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Conditions getting worse.

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  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Pensacola, FL
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    Two indicators of discretionary money are indicating bad times. The restaurant industry is in recession and the movie industry will have the lowest attendance for 2016 in 20 years.

    The fascination and respect for increasing wealth for the top incomes is masking the hardship for the low incomes. For a few people to have a lot of money a lot of people have less money.

    "Without pensions, older workers are being forced to work longer hours and stay in the workforce longer, and that means they're squeezing out some of the most productive workers of all, known as core workers, according to a study by the University of Paris-Sorbonne."

    usatoday.com/story/money/2016/04/23/pen...

  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    I'm not sure what to read into these statistics compiled by the University of Sorbonne-Paris. For example, they define older workers as the 55-64 age group and make a big deal of the "U.S. economy has become more productive by pushing older workers into the labor force, but the average productivity per worker has declined as a result." Huh?

    First they note that the percentage of those in the older group who are currently working has widened to 61% in 2014, up from 60% in 2004. Wow one percent in 10 years. This is not only statistically insignificant, but it also makes no mention of the fact that the retirement age in the USA is 66 and the age at which you are entitled to go on Medicare is 65. Maybe it's different in France, but unless you are in a higher income bracket with a nest egg of savings, there is little incentive for one to retire and leave their stated "older work force, 55-64, before the age of 65...the year you are eligible for Medicare. So there is no push of older workers into the work force...they are there already...at least until age 65 or 66. Now I will fully admit that some workers have chosen to work beyond age 66 to maybe age 70, but that age group was not a part of the Sorbonne study.

    The other big revelation is that the core group of workers in the age bracket 25-54 has shrunk from 79 percent in 2004 to 77 percent in 2014. Again not a big drop, but less to do with work environment and more to do with the fact that the baby boomer bubble is getting older every year. That's as basic as you can get, but the study makes no mention of it. People have aged out of the core group into the older worker group. Pretty simple math.

    Nevertheless, their main conclusion centers around how disappearing pensions have contributed to inequality. I have no disagreement with that...it is intuitive, but there are many other contributing factors for workers staying in the work force longer that are probably more significant and are not even mentioned. However, they have conflated that argument with the premise that disappearing pensions have pushed older workers into the labor force, and thus the U.S. economy has taken jobs away from younger workers who could be more productive. That is a flawed finding.

  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Like I said in another thread; other factors than mentioned will play an bigger role. Like mentioned by the Chinese at Davos they are for an balanced world economic system, not what Trump is doing which is isolation. Introducing "tariffs" on foreign goods is the "old" Republican way of looking at the world; which never did work to the advantage of any country. trade should be without "borders" but with sound trade agreements. Other factors and policies especially from an person who is a loose cannon may change "stability" in the market in an huge way. Thus "job's" may be the least important in the end.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Pensacola, FL
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    "but the average productivity per worker has declined as a result." Huh?"

    More workers producing more goods but goods per person is down. Productivity up but efficiency down. 30 years of rightwing selfishnism is ddestroying this country. Imposing a raised minimum wage is ludicrous. Impose regulations to promote jobs and wages will rise as a function of prosperity. The idea that every activity should support itself is ludicrous. It is another right wing ploy to promote selfishness.

  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    Chet Ruminski Wrote: More workers producing more goods but goods per person is down. Productivity up but efficiency down. 30 years of rightwing selfishnism is ddestroying this country.

    Isn't this just a wee bit hyperbolic?

    Chet Ruminski Wrote: Imposing a raised minimum wage is ludicrous.

    Tell that to hourly workers in major metropolitan areas. $9/hour in Billings, Montana is a little different than $9/hour in Seattle. And I prefer the term "livable wage" over "minimum wage." If people aren't making a livable wage then they are dependent on the government to provide essential things like food, shelter, and healthcare.

    Chet Ruminski Wrote: Impose regulations to promote jobs and wages will rise as a function of prosperity. The idea that every activity should support itself is ludicrous. It is another right wing ploy to promote selfishness.

    What regulations are you proposing?

  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    Schmidt Wrote: Nevertheless, their main conclusion centers around how disappearing pensions have contributed to inequality. I have no disagreement with that...it is intuitive, but there are many other contributing factors for workers staying in the work force longer that are probably more significant and are not even mentioned. However, they have conflated that argument with the premise that disappearing pensions have pushed older workers into the labor force, and thus the U.S. economy has taken jobs away from younger workers who could be more productive. That is a flawed finding.

    I agree.

    Some people are staying in the workforce longer because they genuinely enjoy their jobs. Some are because they can't afford to retire. And some fall in between.

