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Income Inequality in the United States


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Reading things like this make me wonder how much damage the social contract can endure before people just say FUCK IT.

Hilton Hotels during the Pandemic:

1) Lost 720 million dollars
2) Laid off 22% of their corporate staff
3) Permanently cut housekeeper hours
4) Median worker pay dropped 34%

5) Gave their CEO a 161% pay raise, to 55 million dollars

"
The Hilton chief executive also affirmed to investors cost-cutting reductions to housekeeping would be made permanent, even as his compensation increased by 161% from 2019 to over $55m in 2020, while median pay for Hilton employees declined by 34% from 2019 to 2020."


https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jul/05/overworked-underpaid-hotel-workers-employees


 

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It takes some serious big CEO brains to figure out that you can make more money by giving guests a shittier experience and cutting employees. Pay that man his money.

The big thing everyone should expect from COVID is that all the ways service and products got shittier will stay that way. Here is the outcome of income inequality in America:

1. Ludicrous levels of service and opulence at the extreme high end.

2. Total shitty, take it or leave it for everyone else.

The days of offering a bit more to try to win on volume are long gone, as is real competition in most sectors. The only place you compete is at the extreme high end. 

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2 hours ago, Horn Under a Bad Sign said:

Reading things like this make me wonder how much damage the social contract can endure before people just say FUCK IT.

Hilton Hotels during the Pandemic:

1) Lost 720 million dollars
2) Laid off 22% of their corporate staff
3) Permanently cut housekeeper hours
4) Median worker pay dropped 34%

5) Gave their CEO a 161% pay raise, to 55 million dollars

"
The Hilton chief executive also affirmed to investors cost-cutting reductions to housekeeping would be made permanent, even as his compensation increased by 161% from 2019 to over $55m in 2020, while median pay for Hilton employees declined by 34% from 2019 to 2020."


https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jul/05/overworked-underpaid-hotel-workers-employees


 

General strike.

Alas, that is about as likely as me growing wings.

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Watched an episode of American Greed recently that documented how PG&E curtailed spending on infrastructure maintenance and safety and killed people in the process. But the shareholders made out like bandits.

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A lot of folks online who are good at pointing this kind of stuff out- Dan Price is a guy who does so after making huge personal sacrifices and recalibrations towards equitable pay in his company.

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7 minutes ago, NWBuck said:

A lot of folks online who are good at pointing this kind of stuff out- Dan Price is a guy who does so after making huge personal sacrifices and recalibrations towards equitable pay in his company.

Yeah, but he's a longhaired hippie so is obviously a communist who hates America.  So there.

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Just now, Brisketexan said:

Yeah, but he's a longhaired hippie so is obviously a communist who hates America.  So there.

not only that, he's from Seattle... I bet he's gone as far as tearin' Trump stickers off the bumpers of cars and he voted for Bernie Sanders for president

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1 minute ago, Satchel said:

Quit complaining and sing:

 

 

Standing amidst the produce gathered by underpaid migrants, electronics made in China, and clothing made by prison labor... nothing more 'Merican than that.

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2 minutes ago, NWBuck said:

Standing amidst the produce gathered by underpaid migrants, electronics made in China, and clothing made by prison labor... nothing more 'Merican than that.

Now you’re being picky.

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My McCombs ethics paper was on CEO compensation. I'm going to screw up the numbers, but in 1970 the ratio of CEO pay to average was like 12-1. In 2000 it was more like 400-1. And it is definitely not limited to private-public companies. Non-profits and governments - especially school boards - are some of the worse offenders when it comes to insane CEO compensation, and the latter are by far the worst at rewarded terrible performance.

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21 hours ago, Satchel said:

Watched an episode of American Greed recently that documented how PG&E curtailed spending on infrastructure maintenance and safety and killed people in the process. But the shareholders made out like bandits.

Was this before Enron went balls deep in them?

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3 minutes ago, Harrison Bergeron said:

My McCombs ethics paper was on CEO compensation. I'm going to screw up the numbers, but in 1970 the ratio of CEO pay to average was like 12-1. In 2000 it was more like 400-1. And it is definitely not limited to private-public companies. Non-profits and governments - especially school boards - are some of the worse offenders when it comes to insane CEO compensation, and the latter are by far the worst at rewarded terrible performance.

I might guess that a variety of things drove that, but the ascendancy of the corporate class (including ibankers and related) that figured out they could basically vote themselves largesse from the corporate treasury.

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1 minute ago, TwiceHorn said:

I might guess that a variety of things drove that, but the ascendancy of the corporate class (including ibankers and related) that figured out they could basically vote themselves largesse from the corporate treasury.

IIRC, two things drove the insanity, and both "well intentioned" as often used to justify terrible policies:
1. Variable compensation - to better align incentives, companies started paying less in fixed and more in variable comp (stock bonuses). It was "risk free" in the sense that the value corresponded with the growth in the stock price, so boards were more willing to place big bets

2. Private equity - the big PE run of the 80s, really starting with Ross Johnson and Nabisco, launched the idea of the "golden parachute," which was designed as a disincentive for leveraged buyouts. Although obviously do not it really worked

Regarding non-profits, many of them - even the well known ones - always have been Ponzi schemes, and their CEOs got their part-time, who cares boards to track their comp to companies ... because you know, running the United Way is just as hard as running Exxon. And governments and ISDs ... the usually voter apathy and lack of public service ethos - too many idiots get elected to school boards.

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On 7/6/2021 at 2:19 PM, Horn Under a Bad Sign said:

Reading things like this make me wonder how much damage the social contract can endure before people just say FUCK IT.

