapse into a black hole because "jobs"

Weird...
 
2014-09-01 11:15:38 AM  
"But in a written statement, the company said its German employees at fulfillment centers primarily load and unload trucks and stock shelves. The company says those tasks are vastly different from the jobs done within a retail store."

I see their point. But the workers should have union representation. All workers should. And not just in Germany.
 
2014-09-01 11:57:30 AM  
When I think 'Germans' and 'Amazon' I think of this
russellsphotography.files.wordpress.com
Probably not good to piss them off
 
2014-09-01 11:58:56 AM  
I really liked not seeing a WalMart, or a Kmart/sears/penny's store in Italy. I hope that doesn't change.
 
2014-09-01 01:40:16 PM  
25.media.tumblr.com
 
2014-09-01 01:44:52 PM  
Amazon moving its fulfillment center for Germany to Poland in 4..3..2..1?
 
2014-09-01 01:56:36 PM  

ginandbacon: "But in a written statement, the company said its German employees at fulfillment centers primarily load and unload trucks and stock shelves. The company says those tasks are vastly different from the jobs done within a retail store."

I see their point. But the workers should have union representation. All workers should. And not just in Germany.


I'm kinda weirded out that Amazon was avoiding having unionized workers in Germany already. I thought all companies operating in German were required to have labor representatives on their board.
 
2014-09-01 02:08:09 PM  

StrikitRich: Amazon moving its fulfillment center for Germany to Poland in 4..3..2..1?


Maybe they could just build a new annex in Poland. . .
 
2014-09-01 02:18:03 PM  

SphericalTime: ginandbacon: "But in a written statement, the company said its German employees at fulfillment centers primarily load and unload trucks and stock shelves. The company says those tasks are vastly different from the jobs done within a retail store."

I see their point. But the workers should have union representation. All workers should. And not just in Germany.

I'm kinda weirded out that Amazon was avoiding having unionized workers in Germany already. I thought all companies operating in German were required to have labor representatives on their board.


I thought so too before this article. It looks like even in Sweden it's only 70% while in France it's 10% so not nearly as prevalent as I recalled.
 
2014-09-01 02:23:51 PM  
According to Verdi, the service workers union, Amazon fulfillment center wages start at 1,631 euros per month [about $2,150] and go up to 2,348 euros [$3,100]. The union said the change would provide 7,000 more euros [$9,200] for the average worker each year.

What kind of asshole switches units of measurement between consecutive sentences?
 
2014-09-01 02:26:36 PM  
Es ist Zeit für Rache!
 
2014-09-01 02:32:34 PM  
Amazon is just as bad as WalMart when it comes to poor wages and sweatshop management style.
 
2014-09-01 02:48:36 PM  

lohphat: Amazon is just as bad as WalMart when it comes to poor wages and sweatshop management style.


They're different kinds of awful. Wal-Mart is more oriented towards doing it for the lulz, being shiatty for shiattiness' sake. "Hi, sorry to wake you at 12:00 A.M., but we've scheduled you for the 2 A.M.-4 A.M. cleaning shift, so you'll need to leave now if you want to catch the three buses you'll need to make it on time. Also, we've got you schedule to work 8 A.M.-noon today too, and while you won't officially be required to work off the clock between 4 and 8, it's worth saying that you'll be physically locked in the building until the store opens at 7:30."

Whereas Amazon, I think, genuinely wishes you well--they're just aware that 99.8% of human beings will have one or more major joints ground into pulpy, cartilaginous oblivion by the physical demands of the Amazon warehouse before six months are up. So when they fire you for not being able to make the steadily increasing quota, it's nothing personal. In fact, I think they probably feel they're doing you a favor. It was painful watching you try to lift those boxes without aggravating your hernia!

/yes, they're both doing it for the money above all else, but there are different flavors
 
2014-09-01 03:15:05 PM  

goatleggedfellow: What kind of asshole switches units of measurement between consecutive sentences?


In both sentences, the author is repeating a figure provided by a source. It would be wrong to print that the union said the change would provide 583 more euros per month if the union hadn't actually said that.

But there's no reason why the journalist could not have provided their own numerical analysis with the units normalized.
 
2014-09-01 04:07:11 PM  

HighOnCraic: [25.media.tumblr.com image 500x597]


You know, Poland said that once in 1939.
 
2014-09-01 04:21:37 PM  
About 10 years ago I had a German friend who joined the Bundeswehr. I was surprised to find out the army is unionized and in boot camp they got weekends off.

/Always said the best time to invade Germany would be on a holiday weekend.
 
2014-09-01 04:35:12 PM  

ginandbacon: "But in a written statement, the company said its German employees at fulfillment centers primarily load and unload trucks and stock shelves. The company says those tasks are vastly different from the jobs done within a retail store."

I see their point. But the workers should have union representation. All workers should. And not just in Germany.


I work in a retail store and that's basically my job description.
 
2014-09-01 04:37:28 PM  
Welcome to your replacements:

graphics8.nytimes.com
 
2014-09-01 04:40:27 PM  

Lee451: About 10 years ago I had a German friend who joined the Bundeswehr. I was surprised to find out the army is unionized and in boot camp they got weekends off.

/Always said the best time to invade Germany would be on a holiday weekend.


You do realize that it was drunk Germans that helped destroy the Roman Empire, right?
 
2014-09-01 04:46:02 PM  

Gosling: ginandbacon: "But in a written statement, the company said its German employees at fulfillment centers primarily load and unload trucks and stock shelves. The company says those tasks are vastly different from the jobs done within a retail store."

