" a wage move is far less likely to bring down capitalism than the kind of intense social inequality that has made Central America such a scary place to walk around."
OK, then you are more concerned with the social inequality enhanced by who owns the wealth of the country? I would have to agree that *social* inequality (i.e. class conflicts) is a concern rather than simply who earns what amount of money. We still back to the issue of 'fairness' here though. What is 'fair' compensation for executives of businesses vs. what is 'fair' for front-line workers of those businesses. We are so caught up in the 'more stuff = more happiness' syndrome that class warfare is inevitable as have-nots seek to take what the haves have, ignoring the possibility that maybe the haves have it because they earned it.
" I think it's going to get Guatemalan out there."
Maybe that's what this country needs. Viva la revolucion! Although I would think the situation would be more like Greece than Guatemala. But either one would be good to get all the youthful angst satisfied, and finally we could get an economic 'reset' like what should have happened in 2009 and rebuild. The Fed could have eased the pain of the reset and let the air out of the balloon slowly, but they decided that no pain was more politically safe and so postponed the inevitable for the next US revolutionary war. Thank you Greenspan and Bernanke.
"An extra 25 cents charge per meal would probably pay for the whole thing."
OK, I see. I think this is the crux of your argument then, that the workers would get their $15/hr, McDonalds raises prices by a small amount, and everyone is happy. I just don't think it would be that simple. Maybe an alternative would be to discuss who are the people who work at McDonalds (and other minimum wage jobs), why do they work there (as opposed to other ways to 'spend' their time/labor), how do we encourage them to improve themselves and migrate to better-paying jobs. I think $15/hr is a red herring and a band-aid on bigger issues.
Also... McDonalds could say "In lieu of paying our employees $15/hr, we decide instead to give the opportunity for more poor people to earn money, so we pay 1/2 that rate to hire 2x the workers. We are actually helping the poor in that way by offering jobs to more of them.
I dunno... I think this argument still is silly. McDonalds pays what they want to pay. People work for what they want to receive in wages. I don't think there is a vast right-wing conspiracy in regards to labor wages that needs 'fixing' by a benevolent government.
You may be stereotyping me - not sure Aapl, but that's unlike you. I think though that you and I differ on whether inequality is fair or not. I don't believe in there is a definition of 'fair' that I would agree with, because I think it only exists in the mind of the definer. What you might consider fair, I might consider unfair. I don't believe that giving people stuff (unearned higher wages, Obama phones, EBT, healthcare, among others) where there is no requirement to somehow pay back, is helping them in the long term. Especially when the handouts come from a faceless, nameless "government" (which is actually all of us).
If I were McDonalds, I would say "fine, you can have $15/hr, if you also agree to reduce labor headcount and pick up the additional work of those who were laid off." But it seems like you are saying basically that McDonalds has ''extra' money that they are selfish with and should be distributing that to its workers instead of hoarding. Or that McDonalds executives somehow get "too much" money for what they do, and should share their salary with the front-line workers. Is that true? I don't want to put words in your mouth.
As long as people are willing to work at below-poverty wages, then the marketplace will employ them. I guess that's where unions come in. They prevent people by force from accepting low-wage jobs.
I think it's silly to set an arbitrary value on a wages. Wages are a function of supply and demand, like every other commodity. Except of course in a 'managed economy', when TPTB decide what everything is 'worth.' But 'value' will generally revert back to supply/demand forces once the heavy-handed political lackeys are done manipulating it. $15/hr will work out just fine for the first year or two, but then market forces will adjust and we will all have to deal with the fallout if $15/hr upsets the market balance. There is always a downside to what seems like a no-brainer, compassionate, humanitarian government move. But politicians and media tend to gloss over any downside in order to keep their constituents happy and ignorant.
Aapl, thanks for your vigilance on this indicator. I would never have even considered it 5 years ago when we started this dance. But your calls based on sentiment have been pretty good! :-)
"she absolutely is unable to form an original thought/opinion."
And therefore is perfect for the job. She'll get confirmed, no problem.
"You're asking if it's different this time? That's the kind of reaction contrarians depend on."
Yes, you are right of course. I will not be converted to a bull... I'm just resigned to waiting and waiting. I STILL have the same little SDS position that I took in May 2009, which I have tenaciously held onto despite all odds. I guess I have been 'fighting the Fed' for almost 5 years now. Maybe it will pay off or not. At this point I really don't care any more because money is becoming less important in the grand scheme compared with how leaders are running the world.
The rest of my portfolio is still in cash, which now amounts to about 2/3 of what I had originally invested in SDS.
By the way, my buy-and-hold investor friend that still mocks me for being bearish is gloating again at how his portfolio is 200% higher since I told him he should get out since the market is rigged. I just nod and say 'you have $0 until you sell something.' He has no intention of ever closing his positions until he retires and needs to spend it.
Let me clarify a little - you are right, my answer was vague. What I mean by 'can't afford' is that I believe the government will have to contribute to people who still cannot afford their mandatory health insurance. That's more debt that will be needed to pay for it, but I don't have specifics. I really don't feel like I need to wait to find out that the US Gov't administering a healthcare program will end up a tangled, expensive bureaucracy like most other programs. It will certainly be 'different' from what we have now, but I don't believe it will be 'better'. Healthcare is not a 'right', nor is it a guarantee. Life itself is not a guarantee from day to day. It is certainly difficult and emotional to see innocent people suffer and die from seemingly preventable causes, but death is assured for all and life is precious and a gift from God/ We are only called to live each day for Him as best we can, whatever the circumstances.
It sure seems that way, huh Dez? 5 Years, 10 Years... maybe 20 more like Japan did. I'm still long SDS... holding on for dear life. :-)
I don't think propaganda is even needed. The thing is a debacle - we can't afford to pay for this (unless Bernanke/Yellen keep printing ad infinitum), it's MORE expensive for many people, and we don't need the whole US government administering yet another entitlement program to get political points. I wish Americans would wake up and start electing people that have the country's and the constituent's best interests in mind, rather than political power and money.