Teachers often complain about low pay; the claim to be overworked and under-compensated. The say that they deserve to be paid more, since they are responsible for teaching the next generation.
Yet, when the subject of the ever falling standards and performance of students comes up, they rarely have an answer, and when they do, it's almost always someone else's fault. It's the parent's fault for not helping their children, or it's the Government's fault for cutting funding, or it's standardized tests that are the problem; according to the vast majority of them, it's never the teachers who are responsible.
So I ask you:
Should Teacher Pay Be Tied To Student Performance?
Since when did teachers become villains? This country has seen a groundswell against the teaching profession within the last few years and it has been a catalyst thrown under the guise of sincerity when, in fact, it is nothing more than an attempt by corporate America to cookie cut and privatize the educational system.
The Koch brothers are an example of how to influence the multitudes with billions of dollars in an attempt to create a world only friendly to conglomerates and the extremely elite. What these mega wealthy want is to create the teaching environment into nothing more than another for profit business. If, in their master plan, everything is uniform, then they can employ someone with zero teaching skills, pay them slave wages because they will only be acting as human monitors to a universal, established system of techniques, geared only for profit. What they fail to realize is you cannot fit a square block into a round hole.
So, what do teachers do? Well, with my wife beginning her 39th year in the classroom I'll tell you. First of all, they spend hundreds of dollars of their own money on the students and their classroom. Secondly, they have gone on to educate themselves, earned Masters Degrees, taken continual courses and workshops, attend after hours school functions and a litany of activities that those who are jealous of their vacation days don't even have a clue about. Other activities of a teacher include...which they are responsible for and are happy to accept:
Teaching in the Classroom
Grading Student Work
Personal Attention to Students
Remember, it was a teacher that taught you to read, write, think, have manners, be respectful of others and learn discipline.
Teachers should be applauded for their dedication and commitment to instructing our children and grandchildren.
It is the start of Labor Day weekend and my wife is busily doing prep work at our kitchen table in anticipation of her students arrival on Wednesday. Oh have I mentioned she has spent the last few weeks getting her room in order? My wife has taught future doctors, lawyers, attorneys, dentists, etc. and many still keep in contact with her. That's a teacher and that is a profession to respect!
When teachers started striking, demanding better pay, while at the same time America's public education system as done increasingly worse in nearly every measurable standard.
Right around then.
This happens in some areas, and you lump us all in the same boat. I am not a union member. I have never gone on strike.
I'm so tired of teachers being the scapegoat. Do you want to know why our kids aren't getting educated? The truth is that there are some good and bad teachers. There are some good and bad administrators. Ultimately, however, our society doesn't value education like it once did, and our society doesn't support teachers like it once did. You want all of the accountability on teachers. We need accountability for parents too. Apathy is rampant. Disdain for schools is rampant. Truancy is rampant. Transiency is rampant. Drugs are rampant. Most parents are great, but some don't care; the parents who work against us drain us and take time away from those children who come to school ready to learn. If you want to fix education, you have to fix society too. When more parents value education, support teachers, and allow us to do our jobs, you might have a chance of improving education. Until then, good luck with the test.
By the way, we're spending so much time testing now days, we don't even have time to teach. Many of the schools in my area have to give two formative tests weekly. When do teachers get to teach? Teaching has become one big test that is occasionally interrupted by teaching and one big federally-mandated meeting that occasionally results in learning. While I'm at it, let's have some government accountability too, the kind that results in the bureaucrats getting out of our way and letting us do our jobs.
You want to know why society doesn't "value education", because the education our kids are getting these days simply isn't valuable. In 2009, the U.S. spent 5.4% of the total GDP on education spending (nearly $780 Billion dollars), that same year, U.S. students ranked 25th out of 34 countries in Math and Science; and you think more money is the answer?
Look, I'm sorry that not every kid shows up bright eyed and eager to learn every day; I'm sorry that some kids don't care about school and make your job harder, but it is your job. If you don't like the conditions, and if you don't think you're being fairly compensated, then you should feel free to find a new profession. I'm sure you wont have any trouble finding a job in the private sector that pays you an entire years salary, plus benefits, for 9 months of work.
I didn't say more money is the answer. It is part of the answer, but it is only part of the answer in some states. Arizona has abysmal funding of education. Don't take my word on it. Look up the statistics. Each state controls its own funding. Some states spend a lot of money on education, and more money is not part of the answer. Some states spend very little, and more money is part of the answer. More money is never the only answer.
I have been on many interview committees, ranging from teachers to principals. Our salary is so low that our superintendent typically earns less money than principals in most areas. We were recently trying to hire a principal. Local applicants weren't strong enough, so we opened our search nationally, something we typically have to do for most positions that require certification. Our principals earn fifty-eight thousand dollars as a starting salary. We had over twenty applicants. When we interviewed them, only six applicants were willing to even continue the interview process once they hear about the salary. They all assumed that the salary would be more inline with what they earn. None of the applicants, from other states, were earning less than eighty thousand dollars, and many were earning well over a hundred thousand dollars. Arizona schools can't compete with that, because our funding is abysmal. You get what you pay for. If you can't offer a competitive wage, how can you bring in qualified people? In the real world of business, you have to be competitive, and we're finding that we simply can't find qualified math and science teachers. Additionally, we have a hard time finding administration and music teachers. Why would anybody want to teach in my district when the starting salary is twenty-nine thousand dollars? They can earn far more in other states. Yes, from a purely business standpoint, we need more money just to get competitive enough to attract qualified personnel.
Now, I know what the typical response is. Cut costs; you're wasting money. My district's administrative expenditures are well below the state average. I have 30 kids in my class. We shut a quarter of our schools and absorbed those students into our overcrowded schools. We have cut and cut. We laid off twenty percent of our teachers, had furlough days for all employees, extended additional costs to employees, froze raises for seven years, and did many more things just to survive. Yes, we need more money in Arizona, and the same is true in some other states.
This is a prime example on why you need merit based pay for teachers. I don't have hard figures (and I'm not doing any research in the middle of a Gator game ), but how much money is being wasted on unqualified teachers who are, for whatever reason, being overpaid in the current system.
We both agree that there is a serious problem with education, and we even agree that good teachers need to be making a lot more money; in my opinion, they should be earning 6 figures. The problem is, you can't increase teacher pay without putting in an efficient process to evaluate, and subsequently get rid of, teachers who aren't worth that kind of money; something that simply doesn't exist now.
Now you don't think that student performance should be used to evaluate the quality of a teacher, and I think that performance is the predominant indicator of a "good teacher". You point to the intangibles that teachers provide, and that's admirable, but irrelevant. When clients hire me to come in and help them save their companies, they're looking for results, period. If I don't accomplish the tasks that I'm hired to do, it doesn't matter if I'm a nice guy, or if I make their employees happy, I get fired; which is as it should be.
My kids don't need a life coach, or a surrogate parent, or a nutritionist, they need someone to teach them Math, Science, History, English, and all of the other subjects that they're going to need in the future. If a teacher's students are happy and healthy, but they can't read, then I'm sorry, but that teacher is a failure.
No, I ABSOLUTELY believe student performance should be used in merit pay. I just don't think that any test I have seen accurately measures the full extent of that performance. Don't get me wrong about testing. I am for it, and it is the best indicator of academic growth. I just think we're testing too much, and the tests aren't really that great. I'll give a clear example:
There may be two questions on division, one question on Euler circuits, and one question on vertex edge graphs on my standardized test. Are Euler circuits and vertex edge graphs as important as division? That's one of the problems. Some bureaucrat tells us what we should teach, and when my kids know addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, geometry, and algebra, that's not enough. They have to add useless math that will be a waste of my time, math that isn't really that important or relevant at this age. Then, my pay is contingent upon teaching concepts that both you and I know are a waste of time. You see what I'm teaching, and you wonder why I'm teaching it. It's a vicious cycle of failure, because we teachers must follow the state curriculum that some bureaucrat developed. What I have been saying is that the tests don't measure everything, and they don't even measure what kids SHOULD know in math, reading, and writing. They only measure what bureaucrats believe our kids should know, not what will put our kids first in the world.
I my state, you have to be "highly qualified" to teach. If you teach math, you have to be certified to teach math. You get your degree, and then you take a test that is specific to your field of teaching. If you pass the test, you can teach math, for example. What you seem to be suggesting is that the state accreditation system isn't working in your state. That's an entirely different issue.
I think George Carlin said it best:
I appreciate this post. Best wishes to both you and your wife.
#Education Answer - Shawn finally tipped his hat with the last sentence, "I'm sure you won't have any trouble finding a job in the private sector that pays you an entire years salary, plus benefits, for 9 months of work." Those on the outside looking in at the teaching profession are simply jealous of the perceived days worked by teachers. They fail to realize that the moment an educator walks into the classroom they are going at full throttle until the end of the school day. Many days my wife gets only 1 break which gives her just enough time to catch her breath, go to the bathroom and then return to class. To claim a teacher only works 9 months per year is a joke. They attend faculty meetings, workshops, endless meetings with parents, phone calls to parents from home, goal setting assignments, class preparation, answering emails, attending after hour school functions and taking an active role in school fundraising projects.
Yes, my wife is in her 39th year teaching. She has witnessed numerous changes. Does she complain? Rarely, if ever. As a matter of fact my wife loves her job and her students and it is reflected in their achievement levels. When others ask my wife when she is going to retire her pat answer is, "They will have to carry me out of this building on a stretcher." Now that is what teaching is all about. It isn't a job...rather it is a labor of love.
That's called doing your job. If teachers feel mistreated, then they should quit, it's that simple; complaining about actually having to work when you go to work is one of the reasons that the public is getting fed up with teachers.
No, it simply means that, unlike some, I don't fetishize teachers. The fact is, teachers (here in Orlando) are contracted for 196 days spread across the school year, which is generally 9 months long; that's it. Now if you want to compare workloads, that's fine, I'll take the Pepsi challenge any time you want. I'll match any one of my consultants against any teacher you can find, the difference is, they don't get summers off.
I think the whole 9 month thing is more of a stereotype than anything else. My girlfriend is a teacher and she works through the summer as well as many of her colleagues.
I'm up for you Pepsi challenge. I'll put my hours up against your consultants. I may be contracted for that number of days, but I work a lot more and without pay. I bring papers home every night. I also take classes at night and during summer "break." In addition, I teach classes during summer "break." Many of my colleagues do the same; many work a second or even third job after putting in 8-10 hours at school. You don't really understand the field of education if you truly think that's the number of days teachers work.
My newest consultants, the ones who are working on newer/smaller clients, will generally bill anywhere between 60 -80 hours, in a five day week, depending on the time of year. When I sign off on the monthly security logs, there has yet to be a week where there wasn't at least someone in the office 7 days a week. When I get in (around 7am during the summer, closer to 8:30 now that I take the kids to school), most of them have already been there for a few hours making sure that the European Markets haven't gone crazy.
New consultants get three weeks of vacation time a year, senior consultants and managers get four. Like every other company, they get their choice of the time or the cash... I have yet to ever have anyone ever actually take the time.
You my friend, while an amazing teacher, are the exception, not the rule.
It sounds like I might lose that Pepsi challenge. I must admit that I don't work that many hours, but I bet they earn a lot more per hour than I do.
Please know that I am a conservative in a liberal world, the world of education. I believe in competition. I believe in merit pay. I believe in so many of the things you seem to want. I just haven't seen a test that was very good, one that could really determine whether or not a teacher is really successful. Further, I believe in a simple system to evaluate, much like I believe in a simple tax code. I do, however, believe that the testing system is the best system of evaluation, though flawed, we have. I just wish the curriculum were more valuable and there wasn't as much testing. As it is now, we're testing weekly, and teaching seems to get in the way of the testing. I'd like to go back to one annual test but one that measures more than just math, reading, and writing. I'd like to see some science and history, some critical thinking, and something more than what we have right now. I know that there is no real quantitative way of measuring everything a teacher does, but I wish the tests would do a better job measuring the academics.
Yeah, my guys and female employees who are every bit as hardworking, dedicated, intelligent, and focused on the job as the male employees, and without whom I would be completely helpless* work extremely hard, and put in very long days/weeks. Granted, it's not really a fair comparison, since they make quite a bit more than the average teacher. When I was just starting out, 100 hour weeks were not uncommon, and 80+ hour weeks were the standard. That's one of the reasons I'm so glad I'm the owner now... I don't have to do it anymore
Believe it or not, I'm actually a pretty liberal Democrat, at least on social policy. When it comes to fiscal policy, I can be downright Dickensian at times.
While I still think that the only reasonable way to evaluate teachers is through the evaluation of the results they produce (namely student test scores), I am willing to concede there is no "easy answer" to the problem. As an education insider, I'd like your opinion on a second issue then: what if we shifted the focus; what if, instead of testing students, we tested the teachers?
Make teachers take (and pass) a test on the same information that kids will be expected to learn in that class; a final exam style test, given at the beginning of the school year (presumably a few weeks early to allow for grading and replacements for those who fail). Surely any teacher who is actually qualified to teach their subject would have no problem passing such a test; and anyone who fails, shouldn't be teaching (that particular subject) in the first place.
At the very least, this would eliminate having unqualified teachers in classrooms, which admittedly won't solve the whole problem, but at least it's a start.
* I caught 31 flavors of hell for simply saying "my guys". Edited at the strong urging of my girlfriend and my daughter.
There should be a test for certification. If you are trying to earn certification in an area, you should have to take a test to prove that your college and training are sufficient. The test should be specific to the area in which you are trying to earn certification. That's how it works in Arizona. If you don't pass the test, you are not considered "highly qualified." Districts have to make sure that their teachers receive this "highly qualified" label.
The annual test would be feasible. I'm not sure what value it would have for some teachers, perhaps those like kindergarten and P.E.
See, that should be a National Standard, because we certainly don't have it here in Orlando; or at least it's not enforced if we do.
As for Kindergarten and P.E. teachers, those are more of, what I consider at least, "general education", and don't really require specialist knowledge. That isn't to diminish the role they play, it's simply to say that there is a different skill set required; one more in line with those intangibles that we've discussed previously.
I vote for less certifications more common sense.
When tougher standards hit California, only people with certifications in special ed could teach special ed. Teachers, credentialed teachers,but not it special ed lost their jobs, The kids suffered. Imagine putting out a special ed teacher with 20 years of experience in special ed, great with the kids in favor of a certified special ed teacher with no experience. It happened all over the state.
The pressures and accountability associated with merit pay and standardized tests don't really matter to band, P.E., art, music, and so many other teachers. If we, the teachers who have this accountability, are to have these pressures while they don't, should we have greater pay? Do you consider our subjects more important? If they are more important, and we have greater accountability, should the pay match this?
Absolutely the "core subjects" are more important Band, P.E., Art, and Music, and yes, teachers who teach the "core subjects" should be paid more to reflect their increased responsibility. It's not to say that Band, Art, and P.E. aren't important, but they're simply not as important as Math, Science, English, History, and the rest; I've never not hired someone because they couldn't play a trumpet or paint a picture, but I've refused dozens of people who couldn't handle basic Math.
This would never fly. While unions have little power in Arizona, they have power in other states. Because of this, you'd have a massive fight on your hands. Unions love to say that all teachers are of equal value.
That's a whole other subject; there isn't one Union in this country that doesn't need to be broken up and decertified.
Again, please note that many states do not have strong unions. Breaking the unions isn't the only solution.
Not the only solution no, but it's the first step.
It wouldn't do anything in some states. The NEA and other teacher unions have little influence in some states.
Here's a first step . . .Do away with the Federal Bureau of Education. It causes more harm than good, and the money wasted on bureaucracy could be used for merit pay. I still have my reservations about a single test as an indicator of teacher effectiveness. IF we used a quantitative way to measure incoming scores and outgoing scores, that might be a more accurate measure of growth than what we currently use in standardized testing.
To me, this whole issue shows a problem with our college system, a system that is not preparing teachers for the real world. We teachers get our degree and enter the field of education entirely unprepared. In Arizona, colleges issue degrees and recommendations for certification. The state-mandated test is the final determinant. Why do we need that test if colleges are doing a fine job? The truth is that colleges are failing to prepare people for the teaching profession. The certification issue might actually be an accreditation issue, with colleges.
