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Why Are "Labor Shortages" a Thing But Not "Pay Shortages?"
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From a comment by JackOH responding to my post about David Brooks’ NYT column about labor shortages and how “For the life of me, I can’t figure out why so many Republicans prefer a dying white America to a place like, say, Houston.”

You got it, Buffalo Joe. My native disposition isn’t all that strongly “pro-laborist”, but I’m just astounded by the twaddle written about labor. I was in a hiring capacity, and the #1 reason we could not keep talented people was we could not pay them well. It’s no better than half-truth to say we were having “labor shortages”. The workers who left us were having “pay shortages”—they brought strong skills to the table, and we weren’t paying them enough for those skills.

It’s almost as if rich people and rich organizations have more power to influence which phrases colonize our minds.

 
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  1. Part of the modern theater of life is the sleight of hand that convinces people to look only at one side of an issue. For example, look only at the company demand for workers, without noticing the worker supply.

    Being Friday and all, I am inclined to think about Star Wars: “Those aren’t the Droid Workers you’re looking for”.

  2. Business facing a labor shortage are victims. People who don’t have enough money are losers. There’s a difference.

  3. Don’t forget the ever popular: “They do the jobs Americans won’t do!”

    …[because they pay $5 an hour and only a third worlder could see that as a step up]

  4. All my working life, UK employers have complained about a shortage of engineers. All my working life, it has been challenging to earn more than a unionised tradesman. The US and Canada have benefited greatly.

  5. Steve, you should have included the second half of JackOH’s response:

    I’ve known any number of skilled white and blue collar folks who refuse to re-enter their fields because the pay isn’t proportional to the skill and commitment they need to bring to those jobs. They’d rather take early retirement, work flea markets, take on low-commitment retail work, so they don’t get ripped off by some bullpuckey employer. There’s something deeply wrong here at a primal, visceral level.

    I can wholeheartedly agree with that. I was perusing some job listings lately and I was appalled at some of the wages being offered. Some examples: Cow milker starting at 3 a.m., $9.70/hour. Truck driver to move rigs around a rail yard, overnight shift until 4 a.m., $12/hour. Licensed electrician — licensed, to make sure your house doesn’t burn to the ground!!!– $15/hour.

    And THIS ONE, from a local craigslist, has to be seen to be believed:

    WE ARE LOOKING FOR EXPERIENCED MORTGAGE FIELD SERVICE INSPECTORS BUT WILL TRAIN THE RIGHT PERSON. PAY IS FOR COMPLETED INSPECTION ON PROPERTIES IN FORECLOSURE, BANKRUPTCY OR OTHER DISTRESSED SITUATIONS. YOU ARE GIVEN ASSIGNMENTS IN YOUR GEOGRAPHIC AREA OF COVERAGE. REPORTS MUST BE ACCURATE, REQUIRE PHOTOS AND MUST BE DONE WITHIN GIVEN TIME FRAMES. YOU MUST HAVE HIGH SPEED INTERNET ACCESS, AND A SMARTPHONE PLEASE SEND A BRIEF NOTE OR RESUME TO THIS POSTING.

    ****Must be organized, self motivated, and dependable, be able to walk in and around vacant houses getting in and out of your vehicle several times a day, have a reliable vehicle, and be willing to drive in all weather, smart phone, laptop, and high speed internet needed****

    $5.50 per house, approximately 100-200 jobs per month.

    Yep… $5.50 per inspection!!!! Welfare actually DOES pay better than work!!!

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Dr. X

    So they are offering about $800 per month in pay?

    Replies: @newrouter

    , @pyrrhus
    @Dr. X

    Wow! I sold Cub Scout cookies back in the '50s and made more than that per hour.

    , @Dieter Kief
    @Dr. X

    To quote Seve Sailer's Taki's Mag article about birthrates in Paris:

    "Wow, just wow."

    A licensed electrician gets 15 $ per hour. That's what - a tenth of your usual doctor/lawyer?

    , @Pericles
    @Dr. X

    It sounds like they want you to pay for your car and mobile internet to make the reports too. I guess dental is out of the question?

  6. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Complaining about wages is nothing new. In 1775, Adam Smith has this observation:

    Our merchants and master-manufacturers complain much of the bad effects of high wages in raising the price, and thereby lessening the sale of their goods both at home and abroad. They say nothing concerning the bad effects of high profits. They are silent with regard to the pernicious effects of their own gains. They complain only of those of other people.

  7. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    See supply-side economics, which has dominated since the Reagan years:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supply_side_economics

    Supply-side economics is a macroeconomic theory[1][2] that argues economic growth can be most effectively created by investing in capital and by lowering barriers on the production of goods and services. It was started by Robert Mundell (who won the 1999 Nobel Prize for Economics) during the Ronald Reagan administration. According to supply-side economics, consumers will then benefit from a greater supply of goods and services at lower prices; furthermore, the investment and expansion of businesses will increase the demand for employees and therefore create jobs.

    Pay is regarded as one of these barriers to production and thus economic growth.

    • Replies: @DJF
    @Anonymous

    Except for CEO and Stock owner pay, that is vital to economic growth

  8. There is a general rule in business, Pay does not motivate employees, it just keeps them from leaving.” People are intrinsically motivated especially any in knowledge based work. If you have a lazy / lousy employee you need to fire them asap. It is a big mistake to think they will change their habits after getting a raise. They won’t. Salespeople are somewhat an exception to that. That is why it is always better to pay them on commissions rather than on salary in case you hire the proverbial dog that won’t hunt.

    • Replies: @antipater_1
    @Prof. Woland

    "There is a general rule in business, Pay does not motivate employees, it just keeps them from leaving.”

    That same business rule applies to upper management also - correct?

    , @PiltdownMan
    @Prof. Woland

    Henry Ford thought the opposite, though the real story is more nuanced and complicated. This is a good article

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2012/03/04/the-story-of-henry-fords-5-a-day-wages-its-not-what-you-think/#441e8d2766d2

    Interesting to learn of this:


    The bonus came with character requirements and was enforced by the Socialization Organization. This was a committee that would visit the employees' homes to ensure that they were doing things the "American way." They were supposed to avoid social ills such as gambling and drinking. They were to learn English, and many (primarily the recent immigrants) had to attend classes to become "Americanized." Women were not eligible for the bonus unless they were single and supporting the family. Also, men were not eligible if their wives worked outside the home.
     

    Replies: @Forbes

  9. @Dr. X
    Steve, you should have included the second half of JackOH's response:

    I’ve known any number of skilled white and blue collar folks who refuse to re-enter their fields because the pay isn’t proportional to the skill and commitment they need to bring to those jobs. They’d rather take early retirement, work flea markets, take on low-commitment retail work, so they don’t get ripped off by some bullpuckey employer. There’s something deeply wrong here at a primal, visceral level.
     
    I can wholeheartedly agree with that. I was perusing some job listings lately and I was appalled at some of the wages being offered. Some examples: Cow milker starting at 3 a.m., $9.70/hour. Truck driver to move rigs around a rail yard, overnight shift until 4 a.m., $12/hour. Licensed electrician -- licensed, to make sure your house doesn't burn to the ground!!!-- $15/hour.

    And THIS ONE, from a local craigslist, has to be seen to be believed:

    WE ARE LOOKING FOR EXPERIENCED MORTGAGE FIELD SERVICE INSPECTORS BUT WILL TRAIN THE RIGHT PERSON. PAY IS FOR COMPLETED INSPECTION ON PROPERTIES IN FORECLOSURE, BANKRUPTCY OR OTHER DISTRESSED SITUATIONS. YOU ARE GIVEN ASSIGNMENTS IN YOUR GEOGRAPHIC AREA OF COVERAGE. REPORTS MUST BE ACCURATE, REQUIRE PHOTOS AND MUST BE DONE WITHIN GIVEN TIME FRAMES. YOU MUST HAVE HIGH SPEED INTERNET ACCESS, AND A SMARTPHONE PLEASE SEND A BRIEF NOTE OR RESUME TO THIS POSTING.

    ****Must be organized, self motivated, and dependable, be able to walk in and around vacant houses getting in and out of your vehicle several times a day, have a reliable vehicle, and be willing to drive in all weather, smart phone, laptop, and high speed internet needed****

    $5.50 per house, approximately 100-200 jobs per month.
     
    Yep... $5.50 per inspection!!!! Welfare actually DOES pay better than work!!!

