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Hey Walmart – If DC doesn't want you, we'll take you!
  • CommentBot September 25, 2013 - 11:10 am #88223 Reply

    @ns Which taxes do you consider to be the most regressive and why. Are you more in favour of progressive, proportional, or are you a sovereign citizen and believe taxes to be illegitimate?

    Anonymous September 25, 2013 - 12:28 pm #88245 Reply

    “There’s nothing in the world more relevant than economic data 5 years old…”

    That’s the best response you can come up with?

    This is HISTORICAL data, in a discussion about history. Do you expect the data from the last five years to somehow magically change what happened in the previous 100 years? Did you just enter the workforce five years ago?

    Here’s a good article about the latest data, which says that wages are down from 2008. So as anyone would expect, the trend continues. This article is also good at explaining why all this matters to the overall economy (including to rich people).

    http://blogs.wsj.com/moneybeat/2013/04/16/the-best-indicator-of-u-s-health-is-wage-growth-or-lack-thereof/

    (Also, the other chart I posted shows data to 2012.)

    Anonymous September 25, 2013 - 12:31 pm #88246 Reply

    “Wow, a magnificent work of fiction!”

    I don’t think so.

    But whatever – if you don’t believe that the reason real wages for millions and millions of Americans haven’t grown since the 1970s is because all those workers “lack drive,” I’m glad. Thanks for clarifying.

    John Fontain September 25, 2013 - 1:43 pm #88267 Reply

    sansabelt, in your 9:23am post you explained why you thought real wages grew faster than inflation for a couple of decades coming out of the great depression, but you still haven’t explained why wages should rise faster than inflation as a general premise.

    Your premise that wages should rise faster than inflation implies that consumer prices should rise slower than wages.  In other words, your premise is that the things we buy everyday ‘should’ be getting cheaper and cheaper relative to incomes as time goes by.  What I find so ironic about your view – given that you are opposed to Walmart – is that Walmart has been one of the few retailers who has actually worked on behalf of consumers to keep prices down by selling in volume and acting as an effective purchasing agent.  Yet you dislike them even though they do exactly what you seek.

    Anonymous September 25, 2013 - 2:13 pm #88277 Reply

    “sansabelt, in your 9:23am post you explained why you thought real wages grew faster than inflation for a couple of decades coming out of the great depression, but you still haven’t explained why wages should rise faster than inflation as a general premise.”

    Well, yes, I did, quite exhaustively.

    “Your premise that wages should rise faster than inflation implies that consumer prices should rise slower than wages.  In other words, your premise is that the things we buy everyday ‘should’ be getting cheaper and cheaper relative to incomes as time goes by.”

    Yes. Not just “should” though – they DID for many decades.

    “What I find so ironic about your view – given that you are opposed to Walmart”

    I’m not sure what being “opposed” to Walmart means. I oppose the effect its business model has on our economy, sure.

    “– is that Walmart has been one of the few retailers who has actually worked on behalf of consumers to keep prices down by selling in volume and acting as an effective purchasing agent.  Yet you dislike them even though they do exactly what you seek.”

    No, it is not. It has not found ways to raise wages while keeping prices low. It is keeping wages low to keep prices low. If Walmart were able to push prices so low that it caused deflation in the entire economy, causing wages to be higher relative to prices, maybe you’d have a point. But inflation isn’t getting any lower, just wages. There’s only so much stuff we can buy for deep discounts at Walmart. You can’t get a house or rent an apartment or get health insurance or a car at low low prices at Walmart. So the idea that Walmart’s low prices somehow account for low wages is false. That’s proven by the real world overall data, which shows that all 90th-percentile workers, not just Walmart’s, are experiencing stagnant wages, while all prices, despite Walmart’s prices, are still going up (the CPI).

    Walmart is just a symbol, a symptom of the larger problem. That problem is real and it has been with us for 30-plus years now. I don’t blame Walmart alone for the problem, but I know Walmart’s low-prices for low-wages model won’t be the solution.

    John Fontain September 25, 2013 - 4:29 pm #88315 Reply

    sansabelt said: “Well, yes, I did, quite exhaustively.”

    If you carefully read through what you wrote, you’ll see that you explained (1) why (in your opinion) it would be helpful to workers and (2) why (in your opinion) this happened coming out of the great depression.  But you did not explain why wages SHOULD in theory rise faster than inflation as a general premise.  The essence of your position is that workers have a “right” to cheaper consumables relative to wages as time goes by.  At this point, I don’t even want you to bother to try to explain your belief, because the general premise makes no sense.

    sansabelt also said: “So the idea that Walmart’s low prices somehow account for low wages is false.”

    At least on this we can agree!!

    Rick September 25, 2013 - 8:16 pm #88329 Reply

    @sansabelt… yes it is, considering since 2008 the economy has gone straight down and halfway back up. Why did you think that calculator was appropriate given the economy over the last five years?

