Minimum Wage And Overtime. . . Lol!

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ThinksTooMuch's Comment
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All this task in the news recently about minimum wage reform and overtime reform is making me laugh. Love hearing the stories about people who work an ENTIRE 50-60 hours a week and moan about not getting overtime. . .

Where's the reform for driver pay. . . ? Nowhere because we are professionals who get our job done, move the economy, and don't whine.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Best Answer!

Well anyone who's familiar with my rants knows I enjoy the subjects of economics, the "Modern American Worker Syndrome", and life in America in the 21st century. So I'll chime in here:

Guyjax as always makes an excellent point....you knew what you were getting into when you started and just because you've been around a while doesn't mean you don't have to put in the effort or get the job done any longer. It also doesn't mean you can act like a child when you don't get your way.

Chris also makes some excellent points....minimum wage is indeed supposed to be a start and yet I hear a ton of people saying that minimum wage is not a "living wage". You are correct! It isn't meant to be a living wage and by the nature of capitalist economics it will never be a living wage. Capitalism is about efficiency and people making minimum wage aren't producing products or creating services worthy of middle to upper class pay. And indeed the cost of living has grown at a pace that has far surpassed the growth in wages over the past 50+ years for many reasons, and here's some background on where we stand today:

We were the world's economic engine, most importantly when rebuilding a significant portion of the world after WWII. We had so much work and raked in the dough so quickly in this country that a man could come out of high school and have his choice of great paying jobs that allowed him to buy a house and support a family by himself. But over time as the world rebuilt, so did our competition overseas and we began struggling to compete with countries that had a much lower standard of living and labor costs. Then the avalanche of credit availability hit the scene about 30 years ago and instead of living off of their wages, people began living off wages + credit. That allowed prices to soar while wages began to stagnate. After several decades of this, along with a lot of unscrupulous Bankers and Wall Street Traders the system melted down in 2008. At this point I think we've already begun the decline into a new era of sluggish economics. Our blue collar jobs no longer pay a living wage and our capitalist system has become nearly Socialist as 39% of all Americans make their living off of the government in one form or another. They either work for the government or get living assistance of some sort - unemployment, welfare, food stamps, tax "refunds" (which are really payments because they're getting back more money than they paid in). Our companies can no longer compete very well, our workers are soft and lazy, and the infrastructure costs of our lifestyle (housing, cars, food, energy, taxes, etc) are higher than our wages for a high percentage of people. So we've shifted toward a much more Socialist style of economy unfortunately. And please....don't give me the "it's Obama's fault!" kinda garbage. This shift has been happening for 30-40 years. Obama didn't do it....there are a lot of forces at work.

But interestingly enough, through all of this we've had one thing remain the same and it's always been the #1 point of contention throughout the history of capitalism.....the people at the top (upper management and ownership) make a disproportionate amount of the money. The unions got a strong foothold after WWII and the middle class for a while was able to get their fair share of the pie. Unfortunately the pie got smaller as our businesses couldn't compete globally and nobody wanted to budge. Both the unions and management wanted to keep their wages and lifestyle and that simply could not happen. So companies either moved overseas or eliminated the unions. Basically, the people at the top won and the American worker has lost....and that's where we stand today. Here's what I mean:

Apple clears $71,523 in profit every 60 seconds!

Think about that! Apple makes more profit every 60 seconds than their average worker makes in one full year, and three to four times as much as many of them make in a year.

Today, more than at any time in the past 100+ years, upper management makes a disproportionate amount of money. You hear Walmart workers say they want $15/hr and the naysayers reply, "But you're not worth $15/hr!".......but I ask you....are the top 15 or 20 people at Walmart worth tens of millions each? Hell no! Not even close. So why should upper management rake in millions each, the corporation itself amassing millions each year, while 90% of their workforce doesn't make a living wage? There's plenty of money to go around but it's all accumulating in the hands of a few executives and in the name of the corporation itself. That is what makes the workers so angry.

Another point of contention is that our corporations literally have more cash on their books now than in any time in American history. Google, Apple, and Microsoft alone have in the area of 300 billion in cash on their balance sheets sitting in overseas accounts that they've made off the backs of low-paid Asian workers and in the case of Apple from a fleet of low-paid salespeople and techs in stores across the country.

