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This room is for the discussion of current events,cultural issues and politics especially in relation to Catholic values.

Saint Thomas More was martyred during the Protestant Reformation for standing firm in the Faith and not recognizing the King of England as the Supreme Head of the Church.
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Nov 17th 2012 new

(Quote) Gustavo-764558 said: Labor did sit down with management. To the tune of an 8% pay cut. As working people they can o...
(Quote) Gustavo-764558 said:

Labor did sit down with management. To the tune of an 8% pay cut. As working people they can only be expected to sacrifice so much. Are we headed towards the day when workers are expected to pay to keep a company solvent?

Ron, do you actually believe efficiency is a bad word to organized labor? Union jobs are on time and on schedule. Try to get productivity out of $9 hr tradesmen. Good luck. An old saying goes, "you pay peanuts you get monkeys."

Hostess was just another casualty of rapacious capitalism.
--hide--

I don't even pretend to know what has been happening with hostess other than catching some blurbs on the news. My comments come mostly from my personal experiences in the work place. Don't get me wrong, in the electrical trade, I have seen terrific workers as well as those not worth a plug nickel, both in the union and not. While on a recent job, of which I did by myself, I had a couple of carpenter’s out of the blue comment that if "X" electric (a union shop) was doing this job they would have had 10 electricians. Then the other one said "and they would be getting half as much done as you." While, there was a little exaggeration going on here, when I was in the union, I was told to slow down that I was getting too much done. The reason was that I was stealing someone else his job. I have heard that in the New York local, they will rough up anybody who is continually too productive. Since I haven't worked in NYC I can't say with certainty that it's true, but I have worked with Local 3 guys and have little reason not to believe it.


As far as jobs done on time and on schedule, that is easy enough because figure typical labor rates and often adjust with the sub contractors because they know how long their crew takes to do a project as well as putting 2 workers to do a job that can be done just as easily and quickly as one, so even with poor production a job can come in on time. On budget can be another issue.


If I bid a job and figure using labor at $30/ hour but never win the bid (which means my bid is the cheapest) but never win the bid there are three things I can use to lower my number. First is to lower profit and material markup which is usually around 2 to 3%. Not much to work with there. The next is to lower overhead. That would mean laying off the office help. The third is to lower labor cost which is usually the most expensive part of the project. That can only mean lowering wages or getting more production out of the workers. I don't expect more production, so the next time I bid, I lower the labor rate to $20 or $25 per hour. If I get that job, I can't pay $30 anymore or I go out of business. Don't get me wrong, I do believe in treating employees well, but market conditions often dictate labor rates that I can pay. If I have employees who tell each other to slow down and make this job last or because they are stealing another worker's job. Then they are taking from my profit (and or salary) which is already lower than a typical electrician's wage. BTW as a business owner, if I go out of business, I am not eligible for unemployment.


Taking an 8% cut is a good but modest start but it's a far cry from paying your employer to keep your job. That is a ridiculous comment, yet labor sometimes expects that from their employer. Yes, that's right. An employee has to produce more than he is paid or there is no reason to hire him.


Since you don't think much of free markets and Capitalism, I'm curious as to what kind of economic model you would prefer to see and how it would work?

Nov 17th 2012 new
(Quote) Ron-481546 said: I don't even pretend to know what has been happening with hostess othe...
(Quote) Ron-481546 said:





I don't even pretend to know what has been happening with hostess other than catching some blurbs on the news. My comments come mostly from my personal experiences in the work place. Don't get me wrong, in the electrical trade, I have seen terrific workers as well as those not worth a plug nickel, both in the union and not. While on a recent job, of which I did by myself, I had a couple of carpenter’s out of the blue comment that if "X" electric (a union shop) was doing this job they would have had 10 electricians. Then the other one said "and they would be getting half as much done as you." While, there was a little exaggeration going on here, when I was in the union, I was told to slow down that I was getting too much done. The reason was that I was stealing someone else his job. I have heard that in the New York local, they will rough up anybody who is continually too productive. Since I haven't worked in NYC I can't say with certainty that it's true, but I have worked with Local 3 guys and have little reason not to believe it.




As far as jobs done on time and on schedule, that is easy enough because figure typical labor rates and often adjust with the sub contractors because they know how long their crew takes to do a project as well as putting 2 workers to do a job that can be done just as easily and quickly as one, so even with poor production a job can come in on time. On budget can be another issue.




