good pay for unskilled labor, why the hate?

I thought dividends were the shareholders (part owner) of the companies profits.

And how unethical and immoral is it to get 6 or 7 figure bonuses year after year, whilst actively participating in the destruction of the world financial system?


That you would phrase “dividend” as a “discretionary bonus” undermines your credibility from the get go. Please note that dividends are a “% of profits distributed”. They are not a “bonus”. One reason for stock ownership is a possible expectation of a dividend depending how the stockholders + boarddirectors vote.

(Yep, I know you have situations where unethical equity sharks swoop in to takeover a company – load it up with debt – and then pay themselves a dividend. In that limited scenario, one could call it a “discrectionary bonus” but that’s not what we’re talking about here.)

Workers in most cases do not expect to share the profits (barring company sponsored profit-sharing plans). The tradeoff is that they get a steady paycheck.

Investors (stock ownership) do not get a steady paycheck. The tradeoff is they might get a dividend (sometimes) or they get the proceeds from the sale of the company or liquidation.

Neither situation is better than the other. It’s just a tradeoff matrix.

Unless they are mandated under company bylaws, dividends are awarded at the discretion of the board of directors.

Hmm so you have a system that demands a profitable company strip and dramatically lower the quality of life of it’s employees to make the rich richer.

You should write for socialist and communist news letters. They couldn’t come up with better stuff then that.
I thought free market types were for personal accountability? Sounds to me like if the share holders don’t like the company they can sell and buy elsewhere. Isn’t that what the rest of us are told when we find a company’s actions objectionable?

Huh? Most people do some kind of entry-level service job before they finish college and get a white-collar job. I know I scooped ice cream, stacked textbooks, etc. in addition to all sorts of entry-level office jobs (receptionist, data entry, that sort of thing) by the time I finished college. I think the person who has solely white-collar professional experience is fairly rare.

Sarcasm is wasted on you. Pity

Companies have the right to pay their employees whatever they want. If stockhoders disagee, they are free to invest their money elsewhere.

If you insist on short term gains on your investment, avoid companies that treat employees like a valued asset.

To be clear, I didn’t mean “white-collar” to denote every possible desk job under fluorescent lights. I meant high-paying managment or professional work that typical folks of UAW union or construction workers would mock as desk monkeys.

I know, but I have plenty of friends who have MBAs and management jobs now, but who have done stints in restaurant kitchens, on commercial fishing boats, and all kinds of places that require hard manual labor.

I’m one of the people that used the word “deserved”. Maybe that was a poor choice of words but it doesn’t take somebody with a degree in economics to see that if company A is paying a wage of $30 an hour and company B is paying a wage of $17 an hour making roughly the same product and with workers who have the same skill set which company has the advantage.

Dude … what planet are you on that this isn’t the case now? Tons of people want interesting, challenging jobs, and nobody wants to clean sewers.

Supply and demand, people, supply and demand. When almost anybody can do your job, you get paid less…

Let’s leave aside the morality and talk of “better personhood” for a moment and look at things from a business standpoint. But not from the point of a corporate business; rather, from the point of view that says you are a business. A business that sells your labor.

Imagine you’re back in high school. You have three choices: (a) to graduate and work, (b) to graduate and go to a trade school, or © to graduate and go to college. Those who opt for choice (a) are investing nothing in their future, those who opt for choice (b) are investing something, and those who opt for choice © are investing a lot. What you hope is that if you choose the path laid out by choice ©, you’ll be rewarded over time–you’ll get a greater return on investment than those who choose paths (a) or (b). The (b) group will, in turn, get a greater return than the (a) group, but not as great as the © group. This is reinforced by parents and teachers, who urge you to do well in school so you can attend college and get a better paying professional or office job eventually, rather than working manual labor.

This is the way things worked for many years. The © group was guaranteed employment for life and occasional promotions in office and professional jobs while the (a) group just got paid–but not well, and had no guarantee that their job would be there tomorrow. In a way, the people in the (a) group, being uneducated and unskilled (remember the (b) group has the skills), were expendable. But that was right and proper according to the thinking of the time: the folks in the © group invested more, so they got greater returns on their investment.

This is, I believe, the root of the answer to the OP’s question. Even though the business world has changed drastically over the past thirty years–corporate restructurings and downsizings have seen © group members put out on the street and having to take menial jobs that they never expected to take–there is still the expectation that the more time and money you invest in your future through education, the more you will make. The resentment comes when those who did not invest in their future–the (a) group–end up being steadily employed in factories and on assembly lines, and making more than those who followed the advice of parents and high school teachers–the © group. The © group feels lied to, and no wonder.

Dunno. Any credence to this, do you think?

Everyone deserves a living wage (defined as the average cost nationally to support oneself and no one else) for a full weeks work. Anyone who argues that they do not, is greedy. There isn’t anything necessarily wrong with being greedy, but you should have the decency to be upfront about it.

The problem is that you have to find a balance between overpaying and babying your workers, and underpaying and abusing them. Currently we have both problems, and nobody who CAN do anything about wants to. Those in power care about their money, not how it is made.

Many companies are already structured this way, with stock options, bonuses, stock buying programs, etc. It’s just that its’ not the typical union way. Unions are about protected the members from economic hard times. Without taking the risk, there isn’t any reward.

Setting aside “morality” is not possible because that appears to be the very fundamental trigger of this thread; especially when using phrases like “workers deserve”.

I have no idea how you equate your group (c) with the OP’s position. The vast majority of auto workers in factories are not former colledge graduates that downgraded to menial labor.

I think you are making things more confusing.

OK, but that presumes that workers earning what you define as a “living wage” are not going to be able to have children, or at least that they are not going to be able to support children, unless you assume that at least one worker in a couple is a) working; and b) earning significantly more than this “living wage.”

And does this wage allow for workers to save for a down payment on a place to live? For retirement? Health care? Supporting aged parents? Any other signficant, predictable expense?

Dude, if your sarcasm isn’t recognized, then maybe you need to produce better sarcasm.

No. Stockholders get to vote for BOD. They can opt to vote out the BOD and vote in others. You are offering the business equivalent of “America. Love it or leave it”.

False dichotomy.

That’s an interesting opinion, but it is nothing more than an opinion.

Short term advantage: company B. Invest here if you want a quick buck turnaround with a time frame of 6 months. This company is getting profits for the present at the expense of the future.

Long term advantage: Company A. They will attract the best workers from the industry, leaving company B with the incompetent dregs who turn out an inferior product. Invest with A if your timeframe is buy and hold for several years.

It would be much the same if Company A was investing in new product lines and improved production machinery, while Company B was not putting any capital into improvements.

The key word is WANT.

In theory everyone can get a great education or learn a great skill and get a great job.

In practice some do and many don’t.

And almost nobody today WANTS to “clean sewers”, they do it because they are desperate, not because the pay is great BECAUSE no one else will do it because they all have the “great jobs”

Also, there is a difference between what people CAN do and what they WANT to do.
And besides…what part of “the future” that I was talking about don’t you get? You are descibing NOW, I was describing the FUTURE.