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skeeterses
http://investigations.nbcnews.com/_news/20...pennies-an-hour

As bad as Walmart and McDonalds pay their employees, one organization has gone a step lower. NBC did an investigation into Goodwill and found that a lot of their disabled workers are making less than 50 cents an hour. Now, I know the economic arguments against minimum wage such as the idea that these companies employ people who would otherwise have no paid work. And in the case of people who are severely disabled or hardcore unemployable, the idea of being financially independent in the sense of paying the cost of living without family or Government help is just not going to happen. For people on permanent disability, this may very well be about being part of the community rather than becoming a breadwinner in their own right.

Nonetheless, a lot of people, especially the parents of handicapped children are outraged by this story. Goodwill certainly could address this issue by either putting a strict limit of $100K annual salary for their top employees, or set a floor wage of $5/hr for all their workers. If a charity organization can find $700K to pay their CEO, they certainly can find the money to pay their workers at least minimum wage. Regardless of how productive, or unproductive a severely disabled person may be, providing charity jobs for less than minimum wage should not be seen as a profit opportunity. Sheltered workshops simply don't belong in the commercial realm. If some of the top employees are making over a half million dollars a year, I just don't see how Goodwill can be seen as a nonprofit charity.

1. Should charity organizations be allowed to be exempt from minimum wage laws?
2. Should charity organizations be subject to salary caps at the top?
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Dingo
1. Should charity organizations be allowed to be exempt from minimum wage laws?
2. Should charity organizations be subject to salary caps at the top?

As long as it is nonprofit I think for reasons given in the article, wages should be allowed to be scaled to output. Among some of the most severely disabled to keep them employed, often sporadically, the wages can't be judged by normal standards. Still there needs to be some kind of objective criteria to make sure this isn't an exploitation issue.

On the other hand, to meet the standard of being a nonprofit it simply isn't appropriate to have executives making close to a million dollars annually. The principal incentive needs to be charitable to be consistent. I don't know exactly where to set the top limit but I'm sure folks in the charitable field could develop a consensus on where it is.

I realize charitable organizations can have a dark side of using a higher moral purpose as a cover for more nefarious activities. Goodwill in particular has a reputation for supervisors and employees skimming off some of the more valued material contributions for themselves.

The more radical side of me would have all private assets including churches and other charitable organizations charged a base assets tax as opposed to a federal income tax but that is for another thread.

Gray Seal
Charity organization should not be treated differently than anyone else. Charity organizations should be exempt from minimum wage laws as should everyone. The same rationale used to justify the exemption is true for anyone.

I am not sure if people are paying attention or not but compensation for those working for charity can be quite large. The top compensation in St. Louis is in the millions. Why should not-for-profit be subsidized by tax breaks at all? Government should not be given the power to hand out tax favors at its discretion. This is an example of over regulation. Government should be protecting a fair playing field and not picking winners and losers.
JohnfrmCleveland
QUOTE(Gray Seal @ Aug 11 2013, 10:31 AM) *
Charity organization should not be treated differently than anyone else. Charity organizations should be exempt from minimum wage laws as should everyone. The same rationale used to justify the exemption is true for anyone.

I am not sure if people are paying attention or not but compensation for those working for charity can be quite large. The top compensation in St. Louis is in the millions. Why should not-for-profit be subsidized by tax breaks at all? Government should not be given the power to hand out tax favors at its discretion. This is an example of over regulation. Government should be protecting a fair playing field and not picking winners and losers.


Key word: TOP compensation. The guys at the very top. Those guys aren't affected by regulations, because they are making a ton. You're pointing to the rich guys in order to justify not paying the little guys much of anything, which I don't understand at all.

The line between for-profit and not-for-profit enterprises is not as bright as one might think. Workers are still paid, as is management. The Cleveland Clinic used to be the Cleveland Clinic Foundation (not-for-profit) just a few short years ago, but there is no big difference between then and now. Doctors are still well-paid, and the big guys are still ultra-well-paid. They made so much money that they couldn't keep plowing it into new buildings anymore - now, it's profit.
Gray Seal
QUOTE
You're pointing to the rich guys in order to justify not paying the little guys much of anything, which I don't understand at all.
Where did you pull this out from?

I agree with you that the line between not-for-profit and for-profit is artificial. It is a construct created by regulation. It should end.

The main reason for silly high salaries for those at "the top" is a lack of competition. Government regulation is the reason why there is lack of competition. Overhead operating costs and start-up costs have risen as government has become larger. Regulations distort the market.

Not-for-profit is the example of this distortion in this thread. Government is picking winners and losers by choosing who gets tax breaks and who does not. A not-for-profit has a decided advantage of being profitable over for-profit businesses which results in higher compensation for "the top".
Julian
1. Should charity organizations be allowed to be exempt from minimum wage laws?

No.

2. Should charity organizations be subject to salary caps at the top?

Yes, but not different ones from "for profit" businesses i.e. all charity organisation should be subject to some form of salary cap. My personal preference would be a multiple of the salary of the lowest-paid employee. Do that, and then watch how low pay increases above minimum wage and stockholders suddenly find themselves told that they can't have a dividend this year;

QUOTE(Dingo)
The more radical side of me would have all private assets including churches and other charitable organizations charged a base assets tax as opposed to a federal income tax but that is for another thread.


I like the idea of an asset tax. In fact I'd go so far as to say that I'd accept a "flat" income tax on condition that there is also an asset tax and capital gains tax in place so all wealth from all sources is taxed on the same basis; to my mind, income gets taxed to highly relative to other forms of wealth, which is an incentive towards unproductiveness to my mind; towards not working harder, but working assets harder.

QUOTE(Gray Seal @ Aug 11 2013, 03:31 PM) *
Charity organization should not be treated differently than anyone else. <snip> The same rationale used to justify the exemption is true for anyone.


We agree.

QUOTE
Charity organizations should be exempt from minimum wage laws as should everyone.