There needs to be a reform in the distribution of wealth. Don't ask me how - it's not a simple problem. It's gigantic. But it's unsustainable. I think 2008 was nothing more than a shot across the bow. What lies ahead will be another Great Depression if we don't change course.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

Fatsquatch - well said! Excellent point. The short-term, Wall Street approach to doing business nowadays has pretty much forced companies to sell out all costs. The top executives get the majority of their wealth from stock ownership so they'd have to be willing to commit financial suicide to do anything that would hurt the almighty stock price. Now I've invested in the Stock Market for quite a few years now but I've always taken the Warren Buffet approach - long term buy and hold. The Stock Market is an incredible tool for corporations to raise cash but as you've stated the problem is that they are forced to run their companies by focusing on the short term. They come in, cut jobs, do a bunch of financial engineering to make everything look amazing on paper, collect their tens of millions, toss the company under the bus, and move on to the next company.

Bob Nardelli famously did that with Home Depot. I owned the stock before he came onboard and held it during his years at the helm. I made great money from it. But I got out shortly before he left because I knew he had sold out the brand, the employees, and the customers to make himself and his cronies super, super rich - and it worked.

Before he came along Home Depot had mostly full time employees and they were people with true skills and knowledge. I used to love Home Depot because you could go in there not knowing the first thing about the project you wanted to do. The employees were pros. They'd teach you what you needed to know, they'd take you around to get everything you needed, and in the end you were able to get the job done. A lot of people found a wonderful career with Home Depot after retiring or semi-retiring from their trade. They made good money, they had good benefits, and they were able to spend their time helping people get better at the things they had done their whole lives. It was a big win-win for everyone. Even the corporation made mountains of money doing it that way.

But Nardelli knew there was a lot more money to be made for the corporation. All he had to do was fire most of the well-paid full time employees with benefits, bring in a bunch of teenagers part time at minimum wage without benefits, and let the customers fend for themselves. Did Home Depot make more money? They sure did! Way, way more for a while! Did a lot of good, honest, hard-working people lose living-wage jobs they enjoyed with good benefits? They sure did. Did the customers lose out on a ton of great knowledge and help? They sure did. Did the prices go down for the customers? Absolutely not.

So in the end Bob Nardelli and his cronies, Home Depot as a corporation, and Home Depot's shareholders made a lot of money. But their employees got shafted, our country lost a lot of good jobs, and the customers all got hosed. The prices stayed where they were and there was no longer any knowledgeable help to be found. A few people win big and everyone else loses. That's how it's done in America in the 21st century.

This is why the unions will someday make a comeback. I don't know when or how they'll do it, but the balance of power is way off kilter and it has to be brought back in line. When you have companies like Apple raking in more profits in a minute than their employees make in a year and all that money sits in off-shore accounts doing nothing while 39% of Americans are living off the Government, something has to give. And it will. A lot of people think unions are evil but in my opinion they're a necessary evil at worst and incredibly helpful at best. Big money always attracts evil people. Without someone to represent the workers they'll be thrown under the bus almost every single time.

This country still has plenty of wealth to go around but it's being distributed in the wrong way. A handful of people are hoarding all the cash, the middle class is being wiped out, and more and more people are having to turn to the Government to get by. We're heading in a Socialist direction. These large corporations need to start reinvesting their profits into jobs and equipment. A corporation is not a person. People need money to live on. Corporations shouldn't be wealthy. Corporations should exist to create wealth for their employees and shareholders alike. There doesn't need to be a $200 billion dollar offshore account in the name of Apple Inc. There needs to be hundreds of thousands of Apple employees bringing home a handsome salary so they can go spend it on houses, cars, and clothing. That's why America's heyday was from WWII until about the late 70's or so. The middle class made a mountain of money and spent it as fast as they made it. Everyone had nice cars, nice homes, money in the bank, and lived off their wages, not off the government. That's the type of structure we have to get back to.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!
Somehow we have to get back to being a true capitalist society again. Don't ask me how.

The same way we got there the first time - unions.

From the start of the industrial revolution until the early 20th century the Carnegie's and the Rockefeller's and those types ran monstrous industrial complexes that had absolutely no concern for safety and no workers rights including minimum wage, a 40 hour work week, overtime, benefits, or anything of that nature whatsoever. You basically went into work, took what they gave you, did what they said to do, and hoped you went home alive to your family at the end of the day. Although those two men in particular went on to be known for their philanthropy, the reality was the working conditions and wages were abysmal. They would be considered criminal today. It wasn't until unions organized in the late 19th and early 20th century that the money barons were forced to give workers better conditions and pay.