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @pyrrhus, @Dieter Kief, @Pericles

    So they are offering about $800 per month in pay?

    • Replies: @newrouter
    @Steve Sailer

    If each "job" takes about an hour(travel time, inspection, data generation) that's $5.50/hr.

    Replies: @Dr. X

  10. As someone in engineering, it still surprises me that engineers are able to command high salaries, although Zuckerberg and the H1B visa program are trying to fix that. While LAS majors were struggling to find a job when I went to school, it was considered shameful among my engineering cohorts to get a job that paid less than $60,000 a year and this was a decade ago before the Second Tech Bubble appeared. My supervisor’s son last summer got a job that paid $85,000/year in a low COL area and was considered to have been “slumming it” but he wanted to be close to his girlfriend who was lucky to find a job in her field. He could find a high paying job just about anywhere.

  11. @Steve Sailer
    @Dr. X

    So they are offering about $800 per month in pay?

    Replies: @newrouter

    If each “job” takes about an hour(travel time, inspection, data generation) that’s $5.50/hr.

    • Replies: @Dr. X
    @newrouter

    Deduct your vehicle depreciation, fuel, insurance, smart phone and high speed Internet, and you'd be paying them at least $5.50 an hour to work.

    Replies: @PiltdownMan, @Olorin

  12. Yeah, billionaire entrepreneurs would never covertly conspire to create a wage shortage among employees like it’s some sort of zero-sum game between the employees and a connected set of very large shareholders and upper management. That’s crazy talk.

    Everyone knows we have to drive down wages to stay competitive in the global marketplace, or India and China will come to dominate in these critical fields. It’s for the good of the country. Only a Trumpkin would question the honesty and (P)rogressive motives of Silicon Valley’s tech billionaires.

    • Replies: @Cortes
    @Portlander

    You need only refer to the God of Free Entreprise, a certain Adam Smith, on the combinations of capitalists... do the search.

    , @Forbes
    @Portlander

    You'll notice that the so-called billionaire entrepreneurs aren't paying the settlement out of their own pocket--it's coming out of the shareholders' pockets. Granted, the BEs are shareholders, but by running a public company, they've effectively off-loaded these liabilities to be shared with their partner shareholders.

    Replies: @Portlander

  13. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    A lot of it is which skills are appreciated and compensated for and which are not.

    Pharmacists are very well compensated, even though the six year education they receive (at great expense) is gross overkill for the typical Walmart or corner drug store pillcop.

    By contrast, true toolmakers are undercompensated. It takes two to four years to make a true journeyman machinist and probably six years to make a good all around machinist into a journeyman toolmaker. Consequently, no one really wants to apply for the few toolmaker apprenticeships as exist, which further makes the companies that need them decide that “no one is interested” and then refuse to support apprenticeship programs.

    Companies also anticipate that CAD/CAM and 3D printing will eliminate the need for toolmakers of the old line persuasion. In fact, at first they did reduce the need somewhat-you can 3D print patterns and core box patterns, applying shrink rules in software-but the low hanging fruit opportunities are now largely gone. When you need a toolmaker now, you’re going to need one twenty years from now, and indeed until we have real Star Trek transporter technology.

    • Replies: @Carbon blob
    @Anonymous

    "Pharmacists are very well compensated, even though the six year education they receive (at great expense) is gross overkill for the typical Walmart or corner drug store pillcop."

    Pharmacists are very well compensated *because* the education they receive is gross overkill. Doubly true for general practicioners. Gotta be able to pay off those loans...

    A lot of doctors are going to be shocked when machines put half of them out of work in 20 years.

    , @Jonathan Mason
    @Anonymous


    Pharmacists are very well compensated, even though the six year education they receive (at great expense) is gross overkill for the typical Walmart or corner drug store pillcop.
     
    This is sort of true, however the licensed pharmacist is the person in charge of the shop and most of the grunt work of pill counting and packaging is done by pharmacy "technicians" who are paid much, much less. A pharmacist is required to interpret doctor's prescriptions, make phone calls to doctors tactfully telling them they goofed, be knowledgeable about drug interactions (also done by computers) and so on, to make sure your kids get the right dosages, and to ensure compliance with rules governing storage and handling of sensitive, delicate, addictive, or dangerous substances.

    A Walmart pharmacy is a pretty high volume operation, but obviously does not require the level of technical expertise a hospital pharmacist may require when there are calls for general anesthetics, chemotherapy drugs, intravenous medications and fluids, pediatric and neonatal dosage, rattlesnake antivenin, and so on.

    I am not a pharmacist, but I play one at home.

    Replies: @Thea

  14. And while we’re at it – when did we become “dying white America?” More importantly, when did we start accepting it from third-rate gas-bags like Brooks? Once we were cutting-edge demographic – of the world, really. Dammit: We put men on the moon and landed cameras on Mars. Now, in estimation of our Davos visionaries, we’re imminently disposable. And we’re to accept that conclusion, since any doubt, any show of monstrous self-interest on our part is yet another vast human atrocity chalked up to whitey. There are so many – real though exaggerated, valid though imaginary.

    I believe – guessing here – that we didn’t change at all. Our ruling class did, becoming an elite that devotedly despises us as they would cockroaches and head lice. One of the most encouraging facets of last November was dying white America turning, finally, on rich people and their rich organizations and spitting in THEIR faces, for once.

    The longer this “dying white America” garbage goes on, the more sinister it becomes. Implication is inescapable that one day perception will become project – and that dying will be hurried along by more decisive means.

    • Replies: @Kyle McKenna
    @San Fernando Curt

    They have near-complete control of the mass media, which Steve calls 'the megaphone' and I call 'the production of truth'.

    That's how they got the erstwhile majority of this country to accede and assist in its own demise.

    Just this evening I was skimming Google News to see what the Establishment Media was up to, and came across an article asking why all the white people in MSM entertainment are depicted as the good guys, and all the POCs as bad guys.

    Yet they claim we're the ones disconnected from reality. I realize that the two competing narratives will never meet, will further diverge, and will ultimately result in something very unpleasant.

    I just never thought I'd see an important political figure, much less the President of the USA, actually call out the Evil Empire of the MSM for what it is. I'm glad to be alive.

    , @ben tillman
    @San Fernando Curt


    And while we’re at it – when did we become “dying white America?”
     
    11/22/63?
  15. Sailer , I wouldn’t blame you for banning me after my last crack . Well where would I go what would I do ? I would promise to change my ways , but that would just be another promise broken , and God knows I’ve broken enough promises . Since I can’t send flowers I will send this :

    What with you being a gopher and all .

    • Replies: @donut
    @donut

    Love is as kind as a piece of cheese in a mouse trap .

    , @David Davenport
    @donut

    Well where would I go what would I do ? I would promise to change my ways , but that would just be another promise broken , and God knows I’ve broken enough promises . Since I can’t send flowers I will send this :

    Dough Nuts:

    I like your sea tales -- actual sea tales --about your younger days, but otherwise you're not the sharp wit that you seem to think you are.

    Your plea for evermore tolerance despite broken promises is basically a Lefty Liberal attitude I don't like. You're too old for to act the Prodigal Son part.

    Replies: @donut, @donut

  16. @Dr. X
    Steve, you should have included the second half of JackOH's response:

    I’ve known any number of skilled white and blue collar folks who refuse to re-enter their fields because the pay isn’t proportional to the skill and commitment they need to bring to those jobs. They’d rather take early retirement, work flea markets, take on low-commitment retail work, so they don’t get ripped off by some bullpuckey employer. There’s something deeply wrong here at a primal, visceral level.
     
    I can wholeheartedly agree with that. I was perusing some job listings lately and I was appalled at some of the wages being offered. Some examples: Cow milker starting at 3 a.m., $9.70/hour. Truck driver to move rigs around a rail yard, overnight shift until 4 a.m., $12/hour. Licensed electrician -- licensed, to make sure your house doesn't burn to the ground!!!-- $15/hour.

    And THIS ONE, from a local craigslist, has to be seen to be believed:

    WE ARE LOOKING FOR EXPERIENCED MORTGAGE FIELD SERVICE INSPECTORS BUT WILL TRAIN THE RIGHT PERSON. PAY IS FOR COMPLETED INSPECTION ON PROPERTIES IN FORECLOSURE, BANKRUPTCY OR OTHER DISTRESSED SITUATIONS. YOU ARE GIVEN ASSIGNMENTS IN YOUR GEOGRAPHIC AREA OF COVERAGE. REPORTS MUST BE ACCURATE, REQUIRE PHOTOS AND MUST BE DONE WITHIN GIVEN TIME FRAMES. YOU MUST HAVE HIGH SPEED INTERNET ACCESS, AND A SMARTPHONE PLEASE SEND A BRIEF NOTE OR RESUME TO THIS POSTING.

