William M. Briggs

Statistician to the Stars!

Your Big Government Update

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Government Is Driving Inequality

One thing my lefty friends are right about is the growing number of rich. The distributions of income and of wealth are moving ever farther from uniform.

The left say it is the fault of corporations, like Google and Apple, and it is true that they’re raking it in. But to say it is the fault of corporations is like blaming the fever for the disease.

CNBC’s Rick Santelli—the guy whose previous rant launched the Tea Party—is back and has identified the cause. Government. The plot above is from Brian Maloney, a Santelli supporter, which he summarizes with these points:

1. By keeping interest rates artificially low, the Janet Yellen-led Federal Reserve has encouraged reckless government borrowing and spending while crushing savers, especially America’s retirees.

2. The Fed has focused all its efforts on making the rich even richer through Quantitative Easing while working people suffer and are ignored by Washington’s elite.

The most fun you can have is to show your lefty friends that Democrats and other big government supporters have more money (or at least no less) than Republicans and small government advocates. Big government supporters support monetary policies which make them richer. The evidence for this abounds, but it does not compute. And is therefore never accepted.

Instead, there are ever more calls for larger government to punish “the rich.” The punishment works, to an extent. Some are ruined, but except for a pittance the money flows to those who already have it. Income and wealth inequality grows.

This is why you have Joe Biden and Mrs Clinton running around saying they are “poor” and “dead broke”. Clinton shifted her millions and millions and millions into a fund which, by an accounting trick, is no longer her “personal” money. But who decides how it is spent? She does. Hilarious. Consequence? “Hillary cares for us!”

Trick is know when to move to cash. I’m thinking soon, soon. Near the mid-terms? Or closer to when our dear leader exits the scene?

Hobby Lobby Theocracy

Apoplexy wasn’t in it the day after the Hobby Lobby decision. A theocracy was only days away, screeched the left.

And you know what? The left were right again. A theocracy is coming, and when it arrives, those who refuse to deposit a pinch of incense into the flames will take it in the neck.

The new, or new-ish, religion is The State. Worship of, propitiation given to, prayers offered to, earnest supplicants for The State. The State is mother, The State is father.

Remember The State’s parable of Julia? She was held as the ideal congregant. A human being who from her lucky escape from the womb to her death relied on only one thing. The State.

Here’s what the new acolytes were angry about. The State said to employers, “Thou shalt give your employees these drugs and thou art forbidden to require from them any recompense.” Those employers who worshiped a different God said no. Sacrilege! That is the only thing that could have accounted for the frenzied anger. A god has been dishonored!

It’s true that some of the outrage was conditioned on the flight from reality (and science) that began with birth control and ends (or at least pauses before discovering a new diversion) with calls for State recognition of polyamory. Incidentally, remember when some of us predicted that? Slippery slope, said our unthinking enemies. Sigh.

That The State said It Shall Be and it wasn’t was too much for worshipers to assimilate. No debate was welcome or possible because, well, who can question a god?

Since the natural enemy of The State is Nature, which is to say Reality, look for ever shriller calls for its debasement.

The Curse of Doorknobs

Just so you don’t think it’s all doom and gloom around here, a bright (or at least funny) spot. Vancouver a short while back gave the cry, “What about the children!” and banned doorknobs.

Yes, doorknobs! Vancouver banned doorknobs.

The State having spoken, functional devices which previously all thought harmless and of little except decorative interest were seen as the true evil menaces they really were. The State cannot err.

Replacing doorknobs are those handle-type openers. If you want to see what one looks like, click to the Daily Mail, which has a picture of one sticking out of the arm of a schoolboy who ran into one.

Now I know what you’re going to say, and you’re right. At least he didn’t run into a doorknob!

Comment Policy

If you are an employee of The State, or rely on it for the majority of your living, common courtesy requires you to self-identify your conflict of interest. (Right, JH?)

Update High priests dispatched to investigate possible blasphemy.

46 Comments

  1. I recall hearing a rather risque joke years ago that involved someone being impaled on a doorknob. Doorknobs and door handles each have their advantages and disadvantages. What’s really sad is not the Government making implementation decisions that shouldn’t be its concern. but that people put up with it.

  2. Thank Vancouver for filling the landfill with perfectly functioning door knobs and helping China pour gazillions of tons of CO2 into the air making those cheap, though obviously dangerous, replacement. Way to go.

