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October 24, 2014

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Letter to the editor:

States, CEOs wage war on middle class

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We all know what “right-to-work state” means. It means on average, workers earn 10 percent less and unemployment is 10 percent lower.

Indiana passed such a law, and the Michigan governor has been using that law as a model. If the model is designed for employees to work for less if they want a job, then there is nothing on the horizon for the American worker. Indiana, by the way, has no empirical evidence to support the success of the new law, but that won’t stop the Michigan governor from using the line. Remember the Romney campaign adviser saying they were not going to let fact checkers get in the way of their message?

Paying workers less, together with huge CEO compensation and annual bonuses, is the goal of corporations. The decline of the middle class coincides with the decline of the unions over the past 30 years. That’s not a coincidence.

Profits are up and the workers’ salaries have been stagnant for over 30 years. Today, CEOs are paid 350 times the average worker and the income of the wealthy is up 300 percent over 30 years. Does anyone see a problem with this picture? What will it be like 30 years from now?

If corporations pay as little as possible to employees while CEOs loot profits, there will be no middle class. We’ll be left with the ever-growing gap between the wealthy and what used to be the middle class. Who or what is going to save the 98 percent of us?

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  1. This union argument is so tied to human nature.

    Initially, we had companies that abused workers and did not pay them well (human nature at work).

    Then came unions as a response and workers were treated better and paid more (human nature at work).

    Then unions went overboard with wages and benefits and contributed to making some private companies noncompetitive and those companies failed (human nature again).

    Then, having lost traction in the private sector, unions moved into a public sector (human nature again).

    Then unions went overboard with wages and benefits and contributed to governments not being able to pay all their bills (human nature again).

    Now the governments and the public in some states are beginning to try to reign in union overreach by enacting right to work laws (human nature again).

    First it was companies and management being greedy and unfair. Then it was unions doing the same. Now the pendulum is swinging again. It would be nice if everybody was a little less greedy, but I guess that's too much to ask.... of human beings.

    Michael

  2. If unions result in higher wages across the board for all workers, then prices go up for the goods and services provided to these workers. Higher wages and incomes drive up prices for the same products and services. I would argue that it is better to have the lower worker wages and the concommitant lower prices for goods and services. Rather than higher and higher union wages with higher and higher prices of goods and services. Still putting the union workers in a shortfall position for standard of spending and living.

    CarmineD

  3. If you think employees in "Right-to-Work" states are taking a hit, check out the hourly pay of Culinary Union members. Waitresses making over 10 bucks an hour (plus tips); hostesses making around 18 bucks an hour; fry cooks over 15 bucks an hour; all jobs that require little in the way of educational skills. I say good for them but quit the bellyaching about how employees are underpaid by "greedy" corporations. I've never met anyone who thought he or she was paid too much. They always wanted higher wages so they could spend more. Were they "greedy?" Nope! That's the American way. Except for the most indolent among us, we all want "more." It's in our nature, our blood and our way of life. Some, like Starr, want to use it to divide us. Don't let him. Don't be envious of what others have. It's unbecoming. This leads me to another topic: "Fat Albert" Gore and his windfall by selling his "Current TV" to a bunch of American-hating Arabs. Notice the silence on the left about it? The LV Rag ignored the story and what it says about "Fat Albert." Imagine if Geroge W., the oilman, had done something similar. The lefties would be foaming at the mouth. Think the LV Rag would have published an article or two condemning George W.? Mike Smith would have had his pen sharpened so he could draw countless biased cartoons deriding George W. Hypocrisy and leftist; they are interchangaeable words.

  4. http://pogoblog.typepad.com/pogo/2012/04...
    The above is what greed gets you. Companies killing their customers to make a buck.

    The answer to the 98% question is welfare. Currently the number of labor force participants receiving welfare is roughly equivalent to the number of workers that used to belong to unions as a percentage of the workforce.

    There is a huge spread that exists between what it costs to live in America and what people make. That spread is closed through criminal activity, welfare, charitable giving and generational wealth transfers. The biggest being welfare. There are tens of thousands of people a day signing up.

  5. http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-fina...
    The above companies employ substantial numbers of American workers. Wait-and-see how many of those workers are going to have the ability to pay the $150 trillion in medical bills that are coming due over the next 40 years. For-profit medicine is another travesty. Millions suffer because they can't afford to pay the exorbitant prices the medical industry charges for even the most basic care. According to the American dental Association 100 million Americans can no longer afford to go to the dentist.

    Going forward it's all about welfare.

