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Friday, April 21, 2006

Liberals V. Conservatives

Seems I've touched some liberal nerves lately with posts on taxes and Wal-Mart. But it brought to light some standard liberal misunderstandings of conservatives.

For instance, on person, who is a frequent commenter, and usually pretty good guy couldn't resist using the "pot calling the kettle black" line over my statement that the 60% of American's not understanding who pays taxes.
And you really think 82% of America doesn't know what they are talking about? I thought that was what you always claim that the "liberals" do. We know better than you, the uneducated masses. Look at the pot calling the kettle black!
The truth is conservatives generally use the "limousine liberal" and "liberal elite" lines when liberals try and tell us something non-quantifiable is for our good.

The example in my response was gun control. The "liberal elite" have come out in force in Wisconsin, and Florida against concealed carry laws. In the case of Florida even putting out bogus press releases about how it won't be safe for tourists.

Neat emotional plea, no place in reality. Check the stats, every state that has enacted concealed carry has seen it's gun crime rate go down, not up. The flip side, Chicago and DC, with some of the toughest handgun laws in the US have the highest murder rates. Which law works better to prevent crime?

In the case of taxes, 82%, to use his number, of America is grossly uninformed on the facts around the individual income tax. I made the numbers available for download, so he could do the math himself on where the taxes come from. Instead, emotional pleas with no roots in reality was the response.

In the case of Wal-Mart the comment was about the unethical thought of employees not getting benefits, and making enough.

I am a liberal American and I wouldn't expect a conservative American to see it the same way. While liberalism has its own flaws, I see this as one of the largest flaws in conservatism; the human element just doesn't mean anything unless it can be shown as nothing more than a net gain, or a net loss on a spreadsheet at the end of the tax year.

He's partially right, but misses a key point in the thought of employees as part of a spread sheet, and that point is value, and availability.

In the case of Wal-Mart, and other retailers, why should they pay more than Wal-Mart's full time worker average of $10.11/hr, or the retail median of $7.86/hr? When Wally World opened their new store outside Chicago over 3,000 people applied for 325 jobs. The skill set isn't difficult, either run a register or stock shelves. In other words there is no need to pay more, there is an availability of willing labor.

Now, take the job I'm leaving next week. It will in all likelihood have about 2 applications for my position, and it may take a year to fill, at considerably more than $10.11 per hour. Even with great wages, excellent benefits, it will still be a hard job to fill, because the pool of qualified candidates is pretty small, and there is a good deal of competition for them.

The truth is, labor is a commodity, at any level, from CEO to janitor. Overpaying for either is bad business, when there is willing, qualified workers who will do the job for less.

When Wal-Mart opens it's new store in the town I'll be living in soon, they expect around 2,500 applicants for the 300 or so jobs. If 2,500 are willing to work for what they pay, why would, or should they offer more? If no one showed up to apply, they would need to consider it.

As I stated in my reply, there are producers, and there is deadweight. Some producers chose to stay at the bottom of that scale, for what reason I don't know. There are HUNDREDS of different programs for folks in low wage jobs to get ahead that are under used. Pell Grants, free student loans, scholarships, HOPE and Life Long Learning tax credits.

The higher level producers work to get farther up, either where they are, or somewhere else. Yes, you might work a bunch of extra hours, and go to school in off work time, etc, but in the end they think the sacrifice is worth it.

The top level producers pull a bunch of people along with them. They pick the one's to come to the top with them based on what they do to get there, hard work, expanding their knowledge base, etc. Sure a few get up on the "good old boy" network, but usually don't last long if they shouldn't have been there.

The dead weight bitches no one will move them to the top as a starting point.

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10Comments:

Blogger Tim said...

Since you quoted me at the beginning, I wanted to tell you that I am NOT a liberal Democrat. I am a centrist Independant who is liberal on a few topics but conservative on others. I am not in support of the Iraq war, or the current administration. If they are the new face of Conservatism, we are in big trouble. I feel that Bush and co. have proven their incompetence time and time again. I mean really! I voted for Dole in 96 and never voted for Clinton (although I feel he was a better president than W.). I am way more pragmatic than you are, CP. You feel that the Republicans are infallable. I have never seen you disagree with anything coming out of this administration. I will probably vote Democratic in the congressional elections this year because I have not seen anything coming out of the Republican congress that I like. Just more feathering of their nests and adding to the National Debt.