We disagree on this point; I'd have all businesses of all types covered by minimum wage legislation. But that's almost beside the point; neither of us see any great merit in treating "non-profit" and "for profit" businesses differently.
Gray Seal
QUOTE(Julian)
Yes, but not different ones from "for profit" businesses i.e. all charity organisation should be subject to some form of salary cap. My personal preference would be a multiple of the salary of the lowest-paid employee.
Why not have information on compensation numbers readily available for all businesses? People could then decide on their own if the compensation policies for a business are agreeable to them whether it is to take a job or buy their products or services. This would take away the role and power of government while providing information to the people to make informed choices.

QUOTE(Julian)
I like the idea of an asset tax.
Asset tax, just like property tax, means a person does not own something the government does. Asset taxes are charging a lease for something the government should not own. Such a tax puts a brake upon the market and generates government we do not need.

As we see the idea that charity organizations and anyone else are not that different, my opinions are based upon this notion.

Likewise, the minimum wage law sensibility is not of question but whether applying it to charity should be different and we agree that it should not though we disagree whether it is of good at all.
Dingo
QUOTE(Gray Seal @ Aug 12 2013, 07:35 AM) *
Asset tax, just like property tax, means a person does not own something the government does.

But of course the government does own or at least control private property. In a world of nation-states, without the government there is no private property. Private property detached from government is simply one of those endless fantasy mantras that seem to undergird questionable interests of various kinds. Like the "free market", it's a God expression, plastic enough to be reconfigured for all sorts of agendas. rolleyes.gif

Charities should pay an asset tax because they are deriving services from the commons which belongs to all of us. I mean they pay their utility bills don't they? How is that different from paying use rights to you and me?
Gray Seal
Government is people, no better than you or I. Government is not some sort of altruistic assemblage of good folks.Government should not have control over all property. People should have inalienable rights to themselves and their property. No group of people should be put upon a pedestal above others.

People can defend themselves and their property without government. If government is there to provide non-violent assistance to protecting rights then that is a good role for government. Government should not be a sugar daddy. Nor should it subvert inalienable rights. If government is the unifying force to represent the majority then all the standards of the minority are at threat. Force to defend is one thing. Force to mandate is another.

-------

I see no similarity between paying for energy from a private party and government charging a lease for property it does not own. While I can not see the elimination of the concept of the commons there is no reason to accept that all and everything is the commons. All people have the inalienable right to property and any community which does not recognize it will suffer at their own hands.

-------

You know, there is such a thing as charity without government. Helping one and other did not start with government programs. I would go further and say that charity can only be charity if government is not at all involved.
Dingo
QUOTE(Gray Seal @ Aug 12 2013, 10:30 AM) *
Government is people, no better than you or I.

A little too vague and squishy for me. Ideally legitimate government exists through a process of formal consent ie. the public voting for their representatives. No way is it directly comparable to you or me. It is an agent of which we are participants for making and enforcing laws.

QUOTE
Government should not have control over all property.

Government does have ultimate control over all property. This has nothing to do with ideology. It goes with the territory of being a government.

QUOTE
People should have inalienable rights to themselves and their property.

I'm not sure what that means. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness were perceived as having its origins from God or Nature, existing prior to government. Government's "just power" involved defending those personal rights, which is great ideally but of course subject to endless interpretation based on each person's notion of what personal rights require protection and what measures should be taken. Property of course wasn't included for good reason. Basic life and private property are different orders of reality.

QUOTE
People can defend themselves and their property without government.

Not for very long. Try declaring some piece of land is yours and then defend it without government support.

QUOTE
Force to defend is one thing. Force to mandate is another.

Seems to me defense is hostage to what your perspective is. Folks are always going to war to "defend" themselves.

QUOTE
I see no similarity between paying for energy from a private party and government charging a lease for property it does not own.

As part of the commons the "private" utility is a public trust chartered and regulated by government. It has no existence without that. In any meaningful sense the government owns it or you might as well throw out the notion of the commons or for that matter Nature.

QUOTE
While I can not see the elimination of the concept of the commons there is no reason to accept that all and everything is the commons.

What isn't the commons? Maybe I've missed something about humans creating things outside of Nature.

QUOTE
You know, there is such a thing as charity without government.

Not really. Charity is pretty much a term used in a legal public policy sense. What you may be talking about is people simply helping each other out. Unlike private property, mutual support would seem to be an original state of existence, a condition of Nature.

Once again charities:
1. Should pay a basic assets tax to reimburse their landlords - the public who own the commons.

2. Should not have to pay minimum wage to disabled folks when to keep them employed they have to work at very low productivity. Exploitation for profit not allowed.

3. Should have a maximum level of pay to make their charity function credible.
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Gray Seal
Dingo and I have cut-to-the-chase succinctly here. Base political philosophy really does explain how to problem solve political questions. Between Dingo and I, we have had a few discussions on ad.gif so we get to the point rather quickly.

On one hand we have Dingo presenting the observed status quo which is modern government. It is the philosophy that is present and rules the day. I do not dispute that Dingo is accurately describing how it has been and always has been for modern government. Government represents the majority view of gangs of people. Whatever this majority decides rules the day. It is a consensus majority. It is a majority which accepts government largesse, corruption by another word, as part of the package. As long as the majority's bread is being buttered it is OK.

On the other hand, I am presenting a hopeful view of how people can get along which does not exist but has only existed in parts of time or parts of a moment.

The established philosophy is dependent upon force and power to make the minority function as the majority dictates. The hopeful philosophy is based upon voluntary cooperation. My observation of people leads to me understand people do best when they agree to do something. People do a lot better when they want to do something as opposed to when they have to do something. I have observed that people are more diligent with their own things. People do better when they have freedom to make choices as opposed to scripted lives. Why not apply these concepts to how we all get along; should not government reflect these ideas?

