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Comment: Re:sure, works for France (Score 1) 170

But that simply indicates that the economy in USA is in such shambles (which I argue it is) that there are so few actual real jobs available that it is possible to get people to work for little money and no other benefits. However if that it the case (and the economy in USA is dying AFAIC due to government created inflation and destruction of individual freedom, which caused massive capital outflow and massive loss of productivity, huge growth of deficits, debts, destruction of full time jobs that are either not replaced at all or are replaced with worse quality, lower paying, part time jobs) then it stands to reason that in fact the worker in USA cannot afford to take a paid vacation and this is not a problem that is created by an employer, this is a problem created very democratically (mobocratically) by the employees (majority voters) and politicians who promise this free lunch to the majority voters. Employers do not make weather in terms of the government pushing policy through that is catered towards the majority voters.

Employers search for ways to avoid being taxed and being driven out of business, so employers move to other countries, they search for ways to reduce their total costs, this includes cost of labour and taxes and regulations.

So when you are saying that the situation in USA is bad, I agree with you, it is. It is bad for reasons that are much beyond most /.ers, so never mind, you can read my journal. However this still does not mean that government can force an employer to add something on top of what an employer would pay for labour.

Labour has a price, however this cost is paid for, no employer will be overpaying. The market conditions are such, that American workers cannot expect anything anymore, not because any one of them is particularly bad or lazy, but because the system is such that their productivity is worth less than before, much less than before the dollar was actually redeemable in gold, much less than before there were any income taxes, any government labour laws, any government business regulations.

A Ford employee back in 1913 was making 5 dollars a day, working 5 days a week, 8 hour shifts. An ounce of gold was 19 dollars. There were no income taxes that applied to anybody pretty much (and by the way, the income tax is illegal for so many reasons, again, a different discussion).

5 days x 5 dollars = 25 dollars a week. That bought 1.25 ounces of gold in a week. Under current prices that would mean about 1625 USD per week or 6500 USD a month or about 78000 a year. No taxes. No payroll tax, no income tax, no Medicare, no Medicaid, no SS, no business taxes of any kind, no education taxes, no road taxes, not even gasoline taxes.

Yes, there were import taxes and some duties, alcohol accounted for 50% of taxes in USA at the time. But you didn't actually have to pay those taxes because you could avoid buying those products.

So what does it mean in today's terms in USA to make 78000 after tax? You can easily more than double that amount just to start understanding what it means, you really have to do more than double it though, because at the time prices for things were going down, not up.

The dollar was gaining value, not losing it. A man could save money, buy a house, no mortgage, have a family, 10 kids or more, stay home wife, she didn't have to work though 10 kids is probably more than enough of work. But people had live in help and it was possible because there were no welfare checks coming to anybody to do nothing.

My point is, when you talk about low standard of living in USA today I agree with you! I think 19th century lifted the standard of living of Americans more than the 20th century and since 1971 the standard of living of Americans has been falling actually because their productivity was falling due to all this government, all the rules, regulations, taxes, inflation and all the government debt financed spending.

You can't use more government to fix problems created by government and no amount of government mandated paid vacation time will lift your standard of living, it only ends up lowering it further as businesses move out and automate more and more.

Comment: Re:sure, works for France (Score 1) 170

I worked as a contractor software developer/architect for 10 years, always negotiating everything I needed to negotiate in every contract. I had probably negotiated 30 or so contracts (and contract extensions) in that time period and nothing was off the table. I worked for large companies and for small, negotiation was always part of the process.

Comment: Re:sure, works for France (Score 1) 170

You sound a lot like a manager.

- you mean I know what I am talking about. I run my company, so you are correct, I am a manager - managing a business. I make hiring decisions, I make product decisions. I am also the chief architect, every one of my employees comes to me with the question "what do I do next?" when they are done with the current task. I deal with the clients, I search for new ones, I decide what internal products we are building, I decides what technology we use, I decide what everybody does here. Yes, I manage the place and I do know what I am talking about whether this concerns technology or hiring or client communications and of-course writing checks.

Comment: Re: sure, works for France (Score 1) 170

Bzzzzzt, wrong! I have witnessed many people paid more than they are really worth as judged by what they produced.