I see their point. But the workers should have union representation. All workers should. And not just in Germany.

I work in a retail store and that's basically my job description.


Do you deal with the public? Make sales? Work the cash register? Handle complaints? Take care of store appearance? Have to take care of your own appearance beyond just being clean and decent?
 
2014-09-01 05:06:13 PM  

gingerjet: Welcome to your replacements:

[graphics8.nytimes.com image 592x390]


So...those are like, the final solution to the labor problem?

/sorry...had to
 
2014-09-01 05:11:20 PM  

Stone Meadow: gingerjet: Welcome to your replacements:

[graphics8.nytimes.com image 592x390]

So...those are like, the final solution to the labor problem?

/sorry...had to


imokaywiththis.jpg

/assuming there's a guaranteed universal income
 
2014-09-01 05:59:36 PM  

12349876: Stone Meadow: gingerjet: Welcome to your replacements:

[graphics8.nytimes.com image 592x390]

So...those are like, the final solution to the labor problem?

/sorry...had to

imokaywiththis.jpg

/assuming there's a guaranteed universal income


oh, you mean welfare?
 
2014-09-01 05:59:44 PM  

goatleggedfellow: According to Verdi, the service workers union, Amazon fulfillment center wages start at 1,631 euros per month [about $2,150] and go up to 2,348 euros [$3,100]. The union said the change would provide 7,000 more euros [$9,200] for the average worker each year.

What kind of asshole switches units of measurement between consecutive sentences?


Because 500 Euro/month isn't THAT impressive.

You want to lowball the wages they offer now because clearly they're cheap bastards.
You want to highball the advantage from the union.

So you use the low monthly figure for the monthly pay and the high annual payout for the annual pay.

/Mind you, my experience with Western Europe is that the average European pays about the same price in Euros for everything as we do in dollars.  (So I'm biatching about $7 beers her in the Valley, but Ireland's paying 7 EURO for a beer.  It's good beer, there's a reason why I paid $6/bottle to import some as a special treat, but Jeez.)  It's like an entire continent had the same price structure as NYC.  Or in the case of Paris, an even more terrible real estate market. WTF, guys.  An 800 sq. ft. condo in the outskirts of town should not cost $2 Million. So that whole unionization thing might not be working out so hot for the average person.

semiotix: lohphat: Amazon is just as bad as WalMart when it comes to poor wages and sweatshop management style.

They're different kinds of awful. Wal-Mart is more oriented towards doing it for the lulz, being shiatty for shiattiness' sake. "Hi, sorry to wake you at 12:00 A.M., but we've scheduled you for the 2 A.M.-4 A.M. cleaning shift, so you'll need to leave now if you want to catch the three buses you'll need to make it on time. Also, we've got you schedule to work 8 A.M.-noon today too, and while you won't officially be required to work off the clock between 4 and 8, it's worth saying that you'll be physically locked in the building until the store opens at 7:30."

Whereas Amazon, I think, genuinely wishes you well--they're just aware that 99.8% of human beings will have one or more major joints ground into pulpy, cartilaginous oblivion by the physical demands of the Amazon warehouse before six months are up. So when they fire you for not being able to make the steadily increasing quota, it's nothing personal. In fact, I think they probably feel they're doing you a favor. It was painful watching you try to lift those boxes without aggravating your hernia!

/yes, they're both doing it for the money above all else, but there are different flavors


As an Amazon employee, I can confirm that Amazon is a soulless corporation who end up driving you into insanity, madness, a 10 cup a day coffee addiction, tremendous weight gain, and eventual death with their insane workload demands/cheap to the point of stupid.

I can also confirm that's it not intentional at all.  It's just business.
 
2014-09-01 06:06:20 PM  

goatleggedfellow: According to Verdi, the service workers union, Amazon fulfillment center wages start at 1,631 euros per month [about $2,150] and go up to 2,348 euros [$3,100]. The union said the change would provide 7,000 more euros [$9,200] for the average worker each year.

What kind of You know what other asshole switchesd units of measurement between consecutive sentences?


FIFY
 
2014-09-01 06:28:19 PM  
meyerkev:
As an Amazon employee, I can confirm that Amazon is a soulless corporation who end up driving you into insanity, madness, a 10 cup a day coffee addiction, tremendous weight gain, and eventual death with their insane workload demands/cheap to the point of stupid.

I can also confirm that's it not intentional at all.  It's just business.


Sounds like you've somehow found your way into ops, and that's a special place where only a strange, strange bird can thrive.

Have you made it out to an FC yet?  I did a week in one last month.  In terms of warehouse work the conditions are better than I've seen at other companies, though at the end of the day it's still warehouse work.

/Amazon employee
 
2014-09-01 06:29:20 PM  
We'll teach the Fatherland all about Real Greed and Selfishness.  they are amateurs.   that's 'murrca's job.
 
2014-09-01 06:37:17 PM  

soze: meyerkev:
As an Amazon employee, I can confirm that Amazon is a soulless corporation who end up driving you into insanity, madness, a 10 cup a day coffee addiction, tremendous weight gain, and eventual death with their insane workload demands/cheap to the point of stupid.

I can also confirm that's it not intentional at all.  It's just business.

Sounds like you've somehow found your way into ops, and that's a special place where only a strange, strange bird can thrive.

Have you made it out to an FC yet?  I did a week in one last month.  In terms of warehouse work the conditions are better than I've seen at other companies, though at the end of the day it's still warehouse work.

