Only about 3% of All Workers at any one time make the Minimum Wage

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 24th, 2014

Week in Review

If you’ve heard the left talk about the urgent need to raise the minimum wage you would think half the nation is languishing under pauper’s wages.  While rich business owners are lighting their cigars with twenty dollar bills.  As they rest their feet on the back of a minimum wage worker.  But it’s not quite that bad (see The Cost of the Minimum Wage: $20 for a Burger posted 4/24/2014 on E21).

McDonald’s high turnover rate shows that most of its workers are using the job as a stepping stone to other careers or as a transition position between jobs. One in every eight U.S. workers has been a member of McDonald’s 750,000 person workforce. Economics21 director Diana Furchtgott-Roth entered the workforce scooping ice cream at Baskin Robbins at about $3 an hour. She never intended to have a career in ice cream…

Ninety-seven percent of American workers make more than minimum wage, not out of the kindness of employers’ hearts but because this is the only way that employers can retain employees. Low-skill workers need jobs, wages, and work experience too, and if the minimum wage rises, these people will be priced out of a job.

So only about 3% of all workers at any one time make the minimum wage.  And the 3% from 10 years ago are most likely included in the 97% of workers today.  Because minimum wage jobs are entry-level jobs.  And what makes them so valuable is their low pay.  For these workers gain some skills and work experience.  And then get the hell out and join the 97%.  And go on to do great things.  Even become CEOs and directors.  Which they never would have done had they stayed at those minimum wage jobs.  Which they might have had if the minimum wage was a more comfortable living wage.

www.PITHOCRATES.com

Share

Tags: , , , , , ,

Women and Men in the Exact Same Jobs are earning the Exact Same Income

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 13th, 2014

Week in Review

The Democrats are running out of ways to buy votes.  Which they desperately need as more people suffer the ravages of Obamacare.  Who will be entering the voting booth angry this fall.  Looking for someone to blame for taking away the health insurance and doctors they liked and wanted to keep.  And being that Obamacare was passed on purely partisan lines (no Republicans voted for it) the Democrats are sweating bullets as the midterm elections approach.  So they turn to an oldie but goldie.  The pay gap lie (see What pay gap? Young women out-earn men in cities, GOP pundit claims posted 4/8/2014 on PolitiFact).

We watched the debate play out between conservative pundit Sabrina Schaeffer and liberal pundit Elizabeth Plank on MSNBC’s The Reid Report, and again later between former White House adviser Anita Dunn and conservative pundit Genevieve Wood on CNN’s The Lead with Jake Tapper.

“If you compare women to men in the same job with similar background, similar experiences that they bring to the table, the wage gap all but disappears,” Wood said. “Women have made great strides. Instead of celebrating that, this is a political year, the White House wants to portray this war on women…”

PolitiFact has given you the nuts and bolts about the 77 cents statistic — you can read the two most important works in this area here and here. Basically, there is a wage gap, but it tends to disappear when you compare women and men in the exact same jobs who have the same levels of experience and education.

Well, there it is.  Equal pay for equal work.  When men and women have the same education, experience and skills doing the same job there is no pay gap.  Case closed.  In fact, single women without children are actually earning more than single men.  Which is the key to this argument.  For a woman’s earnings fall with interruptions in her career as she takes time off to have children.  Or works reduced hours to care for her children.  This is where the pay gap comes in.  When you compare apples and oranges.  Comparing women who take time off or cut back their working hours or take lower paying jobs that allow her to spend more time with her children to men who don’t.  Because they’re single.  Or are married and have a wife who takes time off to spend more time with their children.

In fact, women are making great strides.  At the expense of men (see Is the Gender Pay Gap Closing or Has Progress Stalled? by Josh Zumbrun posted 4/11/2014 on The Wall Street Journal).

“There’s no question that one of the things that ‘77 cents’ doesn’t emphasize is that there’s been enormous gains,” said Harvard University economist Claudia Goldin.

Looking at the data above shows three clear trends that have emerged since the 1970s:

1) The spread between the sexes narrowed between 1970 and 2000. It has made little progress since.

2) Men have made no income gains in over four decades. Adjusted for inflation, men earn less today than they did in 1972.

3) Women continued to make gains until the recession began. Whatever forces slowed the income growth of men from 1970 to 2000 did not halt the income growth of women.

Simple economics.  Supply and demand.  Men were making more and more every year.  Until the Sexual Revolution.  When women began to flood the labor market.  With more labor available the cost of labor fell.  So as women gained education and experience the supply of educated and experienced workers grew.  Allowing employers to pay less for these now more plentiful educated and experienced workers.  Which is why as women enjoyed income gains men saw their income decline when adjusted for inflation.  Simple economics.  Supply and demand.

A long time ago in high school chemistry I remember my lab partner did not complete a homework assignment that was part 1 of a 2-part grade.  There was a homework part.  And a lab part.  Being a nice person I asked the teacher if we could share the grade on the homework part (which I had received an ‘A’ on.  Or a 4.0).  The teacher was more than generous.  He said, “Sure.  A 4.0 divided by 2 equals a 2.0 for each.”  Or, a ‘C’ for each.  Suffice it to say my lab partner did not get a 2.0 on the homework that went undone.