Well the unions and the industrial complex were in pretty good balance from about WWII until the 70's or so and that was when our middle class was the strongest it has ever been, jobs were plentiful and paid well, and people could easily live off their wages. There was still very little need for any sort of welfare or financing for day to day lives other than buying cars and homes. But then global competition started eating away at our industries. So a lot of companies either went bankrupt, eliminated the unions, or took their factories to Mexico and overseas. To make up for the gap that was forming between wages and the cost of living we created gigantic vehicles of financing with credit cards, home loans, and even financing for everyday items like furniture - none of which was necessary to that point.

Fast forward to today and a lot of that financing has dried up with the meltdown of the financial and housing markets in 2008. Corporations are making mountains of cash again and they're hoarding it because the unions have lost their stronghold. Today, America's Fortune 500 have larger revenues, profit margins, and cash on hand than at any time in American history and yet you can't beg for a $10/hour blue collar job anymore.

The only way to bring back the balance is for someone to support the workers. You can do it with Government regulations but that would bring Socialism or Communism and those are proven to be failed systems. The only way we can get back the balance we had is either bring back the unions or hope rich guys start becoming more generous. Well as we all know, hope is not a strategy and rich guys in general aren't going to become generous.

One big hurdle we're going to have to overcome is the sense of entitlement a lot of people have now in our society because the Government has been giving away piles of money to make up for lost jobs and wages. So now a huge number of people have been getting money for doing nothing and it's very hard to go back to busting your butt when you've been handed so much for free for so long. But hey, they'll do it if given no other choice.

This is a process that's going to take decades to play out. At this point very few people are even talking about what we're going to do next because the Government seems to have pockets that never end. If the free Government money dries up and people have to start fending for themselves like they did during the Great Depression, everyone is going to turn a harsh eye to today's corporations and decide, "Ok, you're the ones with all the money. It's time we start getting our share again." That's when the Unions will make a come back.

It's going to be a long, painful process that's going to have a lot of twists and turns, a lot of setbacks and suffering. But all big changes happen that way.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar

All this task in the news recently about minimum wage reform and overtime reform is making me laugh. Love hearing the stories about people who work an ENTIRE 50-60 hours a week and moan about not getting overtime. . .

Where's the reform for driver pay. . . ? Nowhere because we are professionals who get our job done, move the economy, and don't whine.

Warning: severe sarcasm lies ahead:

I ain't gonna lie. I will whine about not making enough money. I know what I was told I would be making before I AGREED to driver that amount. I was told everything a driver goes through and yet I AGREED to drive for that amount and do my job. I have had 30 job in 15 years. That's two jobs per year cause I did not like the companies.

It does not matter that I don't have a solid work history or I always think the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. I HAVE 15 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE!!!!!! Does not matter that I sometimes have a bad attitude or I cuss out my DM when I THINK they messed up though I was 3 hours late cause I over slept and I missed out on my reload. I HAVE 30 YEARS EXPERIENCE!!!!!! Who cares that I have a high casa score. It's not my truck and trailer. Let them find the violations I have know to be there for 3 weeks and then the company can send someone to me to fix it. Out Of Service? Fine! Extra 10 hour break. I HAVE 40 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE!!!!!! So what I had a fender bender. Insurance will take care of it. The dumb 4 wheeler should have not been in HIS lane when I was trying to make a turn. Not sure how my tandems got on top of his car officer. I am sure he drove under them himself. I HAVE 50 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE!!!!!!!! I finally bought my own truck cause no one else would hire me so how dare you tell me I can't take up both lanes on the interstate. My fuel taxes helped pay for this road and I will use both lanes at one time cause it's easier to drive tired that way. Oh by the way the insurance will take care of the hood of yours I just tore up. No big deal.......

Signed, Billy Big Rigger and the 1% of drivers that make everyone else look bad.

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Jopa's Comment
member avatar
I have had 30 job in 15 years. That's two jobs per year cause I did not like the companies.

Whew . . . at first I didn't get what you were doing and I was thinking, "Guy's had 30 jobs in 15 years??" WTF!

wtf-2.gif

Then as I read on I could see what you were saying . . . had me going for a couple of minutes, though.

Jopa

shocked.pngsmile.gif

Chris L.'s Comment
member avatar

Good job Guy. I was thinking the same thing Joba was.