/Amazon employee


Amazon can't be that horrible. After all, you're both Farking on company time... ;)
 
2014-09-01 06:38:29 PM  

Stone Meadow: soze: meyerkev:

Amazon can't be that horrible. After all, you're both Farking on company time... ;)


No question mark emails, no problems.
 
2014-09-01 07:05:08 PM  

Sir Cumference the Flatulent: I want to see how this plays out. A few years ago, Walmart pulled out of Germany because they had problems dealing with that whole pesky "treating their employees like human beings" thing.


That wasn't the only thing Walmart did.  Walmart wanted a carbon copy of how stores are ran in the US and that got them in hot water with the European Union for various violations. They also did not do their research on the German culture to better integrate Walmart's values that of the German work place to work together. They hired a non German speaking CEO who worked from the US (as many of their overseas CEOs). He may have been was inflexible in making changes or Walmart's main branch would not let him make changes to make the German expansion work. Walmart did not anticipate is how small of a country Germany is compared to the US and only a limited stores could open there. The market was already saturated by other Walmart like stores that were already established.

This was the same reason they failed other countries like South Korea over the same thing. They have succeeded in countries where labor restrictions are the lowest like China, Latin Americas, and US.
 
2014-09-01 07:06:28 PM  

Stone Meadow: soze: meyerkev:
As an Amazon employee, I can confirm that Amazon is a soulless corporation who end up driving you into insanity, madness, a 10 cup a day coffee addiction, tremendous weight gain, and eventual death with their insane workload demands/cheap to the point of stupid.

I can also confirm that's it not intentional at all.  It's just business.

Sounds like you've somehow found your way into ops, and that's a special place where only a strange, strange bird can thrive.

Have you made it out to an FC yet?  I did a week in one last month.  In terms of warehouse work the conditions are better than I've seen at other companies, though at the end of the day it's still warehouse work.

/Amazon employee

Amazon can't be that horrible. After all, you're both Farking on company time... ;)


Today's the first day that I've been off since August 17th, which is one of 6 days I'd been off since um... mid-June.  And I only get this because it only took me about 2 months to become Wally (Except that I do actually do work.  But just that general "I would like to have a life at some point, so I'm out when I'm out and up yours" way of thinking.  I've got a coworker who works until 3 AM every night and he's just crazy).  They paid for me to go to Dublin for training for 3 weeks, but I had to take time off to go see my sister in Paris* over the weekend.  (Also, note to self: If you buy plane tickets on 3 days warning over 4th of July weekend, it will cost you $800 to fly to Paris and back.).

General definition of horribleness usually has to do with weight gain for me.  If I hate what I'm doing or I'm using food to stay awake, I eat a lot.  And if I enjoy what I'm doing, I drop weight super-fast.

So I gained 40 pounds freshman year of college because all-nighters.
Lost all 40 in 4 months at the golf course because I enjoyed that a TON.  (Also, physical labor)
Gained SIXTY sophomore year because 3 all-nighters a week and 2 jobs.
Gained an extra 20 over the next 2 years of college and internships.
Lost EIGHTY-FIVE in a year and a half working at the Silicon Valley startup.
Have since gained 15 in 1.5 months working at Amazon now that I'm not walking around Dublin every afternoon.  And I've gone on record to my boss as saying that if I gain another 10, I want a transfer out of ops because it's doing too much damage to my system.

* And it amuses me to no end that I'm in CA, she's in MI, so of course we met up in Paris.
 
2014-09-01 07:08:10 PM  

FlyingLizardOfDoom: 12349876: Stone Meadow: gingerjet: Welcome to your replacements:

[graphics8.nytimes.com image 592x390]

So...those are like, the final solution to the labor problem?

/sorry...had to

imokaywiththis.jpg

/assuming there's a guaranteed universal income

oh, you mean welfare?


Not really.

Basic idea with GUI is that we cut you a check.  Rich, poor, young, stupid, drug addict, CEO, low-COL Midwesterner, high-COL Manhattanite. Everyone gets a check.  Everybody gets the same check.  SS for everybody instead of a bunch of programs that have various qualifications and requirements.  No welfare cliff, just "here's the check".  To everybody.

So instead of spending $2 Trillion on the welfare system, we spend $2 Trillion cutting everybody a check and a few million mailing them out.  (Or heck, these days, direct deposit is a thing).

I've mainly got 1 issue with it at present.

There's not enough money.  I only take home 43% of my income.  (44% withholding, 13% health insurance and other various withholding items.  4% 401K, so if you want, make that 47%).  Raising my taxes is getting to the point where it's counterproductive as fark because a) you get an extra 10% and I lose a quarter of my income and b) I start looking for loopholes and boltholes.  Part of the reason why I make SO MUCH farkING MONEY is because rent on a 1 BR is $3.5K/month and at that point, with the taxes, I'm spending about triple my parent's combined income on a shiatty 1 BR.  (Or honestly, I can't afford to do that, so I have a roommate.  Who smokes.)

US federal government gets 18%.

4.bp.blogspot.com
www.poisonyourmind.com

The Republicans tell me Reagan cut taxes, the NYT tells me he raised them, and that graph tells me he did absolutely nothing. Even Clinton's little 2-3% raise got cancelled out by child tax credits and EITC (Which I like.  The difference between poor and lower-middle class is having $4K in the bank for shocks instead of getting screwed trying to loan money on short notice.  So "Here's a one-off check for $3K.  Please use it to pay off debts" is really good way to bump people into the lower-middle class).

