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Quist’s letter a breath of fresh air

July 16, 2013

To the editor: Allen Quist’s July 13 letter (Walz embarrasses us on the farm bill) was a breath of fresh air to many of us in the greater Mankato area....

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(46)

middleclassworker

Jul-16-13 1:38 AM

Maybe if employers focused on ensuring that their employees earned enough money so as not to qualify for food stamps, we wouldn't have so many people on food stamps.

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MichaelT

Jul-16-13 10:18 AM

Maybe if we got control of our government and kept them from heaping so many regulations on businesses, they would be about to pay their employees enough money so as not to qualify for food stamps. Then we wouldn't have so many people on food stamps.

Businesses must make a profit to stay in business. The more government cuts into that profit, the less they have to cover their other expenses, including wages.

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mnsotn

Jul-16-13 11:03 AM

Maybe if businesses had ETHICS, we wouldn't need so many regulations.

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Auntydem

Jul-16-13 2:58 PM

Business Insider - Corporate profit margins just hit another all-time high. Wages as a percent of the economy just hit another all-time low. Why are corporate profits so high? One reason is that companies are paying employees less than they ever have as a share of GDP. And that, in turn, is one reason the economy is so weak: Those "wages" are represent spending power for consumers. And consumer spending is "revenue" for other companies. So the profit obsession is actually starving the rest of the economy of revenue growth.

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middleclassworker

Jul-17-13 1:13 AM

Well said, Auntydem. I don't understand how so many people cannot understand this.

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MichaelT

Jul-17-13 10:12 AM

AD: Again and again you point to "greedy corporations" as the problem in America's economy, but you never tell us what you think should be done to solve the problem. Why is that?

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GopherState

Jul-17-13 11:04 AM

For starters, you can ensure that "greedy corporations" are paying their workers enough to keep them off of taxpayer paid subsidies if their profits are at a certain level. Why should I pay more in taxes so that the Waltons can have cheap labor? Costco is doing great lately, and they pay over $15.00 an hour to their employees. If they can do it and be successful, then so can walmart and many other corporations.

Why do you continue to stick up for these companies?

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MichaelT

Jul-17-13 12:55 PM

My response is: What do you have against poor people? The higher you raise minimum wage, the less likely it is that they will be employed and gain the job experience needed to rise on the economic ladder.

You seem to think that people who receive minimum wage are stuck there the rest of their life. Statistically speaking, that situation does not describe the life history of a very large percentage of the workforce.

I want people to have jobs. I want them to have the opportunity to ascend the economic ladder. Socialist policies prevent that. Socialist policies create a permanent underclass.

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MichaelT

Jul-17-13 1:06 PM

Another thought - You seem to think that if you raise the minimum wage, businesses will have no choice but to continue at their current workforce level and pay higher wages. Not so.

When small businesses are faced with significantly higher costs for wages and they can't pass the costs on to consumers, they either reduce their workforce, reduce their service, or go out of business.

When big businesses are faced with higher labor costs, they have the option of replacing a human being with a machine. The machine may be too expensive to buy if labor costs are less, but if labor costs rise significantly, buying the machine is the better business decision.

Minimum wages increases are always the product of good intentions; but those good intentions do not materialize when the mandatory increases are faced with the economic realities of the real world.

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japanviking

Jul-17-13 3:16 PM

Michael you state "When small businesses are faced with significantly higher costs for wages and they can't pass the costs on to consumers, they either reduce their workforce, reduce their service, or go out of business." My response is if a company can not make enough profit while paying a decent living wage and the only way for them to stay solvent is keep their employees below the poverty level they should fail and go out of business.

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MichaelT

Jul-17-13 4:04 PM

JPNVIKNG: First, please tell me exactly how much a "living wage" is and how it is calculated.

Second, your comment assumes that everyone who is in the workforce is looking for a "living wage." A large portion of workers who work at minimum wage jobs are not the primary wage earning in the household. They are not independent and do not need to support themselves. Their livelihood does not depend on them receiving a "living wage." Yet if employers are forced to pay a "living wage" (however that is defined), many of these workers will be priced out of a job. How does the "living wage" benefit them?

Your suggestion is utopian. The real world does not work the way you suggest, and it never will.

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Auntydem

Jul-17-13 4:25 PM

MT: Once again you go straignt to the extreme and "quote" people with words they did not say. As for your essay questions, it really would not matter what anyone said, because you always read what you want to see no matter what they say.

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MichaelT

Jul-17-13 4:46 PM

AD: You all call for a businesses to share more of their profits with their workers. You complain that corporations are not paying their workers a living wage. But when someone asks you to define your terms and an explanation of how they would be implemented in the working world, you pretend that this is an unreasonable request, and therefore you will not answer it.

I submit that the reason you will not answer is that you cannot answer. You can accuse me of asking unfair questions all you want, but there does come a time when you need to either tell us your solution or stop talking. If all you are going to do is complain about the status quo, then you are nothing but a malcontent trying to arouse public dissatisfaction.

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Auntydem

Jul-17-13 9:15 PM

MT: Many times people have written comments about trickle down which created the current inequality and written about their support for things like minimum wage which helps boost wages at all levels, modest benefits including insurance to protect against financial disaster, safety nets for those in need, and regulations to protect consumers and workers. Since the 80’s wealth has been going to the top and has stagnated for middle class and lower wage workers. Before that there were low wage workers, billionaires, and everything in between, but each level gained wealth. (continued)

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Auntydem

Jul-17-13 9:15 PM

Cont……I did not “accuse (you) of asking an unfair question”. I said my answer really would not matter to you, because you always read what you want to see no matter what anyone actually says. Any suggestion that costs business or the wealthiest a penny is considered the equivalent of saying the state should confiscate all the evil businesses and the money of the greedy rich, then call the takers on their Obama phones to come and get their share before they head off to plunder the now empty homes of the rich, whose now reside in a gulag.

