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A rather naïve way of looking at it, but that is the line you are supposed to push

You ever hear the old adage "A rising tide lifts all boats". It is generally true unless you are securely tied to the bottom.

Consider the average burger shops problem if minimum wage is increased. His operational cost go up so he has to compensate. Increase prices, reduce labor costs, reduce product quality or a mixture of all. All his competitors have the same problem, so what should he do.

The answer depend on where he sees himself in the food chain (pun intended). Top of the food chain will be least impacted but will be the biggest beneficiary of a change. They will not mess with quality as it is implicit in their brand. They foresee demand for their brand increasing as more people are now able to afford it. They know their brand recognition can sustain a reasonable price increases yet at the same time they are pushing automation through on line and instore ordering systems. COVID was instrumental in pushing some technologies to the forefront.

Bottom of the food chain has problems and those who make the wrong decision will go under and over time will be replaced by those higher up the chain. That's bidnus

The following article is based on the MickeyDs conference call. They are OK with an increase in Minimum Wage providing it is done in a stepped manner

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/what-minimum-wage-increase...
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A rather naïve way of looking at it, but that is the line you are supposed to push

What the line *you're* pushing neglects is that some jobs aren't worth $15 an hour, and then disappear...either completely, or be automated, or something else. You can't climb a ladder if the first few rungs are legislated out of existence. Also, there are some jobs where the benefits are worth a lot to the employee--think the $12 per hour worker who gets group health insurance--who will get a $3 raise when the minimum wage goes to $15, at the expense of the health insurance that will go away when the evil employer has to find a way to stay in business.
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I see your dilemma. What happens to the people who are around that $15 threshold, they get nothing.

Using the analogy of the ladder, the bottom rungs are not eliminated, the whole ladder is raised up. The rungs still exist in relation to each other. So while the guy who currently gets $15 will get nothing, he has skills and experience that is now worth more than $15 and eventually his rung will catch up or he will move on.

Assuming the minimum wage is $8 right now. If the government had the power to say "All wages will be increased by $7 per hour regardless of your current wage, be it $8, $15 or $200 per hour" would that be easier to palate? Yes overall prices would rise and inflation could be an issue. The government could actually do this by upping the earned income credit and offsetting it with higher marginal rates to the same financial outcome. But it would not be the same social outcome.
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"A rising tide lifts all boats". It is generally true unless you are securely tied to the bottom.

How many workers are permanently 'tied to the bottom'? Doesn't experience, hard work and being a good employee by definition raise the boat? If he didn't, is there anything that prevents that boat from going somewhere else to be raised?

As anyone should expect, our liberal friends focus on what is visible while ignoring what is not visible but is just as material. Here are some of the employee benefits that are used to figure the actual income of the worker:

Salary or hourly wage
Medical insurance
Dental insurance
Paid Vacation
Paid Sick days
Student loan/education subsidies
Childcare subsidies
Retirement plan contributions
Meal subsidy

Per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, benefits other than direct compensation accounted for 31.4% of total benefits. IOW for each $2.18 of pay, the average worker received $1 of benefits. Requiring the pay to be increased will most likely result in a commensurate reduction of the benefits provided.

https://www.bls.gov/news.release/ecec.nr0.htm

But even this form of logic overlooks the real value of minimum wage jobs to the young, which include

- The first exposure to working with others outside the home and school
- Responding to customer/client needs and expectations
- Learning the importance of promptness
- Learning the importance of personal hygiene and neatness
- Learning how to respond to authority
- The reward of working hard and working smart

In short, the first job has little to do with pay and everything to do with gaining experience and maturity. Reducing the number of entry level jobs with mandatory high hourly salary simply reduces the number of youth who will get this experience.

BruceM
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How many workers are permanently 'tied to the bottom'? Doesn't experience, hard work and being a good employee by definition raise the boat?

A fast-food manager once told me that the starting wage in her store was above minimum wage, and anyone hired there who managed to not quit or get fired for six months, and stayed longer than that, was either bucking for a management post or an idiot - because that documented work history was enough to get a better job elsewhere.
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Medical insurance
Dental insurance
Paid Vacation
Paid Sick days
Student loan/education subsidies
Childcare subsidies
Retirement plan contributions
Meal subsidy

Average? Take a look at your handy dandy book of statistics and see how many people on minimum wage get these benefits. Then take a look at medical coverage, its expensive, those with employer provided plans really skew the averages.