This is why men are earning less.  Because women have entered the workforce.  The revenue businesses use to pay their employees didn’t increase like the number of educated and experienced workers did.  So the amount of available revenue for pay and benefits was shared by more people.  Each getting less than a man did before the Sexual Revolution (when adjusted for inflation).  So instead of a single paycheck supporting a family these days it now takes two paychecks.  Because men are making less today since women have lowered the price of labor.  By increasing the supply of labor.  Not because they are paid less.  But because there are so many workers for so few jobs that businesses don’t have to pay as much as they once did to hire people.  Which is more to blame for pressure on wages than any pay gap.

www.PITHOCRATES.com

Share

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Knowledge + Experience + Reason = Republican Votes

Posted by PITHOCRATES - February 13th, 2014

Politics 101

The Democrat Party is the Cool Uncle that buys Booze and Cigarettes for his Nieces and Nephews

People characterize the Republicans as being a bunch of old fogies.  Out of touch.  Who don’t have a clue about the world today.  Unlike their children do.  Who are wise beyond their years.  For they know there is nothing really bad with underage drinking and smoking.  Smoking marijuana.  Or doing other drugs.  And there is nothing wrong with casual sex.  Sexting.  Or nude selfies.

This is why the children of old fogies like the Democrat Party.  Because the Democrats get them.  Unlike their parents.  Their parents tell them they shouldn’t stay out late, drink, smoke, do drugs or have sex.  While the Democrats decriminalize marijuana and work to decriminalize other drugs.  Provide free birth control.  And abortion without parental notification.  Making the Democrat Party the cool uncle that buys booze and cigarettes for his nieces and nephews.  So is it any wonder that the youth vote goes Democrat?

The ironic thing, though, is that these old fogies were once young themselves.  And some were pretty wild in their youth, too.  But once they became parents things changed.  For when it’s their daughter they don’t want her being objectified.  Encouraged to explore her sexuality by having so much casual sex that she catches a sexually transmitted disease or gets pregnant.  Especially if they did in their youth.  Which is the last thing they want for their little girl.  Who is and will forever remain their little girl.

Keynesian Economics conditioned People to accept that Government knows Best

This is the rule.  Not the exception.  As kids grow up fighting their parents they reach a point in life where they realize that their parents were right all along.  That if they had only spent more time on their homework and less time partying things would have turned out better.  Life may have been less fun in the short-run but much better in the long-run.  They’d had an earlier start in their career.  A career with better pay and benefits.  They could have bought a house sooner.  Met someone to marry and start a family with sooner.  Instead of finding themselves at 25 buried under student loan debt for a degree that can’t get them a job.  And a decade or so of hooking up having conditioned men to shun any serious commitment.  Leading their daughters to turn to serial dating and online dating.  As they struggle to find someone else who has grown up, too.

This is what the old fogies know.  That their kids don’t.  You get wiser with age.  Thanks to education.  And experience.  Two things the young just don’t have.  And never will.  Because by the time they grow wise from education and experience they are no longer kids.  But well on their way to ‘old fogery’.  Which is, of course, a problem for the Democrat Party.  For a wise voting public will not help them win elections.  As their Keynesian economic policies have nothing but a long record of failure.  Giving us the Great Depression, the stagflation of the 1970s, the dot-com recession and the Great Recession.  To name a few bad economic times Keynesian economics have given us.  Things older people know from education and experience.  But the kids voting Democrat don’t.

Keynesian economics ushered in the era of Big Government.  And did something the Socialists could not.  Conditioned people to accept that government knows best.  Especially young people.  Uneducated and inexperienced young people.  Despite the Democrats’ horrible record concerning things economic.  Because of this record the Democrats use lies and deceit to attack free market capitalism.  That economic system that worked better than any other.  To get people who knew no better to mistrust free market capitalism.  And ask for the government to fetter unfettered capitalism.  To make the world a fairer place.

The Democrats use Public Education to teach our Kids to Distrust Capitalism and to Trust Government

It sounds good to the inexperienced and uneducated.  Because it feels good to think in terms of fairness.  And if there is one thing the young have are emotions.  They like to use their hearts.  Not their brains.  As they are idealistic and naïve.  Unlike those old fogies who are realists.  They can’t be fooled or swayed by the Democrat lies because they have learned and experienced a lot in their long lives.  And heard the same old Democrat lies all through those long lives.  Which is why the Democrats work so hard on the youth vote.  The War on Women, their lax drug attitudes, birth control, abortion, gay rights…all of these are to get the young to think in terms of fairness.  To tug on their heartstrings.  To get them emotional.  And keep them emotional.  As well as ignorant.

The more ignorant people are the easier it is to lie to them.  Anyone who knows the history of Western Civilization will understand how life became better for people as we moved closer to free market capitalism.  Anyone who knows classical economics will understand how thrift, savings, free trade, sound money, etc., made America the number one economy in the world.  While the Keynesian policies of today are threatening to knock America out of that number one spot.  People who understand these things are not going to vote Democrat.  Which is why the Democrats work hard to keep people from learning these things.  By constantly lying about them.  And not teaching them in the institutions they control.  Our public schools.  And our institutions of higher education.

The Republican equation for winning votes is a difficult equation.  Knowledge + Experience + Reason = Republican Votes.  It’s difficult because the Democrats have long controlled public education.  Thanks to their friends in the teacher unions.  And their friends running our institutions of higher education.  Which spend more time teaching our kids to distrust capitalism.  And to trust government.  To feel more.  And think less.  To live for today.  And not worry about tomorrow.  Making it very difficult for the Republicans to get young voters to vote for them.  As they are unknowledgeable (thanks to our public schools), inexperienced (because they are young) and prefer emotion over reason (because feeling is more fun than thinking).  Which is why old fogies (the knowledgeable, experienced and thinking) vote Republican and the youth vote does not.

www.PITHOCRATES.com

Share

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Minimum Wage, Obamacare and Unintended Consequences

Posted by PITHOCRATES - February 3rd, 2014

Economics 101

The Affordable Care Act greatly increased the Cost of Unskilled and Inexperienced Workers

The Affordable Care Act has changed the employment landscape.  In particular it changed a lot of people from full-time employees to part-time employees.  Especially at entry-level jobs.  Or minimum wage jobs.  Jobs that may be physically demanding but require minimum skill or experience.  Making them ideal for unskilled and inexperienced teenagers entering the workforce.