9:09 AM  
Blogger rev. billy bob gisher ©2005 said...

there are a bunch of misinterpretations, but they are encouraged by both sets of party whips. you wanna see a fracas on these lines? see my post from today. the bloodletting has already started. get this, i have liberals attacking me. how bout that one? pigeonholing has been good to them but it has gotta stop. divided we fall.

9:26 AM  
Blogger James B. said...

I am reminded of a great story in George Will's "Men at Work".

Babe Ruth was playing in Yankee Stadium and was out on a called third strike, which brought a chorus of boos from the crowd.

"That pitch was outside" the Babe screamed at the ump. Then making the fallacy of populists, arguing from raw numbers to moral weight, he continued, "There are 40,000 people out there who know that last pitch was a ball!"

"Maybe so," the umpire replied, "but mine's the only opinion that counts."

11:28 AM  
Blogger ablur said...

Supply and Demand sets most of the stages in life. The average liberal doesn't like the supply and Demand curve because it does not have the touchy feel good direction that runs the liberal mind set. As the years go by we seem to blur more and more stuff together until we have no distinctions. Business and politics actually are in opposition to each other. Yet, time and again we want to tie them together.
The president is supposed to set the moral direction of the country and the legislature is to set the business of the country(how we spend money). The judicial branch is our conscious that helps us decide right and wrong. As the years go by we seem to have lost site of who's job is who's. In the last 30 years politicizing and setting moral direction has come from the legislative and judicial branches. Our presidents have demonstrated little moral fiber and when they did they were treated as buffoons at best by the media. In our world of instant communication a simple mis statement can get blown out of proportion in seconds. This fact has cut the people off from our leaders. Many are afraid to take a stand on anything for fear of misrepresentation in the media. We have seen our political landscape whipped around by polls and small demonstrations. Our officials seem to forget that they were elected by a majority and so must serve on behalf of them.

We need to stop looking at today and see the big picture of the future. Are we going in a direction that will ultimately be good for America, or are we choosing Self?
I recently went back and looked at the sacrifice of the signers of our Declaration of Independence. You many find it a useful frame of reference. Check out my blog and see if it helps add some clarity to the fog coming out of DC.

2:57 PM  
Blogger Bobby said...

I completely agree with your observations on why Wal-Mart doesn't need to raise its salaries.

"If no one showed up to apply, they would need to consider it."

Um, hello world. That is exactly right.

11:26 PM  
Blogger Chi-town Packa Backa said...

It's the same with any major company. As long as there are people willing to work for the established pay rate, why change it? I work for Domino's Pizza. Drivers start at $5.15 an hour, $1.35 below the State Minimum Wage, plus tips. Even with gas prices as high as they are, my boss still has stacks and stacks of applications to go through. Since he posted "Now hiring" on the board, we've run out of applications three or four times. Why raise the pay if you don't need to?

4:19 AM  
Blogger Crazy Politico said...

Tim, I think you need to go back and read more. Let's see, I disagree with the GOP on spending (too much), Social Security (they caved and shouldn't have) Immigration (no amnesty, build a fence), the Dubai Ports Deal, and that's just in the last few months.

Because of a number of those issues I didn't vote for Bush in 2004, and advocated a number of Democrats I think would make outstanding presidents.

Rev. Gisher, You are right on about the pidgeon holing on both sides of the aisle. The vocal masses of the left and right are guilty of it. That's why some on the left are helping Joe Lieberman's opponent in the primary, and many on the right won't vote McCain.

James, that is an interesting correlation, though I'd say on the idea of taxes it's facts, not the opinon that counts.

Ablur, supply and demand is the key, you are right. And while the leadership is elected by and should represent the majority, if they know the majority's opinion is formed from bad information, or a lack of it, should they still do what they want?

Bobby, thank's for visiting, hope you stick around for a while and check the place out.

Chi-Town, The key is you'll quit getting applications when it folks can't make any money delivering, then Kevin will raise the drivers wages.

4:32 AM  
Blogger Tim said...

Well CP, I haven't read everything you have read, but that comment you just made makes me think that we are closer in thought than I first percieved. I, too, would consider voting for McCain.

10:12 AM  
Blogger Tim said...

Well CP, I haven't read everything you have read, but that comment you just made makes me think that we are closer in thought than I first percieved. I, too, would consider voting for McCain.

10:12 AM  
Blogger Crazy Politico said...

We probably are closer in thought than you think Tim.

6:01 AM  

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