    ****Must be organized, self motivated, and dependable, be able to walk in and around vacant houses getting in and out of your vehicle several times a day, have a reliable vehicle, and be willing to drive in all weather, smart phone, laptop, and high speed internet needed****

    $5.50 per house, approximately 100-200 jobs per month.
     
    Yep... $5.50 per inspection!!!! Welfare actually DOES pay better than work!!!

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @pyrrhus, @Dieter Kief, @Pericles

    Wow! I sold Cub Scout cookies back in the ’50s and made more than that per hour.

  17. @Portlander
    Yeah, billionaire entrepreneurs would never covertly conspire to create a wage shortage among employees like it's some sort of zero-sum game between the employees and a connected set of very large shareholders and upper management. That's crazy talk.

    Everyone knows we have to drive down wages to stay competitive in the global marketplace, or India and China will come to dominate in these critical fields. It's for the good of the country. Only a Trumpkin would question the honesty and (P)rogressive motives of Silicon Valley's tech billionaires.

    Replies: @Cortes, @Forbes

    You need only refer to the God of Free Entreprise, a certain Adam Smith, on the combinations of capitalists… do the search.

  18. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Distant_Mirror

    Back in the horrendous 14th century, in the wake of the Black Death, reluctance to improve living standards for the lower classes produced some very, ahem, interesting outcomes…

    Not sure if Barbara Tuchman counts as a swivel eyed nutcase.

  19. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    More quotes from Adam Smith. I don’t think he would have just ditched the white working class.

    The liberal reward of labour, therefore, as it is the necessary effect, so it is the natural symptom of increasing national wealth. The scanty maintenance of the labouring poor, on the other hand, is the natural symptom that things are at a stand, and their starving condition that they are going fast backwards.

    Is this improvement in the circumstances of the lower ranks of the people to be regarded as an advantage or as an inconveniency to the society? The answer seems at first sight abundantly plain. Servants, labourers and workmen of different kinds, make up the far greater part of every great political society. But what improves the circumstances of the greater part can never be regarded as an inconveniency to the whole. No society can surely be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable. It is but equity, besides, that they who feed, cloath and lodge the whole body of the people, should have such a share of the produce of their own labour as to be themselves tolerably well fed, cloathed and lodged.

  20. Anonymous • Disclaimer says: • Website

    The flipside is that paying employees too well prevents you from keeping them:

    ” Artificial Intelligence technical talent with F-you money do not hesitate to say F-you and leave for their own startups ”

    http://www.nextbigfuture.com/2017/02/artificial-intelligence-technical.html

    For the past year, Google’s car project has been a talent sieve, thanks to leadership changes, strategy doubts, new startup dreams and rivals luring self-driving technology experts. Also, key talent had enough accumulated compensation so that they were no longer dependent on continuing salaries.

    Early staffers had an unusual compensation system that awarded supersized payouts based on the project’s value. By late 2015, the numbers were so big that several veteran members didn’t need the job security anymore, making them more open to other opportunities, according to people familiar with the situation. Two people called it “F-you money.”

    • Replies: @Olorin
    @Anonymous


    The flipside is that paying employees too well prevents you from keeping them:
     
    I don't buy your line of response based on having heard constantly through the 1980s, 1990s, and Aughts in the Bay Area/Silicon Valley and other tech zones that we were now in the glorious new age of permatemping for all.

    Therefore workers shouldn't expect long term jobs but take what they can get when they can get it.

    In my experience in and around permatemping, when someone leaves a position it's not "F-you," it's that they got poached by another company. And the number one rule of getting yourself poached?

    Make sure you have a job, and employers will be beating down your door, trying to poach you.

    But other than that...:

    Also, key talent had enough accumulated compensation so that they were no longer dependent on continuing salaries.
     

    Yeah, that's a real nightmare since we all know that money, like debt, exists solely as chains for the masses.

    Or as a mortgage lender said to me in a moment of drunken honesty, "I hate people like you. Who in your 40s make 50% to 100% down payments on modest first houses then live in them for 20 or more years. My job is to get you in debt and keep you there. What people like you do is a kind of financial terrorism."

    , @Pericles
    @Anonymous

    I'm surprised the market for these people isn't more like that of professional athletes. E.g., you sign a contract of a given duration for a given compensation, etc. Maybe this is prevented by some sort of labor regulations?

  21. @Anonymous
    A lot of it is which skills are appreciated and compensated for and which are not.

    Pharmacists are very well compensated, even though the six year education they receive (at great expense) is gross overkill for the typical Walmart or corner drug store pillcop.

    By contrast, true toolmakers are undercompensated. It takes two to four years to make a true journeyman machinist and probably six years to make a good all around machinist into a journeyman toolmaker. Consequently, no one really wants to apply for the few toolmaker apprenticeships as exist, which further makes the companies that need them decide that "no one is interested" and then refuse to support apprenticeship programs.

    Companies also anticipate that CAD/CAM and 3D printing will eliminate the need for toolmakers of the old line persuasion. In fact, at first they did reduce the need somewhat-you can 3D print patterns and core box patterns, applying shrink rules in software-but the low hanging fruit opportunities are now largely gone. When you need a toolmaker now, you're going to need one twenty years from now, and indeed until we have real Star Trek transporter technology.

    Replies: @Carbon blob, @Jonathan Mason

    “Pharmacists are very well compensated, even though the six year education they receive (at great expense) is gross overkill for the typical Walmart or corner drug store pillcop.”

    Pharmacists are very well compensated *because* the education they receive is gross overkill. Doubly true for general practicioners. Gotta be able to pay off those loans…

    A lot of doctors are going to be shocked when machines put half of them out of work in 20 years.

  22. @Anonymous
    A lot of it is which skills are appreciated and compensated for and which are not.

    Pharmacists are very well compensated, even though the six year education they receive (at great expense) is gross overkill for the typical Walmart or corner drug store pillcop.

    By contrast, true toolmakers are undercompensated. It takes two to four years to make a true journeyman machinist and probably six years to make a good all around machinist into a journeyman toolmaker. Consequently, no one really wants to apply for the few toolmaker apprenticeships as exist, which further makes the companies that need them decide that "no one is interested" and then refuse to support apprenticeship programs.

    Companies also anticipate that CAD/CAM and 3D printing will eliminate the need for toolmakers of the old line persuasion. In fact, at first they did reduce the need somewhat-you can 3D print patterns and core box patterns, applying shrink rules in software-but the low hanging fruit opportunities are now largely gone. When you need a toolmaker now, you're going to need one twenty years from now, and indeed until we have real Star Trek transporter technology.

    Replies: @Carbon blob, @Jonathan Mason

    Pharmacists are very well compensated, even though the six year education they receive (at great expense) is gross overkill for the typical Walmart or corner drug store pillcop.

    This is sort of true, however the licensed pharmacist is the person in charge of the shop and most of the grunt work of pill counting and packaging is done by pharmacy “technicians” who are paid much, much less. A pharmacist is required to interpret doctor’s prescriptions, make phone calls to doctors tactfully telling them they goofed, be knowledgeable about drug interactions (also done by computers) and so on, to make sure your kids get the right dosages, and to ensure compliance with rules governing storage and handling of sensitive, delicate, addictive, or dangerous substances.

    A Walmart pharmacy is a pretty high volume operation, but obviously does not require the level of technical expertise a hospital pharmacist may require when there are calls for general anesthetics, chemotherapy drugs, intravenous medications and fluids, pediatric and neonatal dosage, rattlesnake antivenin, and so on.

    I am not a pharmacist, but I play one at home.

    • Replies: @Thea
    @Jonathan Mason

    A lot of the pill counting is done by robots & has been for at least 20 years at some chains.

    I wouldn't call pharmacists over educated. They need to know what medicine combos will kill you. Patients will go to different doctors & forget to mention what the other prescribed. They usually go to one pharmacy however.

    Replies: @David Davenport, @Bill Jones

  23. @newrouter
    @Steve Sailer

    If each "job" takes about an hour(travel time, inspection, data generation) that's $5.50/hr.