Yes, teacher pay should be tied to student performance.
Teachers were respected once upon a time. It was a time when children were respectful of their elders and it was a rare teacher, indeed, that looked at a student as a love interest.
Then came Jimmy Carter who pumped up the me-me-me teacher rhetoric, by giving the teacher's union unprecedented bargaining power. The slippery slope started right there.
Today, our nation's children, as a whole, are sorely lacking in the three "R's" and our lame attempts to pull out the brightest and the best through gifted and AP programs still can't compete with the stay-at-home mom who homeschools.
It's a sad situation and it's not ALL the teachers' faults, but it is to a large extent.
The Folly of Merit Pay
By Alfie Kohn
There's no end to the possible uses for that nifty little Latin phrase Cui bono?, which means: Who benefits? Whose interests are served? It's the right question to ask about a testing regimen guaranteed to make most public schools look as though they're failing. Or about the assumption that people with less power than you have (students, if you're a teacher; teachers, if you're an administrator) are unable to participate in making decisions about what they're going to do every day.
And here's another application: Cui bono when we're assured that money is the main reason it's so hard to find good teachers? If only we paid them more, we'd have no trouble attracting and retaining the finest educators that—well, that money can buy. Just accept that premise, and you'll never have to consider the way teachers are treated. In fact, you could continue disrespecting and de-skilling them, forcing them to use scripted curricula and turning them into glorified test-prep technicians. If they seem unhappy, it must be just because they want a bigger paycheck.
In 2000, Public Agenda questioned more than 900 new teachers and almost as many college graduates who didn't choose a career in education. The report concluded that, while "teachers do believe that they are underpaid," higher salaries would probably be of limited effectiveness in alleviating teacher shortages because considerations other than money are "significantly more important to most teachers and would-be teachers." Two years later, 44 percent of administrators reported, in another Public Agenda poll, that talented colleagues were being driven out of the field because of "unreasonable standards and accountability."
Meanwhile, a small California survey, published last year in Phi Delta Kappan, found that the main reason newly credentialed teachers were leaving the profession was not low salaries or difficult children. Rather, those who threw in the towel were most likely to cite what was being done to their schools in the name of "accountability." And the same lesson seems to hold cross-culturally. Mike Baker, a correspondent for BBC News, discovered that an educational "recruitment crisis" exists almost exclusively in those nations "where accountability measures have undermined teachers' autonomy."
That unhappy educators have a lot more on their minds than money shouldn't be surprising in light of half a century of research conducted in other kinds of workplaces. When people are asked what's most important to them, financial concerns show up well behind such factors as interesting work or good people to work with. For example, in a large survey conducted by the Families and Work Institute, "salary/wage" ranked 16th on a list of 20 reasons for taking a job. (Interestingly, managers asked what they believe matters most to their employees tend to mention money—and then proceed to manage on the basis of that error.)
Educational policymakers might be forgiven their shortsightedness if they were just proposing to raise teachers' salaries across the board—or, perhaps, to compensate them appropriately for more responsibilities or for additional training. Instead, though, many are turning to some version of "pay for performance." Here, myopia is complicated by amnesia: For more than a century, such plans have been implemented, then abandoned, then implemented in a different form, then abandoned again. The idea never seems to work, but proponents of merit pay never seem to learn.
Here are the educational historians David Tyack and Larry Cuban: "The history of performance-based salary plans has been a merry-go-round. In the main, districts that initially embraced merit pay dropped it after a brief trial." But even "repeated experiences" of failure haven't prevented officials "from proposing merit pay again and again."
"Son of Merit Pay: The Sequel" is now playing in Cincinnati, Denver, Minneapolis, New York City, and elsewhere. The leading advocates of this approach—conservatives, economists, and conservative economists—insist that we need only adopt their current incentive schemes and, this time, teaching really will improve. Honest.
Wade Nelson, a professor at Winona State University, dug up a government commission's evaluation of England's mid-19th-century "payment by results" plan. His summary of that evaluation: Schools became "impoverished learning environments in which nearly total emphasis on performance on the examination left little opportunity for learning." The plan was abandoned.
In The Public Interest, a right-wing policy journal, two researchers concluded with apparent disappointment in 1985 that no evidence supported the idea that merit pay "had an appreciable or consistent positive effect on teachers' classroom work." Moreover, they reported that few administrators expected such an effect "even though they had the strongest reason to make such claims."
To this day, enthusiasm for pay-for-performance runs far ahead of any data supporting its effectiveness—even as measured by standardized-test scores, much less by meaningful indicators of learning. But then that, too, echoes the results in other workplaces. To the best of my knowledge, no controlled scientific study has ever found a long-term enhancement of the quality of work as a result of any incentive system. In fact, numerous studies have confirmed that performance on tasks, particularly complex tasks, is generally lower when people are promised a reward for doing them, or for doing them well. As a rule, the more prominent or enticing the reward, the more destructive its effects.
So why are pay-for-performance plans so reliably unsuccessful, if not counterproductive?
1. Control. People with more power usually set the goals, establish the criteria, and generally set about trying to change the behavior of those down below. If merit pay feels manipulative and patronizing, that's probably because it is. Moreover, the fact that these programs usually operate at the level of school personnel means, as Maurice Holt has pointed out, that the whole enterprise "conveniently moves accountability away from politicians and administrators, who invent and control the system, to those who actually do the work."
2. Strained relationships. In its most destructive form, merit pay is set up as a competition, where the point is to best one's colleagues. No wonder just such a proposal, in Norristown, Pa., was unanimously opposed by teachers and ultimately abandoned. Even those teachers likely to receive a bonus realized that everyone loses—especially the students—when educators are set against one another in a race for artificially scarce rewards.
But pay- for-performance programs don't have to be explicitly competitive in order to undermine collegial relationships. If I end up getting a bonus and you don't, our interactions are likely to be adversely affected, particularly if you think of yourself as a pretty darned good teacher.
Some argue that monetary rewards are less harmful if they're offered to, and made contingent on the performance of, an entire school. But if a school misses out on a bonus, what often ensues is an ugly search for individuals on whom to pin the blame. Also, you can count on seeing less useful collaboration among schools, especially if an incentive program is based on their relative standing. Why would one faculty share ideas with another when the goal is to make sure that students in other schools don't do as well as yours? Merit pay based on rankings is about victory, not about excellence. In any case, bribing groups doesn't make any more sense than bribing individuals.
3. Reasons and motives. The premise of merit pay, and indeed of all rewards, is that people could be doing a better job but for some reason have decided to wait until it's bribed out of them. This is as insulting as it is inaccurate. Dangling a reward in front of teachers or principals—"Here's what you'll get if things somehow improve"— does nothing to address the complex, systemic factors that are actually responsible for educational deficiencies. Pay-for-performance is an outgrowth of behaviorism, which is focused on individual organisms, not systems—and, true to its name, looks only at behaviors, not at reasons and motives and the people who have them.
Even if they wouldn't mind larger paychecks, teachers are typically not all that money-driven. They keep telling us in surveys that the magical moment when a student suddenly understands is more important to them than another few bucks. And, as noted above, they're becoming disenchanted these days less because of salary issues than because they don't enjoy being controlled by accountability systems. Equally controlling pay-for-performance plans are based more on neoclassical economic dogma than on an understanding of how things look from a teacher's perspective.
Most of all, merit pay fails to recognize that there are different kinds of motivation. Doing something because you enjoy it for its own sake is utterly unlike doing something to get money or recognition. In fact, researchers have demonstrated repeatedly that the use of such extrinsic inducements often reduces intrinsic motivation. The more that people are rewarded, the more they tend to lose interest in whatever they had to do to get the reward. If bonuses and the like can "motivate" some educators, it's only in an extrinsic sense, and often at the cost of undermining their passion for teaching.
For example, a recent study of a merit-pay plan that covered all employees at a northeastern college found that intrinsic motivation declined as a direct result of the plan's adoption, particularly for some of the school's "most valued employees—those who were highly motivated intrinsically before the program was implemented." The more the plan did what it was intended to do—raise people's extrinsic motivation by getting them to see how their performance would affect their salaries—the less pleasure they came to take in their work. The plan was abandoned after one year.
That study didn't even take account of how resentful and demoralized people may become when they don't get the bonus they're expecting. For all these reasons, I tell Fortune 500 executives (or at least those foolish enough to ask me) that the best formula for compensation is this: Pay people well, pay them fairly, and then do everything possible to help them forget about money. All pay-for-performance plans, of course, violate that last precept.
4. Measurement issues. Despite what is widely assumed by economists and behaviorists, some things are more than the sum of their parts, and some things can't be reduced to numbers. It's an illusion to think we can specify and quantify all the components of good teaching and learning, much less establish criteria for receiving a bonus that will eliminate the perception of arbitrariness. No less an authority than the statistician-cum-quality-guru W. Edwards Deming reminded us that "the most important things we need to manage can't be measured."
It's possible to evaluate the quality of teaching, but it's not possible to reach consensus on a valid and reliable way to pin down the meaning of success, particularly when dollars hang in the balance. What's more, evaluation may eclipse other goals. After merit-pay plans take effect, administrators often visit classrooms more to judge teachers than to offer them feedback for the purpose of improvement.
All these concerns apply even when technicians struggle to find good criteria for allocating merit pay. But the problems are multiplied when the criteria are dubious, such as raising student test scores. These tests, as I and others have argued elsewhere, tend to measure what matters least. They reflect children's backgrounds more than the quality of a given teacher or school. Moreover, merit pay based on those scores is not only unfair but damaging, if it accelerates the exodus of teachers from troubled schools where they're most needed.
Schoolwide merit pay, again, is no less destructive than the individual version. High stakes induce cheating, gaming, teaching to the test, and other ways of snagging the bonus (or dodging the penalty) without actually improving student learning. In fact, some teachers who might resist these temptations, preferring to do what's best for kids rather than for their own wallets, feel compelled to do more test prep when their colleagues' paychecks are affected by the school's overall scores.
It may be vanity or, again, myopia that persuades technicians, even after the umpteenth failure, that merit pay need only be returned to the shop for another tuneup. Perhaps some of the issues mentioned here can be addressed, but most are inherent in the very idea of paying educators on the basis of how close they've come to someone's definition of successful performance. It's time we acknowledged not only that such programs don't work, but that they can't work.
Furthermore, efforts to solve one problem often trigger new ones. Late-model merit-pay plans often include such lengthy lists of criteria and complex statistical controls that no one except their designers understand how the damn things work.
So how should we reward teachers? We shouldn't. They're not pets. Rather, teachers should be paid well, freed from misguided mandates, treated with respect, and provided with the support they need to help their students become increasingly proficient and enthusiastic learners.
Copyright © 2003 by Alfie Kohn. This article may be downloaded, reproduced, and distributed without permission as long as each copy includes this notice along with citation information (i.e., name of the periodical in which it originally appeared, date of publication, and author's name). Permission must be obtained in order to reprint this article in a published work or in order to offer it for sale in any form. Please write to the address indicated on the Contact Us page.
The problem is systematic and the NEA as well as the curriculum gets in the way of teaching children the art of learning. Concentrate on content you lose diversity or concentrate on technique you narrow the effectiveness. I was taught to read as the primary function necessary for learning. If you can read you can teach yourself most anything.
The powers don't want children to learn, they want factory or office fodder.
Perish the thought that people should be taught to think!
Maybe they really were on to something
Believe it or not, thinking is one of America's few strengths. If you study what other countries are doing, you find that most industrialized nations are crushing America in academics. However, some of these same countries do acknowledge one American strength; our students are better able to think form themselves.
There is little evidence of that on these forums.
. . .based on your opinion. If I had a dollar for each time I had this premise taught to me in a graduate class, I might be able to buy a large lunch at McDonalds for you. LOL. I know how much you like McDonalds! I'm not stuck on this idea, as some of the things that have been taught to me in college were garbage. Still, it is the prevailing thought among educators, and it isn't even something that originated in America.
What would a large Macs lunch cost you, $4?
You only have to look at the number of people who will defend their oppressors to see the truth in my claim.
Under the inflation of Obamanomics, it has become more expensive, now costing 9 dollars after exorbitant taxes.
Pffft. The truly wise consumer (doesn't eat at McDonald's anyway) knows how to exploit the crap out of the dollar menu and orders only from that. Two double burgers, two orders of nuggets, and some fries is more than enough for a filling meal, and it would only cost you five bucks. And then Subway has the gall to charge you the same amount for an empty 11" sandwich.
Haven't you noticed that inflation has been quite low recently? Moreover, although I haven't researched MacDonald's prices I read recently that their profits have gone up faster than the wages of their employees.
What exactly do think one has to do with the other?
They are screwing their employees in order to increase their profits? The minimum wage should be increased to bring its purchasing power back to where it was 20 years ago.
The Federal Minimum wage in 1992 was $4.25. Adjusted into today's dollars you would need to earn $6.95 to have the same purchasing power as you did 20 years ago...
The Federal Minimum Wage in 2012 (which is the same as it is today) was $7.25.
Try again Ralph.
According to http://www.measuringworth.com/uscompare … evalue.php
which is economic power.
Your link is broken John. It's giving me: "Division by zero in /home2/sam/public_html/m/calculators/uscompare/relativevalue.php on line 156"
Incidentally, I used the data here: ftp://ftp.bls.gov/pub/special.requests/cpi/cpiai.txt to get the numbers.
The link I provided, which works for me, gives different rates for different causes.
This is all I'm getting:
Full size img: http://i.imgur.com/GCoezvp.jpg
Anyway, it's simple math:
Wage * (2012 CPI / 1992 CPI)
Minimum Wage in 1992: $4.25
Average CPI 1992: 140.3
Average CPI 2012: 229.594
$4.25 * (229.594 / 140.3) = $6.95
Shawn, where do you get your figures? It's widely recognized that inflation has eroded the minimum wage.
http://www.raisetheminimumwage.com/fact … inflation/
America’s minimum wage was raised to $7.25 per hour on July 24, 2009. It’s still there. Unlike almost all other federal benchmarks, the minimum wage is not updated for inflation.
The minimum wage reached its (inflation-adjusted) historic high in 1968, when it was raised from $1.40 to $1.60 per hour. Adjusted for inflation using the BLS online inflation calculator that would come to $10.55 per hour in 2012 dollars.
That $10.55 figure is the focus of a nationwide campaign organized by the National Employment Law Project (NELP). In today’s political climate it would certainly be a major accomplishment to achieve a $10.55 minimum wage. But $10.55 is still far too low.
- See more at: http://inequality.org/minimum-wage/#sth … ZgSQU.dpuf
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/1 … 00418.html
In a move that puts him out of step with his fellow Republicans on the campaign trail, frontrunner Mitt Romney said in New Hampshire that the minimum wage should be pegged to inflation and rise with the cost of living.
"My view has been to allow the minimum wage to rise with the [Consumer Price Index] or with another index so that it adjusts automatically over time," Romney said when questioned by Anne Thompson of the National Employment Law Project Action Fund, a liberal group that lobbies for higher minimum wages. "I already indicated that when I was governor of Massachusetts and that's my view."
The federal minimum wage remains $7.25 per hour, translating to a salary of about $15,000 for a full-time worker. If it had kept pace with inflation since its high in the late-1960s, it would now be more than $10 an hour, according to the National Employment Law Project (NELP).
If the federal minimum wage was pegged to a price index -- as 10 state minimum wages already are -- Congress wouldn't have to go through the often-messy political process of drafting new legislation to raise it every few years. Of course, liberals and low-wage workers like the idea of automatic cost-of-living adjustments, arguing that the minimum wage should keep pace with the cost of food, gas and other staples. But business groups and most free-market conservatives intensely dislike the concept, arguing that higher minimum wages ultimately lead to job loss.
See, this is what happens when people who don't understand economics start trying to have serious economic discussions.
First of all, Salvatore Babones is a sociologist, not an economist; like most social progressives, he doesn't understand how the economy actually works. Do his social policies sound great on paper? Sure. Are the popular politically? Absolutely. Do they display, even a basic understanding of Macroeconomic principals? Not at all.