If I bid a job and figure using labor at $30/ hour but never win the bid (which means my bid is the cheapest) but never win the bid there are three things I can use to lower my number. First is to lower profit and material markup which is usually around 2 to 3%. Not much to work with there. The next is to lower overhead. That would mean laying off the office help. The third is to lower labor cost which is usually the most expensive part of the project. That can only mean lowering wages or getting more production out of the workers. I don't expect more production, so the next time I bid, I lower the labor rate to $20 or $25 per hour. If I get that job, I can't pay $30 anymore or I go out of business. Don't get me wrong, I do believe in treating employees well, but market conditions often dictate labor rates that I can pay. If I have employees who tell each other to slow down and make this job last or because they are stealing another worker's job. Then they are taking from my profit (and or salary) which is already lower than a typical electrician's wage. BTW as a business owner, if I go out of business, I am not eligible for unemployment.




Taking an 8% cut is a good but modest start but it's a far cry from paying your employer to keep your job. That is a ridiculous comment, yet labor sometimes expects that from their employer. Yes, that's right. An employee has to produce more than he is paid or there is no reason to hire him.




Since you don't think much of free markets and Capitalism, I'm curious as to what kind of economic model you would prefer to see and how it would work?

--hide--


I have been in the Carpenters Union and I've never been told to slow down. Yes, workers must be productive for a place to stay in business.

I think the ideal economic model is a hybrid of capitalism AND socialism. Something based upon graduated, protected risk and reward. This current economic situation showed us the dark side of capitalism.
Nov 18th 2012 new

(Quote) Gustavo-764558 said: I have been in the Carpenters Union and I've never been told to slow down. Yes, workers mu...
(Quote) Gustavo-764558 said:

I have been in the Carpenters Union and I've never been told to slow down. Yes, workers must be productive for a place to stay in business.

I think the ideal economic model is a hybrid of capitalism AND socialism. Something based upon graduated, protected risk and reward. This current economic situation showed us the dark side of capitalism.
--hide--

And the double digitm unemployment in all of Europe except for England and Germany ever since the end of WWII shows us the normally ugly side of socialism. Then of course we have the outstanding example of the worst of scialism, Russia and its satellites. Of course there is also that outstanding example of scoialist acheivement, CUBA.

Come on Gustavo, capitalism, has provided more comfortable lives for more people than any other economic system since the beginning of recorded history. Even for Carpenters.

Nov 18th 2012 new
(Quote) Paul-866591 said: And the double digitm unemployment in all of Europe except for England and Germany ever since th...
(Quote) Paul-866591 said:



And the double digitm unemployment in all of Europe except for England and Germany ever since the end of WWII shows us the normally ugly side of socialism. Then of course we have the outstanding example of the worst of scialism, Russia and its satellites. Of course there is also that outstanding example of scoialist acheivement, CUBA.



Come on Gustavo, capitalism, has provided more comfortable lives for more people than any other economic system since the beginning of recorded history. Even for Carpenters.

--hide--


Paul, Russia and Cuba were/are communist countries.

Many socialist countries (Sweden, Norway, Denmark, etc.) have longer life spans, higher rates of literacy and lower infant mortality rates than we do. They produce quality goods (Volvos) and have booming industries (steel).

Too many Americans throw around "socialist" as an insult. Yes, I know the Church warnings about it.
Nov 18th 2012 new

(Quote) Gustavo-764558 said: Paul, Russia and Cuba were/are communist countries. Many socialist countries (Sweden, ...
(Quote) Gustavo-764558 said:

Paul, Russia and Cuba were/are communist countries.

Many socialist countries (Sweden, Norway, Denmark, etc.) have longer life spans, higher rates of literacy and lower infant mortality rates than we do. They produce quality goods (Volvos) and have booming industries (steel).

Too many Americans throw around "socialist" as an insult. Yes, I know the Church warnings about it.
--hide--

If you had not noticed, Gustavo, the basis of Communism is socialism. And as I noted both Russia and Cuba are the worst examples of Socialism. Until China embraced capitalism they also fit into the Russian model of failed socialism.

When one starts comparing US and other ccountries, they have to be darn careful. The ccountries you mention all have a very homogeneous population, even though that is now breaking down with the influx of Muslims all over Europe. So much so, that population progressions for every country you mentioned, plus Italy, Germany and England and France, within your lifetime will have a majority Muslim population. All those statistics are going to go down hill.

The US has one of the most diversified populations in the entire world. A lot of them today are from the lowest economic classes from all over. Their personal standards for health care (even when it is readily available), hygene and diet, is poor to say the least. Over time that will change as they assimilate. Meanwhile US longevity rates suffer in comparison.

Besides, if you had not noticed I said nothing about the quality of their products. I just noted that all European countries except for England and Germany, have enjoyed double digit unemployment since WWII. That is the telling statistic. They may have well avoided the Russian nonsense of the Government pretending to pay the workers and the workers pretending to work. Russia actually had low unemployment , everybody had a job. But it was all make work. One crew to dig a hole followed by a crew that filled the hole in with the dirt the first crew removed.