Charity should be voluntary. Charity should be helping each other out. Charity is not when government demands your money to be spent in ways the majority deems to be superior to your judgement. Helping each other out is a human trait and not a government construct. Believing charity is only a government construct diminishes humans as individuals which diminishes humanity.

And Dingo is correct when he states that the world does not work that way. Time will tell if he is also correct with the idea that this is the way it works and this is the way it is always going to work so get over it.

For those who like the modern gang government, the discussion will continue as to which tweek of the use of force pushes their group's buttons the best.
Amlord
QUOTE(Dingo @ Aug 12 2013, 05:24 PM) *
QUOTE(Gray Seal @ Aug 12 2013, 10:30 AM) *
Government is people, no better than you or I.

A little too vague and squishy for me. Ideally legitimate government exists through a process of formal consent ie. the public voting for their representatives. No way is it directly comparable to you or me. It is an agent of which we are participants for making and enforcing laws.

QUOTE(Dingo @ Aug 12 2013, 05:24 PM) *
Government does have ultimate control over all property. This has nothing to do with ideology. It goes with the territory of being a government.


So it is your view that when the government receives "formal consent" to govern that those who are choosing are giving all of their private property to the government?

If this is your view, I'm troubled.

Yes, the government has a lot of power. But that's because individuals give up their power to the collective for protection. They don't give up everything they own for such protection. That would be counter to the goal of actually forming a government. You might as well risk that the invading barbarians will let you live, since that's all you have left if you don't really own your property.

The reason that government power needs to be limited in scope is because of exactly what you've alluded to: an unchecked government could easily lapse into tyranny.

The other major problem with a powerful government is people who are gaming the system. Even in the absence of tyranny, the government has a tendency to reward its supporters and punish its opposition (insert IRS reference here). All governments are corrupt to a certain degree. There are no saints running government.

The fact that certain charities are exempt from minimum wage laws is a great example of this type of cronyism: As long as you are on the "approved" list, the rules don't apply to you. If I, as a private employer, want to pay a disabled person who can't maintain the productivity of another employee, shouldn't I also be allowed to pay them to the level of their productivity? What makes the fact that the employer is a charity any different?
skeeterses
QUOTE(Amlord @ Aug 14 2013, 05:22 AM) *
The fact that certain charities are exempt from minimum wage laws is a great example of this type of cronyism: As long as you are on the "approved" list, the rules don't apply to you. If I, as a private employer, want to pay a disabled person who can't maintain the productivity of another employee, shouldn't I also be allowed to pay them to the level of their productivity? What makes the fact that the employer is a charity any different?

Amlord, I think most people are familiar with the economic arguments against minimum wage. Nonetheless, there are too many adults in this country earning teenager wages and thus unable to take on adult responsibilities. There's a mix of reasons for that problem and the solutions for that are for another debate thread.

The idea of the sheltered workshop is to give extremely disabled adults a token job in which they can interact with society and feel good about themselves. Here, there is no pretense that they are going to be productive enough to actually earn enough money to support themselves, and thus have to receive disability checks each month from the Government to live. Now, the issue among disabled people and their families is that there are some disabled people who can be trained to do better paying jobs but are not receiving that service from Goodwill. And if the executives of Goodwill are being well paid, that may suggest that some of the workers are more productive than what the productivity tests measure. Certainly, the executives at Goodwill could trim their salaries and use some of that money to offer job training or wage raises for the higher functioning disabled people.

What makes the charities different is that there's an understanding that they're not in the business of competing directly with retail stores. Rather, charities are in the business of helping those who can least help themselves. While the disabled people who work in the sheltered workshops understand that such work won't allow them to be financially independent in the sense of getting off the dole, they don't like being taken advantage of by people at the top.
Dingo
A good discussion of the whole charity issue by skeeterses.

QUOTE(Amlord @ Aug 13 2013, 01:22 PM) *
QUOTE(Dingo @ Aug 12 2013, 05:24 PM) *
Government does have ultimate control over all property. This has nothing to do with ideology. It goes with the territory of being a government.


So it is your view that when the government receives "formal consent" to govern that those who are choosing are giving all of their private property to the government?

Nope. I'm saying there is no private property to give. Private property independent of government control is a fiction like witches and other things that go bump in the night. The government may grant you certain proprietary use rights which are maintained strictly through the government's defense of those rights but of course the government can when it chooses remove those rights. Our Constitutional Bill of Rights is a manual on how the government should behave with respect to certain individual "rights" but it in no way takes away ultimate authority from the government.

QUOTE
If I, as a private employer, want to pay a disabled person who can't maintain the productivity of another employee, shouldn't I also be allowed to pay them to the level of their productivity? What makes the fact that the employer is a charity any different?

The private employer's purpose is to make a profit, the charities purpose in theory is to help those in need. In doing so the latter don't have to follow as closely to a productivity metric, but can focus on human considerations like giving the handicapped a purposeful life. There was a time I recall you used to see baggers in markets who had downs syndrome. Apparently that experiment didn't work very well since I haven't seen those folks in ages.


QUOTE(Gray Seal @ Aug 13 2013, 06:42 AM) *
On one hand we have Dingo presenting the observed status quo which is modern government. It is the philosophy that is present and rules the day.

Philosophy? Is the earth being round one side of the round philosophy versus the flat philosophy? Is biological evolution the science philosophy versus the Biblical creationist philosophy? With regard to the earth and sun do we have a geocentric versus a heliocentric philosophy?

I am not a lick more an advocate for government than you and Amlord. I simply recognize that in a nation state government law and regulation defines our political and economic existence, including the fact of private property. Now the government can avert its eyes, so to speak, and let the mice play but that is simply one choice of government and doesn't in anyway undermine government's ultimate authority. Trying to say a permissive parent is less a parent than a strict parent doesn't work. The parent, for better or worse, remains the parent, with final authority.