The median hourly wage for 2012 (the last prepared numbers) was $16.71. A minimum wage of $10.55 is over 64% of the median wage. Anything over 45% and you start seeing a negative effect on employment, over 50% and you get economic chaos. Your buddy Salvatore Babones proposes a $21.16 minimum wage... which is over 125% of the median wage.
Yes, Mitt Romney wanted to tie the minimum wage to the CPI, something I personally would have no problem with. But there's a part of his position you're ignoring... the CPI can also go down. So yes, when the CPI goes up, workers would get a bit of a raise; when it goes down, they'd take a pay cut. Good luck selling that one.
A 15$ minimum wage will not result in a better quality of life for minimum wage workers, it will result in the loss of minimum wage jobs. Companies will leverage new and existing technologies to increase self-service (which we're already seeing at places like Walmart, Home Depot, and Target), and automation (which we'll be seeing soon at places like McDonald's, Burger Kind, and Wendy's).
I am not and have never been a member of any union, including the NEA. I oppose most every move that NEA has made. That being said, I find more fault with the government's interference in education than I do the NEA's policies, and that's saying a lot.
Yes, teacher pay should be tied to performance. I don't know how you are going to measure that performance though.
You wrote, "The child's grades will determine it. If a kid is doing poorly all year long, and then does bad on the final test, and the teacher is subsequently penalized for it, whose fault is that? Teachers have all year long to evaluate these students, if in that time, they can't recognize a student who honestly needs help, then they obviously not cut out for the job, and shouldn't be teachers."
Many teachers inflate grades to look successful, from kindergarten up through college. Grades vary so widely, from class to class, that they are virtually worthless as an indicator. What is an "A" at most schools rarely passes as a "C" at my school. Many teachers merely inflate grades, so parents are happy. This happens in so many classrooms across the country. Grades won't work.
That's where the test I talked about comes in. An Annual, independently run, double-blind test that can cover anything from that years requirements. It removes the incentive to "teach for the test" since the teachers don't actually know what will show up on the test. The double-blind nature (one firm administers the test, a second firm grades it) prevents corruption, and holds teachers accountable for what their students are actually learning.
We use this testing method with clients right now to evaluate and assess employee knowledge, adherence to company policies, and quality of work. It's not very expensive and has a quick turnaround, usually within 72 hours.
A test is the best system we have to evaluate student growth, but it isn't really indicative of how strong one teacher is when compared to another unless one could somehow verify that the classes were totally equal. Good luck with that.
Let's assume that these two teachers are equally dedicated and equally talented:
Teacher A has 21 students. She has no students who qualify for special education and none who need additional help. Twelve qualify for gifted services. All of her students' parents are still married, and all of her children have stable homes. How do you think her scores will be when compared to Teacher B?
Teacher B has 38 students. She has 9 ELL students, students who "speak" English as a second language. She has four students who have a low IQ and qualify for no services. Five of her students qualify for limited special education services. Twenty-two of her children come from a home that is in turmoil, and none of her students qualify for gifted services. One month before the big test, she gets two new students who are remarkably low. How do you think her scores will be when compared to Teacher A?
Under the testing system, Teacher B will likely get no financial incentive for the good work she does. Her class will likely show less than one year of growth. They will likely be below average. Test results don't always reflect how good the teacher is. They also reflect what class you receive, the cards you were dealt. How is that fair, especially if you are at a school that is poor, disadvantaged, or near the border? What if you are at a good school but just get a bad class this year? Do you deserve a pay cut because of the luck of the draw? All teachers have good classes, and all teachers have bad classes, some more so than others. It seems inherently wrong to penalize a good teacher, because he/she received a difficult class. It seems inherently wrong to reward a poor teacher who got a good class.
Again, I believe in merit pay, but I just don't know how to accurately and fairly determine whether or not teachers really succeed.
That's the job they signed up for; if they can't do it then perhaps they should find another line of work.
Look, any job would be easy if you only had to do it under the best possible conditions, but that's just not how the world works. If they get a "bad class", then they can fix it; that's what they get paid for. Now if they don't think that the compensation is worth the effort, then that's understandable, but again I say, perhaps they should find another line of work.
I'm all for revamping public education in this country, I have three kids in school right now, and I can tell you first hand that some of the stuff that students and teachers have to deal with is ridiculous. From inaccurate textbooks to unqualified teachers (my son's Chemistry teacher this year is actually an English teacher, and knows nothing about Chemistry) I get that it's difficult, but as I said, that's the job.
No, I did not sign up for a job that forces me to focus on only the subjects that are on the test. I signed up to be a teacher. Real teachers do more than just teach to a test. Good luck finding teachers, enough teachers, under the circumstances you suggest.
Look, I am one of the highest achieving teachers for my grade level, according to test results, in the nation. Merit pay certainly looks good to me; it looks great. I come from one of the top schools in Arizona, even though it is also a poor school, title 1. We do exactly what you want, achieve with little money and with students who would normally fall below the testing standard. We are a public school with a waiting list of students out of our district. Still, I can't help but throw a major caution at what you are saying.
Please, come do my job for one week, and tell me if you still agree with what you said. The pressure to succeed is FAR more intense than I think you realize. The bureaucratic red tape is frighteningly cumbersome. The curriculum is ridiculous at times. The students are not always motivated. The parents aren't always supportive. Our hands are tied in many ways; so many tools have been taken away from teachers in the interest maintaining little egos and political correctness. Teaching is difficult! I'm not saying other jobs aren't too, but I think a lot of people fail to recognize how difficult teaching is. Kids are not a product. Each kid is different. Each kid enters the classroom with a unique set of circumstances, some good and some bad.
To solely measure a child's academic success by a test is absurd. Do you remember a teacher for a good reason? Do you remember them for the valuable math lessons they gave, or do you remember them for something else? We all tend to remember the teacher that made us feel special, the teacher who made a difference. Will the test be able to recognize that special teacher? Will that test measure how much support I have provided when a little kid comes to school devastated that his grandmother died last night? Will that test recognize the fact that I spent three days calling child protective services to protect a little kid from an abusive dad? Will the test recognize the fact that I am the surrogate father, for eight hours a day, to four children who have parents getting a divorce? Will the test recognize when I stop a bully from beating up another kid? Will the test recognize when I make sure a little kid who is starving gets a lunch? Will the test recognize the extra time I put in to make sure that a student from another nation learns English? Will the test recognize when I help a kid learn how to make friends for the first time? Will the test recognize it when I teach a kid how to enjoy art, music, or physical education? What are we doing when we put the ENTIRE focus on one test that measures math, reading and writing but fails to recognize so much more? We're encouraging teachers to focus only on what pays. The test doesn't really measure a lot of important things, some of which are true indicators of what a great teacher really is. I care about my kids enough to know that they need both what is on the test you propose and what is not on that test. Good luck measuring that which is not measurable on a test.
You don't have to sell me on teaching being a tough job, I get it, I really do, but you chose teaching as a profession. If it's too hard, and if the stress is too much for you to deal with, and you don't think you're fairly compensated, then find a new line of work; using the difficulties of the job however, as an excuse for poor performance is just simply ridiculous.
You can romanticize your profession all you like, and it's great that you make little Timmy feel special, and that you help little Suzy make friends; that's all above and beyond and you should be proud. However, speaking as someone that Timmy and Suzy are going to come to one day, looking for a job, none of that matters if they can't do math.
Yes, I had great teachers in school. I had some amazing teachers in school, but they weren't "surrogate" parents, they were teachers. It was their job to prepare me for the real world, not to be a social worker, or therapist, or grief counselor, or life coach, or any of the other tasks you mentioned. It wasn't there job to make sure that I was making friends, it was there job to make sure I knew who Marcel Proust was. It wasn't their job to make sure that I was eating my lunch, it was their job to teach me Calculus.
It's great that you care so much about your kids, I wish all teachers did, but it's irrelevant if the kids aren't learning the things they're going to need to know when it comes time to find a job. Now you don't think my idea of a test will work, that's fine, in fact you may be right, it might be a terrible idea, but the notion that the performance of their students shouldn't factor in to the evaluation and grading of teachers, is just flat out preposterous.
The problem is that there are so many factors outside of the teacher's control....
As someone who knows many teachers and hears daily about their struggles, there is absolutely no way that you could accurately measure the quality of a teacher by some random test....
If a parent doesn't care about what their kids do, IT DOES MATTER, the kid is less likely to care unless the parent or parents care.
If a child comes in hungry, that child isn't going to concentrate well. If that child has ADHD or another behavior issue, that is GOING TO MATTER.
A teacher can teach, provide all the guidance he or she wants, but you can't make a child do homework. You can't make a child read that book or do work outside of the classroom.
And finally.......some students are just better at some subjects than others. I got good grades in English and history in high school, but couldn't pass math to save my life. That wasn't my teacher's fault, it was just that I couldn't grasp those concepts as well as I could in other classes. Should my teacher have suffered merely because of how my brain works?
So you're saying that, because every student doesn't have the ideal "Leave it to Beaver" style home life, that it's okay for schools to basically serve as glorified day-care centers, and for teachers to be babysitters?
Yeah, it would be great if every kid was gifted and attentive and eager to learn, but we all know that isn't the case, the job isn't just teaching the good kids though, it's teaching all of them; if the teacher can't handle that, then they should find another line of work.
Yes, it absolutely was your teacher's fault: you were a kid, you didn't know math, you weren't expected to know math, it was your teacher's job to teach you math. Just because you weren't naturally gifted at math (trust me, I know the feeling) doesn't mean that your teacher had any less of a responsibility to teach you.
If a teacher can't teach their students, then they don't need to be a teacher; it's that simple. I don't care if they're the coolest, or the nicest, or the most amazing, most influential person in that child's life, if the kid isn't learning, then they're nothing but a babysitter.
Right, but not all kids are the same.....
For one child, getting all A's might be easy because they are just naturally gifted.
For another child, just passing the class is a major accomplishment.
I think that the focus needs to be on getting each student to fulfill their potential whether that is getting perfect grades or just doing enough to graduate. Not everyone is going to be a stellar student.
However, to assume that its all the fault of the teacher is ludicrous. This one-size-fits-all idea for education and thinking that any type of standardized test is going to determine how good a teacher is makes no sense at all.
Again, you're putting the responsibility (and the blame) on the students. Students aren't supposed to know anything when they go to school, that's why they're going to school in the first place. I don't care if one kid is gifted and one kid struggles, it's completely irrelevant; the teacher's job is to teach them regardless. The teacher needs to make sure that the one who is struggling learns what he/she needs to know; if they are incapable of doing so, then that's on the teacher, not the student. Will it be easier with some kids than it is with others, sure, but that doesn't mean you get to write off the ones who struggle.
As for the "focus", the focus needs to be on getting kids prepared for the real world; be it college or the workforce. Leave that "making sure they're fulfilling their potential" part to the parents and the students themselves; that's outside the purview of a teacher. You teach my kids how to read and write, and you let me worry about whether or not they're living up to their potential.
My scores are among the highest in the nation; I have no cause to make excuses. My "exceed" writing scores were 1,600% higher than the average within Arizona. My math scores were quite literally near perfect. I work my fingers to the bone to get those scores; I achieve in a title 1 school which is surrounded by other schools that do not achieve the "A" rating our school enjoys. I am an achiever, on a monumental scale. I have more awards, diplomas, commendations, and certificates than I have wall space. None of them pay the bills. My high scores don't pay the bills. Merit pay would benefit me, and I am for merit pay. I don't believe your system truly measures merit. It measures only one facet of education. My students not only exceed in reading, writing, and math, but they also know how to think for themselves. Good luck measuring that on your test.
While I appreciate your stance, it is simplified and unrealistic. While people like me would benefit from your proposal, few people would enter the field of education or stay in the field if you were to implement such a simple, data-driven plan, one that doesn't reflect any of the realities within education.
A simplified approach is what's needed, in my humble opinion. People needlessly complicate the issue in an attempt to avoid taking responsibility for the failure.
I'm glad that you're an amazing teacher, I really am, but you're not one of the ones I'm talking about. I'm talking about teachers like my daughter's history teacher last year. This woman spent two days teaching the kids all about Jamestown, VA the oldest city in America, there's just one little problem with that... Jamestown isn't the oldest city in America. What is the oldest city you ask? St. Augustine, Florida... an hour and a half from here.
I'm talking about teachers like my son's Chemistry teacher, who is actually an English teacher, who knows nothing about Chemistry, and who joked at the open house about "never knowing there was so much math in chemicals".
I have never, not in this discussion or any previous, said that teachers don't deserve better pay, I've said repeatedly that bad teachers, and unqualified teachers don't deserve better pay, and need to go. You keep bringing up all of these intangibles like "being a surrogate parent", and "making sure they're making friends", all of which is admirable, and I know that it may not seem like it from my position on teacher pay, but I do appreciate what you do. None of that however, is your job. Teaching kids, whatever subject it is you teach, that's your job.
While you are technically correct about St. Augustine being the oldest city in North America, I would probably have said Jamestown as well. It was the first settlement in the territory that would become the original United States. I guess it's all in how the question is asked.
Regarding the chemistry teacher, its probably the school district that forced him to switch positions. It happens all the time.
I don't know where you get the "technically correct" part from, St. Augustine was discovered in 1513, and the city was founded in 1565; Jamestown was established in 1607, 42 years later.
And it's irrelevant why the English teacher is teaching Chemistry, she has no business in that classroom. There's a school board meeting about it next week, so we'll see what their explanation is.
This year has been the first year that I've honestly considered putting my kids in Private School. I always liked the fact that they're going to the same schools I did (even having a couple of the same teachers), things are just getting too ridiculous.
I take it teachers are not free to teach whatever they like, therefore penalising a teacher for following orders sounds just a tad unkind.
So the kids in the class who will receive an inferior education, they're just outta luck huh? School is not about accommodating teachers, it's about educating the students; unkind or not, this woman has no more business teaching a Chemistry class than I do.
You're missing the point that it isn't the teacher's fault that he or she got put in such an odd position.
And I don't care; it's not my son's fault that there apparently weren't enough English classes to go around for all of the teachers. The students shouldn't be the ones to have to pay the price for some administration snafu.
So, how is that the fault of the teacher?
So far, the only two pieces of evidence to show that teachers don't do a good job is one teacher missing a point on a technicality and another teacher who got shafted....
I never said it was the teacher's fault, but whose fault it is, is completely irrelevant. This woman is "teaching" Chemistry for 6 periods a day, and she knows nothing about Chemistry. Now granted I was a Business Major in college, but I would be willing to bet that, out of the 100 - 150 students she sees every day, more than a few of them may want to major in something where Chemistry will play a starring role.
So when her students get to college, and they have no clue what they're doing, what do they do? Do they tell the professor: "Oh it's not my fault, there was a screw up at my high school, and I got stuck with an English teacher for Chem II". Yes, it completely sucks that apparently she's getting "shafted", but the students shouldn't have to be the ones to suffer for the administration's mistake. The education and future of over 100 students is vastly more important than finding a class to stick this teacher in.
Get rid of the school board and principle. If the teacher is put in a position like that they should go to the union.
Of course she doesn't, but to penalise her for following an instruction from a superior!
Don't penalise her for management decisions.
I find myself agreeing with you John, teachers should teach and many are highly educated and in the main dedicated, the problems start to arise when non teaching staff get in the way of teaching.
As you know I work at a college and see this scenario every single day.
It sucks doesn't it
True story. About 30 years ago a friend of mine was working as a grounds keeper at a school. One day he was approached by the head teacher and asked if he could take a class as they were short staffed!
That was in a high class public (private in the US) school.
It's still happening as well John. A couple of years ago I was working at a school which ahead a teachers shortage, the financial controller was asked to take classes to fill in, after a few months she was put in charge of curriculum for that subject. A year later she retired with stress and received a handsome payout.
From a personal point of view, although she was good as a finance officer she neither had the training or the commitment required to be a teacher therefor I surmise the only ones to suffer are the children she was teaching.