But sense TTM brought it up, "they" have been coming up with some stupid stuff latley, forever really. I used to tell guys that worked for me there is one thing you dont want and thats to get paid what your worth. Most of them werent worth crap. Anyway, with all these new rules, higher minimum wage, and now the salary people have to get paid overtime at some rediculous rate, what does that do for the truckers? Does that mean they will just cut your hours? You know no one is going to agree to pay more. Everytime "they" come up with something to help the worker it just costs the worker more.

I used to make $3.35 a hour. Minimum wage 1983. The old man made somewhere in the 50 grand a year range. I paid for my own insurance, registration, gas oh yeah and car. I still had money for beer, smokes, and impressing the ladies( well at least being able to take them to a movie) The old man built a 4 bedroom house, drove a new car a few years, raised three kids giving us everything we needed, not wanted just needed, and had money to put towards a retirement. He used to tell me that he was a big shot because he had a hundred bucks in his pocket (not bragging to me just saying over a few beers a while back) Smokes .70 a pack, milk .99 all day long and that was at the convienence store, gas .60- .70 a gallon.

Now minimum wage is what 7.50? Smokes 5 to 7 bucks, milk darn near $5, Gas 3.11, I live in SC so I dont want to hear about your rip off prices in CA Daniel B. Ive been there I always make sure I bring my own smokes.

After all that peopl dont get it. Make the minimum wage 15 bucks a hour. Sure why not? The hell with it make it 20. That way you can feel good that you make so much money. Glad to hear you will feel better. Then gas will be $10 a gallon, smokes 15 bucks a pack, milk? Well lets just say I will be drinking more water.

Minimum wage is not a lifestyle it is a start. You are suppose to move up from there. Prove yourself. Make more as you go. As in trucking you have to start at the bottom and work your way up. They dont pay .50 pm when you get your first job. Prove yourself and you make more. If your a loser you sit at the low rate.

It amazes me that people who flip burgers and smoke dope are *****in about not making enough money and even stike. Yet I never here anyone complaining that a young Airman, soldger (never can spell that), Marine, or seaman has to be on food stamps to survive. Nope lets cut more from the military. Ask anyone if they make enough. Even Donald Trump will say he doesnt make enough. Get over it! Work harder, move up and you will make more.

Sorry guys and girls. Thats Chris' rant for the morning. Be carefull out there. There are pleanty of idiots on the road, please dont be one of them :)

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Best Answer!

Well anyone who's familiar with my rants knows I enjoy the subjects of economics, the "Modern American Worker Syndrome", and life in America in the 21st century. So I'll chime in here:

Guyjax as always makes an excellent point....you knew what you were getting into when you started and just because you've been around a while doesn't mean you don't have to put in the effort or get the job done any longer. It also doesn't mean you can act like a child when you don't get your way.

Chris also makes some excellent points....minimum wage is indeed supposed to be a start and yet I hear a ton of people saying that minimum wage is not a "living wage". You are correct! It isn't meant to be a living wage and by the nature of capitalist economics it will never be a living wage. Capitalism is about efficiency and people making minimum wage aren't producing products or creating services worthy of middle to upper class pay. And indeed the cost of living has grown at a pace that has far surpassed the growth in wages over the past 50+ years for many reasons, and here's some background on where we stand today:

We were the world's economic engine, most importantly when rebuilding a significant portion of the world after WWII. We had so much work and raked in the dough so quickly in this country that a man could come out of high school and have his choice of great paying jobs that allowed him to buy a house and support a family by himself. But over time as the world rebuilt, so did our competition overseas and we began struggling to compete with countries that had a much lower standard of living and labor costs. Then the avalanche of credit availability hit the scene about 30 years ago and instead of living off of their wages, people began living off wages + credit. That allowed prices to soar while wages began to stagnate. After several decades of this, along with a lot of unscrupulous Bankers and Wall Street Traders the system melted down in 2008. At this point I think we've already begun the decline into a new era of sluggish economics. Our blue collar jobs no longer pay a living wage and our capitalist system has become nearly Socialist as 39% of all Americans make their living off of the government in one form or another. They either work for the government or get living assistance of some sort - unemployment, welfare, food stamps, tax "refunds" (which are really payments because they're getting back more money than they paid in). Our companies can no longer compete very well, our workers are soft and lazy, and the infrastructure costs of our lifestyle (housing, cars, food, energy, taxes, etc) are higher than our wages for a high percentage of people. So we've shifted toward a much more Socialist style of economy unfortunately. And please....don't give me the "it's Obama's fault!" kinda garbage. This shift has been happening for 30-40 years. Obama didn't do it....there are a lot of forces at work.