Not everyone, though, is a teenager in these minimum wage, entry-level jobs.  Some adults find themselves in them, too.  Older adults.  Single parents.  Widows.  Widowers.  People whose circumstances have changed.  And who don’t have the skills or experience for other employment.  So they find themselves struggling to get by on their entry-level, minimum wage job.

Then the Affordable Care Act (i.e., Obamacare) made their struggle more difficult.  For it required employers to offer health insurance to anyone working 30 hours or more per week.  Greatly increasing the cost of unskilled and inexperienced teenagers.  And their other entry-level, minimum wage workers.  So they did the only logical thing.  They cut their hours below 30 hours per week.  Shrinking the paychecks of both teenager.  And those who are struggling to live on their minimum wage paychecks.

The Unintended Consequences of Obamacare changed Full-Time Workers to Part-Time

We call it unintended consequences.  When a government program to solve one problem creates another problem.  In an attempt to give people with insufficient income to buy health insurance Obamacare forced their employers to provide health insurance for them.  This caused employers to cut hours for these employees.  To keep the cost of their entry-level, minimum wage workers from rising.  Thus reducing their insufficient income even further.

The rollout of Obamacare did not go well.  In the effort to give people affordable health insurance a lot of people actually lost the health insurance they liked and wanted to keep.  Another unintended consequence.  (Unless the Democrats designed the Affordable Care Act to destroy the private health insurance industry as many believe then things are going exactly as planned as people may soon start demanding that the government step in and provide national health care).  Causing a bit of a problem for the political party that gave us Obamacare.  The Democrats.  In the upcoming midterm elections.

It’s one thing causing people with individual insurance policies to lose their health insurance that may or may not have voted for you.  But to further impoverish the impoverished working those entry-level, minimum wage jobs was another.  For thanks to endless class warfare the Democrats put the impoverished into the Democrat camp.  So they needed to do something to replace the income they lost when Obamacare changed them from full-time to part-time employees.  And chose further class warfare.  By forcing those ‘rich’ employers to pay their entry-level, minimum wage workers a ‘living wage’.  By increasing the federal minimum wage.

Obama wants to Raise the Minimum Wage to replace Earnings lost when Obamacare made Full-Time Workers Part-Time

In the State of the Union address President Obama said he wanted to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10.  But why $10.10?  The current federal minimum wage is $7.25.  And if you earned that working 40 hours each week for 50 weeks (assuming you take 2 weeks off over the year for personal reasons, holidays and vacations) that comes to $14,500 per year.  Raising the minimum wage to $10.10 brings those annual earnings to $20,200.  Or $5,700 more at the higher wage rate.  It’s a lot of money.  But probably not enough for someone to quit a second job.  For if someone is working 20 hours a week at a second job that would come to an additional $7,250 a year.  If they work 30 hours a week in a second job that would come to an additional $10,875 a year.  And some people have to work 70 hours or more a week to approach a ‘living wage’ when they don’t have the skills or experience for a job that pays more than an entry-level, minimum wage job.  So raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour probably won’t solve everyone’s financial woes.  But it will do something else.

If people who were working 40 hours a week went to working only 29 hours a week after Obamacare they would lose 11 hours of pay.  At the current minimum wage that comes to $79.75 less in their paycheck each week.  A significant amount for someone struggling to make it on something less than a ‘living wage’.  But look at what happens when we raise the minimum wage to $10.10 for those 29 hours.  If we multiply the additional $2.85 per hour to those 29 hours that comes to an additional $82.65 a week.  Which is a little more than the $79.75 they lost when Obamacare cut their hours.  So it would appear that the new push to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 is to put the money the Obama administration took out of these workers’ paychecks back into their paychecks before the fall midterm elections.  So they still won’t be angry and vote Republican because of what the Democrats and their Affordable Care Act did to their paychecks.

They want to sound compassionate to those with insufficient income by wanting to raise the minimum wage to replace what they took away from them with Obamacare.  To give these people a ‘living wage’.  For the current minimum wage is actually worth about 20% less than it was during the Reagan administration.  When it was $3.35.  Wait a minute, you say.  How can $7.25 be worth less than $3.35?  Because of the Democrats’ embrace of Keynesian economics.  The government wants to print money to spend.  To provide economic activity when the private sector is not.  And when President Nixon decoupled the dollar from gold in 1971 they ramped up those printing presses.  And have been depreciating the dollar ever since.  Because they made the dollar worth less and less over the years the purchasing power of the federal minimum wage fell.  Even when people were earning more dollars.  And raising the minimum wage won’t address this problem.  Only voting the Keynesians out of office will.

www.PITHOCRATES.com

Share

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

FT207: “Raising the minimum wage only discourages upward mobility.” -Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - January 31st, 2014

Fundamental Truth

McDonald’s is one of the Few Places that will hire an Unskilled and Inexperienced Person

Teenagers want a lot of things.  A car.  A smartphone.  Nice clothes.  Popularity.  Fame.  But one thing you’ve never heard a teenager says is this.  “I love working at McDonald’s.  I wish I could work here forever.  If only they would raise the minimum wage so I could.”

A lot of teenagers work at McDonald’s.  Why?  Because it’s one of the few places that will hire an unskilled and inexperienced person.  Because a job at McDonald’s is an entry-level job for a teenager new to the workforce.  A place they can earn a paycheck without having the ability to do anything.  Where they are taught everything they need to know on the job.  While McDonald’s pays them to learn.

