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Showing posts with label Capitalism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Capitalism. Show all posts

Saturday, August 01, 2015

How's That $15 An Hour Working Out For Seattle?

Well, it's still too soon to tell, obviously, but Ivar's Salmon House in Seattle seems to be handling it just fine.

As Washington, D.C., and other cities consider following Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles in phasing in a $15-an-hour minimum wage, Ivar's approach, adopted in April, offers lessons in how some businesses might adapt. Ivar's Seafood Restaurants President Bob Donegan decided to raise prices, tell customers that they don't need to tip and parcel the added revenue among the hourly staff. 

For some of the restaurant's lesser-paid workers - including bussers and dishwashers - that's meant as much as 60 percent more. Revenue has soared, supportive customers are leaving additional tips even though they don't need to, and servers and bartenders are on pace to increase their annual pay by thousands, with wages for a few of the best compensated approaching $80,000 a year. 

It is staff, not diners, who feel the real difference, with wages as much as 60 percent higher than before. One waitress is saving for accounting classes and finding it easier to take weekend vacations, while another server is using the added pay to cover increased rent

"It's been a surprise," Donegan said. "The customers seem to like it, the employees seem to like it, and it seems to be working, at least in this location." 

Rochelle Hann, 25, is a second-generation worker at Ivar's. Like her mom, she has performed a variety of roles, including serving, bookkeeping and even dressing up as a giant clam. If she keeps working 30 hours a week, her annual pay will jump about $12,000 - money she's socking away for accounting classes at a community college.

Weird...it'a almost as if the economy is improving and becoming (gasp!) not quite as hierarchical in nature. Speaking of adding customers, look who else has had to add more staff.

Could we see a return to the golden age of capitalism?:)

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

What Would He Say?

The Christian Science Monitor had a cover story a couple of weeks back titled, "What Would Mao Say?" that was most illuminating. The first three paragraphs say it all.

Yang Youwei owns a slaughterhouse, holds a big chunk of shares in a nearby coal mine, sits on the coal mine board, and runs the company that sells the mine's production. He drives a black Rolls-Royce. He walks like a capitalist; he talks like a capitalist. He is easily the richest man in this small village 300 miles south of Beijing. And he is also Yangjiaxiang's top communist, secretary of the local party. 

Welcome to the paradoxical world of today's Chinese Communist Party.

Modern day China is an excellent illustration of why there is virtually no chance of the world ever seeing a truly totalitarian government ever again. Sure, we still have our stragglers like North Korea and Iran as well as failed states in Africa and the Middle East but these are obvious outliers. If want to be in the global marketplace, you have to adapt and that means embracing capitalism, unfettered trade, and free markets. If not, you are going to be on the outside and much less prosperous. This is why I chuckle and shake my head when I hear the Right blow bowel after bowel about the looming threat of communism. It failed. And even a country like China, with all its military might and government control, can't stop it.

Mao would be outraged and likely confounded, as the article notes, to see how terribly wrong he was in his vision for China. What would he say?

He would be speechless.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Wish That Will Likely Never Be Filled

As we draw nearer to election day this year, I want to reiterate one of my main complaint about the president. He (and Mitt Romney) need to be honest about the jobs that were lost in 2008. In short, they aren't coming back.

Why?

Well, here's a very good explanation. 

The middle class in the developing world is rising. The only question is how high it will go and how fast it will get there. About 85 percent of the world's people live in developing countries, yet they accounted for only 18 percent of global consumer spending just a decade ago; today, they account for nearly 30 percent. Consumer spending in developing countries has been increasing at about three times the rate in advanced countries, and we're not just seeing a growing demand for necessities, but also for middle-class staples such as meat, toothpaste, cell phones, and air-conditioners.

When you spend nearly 70 years spreading the word of free markets and capitalism, you get....free markets and capitalism. 

So when politicians complain about jobs being shipped overseas (and this is a case where both sides really are the same), it's basically a lie. If you want freedom and prosperity around the world, then you have to be able to put up with the increase in the labor pool which will result in unemployment at home.

The good news for our country is that we are providing much of the world with these products. Granted, the labor is coming from places like China and India but the higher end roles in private organizations are being filled by Americans. Bottom line...if you are unemployed, you need to continue your education so you can be more marketable in the world.

As Thomas Friedman noted last January, it's Made in The World now.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Amen