    You know the response to the child impaled by the door handle (note that people are so sensitive they can’t look at an injury. I predict general anesthesia will be required for removal of a hangnail soon. Not a slippery slope prediction, just a natural consequence of telling people something is too horrible to be looked at) will be to force children to stop running. Walk slowly and carefully lest a door handle jump out and attack you. No running.

  3. Was there ever an “absolute” monarch who regulated such petty details of life as how his subjects open their doors?

  4. The problem with moving to cash (soon) is that inflation prompted by the excessive borrowing will kick in (eventually) and wipe out value. The only hope, but still a risk, is to retain assets that will rise in nominal value along with the inflation. Cash will lag because of resistance to raising interest rates.

  5. Piketty has revived interest in the subject of inequality. His thesis is that the 21 century is going to look like 18 century France. He believes we are returning to a world of ancestral aristocracy. This is based on the idea that financial assets will grow faster than the broader economy. But the data doesn’t hold up with the theory.

    Inequality is a good thing…

    When the pace of innovation is high, it changes the pace and flow of money in unpredictable ways, and strange accumulations appear. For the most part the innovators themselves get an outsized share of the wealth. And those who provide unique services to those people accumulating wealth get a large share.

    So, when you look at the the Forbes 400. How many of the people there came from middle-class backgrounds (and in a few cases dirt poor) compared to those born to privilege?

  6. I don’t know haow many of the Forbes 400 came from middle-class backgrounds, but the news had the CEO of Cinnabon on. She was a waitress at Hooters who decided she wanted more and went to business school. She now makes millions/billions, because she had the ambition and was willing to risk. If a Hooters waitress can become a CEO of a billion dollar company, I don’t see much excuse for anyone not succeeding.

  7. @Sheri, but Cinnabon is an evil corporation making evil sugary products that I am forced to buy in the Airport because I have no free will. Just like Satan, Cinnabon offers you freedom but really enslaves you. The State will set you free.

  8. Hasn’t the trick always been to “know” when to move to cash?

    FWIW, EM Smith had a post about 14 months ago stating that it was time to move to cash. I hope for his sake he did not.

  9. Oh one more thing: the biggest enemy of retirees is inflation, which remains remarkably low. The current economy hasn’t been particularly hard on retirees. The older baby boomers are doing quite nicely.

  10. Nate: Oh no!!! I fear the politically correct police are on their way to my home to drag me off for indoctrination sessions!

    (Excuse while I hide for a bit! 🙂 )

  11. Sylvain Allard

    July 15, 2014 at 3:48 pm

    To say that Republican are in favor of small government is one of the biggest myth floating around this days.

    Republicans often favor wasteful invasive programs and laws that invade as far as people bedroom and women vagina, or forcing people to have expensive test to make sure they don’t smoke weed while they receive the luxurious food stamps.

    Barney Frank wanted a reform that would be much more restrictive for company to company to get ship job outside the US but no republican were ready to vote for it, so they had to dilute it enough to gather the vote.

    Dodd-Frank is seen by the Tea Party and Republican as intrusive and big government. Yet to reality is that it is a much too weak regulation. Adam Smith is always mentioned as a champion for the free market. The reality was different since Smith also believed that you needed a strong government to supervise and regulate the market.

    Yes, overall (direct donations and PACs), democrat and republican are able to accumulate about the same amount of money. Although the average donation to democrat is much lower than that of republican. From the Open Secret site mentioned in earlier post by Matt, Koch donation to political group did not include their American for prosperity activity.

    Isn’t it interesting that the 13 states that increased there minimum wages all shows a faster rate of employment than the other 37.

  12. Briggs

    July 15, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    All,

    Don’t forget this:

    Democrats Received 42% More Donations Than Republicans, Even Including Koch Brothers

    http://wmbriggs.com/blog/?p=12772

  13. Mark Steyn wrote on the subject of the church state. We used to have a state church with preists telling you how to live but now we have a church state with bureaucrats telling you how to live.
    https://www.nationalreview.com/nrd/articles/293368/church-big-government

  14. Sylvain Allard

    July 15, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    Briggs,

    The Koch donation does not include American for prosperity their most important political vehicle.

  15. WMBriggs; Why move to cash, when you could move to gold?
    What is the Vatican doing?
    Do the Jesuits and Opus Dei have their own reserves?
    If so, are they held in gold?
    How would one ever find out?

  16. Brandon Gates

    July 15, 2014 at 9:59 pm

    Briggs,

    Big government supporters support monetary policies which make them richer. The evidence for this abounds, but it does not compute. And is therefore never accepted.