- 'bzzzt'? That is your opinion and if you think that somebody is asking for more than they should be getting in the market, then obviously you are not going to hire those people. If somebody else decides to hire them, then it stands to reason that person is worth that to the other employer. However when you are talking about bubbles then you have to take into account the fact that they are not normal market creation, they are created by the Federal reserve pumping money into the system. Bubbles are created by government inflation and under those circumstances the scarce resources, including labour and money and land are misused, misallocated.

So certainly there can be misallocation of scarce resources in the economy that is not free from government intervention. That is what recessions are for: removing the misallocations, but the governments and the central banks work together to squash any recessions' attempts at fighting the misallocation of resources and eventually the bubbles grow bigger and then even the entire economies can collapse.

Is that normal free market behaviour? No, it's normal for governments to behave that way because politicians love to sell you the bill of goods to stay in power. But again, this is a tangent, it's only marginally pertinent to the discussion only from point of view that yes, governments cause misallocation of resources. Government intervention misallocates resources, this is just as true in case of money printing (inflation) as it is in case of labour laws, such as minimum wage or these forced paid vacation days.

Comment: Re:sure, works for France (Score 1) 170

And without the laws and regulations I have no choice but to accept sod all holiday time because employers won't budge on the issue.

- and you won't budge on your hourly rate, it takes two to tango. I am an employer, I negotiate with my employees all the time, nothing is off the table.

Comment: Re: sure, works for France (Score 1) 170

No, I am running my own business, I am creating value out of nothing by building stuff that didn't exist before I decided to build it. It's not a zero sum game, that's how businesses make money by making new products.

However this is not the subject under discussion here, while the economy is not a zero sum game your total value to me as an employee has a minimum and a maximum levels on it, so your total compensation will be within certain boundaries, thus if government dictates a minimum number of paid vacation days, those will be counted as part of your total compensation and your hourly wage is also part of that total compensation, so is the payroll tax (both sides of it, the employee and the employer portion), so is anything else.

The minimum boundary to your total compensation package is the your value in the market and the minimum dictated level of compensation by the government. So what you are going to get into your hands will be the delta: total compensation package minus all the other expenses that are government mandated (taxes, minimum paid vacation, whatever), the cash that you receive is the rest of it.

You are not going to be paid more than you are worth in the market and you are not going to be paid more on top of what you are worth in the market regardless of what the government dictates. Your total pay will include all of those components.

This, by the way, is a huge problem for the economy. To pay somebody 18,000 dollars for example, the employer has to shell out 27,000 (or so), so the labour prices are high while the wages are low.

Well, that's what you get for all this government, that and the falling value of your money and the rising cost of living.

Comment: Re:sure, works for France (Score 1) 170

Actually you are mistaken. I do not have a "post 1980 attitude", I have the attitude that USA was built upon or pre-1908 attitude (before the Sherman act, before IRS, before Fed, before Medicare and Medicaid and SS and minimum wage and labour laws and all the departments and business regulations and income taxes, before the insane levels of inflation due to government defaulting on the gold dollar).

You shouldn't be worried about 'business practices', you should be worried about individual freedoms. Business practices in a free market deliver what the market wants. Without individual freedoms we get nothing we want at all.

Comment: Re:sure, works for France (Score 1) 170

That is not the problem of your employer, that's your own problem. You should be worried about maintaining your own health, your employer shouldn't be in the picture even for this. This is what you should take into account while negotiating if you can afford to do that in the economy the way it is.

Comment: Re:sure, works for France (Score 2) 170

Well of-course you should be able to negotiate how you want to get your compensation, but that's the point. What if government came out with a law telling you that you absolutely cannot negotiate the terms, you cannot be paid in medical insurance but instead you have to always be compensated in government bonds?

The reason that it was a good deal for your father was because the part of the total compensation that was the medical insurance was not taxed the same way as money. Income taxes didn't apply to that part of the compensation. The other reason was all the changes that government introduced related to health care and insurance, especially (if this was the USA) in 1965, with the introduction of Medicare, the prices went up because of government money in health insurance. The last reason is of-course inflation. The government likes to pretend that there is no inflation, but the reality is quite different. Inflation is rampant, so getting the same good (as a percentage value of the total compensation package) today as 60 years ago for example means that you are able to escape the horrific effects of inflation as well.

I didn't say you shouldn't be able to be paid in vacation days or in insurance or in gallons of milk. All I am saying is that you should be able to make those choices for yourself and not have government dictate to you how to get paid.

If I want your opinion, I'll ask you to fill out the necessary form.