What I don't understand is as a finance officer she received a salary of 56k a year and as she was teaching they employed someone from a agency that cost 38k both figures above the average for a teacher, surely they could do the math and come to a different conclusion!
I appreciate your kind statements.
Yes, there are poorly qualified teachers. Isn't that a problem with the accreditation system more so than a problem with teachers?
In order to teach, I have to do those extra jobs. If my students are hungry, they won't learn. If my students are worried about how they are going to get beat up at recess, they won't learn. Part of the job IS dealing with personal issues that students bring to school. That's my point. We're not dealing with wrenches or shoes here; our "product" is people not math or reading, and they are far more complicated than other products.
Education - I agree, you deserve more money. What happens with teachers of your caliber is that they either end up going to private schools that can pay more, or they burn out because they can't sustain that level of motivation.
That shouldn't happen. If the good teachers like you were paid more, the ones coming up would have more motivation to achieve more as well.
Sounds rather like the UK, decades of demonising,demoralising and demotivating the best teachers
FYI, most private schools pay less, but they treat their teachers with more respect and give them more freedom than many public school teachers.
As a teenager, I worked at McDonalds and saved for college. When I graduated from college, the owner of a local McDonalds called me and asked if I would manage his restaurant. His offer was slightly over 30% more than my first teaching contract. Years later, I found that the person who took the job I was offered was earning over twice what I was earning as a teacher. I work a lot harder as a teacher than I ever worked managing McDonalds. By the way, he also earns a small percentage of profits, an amount that is no small sum.
If teachers were left to teach the results would be good.
Look at the books kids bring home these days. What should be a 100 page book is 250 pages because it looks like a teachers manual.
Let teachers teach and kick out the middle man. Start with the Federal Department of ED, then get rid of every state Department of Ed. you can leave the county Ed departments. By the time money goes through the Fed and State little of it ever get to the teacher. It's not most of the teacher that are the problem. It is the system.
So Shawn presents a common sense expectation - merit pay. But I don't think your version of "standardized testing," even though it sounds like a much improved version of the current "standardized testing" being so roundly criticized as a failure, is a viable solution. Given EA's realistic description of real-world circumstances.
And Education Answer presents a realistic, albeit extreme, comparison of possible class make-up scenarios - but doesn't see a fair way to determine teacher merit.
Why is no one mentioning a system that does work - performance evaluations by your immediate supervisor? As in - judgement.
A boss with a crew of 10 doesn't need a test. He knows what job needs to be done and he can use his judgement of his employee's performance to see who gets a raise, who doesn't and who gets fired. He knows when one employee had a tougher task than another, he uses his judgement to evaluate their performance.
So if he has 100 employees and can't supervise all of them, he hires managers/supervisors, and uses their judgements to make the same decisions.
Of course I know that is a simplistic example, but what happened to using judgement? It seems to work elsewhere.
Why is this not a workable solution in the educational field? Don't teachers have supervisors too?
(hint - I'll wait for someone else to mention it first)
And what about failing students that don't make the grade, make them repeat the year? Does that happen anymore? Wouldn't that be a motivator for students?
Part of the solution is something that is a bugbear in public education everywhere.
Streaming by ability.
Yup. I've said it.
Without streaming, you have the poor English teacher trying to teach, in the same classroom, a child who qualifies for Mensa with a verbal/written IQ of *over 200* and a child who is receiving extra tuition just to be two grades behind.
What teacher can do that? Well, they can, but what happens is that the brilliant kid is completely bored and starts to lose that intelligence because she's not using it, and the challenged kid is frustrated and gives up.
It's not the teacher's fault when that happens.
Streaming the children by ability gives each teacher of each group a set of students that are, as close as possible, equal in *basic ability* for that subject (And, yes, the same kid might be in the top group for English and the bottom group for math).
This system allows every kid to work to their ability, but modern educational theory calls it evil because we can't possibly tell a kid they aren't good at something. Here's a piece of news for you.
Kids know they aren't good at stuff. Kids know where their strengths and weaknesses lie if you'll just let them work it out. I certainly did.
Then, with the kids separated out, you can judge the teacher by the progress those children make - not their absolute achievement, but their progress. The teacher might, for example, get a bonus if a child is promoted to a higher stream.
Someone has mentioned already that there are a number of circumstance which placed into trying to educate people.
The term it takes a village to raise a child is more correct than we realize. The community needs to be in favor of this concept of education otherwise you're fighting a losing battle.
For some reason we believe everyone is in school to learn and that is not always the case. I was in school with teenagers who could care less about their studies they were more interested in chasing girls and having a good time.
The idea that we can teach everyone by some formula or standardization isn't likely. Number 1 everyone does not learn the same nor at the same rate. Contributing factors towards learning are the students eating properly? If they are not how can you as a teacher rectify that? Perhaps the parents are working 2 jobs and they don't have time to encourage the children to work towards education-How can you as a teacher rectify that? What if you are a latchkey child whose responsibility is to take care of your brothers and sisters until your parents get off of work-how is a teacher to rectify that.
Having said all of this I have encountered teachers who simply told them to open their books read the text and fill out the paperwork while they sit at the desk with their feet up on it-now these are the kinds of teachers I believe should be held accountable for student's progress.
I had one of those in grade school.
He gave me full blown math phobia. But he had tenure...so even though many parents, most of the other teachers, and the principal all wanted him gone...
No, because student performance in disadvantaged areas will never be as high as in privileged areas.
This article and the statistics it provides might help to dispel that myth.
http://professionaldevelopment.pottsgro … achers.pdf
Sorry, that doesn't dispel or disprove the fact hat children from disadvantaged areas do badly at school, Rather it explains why they do worse and that is not because they come from disadvantaged backgrounds but because schools have lower expectations of them.
But it doesn't contradict psycheskinner's statement.
Then, I must have completely misread his statement. Could you please explain what he said?
"No, because student performance in disadvantaged areas will never be as high as in privileged areas."
Well don't lower expectations affect student performance?
There is some truth to this. I work in a disadvantaged area, yet my school is ranked among the top schools in Arizona. To be specific, we have been ranked in the top five schools in the entire state, and we regularly earn an "A" rating from the state. What makes our school so desirable? Among other things, high standards.
Judging by progress rather than absolute standards might help overcome that.
It's always interesting to read comments from those who have never held a teaching position in a real classroom. Until you have, there is no way for you to understand.
In answer to the title post, no.
Do you remember Ron Clark, the teacher of the year who had a movie made about his story? Here's what he thinks:
http://www.cnn.com/2011/09/06/living/te … ll-parents
I think that the standardized testing stuff simply doesn't work. In terms of real student achievement - college, etc - the Scandinavian countries do much better than we do, and they don't use that system.
As for the merit pay issue itself - I more think there should be base bay and then a system of bonuses which could reflect a variety of teacher achievements - kids showing a solid improvement, kid becomes first in their family to go to college, kid gets into a really GOOD college, etc. This would only work if experienced teachers were involved in developing the standards.
(Of course, I also have this weird idea that eligibility to be elected to school board should be restricted to qualified teachers or retired teachers and parents who have or used to have children in the system. I'm weird that way).
The Scandinavians are pretty much better than us at everything and in every aspect, so that's hardly surprising.
It's a false equivalent.
You're talking about a group of countries with roughly the same population as Texas.
Merit pay is okay in theory but hard to practice effectively and fairly because determining "merit" is quite difficult. High stakes testing can be very destructive. Schools might do well to consider W. Edwards Deming's mantra: "Teamwork to improve the process." New teachers and teachers having problems should be coached and helped. Incompetent teachers should be removed. But fine tuning compensation based on supposed "merit" are costly to administer and causes more trouble than they are worth, in my opinion.
I believe that it is a 50/50 subject. On one side, teachers ARE RESPONSIBLE to teach, and if they know their students are not learning, they need to change their strategies in order to teach, and actually learn better. On the other side, what do you do in situations where there is no other help available? For example, if most of your students aren't fluent in the English language, say they come from different countries, and if the parents do not know English at all, who helps those children better understand the concepts if parents can't? Language is a huge barrier that plays an important role in all of it. Also, what about those kids who definitely have no interest in learning material whatsoever? It is not easy to deal with children's poor attitude and lack of respect for the incredible gift of education given to them? If a student doesn't want to learn, he or she will not, regardless of what is done to try and help them. There are lots more factors we need to look into when it comes to teachers and pay, and not everything can be proven in standardized tests.
They also do better than Britain, which has also gone the standardized testing route.
So, Education Answer, would the answer be for teachers to do a "residency" like doctors do?
These are all Arizona-mandated subjects that I have been forced to teach at one point in my career:
skin cancer education
peer pressure education
Then, after valuable instruction time has been taken from math, reading, and writing, I will be assessed only in those three areas? If I'm going to be assessed in math, reading, and writing only, give me a chance to teach these subjects by freeing up some of my time! Bureaucrats are absorbing too much of our time, and we wonder why students don't do well in math, reading, and writing.
Except that P.E. is vital for keeping kids from becoming overweight and art and music are very helpful for keeping them from needing therapy.
All teachers are important - just in different ways.
Yes, just like all doctors are important, but that doesn't mean that a General Practitioner should make the same as a Cardiothoracic Surgeon.
All teachers are important, but not all teachers are equal.
I agree that each of these teachers are very important. However, many of my colleagues are moving from math, reading, and writing teachers over to library, music, and P.E. There's less stress.
Shawn, though, that kind of attitude is what leads to schools canceling art, music, and PE altogether.
So, you want your potential employees to be fat and unhealthy, then, Shawn?
Truth is that ALL teachers need to be paid enough, base pay, that they are not forced to take second or third jobs just to end base pay and schools need to keep the "fluff" subjects. Especially now - we do our children a disservice to continue to educate them in a way designed to turn out factory workers.
Do it right, and there's no choice.
First of all, I think you're vastly overestimating the effects of P.E. if you think potential employees are going to be "fat and unhealthy" just because they didn't take Phys Ed in school, but that's neither here nor there.
In a perfect world, yes, all teachers would make a decent living and schools would have all the funding they need; but this isn't a perfect world, and there are hard choices that need to be made, one of which is cutting back on nonessential subjects.
We're not trying to turn out factory workers anymore, that's precisely why we need qualified teachers (particularly in the STEM fields), and if the "fluff" classes have to take a hit because of it, then so be it.
But in the UK childhood obesity has been linked directly to the selling off of school playing fields for housing!
I'm not in the UK, nor do my children go to school in the UK, so I could care less.
Man, that felt good; we've been agreeing way too much lately
See what happens when there are unqualified English teachers
Precisely! To say that you could care less implies that you do care a little at least. To say that you couldn't care less implies that the matter is of totally no consequence to you.
I had a qualified English teacher- he was English!
This would actually make an interesting hub, and I have long contemplated addressing the issue. Why is the English language being dumbed down?
Rules governing possessive nouns have changed. "Jesus's" used to be the singular possessive. Now, most sources simply list it as "Jesus'," something that used to signify plural possessive! Why? Is it the natural evolution of the language? Why is there a natural evolution of our language? Is it because the language hasn't been taught sufficiently, and now few people know how to use it properly? Improper conventions then, ultimately, become the norm.
Rules governing commas in a series have changed. The last comma is now not required. Why?
There are other examples too, but you get the drift. Our English language is adrift, and one could make an argument that the changes we see are a direct result of education. . .or lack of it.
Public policy since "no child left behind" has damaged the educational process. Have you heard the Latin saying "mens sana en corporare sano?"
Jennifer is right. As far as math is concerned, how much do you use algebra, trig and calculus in your occupation or life? Many people say that torturing a significant number of students with too many math requirements is a waste of time. Yet, we are rewarding schools and teachers based on standardized math scores and neglecting art, music, gym and shop. (I use what I learned in wood and metal shop 100x more than anything I learned in math classes.)
After I had left school I worked for some years as a joiner. I learnt far more practical maths then than during all my school years.
I use Algebra and Trig constantly, and if you're any good at the wood shop and metal shop that you're talking about so do you.
Education Answer, we're on the same page there - in that teacher effectiveness should be measured by student PROGRESS not by All 11 Year Olds Should Know This - which is stupid, especially when determined at the federal level as opposed to locally.
Yes, who is the better teacher, the one with a class full of self motivated and high achieving pupils or the one who manages to cut truancy rates dramatically?
You seem to have no respect for the teacher who has motivated students. My mentor teacher was the Arizona Math Teacher of the Year. His style of teaching math is now taught in some colleges. He earned national awards and was the finest teacher I have ever known. The most motivated and quickest learners were tracked for his class. He wasn't a great teacher because of his students. He was a great teacher because of what he did with those students. He was special, and everybody, including his students, knew it. The district's expectations for him were immense, because he had motivated children. He lived up to those expectations and exceeded them.
To say that one teacher is better because he/she has a difficult class negates what teachers do and unfairly focuses on only one aspect, where the students started. I have the utmost respect for any teacher who pushes kids to excel beyond what reasonable expectations are, based on ability and circumstances.
EA, I thought you were intelligent enough to realise that the teacher with the motivated class was not the teacher you cited.
What's it called when you judge people based on factors they can't control?
The teacher in question didn't get to select his class. By the way, he achieved these great results in a school that qualifies for title 1. Title 1 means that at least half of the students in the school qualify for and receive federally-subsidized free or reduced lunches.
That's an impossible question to answer - which is why teacher effectiveness needs to be judged taking the quality and life circumstances of the students into account.
Bloomberg News on the Minimum Wage:
Workers in the U.S. earning the minimum wage are worse off now than they were four decades ago.
The CHART OF THE DAY shows that after adjusting for inflation, the federal minimum wage dropped 20 percent from 1967 to 2010, even as the nominal figure climbed to $7.25 an hour from $1.40, a 418 percent gain.
The decline would have been worse if not for increases that took place from 2008 through 2010 in how much employers were legally obligated to pay. Combined with more stable consumer prices, those adjustments helped trim the reduction in earnings from 41 percent at the end of 2007, following a decade of no change in minimum pay.
“Hardship is increasing for lower-income levels, and the minimum wage reflects those at the lower end of the payroll spectrum,” said Ellen Zentner, a senior economist at Nomura Securities International Inc. in New York. “With those meager wages in place, it makes it hard to imagine families doing with even less.”
A jobless rate that has exceeded 8 percent since February 2009, the longest stretch of such levels of unemployment since monthly records began in 1948, is one reason why workers have little leeway to press for higher wages. Adding in part-time workers who would prefer full-time jobs, and discouraged workers who would take a job if one were available, pushes the rate up to 15.6 percent as of November.
The loss of better-paying manufacturing jobs in the last three decades and the growth of service industries may be another reason why wages have failed to keep up with inflation, Zentner said.
Eighteen states and the District of Columbia have minimum wages above the federal level of $7.25 an hour, which is just over $15,000 per year for a full-time worker. Eight states -- Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, Vermont and Washington -- will increase their minimum wage by between 28 cents and 37 cents an hour on Jan. 1, according to the National Employment Law Project, a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization that conducts research on unemployment.
To contact the reporters on this story: Bob Willis in Washington at email@example.com; Ilan Kolet in Ottawa at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editors responsible for this story: Christopher Wellisz at email@example.com; Alex Tanzi at firstname.lastname@example.org
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-12-2 … e-day.html
Ralph, if you need to make a point, please do so. If you want to reference other material and site sources, that's perfectly fine; but copy/pasting entire articles from other websites is not okay. It's no more acceptable to do it on the forums than it would be to do it in a Hub. I understand that you want to make a point, but please, for the good of the site in general, can you do it without the copyright violations.
My point was that the figures you cited were incorrect. Just about everybody, except those who don't believe in having a minimum wage, acknowledges that the federal minimum wage has not kept up with the cost of living. Of course the amount of shortfall depends on the beginning and ending time periods selected.
Whether Babones is a sociologist or an economist is irrelevant. The data show that the minimum wage is overdue for an increase, not to mention the huge increase in inequality and wealth that has occurred in this country since the 1970s. Or are you saying I don't understand economics? The fact is that I majored in economics and studied it in a grad school MBA program.
(I hope you do better for your clients than McKinsey & Co.)
And yet you don't seem to know how to adjust the CPI for inflation... something you would have learned 1st semester.