Some teens will work enthusiastically at McDonald’s.  Enjoying their first job.  And earning their first paycheck.  So they don’t have to depend on Mom and Dad to buy them what they want anymore.  While others hate these jobs.  And refer to them derisively as ‘hamburger flipper jobs’.  They don’t want them.  And those who do work there do so reluctantly as they are a lot like that teenager.  They are unskilled and inexperienced in doing anything else but an entry-level job.

There is a Direct Correlation between Paycheck Size and Skills & Experience

Some teens work while in high school.  Some go on to college and work at another McDonald’s on campus.  Or at some other entry-level job that requires no skills or experience.  So they can learn workplace skills.  Gain working experience.  And learn the responsibilities that come with having a job.  Others get bored or want more money.  And use their newly acquired skills and experience to get another job.  After graduating from high school.  Perhaps entering an apprentice program in the skilled trades.  Or becoming a line-cook somewhere.  Gaining more experience.  And earning more money.  To become an electrician.  Or go to culinary school and become a chef.  Even open his or her own business.

These people are moving up.  Which is why we call this upward mobility.  They go from an entry-level job to one requiring more skills and experience that pays better.  They may go to night school or college to gain skills that will help them get a job requiring greater skill and/or experience.  Which pays even more.  Allowing them to look to and plan for their future.  Acquiring education, skills and experience along the way that opens the door to bigger paychecks.  Which you need to raise a family.  Have a nice house.  A new car.  Nice vacations.  To save for your children’s college education.  And your retirement.

You can’t have many of these things, though, if you never leave that entry-level job.  If you stay in that entry-level job you’ll never be an engineer, a doctor, a pilot, a millwright, a pipefitter, an accountant, a hotelier, an architect, etc.  And you’ll never get the larger paycheck that comes with these professions.  For there is a direct correlation between paycheck size and skills & experience.  The more you have the more you’re worth.  It’s just that simple.  Which is why it is a good thing that entry-level jobs pay the lowest wages.  For it encourages upward mobility.  Mastering the skills at one level.  And then moving on to master new skills at a higher level.  For we want people to move on so there are pharmacists to fill our prescriptions.  Dentists to fix our cavities.  Engineers to build and maintain our cellular networks.  Aircraft mechanics to keep our planes safe.  Etc.  None of which we would have if no one left their entry-level job.

Staying in an Entry-Level Job for 5 Years could put you 5 Years behind your Earning Potential

The Democrats always want to raise the minimum wage.  To get votes by giving people more stuff.  In the case of a higher minimum wage it’s a bigger paycheck.  They’ll cite the single mother of 3 struggling while working 2 jobs to support her children.  And say it’s just not teenagers working these entry-level jobs.  These are single mothers and single fathers who are barely making it.  And we need to give them a living wage.  But paying people more for these entry-level jobs is the worst thing you can do for them.  For it removes the incentive to leave these jobs.  Jobs that these employees don’t love to begin with.

President Obama wants to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour.  Others want to raise it higher.  Some would even like to make it $40,000 or $50,000 a year.  But imagine the affect of that on kids graduating high school who want a lot of things that Mom and Dad won’t buy for them.  If you can have a lot of money now instead of working hard to earn that same amount of money later what do you think these kids and young adults will do?  A lot of them will take that bigger paycheck now.  And maybe work there 3-5 years enjoying life.  Flipping those burgers.  While some of their former classmates from high school will have started a career.

Raising the minimum wage only discourages upward mobility.  Life is short.  Time passes fast.  Staying in an entry-level job for 5 years could put you 5 years behind your earning potential.  It could change where you live.  And what school your kids go to. Because that smaller paycheck will limit your options in life.  A higher minimum wage may sound nice.  But it would be the death knell of any hope or aspiration you ever had.  People stay in jobs they hate because they don’t like leaving their comfort zone.  If they have decent pay and benefits they will endure some of the worst jobs ever (bad boss, office politics, a coworker they can’t stand, dealing with unruly customers, etc.) because it is easier and less scary than finding a new job.  These people are never happy.  They never truly enjoy life.  And they just dread Mondays.  Raising the minimum wage will only condemn more people to this fate.

www.PITHOCRATES.com

Share

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Corporate Politics, Bureaucracy and Obamacare

Posted by PITHOCRATES - September 5th, 2013

Politics 101

(Originally published April 4th, 2013)

You won’t find many Union Workers filling out TPS Reports

In the movie Office Space we see how frustrating it is to work in a big corporation.  The office politics.  The bureaucracy.  The policies and procedures.  The frustration of having to answer to 8 different bosses after making a mistake.   Bumping heads with management at all levels.  And the mind-numbing frustration of getting your paperwork right.

Anyone who has ever worked in an office no doubt had their own TPS report moments.  And dealt with their own Bill Lumbergh.  So we laugh at poor Peter.  For we’ve been there.  And know his frustration.  For there is nothing worse than trying to work through a company’s bureaucracy.  Or dealing with layers of management that often appeared to be working at cross purposes.  And suffering under bad bosses.

Which is the whole purpose of labor unions.  To protect their workers from a business’ management.  And bad bosses.  Because unions say if they don’t management will just abuse their workers.  So unions shield workers from these unfeeling and inefficient bureaucracies.  Who are always introducing new policies and procedures to improve business efficiencies.  Things like TPS reports.  Which unions say only makes things worse for the worker.  So you won’t find many union workers filling out TPS reports.  Just the non-union office workers.