    Do I wish that more businesses offered pensions? Sure. But pensions aren't for everyone. One thing that is often lost in the arguments about pensions is that people in my generation aren't beholden to a single job for our entire lives and are able to freely move around and try different professions out. Employers find other ways of keeping us around if they like our productivity that doesn't necessarily include a pension.

    Does that work for everyone? No, it surely does not. That is especially true for the generations before mine that were promised a pension but then saw it evaporate before their very eyes during the great recession. I'm still young enough to adapt to a changing world, but I understand that many people older than me find that extremely difficult. We need to focus on them more than anyone else.

  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Pensacola, FL
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    "What regulations are you proposing?"

    Criminalize trades that have no interest in the object entity. Gambling as it used to be illegal under New York State Gaming Laws.

  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Pensacola, FL
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    "Tell that to hourly workers in major metropolitan areas. $9/hour in Billings, Montana is a little different than $9/hour in Seattle. "

    All people should have access to complete government funded minimum standard of living. The reason a minimum wage job funded law is ridiculous and ludicrous is the imposition will be fought tooth and nail by businesses that legitimately can't afford. That will present the debate to general discussion and the federal mandated minimum wage will appear unfair. The government should fund and administer subsidies to live.

  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Jared -- Yes I know everyone's circumstances are different. I retired early mainly because of my personal savings plus 401K savings plus pension. Now I also draw social security. The pension was a relatively small part of my retirement money.

    But it just didn't happen. From the day I took my first full time job at age 21, I started saving, and especially so after getting married and having children. It requires considerable self discipline to live frugally much of your life so that you can enjoy a retirement without financial worries. I have empathy for those who lost savings for health issues, but less so for those who lacked the self discipline to live within their means.

  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    Chet Ruminski Wrote: Criminalize trades that have no interest in the object entity. Gambling as it used to be illegal under New York State Gaming Laws.

    You're not proposing a regulation. What you're proposing is a law.

    There is a huge (or as Donald likes to say - huuuuuge) difference between regulations and laws.

  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    Schmidt Wrote:

    Jared -- Yes I know everyone's circumstances are different. I retired early mainly because of my personal savings plus 401K savings plus pension. Now I also draw social security. The pension was a relatively small part of my retirement money.

    But it just didn't happen. From the day I took my first full time job at age 21, I started saving, and especially so after getting married and having children. It requires considerable self discipline to live frugally much of your life so that you can enjoy a retirement without financial worries. I have empathy for those who lost savings for health issues, but less so for those who lacked the self discipline to live within their means.

    Your experience and decisions should be a model for everyone.

    My dad's experience is quite similar. He went from working 2nd Shift in the mail room at Caterpillar headquarters in Peoria, IL to retiring at age 59 as one of their top project managers who logged millions of miles representing the company. He has taught me many things in my short life, but one of the things that stuck out the most is that I can't live like a millionaire if I'm not one.

  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Pensacola, FL
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    "It requires considerable self discipline to live frugally"

    Schmidt, This defines a significant difference between your concept and my concept that creates our different solutions. You are assuming that everybody has the same opportunity and capacity for generating income. Frugally requires an income large enough to not challenge morals, principles, human rights .....etc. The government needs to mediate and administer the difference between available wage and living wage.

  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Pensacola, FL
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    "plus 401K savings "

    Watch the market as the 401s start to fund daily living through 401s. The market has been sucking money from the funds.

  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Schmidt Wrote:

    Jared -- Yes I know everyone's circumstances are different. I retired early mainly because of my personal savings plus 401K savings plus pension. Now I also draw social security. The pension was a relatively small part of my retirement money.

    But it just didn't happen. From the day I took my first full time job at age 21, I started saving, and especially so after getting married and having children. It requires considerable self discipline to live frugally much of your life so that you can enjoy a retirement without financial worries. I have empathy for those who lost savings for health issues, but less so for those who lacked the self discipline to live within their means.

    Yes the same here; however I got an nasty divorce in the past because I was seldom home doing business all over the world, which reduced my savings drastically. Also the company I worked for as director went bust when I just hit 55. But regardless I manage to keep my head above water; have no debts; the house is paid for etc. and don't worry about the future. Except politically speaking Trump worries me, especially about if he starts tinkering with my Medicare.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Pensacola, FL
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    Schmidt said:

    "I have empathy for those who lost savings for health issues, but less so for those who lacked the self discipline to live within their means."

    What about the people who never made enough money to be able to save money. I heard something about a month ago that a huge number of US citizens could come up with $400 for an emergency.