    Yes, I feel your pain. Quite acutely. Speaking of, wasn’t Bernanke a GWB appointee? Or are we now openly admitting that Dubya was a RINO. Just askin’ ….

  17. “Was there ever an “absolute” monarch who regulated such petty details of life as how his subjects open their doors?”

    Joseph II of Austria banned gingerbread.

    They can take my gingerbread when they pry it from my cold dead-white glass of milk!

  18. Sylvain Allard

    July 15, 2014 at 10:40 pm

    Sheri,

    From the Forbes list you have, in the first 10, you have six that have inherited from daddy.

  19. ” The current economy hasn’t been particularly hard on retirees. The older baby boomers are doing quite nicely.”

    Nonsense. I recently retired. I now have a choice: invest in low yielding risky assets, or stay in cash and deplete my capital. We most certainly have been hammered by the ZIRP! The fed is robbing us, propping up stock prices for those who are fortunate to . But, buy a stock now and get very, with IMO very high risk.

    Yech!

  20. “Nonsense. I recently retired. I now have a choice: invest in low yielding risky assets, or stay in cash and deplete my capital. We most certainly have been hammered by the ZIRP! The fed is robbing us, propping up stock prices for those who are fortunate to ”

    Mr. Moore:

    30 year treasuries are returning above the inflation rate. More than double the inflation rate, in fact. Would you be happier with a 6% yield on ten-year treasuries and an 8% inflation rate? How quickly people have forgotten the late 70’s and early 80’s.

    There are also many high dividend stocks, both domestic and foreign, that have attractive valuations right now. You can own them through mutual funds or ETFs. Since you just retired, you shouldn’t be too risk averse. You’ve got 20 years (at least), so you have plenty of time to recover from a significant correction.

    Congratulations on your retirement. I’m sure it was well-earned. I hope you can relax and enjoy it. I will be joining you in about four years.

  21. Sylvain: Yes, and one changed political parties as often as he changed his shirt to stay in power. What’s your point? Inheritences can be squandered or built upon, just like any money someone gets. If these persons took the money and made more, then they are not spoiled brats like Lindsey Lohan. I do note that rich people are now considering not passing money on to their kids, which is also fine (though it does seem more of a political move than actual concern for the kids). Inheriting money does not keep a person rich—it’s like winning the lottery (which, by the way, virtually no class-envy advocate ever seems to think is totally unfair and the lotteries should be stopped). So unless you want to get rid of lotteries, sweepstakes, inheritances and all other ways to get “unearned income” including marrying money (another way to get rich), I see nothing to your statement except class envy and a desire to steal a person’s money upon his/her death by knocking inheritances.

  22. Sylvain: I do see that you are trying to tell me how many came from middle-class backgrounds. That was not really my point—just that people can make money on their own. I’ll try and refrain from extraneous comments in the future.

    (You may partially ignore my previous rant. It still stands as being true, just not addressing the actual intent of your comment. My bad.)

  23. Mike B.

    “30 year treasuries are returning above the inflation rate.”

    Is this really your advice to someone about to retire?

  24. “The Koch donation does not include American for prosperity their most important political vehicle.”

    Here is the Open Secrets summary of Americans for Prosperity.

    https://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/summary.php?id=D000024046&cycle=A

    Small potatoes compared to ActBlue:

    https://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/summary.php?id=D000021806&cycle=A

  25. One other note, Syvain. When Sam Walton started Walmart in 1962, his children were all teenagers (they were born in the 40’s). So arguing that they were not middle class because they inherited from Walmart’s success is not really valid. Walton’s earlier business deals were successful, but often involved borrowing from others and scraping together cash to keep businesses going. It really doesn’t sound much more than upper-middle class tops.

  26. ““30 year treasuries are returning above the inflation rate.”

    Is this really your advice to someone about to retire?”

    No. My point, which I believe I made clear in an earlier post, is that relative to inflation, fixed income assets have been returning rather nicely.

    Many retirees recall the days of the “passbook savings account” returning 6%, or the 1 year CD for 13%, as if those were the “glory days”, forgetting entirely the inflation picture.

    There are many kinds of risk, one of which I highlighted in my OP.

  27. Sylvain Allard

    July 16, 2014 at 2:24 pm

    Sheri,

    Upward and downward mobility is an ever more rare occurrence.

    Most new names on the list are people that benefited from the emergence of new market in computer (Dell, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Amazon, Ebay). Even then success is often merely a question of luck and timing, more than skill and effort. Similar to mining you have many try for little success.

    Of course, one doesn’t have to become billionaire or even millionaire to live comfortably and have a good life.