If the world were conveniently divided it to "go getters" and "slackers" I would have no problem with your approach. Unfortunately it is not and the vast majority lay somewhere in the middle.

A friend of my daughter is a typical example. Married, two kids, you can argue that that was their choice and in hindsight they may agree. Early thirties, both hard workers but not the sharpest tools in the shed. He works bussing tables on an evening and stacking shelves on a night. Hours at the reseraunt have been restricted of late. She does tattoos (cash) at home while minding the kids. Kids are on CHIP adults no insurance or any of the above benefits. All this to make ends meet and keep off the streets. Functional apartment in a level above the bottom complex, two used cars with insurance. No savings

I think these are typical of many in that minimum wage arena. Doing their best to survive but facing an uphill struggle all the way.

What would you suggest they do to make their lives better?
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- The first exposure to working with others outside the home and school
- Responding to customer/client needs and expectations
- Learning the importance of promptness
- Learning the importance of personal hygiene and neatness
- Learning how to respond to authority
- The reward of working hard and working smart

All good stuff and I would expect you to get these concepts in your first week, from that point onwards its a job.

Go to McDonalds and you will see the workforce you are talking about. Generally highschool kids looking to make some cash. Now take look at your local diner, Denny's or IHOP, at totally different workforce. Often older retirees, single mothers, generally more experienced looking to survive. Plus they know some of us old coots tip really well to anybody who calls us "Hon"
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I see your dilemma. What happens to the people who are around that $15 threshold, they get nothing.

Using the analogy of the ladder, the bottom rungs are not eliminated, the whole ladder is raised up.



I don't think you see my point at all. I'm saying that some people will have *no* job when the government gives the employer the requirement to pay an arbitrary wage higher than the job is worth. Some people will make out well, and some prices will increase to account for their higher wages. Others will find that their job has evaporated. The positions harmed the most will be the youngest and lowest skilled whose first job functions as a resume builder, showing that they come to work the days they're scheduled, do the job conscientiously, etc. There will be some jobs "worth" $14 that will be able to accomodate the bump, a lot of jobs "worth" $8 just won't be able to justify the near doubling in wage. Imagine if the kid you pay to mow your lawn was required by the government to charge you double what he's charging now. I bet a lot more people would mow their own lawn. Of if your babysitter was required by law to be paid $15 per hour, you might go out less often.

Or, maybe you replied to my post meaning to reply to another?
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Assuming the minimum wage is $8 right now. If the government had the power to say "All wages will be increased by $7 per hour regardless of your current wage, be it $8, $15 or $200 per hour" would that be easier to palate? Yes overall prices would rise and inflation could be an issue. The government could actually do this by upping the earned income credit and offsetting it with higher marginal rates to the same financial outcome. But it would not be the same social outcome. - BobsDonuts

--------------

Sounds complicated. Here is another idea, a three part program....

1 - Politicians get the hell out of the picture

2 - Employers decide how much they need to pay to attract the number of and skills os the workers they need to operate their busiess.

3 - Workers decide for themselves if a given job wit the hours, working conditions, and pay is something they want to do.

If the employer can't attract or keep the people he needs, he will increase pay rates or benefits or both.

If the employee wants to earn more money, he can see if another employer is offering a better deal for his skill set or preferably, he can improve his skill set.
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In short, the first job has little to do with pay and everything to do with gaining experience and maturity. Reducing the number of entry level jobs with mandatory high hourly salary simply reduces the number of youth who will get this experience.

BruceM


--------------

Yep, like so many things, the liberals are attempting to redefine these entry level jobs, as a lifetime career, one where the worker can earn enough to raise a family, own a modest home, 2 cars and maybe a boat, and take two weeks of vacation every year.

One of my first jobs was shoveling snow off sidewalks for 50 cents or maybe a dollar if I was lucky. It was seasonal work, so in the summer I would mow yards for $2 or so. I wonder if today's liberal visualizes me struggling to raise a family on that.
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When I finish college with brand new degree in chemistry, my first job was part time working in university lab doing research for the princely sum of $5 an hour and I was glad to get it.