But interestingly enough, through all of this we've had one thing remain the same and it's always been the #1 point of contention throughout the history of capitalism.....the people at the top (upper management and ownership) make a disproportionate amount of the money. The unions got a strong foothold after WWII and the middle class for a while was able to get their fair share of the pie. Unfortunately the pie got smaller as our businesses couldn't compete globally and nobody wanted to budge. Both the unions and management wanted to keep their wages and lifestyle and that simply could not happen. So companies either moved overseas or eliminated the unions. Basically, the people at the top won and the American worker has lost....and that's where we stand today. Here's what I mean:

Apple clears $71,523 in profit every 60 seconds!

Think about that! Apple makes more profit every 60 seconds than their average worker makes in one full year, and three to four times as much as many of them make in a year.

Today, more than at any time in the past 100+ years, upper management makes a disproportionate amount of money. You hear Walmart workers say they want $15/hr and the naysayers reply, "But you're not worth $15/hr!".......but I ask you....are the top 15 or 20 people at Walmart worth tens of millions each? Hell no! Not even close. So why should upper management rake in millions each, the corporation itself amassing millions each year, while 90% of their workforce doesn't make a living wage? There's plenty of money to go around but it's all accumulating in the hands of a few executives and in the name of the corporation itself. That is what makes the workers so angry.

Another point of contention is that our corporations literally have more cash on their books now than in any time in American history. Google, Apple, and Microsoft alone have in the area of 300 billion in cash on their balance sheets sitting in overseas accounts that they've made off the backs of low-paid Asian workers and in the case of Apple from a fleet of low-paid salespeople and techs in stores across the country.

There needs to be a reform in the distribution of wealth. Don't ask me how - it's not a simple problem. It's gigantic. But it's unsustainable. I think 2008 was nothing more than a shot across the bow. What lies ahead will be another Great Depression if we don't change course.

Jim M.'s Comment
member avatar

Here is a good one I read on my Facebook page this morning:

"We keep hearing how Social Security is running out of money... how come we never hear about Welfare running out of money??!!

What is interesting is the first group worked for their money, but the second group did not!!

You all have made some compelling arguments in this widely contested and argued debate about the state of our American economic state, I have never been one to actually engage in such debates, I don't feel myself educated enough to do so. I think we have problems that our government officials are not qualified to handle, let alone understand, but all of America expects those same government officials to do something about it.

I believe it has to be done by, for and with the American People!!

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Chris L.'s Comment
member avatar

Brett I agree with what you were saying in the beging of your post, then the same old thing came out, I want more because you have more, then I agreed again. I am not saying your wrong in any of it. I agree with what has happened with corprate America 100%. The problem now is that it isnt like it was before. Ex. Most if not all companies were owned by one or two people. Some would take care of their employes. The owners made more maoney and enjoyed a great life. Unions helped the works. They were for the workers, by the workers. Now most companies are owned by a huge corp. There is just no one person to go after. Think of Apple, as you mentioned, can you imagine if everyone(all the workers) walked out on strike? Apple would laugh. Plenty of new workers who need a job. They could out last any strike. Unions dont care about the workers they care about themselves. Case in point Hostess. Now I cant even get a twinky. I like Jim dont have the answers. I can only look around and see that my daughter is in big trouble and she doesnt even know it. Oppertunity is gone. She is in college to be a teacher. She can look forward to about 20 grand a year. Again I live in the South. A degree and teaching our young getting 20 grand. The kids that make it through high school have no where to go work. Factories are gone. We had the textile mills down here, now their gone. Steel and manufacturing up north. Gone. Not everyone can go to college and be a lawyer or doctor. Prices rise wages fall. You can remove your sunglasses, the future doesnt look bright at all. But I can say we all in the same boat and all we can do is keep bailing.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Fatsquatch 's Comment
member avatar

I couldn't agree more with what Brett said, but I want to add something to it. A big part of the problem from the corporate side is, since the late 70s or early 80s, companies and investors have stopped being interested in long-term, sustainable growth. All anybody cares about now is quarterlies. It doesn't matter if your profits are slated to double in 18 or 24 months anymore. If they don't at least double every 3 months, investors pull their funds like rats from a sinking ship. The corporate world has become a society of middle-aged male Veruca Salts, pirouetting around their 3000 sq. ft. offices in their $2000 hand-tailored suits singing "dooooooooon't caaaaare how, I want it NOW!" And in order to artificially inflate those quarterly earnings reports, they slash and freeze wages, outsource jobs or cut them outright, eliminate benefits (but of course not for themselves...heaven forbid), all to make the company look good on paper. And then at the end of the year they congratulate themselves on their ingenuity by awarding themselves multi-million dollar bonuses. It's disgusting, but as Brett said there's no quick, easy fix.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