So US per-capita GDP is about $50K/year.  Little more, but this'll make for easy math since you can divide percentages by 2 and slap a thousand on the end.

18% means $9K/person.

Military is going to average 5%.

ic.pics.livejournal.com
Clinton got us down to 3.4%, but that was only because Reagan beat the Soviets on 8%.  And then well, post-9/11, we were going into at least one war.  Or there would've been a new Congress in '02 and a new President in '04 and THEN we would've been going into a war.  And you know, China AND Russia are getting frisky at the same time.  Ooh, and dealing with Iran is necessary to prevent Israel from preemptively nuking them.  Not sure we're getting 3/4ths of a TRILLION dollars worth of value out of it, but no army has crossed the Rhine since 1945, this is not worthless.

And we're not going isolationist, because the last time we went isolationist, the left side of that chart happened.

So you have 13% left.  After that, it's deficit spending time, and deficit spending is bad (unless you gotta, but it shouldn't be the only resort).

So $6500/person in the USA.  Now for a family of 4, that's $26K/year post-tax, which is actually a little bit better than Dad was doing when I was growing up.  NOT NYC money, but I'm not paying for NYC, I'm paying for you not starving in a trailer in rural Kentucky and anything after that is your problem.  Because this is by definition 1st percentile.  Sucks to be poor and single, but that's always been the case.  And maybe we cut the per-kid check and get an extra grand or 2 in the per-adult check.

Right now, we spend that $6500/person on SS* and Medic*.  Which basically means old people with a couple hundred billion left over for poor people as a side effect of old people.  The infrastructure spending is tiny and entirely deficit spending.

Remove Medic* money and you're down to about $3500/person.  So $14K/year for a family of 4.

Mind you, this is by definition first percentile.  But if you replaced ~$14K/year/old person SS + matching Medicaid with $6K/person + Go die in a ditch, that's a hard sell.
 
2014-09-01 07:13:51 PM  

meyerkev: Stone Meadow: Amazon can't be that horrible. After all, you're both Farking on company time... ;)

Today's the first day that I've been off since August 17th...


I hope you were just indulging in a little healthy venting...and that you didn't miss the winkie at the end of my comment.
 
2014-09-01 07:32:24 PM  

Stone Meadow: meyerkev: Stone Meadow: Amazon can't be that horrible. After all, you're both Farking on company time... ;)

Today's the first day that I've been off since August 17th...

I hope you were just indulging in a little healthy venting...and that you didn't miss the winkie at the end of my comment.


If he's Ops, there comes a point where you no longer see smiley faces, there is only Zuul.


meyerkev, I found you on the Phone Tool.  I'm kicking you an email to your work account; it's tough to see it from here, but our line is definitely a different pace with different challenges.
 
2014-09-01 07:34:57 PM  

soze: Stone Meadow: meyerkev: Stone Meadow: Amazon can't be that horrible. After all, you're both Farking on company time... ;)

Today's the first day that I've been off since August 17th...

I hope you were just indulging in a little healthy venting...and that you didn't miss the winkie at the end of my comment.

If he's Ops, there comes a point where you no longer see smiley faces, there is only Zuul.


meyerkev, I found you on the Phone Tool.  I'm kicking you an email to your work account; it's tough to see it from here, but our line is definitely a different pace with different challenges.


Oh, and whatever you do, DO NOT OPEN YOUR MACHINE TO READ IT TODAY.  Deal with it tomorrow. :)
 
2014-09-01 07:48:54 PM  

meyerkev: Mind you, this is by definition first percentile. But if you replaced ~$14K/year/old person SS + matching Medicaid with $6K/person + Go die in a ditch, that's a hard sell.


That's not a *hard* sell...that's *impossible*, but I'm glad you recognize the difficulty, because you usually ignore reality when it comes to taxes.

You want a GUI for all adults? There are 300+ million legal residents in the US. To give each person $6500 will add a cool $2 trillion to a federal budget that has not yet hit $4 trillion.

www.aaas.org

Where do you find the money?
 
2014-09-01 08:08:16 PM  

Stone Meadow: meyerkev: Mind you, this is by definition first percentile. But if you replaced ~$14K/year/old person SS + matching Medicaid with $6K/person + Go die in a ditch, that's a hard sell.

That's not a *hard* sell...that's *impossible*, but I'm glad you recognize the difficulty, because you usually ignore reality when it comes to taxes.

You want a GUI for all adults? There are 300+ million legal residents in the US. To give each person $6500 will add a cool $2 trillion to a federal budget that has not yet hit $4 trillion.

[www.aaas.org image 579x433]

Where do you find the money?


Could you add borrowing to that pie chart?
 
2014-09-01 08:12:40 PM  

ski9600: Stone Meadow: meyerkev: Mind you, this is by definition first percentile. But if you replaced ~$14K/year/old person SS + matching Medicaid with $6K/person + Go die in a ditch, that's a hard sell.

That's not a *hard* sell...that's *impossible*, but I'm glad you recognize the difficulty, because you usually ignore reality when it comes to taxes.

You want a GUI for all adults? There are 300+ million legal residents in the US. To give each person $6500 will add a cool $2 trillion to a federal budget that has not yet hit $4 trillion.

[www.aaas.org image 579x433]

Where do you find the money?

Could you add borrowing to that pie chart?


US GDP in 2012 was 15.68 Trillion.  18% of that is 2.8 Trillion.

According to the chart though, there's only $.568 Trillion in borrowing this year because we're at the height of the business cycle, so we're getting $3.3 Trillion instead of $2.8 Trillion.  So better hope there's not a recession.
 