I work my way up the rungs and get paid a little more now.
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In reality what minimum wage laws do is make it illegal to hire anyone who brings a value less than that wage to the business. In this case if you don't bring $15 of value to me, I can't hire you. So you will make the true minimum wage, that is 0 per hour. It's that simple.
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I'm saying that some people will have *no* job when the government

Maybe, there are arguments on both sides on the impact of jobs. But overall there is agreement that the impact on the working poor will be overall a positive. In addition states who have implemented wages above the current minimum have not see the job losses that you forecast, in fact some of them have seen overall economic growth as a direct results of the increases.

Additionally many of the major employers have enacted wages above the minimum, some already going for the $15 level. They see it as good business and their employees as an asset rather than a commodity. This in itself if widespread enough will put upward pressure on wages, while at the same time further depressing the minimum wage market.

BTW I can't find a kid to mow my lawn, nor anyone who speaks English as a primary language. So I hire Jose and his brother Jose, who seem to have a monopoly on the street. Prompt, reliable and proactive. They do about 2 houses an hour at $30 /house, so that is double minimum. If I were asked to kick in another $7, no problem... Neither would anyone else. Double it and I would shop around, but if every one was the same price I'd eat it. Very few cut their own lawn in a Houston summer

Baby sitter, haven't used one lately but kiddo tells me that his cost $15 per hour. Dog and cat sitter, I use often, 3 visits a day $60, live in is $100 a day, boarding is $150 (3 cats 1 dog). I use the live most of the time so someone is watching the property... and probably stealing my stuff and partying when I wasn't looking
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In this case if you don't bring $15 of value to me, I can't hire you. So you will make the true minimum wage, that is 0 per hour. It's that simple.

You are the employer, supposedly the smart one in the room. If you cant figure out how to get $15 of value from some one then don't hire them. If your business can survive without paying someone less than $15 per hour, then you should not be in business. It's that simple.

Business get these curved balls from government all the time. Most adapt. Those that don't are replaced.
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Well, it's been shown that there is a correlation between the inflation-adjusted minimum wage and the gap between black youth unemployment and white youth unemployment - the higher the minimum wage, the more excess unemployment among young blacks.

Yep, a high minimum wage hurts blacks.

Funny how those promoting it are, in general, the most eager to paint anyone who disagrees with them on anything as racists.
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Sounds complicated. Here is another idea, a three part program....

1 - Politicians get the hell out of the picture


LOL
With your plan, children would still be working in coal mining and the average manufacturing job would pay $60 a week like in China.
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But overall there is agreement that the impact on the working poor will be overall a positive

An agreement between whom? Two liberal progressives who've never held a real job?

Assuming the hourly rate increase is not offset by other cuts in benefits, the number of those employed in minimum wage entry level jobs will, by supply and demand, diminish, as less costly alternatives are developed. But even if discretionary income were to increase in this group, inflation would also rise leading to stagnant purchasing power. This is a case of fiscal tail-chasing that like most progressive ideas sounds good on the surface until it is reasoned all the way through.

Additionally many of the major employers have enacted wages above the minimum, some already going for the $15 level.

And what benefits have been reduced to offset the higher hourly wage? Or, like Amazon, who loves to brag about their $15/hr minimum wage, employees are 'driven' yet harder to meet production goals.

In short, there's no free lunch. A minimum wage is a facade for fiscal smoke and mirrors. In the end, the market will set how much, in salary and benefits, a worker is paid.

BruceM
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Or, like Amazon, who loves to brag about their $15/hr minimum wage, employees are 'driven' yet harder to meet production goals.

Or, like Costco, who just raised their minimum wage to $16/hr, and feedback from people I know that work there indicate it is a great place to work.
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BCM: In summary

You don't like the idea of minimum wage increase because it is a Liberal idea.
You fear that it will lead to higher unemployment, increased innovation, increased in productivity, possibly increased discretionary income (I think that is a definite), and inflationary pressure (I'd go for possibly on that one).

Overall it looks good to me three plusses two negatives. And of those two negatives unemployment is high right now especially in those lower levels a good time to do some retraining and cut the supply side
. Inflation, I personally don't mind it, but I can understand why many don't. Yes you have to watch it closely and act if it is a problem.

What is a real job?
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Price controls always work so well in free markets.
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Free markets operate oh so well without control, until they don't

The early bird catches the worm. The early worm gets eaten.
Every cloud has a silver lining and vise versa
The squeaky wheel get the grease, then it gets replaced

Always take the middle path. Siddhartha Gautama
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"Free markets operate oh so well without control, until they don't"

***********************************************************************

Controlled and regulated markets operate so well they produce black markets to
supply goods and services.