Hilton Hotels during the Pandemic:

1) Lost 720 million dollars
2) Laid off 22% of their corporate staff
3) Permanently cut housekeeper hours
4) Median worker pay dropped 34%

5) Gave their CEO a 161% pay raise, to 55 million dollars

"
The Hilton chief executive also affirmed to investors cost-cutting reductions to housekeeping would be made permanent, even as his compensation increased by 161% from 2019 to over $55m in 2020, while median pay for Hilton employees declined by 34% from 2019 to 2020."


https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jul/05/overworked-underpaid-hotel-workers-employees


 

class war, class war, rich win again!

 

mgid-arc-content-shared-southpark-us.jpg

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    Turning and turning in the widening gyre
    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.

    Surely some revelation is at hand;
    Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
    The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
    When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
    Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
    A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
    A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
    Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
    Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.

    The darkness drops again but now I know
    That twenty centuries of stony sleep
    Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
    And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
    Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

 

-- The Second Coming, W. B. Yeats

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That poem (Yeats describing the post-WWI world and what was to come) is a treasure of English language. 

When reading it, I often wondered whether Yeats feared the rough beast or welcomed it. 

There are times (for instance, people refusing to get a vaccine) when I welcome the beast and look forward to a reset. That's when I turn away from the darkness of the abyss and recognize the abyss is controlling my thought:

"If you stare into the abyss, the abyss stares back at you." - Nietzsche

_______

Wealth inequality is not efficient - especially when the idle wealth is churning in a casino rather than being put to good (and profitable) use.  That idle money needs to move through the economic system and improve conditions here. We are killing the golden goose allowing this massive imbalance of power to continue strip-mining the larger economy.

TLDR: The current trajectory is not sustainable. 

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15 minutes ago, washparkhorn said:

especially when the idle wealth is churning in a casino

This is what irks me a lot.  The "capital markets" have become so untethered to providing capital to the markets.

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On 7/6/2021 at 4:18 PM, 956 Worldwide said:

The big thing everyone should expect from COVID is that all the ways service and products got shittier will stay that way.

Yep. 

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18 minutes ago, washparkhorn said:

There are times (for instance, people refusing to get a vaccine) when I welcome the beast and look forward to a reset. That's when I turn away from the darkness of the abyss and recognize the abyss is controlling my thought:

"If you stare into the abyss, the abyss stares back at you." - Nietzsche

Stop being such a pussy. :)

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3 hours ago, lmao said:

About half of full-time workers in the U.S. age 25-64 make approx 30k a year or less. 

That’s because companies are strapped and can’t afford to pay full time workers a livable wage.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Anastasis said:

Stop being such a pussy. :)

I can't think of anywhere else I would like to be, so I took it as a compliment. Thank you.

___________________

To bend the wealth inequality trend downward, the carrot must be an option. After all, none of us is a dirty commie and most of us are anti-fascists.  

There are markets in need of capital. Our efficiency-gains based economy only works when the markets are in motion. The invisible hand has always been the new opportunities arising from societal progress. We should incentivize investment in the areas of the nation that have been left behind. The knock on effects (and opportunities for new markets arising from the ashes) are quite beneficial to the our economy.

Thankfully, modern capitalism (mixed market economy) is equipped to handle that task. All it takes is a decision to move forward and let the markets do their thing. Seems so simple for a nation of our caliber and enlightened beginnings. 

Edited by washparkhorn
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On 7/6/2021 at 4:48 PM, Brisketexan said:

Yeah, but he's a longhaired hippie so is obviously a communist who hates America.  So there.

He's not that, but I've followed him for a while and if you don't allow for or recognize that there is obviously a lot of self-interested/self-promotion going on with this guy, then you aren't being completely honest. He's building his "brand" on this topic; good for him.

And I'm not saying he's all phony balogny, I'm sure he is rooted in a passion or belief about the cause and he's created a business to live it out, which is awesome. Acknowledging he has a fair amount of "attention horse" in him isn't discrediting, but it is informing of the overall picture.

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Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, Horn Under a Bad Sign said:

This super-concentration of wealth now exceeds gilded-age levels:


https://finance.yahoo.com/news/super-richs-wealth-concentration-surpasses-gilded-age-levels-210802327.html


 

I thought this thread was going to be about the Allen & Co. Sun Valley Camp for Billionaires:

https://www.npr.org/2021/07/05/1012587989/moguls-deals-and-patagonia-vests-a-look-inside-summer-camp-for-billionaires

Edited by DonkeyCigars
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14 hours ago, washparkhorn said:

I can't think of anywhere else I would like to be, so I took it as a compliment. Thank you.

___________________

To bend the wealth inequality trend downward, the carrot must be an option. After all, none of us is a dirty commie and most of us are anti-fascists.  

There are markets in need of capital. Our efficiency-gains based economy only works when the markets are in motion. The invisible hand has always been the new opportunities arising from societal progress. We should incentivize investment in the areas of the nation that have been left behind. The knock on effects (and opportunities for new markets arising from the ashes) are quite beneficial to the our economy.

Thankfully, modern capitalism (mixed market economy) is equipped to handle that task. All it takes is a decision to move forward and let the markets do their thing. Seems so simple for a nation of our caliber and enlightened beginnings. 

 

Gentrification is the accusation as a developer tries to invest in "areas of the nation that have been left behind".

 

Fed inflates an asset bubble.

Those with assets benefit from said bubble.

Leftist want to confiscate the gains.

 

It's completely circular.

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On 7/8/2021 at 11:01 AM, Incredulity said:

 

Gentrification is the accusation as a developer tries to invest in "areas of the nation that have been left behind".

 

Fed inflates an asset bubble.

Those with assets benefit from said bubble.

Leftist want to confiscate the gains.

 

It's completely circular.

You know how I know you’re stupid? 

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