Follow this blog by Email
Saturday, February 27, 2016
Wednesday, February 24, 2016
Tuesday, February 23, 2016
|When Henry Ford began producing his Tin-Lizzy he experienced a poblem. The problem was not his car, but the affordability of it. Only middle-class and a few rich people could afford to buy it. But Ford had a global vision, with consumerism as the key to peace and prosperity. His automobile production needed to find customers in all kind of society layers. So Ford figured that if he paid high wages to his workers they also could afford to buy his car. So he started to pay high wages. And pretty soon workers were arriving at the plant in their own cars.|
What is there we can learn of it today?
Well, our marked economy has diversified since Henry Ford’s days and consume is what drives our economy, and like in the days of Henry Ford it is paramount that people have enough money to participate in the economy.
Demand and supply is what regulates most of any free marked economy. If the demand is going down the general supply (or availability) is going up. Demand is going down when money becomes scarce in huge parts of a country’s population. People have to hold back with their purchases and finally only buy the most necessary items. At the same time this consumer behaviour is leading to lesser tax revenue for the country. Lesser tax revenue again is causing cuts in public budgets. We are now in a bad economic circle.
Consequently one can say that if a huge part of the population is not making enough money, we are shooting ourselves in the foot. We are getting an economy like a 3rd.-world country.
Unfortunately, many business leaders do not understand this fundamental principle and prefer to exploit their employees by having them work for crumbs. The most used argument against higher wages is that businesses lose their competitive edge. But of course, that is not true, as a raised minimum wage to say $15/hr. would apply to all businesses at the same time. Another argument I often hear is that raised wages will lead to higher product prices. Of course that is true, but a wage raise of say 10% will not lead to a raise of the product price with 10%. Any viable business has max 10-15% of their total costs paid in wages. Now 10% of 10% does not lead to an increased product price of 10%, but maybe 1-2% increase.
If we look at the United States, the country had a 2013 and 2014 poverty rate of 14.8% of its entire population. In cruel numbers this means 46.7mill people are living in poverty.
An alarmingly high number for the US providing a dark outlook for the future.
If only 15mill of these folks could be lifted out of poverty by getting paid decent wages, it could boost the US economy by at least 10%. The public would save on social pay-outs like f.ex. food stamps. The saved funds could be allocated to other purposes f.e.x. pay off public debt.
I chose the US as an example as the US is a western country with a high number of poverty, but modern poverty, often caused by worker exploitation can be found in any country. Some are better, some are worse. Norway, often hated as an example of socialism, has a poverty rate of 1.7% in a 4.5mill population, while their capital of Oslo is reaching 10% poverty, mostly attributed to settling of new immigrants.
This is how market economy is the thermometer of a country. When the critical temperature is reached and exceeded the patient eventually dies.
The fundamentals of this are so easy to understand that one may wonder why there is such a wide-spread problem with poverty.
If you are interested to read more about wages and the impact thereof, here’s a good article of Harvard Business Review: https://hbr.org/2006/12/the-high-cost-of-low-wages In this case it shows the benefit for the company itself – COSTCO vs. WALMART
Monday, February 22, 2016
Saturday, February 20, 2016
|After a downright gorgeous day yesterday, we got some grey skies, some wind and some rain today. But that didn’t deter us from inviting friends for coffee and having a few fast passing hours with lively conversations. I had made a peach roll and they brought a chocolate cake. I love chocolate cake! But my roll turned out pretty good as well. In fact, here I am sitting and the clock is almost 8pm and I could imagine to have a 2. taste of it.|
I have always wondered whether most people were better off financially in the Fifties than today. And I asked that question to our American neighbours this afternoon. I hadn’t to wait very long for the answer. They confirmed what I had thought all along. Back in the Fifties most families had only one person earning the income and it was enough to make a decent living. Of course, this doesn’t apply to all income levels but the average income seemed to be sufficient. Where I grew up, in Germany, it was the same. One income was enough. Daycare wasn’t invented yet because there was no need and kids were taught by their parents not anyone being hired to take care of them. Socially, there were less problems than today.
Today in many cases, not even 2 incomes of an average family are enough to make ends meet.
Generally, wages and salaries have been pretty much at a stand-still for 20 years, in reality going down as costs of living has gone up tremendously. Bea had a wage of $15 in 2002 when working at a travel agency. Today, 14 years later wages are still the same. In some parts of Canada they are even less now for the same job. This is the fast track to creating an increasing degree of poverty. And it is all aided by government and multinational companies. A nearby very fashionable hotel owned by Marriot is paying a mere $10.65 for most of their employees, except management. Consequently, very little income taxes are paid resulting in a very poor public economy.
A stay at that hotel is in the range of $250-400/night. You do the math!
Something has to change, and if one wants to avoid serious consequences, it has to change fast.
Just my little Saturday rant!
Friday, February 19, 2016
WARNING: You are gonna laugh so bad that you’re gonna be out of breath, that is…..if it wouldn’t be so embarrassing.