    Do you see it has a good thing or bad thing that the US are where the peoples take less vacation days?

    The answer is that it is not a very good thing. For each 25 employees that take their 2 weeks vacation you create 1 job giving the chance to someone who is not working to find work. In a country with a pop of 300 millions that represents millions of jobs. The problem is that so many employees receives such a low pay that they cannot afford to take any vacation. Yet vacations are a good way to solidify family bond and get the parent to spend time with their kids.

    By the way, the 13 states that have increased their minimum wages since January first are all creating jobs at faster rate than the 37 others That doesn’t mean that it should be raise to $30 an hour.

  28. Sylvain: Seriously, how does one create a job based on two week vacation breaks. When I went on vacation, no one did my work. It was there when I got back. Plus, a lot of people take a day here and there, which is a very good thing and I’m not willing to trade off to mandatory taking of two weeks at once.

    We get paid vacation, so I don’t see how vacation can affect pay other than in the case of overtime. And trust me, my hubby takes vacation even if it means straight time for the extra hours worked outside of the vacation days. As for spending time with kids, if vacation is what it takes for that to happen, you have pretty lousy parents. You seem to imply that parents need to be forced to pay attention to their kids. What are the hours outside of work for?

    Your statistic on job creation is a bit skewed. States like North Dakota, Texas, Wyoming and Pennsylvania had very, very low unemployment and very high job creation before any minimum wage raise occurred anywhere. So now they are not going to show as much growth because of the high level of employment that existed. North Dakota still ranks at the top of most job creating lists and their minimum wage has not changed. Statistics are fun to play with but we must be sure of what we are actually measuring.

    Also, minimum wage is NOT supposed to be a “living wage”. It’s for low-skill positions that require little training. Most people move up the scale. Nearly two thirds of those who received a raise in the minimum were already in households above the living wage category, some far above that category. So we helped people already earning a lot of money. Okay.

  29. Sylvain Allard

    July 17, 2014 at 12:06 am

    Sheri,

    If you have a restaurant or manufacture that requires 25 employees to fill the weekly schedule. You will need 26 employees. Unless there is a shop down where all employees get mandatory vacations. There are several reasons that people will refuse to take their vacation. The main one is that they can’t afford it.

    It is not a question that people should be forced to take their vacations and when. This is a question that people should be able to afford to take these vacations. Many people that don’t take their vacations would take them if they could afford it.

    This is link to the 13 states claim:

    http://www.cepr.net/index.php/blogs/cepr-blog/2014-job-creation-in-states-that-raised-the-minimum-wage

    I expanded their analysis and it is interesting to see that the higher the minimum wage is the higher the level of job creation to one exception.

    The state offering a minimum wage higher than 9$ show an increase in job of 2.24% in the last 6 months.
    The state offering a minimum wage higher than 8$ show an increase in job of 0.85% in the last 6 months.
    The state offering a minimum wage lower than 8$ show an increase in job of 1.05% in the last 6 months.
    The state offering the federal minimal wage of 7.25 show an increase in job of 0.62% in the last 6 months.
    The state offering a minimum wage less than 7$ show an increase in job of 0.51% in the last 6 months
    The state without a minimum wage show an increase in job of 0.38% in the last 6 months
    And according to the chart found here

    http://www.economist.com/blogs/dailychart/2011/08/americas-fiscal-union

    Of the 29 states that offer a minimum wage of 7.25 or less 19 states received more money from the federal government than what their citizen paid in taxes to the federal government.

    Of the 21 states that offer a minimum wage greater than 7.25 13 paid more taxes than they received.

    There are much evidence in favor of increasing the minimum wage and very little to suggest that there should be none.

  30. Sylvain: Restaurants and manufacturers usually don’t have the extra person to cover a day off. They just run short on personal. At best, they may hire a temp employee, who may earn wages but probably will have no benefits. Wages are not the only cost of an employee—benefits are. Many employers just run short on days people take off. Vacation taking makes no difference in employment levels.

    Your comment on can’t afford vacations is ridiculous. THEY GET PAID. Just like if they went to work. There is no difference except in overtime pay if they get overtime. One reason people don’t take vacation is that they like their work and another is because they have nothing else to do (single people often fall into this category). It has NOTHING to do with pay. NOTHING.

    I think your information on states getting more from the government than paying in has nothing to do with the minimum wage. First, there’s nothing to tell us why the states get more–although the chart may explain why both Republicans and Democrats violated or at least pushed to the limit the election of a senator from Mississippi to keep eating up all the “free” money. Then what’s the correlation or connection to minimum wage. I’m not sure what you’re trying to say.