     

    And back to the original point of this thread… A job is better than no job. Walmart=jobs. It’s not the best job, it’s not an escalator – it’s a ladder, but it’s a job. It’s an hourly wage. Job sites in the parts of the city with the worst unemployment. Workforce development.

    Anonymous September 25, 2013 - 8:41 pm #88331 Reply

    Rick: “yes it is, considering since 2008 the economy has gone straight down and halfway back up.”

    What?

    My argument is about the history of the economy over the last 100 years. You think the last 5 years changes that?

    Sure, maybe the 30-year trend suddenly reversed itself in the last five years. But as I showed you, it hasn’t. We’re still in the same rut.

    “Why did you think that calculator was appropriate given the economy over the last five years?”

    Did you really think the last five years was going to show an improvement in wages? With unemployment at 7-10 percent during that period?

    “A job is better than no job. Walmart=jobs. It’s not the best job, it’s not an escalator – it’s a ladder, but it’s a job. It’s an hourly wage. Job sites in the parts of the city with the worst unemployment. Workforce development.”

    Sure, in the short run. But if you have that kind of defeatist attitude in the long-run, you’re going to end up deconstructing the entire middle class. We can’t just keep saying “at least you have a job” forever.

    Anonymous September 25, 2013 - 8:52 pm #88333 Reply

    “If you carefully read through what you wrote, you’ll see that you explained (1) why (in your opinion) it would be helpful to workers and (2) why (in your opinion) this happened coming out of the great depression.  But you did not explain why wages SHOULD in theory rise faster than inflation as a general premise.  The essence of your position is that workers have a “right” to cheaper consumables relative to wages as time goes by.  At this point, I don’t even want you to bother to try to explain your belief, because the general premise makes no sense.”

    Wow, John.

    It’s clear to me that you’re in deep denial. I explained it all in detail. Any economist you talk to wouldn’t dispute what I said. It’s all based on undeniable historical facts.

    And not once did I say anything about workers having a “right” to anything.

    If you think the existence of the middle class is a pointless exercise, fine. If you think you should be happy with earning the same salary when you retire that you earned when you started your first job out of college, in real dollars, fine too. Most people would not agree. You’re rejecting the entire premise of the modern American economy – the idea that we can have a nation where most people are comfortable and reasonably prosperous rather than having a few rich people and a huge mob of poor people who work for them for almost nothing.

    Perhaps the fact that you not only seem not to even understand this basic phenomenon, but are actually arguing against it (!) explains why we’re in such a state of decline. Wow.

    Rick September 25, 2013 - 8:59 pm #88334 Reply

    “Did you really think the last five years was going to show an improvement in wages? With unemployment at 7-10 percent during that period?”

     

    THAT WAS MY POINT! Jesus. One time I’d like to see anyone on this forum read something twice instead of shooting from the hip.

    “We can’t just keep saying “at least you have a job” forever.”

    Right. As the economy improves, and jobs are added, opportunities are added at ALL levels. Maybe one of the full-time or part-time cashiers at one of the 5 planned walmart’s jumps to be cashier supervisor at a future walmart in DC, or at a new Target, or a new anything. But they wouldn’t hire a guy who’s been on unemployment for 2 years right into a leadership position.

     

    Anonymous September 26, 2013 - 8:49 am #88359 Reply

    “THAT WAS MY POINT! Jesus. One time I’d like to see anyone on this forum read something twice instead of shooting from the hip.”

    It would help if you would be more clear. At this point, I have no idea why you brought it up.

    “Right. As the economy improves, and jobs are added, opportunities are added at ALL levels. Maybe one of the full-time or part-time cashiers at one of the 5 planned walmart’s jumps to be cashier supervisor at a future walmart in DC, or at a new Target, or a new anything. But they wouldn’t hire a guy who’s been on unemployment for 2 years right into a leadership position.”

    Okay. But that doesn’t say anything about wages. In the long run, jumping to cashier supervisor or moving to a new job doesn’t mean anything, since your wages won’t really grow.

     

    John Fontain September 26, 2013 - 9:27 am #88391 Reply

    sansabelt said: “I’m not sure what being “opposed” to Walmart means.”

    Yet sansabelt’s very first post in this thread said:

    “Dear Walmart,

    John Fontain speaks only for himself.

    Sincerely,

    The Rest of Arlington”

    Sunshine September 26, 2013 - 9:54 am #88413 Reply

    Wow. This thread is exhausting……

     

    Anonymous September 26, 2013 - 9:57 am #88416 Reply

    John, saying that you don’t speak for the rest of Arlington does not equal me disagreeing with you.

    But, as I’ve said many times, I’m talking about the entire state of the economy in the long-term, not whether Walmart should come to Arlington. Walmart is just a symbol of the overall failure in wage growth that is killing the middle class and eventually will hurt the rich too.

    Rick September 26, 2013 - 6:30 pm #88610 Reply

    “Okay. But that doesn’t say anything about wages. In the long run, jumping to cashier supervisor or moving to a new job doesn’t mean anything, since your wages won’t really grow.”

     

    So when people get promoted they don’t get raises? Is that what I can take from that statement?

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