Paul LePage Warns Of Dirty Asylum Seekers Bringing The 'Ziki Fly'
02/17/2016 05:28 pm ET
Amanda Terkel Senior Political Reporter, The Huffington Post
ROBERT F. BUKATY/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) thinks asylum-seekers are a major threat to the state.
Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) believes asylum-seekers are the "biggest problem" in the state because of the diseases they may be bringing in.
"What happens is you get hepatitis C, tuberculosis, AIDS, HIV, the 'ziki fly,' all these other foreign type of diseases that find a way to our land," LePage said during a town hall meeting Tuesday night, according to Maine Public Broadcasting News.
The crowd apparently didn't like him singling out asylum-seekers, replying with cries of "Shame!"
There is no such thing as the "ziki fly." The disease LePage was presumably referencing was the Zika virus, which is transmitted by a certain type of mosquitoand has rapidly spread through Latin America. Zika has been linked to a condition called microcephaly, which results in newborns having an abnormally small head and incomplete brain development. El Salvador has urged women not to get pregnant until 2018 as a precaution.
As Reuters notes, the Zika virus is not currently found in Maine.
In 2014, LePage attracted national attention for trying to quarantine Kaci Hickox, a nurse who returned to the United States from treating Ebola patients in West Africa. She showed no signs of having the Ebola virus at the time, and, it turns out, she did not have the disease.
More recently, LePage has been talking about the heroin crisis in Maine, saying that drug traffickers are a major scourge on the state -- particularly black drug dealers who allegedly "impregnate a young, white girl before they leave."
And now, Ladies and Gentlemen: THE COMMENTS
University of Missouri
I know Republicans proudly ignore science, but seriously? Maine must be so happy to have a Governor who doesn't know the difference between a fly and a mosquito--as well as one who has no empathy for those fleeing violence in other countries. I cannot begin to imagine why this guy was elected to lead a state with such a rich history.
Kim Boal ·
Rawls professor of management at Texas Tech University
Never has a State had so much to be ashamed of.
He's so horrible I'm surprised he's not running for the Republican nominee for POTUS.
William Copeland ·
Thebe Bashaleebee - great comment!!!
Bob Casparius ·
Providence, Rhode Island
I'm originally from Maine and still have a house there. I have to tell you he is a total embarrassment.
Shawn Roehrig ·
Works at Self-Employed
Bob, then why is he still governor? Is there something in the water? Has eating too much lobster addled the brains of the voters?
Sandra Sneider Tatsuno ·
Englewood Hospital and Medical Center
Not enough of an embarrassment, apparently, for your fellow Mainers not to have re-elected him.
Dave Koga ·
Los Angeles, California
Governor LePage proves once again that he's an embarassment to his state.
FEAR! Bringing the fear. Does the GOP ever think about anything less? They never have any plans to improve our situation or how to fix problems. They just want us to fear everything except white, male, wealthy, Christian, far right conservative leaders. We, the people, need to make them fear ... for their jobs.
Howard Millman ·
Christians only have fear to give in order to make people feel guilty about themselves. Anyone who falls for religious bunk deserves whatever they get.
Judy Mccracken ·
St. Lukes Catholic School
Howard Millman Religion has been 'center stage' in the past SEVEN years.... WHY IS THE EVANGELICAL beliefs being shoved down the electorate's throat?..... I have my own religion, dont need a course in 'HOW the cruz's want to rule the world'....
George J. Zaidan ·
Christ The King College (C.K.C) - Bo
I have faith that Gov. Paul LePage will be able to shoot every "ziki fly" that crosses the boarder and if he happens to miss any he'll either sit on them, stare them down or just yell at them. Them "ziki flys" have no chance.
Jeff Newman ·
New York, New York
I honestly don't understand why LaPage is a govenor of a state instead of chairman of the RNC. He is the default of the Everyman Republican.
I thought we had enough to be ashamed about here in Texas, but what were you guys in Maine thinking? Geez.
Dave Koga ·
Los Angeles, California
Both times LePage was elected, there was a third party candidate on the ballot who split the vote with his Democratic opponent. He won both elections with less than 50% of the vote.
Dave Koga It is always unfortunate when that happens and it never reflects the wishes of the majority.
Dave Koga Well he represents the views of many Maine residents.It isnt only TEXAs that has extreme RW people. Yes,he won his first election because of third party factors but the second it was less of a factor.By the way the third party second election candidate was going to drop out.I think he made a deal for a state job and thus stayed in the election. It had somewhat of an effect, Its water over the dam.
"Ooooh, they got cooties! They got cooties!" What is he, eight years old? Has he had so many people immigrate to his state that he thinks they brought all the Hep C, HIV, and tuberculosis there? Since he doesn't even know how Zika is transmitted, why does he think it will suddenly show up in Maine? I wonder how often he has sen malaria in Maine. It's also caused by a mosquito bite -- from a particular type of mosquito, that can't survive in Maine. Same with the Zika virus.
Calvin Robinson ·
Dunbar Vocational High School
When I was in grammar school the teacher would tell us, "You could be a senator or a governor one day!" I thought that was a really cool idea back then. If that teacher told me the same thing now, I would say, "For What?!"