    The states with employment increases: You need the data from 2012 and 1013 showing how much they gained in those years before you can in any way make any connections to the minimum wage. If growth slowed, we need to know. If not, we need to know. It’s a nice static, but meaningless as it stands in that article. More data please.

  31. 2013, of course.

  32. Sylvain: Before you go do a lot of research, let me note that minimum wage costing jobs is based on mathematics. If an employer pays mimimum wage and is just covering his costs, he will have to cut someone’s hours to pay more to the others. Or eliminate an employee. If the wage goes up and the employer can cover the cost, then no one gets cut. Now, you can whine that the mean employer should have paid more and I can counter that the employee should have looked for a higher paying job. If the economy or business takes a downturn, then an employee gets their hours cut or loses their job. There is only so much money available for wages after taxes, insurance, overhead costs, etc. Yes, the employer keeps what he wants—he took the risk, he built the business, he pays the bills. It’s his business. If one does not like that, they can start their own business. If they don’t, I really don’t care about their complaints. If you aren’t willing to do the work…..
    Anyway, there is not a straight-line relationship here. Mimium wage increases cause job losses when the business cannot make enough money to cover the costs. Some will be able to, some will not. Should the US slip back into recession (or continue), then the mathematics will show that you can’t pay someone a wage when you don’t have the money. Same for states with weak economies.

  33. Sheri:

    You’re wasting your energy on Sylvain. Anyone so willing to engage in blatant Cherry Picking and wallowing in the correlation/causation fallacy is simply a True Believer who can never be convinced.

  34. MikeB: Whether or not Sylvain ever stops being a True Believer is not really necessary to me. I answer because it helps clarify my beliefs and I often learn new things in looking for ways to answer. Other people may see something that resonance with them. Plus, I think even True Believers deserve answers. Even if the answers are ones they won’t ever accept. Maybe it’s a waste of time, maybe not. I just don’t dismiss people easily. When Sylvain reduces the interaction to name-calling and insults, then I’m done.

  35. To each his/her own Sheri. Personally, I’d rather have somebody call me a blithering idiot than have them repeat the same logical fallacies or HuffPo talking points over and over.

    The former represents progress at at least has the chance of being interesting. The latter is just boring.

  36. Sylvain Allard

    July 17, 2014 at 3:58 pm

    Sheri,

    How many jobs have you held in companies with more than 25 employees and had to supervise the schedule employee? Companies will when they can prefer to pay someone extra for a few days instead of being understaffed.

    You have really no idea on what the majority of American go through do you? Yes there are many household that can afford to take vacation, but there are many household that barely scrape by. and can’t afford to not work for 2 weeks, even if they are paid. Even if they don’t take their vacation they still receive the amount it. This means that they receive 54 weeks of pay/year. Since you take your vacation, does it mean you don’t like your work,

    Ask yourself, why does Walmart and McDo who are leading the fight against raising the minimum wage in the US don’t show any problem opening stores in Québec where the minimum wage stands at $10.35. Including different fee like pension plan, worker compensation and other fee the real salary to the employer is closer to $12/h.

    My point about the federal transfer and the minimum wage was to show that state that receive more federal money are the poorest state, thy are the state with the lowest economic activity. These state are the poorest, and they are often the most friendly, or less regulated state for business to operate.

    About the data, if you read the link you will see that it covers the last 6 months in 2013 and the first 6 month in 2014.

    “Before you go do a lot of research, let me note that minimum wage costing jobs is based on mathematics. If an employer pays mimimum wage and is just covering his costs, he will have to cut someone’s hours to pay more to the others. Or eliminate an employee.”

    This has very little to do with your math. Yes there are some companies that are barely scraping by but they are far from being the norms. The level of salary has very little to do with the success or failure of a company. Of course, if you are called Walmart and that you can pay a minimum salary lower than a living wage you are able to get the state to provide subsidies in the form of food stamps. Food stamps in many cases are a direct subsidy to multibillionaire corporations like Walmart and McDo. Again Walmart doesn’t mind paying $10.35/in Quebec. Why do they mind doing the same in the US.

    I have provided link to the Sensata case in previous post. A US company that was making car parts. It never had a year where it lost money. The last year it made over $10 million in profit, yet everyone was fired and the company moved to China by Bain Capital. They were not barely scraping by they made a lot of money but not enough for the mega rich owner of Bain Capital.