QUOTE
On the other hand, I am presenting a hopeful view of how people can get along which does not exist but has only existed in parts of time or parts of a moment.

Let me suggest where you might want to look. It's called a world of hunting and gathering societies. Unlike nation states there are places on the margins where you can hang out, unmolested by the power and rules of group authority.

QUOTE
The established philosophy is dependent upon force and power to make the minority function as the majority dictates. The hopeful philosophy is based upon voluntary cooperation.

There is interestingly an important observation here. In many tribal societies community consensus is the way much of business is conducted. But when you get large numbers of people who don't know each other then unfortunately the less satisfactory majority rule becomes the inevitable alternative. Call this a good argument for a lower population. rolleyes.gif

QUOTE
Charity should be helping each other out.

"Helping each other out" doesn't require the formalism of the word charity. It's just mutual support. Charity generally falls into the realm of higher moral law and transmutes readily from religion to governmental policy.

QUOTE
And Dingo is correct when he states that the world does not work that way. Time will tell if he is also correct with the idea that this is the way it works and this is the way it is always going to work so get over it.

I'll tell you what GS, when you can give me an example of a condition of private property in a nation state that does not involve the ultimate authority of government I'll be waiting to hear it.

Without that I'm afraid I'll have to stick with the oft repeated refrain, "The only thing you really own is what you can walk away with from a shipwreck."
Gray Seal
Dingo, you do speak for yourself better than I do. The only thing you stated which seems off is this: "I am not a lick more an advocate for government than you and Amlord." You are confused to the nth degree. When your position is that government in all in control and it is silly to wanted limited government as such an idea is impossible, you are not a advocate of government in anywhere the same neighborhood as Amlord or myself.
Dingo
QUOTE(Gray Seal @ Aug 14 2013, 07:25 AM) *
Dingo, you do speak for yourself better than I do. The only thing you stated which seems off is this: "I am not a lick more an advocate for government than you and Amlord." You are confused to the nth degree. When your position is that government in all in control and it is silly to wanted limited government as such an idea is impossible, you are not a advocate of government in anywhere the same neighborhood as Amlord or myself.

GS, you are confusing advocacy with accurate description. You might as well say you are advocating for less gravity than I am. Sorry, but the role of government in a nation state is a given. It comes as a package deal and hollering to the heavens isn't going to change that.

A more useful advocacy would be good government, good laws, good regulations versus the opposite. Arguing more or less government unless you are talking about going back to being a hunter-fisher-gatherer at some sort of tribal level is about as meaningful as baying at the moon. flowers.gif
Julian
QUOTE(Gray Seal @ Aug 12 2013, 03:35 PM) *
QUOTE(Julian)
Yes, but not different ones from "for profit" businesses i.e. all charity organisation should be subject to some form of salary cap. My personal preference would be a multiple of the salary of the lowest-paid employee.
Why not have information on compensation numbers readily available for all businesses? People could then decide on their own if the compensation policies for a business are agreeable to them whether it is to take a job or buy their products or services. This would take away the role and power of government while providing information to the people to make informed choices.


I am absolutely in favour of total financial transparency for all institutions, public or private. (Individuals too, for that matter.) As a taxpayer, I want to know where my money goes, and whether the government chooses to spend it themselves directly or subcontract work to private sector businesses makes no difference to me. Under Freedom of Information rules in most countries that apply them, it is usually possible to get some information on how governments themselves spend money, but next to impossible to get any information on what happens to it once it gets paid to a private sector business.

And even as a stockholder, I can't find out what it happening to my money within a business that I part-own beyond the top line accounting figures that the executives of the business choose to publish. This isn't how businesses should be run in my opinion; all information should be available to me all the time, in real time. Commercial confidentiality is an enemy of the proper functioning of capitalism that is every bit as obfusticating and distorting as "government interference" IMO. Probably a topic for another thread, however.

QUOTE(Gray Seal)
QUOTE(Julian)
I like the idea of an asset tax.
Asset tax, just like property tax, means a person does not own something the government does. Asset taxes are charging a lease for something the government should not own. Such a tax puts a brake upon the market and generates government we do not need.

As we see the idea that charity organizations and anyone else are not that different, my opinions are based upon this notion.

Likewise, the minimum wage law sensibility is not of question but whether applying it to charity should be different and we agree that it should not though we disagree whether it is of good at all.


Indeed. And since the thread topic is not whether the minimum wage should exist at all, but that - given it does - whether it should apply to charities just the same as for-profit business, then we both agree that yes, it should apply. Glad you agree with me thumbsup.gif devil.gif


QUOTE(Dingo @ Aug 14 2013, 03:03 PM) *
QUOTE
The established philosophy is dependent upon force and power to make the minority function as the majority dictates. The hopeful philosophy is based upon voluntary cooperation.

There is interestingly an important observation here. In many tribal societies community consensus is the way much of business is conducted. But when you get large numbers of people who don't know each other then unfortunately the less satisfactory majority rule becomes the inevitable alternative. Call this a good argument for a lower population. rolleyes.gif


I would go further, here. Even in a family or extended family, 'consensus' is not the same as unanimity (literally, being of one mind). 'Consensus' in a family context means
QUOTE
1. collective judgment or belief; solidarity of opinion: The consensus of the group was that they should meet twice a month.
2. general agreement or concord; harmony.


The group might agree to meet twice a month, but that is not the same as saying "all members of the group agreed that they should meet twice a month". It just means most of them did, based on whatever decision-making process they choose to use among themselves.

Typically, that would be decided by majority vote, just as if mum, dad, granny, grandad, uncle Bill and aunty Jean big brother, big sister, little sister and the baby all say that this year's vacation should be Disneyland, while I say that we should all go skiing, the family consensus is that we should meet Mickey Mouse arrived at through a perfectly legitimate process of debate. I might be a sulky teenager about it and say it's "mob rule", but unless my parents, siblings and uncles intimidate me or beat me into submission, shepherd me into the car to Orange County at gunpoint, etc. it isn't really mob rule at all, just the normal functioning of a democratic decision making process.