    Replies: @Dr. X

    Deduct your vehicle depreciation, fuel, insurance, smart phone and high speed Internet, and you’d be paying them at least $5.50 an hour to work.

    • Replies: @PiltdownMan
    @Dr. X


    Deduct your vehicle depreciation, fuel, insurance, smart phone and high speed Internet, and you’d be paying them at least $5.50 an hour to work.
     
    That's the Uber model of business.
    , @Olorin
    @Dr. X

    That's the WalMart model. Pay a nominal salary that doesn't cover or barely covers the expenses of having the job...and let the taxpayers fill in with welfare benefits.

    Had an archery buddy who went to work for WalMart as a second job when the wife got "laid off" from her trades job. He drove 90 miles round trip for the job. Made no sense to me--in my household we spreadsheet all driving at 50 cents per mile and balance that against any/all car use.

    After taxes, etc., he wasn't making $45 a shift. So his employer hooked him up with food and other welfare programs. He kept working there till the car needed thousands of dollars in repairs. Which he couldn't afford, so he lost his job. At one point he confided that he was nevertheless glad, because it "broke down his reluctance to get benefits."

    Huzzah.

  24. @Prof. Woland
    There is a general rule in business, Pay does not motivate employees, it just keeps them from leaving." People are intrinsically motivated especially any in knowledge based work. If you have a lazy / lousy employee you need to fire them asap. It is a big mistake to think they will change their habits after getting a raise. They won't. Salespeople are somewhat an exception to that. That is why it is always better to pay them on commissions rather than on salary in case you hire the proverbial dog that won't hunt.

    Replies: @antipater_1, @PiltdownMan

    “There is a general rule in business, Pay does not motivate employees, it just keeps them from leaving.”

    That same business rule applies to upper management also – correct?

    • LOL: PiltdownMan
  25. One of the most encouraging facets of last November was dying white America turning, finally, on rich people and their rich organizations and spitting in THEIR faces, for once.

    Maybe they thought they were doing that, and Trump certainly encouraged them to think that, but I’m not reassured by the cabinet choices which seem top heavy with m/billionaires and generals. I have to wonder whether in the name of “returning the government to you, the people,” Trump has essentially crafted a military-industrial complex government. (And by Trump I mean his advisors. I credit Trump with more sincerity in his campaign than Hillary could summon. The overall goal, it seems to me, was to get him elected and then his handlers could then enact their real goals. What those are is still not entirely clear, but they seem to have something to do with getting the administrative state off the backs of the rich. Or am I missing something here?)

    • Replies: @Pericles
    @Laugh Track

    I don't quite get it. Are you advancing the thesis that Bannon and Miller are plants of the Silicon Valley billionaire set or something?

    Replies: @Laugh Track

  26. Sailer needs to refine and popularize new terms “oligarchic surplus” and” GSDG–grand social deficits from globalization…..what do our OM 0oligarphic masters gain from their devious public policy and what does the legacy middle class lose?

    What is our rate of deprecation and who benefits and by how much?

  27. @Prof. Woland
    There is a general rule in business, Pay does not motivate employees, it just keeps them from leaving." People are intrinsically motivated especially any in knowledge based work. If you have a lazy / lousy employee you need to fire them asap. It is a big mistake to think they will change their habits after getting a raise. They won't. Salespeople are somewhat an exception to that. That is why it is always better to pay them on commissions rather than on salary in case you hire the proverbial dog that won't hunt.

    Replies: @antipater_1, @PiltdownMan

    Henry Ford thought the opposite, though the real story is more nuanced and complicated. This is a good article

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2012/03/04/the-story-of-henry-fords-5-a-day-wages-its-not-what-you-think/#441e8d2766d2

    Interesting to learn of this:

    The bonus came with character requirements and was enforced by the Socialization Organization. This was a committee that would visit the employees’ homes to ensure that they were doing things the “American way.” They were supposed to avoid social ills such as gambling and drinking. They were to learn English, and many (primarily the recent immigrants) had to attend classes to become “Americanized.” Women were not eligible for the bonus unless they were single and supporting the family. Also, men were not eligible if their wives worked outside the home.

    • Replies: @Forbes
    @PiltdownMan

    Additionally, the story of Henry Ford's $5 a day wages was that due to the work being boringly mindless that the turnover was so high, vastly higher wages were necessary to keep workers on the job--otherwise the quality defects were so large as to make the cars unsaleable. Apparently, before raising wages, half the assembly line workers would quit after one day on the job--causing production SNAFUs.

    The fiction that Ford paid wages such that the employees could afford the product was an invention after-the-fact, i.e. an effect of the wages paid, not a cause of the pay level.

  28. @Dr. X
    @newrouter

    Deduct your vehicle depreciation, fuel, insurance, smart phone and high speed Internet, and you'd be paying them at least $5.50 an hour to work.

    Replies: @PiltdownMan, @Olorin

    Deduct your vehicle depreciation, fuel, insurance, smart phone and high speed Internet, and you’d be paying them at least $5.50 an hour to work.

    That’s the Uber model of business.

  29. @Jonathan Mason
    @Anonymous


    Pharmacists are very well compensated, even though the six year education they receive (at great expense) is gross overkill for the typical Walmart or corner drug store pillcop.
     
    This is sort of true, however the licensed pharmacist is the person in charge of the shop and most of the grunt work of pill counting and packaging is done by pharmacy "technicians" who are paid much, much less. A pharmacist is required to interpret doctor's prescriptions, make phone calls to doctors tactfully telling them they goofed, be knowledgeable about drug interactions (also done by computers) and so on, to make sure your kids get the right dosages, and to ensure compliance with rules governing storage and handling of sensitive, delicate, addictive, or dangerous substances.

    A Walmart pharmacy is a pretty high volume operation, but obviously does not require the level of technical expertise a hospital pharmacist may require when there are calls for general anesthetics, chemotherapy drugs, intravenous medications and fluids, pediatric and neonatal dosage, rattlesnake antivenin, and so on.

    I am not a pharmacist, but I play one at home.

    Replies: @Thea

    A lot of the pill counting is done by robots & has been for at least 20 years at some chains.

    I wouldn’t call pharmacists over educated. They need to know what medicine combos will kill you. Patients will go to different doctors & forget to mention what the other prescribed. They usually go to one pharmacy however.

    • Replies: @David Davenport
    @Thea

    I wouldn’t call pharmacists over educated. They need to know what medicine combos will kill you. Patients will go to different doctors & forget to mention what the other prescribed. They usually go to one pharmacy however

    They usually go to one pharmacy where a diligent pharmacist makes sure that the patient gets appropriate pharmaceuticals? Then why is there a continuing problem of drug abusers getting hold of superfluous and excessive pharmacy-issued drugs?

    Obviously, in the near future there will be a cloud-based database available to all pharmaciesof all prescriptions issued by all physicians to all patients. That database should also have records of all prescription drugs manufactured and sold to all pharmacies.

    That will solve the problem of doctoring shop around different docs for overlapping 'scrips.

    Except for a few remaining compounding and specialty pharmacies, there won't be much need for credentialed pharmacists.

    Why my animus against pharmacists? They add to the cost for health for all Americans, "scrip abusers or not. Also, in the existing American system, pharmacists are failing to solve the 'scrip drug abuse problem, because pharmacists don't know about all the pharmacies elling drugs to 'scrip abusers.

    , @Bill Jones
    @Thea

    "I wouldn’t call pharmacists over educated. They need to know what medicine combos will kill you. Patients will go to different doctors & forget to mention what the other prescribed. They usually go to one pharmacy however."

    It could all be replaced by a smart phone app.

  30. @donut
    Sailer , I wouldn't blame you for banning me after my last crack . Well where would I go what would I do ? I would promise to change my ways , but that would just be another promise broken , and God knows I've broken enough promises . Since I can't send flowers I will send this :

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ck1UqU_HZ0g

    What with you being a gopher and all .

    Replies: @donut, @David Davenport

    Love is as kind as a piece of cheese in a mouse trap .

  31. 1778019

    This, and the piece from Jennifer Rubin, have finally convinced me that the seismic shift is complete. Once upon a time, we’d hear them say that everyone on earth is an American; some of them just haven’t gotten here yet.

    Now it’s clear that one group is excluded: Americans. Specifically, of course, the people who built this country and made it great. Everyone is welcome to America… Except Americans.