The numbers came straight from the BLS; so you're assertion is apparently that the Bureau of Labor Statistics is wrong.
What social progressives like Babones fail to recognize, is that minimum wage jobs are minimum wage for a reason. Minimum wage jobs are not designed to be careers, they're entry level positions into the labor force.
My assertion is correct. Since there is no automatic adjustment of the federal minimum wage for inflation, it's buying power begins to decrease immediately after the increase is enacted and continues to decrease until the minimum is increased again, usually not enough to make up for the erosion due to inflation. Your comments are quite misleading or stupid. You have a typical Tea Party, elitist, fxxk the poor attitude.
Ralph, it's painfully obvious that you have absolutely no idea what in the world you're talking about. I gave you the numbers; as someone who "majored in economics and studied it in a grad school MBA program" you should have no trouble doing "Intro to Macroeconomics" level work...
Your assertion was:
Twenty years ago, in 1992, the Federal Minimum wage was $4.25. Twenty years later, in 2012, the Federal Minimum wage was $7.25, which is where it still is today. The average annual CPI-U in 1992 was 140.3. The average annual CPI-U in 2012 was 229.594.
The formula (which someone who has a Masters in Economics should know off of the top of their head) is: Wage * (2012 CPI-U/ 1992 CPI-U). In this case, it's 4.25*(229.594/140.3).
Adjusted for inflation, the $4.25 minimum wage would need to be $6.95 to have the same buying power in 2012 as it did in 1992. The minimum wage was $7.25.
You say that:
You're absolutely correct, and in other "BREAKING NEWS", the sky is blue! All money loses its buying power because of inflation- that's kind of what inflation means. The simple fact is, that the minimum wage did have the same buying power in 2012 as it did twenty years ago... and you call me "misleading"?
You say I have a:
No Ralph, what I have is common sense and (apparently unlike some), the ability to do simple math. You think that the poor should be given higher wages? So do I; now how do you pay for it? You people seem to think that money is some abstract concept that just appears out of thin air; I promise you, it does not.
Again, surely someone who "majored in economics and studied it in a grad school MBA program" knows enough to know that "McDonald's" actually only owns about 10% of the restaurants in the country, the rest are all owned by franchisees: small business owners who would actually be the ones paying the increased wages, not Corporate McDonald's who makes most of its money through franchise and licencing fees.
You asked me:
Yes Ralph, that's exactly what I'm saying. You demonstrate a lack of even a basic grasp of the most basic economic principals. You seemingly lack the ability to work simple calculations that any Business Major, Economics or no, should be able to do in their head, and you cite a ridiculous far-left Sociologist as a credible authority on complex Macroeconomic policy.
If this is what passes for a Masters level Economics education at whatever school you went to, then education is in far worse shape than I thought.
Do a bit more checking. You will find that just about everyone but you agrees that the buying power of the minimum wage has declined. How much depends on the starting and ending point.
It seems, to me, that your statistics are pretty solid. Some people may not acknowledge the reality of what you have said, but I am with you on this. You have clearly made your point about the value of minimum wage when adjusted for inflation. For some, it seems evident that this debate is less about facts and data and more about an ideological view that perceives anybody who does not earn a lot of money as a victim of society who must be saved by big, liberal, or even socialized government. Shawn, it's pointless to continue the debate, though I appreciate your effort.
Thanks to the great math teachers I had
If it were up to me, I'd scrap the whole minimum wage structure as it exists now, and tie it to a hard 45% of the Median wage, that way it's insulated against a sudden drastic drop in the CPI-U.
The problem is, too many people are trying to turn the minimum wage into a career level salary, which it was never designed to be, and which it simply couldn't sustain.
Well I'm certainly not trying to turn the minimum wage into a career level salary!
I'm just contending (along with Ralph and many others) that the minimum wage has not kept up with inflation, or more precisely with the increase in the cost of basic essentials.
John I find myself agreeing with you again, maybe the tablets are working.
There simply isn't a reason why some of the bigger companies shouldn't be made to pay a living wage. Maybe the wages of the workforce should be linked with the profits of a company, mind you I have no idea how that would work.
There is a movement in the UK to pay a living wage rather than the minimum wage, it's not a lot more but it certainly sends out the right signals.
Maybe rather than linking to the median wage it should be linked to CEO pay!
Keep taking the tablets
I don't understand what makes people think that employees are entitled to more simply because a company is making more money. People are paid to do a job, if they don't think the pay is fair, they can quit.
What is the plan for who decides what "living" is, and how large a family it represents? Will disabilities or special needs of people be taken into affect? Will it support not only the wage earner but his/her aged parent as well?
And most of all, will price controls go with it so that increasing wages won't simply increase prices, negative the effects of any raise?
It wouldn't. Employee salaries and company profits have nothing to do with each other; they're employees, not partners. Minimum wage jobs were never designed, or intended, to be careers, they're entry level positions, period.
I agree Shawn but the company is nothing without its employees, many companies already recognise this already.
Right, but it's "the chicken or the egg" logic: without the company, the employees would have no income at all.
I'm all for people making more money, but just because a company is doing well doesn't mean that employees should automatically be paid more, that's up to the company. If a business wants to pay more to be more competitive and attract better employees, then that's great, but that's an individual decision, and shouldn't be mandated.
I've seen companies go under because they didn't pay enough to attract decent help, and I've seen companies go under because unions demanded more than was there. It's always a two way street and only those directly involved can, or should, make the final decision. If a company doesn't want to pay a high wage, that's their business just as it the business of an individual whether to work for low pay or not.
Labor is no different than anything else: you get what you pay for.
I've had occasion to hire labor ready (temp service workers) and have (rarely) gotten very good, highly skilled, workers for the $10 charged.
It's rare, though, and such employees don't stick around without pay commensurate with their abilities.
The biggest problem is managing the balance between "good" and "too good". I've had amazing receptionists, ones that I paid nearly double market value just because they were so valuable in that role, but inevitably, the ones that are great at the job always end up getting snagged by one of my consultants as an assistant, and then they usually progress from there. I have two consultants on staff now that started as receptionists.
You can pay good employees more for doing certain jobs, but eventually, the great ones are going to outgrow the position.
Not always. I've had assembly line workers that were truly superior at their job, going far beyond the requirements of the job, that I've offered a promotion and raise to only to be turned down. They were happy in their job and were paid enough to keep them happy. No desire to do anything different.
So ambition plays a large part, too. Not everyone is on the Jones's ladder of success. Some people ask nothing more than a job they can do without undue strain, a reasonable salary and security. They neither need nor want that new SUV each year.
I did the math for you yesterday John, the buying power of the minimum wage is higher than it was 20 years ago.
So many are wrong! They disagree with you.
They're not disagreeing with "me", they're upset because the data doesn't support their assertions. The Bureau of Labor Statistics compiles the data, it's a simple formula to figure out. The numbers are what the numbers are; I'm sorry that it doesn't fit your narrative, but, such is life.
You're talking about two different things John. The information in that report is accurate yes, but it's only part of the picture.
There is a reason we don't use the CPI-W to track inflation and buying power, it's because the CPI-W only covers about 30% of the population. The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (the CPI-U) is the one we use because it tracks nearly 90% of the population.
Using the CPI-W to track minimum wage buying power is like trying to find out how many African Americans there are in the country by taking a census in Montana.
Do we really want people to be satisfied with jobs that pay minimum wage? Isn't minimum wage an incentive to get a better education or training? When we provide government assistance to people who are seemingly satisfied with minimum wage jobs, are we really encouraging them to better themselves and become more marketable, or are we encouraging them to stagnate in a job and financial position that makes them reliant on assistance? How is making somebody reliant on the government giving a hand up instead of a hand out?
During the election, I overheard a teacher's assistant say, "I hope Obama gets elected. I don't want to have to go back to school. I'm so burned out. I'm voting for Obama." Great. She was clear about the fact that she is satisfied with an entry level position, a job that pays only a bit more than minimum wage, because of government assistance. Low pay should be a motivator to do more. I would like to see the market dictate what minimum wage is, but that ship has sailed. If the government has to dictate minimum wage, it should be a livable wage but one that encourages people to better themselves by working hard to earn promotions, getting a better education, or pursuing additional training.
It already IS a livable wage (for a person, not a family). It isn't fun, it isn't easy and there won't be much expensive entertainment, but minimum wage is quite livable in most places. And, for the most part, where it isn't livable it isn't being paid, either.
That apparently is true. However, as I pointed out previously, whether the buying power of the minimum wage has increased or decreased depends on the time periods (beginning and end points selected). For example, taking a longer period and using your methodology, the minimum wage in Feb 1967 was $1.40 and the CPI-W was 33.1. In May of this year the minimum wage was $7.25/hour and the CPI-W was 229.399. For the buying power of the minimum wage to have remained comparable the minimum wage would have to be $9.70/hour, not $7.25/hour. Moreover, the fact that the minimum wage has not been indexed but rather adjusted only sporadically means, in effect, that workers earning the minimum wage are not compensated for the amount they have lost due to price increases during the period since the previous adjustment. Contrary to what you have said, based the one period you cited, the minimum wage has lagged behind increases in the cost of living. Moreover, productivity and real wages over the long run (until the past 30 years or so) have increased around 2+ percent per year. This increase has not been reflected in adjustments of the federal minimum wage although an argument can be made that those at the bottom of the wage scale should in fairness have participated along with everyone else in rising American living standards. According to the article linked below if productivity increases were included the minimum wage would be $21.72/hour.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/1 … 80639.html
"The minimum wage should have reached $21.72 an hour in 2012 if it kept up with increases in worker productivity, according to a March study by the Center for Economic and Policy Research. While advancements in technology have increased the amount of goods and services that can be produced in a set amount of time, wages have remained relatively flat, the study points out.
"Even if the minimum wage kept up with inflation since it peaked in real value in the late 1960s, low-wage workers should be earning a minimum of $10.52 an hour, according to the study.
"Between the end of World War II and the late 1960s, productivity and wages grew steadily. Since the minimum wage peaked in 1968, increases in productivity have outpaced the minimum wage growth."
First of all Ralph, the 20 year time period was your idea, not mine...
You came up with the 20 year time period, not me.
Secondly, you're making the same mistake John did, you're using the wrong index. The CPI-W only applies to about 30% of the population and is usually only used by governments when evaluating long-term service and employment contracts. The CPI-U applies to 90% of the population and is the standard for evaluating inflation and buying power over time.
Again, I don't know where people are getting this idea that workers are entitled to increased wages simply because of increases in productivity or profitability. Employees are not partners; they are entitled to their agreed upon compensation and that's it. If they feel that they're undervalued, then they can either ask for a raise, or choose to find another job. If a company's productivity increased by 1,000% overnight, it still wouldn't entitle an employee to anything more than what they already receive.
The same goes for profits. Unless there is some manner of profit sharing built into their compensation package, it's irrelevant how much profit a company makes; employees are entitled to their wage, nothing more.
Incidentally, you're $.04 off on your math; you would need to earn $10.56 (not $10.52) to match the peak minimum wage in 1968.
Thanks for the correction.
The fact remains, contrary to your claims, it's widely recognized that the federal minimum wage has lagged behind inflation.
Historically, until our high paid manufacturing jobs started going to China and Korea, real wages in this country increased roughly in line with increases in productivity. More recently inequality of income and wealth has grown to the point where many are losing faith in our democratic, free enterprise system.
Again, your claim, not mine.
Okay Ralph, just as soon as everyone stops shopping at Walmart, Dollar Tree, Amazon, and any of the hundreds of other places that sell insanely cheap goods, then we can go ahead and crank those wages right back up.
Society doesn't get to have it both ways; you don't get to go into Walmart and buy a pair of sneakers for $5 and then turn around and complain that wages are too low. You don't get to buy an iPad for $375 and then complain about the loss of manufacturing jobs.
People in this country want high paying jobs, and at the same time they want to be able to buy ridiculously cheap goods... I'm afraid "it don't work that way".
As corporations grow in size and profitability they monopolize influence and conditions. Long gone are the days of a living wage for loyalty and production on the workers part. The corporations bought, begged and bribed their way to and through NAFTA until any politician who even had an inkling speaking out against the run of jobs leaving the country would find himself underfunded in the next election to next one who would sell his soul to back NAFTA. We will not see an end of this travesty until the "world" economy is equal to the lowest standard of living across all borders and cultures.
Term Limits, Publicly Financed Campaigns and Lobby Reform is our only hope.
And of course the Labor Unions had nothing to do with it, right? Driving wages higher and higher, to the point where it's cheaper to manufacture overseas and then import goods, than it is to build them here.
People flooding to discount stores and demanding cheap goods at prices that could never be obtained if manufactured in the United States, that had nothing to do with it huh?
Increases in technology and efficiency that allowed companies to increase productivity with fewer human employees, that didn't play a role at all?
It's always the "evil corporations" and "corrupt politicians" huh?
Labor unions are there to ensure that workers get as much as the market for their services will bear.
People flood to discount stores because their earning power is slowly eroding. Where else are they going to shop?
As for technology increasing.....technology has improved steadily over the past 100 years, what's your point?
Workers deserve a living wage....period.
Labor unions exist to increase enrollment which gives them greater political capitol. They do this by driving wages as high as they can until companies simply outsource or relocate. If the jobs were paying "market value" then moving manufacturing overseas and then importing goods wouldn't be cost effective.
Their earning power is eroding because people go to Walmart and buy cheap Chinese and Korean goods simply because they're cheaper. Then those same people turn around and complain about falling wages in the US.
The point is, where it used to take 10 guys on an assembly line to make 10 widgets per day, automation and new technology now allows a machine to make 100 widgets a day for less money.
Workers don't "deserve" anything... period.
If a person doesn't think that their employer is paying them enough, then they can ask for a raise; if the employer says no, then they're free to find another job. No one deserves a "living wage" simply for showing up to work.
Low wage jobs are low wage jobs for a reason: because they simply don't have much value to the company in question. To use a sports analogy (in honor of Football season): there is a reason Quarterbacks get paid more than Placekickers. Now if all a particular person can qualify for is a minimum wage job, then that's unfortunate, but it's not the company's fault, nor is it their problem.
It's certainly not a company's responsibility to pay a person more for a low wage job just because that's the only type of job that person can get. If you have no education and no marketable skills, and you're looking for competitive wages and great benefits, then my friend, you better go see your local recruiter and enlist.
Yes, low wage jobs exist for a reason. There are plenty of unskilled laborers. When the government tries to redistribute income, all it does is encourage people in low wage jobs to stay where they are and not work towards learning new skills, to become more marketable. How is that helping anybody, by making them complacent and dependent on government assistance?
It doesn't help the workers at all. It does however make for a pretty loyal voting block.
That's the argument I have made in other forums. You are absolutely right. Ask not what you can do for yourself; ask what your country can do for you.
Spoken like a true business owner
And no, the smile isn't meant to be snarky.....I don't begrudge your opinion, its just that the economy these days isn't that cut and dry.
To be honest, the only way to guarantee yourself a living wage is to start your own company. Otherwise you are pretty much just a cog in the machine.
But my comment still stands, if you work 40 hours a week, you deserve to afford a place to live, food to eat and some sort of basic health care.
Contrary to what some people (especially a few of them here on the forums) would have you think, the economy has never been "cut and dry". Economics has always resembled a famous catchphrase by one of my all-time favorite professional wrestlers: "Just when you think you have all the answers... I change the questions".
If you work 40 hours a week, you deserve whatever your agreed upon wages were, nothing more; whatever you choose to buy with that is up to you.
Health Care should not be tied to employment at all, it should be a basic right afforded to all US citizens (like education or military protection).
"Health Care should not be tied to employment at all, it should be a basic right afforded to all US citizens (like education or military protection)."
That makes sense in theory, but apparently is not possible politically in view of all the vested interests in the present system--parasitic health care insurance companies and employment based health care embedded in employer policies and union contracts.
We already have the framework, all they would need to do is revamp Obamacare into something that actually has a chance of doing some good, instead of the unmitigated disaster it currently is.
Strike a light!
I find myself almost agreeing with you!