Fatsquatch - well said! Excellent point. The short-term, Wall Street approach to doing business nowadays has pretty much forced companies to sell out all costs. The top executives get the majority of their wealth from stock ownership so they'd have to be willing to commit financial suicide to do anything that would hurt the almighty stock price. Now I've invested in the Stock Market for quite a few years now but I've always taken the Warren Buffet approach - long term buy and hold. The Stock Market is an incredible tool for corporations to raise cash but as you've stated the problem is that they are forced to run their companies by focusing on the short term. They come in, cut jobs, do a bunch of financial engineering to make everything look amazing on paper, collect their tens of millions, toss the company under the bus, and move on to the next company.

Bob Nardelli famously did that with Home Depot. I owned the stock before he came onboard and held it during his years at the helm. I made great money from it. But I got out shortly before he left because I knew he had sold out the brand, the employees, and the customers to make himself and his cronies super, super rich - and it worked.

Before he came along Home Depot had mostly full time employees and they were people with true skills and knowledge. I used to love Home Depot because you could go in there not knowing the first thing about the project you wanted to do. The employees were pros. They'd teach you what you needed to know, they'd take you around to get everything you needed, and in the end you were able to get the job done. A lot of people found a wonderful career with Home Depot after retiring or semi-retiring from their trade. They made good money, they had good benefits, and they were able to spend their time helping people get better at the things they had done their whole lives. It was a big win-win for everyone. Even the corporation made mountains of money doing it that way.

But Nardelli knew there was a lot more money to be made for the corporation. All he had to do was fire most of the well-paid full time employees with benefits, bring in a bunch of teenagers part time at minimum wage without benefits, and let the customers fend for themselves. Did Home Depot make more money? They sure did! Way, way more for a while! Did a lot of good, honest, hard-working people lose living-wage jobs they enjoyed with good benefits? They sure did. Did the customers lose out on a ton of great knowledge and help? They sure did. Did the prices go down for the customers? Absolutely not.

So in the end Bob Nardelli and his cronies, Home Depot as a corporation, and Home Depot's shareholders made a lot of money. But their employees got shafted, our country lost a lot of good jobs, and the customers all got hosed. The prices stayed where they were and there was no longer any knowledgeable help to be found. A few people win big and everyone else loses. That's how it's done in America in the 21st century.

This is why the unions will someday make a comeback. I don't know when or how they'll do it, but the balance of power is way off kilter and it has to be brought back in line. When you have companies like Apple raking in more profits in a minute than their employees make in a year and all that money sits in off-shore accounts doing nothing while 39% of Americans are living off the Government, something has to give. And it will. A lot of people think unions are evil but in my opinion they're a necessary evil at worst and incredibly helpful at best. Big money always attracts evil people. Without someone to represent the workers they'll be thrown under the bus almost every single time.

This country still has plenty of wealth to go around but it's being distributed in the wrong way. A handful of people are hoarding all the cash, the middle class is being wiped out, and more and more people are having to turn to the Government to get by. We're heading in a Socialist direction. These large corporations need to start reinvesting their profits into jobs and equipment. A corporation is not a person. People need money to live on. Corporations shouldn't be wealthy. Corporations should exist to create wealth for their employees and shareholders alike. There doesn't need to be a $200 billion dollar offshore account in the name of Apple Inc. There needs to be hundreds of thousands of Apple employees bringing home a handsome salary so they can go spend it on houses, cars, and clothing. That's why America's heyday was from WWII until about the late 70's or so. The middle class made a mountain of money and spent it as fast as they made it. Everyone had nice cars, nice homes, money in the bank, and lived off their wages, not off the government. That's the type of structure we have to get back to.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Let me say....I enjoy these kind of conversations immensely! They are incredibly rich and thought-provoking. And I want to give a shout out to everyone here that participates in conversations like this where people can take different sides, have different opinions, but discuss it like adults in a respectful and honest way. That is a very rare thing on the Web, on television, or anywhere these days and the members here are what make this site so incredibly enjoyable for me. You guys and gals really handle yourself with tremendous integrity and I can't thank you enough for that.

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