Unintended consequences always get in the way of good intentions.
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Have you ever considered why we have regulations and why a free market needs them

The primary drive of capitalism is to increase profit.
Imaging what would happen if you removed all the rules and regulations from industry.
Take for example the meat packing industry. There will always be that unscrupulous one who sees the profit equation and figures out :

I can reduce labor cost: Corner the market, bring in cheaper labor
I can reduce labor cost: Eliminate quality control
I can reduce material cost: Buy cheaper meat
I can reduce material cost: Add fillers
I can reduce processing cost : No refrigeration
I can reduce processing cost : No masks protective equipment

Oddly enough they have all happened and the public suffered as a consequence
The company goes under and emerges later under a new banner. And as the low cost bulk provider rapidly picks up its market share

So the public says this must be stopped. Hence we have regulations that are broadly applied to all.
These rules usually have the most impact on those who "did their own thing", whereas the people who were already doing them had minimum impact.

Now if you still want to balk at the rules, maybe you should push for the Chinese system which is a lot more lax. But the penalties for malfeasance are more severe. Ask the guy who put plaster in baby food.... sorry he is unavailable he is on another line. Not really, his remains rotted off and fell the the ground months ago
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I agree that raising the minimum wage will raise the cost of everything and cost jobs. The only place I have a problem is with the outrageous salaries of CEO's and top management these days. Nobody is worth millions of dollars per year. Seems like Boards hire consulting firms who recommend salaries for the board and the ceo's and top execs. To keep their consulting contracts, they make very expensive recommendations so to attract new blood, other companies have to raise the bar. No end to it but meanwhile, the rank and file are getting 2% increases per year. The only way for them to make more money is to change jobs which costs the company money for recruiting and training. The whole thing feels out of wack.
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I agree that raising the minimum wage will raise the cost of everything and cost jobs.

There is no evidence to support that assertion.
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I agree that raising the minimum wage will raise the cost of everything and cost jobs.

Maybe, maybe not.
There was this idea in the 60s that people would be replaced by robots and the population would live a life of relative leisure. Now look at what actually happened. Mechanization and productivity improved as expected, but the fruits of those gains were kept by a select few. The lot of the working man actually declined.

Take a page out of StarTrek. When speaking to a visitor (I believe that it was time traveler from the past). He said something along the lines of "With the harnessing of the suns energy and the invention of the replicator which can change that energy to matter, most have no need to work. We have overcome hunger and greed, and we’re no longer interested in the accumulation of things.”. "People are free to learn and be creative"

Obviously we are nowhere near that but every step forward leads you in that direction. No doubt it has its detractors too, complaining about the smart guys flooding the market from Vulcan.
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"There was this idea in the 60s that people would be replaced by robots and the population would live a life of relative leisure. Now look at what actually happened. Mechanization and productivity improved as expected, but the fruits of those gains were kept by a select few. The lot of the working man actually declined."


well...no...no...no....

Let's see..... go back 100 years....no frozen foods.....no microwave ovens. Lady of the house spends hours every day cooking over hot stove.....

Didn't even have electricity on 25% of US population homes 100 years ago...in 1921, less than half the homes in the US even had electricity, and the last 25% didn't get juice till the end of WW2.

Now, we got induction stoves - microwaves - electric stoves - slow cookers, fast cookers, frozen foods that keep meat and veggies fresh - and can be cooked in minutes....

No need for the ice man to deliver ice to your fridge.

You've got vacuum cleaners....and even robot cleaners if you want. Power lawmowers....robot lawnmowers if you want.....

Cars that drive themselves - mostly - and likely will in 15 years.

You've got GPS to get you where you want, and Amazon will deliver your groceries to your doorstep (don't have to bother to go shopping) and every other type of good you want including toilet paper.

You've got all sorts of machines and life is a whole lot easier that 100 years ago, and 50 years ago......

Factories are usually highly automated.....less 'boring work' doing the same assembly of widgets 8 hours a day - monotony...(been there - did that for six weeks and it drove me nuts on Ford assembly line - but some loved the big bucks they made there - mindlessly) ....

No replicators yet - but give it another 50 years.

Oh, and I always wonder WHO actually built all the star ships, the star bases, the houses the folks on Earth and other planets lived on..... and why it takes 400 people on the Enterprise if everything is so automated?


t.
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Oh, and I always wonder WHO actually built all the star ships, the star bases, the houses the folks on Earth and other planets lived on..... and why it takes 400 people on the Enterprise if everything is so automated?

