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Debates Forum

Debates Forum

  1. Standard member Fleabitten
    Love thy bobblehead
    26 Oct '09 17:52
    Having a 'pay czar' dictate proper compensation to executives of companies that accepted federal bailouts is a good idea; however it doesn't go far enough in addressing the inherent inequities in the compensation system.

    A true, lasting solution to the problem would be to mandate that all wage earners are paid at the exact same rate regardless of industry, position, or nature of work. There are numerous benefits to this, not the least of which would be the elimination of 'classes'. Because everyone would earn the same exact wage, they would also pay the same exact tax, thereby ensuring that everyone was paying their fair share. How many times have we heard the argument by conservatives that the rich are paying the lion's share of the tax burden? Even if that were true today, it would no longer be true under equalization.

    Businesses would benefit from this plan, as well. Cost of labor would become equal, ensuring that a behemoth like Wal-Mart couldn't gain an advantage by engaging in unethical wage practices. Furthermore, the equitization of wages would eliminate the need for special interest groups such as unions. Workers would win because there would no longer be an incentive to 'outsource' jobs. Consumers would win because, with the cost of labor being equalized, companies would have to compete on price and quality and not rely on cheap labor to make profits.

    An all around win-win scenario for everyone that would trump any argument for keeping the inherently flawed and grossly unfair system of compensation operating today in place.
  2. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    26 Oct '09 18:24
    Originally posted by Fleabitten
    Having a 'pay czar' dictate proper compensation to executives of companies that accepted federal bailouts is a good idea; however it doesn't go far enough in addressing the inherent inequities in the compensation system.

    A true, lasting solution to the problem would be to mandate that all wage earners are paid at the exact same rate regardless of indus ...[text shortened]... e inherently flawed and grossly unfair system of compensation operating today in place.
    While this idea makes marginally more sense than banning sports (only by a little, though), I can't shake the feeling that you're not entirely serious. I apologize for being dismissive, but I feel like taking the time to write a substantive reply would make me a bit of a sucker.
  3. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    26 Oct '09 18:28
    Originally posted by sh76
    I apologize for being dismissive, but I feel like taking the time to write a substantive reply would make me a bit of a sucker.
    Why not just play along? Or simply not post? Or start a separate thread appealing for more seriousness and conformity?
  4. Standard member Fleabitten
    Love thy bobblehead
    26 Oct '09 18:33
    So, the astounding inequity between management and labor compensation isn't a serious problem? Okay.
  5. 26 Oct '09 18:41 / 2 edits
    I got a proposal.

    Fans are an extremely important part a sporting event. In fact, they're just as important as the players. It wouldn't be nearly the same if the baseball playoffs were held in empty stadiums with no TV coverage.

    So I propose that the fans that attend each game be paid the same amount of money per game as the players get. (Those of us who merely watch on TV would receive a slightly smaller amount).
  6. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    It's only business
    26 Oct '09 18:42
    Originally posted by Fleabitten
    Having a 'pay czar' dictate proper compensation to executives of companies that accepted federal bailouts is a good idea; however it doesn't go far enough in addressing the inherent inequities in the compensation system.

    A true, lasting solution to the problem would be to mandate that all wage earners are paid at the exact same rate regardless of indus ...[text shortened]... e inherently flawed and grossly unfair system of compensation operating today in place.
    Sure thing. I'll be a janiter. I'm too lazy to go to school if it won't make me more money.
  7. Donation rwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    26 Oct '09 18:50
    Originally posted by Fleabitten
    Having a 'pay czar' dictate proper compensation to executives of companies that accepted federal bailouts is a good idea; however it doesn't go far enough in addressing the inherent inequities in the compensation system.

    A true, lasting solution to the problem would be to mandate that all wage earners are paid at the exact same rate regardless of indus ...[text shortened]... e inherently flawed and grossly unfair system of compensation operating today in place.
    I think a better idea would be to follow the example of 'Equal Exchange', a Massachusetts worker owned cooperative dealing in fair trade products. The worker-owners elect a nine person Board of Directors (six from within the company and three from without). That Board of Directors then hires the executive directors. But the point that is relevant here is their pay scale, which mandates that the highest paid person in the company cannot make more than four times that of the lowest paid. If the boss wants a raise, everyone below him has to get a proportional raise.
  8. Standard member Palynka
    Upward Spiral
    26 Oct '09 18:51
    You don't even have the excuse that you were drunk at the pub when you came up with that.
  9. Subscriber Sleepyguy
    Reepy Rastardly Guy
    26 Oct '09 18:57
    Originally posted by Fleabitten
    Having a 'pay czar' dictate proper compensation to executives of companies that accepted federal bailouts is a good idea; however it doesn't go far enough in addressing the inherent inequities in the compensation system.