This letter to the editor was published by the NY Times in November 2007 before the passage of Obamacare. Apparently the President and his advisers decided that a single payer system was not possible politically.
To the Editor:
I live across the river from Windsor, Ontario, and for several years I've asked every Canadian I've met whether he or she would trade their health care system for ours. I have yet to get a ''yes'' answer to that question. And, as someone who is covered by Medicare, I completely agree with Paul Krugman's comment that Americans like the program very much.
So it seems to me that since we already have a national, single-payer system called Medicare that works quite well, the most logical approach to health care reform would be to extend this system in gradual increments to the rest of the population, starting with the most vulnerable of our citizens -- children, the long-term unemployed and so forth -- until everyone is covered by the program. Am I missing something?
Birmingham, Mich., Nov. 9, 2007
What theory is that?
Given that there is no "right" to food, water, heat, or anything else except "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness", what theory is it that people have a right to unlimited health care?
By the way, children do not have a "right" to education; they have an obligation to sit through education classes until 18 years of age. Nor does an individual have a "right" to military protection; if you think otherwise explain to Pastor Saeed why he is rotting in a foreign jail instead of being rescued by the military.
There you go again putting words in others' mouths! Nobody said anybody has a right to "unlimited" health care. However, the U.S. is one of the richest countries in the world and one in which a large percentage of the population has no health care insurance and does not receive adequate health care and one in which health care costs are much higher than in other countries with rather mediocre results. Your approach is one which would permit the strong to exploit the weak without any legal interference, as in the case of Bangladesh and Latin American banana republics.
"By the way, children do not have a "right" to education; they have an obligation to sit through education classes until 18 years of age."
That's a curious statement. Here's what Wikipedia says;
"Government supported, free public schools for all started being established after the American Revolution, and expanded in the 19th century, as the results of efforts of, among others, Horace Mann and Booker T. Washington. By 1870, all states had free elementary schools, albeit only in urban centers. As the 20th century drew nearer, states started passing laws to make schooling compulsory, and by 1910, 72 percent of children attended school. Private schools continued to spread during this time, as well as colleges and—in the rural centers—land grant colleges. 1910 also saw the first true high schools."
Tough reading between the lines, but it appears that your theory is that the US is rich and therefore everyone, both rich AND poor, has a right to "free" health care. Somewhere in the theory is a limit (unspecified, of course) on the amount available.
Not a very good theory, I fear. The exact same words (theory) could be used equally well for providing every person with food, water, heat, electricity, TV's, cars, boats or whatever else is wanted. Can you do any better?
Clearly, many Americans do not currently have a "right" to free health care and do not receive adequate health care. Malnutrition is currently prevalent among many children in this country as well as adequate health care. Obamacare will provide an health care for many who don't currently have access to it. A more adequate federal minimum wage would help assure more adequate nutrition.
Hmm. The new theory is that Obamacare will provide it and therefore it is a right?
Closer. From a legal standpoint it is a viable theory, as is every idea enforced by law. From an ethical/moral standpoint, not so much. Can you provide an ethical theory that health care is a right but food, water, sewer, lighting, clothing, housing and heat (in cold climates) is not? Or do we have to provide that for everyone as well?
Whether or not it's a right, it's right that everyone should have adequate food, health care and not have to sleep under bridges as is the case in nearly every other advanced, civilized country.
Here's a moral basis for this conclusion dating back to 430 B.C. China:
JUST SAY NO
C. 430 B.C. China
It is the business of the benevolent man to seek to promote what is beneficial to the world, to eliminate what is harmful, and to provide a model for the world. What benefits men he will carry out; what does not benefit men he will leave alone. Moreover, when the benevolent many plans for the benefit of the world, he does not consider merely what will please the eye, delight the ear, gratify the mouth, and give ease to the body. If in order to gratify the senses he has to deprive the people of the wealth needed for their food and clothing, then the benevolent man will not do so. Therefore Mozi condemns music not because the sound of the great bells and rolling drums, the zithers and pipes, is not delightful, not because the sight of the carvings and ornaments is not beautiful; not because the taste of the fried and broiled meats is not delicious; and not because lofty towers, broad pavilions, and secluded halls are not comfortable to live in. But though the body finds comfort, the mouth gratification, the eye pleasure, and the ear delight, yet if we examine the matter, we will find that such things are not in accordance with the ways of the sage kings. And if we consider the welfare of the world, we will find that they bring no benefit to the common people. Therefore Mozi says: Making music is wrong!
Now if the rulers and ministers want musical instruments to use tin their government activities, they cannot extract them from the seawater, like salt, or dig them out of the ground, like ore. Inevitably, therefore, they must lay heavy taxes upon the common people before they can enjoy the sound of great bells, rolling drums, zithers, and pipes. In ancient times the sage kings likewise laid heavy taxes on the people, but this was for the propose of making boats and carts, and when they were completed and people asked, “What are these for?” the sage kings replied, “The boats are for use on water, and the carts for use on land so that gentlemen may rest their feet and laborers spare their shoulders.” So the common
Art is a jealous mistress, and if a man have a genius for painting, poetry, music, architecture, or philosophy, he makes a bad husband and an ill provider. Ralph Waldo Emerson
People paid their taxes and levies and did not dare to grumble. Why? Because they knew that the taxes would be used for the benefit of the people. Now if musical instruments were also used for the benefit of the people, I would not venture to condemn them. Indeed, if they were as useful as the boats and carts of the sage kings, I would certainly not venture to condemn them.
There are three things the people worry about: that when they are hungry they will have no food, when they are cold they will have no clothing, and when they are weary they will have no rest. These are the three great worries of the people. Now let us try sounding the great bells, striking the rolling drums, strumming the zithers, blowing the pipes,
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waving the shields and axes in the war dance. Does this do anything to provide food and
clothing for the people? I hardly think so. But let us leave that point for the moment.
Now there are great states that attack small ones and great families that molest small ones. The strong oppress the weak, the many tyrannize the few, the cunning deceive the stupid, the eminent lord it over the humble, and bandits and thieves rise up on all sides and cannot be suppressed. Now let us try sounding the great bells, striking the rolling drums, strumming the zithers, blowing the pipes, and waving the shields and axes in the war dance. Does this do anything to rescue the world from chaos and restore it to order? I hardly think so. Therefore Mozi says if you try to promote what is beneficial to the world and eliminate what is harmful by laying heavy taxes on the people for the purpose of making bells, drums, zithers, and pipes, you will get nowhere. So Mozi says: making music is wrong!
Now the rulers and ministers, seated in their lofty towers and broad pavilions, look about them, and there are the bells, hanging like huge cauldrons. But unless the bells are struck, how can the rulers get any delight out of them? Therefore it is obvious that the rulers must have someone to strike the bells. But they cannot employ old men or young boys, since their eyes and ears are not keen enough and their arms are not strong, and they cannot make the sounds harmonious or see to strike the bells front and back. If they employ young men, then they will be taking them away from their plowing and planting, and if they employ young woment, they will be taking them away from their weaving and spinning. Yet the rulers and ministers will have their music, though their music making interferes to such an extent with the people’s efforts to produce food and clothing! Therefore Mozi says: making music is wrong!
[Mozi, from “Against Music.” Born a few years after Confucius’ death, Mozi professed the doctrine of undifferentiated love: “When everyone regards the states and cities of others as he regards his won, no one will attack the others’ state or seize the otherrs’ cities.” His disdain for music was part of a larger critique of the aristocracy’s lavish banquets and theatrical performances.]
From: “LAPHAM’S QUARTERLY, Volume III, NUMBER 2 Spring 2010
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I have to add that no one now has a right to free health care, or ever will.
What you are proposing they have a right to is for someone else to be forced to pay for their care. Not "free" care as there is no such thing anywhere in our world. Nowhere, at least, past the level of mommy washing clean a minor scratch. Somebody pays for all of it.
That's true, there's no such thing as free health care. Everyone should be sufficiently taxed that no one goes without food or health care. Currently, the tax code is like a sieve which allows many corporations and hedge fund operators, inside traders and other filthy rich Americans escape paying their fair share of taxes.
According the last prepared numbers, I'm in the 1% Ralph. So I'm curious to hear from you how much you think my "fair share" is.
But what about drinking water and a roof over your head? What about heat in northern climates and free clothing as well? What about ALL the things necessary to maintain life - shouldn't there be a "right" to ALL of it?
And once that is done, mental health needs consideration; it is unhealthy in the extreme to be poor, seeing the rich in their luxuries. Some luxuries need to be a right, too, just to maintain happiness and mental health. Where does it end, then - where a person only gets to keep what they can hold on to by force and everything else goes into the government pot, where everyone grabs with whatever force they have?
You appear to me to be a victim of the GOP's "wonk gap."
"The G.O.P.’s near-complete lack of expertise on anything substantive. Health care is the most prominent example, but the dumbing down extends across the spectrum, from budget issues to national security to poll analysis. Remember, Mitt Romney and much of his party went into Election Day expecting victory.
"About health reform: Mr. Barrasso was wrong about everything, even the “unpopular” bit, as I’ll explain in a minute. Mainly, however, he was completely missing the story on affordability.
"For the truth is that the good news on costs just keeps coming in. There has been a striking slowdown in overall health costs since the Affordable Care Act was enacted, with many experts giving the law at least partial credit. And we now have a good idea what insurance premiums will be once the law goes fully into effect; a comprehensive survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation finds that on average premiums will be significantly lower than those predicted by the Congressional Budget Office when the law was passed...."
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/09/opini … n&_r=0
Wilderness, you're getting a little silly now my friend. The "all-or-nothing" argument has been a staple of Social Policy discussions for years and it's never worked. It's the same as people who say if you permit gays and lesbians to marry, then you have to permit people to marry their dogs and cats; it's a ridiculous argument that serves only to inflame one's political base.
The simple fact is, American citizens have a right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness... not the happiness itself, that's up to you. No one has a "right" to luxuries. period. No one is arguing that. The problem comes in deciding between what things are luxuries and what things are necessities.
Food is a necessity, that's why we have welfare.
Shelter is a necessity, that's why the Department of Housing and Urban Development has Homeless Assistance programs in place.
Emergency Medicine is a necessity, that's why any ER in the country has to treat you in an emergency, regardless of your financial situation.
Now, does this mean that I think that everyone should rely exclusively on the Government for these things? Of course not. These should only be "safety nets"; a "break glass in case of emergency" style option that people turn to.
As for heat in the North, or air conditioning here in the South, no those are not rights, those are modern convinces that humanity existed without for thousands of years.
No luxuries need to be rights in order to "maintain happiness and mental health"; Jealousy and envy of the success of others is not a mental illness, and to suggest that they are is to cheapen the suffering of people who really are dealing with some mental affliction.
Incidentally, there is already a solution in place for the poor who get upset by seeing the "rich in their luxuries"... it's called hard work.
Real fine work they're doing there, I guess.
Really? There is no right to luxuries? The poor don't have a right to have a "free" cellphone, provided by someone else? You'd better let Uncle Sam know that as he gives them away daily.
The poor don't have a right to free janitorial service and lawn care in the home (far beyond mere shelter) provided for them by someone else? You'd better let Uncle Sam know that, too, so he can stop forcing others to pay for it.
The poor don't have a right to free heat and power? You'd better let Uncle Sam know as utility vouchers are all the rage.
The whole point is that we already go far beyond basic necessities in our charity to the poor, and it seems to increase every year. I ask those promoting that idea where it will end, but never get an answer - just a claim that such a question is beyond the pale somehow and should not be asked. Or a tall tale that we don't even provide the poor enough to live on while they get fat at public expense. Maybe a claim that half the country is unable to support themselves with basic necessities of life - a claim good only for a belly laugh as it has zero merit.
Silly? I don't think so. Not when I spend 61 of my 63 years without a cell phone, while paying a special tax so the poor can have one as a "necessity" for life. Not when I see forced slave labor from "community service" sentences painting and maintaining an apartment complex for the poor - poor that are too lazy to maintain it themselves. Not when I watch children given free lunches all summer, while their parents receive food stamps sufficient for the family to eat better than I can afford to.
No, I don't think it silly at all. Where do the socialists end the wealth redistribution they are so in love with?
You presumably read my entire post, what on Earth makes you think I'd be in favor of cellphones for the poor when I don't even believe in a right to air conditioning? I don't support any of the programs you mentioned, even the "free janitorial service and lawn care" one that I've never even heard of.
You seem to be laboring under the impression that someone can't simultaneously be a Democrat and a Conservative; I assure you, they can.
I'm a Conservative because I believe that government should be small, and largely invisible in people's day-to-day lives; I'm a Democrat because I believe that there are some things that the government needs to handle for its citizens.
I'm a Conservative because I believe that taxes (especially Corporate taxes) are too high, and the money that we give the government is largely being wasted on failed programs; I'm a Democrat because I think that some of that money we pay in should go to feeding the poor, taking care of the sick, and teaching kids to read, write, and do math.
I'm a Conservative because I think that 99.9% of the unions and collective bargaining have long since outlived their purpose and are now little more than legalized extortion; I'm a Democrat because I believe we still need that last .1%.
I'm a Conservative because I think that people should support themselves, and not rely on taxpayers or the government to provide for them; I'm a Democrat because I understand that, for whatever reason, sometimes shit happens, and there will be times people honestly need to turn to the government for help.
Not everything needs to be 100% Red or Blue
"what on Earth makes you think I'd be in favor of cellphones for the poor when I don't even believe in a right to air conditioning?"
Because you said the poor have a right to nothing but necessities. Those phones (along with the other luxuries mentioned) must then be necessities as they certainly have a right to them under the law.
But overall, I agree with what you're saying, I just think we have gone far, far overboard in the charity we require people to pay for. When half (or more) of the people are taking charity forced from the other half, when half the people do not help support the needs of the country, there is a problem and it isn't that we don't give enough support already.
Plus, in the case of health care for everyone, I do not believe that the US can provide the care that people think they will be getting without bankrupting the country. I truly hope I'm wrong, but fully expect to see obamacare either dismantled or changed beyond recognition within a decade. There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch, but the people have been sold the bill of goods that Obamacare is just such a thing. It isn't.
A bad law is a bad law, that doesn't make free phones a "right". That program can be ended at anytime, rights are much more difficult (at least in theory) to get rid of.
Only the ignorant ever considered Obamacare a free lunch. To quote one of my favorite movies (I seem to be all about the movie quotes today) Obamacare is: "the wrong execution of the right idea".
Those "free" cell phones really bug you, don't they? But you don't seem to worry about the giant tax loophole enjoyed by hedge fund operators (capital gains tax on what for anybody else would be ordinary taxable income) or the overseas tax dodges enjoyed by many multinational corporations, and the $14 million/year average large company CEO compensation which has gone in the past 30 years or so from 25x the average worker to 250x the average worker. You seem to think tax breaks for the 1 percenters are great but the crumbs for the poor are a scandal.
They are hardly crumbs for the poor though, more like a back door hand out to the phone companies.
You may not find a difference between giving money away and taking less, but I do.
There is no reasonable excuse for taxing the owners of a corporation twice on each dollar of income to start with; to reduce the taxes paid does not equate to writing them a check in any manner. It's reminiscent of the thousands of people getting a tax "refund" they never paid in the first place via the earned income credit. A play on words to make something sound like something it isn't.
And no - neither you nor I have any right to concern ourselves for one second on what any particular CEO is paid. It is none of your business.
To set the mood...
I was going to post that but had a sudden attack of can't be bothered, so thanks for that.
As a stockholder and as a citizen how much a CEO is paid and how much he is taxed certainly is my business. Most of them are bureaucratic yes men who never had an original idea in their life, but they think they should be paid as if they were a Henry Ford, a Bill Gates or a Steve Jobs. They are able to do it by picking friendly directors and friendly compensation committees who engage friendly consulting firms who advise them on how much other similar size firms are paying their CEOs.
A stockholder, yes; a citizen no. Not even the taxes a CEO pays, unless you desire to set it the same as yours. Other than that, you have no rights to any financial information from any CEO. At most, a citizen has the right to vote on setting tax rates for a given income level - never for any specific individual.