2014-09-01 08:21:34 PM  

Sir Cumference the Flatulent: I want to see how this plays out. A few years ago, Walmart pulled out of Germany because they had problems dealing with that whole pesky "treating their employees like human beings" thing.


I thought they could not compete with Aldi?
 
2014-09-01 09:01:27 PM  
Get back to work!  It makes you free!
 
2014-09-01 09:12:40 PM  

sonorangal: They also did not do their research on the German culture to better integrate Walmart's values that of the German work place to work together.


Pretty much the same problem that Target ran into in Canada.
 
2014-09-01 09:21:00 PM  
Headline: Amazon's German employees are demanding higher wages, a union contract, and other considerations. And we know how well Germany treats malcontents  Amazon still unsure which camp to be in.

but yours was good too

www.thestockmasters.com
 
2014-09-01 09:32:36 PM  

soze: Stone Meadow: meyerkev: Stone Meadow: Amazon can't be that horrible. After all, you're both Farking on company time... ;)

Today's the first day that I've been off since August 17th...

I hope you were just indulging in a little healthy venting...and that you didn't miss the winkie at the end of my comment.

If he's Ops, there comes a point where you no longer see smiley faces, there is only Zuul.


meyerkev, I found you on the Phone Tool.  I'm kicking you an email to your work account; it's tough to see it from here, but our line is definitely a different pace with different challenges.


As a former Amazonian, hello from the outside world! Now go look yourself up in oldfart!
 
2014-09-01 09:45:09 PM  

ginandbacon: "But in a written statement, the company said its German employees at fulfillment centers primarily load and unload trucks and stock shelves. The company says those tasks are vastly different from the jobs done within a retail store."

I see their point. But the workers should have union representation. All workers should. And not just in Germany.


They are already receiving better vacation time required for their classification, so expect to be reclassified to get even better pay and benefits?  Forget them, fight them to the bitter end and then close shop.  They are complaining because as the business grew, they are expected to work harder.  Well of course, because while the company was just starting, there wasn't much demand so less work.  Be glad they staffed the place well at the beginning to keep the work load light.  There is no way the company can get more out of you than you are capable of doing, so then they will have to hire more help.  It's that simple, they'll have to hire more labor, but don't whine about not having a higher classification just because the business picked up.  $25K starting to up to $37K, not bad pay for American retail employees.  Nancy should never move back here.

/I'm a union worker.  My union rep told me to slow down so to screw my company.  He didn't like my reply.
//I accepted the terms when I hired, and I accept the work I agreed to do.
 
2014-09-01 10:04:34 PM  

Stone Meadow: You want a GUI for all adults? There are 300+ million legal residents in the US.


23.3% of your 300+ million legal residents are under 18.
 
2014-09-01 10:13:01 PM  

12349876: Stone Meadow: You want a GUI for all adults? There are 300+ million legal residents in the US.

23.3% of your 300+ million legal residents are under 18.


After posting my comments I wondered if anyone would pick up on that discontinuity. To explain...I started writing about adults only, then switched to everyone to keep my comments in line with meyerkev's. I correctly switched from talking about $26k per family to $6500 per person, but forgot to change 'adults' to 'residents'. Sorry about that.
 
2014-09-01 11:18:34 PM  

doomjesse: soze: Stone Meadow: meyerkev: Stone Meadow: Amazon can't be that horrible. After all, you're both Farking on company time... ;)

Today's the first day that I've been off since August 17th...

I hope you were just indulging in a little healthy venting...and that you didn't miss the winkie at the end of my comment.

If he's Ops, there comes a point where you no longer see smiley faces, there is only Zuul.


meyerkev, I found you on the Phone Tool.  I'm kicking you an email to your work account; it's tough to see it from here, but our line is definitely a different pace with different challenges.

As a former Amazonian, hello from the outside world! Now go look yourself up in oldfart!


Another former Amazonian here.  When I left (last October) oldfart had me top 25% for tenure.  Which would sound impressive except I was only with the company for about 4 years.

Good luck with Q4 and I hope you avoid Cold Prickles!
 
2014-09-01 11:51:31 PM  
Interesting that the woman in the story says she's old, mostly disabled, and otherwise unemployable, but feels entitled to higher pay.
 
2014-09-02 12:09:30 AM  

jjorsett: Interesting that the woman in the story says she's old, mostly disabled, and otherwise unemployable, but feels entitled to higher pay.


Or you can look at it in terms of, it's the one job she can do, should make sure it provides properly for her.
 
2014-09-02 01:36:29 AM  

WhyteRaven74: jjorsett: Interesting that the woman in the story says she's old, mostly disabled, and otherwise unemployable, but feels entitled to higher pay.

Or you can look at it in terms of, it's the one job she can do, should make sure it provides properly for her.


I can sympathize with her, but I wouldn't expect my employer to give me a raise just because I need it. Your worth to a company is how much having you on the payroll contributes to the bottom line.
 
2014-09-02 01:44:46 AM  

meyerkev: Today's the first day that I've been off since August 17th, which is one of 6 days I'd been off since um... mid-June.  And I only get this because it only took me about 2 months to become Wally (Except that I do actually do work.  But just that general "I would like to have a life at some point, so I'm out when I'm out and up yours" way of thinking.  I've got a coworker who works until 3 AM every night and he's just crazy).  They paid for me to go to Dublin for training for 3 weeks, but I had to take time off to go see my sister in Paris* over the weekend.  (Also, note to self: If you buy plane tickets on 3 days warning over 4th of July weekend, it will cost you $800 to fly to Paris and back.).


