[Vision2020] You're Doing One Heckufa Job on the Economy, Bushie!
jeffh at moscow.com
Fri Sep 22 21:45:52 PDT 2006
Your attacks on those who respond to your posts lack dignity. I
would think that you would know better.
Your selective anecdotes about the economy suggest one of two things
(or perhaps both): either you lack sufficient knowledge about the
economy and the forces that are always at work to make the economy
what it is. Or, you are using selective statistics to make folks
afraid and thereby advance a political agenda related to labor unions.
First, I find it unusual that you label entrepreneurs and capitalists
as thieves. Every publicly traded corporation in the United States is
owned by shareholders - those shareholders include poor,
middle-income, upper middle income and wealthy individuals. No
citizen is precluded from owning shares in these corporations. And
in fact, stock ownership has never, in history, been more diversified
and held more widely. Indirect holdings are also at all-time highs
(vested interests in defined benefit and defined contribution pension plans).
As a retired UI faculty member, I assume that you receive retirement
payments and therefore have a vested interest in PERSI.
You might want to look closely at the stock investments of
PERSI. You are a de facto shareholder of every stock investment held by PERSI.
By the logic of your argument, you are one of the thieves. I am
curious - over the past several years, PERSI has provided significant
increased benefits to those receiving pension payments. This is due
to the tremendous success of the value of the investment
portfolio. You and other retired folks have reaped enormous benefits
from that portfolio success. Have you returned what you perceive to
be the extraordinary profits?
It seems important to address another of your anecdotal selections -
that of entry-level college graduate salaries. These statistics are
widely available and you might find it useful to review several of
the compiled studies. They all support the conclusion that starting
salaries are a function of the relative supply and demand for the
knowledge, experience and skills that the job applicant brings to the
marketplace. If you are highly skilled in a high demand field
(engineering, computer science, accounting), you will command a
"high" starting salary. If you are highly skilled in a low demand
field, you will receive less. Over time, as the relative supply and
relative demand for the various "knowledge packages" that matriculate
from universities changes, the starting salaries change.
If you are "not very skilled" and you are in a low demand field (or a
field with a large supply of labor - perhaps the result of illegal
immigrants competing for "not very skilled" jobs), your wage is not
going to be as high as highly skilled/high demand applicants.
Here is a link that might help you get started -
Here is another one:
One more issue: you cite the loss of 3,000,000 manufacturing jobs to
the service sector. Actually, most of the manufacturing jobs have
moved offshore (e.g., even Northwest River Supplies has some of their
inventory built at their factory in Mexico) to take advantage of
lower labor cost and to escape the NIMBY factor.
I sense you are sincere in your desire to see a different economy -
and I respect that. Here is a suggestion - why don't you try reading
the Wall Street Journal for 6 months, then review the positions you
have taken in your post. Our dialogue might be very interesting.
At 06:27 PM 9/22/2006, you wrote:
>I was hoping to get some substantial feedback from my column on the
>U. S. economy, but my two critics fail basic reading comprehension.
>Nowhere in this article or anything that I've ever written, have I
>said that businesses should not make a profit. My point was that
>when most the productivity of a business goes to profits and less to
>the workers who produces the goods, then there is something terrible
>wrong with our economy. In the old days workers would have been
>rebelling, but now most of them have been seduced into thinking that
>it's OK for their bosses to steal all the fruits of their labor.
>The truth is in this statistic: Since 1979, adjusted for inflation,
>the poor have received no raises, the middle class has gone up $200
>a year, and the rich have increased their income by 111.3
>percent. Even Adam Smith would have been scandalized by this, and
>would have probably given up his idea of the "invisible hand" that
>gave us "trickle down" economics.
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