Dealing with a Bureaucrat is like a Grizzled Sergeant with 20 Years Experience reporting to a Junior Officer

Junior officers get no respect.  Comedian George Carlin served in the Air Force.  And said a common joke was to say when someone broke wind, “Captain who?”  They get no respect because they are bureaucrats.  They come out of their officer training with only book-learning.  While enlisted people have been gaining experience and learning how to do things on the job.  Then these junior officers come in with their book-learning.  And start telling these enlisted people how to do their jobs.  Despite these junior officers having never done their jobs.  Or understanding how to do their jobs.  But they will tell these people how to do their jobs better.

This is less of a problem in combat.  As junior officers typically have a short lifespan in combat.  For all the book-learning cannot replace the experience gained in actual combat.  Which is why lieutenants may command units but it is the grizzled sergeants with the combat experience that lead men into battle.  And a smart junior officer will learn everything he can from his senior sergeants.

Small business owners feel the same way about government.  For a lot of small business owners often go into business after working for someone else.  They’re like those grizzled sergeants in the military.  They’ve learned and done pretty much everything in a business.  Then decided to quit and start their own business.  And one of the first things they have to deal with is the mind-numbing bureaucracy of government at all levels.  City, county, state and federal.  A bunch of bureaucrats who never ran a business.  Who have no experience in their field.  And here they are.  Telling them how to run their businesses.  Like a junior officer out of the academy trying to tell a grizzled sergeant with 20 years experience how to do his job.

Under Obamacare Professional Bureaucrats will tell our Doctors how to administer our Health Care

In these complicated times if there is one thing everyone can agree on it’s this.  Bad managers, bosses, and officers are insufferable.  No one likes putting together ‘TPS reports’.  Or being told by 8 different bosses that they did something wrong.  And they sure don’t like people who don’t understand the first thing about their job or business telling them how they should do their job or run their business.  They especially hate people that can cite rules and regulations by chapter and verse who mete out some penalty or fine because they can’t cite those same rules and regulations by chapter and verse.

This will be the world of Obamacare.  And as much as EVERYONE hates these things at their workplace there are some who still want these same clueless bureaucrats and politicians to take over health care.  As if somehow these people who don’t know the first thing about treating sick people can do a better job than the grizzled veterans working in the health care industry.  Who spend more and more time filling out paperwork these days than actually seeing patients.  And the last thing they want is an even more bureaucratic system where they will have to report to 8 different people and agencies to treat a patient.  Where bureaucrats at the Department of Health and Human Services as well as the IRS will have their own coversheets for their ‘TPS reports’.

In the movie The Usual Suspects the character played by Kevin Spacey said, “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.”  For if you don’t fear the devil you may live a life more in line with the devil’s wishes.  Making it easier for the devil to get your soul.  Government is a little like that.  For it has a horrible track record of doing anything right.  Even in the finest military in the world the bureaucrat side of the military pays $100 for a $15.00 toilet seat.  And yet the government has tricked so many people into believing they want more government in their lives.  Even though government is nothing but the managers and bosses people hate where they work.  Bureaucrats who tell others how they should do their job by citing rules and regulations by chapter and verse.  But who really don’t know what you do.  Or how you do it.  Now these professional bureaucrats will tell our doctors how to administer our health care.  And God help you if you get sick and put the wrong coversheet on your Obamacare health care services requisition form.  Or leave an important income tax field blank.

www.PITHOCRATES.com

Share

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Corporate Politics, Bureaucracy and Obamacare

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 4th, 2013

Politics 101

You won’t find many Union Workers filling out TPS Reports

In the movie Office Space we see how frustrating it is to work in a big corporation.  The office politics.  The bureaucracy.  The policies and procedures.  The frustration of having to answer to 8 different bosses after making a mistake.   Bumping heads with management at all levels.  And the mind-numbing frustration of getting your paperwork right.

Anyone who has ever worked in an office no doubt had their own TPS report moments.  And dealt with their own Bill Lumbergh.  So we laugh at poor Peter.  For we’ve been there.  And know his frustration.  For there is nothing worse than trying to work through a company’s bureaucracy.  Or dealing with layers of management that often appeared to be working at cross purposes.  And suffering under bad bosses.

Which is the whole purpose of labor unions.  To protect their workers from a business’ management.  And bad bosses.  Because unions say if they don’t management will just abuse their workers.  So unions shield workers from these unfeeling and inefficient bureaucracies.  Who are always introducing new policies and procedures to improve business efficiencies.  Things like TPS reports.  Which unions say only makes things worse for the worker.  So you won’t find many union workers filling out TPS reports.  Just the non-union office workers.

Dealing with a Bureaucrat is like a Grizzled Sergeant with 20 Years Experience reporting to a Junior Officer

Junior officers get no respect.  Comedian George Carlin served in the Air Force.  And said a common joke was to say when someone broke wind, “Captain who?”  They get no respect because they are bureaucrats.  They come out of their officer training with only book-learning.  While enlisted people have been gaining experience and learning how to do things on the job.  Then these junior officers come in with their book-learning.  And start telling these enlisted people how to do their jobs.  Despite these junior officers having never done their jobs.  Or understanding how to do their jobs.  But they will tell these people how to do their jobs better.

This is less of a problem in combat.  As junior officers typically have a short lifespan in combat.  For all the book-learning cannot replace the experience gained in actual combat.  Which is why lieutenants may command units but it is the grizzled sergeants with the combat experience that lead men into battle.  And a smart junior officer will learn everything he can from his senior sergeants.