I had a job offer from an Amazon subsidiary a couple of years back. I took a look at glassdoor reviews and decided I prefer my sanity and am not quite ready to join the Borg collective. Good to see my choice validated. I might not make as much as I would have there (although that's quickly reaching parity), but at least I get to spend all day in my underwear on my couch!

Stone Meadow: Where do you find the money?


In Q2 of 2014, the nominal US GDP was about $17.3 trillion dollars. The effective corporate tax rate averaged out to about 12.6% (this according to the GAO http://money.cnn.com/2013/07/01/news/economy/corporate-tax-rate/. This is in stark contrast to the many shill articles claiming the US has one of the highest effective rates on the planet. At 12.6, we're just slightly above the Carribean). There is a LOT of wiggle room there. For example, according to YCharts, US corporate revenue in June of 2014 was about $1.35T. 12.6% of that is $170.1B. Raising the effective corporate tax rate to 15% nets an additional $30+B per month. $30B per month divided by the 300,000,000 people in the US gets you another $100 per month. But that's a paltry tax hike. Let's jump it up to 20%. This might seem like a massive hike, but we'll offset it with some initial automation credits, and the rest of the difference will come in payroll savings. So at 20% effective corporate tax rate, we're talking 270B per month in corporate taxes collected. That's an extra 100B per month. That's an extra $333 per person per month.

But that's not enough to live on, right? Right! So we need to find other savings. How about SS? With a guaranteed minimum income, we don't really need it anymore. So we take all that SS money and we throw it in with the general income fund. That adds another $250 per month per person. We're up to about $600 per person per month now. Still not quite enough to live on, but getting closer. We could take money from Medicare and Medicaid and let people buy their own insurance, but not sure that would be a good idea. We could slash defense spending, as we should anyway. There's no reason a nation surrounded by water on two sides and friendly neighbors on the other two needs a standing army. We could project force just as effectively by eliminating the Army, slashing the Navy and Airforce, and using Marines if we ever need to put boots on the ground anywhere. This has the advantage of keeping us out of conflicts we have no business being in. We can probably get another $100 per person per month out of this. So now we're up to $700 per person per month. That's not a ton of cash, but is enough to live on adequately in most parts of the country. I'm writing this from Monroe, LA, where I can rent a house for $400 a month. Split that between two or three people, and you're talking about a quarter to a third of your income going to housing, which is a pretty good ratio to stick by, anyway.

But let's say we want to provide more than just the absolute bare essentials. The effective federal tax rate on the top quintile in the US is currently 24% (including payroll and other taxes). Increasing this a few percentage points, for example by having a higher "extremely high earner" bracket can net us another $100 or so USD per person per month. We're up to about $800 pp/pm. But children don't really need the full amount. Life doesn't cost twice as much for a couple with two children as it does for a couple with no children. With a flat per person structure, our fund is currently divided as 2,102,400,000,000 for adults, and 777,600,000,000 for children. We can give minors under the age of 18 half of what we give to adults. That's an extra $1,296 per year. So we're at just about $1000 per person per month for adults, and $500 per children. We can also penalize people who want to have large families but can't afford to do so. Let's say that only the first two children qualify. It's hard to estimate this impact, and it's late, so I don't have the numbers in front of me. I doubt this would add significantly to the bottom line, but it would keep people from starting child farms to make extra money.

So, with some relatively minor changes, we've given everyone in America just slightly less than minimum wage. With the median gross rent in the US being about $880 per month, this still makes it a little tough to live. However, if you take out the large metropolitan areas, this number drops significantly. Mobile home park investment websites, for example, list the average rental rate you can expect to make at about $600 per month for a doublewide. An investment in no-frills high-rises can likely lower this number dramatically. So if you assume you should pay about a third of your income in rent, that means that two people can easily afford a $600 per month apartment. Add a child and we're up pretty close to the national median of $880.

And this is just the guaranteed income. Nothing will be stopping people from seeking employment while receiving it. In fact, you can actually have a top cut-off and save a little money. If, for example, you say no one in the top quintile of earners (about $239,000 before-tax in 2010) can collect the GUI, you add another $2,500 to everyone's income below you. Then lets say that people in the 4th quintile only receive half the money. Suddenly, you add another $2k or so to everyone below them. All of a sudden, everyone making an average of $65k or less has a guaranteed income of at least the minimum wage. And we haven't even touched the capital gains rate. Or state funding for welfare programs.

So with a few minor tweaks to the tax rates, we elevate a huge chunk of the population out of poverty, elevate another huge chunk from lower class to at least lower middle class, solved the higher education crisis (17-22 year olds can now use their $15,000 per year to go to school. That will pay all or most of an undergrad tuition at most state schools), created a new class of consumers, and streamlined the entire welfare system. More importantly, this has the potential to create a serious flourishing of entrepreneurship and the arts. The main reason most people don't go into business for themselves is that they are terrified of losing a steady income stream and being unable to care for their families. Same with the arts. Eliminating this fear goes a long way towards allowing people to follow their dreams, rather than following the safe career path. I know I would have gone into business for myself a lot sooner had I known that my ass was covered for the first year or so. I would have started my second business much sooner had I had an extra lump sum of $15,000 handed to me.

It's a shame that this will never happen, though, because how dare anyone get free money.

/sorry if some of this math is off. It's late, I've been travelling for what feels like weeks without stop, and work has kicked my ass lately
 
2014-09-02 01:58:48 AM  

jjorsett: Interesting that the woman in the story says she's old, mostly disabled, and otherwise unemployable, but feels entitled to higher pay.