There is a great book called the science of StarTrek where a couple of nerdy physicists attempts calculations about their equipment. For example the inertial dampeners work perfectly as they accelerate to maximum impulse, otherwise the crew would be like a splurge of strawberry jam on the back wall. However when attacked by aliens the crew get buffeted too and fro. Indicating that the dampeners have a response time of a few secs, or are focused in the direction of travel.
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"There was this idea in the 60s that people would be replaced by robots and the population would live a life of relative leisure. Now look at what actually happened. Mechanization and productivity improved as expected, but the fruits of those gains were kept by a select few. The lot of the working man actually declined."

****************************************************************************

Perhaps if one lives in Venezuela the lot of the working stiff has declined?
Perhaps where inflation has robbed the value of the currency?
Perhaps where continuous battles have prevented humans from living free?

Or perhaps where people do not have actual contact with working people?

Howie52
Things have pretty much improved around here - despite runaway inflation, extended
periods of wars, miscellaneous political boondoggles and mismanagement of
all sorts. Free market capitalism can overcome a lot of stupidities.
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" However when attacked by aliens the crew get buffeted too and fro. Indicating that the dampeners have a response time of a few secs, or are focused in the direction of travel. "

Well, interesting...but of course, when Capt Kirk sits in the command chair, knowing they are at battle stations, there's not a seat belt in sight as they get thrown about in the 'bridge'. You'd think after 40 centuries, they'd know to put seat belts on the chairs?

- --

It's also amazing they can plot their course so accurately, avoid all stuff in between A and B, never be bothered by cosmic dust,particles, meteors, etc, over tens of light years........yet track enemy ships at warp.....fire weapons while at warp speed (that relativity thing), etc.




t.
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"Perhaps if one lives in Venezuela the lot of the working stiff has declined?"

Just read where they are now printing BILLION Bolivar notes in Venezuela due to hyper inflation. Next week it will be TRILLION denomination ....per bill.....


The price of a loaf of bread is....2.3 billion bolivars? hmmm...

"Venezuela said it will introduce new large-denomination bolivar notes as hyperinflation renders most bills worthless, forcing citizens to turn to the U.S. dollar for everyday transactions.

The country’s central bank posted a statement on its website Friday saying it would begin circulating the new 200,000, 500,000 and 1,000,000 bills to “fulfill the current economy’s requirements” without providing further details. The 1,000,000 note -- the largest in the nation’s history -- is worth only $0.53 cents."


bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-03-05/hyperinflation-pushes...
t.
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The lot of the working man actually declined
well...no...no...no....

Yes technology has moved on and we have more stuff. But the basic necessity of life has not changed: food, shelter and security. So it is a question the amount of time that you spend acquiring these necessities versus the time you are free to do what ever you want.

So go back 100,000 years the necessities are a direct measure of your survival. Move on to the Cleavers, somewhat idyllic but they had time to spare. Move onto today and you have a significant portion of the country having problems making the basics.

Now I accept the experience of those who say, "Well, I did it, so they should too". But looking at it from a higher level there is obviously something systemically wrong with the system to cause so many to be having problems. I believe that it is the problem of distribution at the root, but I am happy to listen to other views,
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" Move on to the Cleavers, somewhat idyllic but they had time to spare. Move onto today and you have a significant portion of the country having problems making the basics."

hmm....

1 ) the Cleavers lived in a FAMILY unit - unlike the unwed mother discussed in thread...

2 ) the CLeavers got married, then had kids....not the other way around

3 ) the Cleavers still had to spend more time getting food and preparing it - likely 2-3 times the amount of time. In addition, there were no frozen foods then....or just the very beginnings of frozen foods...... In the winter, you'd probably get canned veggies on your table and fresh fruits and veggies only came 'in season'.

4) there would be one car in the family.....not one car per kid over 16.......

5 ) If you went on vacation,you went camping in a tent, or maybe rented a small cabin near a lake for a week..... and maybe the boy went to Boy Scout camp for a few bucks a week.....and bunked in cabins or dorms with 15 others....

6 ) we only had two sexes and didn't waste half the school budget on 'diversity councilors' and bathrooms for transgenders.......

7 ) you walked or rode a bike to school......nearly every day.