  6. Bill Gates is doing his best to not only raise the limit on how many H1-B visas are issued, but to remove the limit entirely. It is ridiculous to think that there are not enough qualified programmers and engineers in this country. The sole purpose behind his desire to have a workforce that will accept a lower salary.

    In this respect, Bill Gates is no different than any of the greedy Republicans that are so hated by some, yet we never hear from those people about Gates.

  7. It's not so ridiculous. The vast majority of new hires that are taking place in the Silicon Valley are from India. This country doesn't produce nearly the brain power it needs to fulfill these high-tech positions. How much money do these guys make? A fortune! Silicon Valley is the land of the $100 million home. High-tech entrepreneurs and workers do not work for low wages.

  8. "...We all know what "right-to-work state" means..." No author, you don't know.

  9. Programmers hired on H1-B visas work for what I would call significantly less than US citizens, from what I have seen.

    The days of high-soaring salaries in the programming field are numbered, at best. There is a noticeable trend downward, due in part to the ability to a) outsource the work to code shops in India and b) bring in lower-cost labor via the H1-B.

    Thankfully there is still enough problems in dealing with the time zone difference and cultural differences that jobs are still kept here, hence the push for more H1-B slots.

    As an aside, Indian companies are now recruiting US programmers to act as the primary "face" to US clients.

  10. Jeff,

    Jim is trying to start a viable 3rd party, in part I believe because he realizes what so bothers you about the view I hold.

    We have two very poor parties. Both are active participants and enablers of the corrupted Congressional system. Both are AWOL as far as any real effort to curb deficit spending and begin to reduce the debt. Both accept contributions from wealthy and powerful special interests and then try to claim their decisions are not influenced by these same groups and people. Both support our role as world policeman and benefactor. Both place their own interests above those of the nation. Both do whatever they can to lock out any viable 3rd party from participation in Presidential debates.

    I could go on and on but why?

    I find it tragic that you and other Americans completely buy into the crap that one party or the other sells. We all have to vote but we should all hold our noses when we do and we should readily criticize each party for their horrendous performance.

    I hope Jim is successful because I do believe that if a 'viable' 3rd party can be established, 'supporters' of the Republican and Democrat parties will flee those parties in droves. I know I would flee, and quickly.

    Michael

  11. Jeff,

    No worries. I don't plan to join up with Jim. And I would request that you and I keep our back and forth on a professional and non personal basis. If you will note, I refrain from making judgments on the character and or abilities of anyone on this board and try to adhere to the rules the moderator sets out.

    You and I disagree, and that's fine. I don't judge your smarts or abilities, at least not in writing. I'd appreciate it if you'd do the same.

    With all respect,

    Michael

  12. Jeff,

    You might find the word 'equal' in my letters but not very often. The Republicans controlled the White House for 8 years and Congress for 6 of those I believe. Their responsibility for all that was wrong when Obama took office is much, much greater than the Democrats.

    My point isn't to try to shift the blame to Democrats. It is instead to point out that if an honest look is taken, the Obama administration has taken precious few real steps that will be necessary to get deficit spending under control and start to pay down the debt, which are exactly the same things that were needed under Bush, but were not done.

    Michael

  13. Motorsports,

    I read over and over again where you and other Progressives write that Fox News isn't 'legitimate'.

    Here is a definition of legitimate: being exactly as purposed : neither spurious nor false.

    I will readily admit that Fox is biased toward the right. It is also fairly obvious that there is no media outlet that I have even seen in the last 15 years at least that isn't biased on one side or the other.

    Can you name me any media outlets that you think play it right down the middle... just the facts and no bias, using the definition of the word?

    Michael

  14. MotorSports,

    It would be easy for me to have a discussion with you and others if your position was more reasonable but you won't really engage. I admit that Fox is biased and ask if other networks are biased as well.

    Instead of admitting the obvious fact that outlets such as CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS and others are also biased (the amount of bias in each is debatable), you point out that Talk Radio is almost totally Conservative (agreed) and that there are major newspapers that are Conservative (agreed).

    What is it that keeps you from admitting what is obvious? It doesn't hurt your contention that Fox is biased. I've even agreed that you are correct.

    You and others on both sides contribute to this forum but you will not debate? Why?

    I could be like others who say Fox isn't biased, but I don't because it isn't the truth and if I do that, there is no room for debate because I start out being disingenuous.

    I'd really like to find someone on this forum who would really engage and debate. I guess I'll just have to keep looking.

    Michael

  15. MotorSports,

    I strongly suggest that you take a look at the posts made by "teamster". He has got to be the most dedicated, dyed-in-the-wool, Democrats-are-ALWAYS-right, Republicans-are-evil, hardcore progressive on this site. Yet I'd wager I can count on one hand how many of his comments have been deleted.