And as above, so below - most of the government actions that people describe as "mob rule" are just them being a sulky teenager over being outvoted.
Dingo
Majority rule leads not uncommonly to our civil war or what we are now seeing in Egypt, a bunch of folks who will simply not accept the majority and are finally prepared to act on it. The concept of tribal consensus which I learned from dabbling in a little anthropology involves full community participation, with everyone having their say leading to a resolution that finally everyone can accept if not necessarily completely agree with. In this sense I think the distinction between a majority approach and consensus approach is meaningful.

As for the minimum wage Julian, how do you plug in low functioning handicapped workers that couldn't possibly justify a minimum wage?
Amlord
QUOTE(Dingo @ Aug 14 2013, 10:03 AM) *
A good discussion of the whole charity issue by skeeterses.

QUOTE(Amlord @ Aug 13 2013, 01:22 PM) *
QUOTE(Dingo @ Aug 12 2013, 05:24 PM) *
Government does have ultimate control over all property. This has nothing to do with ideology. It goes with the territory of being a government.


So it is your view that when the government receives "formal consent" to govern that those who are choosing are giving all of their private property to the government?

Nope. I'm saying there is no private property to give. Private property independent of government control is a fiction like witches and other things that go bump in the night. The government may grant you certain proprietary use rights which are maintained strictly through the government's defense of those rights but of course the government can when it chooses remove those rights. Our Constitutional Bill of Rights is a manual on how the government should behave with respect to certain individual "rights" but it in no way takes away ultimate authority from the government.


At what point in history did individuals give up their private property rights?

When cavemen gathered berries and stored them (briefly) in their caves, did the government have a right to come take those berries?

During the age of slavery, the government couldn't even stop people from owning other people.

Today, I earn a paycheck and maybe I own a home. Can the government simply come in and take my money and my home?

What world are you living in that you think there is a requirement that the government consent to allow people to keep what is theirs? When did individuals give up the right to own things?

QUOTE(skeeterses)
Amlord, I think most people are familiar with the economic arguments against minimum wage. Nonetheless, there are too many adults in this country earning teenager wages and thus unable to take on adult responsibilities. There's a mix of reasons for that problem and the solutions for that are for another debate thread.

The idea of the sheltered workshop is to give extremely disabled adults a token job in which they can interact with society and feel good about themselves. Here, there is no pretense that they are going to be productive enough to actually earn enough money to support themselves, and thus have to receive disability checks each month from the Government to live. Now, the issue among disabled people and their families is that there are some disabled people who can be trained to do better paying jobs but are not receiving that service from Goodwill. And if the executives of Goodwill are being well paid, that may suggest that some of the workers are more productive than what the productivity tests measure. Certainly, the executives at Goodwill could trim their salaries and use some of that money to offer job training or wage raises for the higher functioning disabled people.

What makes the charities different is that there's an understanding that they're not in the business of competing directly with retail stores. Rather, charities are in the business of helping those who can least help themselves. While the disabled people who work in the sheltered workshops understand that such work won't allow them to be financially independent in the sense of getting off the dole, they don't like being taken advantage of by people at the top.


So who decides what a "charity" can pay an individual (disabled or not)? I highly doubt that these charities are paying people in place of their government benefits (although I think this would be a good model: companies should have to pay at least as much as a person could receive in government benefits. This would allow people to work for their benefits and have the pride of having a job).

Charities are businesses with a different purpose than other companies, I agree. However, they still require workers. They still require all of the same things any other company needs. They gain some benefits, like tax breaks, because of their stated purpose. But why should an employee of a charity be allowed to be treated differently under the law than a worker at a public or private company?
Dingo
QUOTE(Amlord @ Aug 15 2013, 08:37 AM) *
What world are you living in that you think there is a requirement that the government consent to allow people to keep what is theirs?

And who designates it as theirs and guarantees special use rights to them? The government obviously.

It is amazing how cultures can evolve virtual realities that turn 2+2 = 4 into 3 and have them almost universally accepted.

Yeah, Columbus discovered America. rolleyes.gif
akaCG
QUOTE(Dingo @ Aug 15 2013, 12:02 PM) *
QUOTE(Amlord @ Aug 15 2013, 08:37 AM) *
What world are you living in that you think there is a requirement that the government consent to allow people to keep what is theirs?

And who designates it as theirs and guarantees special use rights to them? The government obviously.
...

The government doesn't designate who owns what, anymore than it designates who's married to whom. It simply recognizes who owns what, just like it simply recognizes who's married to whom.

That's a crucial distinction.

As far as guaranteeing rights of ownership is concerned, that's simply a service the provision of which the people are outsourcing to the government.

The notion that government is the source of property rights is a perverse inversion of the proper relationship between the government and the people, one that fully deserves the satirical skewering it received about 60 years ago in the following poem:

The Solution

After the uprising of the 17th June
The Secretary of the Writers Union
Had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee
Stating that the people
Had forfeited the confidence of the government
And could win it back only
By redoubled efforts. Would it not be easier
In that case for the government
To dissolve the people
And elect another?


Dingo
QUOTE(akaCG @ Aug 15 2013, 11:20 AM) *
QUOTE(Dingo @ Aug 15 2013, 12:02 PM) *
QUOTE(Amlord @ Aug 15 2013, 08:37 AM) *
What world are you living in that you think there is a requirement that the government consent to allow people to keep what is theirs?

And who designates it as theirs and guarantees special use rights to them? The government obviously.
...

The government doesn't designate who owns what

Really? If somebody claims your property on what basis do you dispute that claim?
akaCG
QUOTE(Dingo @ Aug 15 2013, 02:37 PM) *
QUOTE(akaCG @ Aug 15 2013, 11:20 AM) *
QUOTE(Dingo @ Aug 15 2013, 12:02 PM) *
QUOTE(Amlord @ Aug 15 2013, 08:37 AM) *
What world are you living in that you think there is a requirement that the government consent to allow people to keep what is theirs?