8 ) You sat down for dinner with the family. Eating out was a rare, rare treat. (Most years I grew up, eating out happened maybe 2 or 3 times a year - and that at a hot dog stand or equivalent - never had pizza till I went off to college )......

9 ) Kids had one or two activities a week - max -

Now....tear up the list. ...... and the average family eats out how many times a week? Six?


t.
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Move on to the Cleavers

My my, we are tossing a lot of pet peeves into the mix. Kid activities, bikes to school, gender, marriage cabins in the woods, perv's in Pizza Hut..... where will it all end!

Caveman chases antelope and pokes it to death with sharp stick. Family pigs out. Caveman gets bored draws pictures on cave walls, Caveman get hungry, chases another antelope. Maybe we should walk to the top of the mountain this summer and see what's on the other side.

Ward comes home from a days work, puts his feet up, reads the paper, puffs on his pipe. June checks on the kids, puts her feet up too and reads some magazine. "Oh Ward Las Vegas looks so pretty, can we go this summer", "Sure hon, we'll load up the woody and head west for 2-3 weeks, I'm sure the boss will give me the extra time off"

20% of country come home from job, worry about paying the rent this month, keeping the heating on, getting enough food. Many of those in normal times, turn around and go to second job, pat the kids on the as they head out to school in the morning before crashing. A vacation to them getting the kids in the church summer school program, so you can pull the dinner shift somewhere.
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"Ward comes home from a days work, puts his feet up, reads the paper, puffs on his pipe. June checks on the kids, puts her feet up too and reads some magazine. "Oh Ward Las Vegas looks so pretty, can we go this summer", "Sure hon, we'll load up the woody and head west for 2-3 weeks, I'm sure the boss will give me the extra time off"

- ---

Ha...most folks 60 years ago....ate 99% of their meals at home. Never ordered a pizza out -if they wanted one - and most didn't - they made it from scratch at home for $2 instead of $15 delivered plus tip.

When I was a kid in the 50s and 60s, dad had a decent job with the NY telco. Got standard vacation - no way to take extra time off. You got 2 weeks or 3 weeks and that was it. Period. Union rules, etc. Magazines? Heck, most folks back then might have gotten one or two magazine subscriptions a year. I got Boys Life but paid for it my mowing neighbor yard or shoveling neighbor driveway. Think mom got Readers Digest and maybe we got Life Magazine. That was it. Load up; the care with 'magazines'?

Hardly - our vacations were tent camping - as we toured some of the national parks. 8x10 canvas tent. Cooked all our meals. Lunch was sandwiches made from the 'cooler' ....the little ice box....

Eventually dad bought a piece of property 300 feet from a lake....and he and brothers BUILT from scratch a 20x30 foot concrete block house, including foundation down 3 feet, roofed it, wired it, made a stone fireplace, dug an outhouse, etc, in Northern NJ. Money spent over 10 years but livable in 1 year. No 'Las Vegas' hotels for 3 weeks. Dream on!

Bought main house in 'far NJ' suburbs in 1948 with Veterans loan..... a few percent interest back then (but same these days on mortgages). Finished off attic in 1 1/2 story house. Finished half of basement. DIdn't whine about not having 5 bedrooms, two living spaces, separate dining room, chandeliers, 20 foot high entry way, two car garage.....ours was 800 sq foot on main floor, one bathroom, washing machine downstairs, solar dryer in yard....small one car garage - and that's all it held beside the push lawn mower. And snow shovel or two...

- - ---



"20% of country come home from job, worry about paying the rent this month, keeping the heating on, getting enough food. Many of those in normal times, turn around and go to second job, pat the kids on the as they head out to school in the morning before crashing. A vacation to them getting the kids in the church summer school program, so you can pull the dinner shift somewhere. "

Probably true for lots of people - but then again, not for the rest of the country. Get a decent education, trade school, etc, and you won't be sitting at min wage..... in fact, very few are....most make more.

No matter how you slice it.....20% of all people are going to be in the bottom 20% of all people......

And expectations today far exceed what they were 60 years ago.


t.
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You unwittingly proved that my point.

Yes you worked hard, but you had the spare time to do all of those things and were not just working every available hour to make ends meet.

I would never suggest staying 3 weeks in Last Vega. One night is my limit. But Vegas is a good start or end an 3 week tour of the south western national parks. A trip that many people have taken with kids.