    MorganChase provide card for food stamps in several states. They made over $500 million of profit over this. Instead of thanking the state that gave them the contracts and creating job in the US they choose to install there call center in India.

    The biggest problem for the economy of the moment is the era of austerity we are in were government cut their budget to fast.

    MikeB

    I see that you have a lot of data supporting your belief. Try to provide valid argument instead.

  37. Scotian: Again, how in the world can you claim a guy can’t afford to sit home while being paid the same as he would be at work? That is just insane. He earns exactly the same amount and does not have to spend the money to drive to work and if he usually eats out, he doesn’t have to do that.

    Yes, some places allow you to sell your vacation back. A few employees do that. Taking my vacation means I like vacation more than work, yes.

    I have worked for state government and oil companies and my husband has always worked for companies with more than 25 employees. None of these places paid someone extra to cover for the vacationing employees. None. I don’t know of any examples of that happening except if you use a temp agency.

    I am curious how you know more about what Americans go through than I do–do you visit here? Have tons of relatives? How do you know so much about America when you live in Canada?
    I’ve worked social work and credit counseling, plus for the unemployment office. Have you met more than the hundreds I worked with in these jobs in two states?

    Walmart and McDonalds both pay more than minimum wages in many areas of the United States. It depends on the location. In North Dakota, both pay far about the minimum wage. That’s the way economics works–if you need workers, you pay what you have to pay. Some places minimum wage is enough, some it’s not. US and Canadian employment costs are not even similar so the comparison is invalid as far as cost per employee. You know that.

    Again, I have to ask who holds a gun to people’s heads and forces them to work minimum wage. Surely you are not implying these people are too stupid or incompetent to get a job elsewhere. But if no one holds a gun to their heads and they could go work elsewhere, seems to me they are okay with the pay scale.

    If the government is stupid enough to give Morgan Chase money and then let them put their call center elsewhere, it appears government is not the answer.

    Finally, an admission Canada may not be as utopian as you sometimes seem to indicate.

  38. Sylvain Allard

    July 18, 2014 at 12:58 am

    Sheri,

    The extra employee doesn’t have a different employment status than the other. He has the same job title. Human resources calculate the number of work hours required to fill the schedule a week, month, year. They calculate the number of hours on employee will work for a year and take into account that they will go on vacation. They then divide the first by the second.
    Example: 110,000 work hour needed for a year.
    Full time employee 40h for 50 weeks + 2 week vacations= 2000h/year
    110000/2000=55 employee.
    Some company have enough data to know how many days of work will be missed each year on average by their employee and will be able to adjust for it.

    Have you ever work for a company that hired student for the summer to replace their employees going on vacation. Here almost every student works during the summer and get fired in fall. Even the school schedule is done around the companies need for employee in three waves, end of April (university), end of May (cegep: pre-university and technical), and end of June (High School).

    You have a large number of the population that are in financial difficulties, which needs help to make their groceries. It is not hard to see that they can’t afford to take their vacation. They need every dollar they can get.

    How do I know much about America? I read, books, paper, watch the news for hours every day. Also the US and Canada are not that different. When I go to the US I’m not lost, we have about the same manners. The difference are mainly regulation.

    Since you have worked counseling and seen hundreds of cases, you should have notice that there is always someone needing help. The help needed is usually for less than a year for about 85% of the beneficiary, and about 15% permanent. The permanent are usually old, handicapped physically or mentally, or are simply not very smart. With the limited amount they receive they really don’t live the big life. They rarely have a car. In some cases they will receive old computer when schools or the government change them to help them find jobs.

    Morgan Chase happens to be in the US and mainly in red state. In Canada we don’t have food stamps. The last resort is social welfare. For a single man/woman they will receive about $600/month. The amount can get higher if there are children, if the person goes on formation. Medication, eyes, teeth are also paid. The money is deposited directly in the bank account each month. They are sometimes called for re-evaluation. But everything is done to reduce the bureaucracy and the number of employee required to administer the program.

    http://thedailyshow.cc.com/video-playlists/ko8hz9/daily-show-19078/v9wjc4

    http://thedailyshow.cc.com/video-playlists/ko8hz9/daily-show-19078/mlw5q1

    Walmart and McDo pay there employee today in (constant dollars) less than what the minimum wage was in 1968 as we saw in another thread.

    No one olds a gun to anyone’s head but you get the job you are able to get. If the entire jobs in the US were to get filled tomorrow you would still have at over 5millions people without job. The problem is that many of these jobs don’t get filled because there is no one that is qualified for them.

