Re: SB Lathes, Lathes, Lathes, Lathes... the uber New England auction!!!

john kling

I don't think an increased minimum wage would cost a lot of jobs. In inflation adjusted terms the minimum wages was much higher in the the late 60s.-something in excess of $13.00 an hour at today's prices. The labor markets in those days were stronger. To do anything substantial to improve wages and improve the income distributions policies should focus on improving the balance of the supply and demand of workers. New trade deals (they come with Clinton. with Bush and with Obama on top) reduce the demand for US labor. Immigration expansion increases the supply of US labor. Business sees benefit from these policies and ultimately seems to call the shots. 

The US has rapidly rising real incomes in the 50s and early 60s. This was an era for the US of limited international trade and of relatively low immigration.  We should not accept more trade deals as inevitable. The benefits of these deals should weigh on the benefits/negatives for US workers as well as for business. Is progress getting bigger with workers making less?  

From: Gregg Eshelman To: SOUTHBENDLATHE@...
Sent: Monday, March 24, 2014 11:46 PM
Subject: Re: [SOUTHBENDLATHE] SB Lathes, Lathes, Lathes, Lathes... the uber New England auction!!!

On 3/24/2014 12:58 PM, Rick v100 wrote:
> We live in an international labor market. If an industry needs more
> workers they use the MBA business types to find the cheapest option.
> Any manufacturing growth in the US is going to the Southeastern US right
> to work states.
> India and China generate enough engineering majors to make up for the
> shortfall in the US.

Go to and search for CNC. There are a large number of jobs
available. That also turns up some jobs available for manual machinists,
sales reps for CNC machines, machining and CNC operator and programmer
classes etc.

The jobs are there but the American schools are mostly turning away from
teaching how to do such work.

Look up what Hardinge has done with their purchase of Bridgeport. The
old company could not modernize thanks to their labor contracts. Some of
their castings were even sent overseas to be machined then shipped back
to the USA because it was cheaper than paying labor costs here.

Hardinge built a whole new production line, in only 15,000 square feet,
using about half as many machines. The old Bridgeport plant could make
400 knee mills a month. The new plant can make 300, but can easily be
expanded to 400 or more.

Things change, companies must be able to make changes or they won't be
in business.

The cost of living in most other countries is far, far less than in the
USA so those "slave wages" (which is an oxymoron, slaves got paid
nothing at all) are either equivalent to the USA or even better. In
Central America a college education runs about $700 a year. On
"Undercover Boss" the owner of Dutch Bros. Coffee went to the plantation
where the coffee beans his company uses are grown. The manager's son
wanted to go to college, so the boss asked how much then just gave them
the money, plus a vacation to the USA for the entire family, and IIRC
several thousand for them to do whatever they wanted with. The
equivalent in the USA would probably be well over $50,000.

Ever increasing wages do only one thing, cause ever increasing prices.
Right now, less than 3% of American workers are getting paid minimum
wage, most of those are just starting work, they either don't continue
in the job because they can't or won't do the work, or they get a raise
after the training period.

Raise the federal minimum wage to $10 from $7.25 and the percentage of
workers making "only" minimum wage will go up, temporarily. (And certain
politicians will cry and moan on TV about the huge number of people only
making minimum wage.) Then everyone now making between minimum and $10
will be expecting/demanding an equivalent raise.

That will put even more pressure on companies to increase efficiency,
reduce the number of jobs, increase the use of robots and automation,
and of course RAISE PRICES.

This cycle has been going on since the beginning of the industrial
revolution and the introduction of mandatory minimum wages. Some
countries enacted minimum wages in the 1800's and now have both higher
wages and even higher prices than do we.

Raise the minimum wage to $10 an hour and that Carl's Jr. "Six Dollar
Burger" will have to be renamed the "Ten Dollar Burger" because the
price will have to be raised to $8.95 (it's nearly $6 now) - and the
same will happen with everything else, food, clothes, cars - everything
where there's any human workers involved. The people making minimum wage
or close to it will find themselves exactly where they are now, or even
worse off, just as they have for the past century plus.

Join to automatically receive all group messages.