Small business owners feel the same way about government.  For a lot of small business owners often go into business after working for someone else.  They’re like those grizzled sergeants in the military.  They’ve learned and done pretty much everything in a business.  Then decided to quit and start their own business.  And one of the first things they have to deal with is the mind-numbing bureaucracy of government at all levels.  City, county, state and federal.  A bunch of bureaucrats who never ran a business.  Who have no experience in their field.  And here they are.  Telling them how to run their businesses.  Like a junior officer out of the academy trying to tell a grizzled sergeant with 20 years experience how to do his job.

Under Obamacare Professional Bureaucrats will tell our Doctors how to administer our Health Care

In these complicated times if there is one thing everyone can agree on it’s this.  Bad managers, bosses, and officers are insufferable.  No one likes putting together ‘TPS reports’.  Or being told by 8 different bosses that they did something wrong.  And they sure don’t like people who don’t understand the first thing about their job or business telling them how they should do their job or run their business.  They especially hate people that can cite rules and regulations by chapter and verse who mete out some penalty or fine because they can’t cite those same rules and regulations by chapter and verse.

This will be the world of Obamacare.  And as much as EVERYONE hates these things at their workplace there are some who still want these same clueless bureaucrats and politicians to take over health care.  As if somehow these people who don’t know the first thing about treating sick people can do a better job than the grizzled veterans working in the health care industry.  Who spend more and more time filling out paperwork these days than actually seeing patients.  And the last thing they want is an even more bureaucratic system where they will have to report to 8 different people and agencies to treat a patient.  Where bureaucrats at the Department of Health and Human Services as well as the IRS will have their own coversheets for their ‘TPS reports’.

In the movie The Usual Suspects the character played by Kevin Spacey said, “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.”  For if you don’t fear the devil you may live a life more in line with the devil’s wishes.  Making it easier for the devil to get your soul.  Government is a little like that.  For it has a horrible track record of doing anything right.  Even in the finest military in the world the bureaucrat side of the military pays $100 for a $15.00 toilet seat.  And yet the government has tricked so many people into believing they want more government in their lives.  Even though government is nothing but the managers and bosses people hate where they work.  Bureaucrats who tell others how they should do their job by citing rules and regulations by chapter and verse.  But who really don’t know what you do.  Or how you do it.  Now these professional bureaucrats will tell our doctors how to administer our health care.  And God help you if you get sick and put the wrong coversheet on your Obamacare health care services requisition form.  Or leave an important income tax field blank.

www.PITHOCRATES.com

Share

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

FT156: “Government needs to help us make the right decisions because we can’t…unless we’re a teen girl choosing an abortion.” —Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - February 8th, 2013

Fundamental Truth

We don’t adapt to Our Environment we adapt our Environment to Our Needs

In the springs birds mate.  The female lays eggs.  She sits on them in the nest to keep them warm.  When they hatch she feeds her babies.  The mother chases away predators that get too close to her babies.  She teaches them to fly.  And then boots them out of the nest.  Where they go off to become adult birds.  Then the mother does it all again next spring.

Birds are very smart at being birds.  And the skills they need a mother can teach her offspring in a few months.  It’s not quite the same with human offspring.  Who receive more parenting than any other animal on the planet.  For humans need about 20 years to reach full size.  And even longer to gain full maturity.  And knowledge.  Taking 12 years of public education.  Then a trade school.  Or college.  And real life experience.  Years of knowledge and experience before they can leave the nest

Birds live in their environment.  And adapt to it.  Whereas humans are far more intelligent.  We’re able to think.  And use tools.  We have grown wiser over time.  Such that we don’t adapt to our environment.  We adapt our environment to our needs.  We mastered fire.  Built shelter.  Made clothing.  We learned how to farm.  And how to domesticate animals.  We created tools.  And built machines.  Simple machines like levers and wheels.  And advanced machines like airplanes and computers.  Advancing our quality of life.  We lived longer.  And healthier.  Things birds haven’t done.  Which is why they can raise their offspring to adulthood in a few months.

At our High School Graduation we Probably Know only Half of what we will Learn in Life

Some people mature quicker.  Some gain knowledge faster than others.  Some people keep learning new knowledge.  While some specialize in one area of knowledge.  Like a skilled trade.  Or medicine.  And while focusing on mastering these areas of knowledge they may spend less time learning other things.  Like history.  Or economics.  It is a complex world.  Where highly learned and skilled people do remarkable things.  But it takes time to learn the knowledge and skills to do these remarkable things.  And there is always more knowledge to learn.  No matter how learned and skilled we become.

There is a learning curve.  We’re born with a blank slate.  We learn a lot when young.  How to eat.  Drink.  Go potty.  Dress ourselves.  Tie our shoes.  Recite the alphabet.  To talk.  To obey.  Learning the consequences of our actions.  Things to help us in school.  Where we learn the three Rs.  Reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmetic.  And how to think critically.  To solve problems.  To manage a household.  We learn history.  And rudimentary economics.  To help us live in the real world.  After we leave the nest.  Some of us get a job out of high school.  Some go to a trade school.  While others go on to college.  Or serve in the military.  And even after we’ve left the nest we still have a lot to learn.  And lot of experience to gain.  Which is why we go to trade school and college.  And the military.  To keep acquiring knowledge.  If we graphed this learning curve it would look something like this.

Average Knowledge

Note that the learning curve is steep in our youth.  Before school our parents teach us everything they can.  Then we continue our education in school.  By the time we graduate from high school our learning curve begins to flatten out a little.  As we may be settling on a career path.  And focusing on the education for that career.  But even at our high school graduation we probably know only half of what we will learn in life.  Either from further education.  Or real world experience.  Also, few of us acquire all the knowledge we have the potential to learn.  Which is why the learning curve flattens out in the 70% range.  No one can learn everything there is to learn.  But everyone can learn the maximum they have the potential to learn.  Sadly, a lot of this forgone learning is history and economics.  The kind of knowledge that makes a person less susceptible to a politician’s lies.  Explaining why so many bad politicians win elections.  And why they pass so many bad policies into law.