Well, that's the essence of European Soshulism. "You do the very best you can, and get a living wage for it, even if it's not that much." As opposed to a much better system of "you better be in top shape from start to the end, and after we chew you out, you may go die in a ditch".

Now, obviously, productivity somewhat suffers in European Soshulism. But those pesky commies do not think productivity is the end of all goals. Fancy that.
 
2014-09-02 03:38:04 AM  

WhyteRaven74: jjorsett: Interesting that the woman in the story says she's old, mostly disabled, and otherwise unemployable, but feels entitled to higher pay.

Or you can look at it in terms of, it's the one job she can do, should make sure it provides properly for her.


According to the article, wages start at 1,631 euros per month [about $2,150] and go up to 2,348 euros [$3,100].
She's worked there for 13 years so I'm assuming she's making more than 2,000 euros. That's a living wage anywhere in "rural" Germany.
Now the difference between "living" and "proper" wages is dependent on each individual. She seems to be 61 and disabled so I'm thinking the state is already chipping in.

Her beef seems to be that her job is classified as "logistics" rather than "retail". I'm not an expert in German labor law, but if you're moving crates of stuff around a warehouse, you're logistics.
 
2014-09-02 04:37:42 AM  
And we know how well Germany treats malcontents

Pretty well?  They're doing a much better job than the United States is, that's for sure.
 
2014-09-02 05:12:46 AM  

neaorin: WhyteRaven74: jjorsett: Interesting that the woman in the story says she's old, mostly disabled, and otherwise unemployable, but feels entitled to higher pay.

Or you can look at it in terms of, it's the one job she can do, should make sure it provides properly for her.

According to the article, wages start at 1,631 euros per month [about $2,150] and go up to 2,348 euros [$3,100].
She's worked there for 13 years so I'm assuming she's making more than 2,000 euros. That's a living wage anywhere in "rural" Germany.
Now the difference between "living" and "proper" wages is dependent on each individual. She seems to be 61 and disabled so I'm thinking the state is already chipping in.

Her beef seems to be that her job is classified as "logistics" rather than "retail". I'm not an expert in German labor law, but if you're moving crates of stuff around a warehouse, you're logistics.


Logistics, where your job can be described as "I pick things up, I put them down." in the voice of a certain Austrian actor.
 
2014-09-02 06:22:18 AM  
They dont' have contracts, they have "work agreements", at least that's what our company tried to tell us when we tried to get representation by an evil "union" here in the states.
 
2014-09-02 07:24:09 AM  

Lusiphur: meyerkev: Today's the first day that I've been off since August 17th, which is one of 6 days I'd been off since um... mid-June.  And I only get this because it only took me about 2 months to become Wally (Except that I do actually do work.  But just that general "I would like to have a life at some point, so I'm out when I'm out and up yours" way of thinking.  I've got a coworker who works until 3 AM every night and he's just crazy).  They paid for me to go to Dublin for training for 3 weeks, but I had to take time off to go see my sister in Paris* over the weekend.  (Also, note to self: If you buy plane tickets on 3 days warning over 4th of July weekend, it will cost you $800 to fly to Paris and back.).

I had a job offer from an Amazon subsidiary a couple of years back. I took a look at glassdoor reviews and decided I prefer my sanity and am not quite ready to join the Borg collective. Good to see my choice validated. I might not make as much as I would have there (although that's quickly reaching parity), but at least I get to spend all day in my underwear on my couch!

Stone Meadow: Where do you find the money?

In Q2 of 2014, the nominal US GDP was about $17.3 trillion dollars. The effective corporate tax rate averaged out to about 12.6% (this according to the GAO http://money.cnn.com/2013/07/01/news/economy/corporate-tax-rate/. This is in stark contrast to the many shill articles claiming the US has one of the highest effective rates on the planet. At 12.6, we're just slightly above the Carribean). There is a LOT of wiggle room there. For example, according to YCharts, US corporate revenue in June of 2014 was about $1.35T. 12.6% of that is $170.1B. Raising the effective corporate tax rate to 15% nets an additional $30+B per month. $30B per month divided by the 300,000,000 people in the US gets you another $100 per month. But that's a paltry tax hike. Let's jump it up to 20%. This might seem like a massive hike, but we'll offset it with some initial automation...



Eh, you don't need a cutoff that's begging to be turned into a political football. Just make the payments taxable as ordinary income.

Baron Harkonnen: And we know how well Germany treats malcontents

Pretty well?  They're doing a much better job than the United States is, that's for sure.



WARNING: MALCONTENTS MAY BE UNDER PRESSURE
 
2014-09-02 07:27:23 AM  

Stone Meadow: You want a GUI for all adults? There are 300+ million legal residents in the US. To give each person $6500 will add a cool $2 trillion to a federal budget that has not yet hit $4 trillion.

[www.aaas.org image 579x433]

Where do you find the money?


$1.2 trillion by the fact that SS and Medicaid are not obsolete.  The rest by replacing a portion of the standard deduction with the fact that everyone is getting GMI already.

Easy.
 
2014-09-02 08:29:48 AM  

semiotix: lohphat: Amazon is just as bad as WalMart when it comes to poor wages and sweatshop management style.