    A true, lasting solution to the problem would be to mandate that all wage earners are paid at the exact same rate regardless of indus ...[text shortened]... e inherently flawed and grossly unfair system of compensation operating today in place.
    You can't be serious.
  10. 26 Oct '09 19:00
    Originally posted by rwingett
    I think a better idea would be to follow the example of 'Equal Exchange', a Massachusetts worker owned cooperative dealing in fair trade products. The worker-owners elect a nine person Board of Directors (six from within the company and three from without). That Board of Directors then hires the executive directors. But the point that is relevant here is th ...[text shortened]... he lowest paid. If the boss wants a raise, everyone below him has to get a proportional raise.
    or else the boss could fire all of the people making the lowest wage, and outsource all of their work to some company in Indonesia where everyone is making only $5-day (and loving it because it beats the $2-day they were making before).
  11. Donation rwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    26 Oct '09 19:12
    Originally posted by Melanerpes
    or else the boss could fire all of the people making the lowest wage, and outsource all of their work to some company in Indonesia where everyone is making only $5-day (and loving it because it beats the $2-day they were making before).
    I don't think it works that way in worker owned companies. The workers, after all, are the owners. It's far more likely that they would fire the boss.
  12. 26 Oct '09 19:18
    Originally posted by rwingett
    I don't think it works that way in worker owned companies. The workers, after all, are the owners. It's far more likely that they would fire the boss.
    one scenario might be:

    All of the workers hold a meeting. As owners, the workers are all very much interested in finding ways to increase the company's profits (allowing everyone to make more money). Someone proposes eliminating 20% of the workers and replacing them with a machine (or outsourcing their work). Almost all of the 80% who would keep their jobs consider this to be a splendid idea and vote in favor. The other 20% don't like the idea, but they're outvoted.
  13. Donation rwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    26 Oct '09 19:28
    Originally posted by Melanerpes
    one scenario might be:

    All of the workers hold a meeting. As owners, the workers are all very much interested in finding ways to increase the company's profits (allowing everyone to make more money). Someone proposes eliminating 20% of the workers and replacing them with a machine (or outsourcing their work). Almost all of the 80% who would keep their ...[text shortened]... e a splendid idea and vote in favor. The other 20% don't like the idea, but they're outvoted.
    And another scenario might be that they find the legendary city of El Dorado, become fabulously wealthy, and award a unicorn to each worker as part of their compensation plan.
  14. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    It's only business
    26 Oct '09 19:42 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Melanerpes
    one scenario might be:

    All of the workers hold a meeting. As owners, the workers are all very much interested in finding ways to increase the company's profits (allowing everyone to make more money). Someone proposes eliminating 20% of the workers and replacing them with a machine (or outsourcing their work). Almost all of the 80% who would keep their ...[text shortened]... e a splendid idea and vote in favor. The other 20% don't like the idea, but they're outvoted.
    Good point. That process could if it went down the slippery slope re-create the oligarchies that run business. Cut out 20%...then 20% of that 20%...etc.

    For that kind of scenario you'd need some equivalent to a business Constitution. We can't vote to torture people legally because it's cruel and unusual punishment, for example.
  15. 26 Oct '09 20:25
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    Good point. That process could if it went down the slippery slope re-create the oligarchies that run business. Cut out 20%...then 20% of that 20%...etc.

    For that kind of scenario you'd need some equivalent to a business Constitution. We can't vote to torture people legally because it's cruel and unusual punishment, for example.
    Suppose a business was to create a constitution that prevented any job from being eliminated. This would ban the creation of a machine to replace human labor - and it would ban the outsourcing of any job.

    But then along comes a competing business that isn't nearly as idealistic about labor issues. It just puts out the same product that the first business does, but since it is willing to use machines to replace human labor, it's able to charge a much lower price for the same product and still make a profit. The first business cannot match this price and thus goes out of business.

    Unless the first business can find enough customers willing to pay a significantly higher price for a "fair labor" product.