When I started work "in a real job", I got one week vacation per year edging up to 4 after ten years. In my latter years as a hirer, many would insist on 4 weeks starting some more. And some were even prepared to negotiate a pay cut for this benefit. Times change, values change
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"Yes you worked hard, but you had the spare time to do all of those things and were not just working every available hour to make ends meet."

and most people today could.....if they bothered to learn some basic skills.....

Ya know, back then we didn't have a house full of appliances.....no fancy 10 speed computer controlled washing machines and dryers. no microwave ovens or fancy stoves,no dishwashers to go bad. No garage door openers and a single TV - black and white - and you could check your tubes at the local drug store and buy a new one if needed. Didn't need fancy earphones, and of course no cellphones, cable TV, internet to spend money on. No pizza delivery or Uber and similar.

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"I would never suggest staying 3 weeks in Last Vega. One night is my limit. But Vegas is a good start or end an 3 week tour of the south western national parks. A trip that many people have taken with kids."

We did the camping bit. And many others did. A 'few' could afford something like an Airstream but still 98% went TENT CAMPING at a buck a night. And cooked meals - no eating out.

You're right - only time I've been in Vegas if for a convention and after my 'free' $5 in coins at the casino, I'm outta there other than maybe the food......

IF you're camping, you're not likely to stay there but bypass it.

Nope, too many today just don't 'do it'..... and yes, some are going to work 2 jobs 'making ends meet'..... but it's not my job to cough up cash to bring all of them up to middle class, is it?

t.
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No matter how you slice it.....20% of all people are going to be in the bottom 20% of all people......

Which obviously means we've made no progress fighting poverty and must take more from the middle 90% and reduce opportunity for the bottom 30%, in the name of taking from the top 1% and helping the bottom 20%.
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and most people today could.....if they bothered to learn some basic skills.....

And many do but the pace of progress leaves them behind

I grew up in a mid sized coal mining village. Post office, small local convenience stores, fish and chip shop, butcher shop, and a small appliance shop where you could get a TV with coin meter on the side. Gas and electric also had coin meters. There was a pub, a social club and two churches. You could get almost everything you needed locally and if not you could catch one of the two buses per hour to the nearest town. Milk man delivered every morning (x sunday), and much more than dairy. Eggs, cheese and occasionally bacon. Fish man would be around Thursday night or Friday morning. Neighbors would often group together and get 5 tones of coal or a ton of potatoes delivered on the sidewalk .... all quickly stowed away by an army of buckets and wheelbarrows. Most people worked for the mines, my father drove haulage trucks, mainly coal, sometimes chemicals, mother worked as a nurses aid. We had a motorbike and side car for transport. We did what we could, but there was no vision of where we wanted to be.

When I go back there not much has changed on the surface. The coal mine has gone along with one of the churches and the butcher. No more coin slots and the place is much cleaner. No one does serious shopping in the local stores which have been demoted to alcohol sales. Village is now a sleeper community for the local city, which with the advent of high speed rail is a short commute from London. The local betting shop just closed when the owner retired, could not compete with on line. Times change

But between these events there was 20 years of misery. An entire industry gone, it was much cheaper and safer to opencast. An entire workforce thrown into unemployment. Some retrained, my father went into the local power station, but the load was too much and the opportunities far and few between and many just shriveled up and died of one ailment or another. Stagnation ot'lungs, it gets to everybody eventually
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No matter how you slice it.....20% of all people are going to be in the bottom 20% of all people......

Very true, math is so uncaring
Tell me, would you prefer to be in bottom 20% of the USA or the bottom 20% of Iceland
Or how about the top 3% of the USA versus the top 3% of China.
It makes no difference to math
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BobD: "I grew up in a mid sized coal mining village. Post office, small local convenience stores, fish and chip shop, butcher shop, and a small appliance shop where you could get a TV with coin meter on the side. Gas and electric also had coin meters."

Sounds like West Virginia here - lots of small mining towns (coal) in the 1900s-1940s....

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BobD:" There was a pub, a social club and two churches. You could get almost everything you needed locally and if not you could catch one of the two buses per hour to the nearest town. Most people worked for the mines, my father drove haulage trucks, mainly coal, sometimes chemicals, mother worked as a nurses aid. We had a motorbike and side car for transport. We did what we could, but there was no vision of where we wanted to be."