You can have booming industries with high unemployment. The whole economy must boom. All industries must boom not just some.

The most telling statistics of all: Europe and the USA have comparable total populations, In fact Europe has slightly more. However, for the10 years prior to Obummer, the US created more jobs than all of Europe combined. Even after our god in his own mind stumble bum's incompetence, the US has more people employed than Europe.

Sorry Gustavo, socialism has not worked in the past, does not work now and will not work in the future. The idiocy we now have in the US is that we have a bunch of boobs running things who think we should be more like Europe. They are to dumb to learn, not just from history but from the reality that is right in their face every single day.

Nov 18th 2012 new
Fellas, you can argue until you're blue in the face. Neither of you will change the other's mind, or for that matter the mind of the very limited number of readers of these forums. So much of the back and forth argument in these forums is fruitless, with no winner, only escalated frustration. I tend to favor capitalism, but JPII also warned against the excesses of greed in capitalist systems too. Socialism isn't the panacea it's promoted to be, with abject failures throughout the world. Call me an idealist if you want, a dreamer maybe, but the hope we have is not in human systems, but in the one true God who provides everything for us. Not a meal comes across our table that does not come from God. In my life, argument gets me nowhere; gratitude makes me a lot happier.
Nov 18th 2012 new

(Quote) Gustavo-764558 said: Paul, Russia and Cuba were/are communist countries. Many socialist countries (Sweden, ...
(Quote) Gustavo-764558 said:

Paul, Russia and Cuba were/are communist countries.

Many socialist countries (Sweden, Norway, Denmark, etc.) have longer life spans, higher rates of literacy and lower infant mortality rates than we do. They produce quality goods (Volvos) and have booming industries (steel).

Too many Americans throw around "socialist" as an insult. Yes, I know the Church warnings about it.
--hide--


Socialist is not meant as an insult. It is a bonafide description of a persons values about government. Why would
you say it is used as an insult?

Nov 18th 2012 new

(Quote) Charles-211696 said: Sure, I've got a couple ideas on how laws could be changed and government coul...
(Quote) Charles-211696 said:


Sure, I've got a couple ideas on how laws could be changed and government could intervene, but it would ultimately be pointless, because the company could simply close its doors and move manufacturing to a location where it would not have to abide by any laws or regulations. This is the threat labor ultimately faces.


I very much appreciate your sincereness at trying to find a balanced approach to the issue. However, as long as the bottom line remains "the bottom line," and you have corporate boards trying to satiate investors, I predict that labor will be squeezed more and more, because labor is the only part of the equation that can be squeezed.


I've never really seen any definitive data on small business in the U.S., despite all the talk small business gets. However, I would like to think the greater majority of small business owners are responsible stewards. Yes, they want to make a profit, but I would like to think small business owners readily share their wealth by providing living wages, benefits, etc. as they are able. I just do not see large corporation exhibiting any kind of stewardship.


There's a lot more I could say, but I will say a lot of my thinking about economic issues is grounded in the following: "For the love of money is the root of all evils" (1 Tim 6:10 NABRE).



--hide--


Charles, the company could not just pack up and go to a place where those laws did not apply if it was a federal law.
And a store like Walmart, has to have its retail store located on US soil. Those employees would be under the new laws
jurisdiction. Maybe not the products sold, but the employees.

Nov 18th 2012 new

(Quote) Gustavo-764558 said: Paul, Russia and Cuba were/are communist countries. Many socialist countries (Sweden, ...
(Quote) Gustavo-764558 said:

Paul, Russia and Cuba were/are communist countries.

Many socialist countries (Sweden, Norway, Denmark, etc.) have longer life spans, higher rates of literacy and lower infant mortality rates than we do. They produce quality goods (Volvos) and have booming industries (steel).

Too many Americans throw around "socialist" as an insult. Yes, I know the Church warnings about it.
--hide--


Swedes are taxed to death and their morals are very loose. They are also very small countries that you are referencing
and have more of a homogenous population.

Nov 18th 2012 new
(Quote) Marianne-100218 said: Socialist is not meant as an insult. It is a bonafide description of a persons values about governm...
(Quote) Marianne-100218 said:



Socialist is not meant as an insult. It is a bonafide description of a persons values about government. Why would
you say it is used as an insult?

--hide--


Any length of time listening to a political conversation would expose one's ears to "socialism." The threads on CM are titled "Why did America choose socialism?"

I've come across entries that rip Pres. Obama as a Muslim and socialist.

Have you heard it to build someone up?
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