    Trump couldn’t be more right about the MSM presstitutes: they’re the sworn enemy of the (real) American people.

  32. @donut
    Sailer , I wouldn't blame you for banning me after my last crack . Well where would I go what would I do ? I would promise to change my ways , but that would just be another promise broken , and God knows I've broken enough promises . Since I can't send flowers I will send this :

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ck1UqU_HZ0g

    What with you being a gopher and all .

    Replies: @donut, @David Davenport

    Well where would I go what would I do ? I would promise to change my ways , but that would just be another promise broken , and God knows I’ve broken enough promises . Since I can’t send flowers I will send this :

    Dough Nuts:

    I like your sea tales — actual sea tales –about your younger days, but otherwise you’re not the sharp wit that you seem to think you are.

    Your plea for evermore tolerance despite broken promises is basically a Lefty Liberal attitude I don’t like. You’re too old for to act the Prodigal Son part.

    • Replies: @donut
    @David Davenport

    "sharp wit " You are right , you have caught me out . I have only pretensions to being sharp or witty .With a tiny bit of knowledge I puff my self up . I only stumble across a pearl by accident . Sea Tales I have plenty of . Give me a day or two to think of one . "despite broken promises"
    I think I said I would never keep my promises . As for "Prodigal Son" I woke up one morning with the embers of the campfire burning low . The two of them having shoved off in the night to better futures . What might have thrown me off was that I thought that a mother should love her son and a father raise him . More fool I . Before you judge me , well you think about it . Did your mommy and your Daddy love you ? Well the sad fact is that is that in more than 15 years my poor Granny took me on reluctantly . I would rather be born into a pack of wolves .

    Replies: @donut

    , @donut
    @David Davenport

    " You’re too old for to act the Prodigal Son part." Let's see can a man ever be too old to accept God's mercy ?

  33. @Thea
    @Jonathan Mason

    A lot of the pill counting is done by robots & has been for at least 20 years at some chains.

    I wouldn't call pharmacists over educated. They need to know what medicine combos will kill you. Patients will go to different doctors & forget to mention what the other prescribed. They usually go to one pharmacy however.

    Replies: @David Davenport, @Bill Jones

    I wouldn’t call pharmacists over educated. They need to know what medicine combos will kill you. Patients will go to different doctors & forget to mention what the other prescribed. They usually go to one pharmacy however

    They usually go to one pharmacy where a diligent pharmacist makes sure that the patient gets appropriate pharmaceuticals? Then why is there a continuing problem of drug abusers getting hold of superfluous and excessive pharmacy-issued drugs?

    Obviously, in the near future there will be a cloud-based database available to all pharmaciesof all prescriptions issued by all physicians to all patients. That database should also have records of all prescription drugs manufactured and sold to all pharmacies.

    That will solve the problem of doctoring shop around different docs for overlapping ‘scrips.

    Except for a few remaining compounding and specialty pharmacies, there won’t be much need for credentialed pharmacists.

    Why my animus against pharmacists? They add to the cost for health for all Americans, “scrip abusers or not. Also, in the existing American system, pharmacists are failing to solve the ‘scrip drug abuse problem, because pharmacists don’t know about all the pharmacies elling drugs to ‘scrip abusers.

  34. There certainly is no shortage of human capital in the USA, on an absolute basis.

    The USA is the THIRD MOST POPULOUS COUNTRY ON THE PLANET. Let that sink in for a moment. We’re also the only country that ever sent man to the moon, and we did that BEFORE letting in tons of Mexicans and “refugees” and all those other “hard workers.” We are the country with the best schools and universities, at least, judging by where the rich send their children.

    We don’t need any immigration. Period. We have all the human capital we will ever need, and are on some of the most resource-rich land on the planet. USA is capable of pretty close to full economic self-sufficiency right now, with just the right policy changes. All those idiots getting “studies” degrees can pick our lettuce.

    The current environment is anti-American and benefits only the top 1% of 1% who have the most capital and outsource the jobs, at the expense of Americans. The “pay shortage” exists almost entirely because of the immigration zeitgeist, and Trump is changing that.

  35. @David Davenport
    @donut

    Well where would I go what would I do ? I would promise to change my ways , but that would just be another promise broken , and God knows I’ve broken enough promises . Since I can’t send flowers I will send this :

    Dough Nuts:

    I like your sea tales -- actual sea tales --about your younger days, but otherwise you're not the sharp wit that you seem to think you are.

    Your plea for evermore tolerance despite broken promises is basically a Lefty Liberal attitude I don't like. You're too old for to act the Prodigal Son part.

    Replies: @donut, @donut

    “sharp wit ” You are right , you have caught me out . I have only pretensions to being sharp or witty .With a tiny bit of knowledge I puff my self up . I only stumble across a pearl by accident . Sea Tales I have plenty of . Give me a day or two to think of one . “despite broken promises”
    I think I said I would never keep my promises . As for “Prodigal Son” I woke up one morning with the embers of the campfire burning low . The two of them having shoved off in the night to better futures . What might have thrown me off was that I thought that a mother should love her son and a father raise him . More fool I . Before you judge me , well you think about it . Did your mommy and your Daddy love you ? Well the sad fact is that is that in more than 15 years my poor Granny took me on reluctantly . I would rather be born into a pack of wolves .

    • Replies: @donut
    @donut

    Now having caught me out and post confession , say something . Stevie is flying his Freak flag high . I am flying my 48 star American flag high .

    Replies: @William Badwhite

  36. Or am I missing something here?)

    My attitude is, Trump’s not perfect, but he is a step in the right direction, a forerunner, more like a political-cultural John the Baptizer instead of the Messiah.

    Furthermore, Trump never advertised himself to be a “Disarmament Now” kind of guy. You’re incorrectly projecting your Utopian wishes onto Trump. Fewer foreign entanglements and wars is not necessarily the same as a weaker US military.

  37. @San Fernando Curt
    And while we're at it - when did we become "dying white America?" More importantly, when did we start accepting it from third-rate gas-bags like Brooks? Once we were cutting-edge demographic - of the world, really. Dammit: We put men on the moon and landed cameras on Mars. Now, in estimation of our Davos visionaries, we're imminently disposable. And we're to accept that conclusion, since any doubt, any show of monstrous self-interest on our part is yet another vast human atrocity chalked up to whitey. There are so many - real though exaggerated, valid though imaginary.

    I believe - guessing here - that we didn't change at all. Our ruling class did, becoming an elite that devotedly despises us as they would cockroaches and head lice. One of the most encouraging facets of last November was dying white America turning, finally, on rich people and their rich organizations and spitting in THEIR faces, for once.

    The longer this "dying white America" garbage goes on, the more sinister it becomes. Implication is inescapable that one day perception will become project - and that dying will be hurried along by more decisive means.

    Replies: @Kyle McKenna, @ben tillman

    They have near-complete control of the mass media, which Steve calls ‘the megaphone’ and I call ‘the production of truth’.

    That’s how they got the erstwhile majority of this country to accede and assist in its own demise.

    Just this evening I was skimming Google News to see what the Establishment Media was up to, and came across an article asking why all the white people in MSM entertainment are depicted as the good guys, and all the POCs as bad guys.

    Yet they claim we’re the ones disconnected from reality. I realize that the two competing narratives will never meet, will further diverge, and will ultimately result in something very unpleasant.

    I just never thought I’d see an important political figure, much less the President of the USA, actually call out the Evil Empire of the MSM for what it is. I’m glad to be alive.

    • Agree: San Fernando Curt
  38. Anonymous [AKA "Bagram Bob"] says:

    I’m a licensed electrician working in ME for DoD contractors. I am required to do continuing ed to keep up my licenses along with having served a 4 year apprenticeship(now 5) . An HSE (Health Safety, Environmental) specialist makes the same money and has to have a high school diploma and 1 year of relevant experience. What’s wrong with this picture?

  39. @Dr. X
    @newrouter

    Deduct your vehicle depreciation, fuel, insurance, smart phone and high speed Internet, and you'd be paying them at least $5.50 an hour to work.

    Replies: @PiltdownMan, @Olorin

    That’s the WalMart model. Pay a nominal salary that doesn’t cover or barely covers the expenses of having the job…and let the taxpayers fill in with welfare benefits.