    You can see his comment history here: http://www.lasvegassun.com/users/teamste...

  16. Jim,

    If we took the comment history of everybody that has written into the Sun, with very few exceptions, we could not find people who will write that 'their' side is 'wrong' on an issue, that they disagree with their side on an issue, or that the opposite side has the correct view on an issue.

    That is the problem on this forum and much more importantly, it is the problem in our society. Choose whatever 'handle' we'd like to view, whether on the D or R side, and we just see this attitude that 'my' side is perfect and the other side is 'totally and completely' wrong.

    To think that 'compromise' is possible or even actually 'desired' by the opposing sides....is ludicrous.

    Michael

  17. Mr. Starr. Have you conferred with J. Patrick on how the tax system is supposedly regressing on low-income workers while middle class and up are defrauding the public? Who's going to pay for 100 million people who won't work? We keep feeding, clothing, sheltering, medicating, nurturing millions who won't do anything productive and JPC and you think we should do more for them? Oh, that's right, just take it all from upper income and let the "middle class" keep all their money. DO THE MATH. Can't be done. Working class has to pay for those who won't work. There are too many of them. Can't get all the funding from the affluent.

  18. Roberta,

    You've hit the nail on the head. Math will tell you that if you take all the money the relatively few affluent have, it is not nearly enough to fund those that don't do anything productive. Once that reality strikes, these people who want to soak the rich, many of whom are middle class, will find the government is looking to them to support the unproductive.

    Then we will see a conflict of middle class against the poor and the unproductive. At that time, many of the 'soak the rich' crowd will be looking around and asking .... what happened?

    Michael

  19. Roberta: Of the total US population of 308 million (2010), 100 million people, one third, WON'T work? Really? Is that on top of the 40 million people over age 65 and the 22 million age 18 and under? What about those physically or mentally incapable of working? Full time students over age 19? People currently in re-training programs? Women working at tending their own children? How many refused to accept a job they were otherwise qualified to fill?

    I'm curious, where did you find the statistic that 100 million people actually WON'T work?

  20. Robert: I suggest you use a dictionary or learn how to search on line. "Won't" doesn't include a negative connotation. Sure those who can but won't are more of a problem then those who can't and therefore won't. Ever hear "That dog won't hunt."?
    Students SHOULD BE WORKING instead of crying for grants and loans, tuition reductions, help from mom and dad--students should pay their own way--my view. Women working at tending their own children SHOULD BE WORKING. It is disgraceful and irresponsible to have children when you don't have the ability to support them completely. I don't care if you are married and the spouse has a good job--EACH PARENT is responsible for providing for each child. And per the people over 65, many ARE working 'cause half of what they earned has gone to pay for the whining dependents.

  21. Here's an end run around the math: Unemployment Compensation and EBT SNAP are the ONLY safety net we retain as those two programs are pretty much the only help productive (former) workers can count on. We ELIMINATE everything else and cut "defense" and our spending problems are over. We can then refocus on securing our borders, routing out illegals, incarcerating violent criminals and restoring our economy.

  22. boftx: 1:09: Ditto that Tanker info--MANY don't like my posts--they can't figure out if I'm Dem or Rep--and they just seem to like to disagree. Could be 'cause I'm female... Anyhow, I SELDOM get deleted and I'll bet you money LVSun owners, editors, moderators don't agree with a lot of what I say. On the other hand, the owners might be OK with it.

  23. Robert: In one (actually several) of my occupations, I was in the offices of businesses. Over and over again, especially in Vegas Casino offices (the accounting offices, not the executive spots) I noted young working mothers--who had "disabled" husbands at home, drinking beer, "watching" the kids. These women would have a bicycle for transportation, if lucky. These were the low-paid clerks. Whenever I asked, the "disabled" husbands didn't qualify for ANY form of disability but usually had a "bad back." So she'd work for small change. He'd sit on his back side, smoking, watching tv--and do ya think those kids were cared for? Sure, they qualified for and got housing assistance, food stamps, medicaid, child care assistance, non-profit food and Christmas help. What a way to live. And you think it's a good thing to encourage this life style? Consider the alternatives--these women would not have as many kids. Sure, some would still have a kid or two before they figured out that the hubby was unwilling to participate in life, love, ... OR hubby would figure out he HAD to find a job or he'd be single again. Women would compare notes and figure out that what they want in a man did not include those former hubbies.

  24. Casler 9:23 a.m. SPREAD THE WORD. Suggested reading for all posters. ...many of the soak-the-rich crowd will be ...asking what happened?