Most people think they are worth more than they are; no reason to think a CEO is any different. They are worth, just as everyone else is, exactly what they can get. If they can convince enough people they are worth a million per year then they have satisfied the purpose of the job; to maximize their income. Isn't that why everyone works, after all? To gain money, and the more the better?
"never for any specific individual."
"They are worth, just as everyone else is, exactly what they can get. "
Well, that depends on how they get it. Many have been cooking the books, backdating their options and screwing their customers in order to line their own pockets.
JPMorganChase and the other NY banksters are perfect examples of companies that have been paying off hundreds of millions in fines in order to settle a variety of charges for illegal activities designed to increase their profits and their CEOs compensation. Jeff Skilling and his CFO are in jail for their crooked shenanigans at Enron. CEOs ask their lawyers three questions about their schemes: 1. Is it legal: 2. What's the likelihood of getting caught?; and 3. If we get caught will I go to jail? (In most cases, if they get caught, they are routinely let off the hook with a fine, of course, "without admitting or denying guilt." Lehman Brothers is a perfect example. Now, everybody is waiting to see whether Steve Cohen is going to be charged criminally for his systematizing of insider trading at his SAC hedge fund.
"CEOs ask their lawyers three questions about their schemes: 1. Is it legal: 2. What's the likelihood of getting caught?; and 3. If we get caught will I go to jail? "
Proof please? An audio or video recording should be sufficient for even such a spurious claim as this one.
There is a difference, Ralph, between allowing your fear and hatred of corporate America to control what you say and producing real facts and truth to debate with. Only an idiot would every believe your comment that most (that means 51% or more) CEO's (you did mean most, didn't you?) ask #2 and #3. #1, on the other hand, is a most reasonable question and a very valid reason to keep an attorney on the payroll.
Of course, if you referred ONLY to Jeff Skilling or a small handfull of others, I would still ask for proof, but would also ask "So what? You will find thieves in every occupation."
"Only an idiot would every believe your comment that most (that means 51% or more) CEO's "
There you go again, putting your words in my mouth. As you well know, I didn't say "MOST CEOs," and for your information I don't think most CEOs are crooks. But a significant number are. I mentioned the NY banksters and Steve Cohen and Jeff Skilling. Jamie Dimon and Cohen and Skilling all ought to be put in the same cell in order to save taxpayers' money.
Here are a couple of examples from this morning's paper:
http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2013/09/09/ … f=business
http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2013/09/09/ … rutiny/?hp
[I do think that a high percentage of CEOs overpay themselves.]
"Of course, if you referred ONLY to Jeff Skilling or a small handfull of others, I would still ask for proof, but would also ask "So what? You will find thieves in every occupation."
I do believe that quote from my post covers your objection very well. I've worked with bookkeepers stealing from their bosses, with simple laborers doing the same and with supervisors stealing by the truckload (literally). You find thieves everywhere; to insinuate that CEO's are worse somehow is ludicrous.
And using the PC bogeyman (NY "Banksters") doesn't add much to your whine about CEO's. Nor does the indication that they set their own salary; anyone with a modicum of knowledge of the corporate world knows that one isn't true either.
"Nor does the indication that they set their own salary; anyone with a modicum of knowledge of the corporate world knows that one isn't true either."
CEOs appoint friendly directors and compensation committees who pay compensation consulting firms to give them the answers they want. Shareholder proxy proposal procedures aren't helpful in curbing CEO abuses--awarding themselves huge pay and options packages even when results are mediocre or poor, re-pricing their options, and awarding themselves huge golden parachutes.
Why don't you explain, if you can, from your modicum of knowledge how you think it works?
So (all? most? many? some? one?) CEO's bribe the BOD, compensation committees and consulting firms to raise their salary and can thus be said to set it themselves? Even though the final determination carries the signature of someone else? Are you sure they don't hire the mob to send a hitman and break any kneecaps that don't go with the plan? Or hold a gun to the head of BOD member during salary considerations?
Interesting theory - can you back it up? With proof, of course, not simple more hate fill rhetoric without any factual information to back it?
Why don't you go to Google and type in CEO compensation abuses and educate yourself? There's plenty of material on it.
Why? Whenever I try to verify one of your off the wall claims like this (CEO's commonly bribe others to raise their salary) it never works. A waste of time.
Problem is that it isn't illegal, so never goes to trial. Nor does anyone admit to taking a bribe, although they WILL claim that someone else did, but make the claim without supporting evidence. So it ends up as somebody's (your) opinion, but one that can't be verified as true.
Who said anything about "bribes?"
The proof of the pudding here:
"The top 10 percent of earners took more than half of the country’s total income in 2012, the highest level recorded since the government began collecting the relevant data a century ago, according to an updated study by the prominent economists Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty.
"The top 1 percent took more than one-fifth of the income earned by Americans, one of the highest levels on record since 1913, when the government instituted an income tax.
"The figures underscore that even after the recession the country remains in a new Gilded Age, with income as concentrated as it was in the years that preceded the Depression of the 1930s, if not more so...."
http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/ … s&_r=0
http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/ … ay-ratios/
Can we rephrase that?
"The top 10 percent of earners took more than half of the country’s total income in 2012" and therefore we know that CEO's bribe the BOD for a higher salary.
"The top 1 percent took more than one-fifth of the income earned by Americans" and therefore we know that CEO's bribe the BOD for a higher salary.
" with income as concentrated as it was in the years that preceded the Depression of the 1930s" and therefore we know that CEO's bribe the BOD for a higher salary.
You can replace "bribe" with "have undue influence through the use of committee personnel" or whatever else you wish.
This is excellent logic in use...if you wish to prove that you have only unsubstantiated opinion that CEO's bribe the BOD. Because they sure aren't the "proof of the pudding" of anything else!
Or, having been caught in another fact vs opinion lie, are you moving to a different topic?
I'm done with discussing this topic with you. As I said, I did not accuse anyone of bribing anyone. Did you read the links I provided? You are quite opinionated with nothing to back up your Tea Party opinions.
Probably best, Ralph. The statement that CEO's set their own salary is quite unsupportable and should never have been made.
Without doubt, any CEO will have a say in what they are paid, just as any other employee asking his boss for a raise does. But to insinuate that the CEO is solely responsible just isn't true. It is a gross exaggeration of what actually happens in the real world and you know that as well as I do.
"Probably best, Ralph. The statement that CEO's set their own salary is quite unsupportable and should never have been made."
It's quite true. Technically, their compensation is set by a compensation committee composed of board members. However, these board members are usually friendly to the CEO or they would never have become board members. The Board and compensation committee have a fiduciary duty to act in the interest of the shareholders which frequently puts them in a conflict between their allegiance to the CEO and their duty to the stockholders. They usually hire a consultant to do a study of similar companies. The consultant knows which side his bread is buttered on, and almost invariably comes up with numbers that make the CEO happy. In theory the stockholders could elect different board members who would be more independent or put forward a proxy proposal on compensation. This happens occasionally, but these efforts are rarely successful. One reason is that pension funds and institutional investors hold a lot of shares and they usually vote with the company management or don't bother to vote. Recently, some have taken more of an interest and some have even opposed CEO/board recommendations.
Another problem with CEO compensation is that it encourages short-run thinking which tends to cause CEOs to take actions which cause the stock price to go up in the short run, in order to increase their bonus or stock options, but hurts the company and stockholders in the long run. The really crooked ones like Jeff Skilling and Ken Lay of Enron cook the books in order to make the company seem more profitable than it really is. Others have simply re-priced their stock options to make them worth more. There have been several recent prosecutions for re-pricing stock options and a number of CEOs have been sent to prison for cooking the books.
Most of them are clever enough to avoid going to jail by not violating the letter of the law, but overpaying themselves for mediocrity. Most of the CEOs of the 300? biggest companies where average CEO pay is was $14 million+ last year are either bureaucrats who never had an original idea but worked their way up by kissing ass and not rocking the boat or they hopped from one company to another to one slightly bigger job after another. I don't deny that some of these people do an outstanding job, but many are mediocre and most are over paid.
I'm sure George Zimmer, Joel Matlin, and Andrew Mason would beg to differ.
I'm sure they would. Three company founder/CEOs booted by their boards. It does happen, usually when companies aren't doing well or when there's a takeover. There have been several CEO changes at Hewlett-Packard in recent years as well. Lou Gerstner has been brought in from the outside to save several companies (IBM and RJR Nabisco). Gerstner reported to me in a summer job at GM between his first and second year at Harvard Business School. I don't recall anyone else who worked as hard as Gerstner. He's a very bright and hard working guy as demonstrated by his hugely successful career. He's an example of a CEO who was worth every penny he was paid.
Here's the way the CEOs do it:
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/22/busin … f=business
Phew! I was worried that you'd turned up to that point
Hard work and riches are not connected, in fact as somebody once said "the trouble is most people are working too much to make money".
Lol, we certainly do seem to keep ending up on the same side a lot these days.
There is no such thing as "working too much"; you work as is required to get what you want. If you want a nice house, then you have to do the requisite work to get it. The lower your standards, the less work required. It's a pretty easy equation.
So you're telling me that Putin made his $70 billion on the end of a shovel!
I couldn't care less how Putin made his money, he's Russian.
Unlike some Americans (particularly those in Washington) I have no interest in solving the World's problems, we have enough of our own to keep us busy. If he lied, cheated, stole, and killed his way to millions, then yes, that's a problem... but it's not our problem.
Right, he also founded Microsoft and helped create "Windows"... I don't see your point.
But did he work hard or as some like to say, work smart?
Both. Having worked with both a pen and a shovel, I have to say that very often the pen is much harder work. At least I never went home as exhausted from shovel work as from some pen work.
Granted, I've never thought up, designed, and then built an operating system that's one of the most used pieces of software in human history, but I can't imaging that it's an easy thing to do. Especially considering the available technology at the time.
As someone who has built a successful business (even if I do say so myself), I can tell you that that is no easy task, and my company isn't even 1% of the size of Microsoft.
So yes, he worked hard.
Ahh, John and I at odds again... and all is right with the world.
The truth is, you have no idea how hard Bill Gates worked, and neither do I. You simply think that success should be shared by all involved (a ridiculous notion, to my mind), and I think that the people who take the risks and start the businesses deserve the rewards for success.
Here here Shawn, totally agree with you. The problem is that many people are envious of other's success and contend that NO ONE should be wealthy while others are poor. However, in many cases especially in the United States, many people are poor because of their life choices. Many people are poor because they elect to go down the wrong path in life. They choose not to be good students. They adopt an antisuccess and fatalistic mentality. They succumb to a victimology pathos and adopt a poverty consciousness.
Many poor people have a negative attitude towards money and success. If one has a negative attitude towards money and success, they AREN'T going to be much in life. Remember the law of attraction, what one thinks, he/she oftentimes attract. The subconscious has a way of becoming reality. People are successful and wealthy because they plan, organize, and work smart to attain their goals. Sadly, some many poor people expect for others to rescue them and have inculcated their children into that mentality. Poor people are poor particularly in the United States because they make unintelligent choices in their lives, pure and simple. NO ONE owes anyone anything in life. If one is grown and able bodied, he/she should support himself/herself, if unwilling, he/she can STARVE! YES, I SAID IT!
What? Bad choices like having to work for somebody who does not believe in a fair days pay for a fair days work?
No one is forcing them to work there John, if the pay is unfair, they are free to quit anytime.
Hm, not noticed the unemployment figures recently then?
Why is it an excuse? when there are ten jobs for one person it is very easy to change jobs, when it's ten people for every job, nothing like as easy.
No one ever said life was "easy" or fair. The market is the same for everyone, and yet some people thrive and some people fail, it's not the market's fault.
But as it is only the market that decides who succeeds and who fails, whose fault is it then?
It's not the market that decides who succeeds and who fails, that's the point. Each person succeeds or fails based on their own actions.
Not really. Think of buggy whip makers. They didn't decide to be come almost extinct. The market decided that they were no longer needed.
Right, and the ones who succeeded were the ones who adapted to the changing demands of the market; those who chose not to do so were rendered obsolete.
No, it was the changing needs and desires of their consumers. There was no group that got together and said: "that's it, buggy whip makers have to go". Someone invented a new product, people liked that product, and demand for buggy whips fell. Some whip makers adapted with the shifting needs, and some didn't. The "market" had nothing to do with it.
People think that the economy is run by some nefarious little group sitting in a cave somewhere; it'd be funny if it weren't so sad.
The Economy is not a "thing", the economy is us- all of us. That's right, just like Soylent Green, "the Economy is people". People's needs and demands change over time, those who wish to succeed must do likewise or find themselves out of business wondering "what went wrong"... like the whip makers.
No there was no group that decided, it was all down to the market but the market is not the people and neither is it men sitting around in caves. It is the men who run the machine.
It wasn't the people who decided that Henry Ford should make cheap cars, that was entirely his own decision.
It was the people who decided that Henry Ford should make cheap cars, because that's all that they were willing to buy.
Prices are set by supply & demand John, those who try to buck the system quickly find themselves out of business.
So what would have happened if Ford had refused to make cheap cars?
Prices are by and large decided by what the seller decides he can get for his product.
Then Henry Ford would be just another failed businessman you've never heard of.
The consumer decides what a product is worth, not the seller. It's always been this way, and it will always be this way.
I don't recall ever being asked what a product is worth to me.
You're asked every time you go to the store. When you go to the store to buy, whatever it is you may be buying, you are being asked to decide if the price that they're selling said item for is equal to or greater than your desire/need for the product; if the answer is yes, then you buy it, if the answer is no, then you don't.
No, the truth is that I don't believe your contention that you get rich by working hard and richer by working harder.
"Some things are true whether you believe in them or not"
Yeah, that's right... a Nicholas Cage quote... deal with it. lol
I've known a good few people who have worked so hard they've worked themselves into an early grave with hardly two pennies to rub together - and that isn't because they've squandered all their money, it wasn't there to begin with.
Forgive my Dickensian nature, but if they worked that hard, at such an unprofitable business, then that's hardly a failure of the system.
But if the system has decided that that is all hard work is worth, whose fault is it then?
If someone worked that hard for no payoff, then it's their fault, not the system. How long would you have to bust your ass at a job for no pay before you figure out that maybe you're in the wrong business?
The market can do a lot of things, but it can't fix ignorance.
THEY have made THE WRONG CHOICES. Everything is a choice, John.
If you are forced to go to school, under threat of incarceration, is it a "right" or an "obligation"?
Sounds like a matter of semantics to me; if one wants it then it is a "right" if one does not then it is a "requirement" or "obligation". A rather useless argument, then - shall we drop this one?
"If you are forced to go to school, under threat of incarceration, is it a "right" or an "obligation"?"
Obviously, it's both in this country. No one is forced to go to a public school. Private schools and home schooling are options as well. Are you saying you don't believe in public schools. If that's the case there's no point in discussing this topic any further.
As the topic is whether free undergraduate schooling is a right or requirement, and my thoughts on schooling in general (necessary to maintain the state and something we correctly choose to provide to each child whether parents agree or not) is irrelevant, probably best to drop the question.
It IS a little comical to hear you describe an obligation required by the state, whether desired by the individual or not, as a "right", though. Wonder if Mengele told his "patients" they had the "right" to participate in the experiments he performed?
What the hell happened here!?! I take the family out to dinner, I come back and Ralph and John are on my side... lol.
First, yes, kids do have a "right to education"; the foundation of which is found in the State Constitutions of all 50 States, and which the Supreme Court spoke to repeatedly during the Civil Rights movement, specifically Brown vs The Board of Education. There have been numerous additional court decisions in the intervening years (mostly dealing with funding). Oh, and in Florida, school is only compulsory until 16, not 18. I'm not sure about other states.
Second, Pastor Saeed is in prison because he broke Iranian law. Now you can argue that it's a ridiculous law, and that he doesn't deserve to be in prison, but that's a separate argument; either way, his case doesn't warrant military action. Incidentally, I'm sure if you ask Richard Phillips about the right to military protection, he'd agree with me. Remember him, he was the Capt. of the Maersk Alabama when it was hijacked by pirates. The Navy sent a frigate, a destroyer, and a bunch of Seals to help him out.