    Had an archery buddy who went to work for WalMart as a second job when the wife got “laid off” from her trades job. He drove 90 miles round trip for the job. Made no sense to me–in my household we spreadsheet all driving at 50 cents per mile and balance that against any/all car use.

    After taxes, etc., he wasn’t making $45 a shift. So his employer hooked him up with food and other welfare programs. He kept working there till the car needed thousands of dollars in repairs. Which he couldn’t afford, so he lost his job. At one point he confided that he was nevertheless glad, because it “broke down his reluctance to get benefits.”

    Huzzah.

  40. @Anonymous
    The flipside is that paying employees too well prevents you from keeping them:

    " Artificial Intelligence technical talent with F-you money do not hesitate to say F-you and leave for their own startups "

    http://www.nextbigfuture.com/2017/02/artificial-intelligence-technical.html

    For the past year, Google's car project has been a talent sieve, thanks to leadership changes, strategy doubts, new startup dreams and rivals luring self-driving technology experts. Also, key talent had enough accumulated compensation so that they were no longer dependent on continuing salaries.

    Early staffers had an unusual compensation system that awarded supersized payouts based on the project's value. By late 2015, the numbers were so big that several veteran members didn't need the job security anymore, making them more open to other opportunities, according to people familiar with the situation. Two people called it "F-you money."
     

    Replies: @Olorin, @Pericles

    The flipside is that paying employees too well prevents you from keeping them:

    I don’t buy your line of response based on having heard constantly through the 1980s, 1990s, and Aughts in the Bay Area/Silicon Valley and other tech zones that we were now in the glorious new age of permatemping for all.

    Therefore workers shouldn’t expect long term jobs but take what they can get when they can get it.

    In my experience in and around permatemping, when someone leaves a position it’s not “F-you,” it’s that they got poached by another company. And the number one rule of getting yourself poached?

    Make sure you have a job, and employers will be beating down your door, trying to poach you.

    But other than that…:

    Also, key talent had enough accumulated compensation so that they were no longer dependent on continuing salaries.

    Yeah, that’s a real nightmare since we all know that money, like debt, exists solely as chains for the masses.

    Or as a mortgage lender said to me in a moment of drunken honesty, “I hate people like you. Who in your 40s make 50% to 100% down payments on modest first houses then live in them for 20 or more years. My job is to get you in debt and keep you there. What people like you do is a kind of financial terrorism.”

  41. @Dr. X
    Steve, you should have included the second half of JackOH's response:

    I’ve known any number of skilled white and blue collar folks who refuse to re-enter their fields because the pay isn’t proportional to the skill and commitment they need to bring to those jobs. They’d rather take early retirement, work flea markets, take on low-commitment retail work, so they don’t get ripped off by some bullpuckey employer. There’s something deeply wrong here at a primal, visceral level.
     
    I can wholeheartedly agree with that. I was perusing some job listings lately and I was appalled at some of the wages being offered. Some examples: Cow milker starting at 3 a.m., $9.70/hour. Truck driver to move rigs around a rail yard, overnight shift until 4 a.m., $12/hour. Licensed electrician -- licensed, to make sure your house doesn't burn to the ground!!!-- $15/hour.

    And THIS ONE, from a local craigslist, has to be seen to be believed:

    WE ARE LOOKING FOR EXPERIENCED MORTGAGE FIELD SERVICE INSPECTORS BUT WILL TRAIN THE RIGHT PERSON. PAY IS FOR COMPLETED INSPECTION ON PROPERTIES IN FORECLOSURE, BANKRUPTCY OR OTHER DISTRESSED SITUATIONS. YOU ARE GIVEN ASSIGNMENTS IN YOUR GEOGRAPHIC AREA OF COVERAGE. REPORTS MUST BE ACCURATE, REQUIRE PHOTOS AND MUST BE DONE WITHIN GIVEN TIME FRAMES. YOU MUST HAVE HIGH SPEED INTERNET ACCESS, AND A SMARTPHONE PLEASE SEND A BRIEF NOTE OR RESUME TO THIS POSTING.

    ****Must be organized, self motivated, and dependable, be able to walk in and around vacant houses getting in and out of your vehicle several times a day, have a reliable vehicle, and be willing to drive in all weather, smart phone, laptop, and high speed internet needed****

    $5.50 per house, approximately 100-200 jobs per month.
     
    Yep... $5.50 per inspection!!!! Welfare actually DOES pay better than work!!!

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @pyrrhus, @Dieter Kief, @Pericles

    To quote Seve Sailer’s Taki’s Mag article about birthrates in Paris:

    “Wow, just wow.”

    A licensed electrician gets 15 $ per hour. That’s what – a tenth of your usual doctor/lawyer?

  42. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Why pay your employees when you can give them frozen yogurt?

    “Elon Musk Offers Disgruntled Tesla Employees ‘Free Frozen Yogurt’ To Appease Calls For Unionization”

    http://uproxx.com/news/elon-musk-tesla-frozen-yogurt/

    Hence a leaked email obtained by BuzzFeed and others, in which Musk counters claims of poor working conditions at the Fremont campus. Also, he appeals to his employees’ collective desire for a better work-life balance with amenities like “free frozen yogurt carts” and a new “roller coaster” that will enable faster travel in and around the work place. No, seriously:

    “There will also be little things that come along like free frozen yogurt stands scattered around the factory and my personal favorite: a Tesla electric pod car roller coaster (with an optional loop the loop route, of course!) that will allow fast and fun travel throughout our Fremont campus, dipping in and out of the factory and connecting all the parking lots,” Musk wrote. “It’s going to get crazy good.”

    • Replies: @Pericles
    @Anonymous

    In a press release, Musk also promised that Tesla's next dividend as well as management bonus would consist of frozen yoghurt "in a choice of fantastic flavors".

  43. Thanks to Steve for the props, and, ditto, commenters.

    Dr. X, Olorin, and a few other folks point to a real phenomenon. There’s a cost to the employee to work. The cost may be quantifiable (commuting distance, work clothes, much more), or qualitative (unclear managerial authority, unreliable colleagues, dubious employer reputation). That may partly explain why talented people will not re-enter the fields for which they’re trained and experienced. More money sometimes isn’t more enough money.

  44. @David Davenport
    @donut

    Well where would I go what would I do ? I would promise to change my ways , but that would just be another promise broken , and God knows I’ve broken enough promises . Since I can’t send flowers I will send this :

    Dough Nuts:

    I like your sea tales -- actual sea tales --about your younger days, but otherwise you're not the sharp wit that you seem to think you are.

    Your plea for evermore tolerance despite broken promises is basically a Lefty Liberal attitude I don't like. You're too old for to act the Prodigal Son part.

    Replies: @donut, @donut

    ” You’re too old for to act the Prodigal Son part.” Let’s see can a man ever be too old to accept God’s mercy ?

  45. @Anonymous
    See supply-side economics, which has dominated since the Reagan years:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supply_side_economics

    Supply-side economics is a macroeconomic theory[1][2] that argues economic growth can be most effectively created by investing in capital and by lowering barriers on the production of goods and services. It was started by Robert Mundell (who won the 1999 Nobel Prize for Economics) during the Ronald Reagan administration. According to supply-side economics, consumers will then benefit from a greater supply of goods and services at lower prices; furthermore, the investment and expansion of businesses will increase the demand for employees and therefore create jobs.
     
    Pay is regarded as one of these barriers to production and thus economic growth.

    Replies: @DJF

    Except for CEO and Stock owner pay, that is vital to economic growth

  46. I do have sea stories , what do you care to hear about ? The time I watched the Challenger blow up at lunch time ? Or my friend Michelle who taught me a lot and is still my friend from 1984 till now . Or maybe you would like to hear about my Black Aphrodite , Wendy and her long , long shapely legs that led up to that fine black ass that you could serve a drink on . I’ve seen the Northern Lights going north . I’ve been in love in the RP . And between Alaska and Hawaii I saw the most glorious awe inspiring blaze of stars . You , where ever you live never saw that . I’ve seen green water washing over the bow and laughed at Gods peevishness . I am a hope to die seaman , I do not fear God or death . I got the clap in Barcelona and the crabs as well . I’ve been to Cairo and seen the Pyramids . On Christmas day in the 80’s in the I saw the Redwoods , their majestic tops vanishing in the fog with a group of German tourists . The Giant Sequoias I have seen . The Acropolis and so much more . I have seen the blazing terror of God and shrugged it off .