    The market condition today is very different than what it was in the 60s. The opportunities are not the same.

  39. Sylvain: No, your example does not work. In a union shop, anyone doing a job has to be verified for that job. So in a union shop, an employee does not “travel” to other departments. It’ s not allowed. Also, in highly technical jobs, the same holds true. Employees are hired for specific positions in most cases. There’s no “floating” employees.

    Yes, companies often hire summer interns (they don’t get “fired” at the end of the summer–their job ends). These are extremely low-level jobs and the interns can only fill in for the most general of tasks. No one hires an intern to do bank loans or highly technical programming.

    Again, insanity on the vacation claim. If I get $500 pay for going to work for a week or $500 dollars to stay home for a week, it is EXACTLY the same. EXACTLY. Please explain how 500 does not equal 500 when it comes to pay. Or stop making the ridiculous claim.

    OH–you read and watch the news (that’s the first clue you don’t know about America–watching the news which is comprised of liberal reporters who slant the news constantly and report all bad things because who wants good news?). And that somehow takes the place of living somewhere. I read too! Which still means you don’t really know what living in the US is like any more than I know what Canada is like. Only I’m not so arrogant as to claim that my reading Canadian newspapers and blogs makes me smarter than a Canadian when it comes to living in Canada.

    I do know there are people who need help and there will always be people who need help. Help to gain self-sufficiency, not eternal dependency. Any social work program that increases the number served year after year is a failure, FAILURE. Adding people to the roles means we are not helping, we are enslaving. I am absolutely against enslaving other human beings and will fight all attempts to do so.

    Morgan Chase was given a government contract without any stipulation that they not outsource. Doesn’t matter what country it’s in–the government still was not the answer. I personally believe there should be NO food stamps, just food distributed. Or like our WIC program (for women and toddlers) that has very specific foods listed. Now some idiot in the US wants talking shopping carts to try and lull food stamp recipients into buying fruits and veggies. Forget that–only let them buy certain foods and problem is solved.

    No, Walmart and McDonalds have different pay scaled in every state and town. You cannot make a blanket statement without being totally off base. Some Walmarts pay $17 dollars an hour. No generalization is possible.

    Yes, jobs don’t get filled because there are no qualified applicants. You get the job you are willing to find and work for. This is not a matter of chance or circumstance. People just will not put forth the effort to find work.

    No, people are different today than in the 60’s. They are whiney little things who think life owes them something. They won’t do anything to make their lives better, engage in class envy (which is how people justify failure instead of admitting they just didn’t want to work), they want nanny government to do everything for them. It’s not the jobs that changed, it’s the people. It’s not the market, it’s the people. Wanting nanny government to take care of you is a recipe for failure every time and we are seeing failure.

  40. Sylvain Allard

    July 18, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    I’ll answer later after work

  41. Sylvain Allard

    July 18, 2014 at 10:37 pm

    About the vacation you complicate it too much. A full time 40hours employee at Walmart is paid $9.32 in the State of Washington or 19.385,6. Forget that very few employee work 40h a week. If the person doesn’t take their vacation they will make 30131.2 or 1677//month versus 1615/month. If you consider that a 1 bed apartment on average in Seattle cost $1381 as of February 2014. You cannot say that person is lazy. She/He is working full time bud will still require food stamp to afford to it. If they are they are doing a little bit better but not enough to take vacation.. In Wyoming they would be paid less though the rent might be lower.

    You realise that even if someone doesn’t take his vacation week he still receive the money for it. In Canada, it 2 weeks for year 1 and 2, 3 weeks for year 3-4-5, 4 weeks for years 6 to 10, and 5 weeks paid vacation after 11years working for the same company. Everyone is entitled to 2 weeks of vacation in the summer if they want to. Week 3 to 5 shall be taken outside the summer month.

    The level at which the minimum salary is set in the US, and often the working condition are akin to slavery. You realise that population grow every year so it is normal that more people will require help. There are also outside factor like the biggest depression in 80 years where the level of employment plummeted cause by the greed of Wall Street, In 2006, the unemployment stood around 4% and jump to over 8% before the bleeding was stop. About 25 million jobs were lost. Somehow even before the depression the US deficit and debt had jumped because of tax cut and the war. Clinton had raised taxes, reduced the debt and unemployment. Bush cut taxes, raised the deficit and debt (like Reagan did), and left the country with the largest depression in every year.

    Canada refused to deregulate its banking system and his the only country that did not have to bail out their bank.