And who designates it as theirs and guarantees special use rights to them? The government obviously.
...

The government doesn't designate who owns what

Really? If somebody claims your property on what basis do you dispute that claim?

On the basis of documentation: receipts, records of mortgage/car payments, proof of transfer of ownership, corroboration of witnesses ("Yes, I gave 'Dingo' that Prius for Christmas), etc., etc., etc.).

Simple as 1 + 1 = 2, really.

Dingo
QUOTE(akaCG @ Aug 15 2013, 12:02 PM) *
QUOTE(Dingo @ Aug 15 2013, 02:37 PM) *
QUOTE(akaCG @ Aug 15 2013, 11:20 AM) *
QUOTE(Dingo @ Aug 15 2013, 12:02 PM) *
QUOTE(Amlord @ Aug 15 2013, 08:37 AM) *
What world are you living in that you think there is a requirement that the government consent to allow people to keep what is theirs?

And who designates it as theirs and guarantees special use rights to them? The government obviously.
...

The government doesn't designate who owns what

Really? If somebody claims your property on what basis do you dispute that claim?

On the basis of documentation: receipts, records of mortgage/car payments, proof of transfer of ownership, corroboration of witnesses


Yes, establishing to the government your ownership. Bottom line, government approval.

Simple as 1 + 1 = 2, really. flowers.gif

akaCG
QUOTE(Dingo @ Aug 15 2013, 03:17 PM) *
QUOTE(akaCG @ Aug 15 2013, 12:02 PM) *
QUOTE(Dingo @ Aug 15 2013, 02:37 PM) *
QUOTE(akaCG @ Aug 15 2013, 11:20 AM) *
QUOTE(Dingo @ Aug 15 2013, 12:02 PM) *
QUOTE(Amlord @ Aug 15 2013, 08:37 AM) *
What world are you living in that you think there is a requirement that the government consent to allow people to keep what is theirs?

And who designates it as theirs and guarantees special use rights to them? The government obviously.
...

The government doesn't designate who owns what

Really? If somebody claims your property on what basis do you dispute that claim?

On the basis of documentation: receipts, records of mortgage/car payments, proof of transfer of ownership, corroboration of witnesses

Yes, establishing to the government your ownership. Bottom line, government approval.
...

That's about as obtuse to the difference between "designate" and "recognize" as saying that it's a store's approval, as opposed to your payment and possession of a receipt, that establishes whether you actually own what you bought.
Dingo
Cg, I can see having failed to disprove the obvious you are reduced to linguistic spin as usual. My best response, I guess, is no matter how many words you throw against the wall and how many versions of a pretzel you imitate, more guns does not mean less killing and a consensus among climate scientists does not make AGW a hoax. You ought to study Limbaugh. He has got his virtual reality act down really tight. flowers.gif
Julian
QUOTE(Dingo @ Aug 15 2013, 01:55 PM) *
Majority rule leads not uncommonly to our civil war or what we are now seeing in Egypt, a bunch of folks who will simply not accept the majority and are finally prepared to act on it. The concept of tribal consensus which I learned from dabbling in a little anthropology involves full community participation, with everyone having their say leading to a resolution that finally everyone can accept if not necessarily completely agree with. In this sense I think the distinction between a majority approach and consensus approach is meaningful.


Far be it from me to lecture you on your own history, but Americans weren't being ruled by democratic means in the lead up to the civil war - you weren't represented in the British parliament at all, but you were being taxed by it. (Never mind, for now, that the British had spent significant blood and treasure defending the 13 colonies from agressors during the French & Indian War earlier in the 17th Century and the British were trying to get some of their money back... best not to go there devil.gif)

My comments above were basically aimed at people who claimed to be the victims of mob rule when what's actually happening is the settled will of a democratic election doesn't suit them. They weren't silenced, ignored or denied representation, they just lost the argument.

What you describe is pretty much what happened in Egypt - the Muslim Brotherhood won fair elections and the Army and remnants of the old regime didn't like it, so instigated a coup d'etat.

QUOTE
As for the minimum wage Julian, how do you plug in low functioning handicapped workers that couldn't possibly justify a minimum wage?


There's an economic justification for the minimum wage? I thought it was a point of principle? Maybe that's just me though. I mean, if two people are on minimum wage and one is a more productive worker for any reason - I don't know, they've got the 'flu, or they're a bit lazy, or they're tired out from working a night shift in another job - does that mean we can pay the one who's less productive below the minimum wage? According to you, we could if they had a physical or mental disability, which kind of defeats the object of a minimum wage in the first place.

Setting aside the fact that the minimum wage in your economy and mine is set at a rate rather below the minimum wage that would enable someone to survive (so we end up paying welfare to support people on minimum wage jobs, or they end up working two or more such jobs just to make ends meet, and end up sub-optimally productive in all of them...)
Hobbes
1. Should charity organizations be allowed to be exempt from minimum wage laws?

No, why should they? If someone wants to volunteer all or some of their time, fine. But that could happen at a regular business too.
2. Should charity organizations be subject to salary caps at the top?

No. But they should (and generally do) have to disclose and defend what they pay their top people. If its too high, they'll stop getting funds. No need for any artificial limit to be imposed. How would such a limit be determined, anyway? ??? Who would determine it, and what gives them the right or even the ability to do so? When you start having third parties who don't really even have a clue determine what someone else should get paid, it is just not going to work.
Dingo
QUOTE(Julian @ Aug 16 2013, 11:43 AM) *
QUOTE(Dingo @ Aug 15 2013, 01:55 PM) *
Majority rule leads not uncommonly to our civil war or what we are now seeing in Egypt, a bunch of folks who will simply not accept the majority and are finally prepared to act on it. The concept of tribal consensus which I learned from dabbling in a little anthropology involves full community participation, with everyone having their say leading to a resolution that finally everyone can accept if not necessarily completely agree with. In this sense I think the distinction between a majority approach and consensus approach is meaningful.