No wonder you worry we’ll all be “enslaved by radical Marxist/socialists like the ones in the current administration”. I submit you can see nothing but extremes.

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mnsotn

Jul-17-13 11:45 PM

MT, if Walmart paid their lowest paid workers $12 an hour and passed 100% of the cost on to their customer, it would raise prices by only 1.1%. I'm sure this could supply to many other businesses. Why would you rather have people on welfare than have rich companies give more of their money to their employees instead of crooked politicians?

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mnsotn

Jul-17-13 11:51 PM

To MT's credit, I suppose Walmart was never meant to be a full-time adult job. It would be better suited for high school and college students.

One little problem: no American company has been as responsible for outsourcing American jobs as Walmart has, and now all these unemployed factory workers are knocking on their door and demanding better, because they know that the company can afford to do better. Good for them!

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GrandmaD

Jul-18-13 12:36 AM

Some corporations treat their employees great. Others do not. Walmart's reputation in regards to this is not good. However when I talk to some of the employees who work there, they say they are treated well.

Each week more than 138 million people shop Walmart because they save money. I shop there occasionally. My kids always shop there because they see it as a way to help make ends meet. Most of my friends, my kids' friends, elderly neighbors who are also friends also shop there. The majority of low income people & people with big families shop there because they need to find the best deals for their money.

Walmart does need to do a better job with their employees, but they do service & help millions of needy customers. Perhaps we could give them credit for that?

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mnsotn

Jul-18-13 7:49 AM

That is the viscious cycle, Grandma. Walmart has eliminated enough good paying jobs in this country that people feel they need to shop there. It is the modern day version of the company store in the turn of the 19 the and 20th centuries where you were paid in vouchers from your employer to shop at the store that they owned.

George Carlin sums it up best: This country is no longer "We the People". It is owned by people who want it all. They own the politicians, they have the judges in their back pocket, they own the media they own you and me. They want everything we have. They give you a pension, and when you retire, they want it back..and they get it! Now they want your social security, and they will get that too! They call it the American Dream because it only exists in your dreams.

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MichaelT

Jul-18-13 10:24 AM

mnsotn: 2 questions for you: First, who are these "rich corporations" that you talk about? You're talking about me. Trust me, I'm about as far from "rich" as you can get without being destitute. My retirement plan is invested in Wal-Mart. If Wal-Mart doesn't generate a higher profit than I can get elsewhere, my money is going to leave Wal-Mart and go to another investment. That's how it works in the real world. Wal-Mart needs to maximize its profits in order to retain its value.

Second, in your comments you talk about the responsibility of the corporation to pay higher wages, regardless of the value a worker contributes to the corporation's bottom line. You do not talk about any responsibility on the part of the worker. Does the worker bear any responsibility for improving his own skill and knowledge, so that he is able to earn higher wages by making his work more profitable to his employer?

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MichaelT

Jul-18-13 11:46 AM

mnsotn: If Walmart paid their lowest paid workers $12 an hour and passed 100% of the cost on to their customer, it would raise prices by only 1.1%. 2 questions: First, where do you get your figures? Second, since you have this all worked out, tell us how much of its business Wal-Mart would lose to its competitors and how many people would lose their jobs due to the loss of business to others who would pay less.

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JReader

Jul-18-13 1:45 PM

If nobody wanted to work at Walmart for the "low" wages they offered they wouldn't have any open stores. If their starting wage is too low for the job market they will need to raise to it to a point where people will start applying. This concept is known as a free market. Supply and demand determine price. It works in the labor market just like it does in other markets. It is the same reason why minimum wage laws cost workers their jobs.

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MichaelT

Jul-18-13 3:59 PM

mnsotn: You rail against Wal-Mart as though Wal-Mart has made no contribution to society at large. Wal-Mart has done the same thing that A & P, Sears, and Henry Ford did in the last century -- they developed a system that can get quality products to consumers at a lower price than had ever been achieved before. While individual workers are no doubt impacted by the shift in the labor market, society as a whole is lifted up economically by more efficient use of limited resources.

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MichaelT

Jul-18-13 10:15 PM

AD- In answer to your comment of 9:15 pm - Your answer contains the same vague generalities that appear again and again in the answers from the liberals on this site. You say that you support minimum wage. We have a minimum wage. What you are saying, I suppose, is that it should be higher. How much higher? What would be your criteria, your formula for determining how high? Or is this formula to be kept secret, developed in closed-door meetings of Congress, and then we'll find out after the bill is passed?

You say you want "modest benefits to protect against financial disaster." First, define "modest." Second, we already have systems in place to provide safety nets to prevent financial disaster. What more do you want? Or is this something else that you want to keep secret and tell us after the decision has been made in Washington?

(Cont...)

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MichaelT

Jul-18-13 10:17 PM

AD:

(...cont.) You say you want regulations to protect consumers and workers. We already have them. In fact, Dodd-Frank has a whopper of a consumer protection section that is probably unconstitutional.

And yet, when we ask liberals for specifics, they give only vague answers. Mainly, their answer is "MORE!"

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