You also need to be more specific when you say "unlimited health care". Anywhere in the US right now, no hospital can refuse emergent patients; if you're having a heart attack in front of the most expensive hospital in the country, they have to save you, regardless of your insurance. Now sure, as soon as you're stable, they can transfer you, but who cares then... you're stable.
Am I saying that tax payers should pick up the tab for boob jobs and hair plugs? Of course not, but Emergency Medicine and a couple check ups a year should be standard for every citizen.
Don't be shocked; John is always on any side that spreads, or evens out, the wealth of a nation. Ralph kind of fluctuates, one day wanting big government, the next day otherwise. I suspect it changes with what is being proposed government do
Education; an argument of semantics, unimportant. Pretty much the same with Saeed; nothing to do with health care, just a question of does the military offer protection to specific individuals.
And finally, I backtracked on the "unlimited" part after Ralph objected while noting that he has consistently failed to set limits voluntarily. Truthfully, it seems that unlimited is what is desired but never asked for. By not limiting the amounts available, however, the desired lack of limits will prevail while allowing proponents to forever claim "I never said that!".
But for now, it seems the minimum will stay where it is. Because of inflation, the minimum wage loses value over time if it is not bumped up. ACCOUNTING FOR INFLATION'S EFFECTS, IT IS NOW WORTH LESS THAN IN THE 1960s and 1970s. And, as the people pictured here can attest, getting by on it — whether the federal minimum or a state version, which can be somewhat higher — is getting harder.
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013 … -wage.html
I.e., your claims about inflation and the minimum wage are wrong, either intentionally misleading or out of ignorance.
You don't like the minimum wage, and you might even find a few right-wing economists who agree with you, but not many. Why don't you just explain why you would like to do away with the minimum wage. Some of your Redneck Florida clients might be favorably impressed.
Ralph, I'm done with you. You have no idea what you're talking about, you know absolutely nothing about Economics, and you're displaying the same lack of both intelligence and maturity that we've come to expect from the far-left.
Tell me Shawn, is Bloomberg far left?
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-04-1 … raise.html
No, and $9.80 is right around where the minimum wage should be. Every economic study that has been done on the issue has shown that having a minimum wage that is 45% or less of the median wage, has absolutely no effect on the economy; so why not tie it to the median wage. Right now, the estimates have the median wage at around $20.14, 45% of that is... $9.00.
Raising the minimum wage to $9.80 would have little to no measurable (negative) effect on the economy.
Which is more than the $6.95 you quoted in an earlier post!
Did you actually read the previous discussion John?
I never said the minimum wage should be $6.95.
What I said was:
All of which is accurate, and was in response to He-who-shall-not-be-named (Ralph), saying:
The minimum wage actually had more purchasing power in 2012 than it did in 1992. Somehow though Mr. "Majored in economics and studied it in a grad school MBA program", got it into his head that I'm somehow against the minimum wage altogether, just because I said that a $15 minimum wage is ridiculous, unsustainable, and would cause unemployment among unskilled labor to skyrocket... which it would.
Same old argument the anti minimum wage lobby used in this country "oh it'll cause mass unemployment"
Absolutely no evidence that our minimum wage has had any negative affect on employment.
The same old argument the pro-minimum wage lobby uses in this country "Oh there's absolutely no evidence that our minimum wage has had any negative affect on employment".
See, it works both ways John...
The simple fact is, it depends on the amount of the minimum wage. As has been said numerous times before, as long as the minimum wage doesn't exceed 45% of the median wage, then there is no measurable negative impact on either employment or the economy. When you get over 45%, it negatively effects employment; over 50% and the economy takes a hit.
As I said, the Minimum Wage could go up to $9 - $9.50, and there would be no measurable negative impact.
Here's some perspective from The Economist which is a middle of the road business publication:
The president proposes a hefty increase in the minimum wage
Feb 16th 2013 | WASHINGTON, DC |From the print edition
BARACK OBAMA has long made income inequality a central theme of his second-term agenda. He has already tackled inequality from the top by preserving tax cuts for everyone but the rich. In his address to Congress on February 12th, he dealt with it from below, proposing to raise the federal minimum wage by 24%, benefiting, so the White House claimed, 15m low-wage workers.
In this section
America’s minimum wage has long been low by international standards, equalling just 38% of the median wage in 2011, close to the lowest in the OECD (see chart). Congress changes it only occasionally, and in the interim inflation eats away its value. The wage was last raised, to $7.25 per hour, in 2009. Since then its real value has slipped back to where it was in 1998. Twenty states now have minimum wages above the federal rate, compared to 15 in 2010, according to the Economic Policy Institute, a liberal research group.
Mr Obama’s proposal would boost the nominal wage to $9 per hour by 2015, restoring it, in real terms, to its 1979 level, though relative to median wages it would still be lower than in many other rich countries. Thereafter, it would be indexed to inflation. He would also raise the minimum wage for workers who receive tips for the first time in over 20 years.
The proposal drew the predicted response: labour and liberal groups said it would reduce poverty and raise the spending power of the poorest workers, while businesses and Republicans (whose co-operation is needed if the proposal is to become law) said it would cost low-skilled workers jobs.
The economic consequences are hard to predict. Economists historically frowned on minimum wages as distortionary price fixing that reduced demand for workers affected by the wage. But that assumption has come under fire from a growing body of research. The introduction of Britain’s minimum wage in 1999 had no notable impact on jobs, for example. In America, the White House approvingly cites research by Arindrajit Dube, William Lester and Michael Reich that compared counties where the minimum wage rate rose to neighbouring counties in states where it didn’t and found no negative effect on employment. The theory is that higher wages reduce costly turnover, reducing the incentive to lay workers off.
Some minimum-wage proponents go even further, arguing that a higher minimum boosts jobs by shifting income towards people who consume more of what they earn. The EPI, for example, last year claimed a minimum wage of $9.80 per hour would create 100,000 jobs.
But David Neumark and William Wascher, who have long studied, and been critical, of the minimum wage, maintain the evidence bears out basic economic intuition: a higher minimum wage costs some low-skilled workers their jobs while helping those who keep them. Mr Neumark is particularly dismissive of the notion that a higher minimum wage can boost the economy, and indeed that is not a claim the White House makes.
For Mr Obama, that may not matter. His speech contained many more effective means to boost growth and incomes of the poor, from increased infrastructure to early childhood education. Unlike the minimum wage, though, they cost the government money that it doesn’t have.
You wrote " . . .typical Tea Party, elitist, fxxk the poor attitude."
Just how wealthy do you believe the average member of the tea party is? Here's the answer:
"Tea Party supporters skew right politically; but demographically, they are generally representative of the public at large. That's the finding of a USA Today/Gallup poll conducted March 26-28, in which 28% of U.S. adults call themselves supporters of the Tea Party movement."
http://www.gallup.com/poll/127181/tea-p … phics.aspx
The poll clearly indicates that some members of the tea party are poor. Why then, if you are right, would poor tea party members have an "eletist, fxxk the poor attitude" directed at themselves? Could it be that you have that same attitude towards 28 percent of the public, based largely on a false belief of their perceived wealth?
http://www.cepr.net/documents/publicati … 012-03.pdf
It is coming up on three years since the last increase in the federal
to $7.25 per hour
in July 2009. By all of the most
commonly used benchmarks
inflation, average wages, and productivity
the minimum wage is now far below its historic
By all of these benchmarks, the value of the minimum wage peaked in
1968. If the minimum wage in that year had been indexed to the official
Consumer Price Index (CPI
U), the minimum wage in 2012 (using the
Congressional Budget Office’s estimate
s for inflation in 2012) would be
at $10.52. Even if we applied the current methodology
which generally shows a lower rate of i
the older measure
to the whole period since 1968,
the 2012 value of the
minimum wage would be $9.22
Using wages as a benchmark, i
n 1968 the
minimum stood at 53
percent of the average production worker
uring much of the
1960s, the minimum wage was close to 50 percent of the same wage
benchmark. If the minim
um wage were at 50 percent of the production
worker wage in 2012 (again, using CBO projections to produce a full
2012 estimate), the federal minimum would be $10.01 per hour.
A final benchmark for the minimum wage is productivity growth.
compares growth in average labor productivity with the real
value of the minimum wage between the late 1940s and the end of the
last decade. Between the end of World War II and 1968, the minimum
wage tracked average productivity growth fairly closely. S
however, productivity growth has far outpaced the minimum wage. If the
minimum wage had continued to move with average productivity
1968, it would have reached $21.72 per hour
a rate well above
average production worker wage.
wage workers received
only half of the productivity gains over the period, the federal minimum
would be $15.34. Even if the minimum
wage only grew at one
rate of productivity, in 2012 it would be set at $12.25
The case for a $22/hr Minimum Wage
http://theweek.com/article/index/241530 … nimum-wage
I was going to suggest another thread for this conversation about minimum wage. It seems to have taken the place of the conversation about teachers' salaries. Then again, the two seem one and the same after looking at my paycheck, so I guess we're good here.
It seems to me that Ralph thinks that the machine should serve the people whereas Wilderness thinks that the people should serve the machine.
Wilderness wants us to do more than serve the machine. He wants us to worship it, wipe its ass when it takes a mechano-dump, and give it robosexual pleasure on the hour every hour.
Wilderness does not think it possible for the machine to serve the people and thus wants as little machine as possible.
At the same time he recognizes that John (and Ralph) believe the machine can serve the people, he just doesn't believe such a fantasy himself. No such machine has EVER served the people in the history of mankind.
But you constantly argue in favour of the machine!
By limiting it's ability to tax and spend? I find you have a very different idea of what the machine does than I do...
The "machine" makes it possible for people to live in close proximity with each other, but little more of real value. It certainly provides no ethical or moral guidance, being nearly devoid of either itself. It does allow easier control of other people, but that is seldom desirable. It allows legal stealing of things from people (mostly money) but that is seldom desirable, either. Certainly not to the extent the machine works at it.
But that's what I said, John; you think of the machine as a great and wondrous thing, helping people to live a better life. I think of it as a necessary evil, to be limited as much as possible as it is an inevitable destroyer of freedom.
Can and Should the Government do Anything about Inequality?
Thomas Edsall in the NY Times 9-11-13
http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/20 … p;amp;_r=0
Interesting article. A couple of comments/questions:
"Immigration and low turnout of the poor have combined to make the distribution of voters more weighted to high incomes than is the distribution of households."
While low turnout of the poor in general will certainly affect the distribution towards higher incomes, immigrants would seem to do the opposite. At least it's hard for me to think that a new immigrant isn't going to exercise their right to vote. Immigrants are also on the low end of the scale economically, and should swing the distribution towards lower incomes as a result. At around a million immigrants each year, with a high proportion voting, that shift should be significant. Thoughts?
"they assert that much of the income of the top 1 percent has little to do with productive economic activity and could be taxed away without harm to the economy."
I would agree with the idea that much of that income has little to do with productive economic activity, but am not so sure that taxing it away will not harm the economy. Given that collection of massive wealth is both a game and a security blanket (however irrational that may be), is removal of that income going to have a large affect on the amount of capital available? Will the uber rich pull in their horns here and stick all their money overseas, where they can still play the game and accumulate obscene amounts of wealth? If so, how will that affect either the economy OR tax receipts of the country?
When we still had a computer industry one company was bought by the Japanese.
Their first action was to sack the top layer of management.
When they saw that had no effect on the company they sacked the next level of management . . .
Rich Man's Recovery" Paul Krugman
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/13/opini … n&_r=0
There's a very significant difference. A lower level employee asking for a raise is subject to approval higher than himself in the company. He has little power of persuasion other than hopefully he's doing a good job and those lower level managers will listen.
A CEO however debates his pay from the pinnacle of the company and often those in lower positions help decide. Now given they're lower in the chain, carry less weight and influence are they likely to draw battle lines about pay with those above them.
It's a simple case of one negotiation from a position of power and the other from a position of little or no influence so in fact you're not correct when you consider them similar situations. Given CEO's often get bonus payments and salary increases in companies that make financial losses should indicate this.
Whilst lower level employee's have pay freezes and redundancy to look forward to the CEO may see a big bonus or rise. Hardly a comparable situation but then again this is one of the benefits to being successful and obtaining a position of CEO.
It's the way of business.
"Plutocrats Feeling Persecuted" Paul Krugman
"Robert Benmosche, the chief executive of the American International Group, said something stupid the other day. And we should be glad, because his comments help highlight an important but rarely discussed cost of extreme income inequality — namely, the rise of a small but powerful group of what can only be called sociopaths...." Read the entire op-ed here:
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/27/opini … ef=opinion
Did you actually read the piece by Krugman? If you did what did you disagree with? (As you know, he's a Nobel Prize economist and a professor at Princeton.) Are you a plutocrat? Or one of the ordinary folks deluded by the likes of the Koch brothers, Club for Growth, et al?
Krugman is the Paris Hilton of Economics. He's a Micro-economist who has made a career out of criticizing other economists, while simultaneously claiming their ideas as his own. He's never run so much as a lemonade stand, and yet he spends half of his time blasting business, and he was arrested for pissing on a 6 year old's Teddy Bear.
And of course he won the Nobel Prize, it's easy to do when you repackage Lord Keynes as submit it as your own, and no one calls you on it.
Shawn, I'm surprised that you of all people would be sucked in by a satirical (non-factual) story from Daily Currant.com. It's apparently a "The Onion" wannabe according to Wikipedia:
The Daily Currant is an American satirical news blog that focuses on politics, technology, and entertainment. A number of its satirical stories have been taken for true news reports by press and members of the public.
The Daily Currant is a competitor to The Onion. According to Quantcast, the site garners over 1.5 million page views a month.
You may want to retract your claim in order not to be accused of slander!
I'll make the same suggestion I made to HowardThiname: Tell us what you disagree with in Krugman's op-ed.
As you may know, Keynesian economics is the generally accepted basis for college economics classes in the best universities across the country.
First Ralph, it's not my claim. The accusations of plagiarism against Krugman are well documented and extensive, and easily "Google-able" (if that's even a word). As for the Teddy Bear story, it's a personal favorite of mine, so I give it the "Santa Claus" treatment- I know it isn't real, but I really, really wish it was. You're right though, I shouldn't have assumed that everyone knew that this was a Richard Gere style urban legend.
As for what I disagree with in his op-ed, the same thing I disagree with every time same op-ed is rewritten; it's complete Keynesian utopic nonsense. Krugman's article is simply the latest incarnation of the same exact argument that's been around since the 20s (and probably long before that in other countries).
And yes, I know that the Keynesian school is the basis of most Economic classes in America, much to our, and the Nation's as a whole, detriment. Schools all across the country (and University of Florida was no different) are filled with professors- Keynesian disciples who quote "The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money" like it's the Bhagavad Gita.
If you want to get into a larger debate on the virtue (or lack thereof) Keynesian Economics, that's fine, but I'd suggest we start a new thread for it as it is decidedly off-topic for this one.
Well, I studied economics at two good schools. One of my professors was Alfred Kahn who advised Jimmy Carter to privatize airlines and trucking which was one of Carter's smartest moves (for which he gets little credit). Most economists today are neo-Keynesians, including those at the NY banks and investment banks. The Austrians don't get much traction except in very right-wing circles. (I agree that this isn't the place to debate Keynesian economics.) Krugman is a propagandist Democrat, but he is a very well regarded economist. I've never heard that he's been accused of plagiarism.
I don't think it was fair of you, if you knew the arrest story was satire for you to post it as if it were true. I didn't believe it, and it took me 2 minutes to discover that it was not factual. But others in this forum probably believed it.
Krugman is a politician masquerading as an economist, and he is only "well regarded" by sycophants and politicians who use him to give their idiotic ideas the appearance of Economic creditably.
Incidentally, I agree with you on the deregulation; President Carter was a good President but he was a terrible politician. "Billy Beer", enough said. Gotta keep those family members in line or out of the spotlight.
An economist I know trained directly under a different Nobel winner in economics. He described Krugman as a "media whore." Krugman won the award, but respect from his peers seems to have eroded a bit. Take this for what it is or isn't worth.
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