Far be it from me to lecture you on your own history, but Americans weren't being ruled by democratic means in the lead up to the civil war

Not in any pure sense but in terms of white men it was pretty much a democracy as far as I know. In that sense I think it provides an example of the majority-minority problem in democracy.

QUOTE
- you weren't represented in the British parliament at all, but you were being taxed by it. (Never mind, for now, that the British had spent significant blood and treasure defending the 13 colonies from agressors during the French & Indian War earlier in the 17th Century and the British were trying to get some of their money back... best not to go there devil.gif)

I have no idea where this is coming from. Just for the record our revolutionary war was in the latter part of the 18th century. Our civil war was in the middle of the 19th century. The conflation escapes me.

QUOTE
What you describe is pretty much what happened in Egypt - the Muslim Brotherhood won fair elections and the Army and remnants of the old regime didn't like it, so instigated a coup d'etat.

Well we agree here, although I have to say our southern minority chose to also not abide by the results of the election of Lincoln. The one alternative argument I can see was the question of states rights. But in the Constitution that never included succession, just some federal limitation.

QUOTE
QUOTE
As for the minimum wage Julian, how do you plug in low functioning handicapped workers that couldn't possibly justify a minimum wage?


There's an economic justification for the minimum wage? I thought it was a point of principle? Maybe that's just me though. I mean, if two people are on minimum wage and one is a more productive worker for any reason - I don't know, they've got the 'flu, or they're a bit lazy, or they're tired out from working a night shift in another job - does that mean we can pay the one who's less productive below the minimum wage? According to you, we could if they had a physical or mental disability, which kind of defeats the object of a minimum wage in the first place.

Frankly I don't follow your logic. A profit making corporation and a charitable organization are two different animals. One is devoted to the bottom line and the other's purpose is to provide help to certain needy groups. In effect with the former we can and probably should make a requirement for a more fair distribution of the financial goodies to the lowest folks on the pay ladder who are part of this profit making machine. Also we have past experience that shows that these corporations can afford the wage hike and still remain profitable. After all their competitors would have to raise their minimum wage too. No doubt they would drop some workers who no longer serve the profit machine but based on past experience they would hire others due to the stimulus of greater purchases by higher paid minimum wage workers . Since charities are in the people helping business, in theory, not the bottom line business, what principle is being defended by taking away their ability to match wages with productivity? Presumably there is no bottom line tension to keep their wages at exploitative levels.
Julian
QUOTE(Dingo @ Aug 17 2013, 01:44 AM) *
QUOTE(Julian @ Aug 16 2013, 11:43 AM) *
QUOTE(Dingo @ Aug 15 2013, 01:55 PM) *
Majority rule leads not uncommonly to our civil war or what we are now seeing in Egypt, a bunch of folks who will simply not accept the majority and are finally prepared to act on it. The concept of tribal consensus which I learned from dabbling in a little anthropology involves full community participation, with everyone having their say leading to a resolution that finally everyone can accept if not necessarily completely agree with. In this sense I think the distinction between a majority approach and consensus approach is meaningful.


Far be it from me to lecture you on your own history, but Americans weren't being ruled by democratic means in the lead up to the civil war

Not in any pure sense but in terms of white men it was pretty much a democracy as far as I know. In that sense I think it provides an example of the majority-minority problem in democracy.

QUOTE
- you weren't represented in the British parliament at all, but you were being taxed by it. (Never mind, for now, that the British had spent significant blood and treasure defending the 13 colonies from agressors during the French & Indian War earlier in the 17th Century and the British were trying to get some of their money back... best not to go there devil.gif)

I have no idea where this is coming from. Just for the record our revolutionary war was in the latter part of the 18th century. Our civil war was in the middle of the 19th century. The conflation escapes me.


Ah - you got me. I have completely muddled the Civil War and the Revolution. I'm getting old blush.gif


QUOTE
Frankly I don't follow your logic. A profit making corporation and a charitable organization are two different animals. One is devoted to the bottom line and the other's purpose is to provide help to certain needy groups.


But when they are paying someone to do work for them, they are both employers - no matter how their finances are organised and no matter what their state purpose is - and the people doing the work are employees. It doesn't matter what the financial raison d'etre of the employing organisation is, employees who get paid wages are (or should be, IMO) covered by the minimum wage.

QUOTE
In effect with the former we can and probably should make a requirement for a more fair distribution of the financial goodies to the lowest folks on the pay ladder who are part of this profit making machine. Also we have past experience that shows that these corporations can afford the wage hike and still remain profitable. After all their competitors would have to raise their minimum wage too. No doubt they would drop some workers who no longer serve the profit machine but based on past experience they would hire others due to the stimulus of greater purchases by higher paid minimum wage workers .


No disagreement here.

QUOTE
Since charities are in the people helping business, in theory, not the bottom line business, what principle is being defended by taking away their ability to match wages with productivity? Presumably there is no bottom line tension to keep their wages at exploitative levels.


The principle being defended is the idea that a minimum wage prevents anybody being paid below a certain minimum to do anything. If a minimum wage definition is to have any useful meaning, paying anybody below minimum wage to do anything is exploitative, in and of itself, no matter well-intentioned the entity doing the employing might be.
Dingo
QUOTE(Julian @ Aug 19 2013, 05:27 AM) *
QUOTE
Frankly I don't follow your logic. A profit making corporation and a charitable organization are two different animals. One is devoted to the bottom line and the other's purpose is to provide help to certain needy groups.


But when they are paying someone to do work for them, they are both employers - no matter how their finances are organised and no matter what their state purpose is - and the people doing the work are employees. It doesn't matter what the financial raison d'etre of the employing organisation is, employees who get paid wages are (or should be, IMO) covered by the minimum wage.