They're different kinds of awful. Wal-Mart is more oriented towards doing it for the lulz, being shiatty for shiattiness' sake. "Hi, sorry to wake you at 12:00 A.M., but we've scheduled you for the 2 A.M.-4 A.M. cleaning shift, so you'll need to leave now if you want to catch the three buses you'll need to make it on time. Also, we've got you schedule to work 8 A.M.-noon today too, and while you won't officially be required to work off the clock between 4 and 8, it's worth saying that you'll be physically locked in the building until the store opens at 7:30."

Whereas Amazon, I think, genuinely wishes you well--they're just aware that 99.8% of human beings will have one or more major joints ground into pulpy, cartilaginous oblivion by the physical demands of the Amazon warehouse before six months are up. So when they fire you for not being able to make the steadily increasing quota, it's nothing personal. In fact, I think they probably feel they're doing you a favor. It was painful watching you try to lift those boxes without aggravating your hernia!

/yes, they're both doing it for the money above all else, but there are different flavors


Amazon is willing to act like a dick to increase their bottom line. Walmart acts like a dick even when it starts costing them money.
 
2014-09-02 08:31:31 AM  

jjorsett: WhyteRaven74: jjorsett: Interesting that the woman in the story says she's old, mostly disabled, and otherwise unemployable, but feels entitled to higher pay.

Or you can look at it in terms of, it's the one job she can do, should make sure it provides properly for her.

I can sympathize with her, but I wouldn't expect my employer to give me a raise just because I need it. Your worth to a company is how much having you on the payroll contributes to the bottom line.


Germany (and much of Europe in general) looks at things a little differently than in America.
 
2014-09-02 11:06:10 AM  

neaorin: WhyteRaven74: jjorsett: Interesting that the woman in the story says she's old, mostly disabled, and otherwise unemployable, but feels entitled to higher pay.

Or you can look at it in terms of, it's the one job she can do, should make sure it provides properly for her.

According to the article, wages start at 1,631 euros per month [about $2,150] and go up to 2,348 euros [$3,100].
She's worked there for 13 years so I'm assuming she's making more than 2,000 euros. That's a living wage anywhere in "rural" Germany.
Now the difference between "living" and "proper" wages is dependent on each individual. She seems to be 61 and disabled so I'm thinking the state is already chipping in.

Her beef seems to be that her job is classified as "logistics" rather than "retail". I'm not an expert in German labor law, but if you're moving crates of stuff around a warehouse, you're logistics.


I used to be a retail worker, overnights at Walmart.  My job included unloading trucks, moving stuff around back, stocking shelves, and assisting customers*.  My job was overnight frozen foods (which is the 2nd highest paid department, overnight produce was highest; both departments had to bust ass and work faster and more productive than any other department in the store (we'd unload a pallet of icecream in 15 to 20 minutes, other departments would take 40-60 minutes on a similar sized pallet.

If any of our pallets were on the floor for more than 30 minutes (ice cream) or 40 minutes (general frozen goods), we would have to wait two hours before we could bring them back out and start again...needless to say, teamwork was key in getting our job done.  Because of that, we normally finished a full pallet in 15 minutes and all our work in 4 or 5 hours and then dick around until it was time to go home (hard to dick around for 5-6 hours on a 10 hour shift).  Once a night I'd take a good 30 minute weed break in the top of the frozen goods freezer.  It was -30 below 0F (-45 in the ice cream freezer) in there and no manager ever walked in ever....EVER.  I needed something to do, so I'd climb up top, smoke a bowl, and label our pallets for the next night or climb down and arrange stuff so it would be easier and faster to unload our trucks the next night.

I'd still have that job if I wasn't a dumbass (fark you, it was a good paying job for my area...$11.50 an hour and various benefits).  I'd probably be an assistant manager or manager by now (it was 10 years ago and I was inline to become the next department manager only six months in....yes the pothead that got stoned at work every night was the most prompt and fastest worker on the entire floor and up for promotion over the other two guys that had been in the department for 2-4 years (except for the other pothead in produce..that dude was fast).  I was also paid more than the other two guys as well...I suppose I'm a better negotiator for my job than they were, also had two promotions in 6 months...I quit at 7 -- got tired of the other two guys in my department hitting on me and eye raping my nightly and management not caring because they were both really good employees, and good employees are hard to come by.

*One night my truck was running a few hours late and an old guy needed assistance reading labels.  I walked through the store in every department with him and up until he went to checkout.  When done, the overnight assistant manager said I wasn't supposed to help customers outside of my department and asked why I was.  When I replied that I had nothing to do until my truck came in (better use of my time rather than standing around waiting; we weren't allowed to help other departments until our work was done; frozen is a priority department) as well as that I personally get offended when other Walmart employees pass the buck when I'm a customer and how that leads to bad customer service (he reluctantly agreed with that); he never questioned me when I was assisting customers outside of my department ever again....In fact, my first raise was two weeks later and he's the manager that signed off on it.

I'd like that job back.  It was easy and it paid the bills...not much more, but it was better than nothing.
 
2014-09-02 02:06:12 PM  
Just don't mention the war.
 
2014-09-02 04:27:16 PM  

Monkeyfark Ridiculous: Eh, you don't need a cutoff that's begging to be turned into a political football. Just make the payments taxable as ordinary income.


Since this is all make-believe, I'd rather include the cut-off and give a little bit more to people that need it more. But again, this is all a crazy pipe-dream that will never happen.

It also shocked me in looking over the numbers here that the US federal budget only comes out to about 25% of GDP. Even with state budgets, it's still under 28%. I would have thought a huge, civilized, first-world country would need at least 30% or so of GDP to be government expenditures. Where the hell is all this money going?
 
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