  47. @donut
    @David Davenport

    "sharp wit " You are right , you have caught me out . I have only pretensions to being sharp or witty .With a tiny bit of knowledge I puff my self up . I only stumble across a pearl by accident . Sea Tales I have plenty of . Give me a day or two to think of one . "despite broken promises"
    I think I said I would never keep my promises . As for "Prodigal Son" I woke up one morning with the embers of the campfire burning low . The two of them having shoved off in the night to better futures . What might have thrown me off was that I thought that a mother should love her son and a father raise him . More fool I . Before you judge me , well you think about it . Did your mommy and your Daddy love you ? Well the sad fact is that is that in more than 15 years my poor Granny took me on reluctantly . I would rather be born into a pack of wolves .

    Replies: @donut

    Now having caught me out and post confession , say something . Stevie is flying his Freak flag high . I am flying my 48 star American flag high .

    • Replies: @William Badwhite
    @donut

    shhh...you're tiresome and not at all funny. Shhhhhhh

  48. There is not, there never has been, and there never can be, a labor “shortage.” The very idea is absurd.

    What is prosperity? Prosperity is when employers who want to hire skilled workers at poverty wages, get no takers. This does not mean that there is a shortage of labor. It means that labor is valuable relative to demand, and the economy will adjust to valuable labor the same way that it adjusts to valuable gold and Manhattan real estate. Saying that you want the government to eliminate a labor ‘shortage’ by importing third-world refugees, is the same as saying that you want the government to eliminate propserity.

    It’s called the market. Funny how businessmen who have no problem jacking up prices when their product is in short supply, scream that the government must intervene and drive wages down when labor is in relatively short supply. Because the challenge of dealing with market forces is apparently only for little people.

    Although for some employers widespread poverty can be very profitable. Perhaps these people should move to Bangladesh, where they can have all the cheap labor their stone hearts desire. Of course places like Bangladesh are miserable and corrupt and unstable, but then, in the long run if you want unlimited dirt-cheap labor it’s a package deal.

    http://globuspallidusxi.blogspot.com/2014/01/the-lie-of-labor-shortage.html

    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
    @TG

    Excellent comment. ("Agree" button seems not to be working.)

  49. According to Ngram, usage of the terms “depressed wages” and “poor pay” peaked around 1980.

  50. @Dr. X
    Steve, you should have included the second half of JackOH's response:

    I’ve known any number of skilled white and blue collar folks who refuse to re-enter their fields because the pay isn’t proportional to the skill and commitment they need to bring to those jobs. They’d rather take early retirement, work flea markets, take on low-commitment retail work, so they don’t get ripped off by some bullpuckey employer. There’s something deeply wrong here at a primal, visceral level.
     
    I can wholeheartedly agree with that. I was perusing some job listings lately and I was appalled at some of the wages being offered. Some examples: Cow milker starting at 3 a.m., $9.70/hour. Truck driver to move rigs around a rail yard, overnight shift until 4 a.m., $12/hour. Licensed electrician -- licensed, to make sure your house doesn't burn to the ground!!!-- $15/hour.

    And THIS ONE, from a local craigslist, has to be seen to be believed:

    WE ARE LOOKING FOR EXPERIENCED MORTGAGE FIELD SERVICE INSPECTORS BUT WILL TRAIN THE RIGHT PERSON. PAY IS FOR COMPLETED INSPECTION ON PROPERTIES IN FORECLOSURE, BANKRUPTCY OR OTHER DISTRESSED SITUATIONS. YOU ARE GIVEN ASSIGNMENTS IN YOUR GEOGRAPHIC AREA OF COVERAGE. REPORTS MUST BE ACCURATE, REQUIRE PHOTOS AND MUST BE DONE WITHIN GIVEN TIME FRAMES. YOU MUST HAVE HIGH SPEED INTERNET ACCESS, AND A SMARTPHONE PLEASE SEND A BRIEF NOTE OR RESUME TO THIS POSTING.

    ****Must be organized, self motivated, and dependable, be able to walk in and around vacant houses getting in and out of your vehicle several times a day, have a reliable vehicle, and be willing to drive in all weather, smart phone, laptop, and high speed internet needed****

    $5.50 per house, approximately 100-200 jobs per month.
     
    Yep... $5.50 per inspection!!!! Welfare actually DOES pay better than work!!!

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @pyrrhus, @Dieter Kief, @Pericles

    It sounds like they want you to pay for your car and mobile internet to make the reports too. I guess dental is out of the question?

  51. @Anonymous
    The flipside is that paying employees too well prevents you from keeping them:

    " Artificial Intelligence technical talent with F-you money do not hesitate to say F-you and leave for their own startups "

    http://www.nextbigfuture.com/2017/02/artificial-intelligence-technical.html

    For the past year, Google's car project has been a talent sieve, thanks to leadership changes, strategy doubts, new startup dreams and rivals luring self-driving technology experts. Also, key talent had enough accumulated compensation so that they were no longer dependent on continuing salaries.

    Early staffers had an unusual compensation system that awarded supersized payouts based on the project's value. By late 2015, the numbers were so big that several veteran members didn't need the job security anymore, making them more open to other opportunities, according to people familiar with the situation. Two people called it "F-you money."
     

    Replies: @Olorin, @Pericles

    I’m surprised the market for these people isn’t more like that of professional athletes. E.g., you sign a contract of a given duration for a given compensation, etc. Maybe this is prevented by some sort of labor regulations?

  52. @Laugh Track

    One of the most encouraging facets of last November was dying white America turning, finally, on rich people and their rich organizations and spitting in THEIR faces, for once.
     
    Maybe they thought they were doing that, and Trump certainly encouraged them to think that, but I'm not reassured by the cabinet choices which seem top heavy with m/billionaires and generals. I have to wonder whether in the name of "returning the government to you, the people," Trump has essentially crafted a military-industrial complex government. (And by Trump I mean his advisors. I credit Trump with more sincerity in his campaign than Hillary could summon. The overall goal, it seems to me, was to get him elected and then his handlers could then enact their real goals. What those are is still not entirely clear, but they seem to have something to do with getting the administrative state off the backs of the rich. Or am I missing something here?)

    Replies: @Pericles

    I don’t quite get it. Are you advancing the thesis that Bannon and Miller are plants of the Silicon Valley billionaire set or something?

    • Replies: @Laugh Track
    @Pericles


    I don’t quite get it. Are you advancing the thesis that Bannon and Miller are plants of the Silicon Valley billionaire set or something?
     
    Certainly not of the Silicon Valley set, who are lockstep liberals (in their own interests, of course). And not of Soros or the Kochs. But what's with the CEO of Exxon in the cabinet? How's that "populist" or economic nationalist, for that matter?
  53. @Anonymous
    Why pay your employees when you can give them frozen yogurt?

    "Elon Musk Offers Disgruntled Tesla Employees ‘Free Frozen Yogurt’ To Appease Calls For Unionization"

    http://uproxx.com/news/elon-musk-tesla-frozen-yogurt/

    Hence a leaked email obtained by BuzzFeed and others, in which Musk counters claims of poor working conditions at the Fremont campus. Also, he appeals to his employees’ collective desire for a better work-life balance with amenities like “free frozen yogurt carts” and a new “roller coaster” that will enable faster travel in and around the work place. No, seriously:

    “There will also be little things that come along like free frozen yogurt stands scattered around the factory and my personal favorite: a Tesla electric pod car roller coaster (with an optional loop the loop route, of course!) that will allow fast and fun travel throughout our Fremont campus, dipping in and out of the factory and connecting all the parking lots,” Musk wrote. “It’s going to get crazy good.”
     

    Replies: @Pericles

    In a press release, Musk also promised that Tesla’s next dividend as well as management bonus would consist of frozen yoghurt “in a choice of fantastic flavors”.

  54. what the heck? Sailer mentions propaganda and rich people in the same sentence? He may lose his conservadad status if he keeps this up…

  55. The migrants actually do become at least ten times more productive in America. The loss to the American worker (pay shortage) is trivial compared to the gain in global utility, which is the only perspective that economists (articulating the consensus among rich people and rich organizations) recognize as legitimate.

    • Replies: @Forbes
    @Sean


    The loss to the American worker (pay shortage) is trivial compared to the gain in global utility
     
    How are you measuring 'global utility'? In "utils"? Just like in the textbook?
    , @ben tillman
    @Sean


    The migrants actually do become at least ten times more productive in America. The loss to the American worker (pay shortage) is trivial compared to the gain in global utility . . . .
     