Well in law we definitely factor in purpose when judging an action. For instance a killing can be judged as murder or self-defense resulting in an entirely different legal consequence. I don't see why the same principle shouldn't apply here.
------------------------------------
QUOTE
QUOTE
Since charities are in the people helping business, in theory, not the bottom line business, what principle is being defended by taking away their ability to match wages with productivity? Presumably there is no bottom line tension to keep their wages at exploitative levels.


The principle being defended is the idea that a minimum wage prevents anybody being paid below a certain minimum to do anything. If a minimum wage definition is to have any useful meaning, paying anybody below minimum wage to do anything is exploitative, in and of itself, no matter well-intentioned the entity doing the employing might be.

Somebody can correct me if I'm wrong but I believe the minimum wage only applies to businesses that have over X number of employees. If you hire your neighbor's kid to mow your lawn I don't think the minimum wage applies. That being said if I am handicapped and that prevents me from getting a job at minimum scale in a profit oriented company how am I being exploited if a charitable organization offers me a job pegged to my productivity level, particularly if I knew otherwise I would have no job? I don't see any losers in this scenario.
Hobbes
QUOTE(Dingo @ Aug 19 2013, 02:44 PM) *
Somebody can correct me if I'm wrong but I believe the minimum wage only applies to businesses that have over X number of employees. If you hire your neighbor's kid to mow your lawn I don't think the minimum wage applies.


There is also a distinction between state and federal minimum wage. If your business doesn't cross state line, then the state minimum wage applies, which is usually much lower (although still higher then 50 cents/hr)

Interesting. Checked on what state minimum wages were, and now many of them are higher than Federal minimum wage.

QUOTE
Well in law we definitely factor in purpose when judging an action.


Isn't the purpose of an employer paying an employee the same in both cases: to have them do work for you in return for money? If the purpose were charity, then shouldn't they be paying these people MORE than minimum wage (or certainly more than 50 cents an hour)? How charitable is that?

QUOTE
That being said if I am handicapped and that prevents me from getting a job at minimum scale in a profit oriented company how am I being exploited if a charitable organization offers me a job pegged to my productivity level, particularly if I knew otherwise I would have no job? I don't see any losers in this scenario.


How is anyone exploited if the same thing happens? Why shouldn't anyone be hired at a wage pegged to their productivity level? This is an argument against minimum wage itself. But as long as it exists, then it should be, well, a minimum, shouldn't it?

You don't see someone working for 50 cents an hour, here in the United States, a loser? Are you against the minimum wage in general? If not, I don't see how to reconcile those two positions. If you are, then I would agree, except to say that we DO have a minimum wage law, and as such, it should be applied. If you start making exceptions for productivity levels, the whole concept goes away, as putting wages at productivity levels is what happened before minimum wage laws were enacted.

Dingo
Hobbes, if you don't get the fundamental difference between running a profit based business and a service for the needy charitable organization then of course nothing I say that follows about distinctions around minimum wage will make any sense.
Julian
QUOTE(Dingo @ Aug 20 2013, 07:24 AM) *
Hobbes, if you don't get the fundamental difference between running a profit based business and a service for the needy charitable organization then of course nothing I say that follows about distinctions around minimum wage will make any sense.


Dingo, the debate questions at hand are "1. Should charity organizations be allowed to be exempt from minimum wage laws?" and
"2. Should charity organizations be subject to salary caps at the top?".

I believe that all Hobbes and I are doing is arguing that, if you're going to have a minimum wage law at all, the principle of if should be that it needs to apply to everybody in employment. If you start putting in all the circumstances in which it's ok for the law not to apply, then is ceases to be a minimum, because a person can be paid less than the level set by the law under certain circumstances.

What you appear to be doing is attempting to argue over the nature of what constitutes a charitable organisation, which isn't in dispute. What is in dispute is what happens when their services for the needy stop being merely giving away their money and resources and expecting something in return for them.

Most charities have paid employees - fundraisers, PR people, payroll clerks, bought & sales ledger administration, etc. These people are "ordinary" employees. Like any other ordinary employee in any other organisation, they might have a disability (physical or mental). What wording of your proposed changes to minimum wage laws prevents such a person from being exempted from minimum wage protection? What stops an unscrupulous charity director who wants - maybe with the best of intentions - to cut his wage bill by only employing disabled people in these administrative roles and using the "Dingo exemption" to pay them all way below the minimum wage. Possibly to maximise the money going to the charity's intended beneficiaries, possibly to increase his own salary, it doesn't much matter.

Unless you word it very carefully, your concern could basically screw every employment-related disability discrimination law on the statute books, couldn't it?

Wouldn't it just be easier to say the minimum wage applies to everyone in paid employment, no matter who the employer is?
Gray Seal
QUOTE(Julian)
What you appear to be doing is attempting to argue over the nature of what constitutes a charitable organisation, which isn't in dispute.
It may not be the crux of the discussion dispute but having government pick and choose who is and isn't charitable certainly is under dispute. An aspect of that has been in the current news where the government is denying not-for-profit status if the organization has terms such as conservative, freedom, or constitution is the organization's name.

What may or may not be charitable seems to be rather subjective. Much like deciding who may or may not be under-paid is subjective. Julian's argument for why any business should be able to underpay holds for why any business should be able to be not-for-profit though I would prefer to eliminate such a category entirely. Laws need to protect a even playing field instead of creating bogus arbitrary advantages.
Dingo
Look it, if folks want to get rid of the distinction in law between nonprofit charitable organizations and profit making businesses fine. Then lets get rid of all the deductions that say churches receive and the Red Cross etc. Either you think the distinction is meaningful in the law or you don't. If you think it is meaningful then it seems to me how you employ the notion of the minimum wage would also reflect that distinction.

As for some charitable outfit that is corrupt, you treat them like any law breaker in society.
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