    Morgan Chase is an example of GOP small government. These states could save money by simply depositing in bank account. Very few employees are required and by not limiting or verifying what they buy you save even more money.

    If Walmart pay 17$ and still make money, like they still make a lot of money here in Quebec by paying $10.35/h, why do they fight to keep it lower. Do you believe that prices are much lower where they pay there employee less. Why does McDo show their employee how to apply for food stamps?
    We give the money directly in the bank account of the beneficiary. They can buy whatever they want with it, even drug. The thing is that with the amount they receive they have only enough for crucial expense. If they don’t spend wisely they don’t eat.

  42. Sylvain: Even fewer employees work 40 hours after Obamacare kicked in. You are assuming all places allow employees to sell back vacation. That is not true. Two of my siblings works for the US government and their vacation is “take it or lose it”. When my husband worked at the mine, he either took his vacation or lost it. In fact, where he works now is the only place that would buy back vacation. Check this: http://forrespect.org/our-rights/vacation/ Seems Walmart does not buy back unused vacation. So your argument is invalid at least with Walmart, state governments in some places and probably a whole lot more cases. Some business may buy back vacation, but not nearly enough to employee any significant number of additional employees.

    AGAIN, you think that in the USA we have the same rules as Canada. We do not and your assumption is totally off base.

    Rent is lower in Wyoming. Anyone making minimum wage and living in a $1381 apartment is destroying any chance they have of success. When I was a financial counselor, I them their options were to get a second job, get roommate, get a higher paying job or move somewhere where they could find employment that paid more. That’s reality. Your vacation pay example is just a fantasy that allows a person to continue in a situation that is not winnable. The lazy part comes in where you know you’re in a situation that is always going to fail yet do nothing to fix it. (Or you simply like the situation and there’s not reason to change it.)

    Okay, we’re done. When you start comparing labor in a country you don’t live to slavery, I consider you arrogant and nasty and not worth my time. Done.

    Mike B: He reached the level where I stop answering.

  43. Sylvain Allard

    July 19, 2014 at 3:47 pm

    “Even fewer employees work 40 hours after Obamacare kicked in. ”

    This is a debunk Fox news talking point. The reason some people work less hours is not because the hours are cut by the employer. Since the employer mandate is still not in function. You might remember that Boener is suing the president for doing what the Republican wanted him to do. Some employee chose to work less hour because they could now afford cheaper access to health care. Some were able to retired now that Obamacare is in function.

    “You are assuming all places allow employees to sell back vacation. That is not true. ”

    I think you misread the link you posted:

    ” Think of this as money you have saved in the bank but cannot yet withdraw. Thereafter, vacation accrued during a given year becomes available for use the following year.”

    The money is yours wether or not you take your vacation.

    When they say:

    ”Unused vacation

    You must use all of you available vacation during the year it becomes available. Any available vacation that you do not use will be lost, where allowed by state law, unless we request that you postpone your vacation due to unavoidable and unforeseen business conditions or circumstances. If we request that you postpone your vacation, you must take the postponed vacation no later than three months after your anniversary date.”

    They in no way mean that you lose your money but you lose the days off work, not the money. If some state authorizes to not pay the amount it would really not be representative of the majority of US state. and undoubtedly one of the poorest state in the union. Most US state I visited had similar rule to Québec except maybe for the number of week.

    If I sound nasty and arrogant its because the US is filled with people that cannot place Washington D.C, or NY on a map. That cannot understand that big government is the one looking in the bedroom, not the one that make sure that corporation respect their employee. The richest states in the US are the one that are the most progressive. They are the state that pay for the retarded state that treat people like slave and corporation like god.

  44. Sylvain Allard

    July 19, 2014 at 3:47 pm

    It would be nice if you could at least understand the link you post.

  45. http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/paid-vacation-what-are-rights-33485.html

    http://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2013/12/30/for-majority-workers-vacation-days-unused/7X1VwsRbVahLOzy98wnTyH/story.html

    I care nothing about your further tirade and I’m finished discussing things. You insist you know more than people who live in America and I’m sick and tired of the utter arrogance. I won’t be reading or commenting on this thread any further.

  46. Sylvain Allard

    July 19, 2014 at 7:10 pm

    For once you provided a useful link, which sadly for you only demonstrate how the US is retarded concerning labor laws. Canada and developed European create as much jobs than the US and still have everything that the US does not, like higher level of taxes, salary, benefit, etc.

    The US look ever more like China, it has no compassion, liberty or even respect for its citizen. It really is going down the drain.

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