Young Liberals who still have so much to Learn vote as if they Know Everything

The learning curve flattens out in our twenties.  And even more in our thirties.  With our formal education complete we gain knowledge through experience.  And from studying things that interest us.  For our own enjoyment.  Or to help us make better decisions.  We read newspapers.  Watch the news on television.  Listen to AM radio.  In our forties we are well established in our careers.  And have long given up the idealism and childish pursuits of our youth.  As we are raising our own children.  Who are beginning to think they know everything.  Who don’t want to listen to their old and out of touch parents any longer.

By our fifties we have lived a long life.  And have seen a lot.  We’ve heard the same political arguments through the years.  And no longer fall for them.  We come to learn that our parents were right about a lot of things after all.  We become more conservative in our old age.  Because we’ve seen what works.  And what doesn’t.   Often times it’s always the things that are less fun that are best for us.  Of course trying to explain that to our children who know even more after earning a degree from a liberal college is next to impossible.  So we accept that they, too, will have to learn this as they raise their own family.  And get wise with age.  Like we did.

The Left labels conservatives as a bunch of old people living in the past.  Out of touch with the modern world.  Something young liberals want no part of.  So they naturally gravitate towards the Democrat Party.  These young people who still have so much to learn.  Who vote as if they know everything.  The fact that the Democrats win elections based in large part on the youth vote says a lot about the Democrat Party.  For they are the party of the uninformed voter.  Which the Democrat Party acknowledges by expanding the role of government into our private lives.  Because left to our own devices the Left believes that we won’t make good decisions.  Unless, that is, we’re a teenage girl choosing to have an abortion.  Then she is wise and knowledgeable beyond her years.

www.PITHOCRATES.com

Share

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

FT121: “As liberals gain knowledge and experience they become conservatives.” -Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - June 8th, 2012

Fundamental Truth

Carnegie and Rockefeller were able to make the World Better because of Capitalism and Free Markets

Liberals campaign hard to get the youth vote.  Before the young grow up and become responsible adults.  Lose their youthful idealism.  And their ignorance of rudimentary economics.  Kids graduating from high school don’t know much about economics.  They don’t know that JFK was a tax cutter just like Ronal Reagan.  And that those tax cuts stimulated real economic growth.  They don’t know any of this.  But they know who Al Gore is.  And will read you the riot act whenever you do anything that will increase your carbon footprint on this planet. 

Those who go on to college build on their liberal high school education.  Where they don’t learn about how Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller created the modern nation we know today.  Carnegie made steel plentiful and inexpensive.  Allowing us to build the skyscrapers in our cities.  Rockefeller made kerosene so plentiful and inexpensive that he put the whale oil industry out of business.  Saving the whales.  And gave us plentiful and inexpensive gasoline for our automobiles.  Providing fuel for our trains and planes.  Giving us the freedom to travel anywhere.  Visiting big cities like New York.  Where many of the great skyscrapers built with Carnegie steel are still standing today.

Carnegie and Rockefeller are just two entrepreneurs who changed the world.  And greatly increased our standard of living.  Who were free to make the world a better place because of capitalism and free markets.  Instead of working for a paycheck like most people do they took risks and created things.  Better steel.  And better fuel.  As well as jobs.  Lots and lots of jobs.  So people could work for a paycheck.  Why did they take these great risks?  Because the possibility of getting rich is a great incentive.  Which is why aspiring actors go to Los Angeles and starve.  Hoping to get a break.  Get discovered.  So they can become rich.   Which is why people buy lotto tickets.  To become rich.  For it appears everyone wants to get rich.  But there is a difference when people like Carnegie and Rockefeller get rich.  Everyone lives a better life when they do.  Not just the movie star or the lotto winner.

Students live College Life to the Fullest and Pursue Degrees that won’t take up too much of their Time

So what do they learn in college?  That capitalism isn’t fair.  Corporations are evil.  But communism and socialism are good.  Government intervention into the free markets is good.  And, of course, those who do learn economics only learn Keynesian economics.  The school of economics that favors government interventionism into private markets.  And that great industrialists like Carnegie and Rockefeller were greedy and exploited their workers.  While communism and socialism protected their workers.  Which is another failing of our educational system.  Students don’t learn what an abject failure communism was.  Both as an economic system.  And on human rights.  They don’t learn that.  Or that a lot of rich industrialists like Carnegie and Rockefeller spent the last years of their lives giving away the wealth they amassed.  Like some of America’s rich continue to do today.  As exemplified by Bill Gates.

No.  Their education is a poor one.  Which explains why the Indians and Chinese are passing American students by.  The goal of American public education is not to produce high test scores.  But to indoctrinate students into being good Democrat voters.  So those in the public sector unions can continue to earn more in pay and benefits than their counterparts in the private sector.  Another fact they don’t teach these young students.  They keep these students young and dumb as long as possible.  And the government helps.  By focusing on the things important to these students.  Lenient drug laws.  Birth control.  And abortion.  To make sure their first time living away from their parents is a good time.  A fun time.  And to make sure that they understand that Democrat political candidates aren’t like their parents.  Those buzz kills.  Whose favorite word in their vocabulary is ‘no’.  Not the Democrats.  They like the word ‘yes’.  As in “yes we can.”  And yes you can.  Do whatever young people with raging sex drives like to do.  And they do. 

