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Jack: "somehow (divination?) today's rightwinger seems to KNOW the precise "value" of low paid employee's production right down to whether the "affordable" and "proper" min wage cost of living increase should be one cup of cheap coffee per hour or two cheap cups of coffee per hour. "

This rightwinger doesn't claim to know the value of any worker. As an employer, I know how much I can pay for a certain task. The potential employee knows how much he or she is willing to work for. The two of us decide the value of the worker in the particular job.

............ As mentioned and taught in econ courses the world over the low paid worker we are discussing has very little bargaining power, so naturally, we, employers tend to like it that way.

Jack: "But my answer would be that a taxpayer subsidy to remedy this situation is fine with me and about the only rational policy possible. What would you say? "

I'd say the same thing I said at 3:53 am this morning: We should abolish our systems of wealth redistribution.

.............. And? how would YOU handle the problem of compensating the handicapped person who you say is not worth either the pay of the non-handicapped or anything approaching a living wage?????

Jack: "Somehow the right wing vision appears to fail when looking upward as today's CEO pay having soared by 2,000 percent while median and lower wages have been FLAT or in the case of min wage down."

I don't see that as a failure. The owners of modern corporations - the shareholders - decide through their elected board how much the CEO should be paid. I think they are overpaying most CEO's, and I let those boards know it. But it is not entirely my decision.

.............. Gee, do you think so? 2,000% since 1980 is quite a run! But! as most shares are held in mutual funds the lone stockholders voice is not louder than a whisper in a hurricane.

The current minimum wage is meaningless for all but a tiny percentage of American workers. And that's how it should be.

.......... So many of the "right" claim, however it should not have been allowed to fall so far behind. 20 years ago and many years of productivity increases ago a min wage equal to $10 in today's purchasing power did not break the country and GDP growth was similar to that of today.

An employer and a potential employee should decide the wage in Mt. Pleasant, Texas. It should not be decided in Washington, D.C.

.......... I'll reserve comments regarding the wealthy Lone Star State having higher percentages of folks living in poverty than most state.

Median wages have not been flat for the past 15 years. Real hourly median wages have been growing since 1996.

........Yes! In this graph one can clearly see tiny uptick you mention. Median is the blue line rather near the bottom. The next two, even lower, quintiles are the ones resembling the Bonneville Salt Flats since 1965.


............ Ah! for another President who would at least talk in terms of a strong economy and productivity gains "lifting all the boats".

real wage growth


Whoops use this link:


Duncan Sharp

We need to start producing reportable measurements on other forgotten variables within an economy, not just the ones sanctioned by law in order to allow greater and understanding of cause and effect results. Seems its a lot of guess work right now. We can study the effects- so there's our answers, but what are the questions?

What meaning does monetary units have for rich or poor if the air they breathe is polluted for instance. What is the cost created to 'consumers' of air. What health costs, what life style costs? What cost is involved in solving the greater current crises we have, that neoclassical economics and free market capitalism have created?

Can anyone argue that these costs do not exist.

The gap between high and low income earners may be widening, but the things they share a eroding at the same pace for both.

If we attempt to narrow our experience inside an out-dated system we are hiding from the truth, that is documented everyday about the social costs, environmental costs, cultural costs and costs experienced by the individual.

Until we have legislated value assigned to such things that we really couldn't do without, then they will taken for free without consideration.

The old system needs an up-grade. Not everything stays the same forever and if we don't allow for some sort of change in the economic measuring now then we are just putting off the inevitable.

We all know this, so what do we do.

We read and add to the debate and create discussion.

Participatory Economics is a proposed economic system that uses participatory decision making as an economic mechanism to guide the production, consumption and allocation of resources in a given society. Proposed as an alternative to contemporary capitalist market economies and also an alternative to centrally planned socialism and co-ordinatorism. Wikipedia 2007.

John Dewey

Duncan Sharp: "What meaning does monetary units have for rich or poor if the air they breathe is polluted for instance. ... Until we have legislated value assigned to such things that we really couldn't do without, then they will taken for free without consideration."

Why invent problems that do not exist? The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has been measuring air quality for 36 years. The total amount of pollutants emitted in the U.S. has declined 55% over those 36 years. That's total pollutants - not per capita pollutants. That's a 55% reduction at the same time that the U.S. population increased 46% - at the same time total miles driven in the U.S increased 177%.


Duncan Sharp: "The old system needs an up-grade. ... We all know this"

No, sir. We don't all "know" this.

Duncan Sharp

Thanks John,

The problem of air would exist if you lived in a neighborhood that had air pollution problems, but that was an example attempting to express the absolute importance of these things that go unaccounted for.

Its interesting stats and while seeming positive they show total amount. I'm not learned in chemistry and can not unfortunately find the time just now to investigate- But I imagine certain chemicals have risen, while others have declined due to synthetics. I understand that technology may counter some balance here, but is it not possible that those that have risen are considered more harmful? I have to research that for my own interest.

And eh, yeah you're right we don't all know the economic system needs an up-grade. And I will look forward to any future debate as to why it doesn't and it's perfection. I will find time soon to put my case forward, but not today.

John Dewey

duncan sharp: "The problem of air would exist if you lived in a neighborhood that had air pollution problems"

You are correct, of course. Air pollution can be a problem at a local level even if not one globally.

I will also concede that the EPA's measurement may need to be updated. They have been moitoring the six pollutants which were known in 1971 to be most harmful nationwide.

Although our Supreme Court has somehow determined that CO2 is a pollutant, it was not a pollutant based on the definition that has existed for all of my lifetime (56 years).




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