That was likely the case in WV....if you lived in one of those towns, you worked for the mine. Probably lived in a house owned by the mines. Walked to work. You shopped at the 'company store' because that was it....nothing else - and you often got paid in 'script' only redeemable at 'the company store'.

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BobD:"When I go back there not much has changed on the surface. The coal mine has gone along with one of the churches and the butcher."

Most of the coal mining towns in WV and eastern KY are near ghost towns....just retirees and a few businesses there. Maybe they were the 'county seat' and still around because of that - court house, county recorder of deeds, etc, police department.

Hundreds of coal mines in WV shut down. No more 'company store' and you got a food market or two, maybe a Dollar General store.....

Most of these towns were hours from 'civilization'. you might be 30 air miles away from the next town.....but it is 75 or 85 road miles at 20-30 mph over the steep winding WV tortuous narrow twisting horrible roads into the 'hollows'....and over the passes .....

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BobD:"But between these events there was 20 years of misery. An entire industry gone, it was much cheaper and safer to opencast."

A few mines re-opened - but with automation, need 1/5th the workers - and most folks 'moved on', 'moved out' or sat there and did nothing.

McDowell County WV was the first place President LBJ issued the first 'food stamps' to help out the miners in 1966 or so.... at that time, mines were running out of 'economic coal' to mine - same in England during the early part of the 1920s....into the 1930s. (It was one reason why Italy cozied up to Germany. Italy was getting shipments of UK coal...but when the UK mines petered out - they needed coal and got it from Germany - thus the partnership during WW2)....

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BobD:"An entire workforce thrown into unemployment. Some retrained, my father went into the local power station, but the load was too much and the opportunities far and few between and many just shriveled up and died of one ailment or another. Stagnation ot'lungs, it gets to everybody eventually "

Lots of 'black lung' disease in WV/KY and it wasn't recognized as a disease till later. Before that it was 'consumption' or other 'ailment'..... but many long time miners were disabled ....most long term miners weren't interested in retraining and most had a sixth grade education before starting their mining career.......


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Fortunately I grew up in suburban NYC area.....

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However, even in the worst of the worst....if you've never seen October Skies , it's time you watched it. Aka 'the Rocket Boys'....

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/October_Sky

"October Sky is a 1999 American biographical drama film directed by Joe Johnston and starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Chris Cooper, Chris Owen, and Laura Dern. The screenplay by Lewis Colick, based on the memoir of the same name, tells the true story of Homer H. Hickam Jr., a coal miner's son who was inspired by the launch of Sputnik 1 in 1957 to take up rocketry against his father's wishes and eventually became a NASA engineer.

October Sky is based on the lives of four young men who grew up in Coalwood, West Virginia."

Back in the 1960s......

Coalwood is in McDowell County WV..... at it's peak - pop 2000 - now pop 900......

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coalwood,_West_Virginia

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sounds like your town fared better - but probably the geography was vastly different.....


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Why you don't want to live there in McDowell County WV: ( from Wiki)

1) About 27.5% of families and 32.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 44.3% of those under age 18 and 20.1% of those age 65 or over

2) Of 3,142 counties in the United States in 2013, McDowell County ranked 3,142 in the life expectancy of both male and female residents. Males in McDowell County lived an average of 63.5 years and females lived an average of 71.5 years compared to the national average for life expectancy of 76.5 for males and 81.2 for females. Moreover, the average life expectancy in McDowell County declined by 3.2 years for males and 4.1 years for females between 1985 and 2013 compared to a national average for the same period of an increased life span of 5.5 years for men and 3.1 years for women.

3) The county has been classified as a "food desert" by the USDA. In 2017, there were two full-sized grocery stores serving the county's 535 square miles. The county's only Walmart Supercenter, the county's largest employer, closed in 2016.

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IF you want to get to a good size town - well, it's hours and hours of driving......

Been there twice.....stayed overnight once...... but not the least bit anxious to go back.....

Oh...and the teeny airport shut down 20 years ago.....and I'm not sure there's even a bank in the county......

t.
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Most of the coal mining towns in WV and eastern KY are near ghost towns....just retirees and a few businesses there. Maybe they were the 'county seat' and still around because of that - court house, county recorder of deeds, etc, police department.

Yeah, most of those towns did not enjoy the weird good fortune of Grantville: https://grantvillegazette.com/about/
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Not as severe as West Virginia but West Yorkshire had the same issues
I was one of the few kid who went to college and when I graduated, I left and never looked back
I consider myself fortunate
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