They live college life to the fullest.  Many pursuing degrees that won’t take up too much of their time.  Taking less science and math like the Indians and the Chinese.  Because those are hard and require a lot of homework.  Instead they pursue degrees in women’s studies.  Minority studies.  Family studies.  American studies.  Communications.  Film.  Psychology.  Philosophy.  Things that are fun and have no math.  Allowing a lot of fun when outside of the classroom.  But are absolutely worthless in the high-tech economy.  The only employment opportunities for these degrees is to become a professor and teach other students these worthless degrees.

It turns out Liberalism is a Lie used to maintain a Privileged Class

So when these college graduates can’t get a job that’ll make them rich overnight they get angry.  And struggle to pay down the mountain of debt that paid for those worthless degrees.  Of course it’s not their fault.  Or the universities who sold them those worthless degrees.  It’s Wall Street’s fault.  Those evil rich people who don’t pay their fair share in taxes.  That somehow if they only paid more in taxes they could find gainful employment.

And when the young start working for a living they discover taxes.  From property taxes to payroll taxes to income taxes.  Which are a lot of taxes.  And when they start raising a family they start paying attention to what’s on television.  Which was fine when they were partying in their youth.  But somehow isn’t right now that they are parents.  They start thinking about the things they did in their youth.  And how to hide it from their kids.

And when there are ballot initiates to raise taxes to pay for budget deficits at the city and state level they pay attention to what caused these deficits.  And they don’t like what they learn.  Public sector pensions and health care benefits that are far greater than theirs.  Worse, they are not only paying for theirs (through a payroll deduction and/or lower pay) they’re paying for these generous public sector benefits via ever increasing taxes.  And they will be paying these taxes for a long time as few will be able to retire until they’re well into their sixties.  Working some 40-50 years.  While public sector retirees can enjoy their more generous benefits after only working some 20-30 years.

Which is why as liberals gain knowledge and experience they become conservatives.  Because young and dumb was fun in their youth.  But everyone has to grow up.  And learn that their parents were right.  Which is why a lot of people grow up to become conservative like their parents.  But few conservatives become liberals.  Because as it turns out liberalism is a lie.  It is just a means to maintain a privileged class.  Where life is great within the privileged class.  Where you can retire after 20-30 years and receive generous pensions and health care benefits.  But it sucks for those outside that privileged class who have to pay for it.  Which is why public education is not about test scores.  But producing good Democrat voters.  To maintain that privileged class.  Because education is in that privileged class.

www.PITHOCRATES.com

Share

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

FT90: Minimum wage jobs are entry level jobs.

Posted by PITHOCRATES - November 4th, 2011

Fundamental Truth

There is Income Disparity because it Takes a While to Get Good in Whatever you Do

Minimum wage jobs are entry level jobs.  People need to remember this.  A minimum wage job is not to raise a family on.  It’s for the children of that family to get their start in the workplace.  To help college students pay their expenses.  Or it’s simply an unskilled job for an unskilled, inexperienced worker.  So he or she can become a skilled worker.  And gain experience.

So, yes, there is income disparity.  We pay people with less skill and experience less than those with more skill and experience.  That’s why a garage band doesn’t make as much money as U2.  It takes a while to get good.  In whatever you do.

Is this income disparity bad?  No.  It provides incentive.  Because everyone wants to get rich.  U2 did.  Even became tax exiles to escape the confiscatory tax rates of their country.  Everyone wants more money.  Whether they admit it or not.  Thant’s why people buy lotto tickets.  And go to casinos.  They’re not spending money to stimulate the economy out of the goodness of their hearts.  No.  They’re trying to get rich.

If the Minimum Wage is a ‘Living Wage’ what Incentive is there to Work Harder?

So the profit motive exists.  We do things because we’re greedy.  Whatever we have we want more.  That’s why we work hard.  To earn money.  To have more.  So our kids can have more.  It’s a great system.  Because we get a lot in return for this greed.  Doctors.  Nurses.  Engineers.  Skilled trades.  And a lot of neat stuff.  Like iPads.  Smartphones.  Computers.  Cameras.  DVDs.  Buildings.  Cars.  Trains.  Airplanes.  Etc.  And we’d have none of this if the minimum wage was a ‘living wage’.  A wage to raise a family on.

If you could make, say, $75,000 a year flipping burgers at McDonalds would you go to college to become a doctor?  With massive student loan debt, the high cost of malpractice insurance, the lawsuits, the long hours, the constant reduction in Medicare reimbursements, etc., probably not.

Would you work in the skilled trades?  Spend 4 years as an apprentice?  Became a journeyman?  Then a master?  Work long and hard to master your craft only to see a kid out of high school with no skill and no experience ‘earn’ the same wage?  Probably not.  Because we just don’t voluntarily work harder if there is no financial gain.  If you don’t believe this ask some of your friends if they would work overtime without additional pay.

Raising the Minimum Wage is just a Political Ploy so Democrats can Gain Votes

You know what a higher minimum wage does?  It makes your work less valuable.  The more we pay unskilled people the smaller the income disparity gets.  And the closer skilled workers get to unskilled pay.  When there is no gap there will be no one doing the harder jobs.  Because when a janitor can earn what a doctor can earn people will want to be janitors instead of doctors.  Because it’s easier.

Raising the minimum wage is just a political ploy.  So Democrats can gain votes.  Because a higher minimum wage favors the young.  And organized labor.  Two large Democrat constituencies.  The young get more for doing less.  And have no reason NOT to stay ignorant.  Keeping them loyal Democrat voters for the indefinite future.  Whereas unions don’t have to compete against lower wages.  And without any wage competition they can enjoy the high wages the lack of competition gives.

www.PITHOCRATES.com

Share

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

« Previous Entries