    Taxing the productive to subsidize the unproductive -- a/k/a destroying human progress -- decreases global utility in the long run.
  56. At least some American businesses are fighting this scourge of wage inflation:

    The Great Lakes Paperclip Company

  57. Central bankers do not want wage inflation. Central bankers want the supply of labor to be plentiful in order to keep wages from rising. The Governor of the Bank of England admitted that wages are kept low by the increased supply of labor provided by mass immigration. This stuff ain’t rocket science.

    We do not have capitalism in the United States, nor anywhere else on the globe. We have central banker shysterism. The main feature of central banker shysterism is a debt-based fiat currency system.

    Central bankers in Sweden, to name a nation in the news, have been playing around with negative interest rates. The privately-controlled Federal Reserve Bank only went so far as a ZERO interest rate policy. Negative interest rates was thought too much for the average American to accept or understand.

    The Fed’s ZERO interest rate policy is made possible by the ZEROTH AMENDMENT. Mass immigration reduces wage inflation. The Fed is able to conjure trillions of dollars out of thin air with few worries about those conjured dollars causing wage inflation because mass immigration keeps the supply of labor high and wages low.

  58. @Thea
    @Jonathan Mason

    A lot of the pill counting is done by robots & has been for at least 20 years at some chains.

    I wouldn't call pharmacists over educated. They need to know what medicine combos will kill you. Patients will go to different doctors & forget to mention what the other prescribed. They usually go to one pharmacy however.

    Replies: @David Davenport, @Bill Jones

    “I wouldn’t call pharmacists over educated. They need to know what medicine combos will kill you. Patients will go to different doctors & forget to mention what the other prescribed. They usually go to one pharmacy however.”

    It could all be replaced by a smart phone app.

  59. @Pericles
    @Laugh Track

    I don't quite get it. Are you advancing the thesis that Bannon and Miller are plants of the Silicon Valley billionaire set or something?

    Replies: @Laugh Track

    I don’t quite get it. Are you advancing the thesis that Bannon and Miller are plants of the Silicon Valley billionaire set or something?

    Certainly not of the Silicon Valley set, who are lockstep liberals (in their own interests, of course). And not of Soros or the Kochs. But what’s with the CEO of Exxon in the cabinet? How’s that “populist” or economic nationalist, for that matter?

  60. @PiltdownMan
    @Prof. Woland

    Henry Ford thought the opposite, though the real story is more nuanced and complicated. This is a good article

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2012/03/04/the-story-of-henry-fords-5-a-day-wages-its-not-what-you-think/#441e8d2766d2

    Interesting to learn of this:


    The bonus came with character requirements and was enforced by the Socialization Organization. This was a committee that would visit the employees' homes to ensure that they were doing things the "American way." They were supposed to avoid social ills such as gambling and drinking. They were to learn English, and many (primarily the recent immigrants) had to attend classes to become "Americanized." Women were not eligible for the bonus unless they were single and supporting the family. Also, men were not eligible if their wives worked outside the home.
     

    Replies: @Forbes

    Additionally, the story of Henry Ford’s $5 a day wages was that due to the work being boringly mindless that the turnover was so high, vastly higher wages were necessary to keep workers on the job–otherwise the quality defects were so large as to make the cars unsaleable. Apparently, before raising wages, half the assembly line workers would quit after one day on the job–causing production SNAFUs.

    The fiction that Ford paid wages such that the employees could afford the product was an invention after-the-fact, i.e. an effect of the wages paid, not a cause of the pay level.

  61. @Portlander
    Yeah, billionaire entrepreneurs would never covertly conspire to create a wage shortage among employees like it's some sort of zero-sum game between the employees and a connected set of very large shareholders and upper management. That's crazy talk.

    Everyone knows we have to drive down wages to stay competitive in the global marketplace, or India and China will come to dominate in these critical fields. It's for the good of the country. Only a Trumpkin would question the honesty and (P)rogressive motives of Silicon Valley's tech billionaires.

    Replies: @Cortes, @Forbes

    You’ll notice that the so-called billionaire entrepreneurs aren’t paying the settlement out of their own pocket–it’s coming out of the shareholders’ pockets. Granted, the BEs are shareholders, but by running a public company, they’ve effectively off-loaded these liabilities to be shared with their partner shareholders.

    • Replies: @Portlander
    @Forbes

    I noticed, but good of you to bring it up. :) And same happened with Wall St's settlements w/ gov following mortgage melt-down.

  62. @Sean
    The migrants actually do become at least ten times more productive in America. The loss to the American worker (pay shortage) is trivial compared to the gain in global utility, which is the only perspective that economists (articulating the consensus among rich people and rich organizations) recognize as legitimate.

    Replies: @Forbes, @ben tillman

    The loss to the American worker (pay shortage) is trivial compared to the gain in global utility

    How are you measuring ‘global utility’? In “utils”? Just like in the textbook?

  63. @TG
    There is not, there never has been, and there never can be, a labor "shortage." The very idea is absurd.

    What is prosperity? Prosperity is when employers who want to hire skilled workers at poverty wages, get no takers. This does not mean that there is a shortage of labor. It means that labor is valuable relative to demand, and the economy will adjust to valuable labor the same way that it adjusts to valuable gold and Manhattan real estate. Saying that you want the government to eliminate a labor 'shortage' by importing third-world refugees, is the same as saying that you want the government to eliminate propserity.

    It's called the market. Funny how businessmen who have no problem jacking up prices when their product is in short supply, scream that the government must intervene and drive wages down when labor is in relatively short supply. Because the challenge of dealing with market forces is apparently only for little people.

    Although for some employers widespread poverty can be very profitable. Perhaps these people should move to Bangladesh, where they can have all the cheap labor their stone hearts desire. Of course places like Bangladesh are miserable and corrupt and unstable, but then, in the long run if you want unlimited dirt-cheap labor it's a package deal.

    http://globuspallidusxi.blogspot.com/2014/01/the-lie-of-labor-shortage.html

    Replies: @Harry Baldwin

    Excellent comment. (“Agree” button seems not to be working.)

  64. @San Fernando Curt
    And while we're at it - when did we become "dying white America?" More importantly, when did we start accepting it from third-rate gas-bags like Brooks? Once we were cutting-edge demographic - of the world, really. Dammit: We put men on the moon and landed cameras on Mars. Now, in estimation of our Davos visionaries, we're imminently disposable. And we're to accept that conclusion, since any doubt, any show of monstrous self-interest on our part is yet another vast human atrocity chalked up to whitey. There are so many - real though exaggerated, valid though imaginary.

    I believe - guessing here - that we didn't change at all. Our ruling class did, becoming an elite that devotedly despises us as they would cockroaches and head lice. One of the most encouraging facets of last November was dying white America turning, finally, on rich people and their rich organizations and spitting in THEIR faces, for once.

    The longer this "dying white America" garbage goes on, the more sinister it becomes. Implication is inescapable that one day perception will become project - and that dying will be hurried along by more decisive means.

    Replies: @Kyle McKenna, @ben tillman

    And while we’re at it – when did we become “dying white America?”

    11/22/63?

  65. @donut
    @donut

    Now having caught me out and post confession , say something . Stevie is flying his Freak flag high . I am flying my 48 star American flag high .

    Replies: @William Badwhite

    shhh…you’re tiresome and not at all funny. Shhhhhhh

  66. @Sean
    The migrants actually do become at least ten times more productive in America. The loss to the American worker (pay shortage) is trivial compared to the gain in global utility, which is the only perspective that economists (articulating the consensus among rich people and rich organizations) recognize as legitimate.

    Replies: @Forbes, @ben tillman

    The migrants actually do become at least ten times more productive in America. The loss to the American worker (pay shortage) is trivial compared to the gain in global utility . . . .

    Taxing the productive to subsidize the unproductive — a/k/a destroying human progress — decreases global utility in the long run.

  67. @Forbes
    @Portlander

    You'll notice that the so-called billionaire entrepreneurs aren't paying the settlement out of their own pocket--it's coming out of the shareholders' pockets. Granted, the BEs are shareholders, but by running a public company, they've effectively off-loaded these liabilities to be shared with their partner shareholders.

    Replies: @Portlander

    I noticed, but good of you to bring it up. 🙂 And same happened with Wall St’s settlements w/ gov following mortgage melt-down.

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