How would you fix US Economy?


Last Updated: 2012-10-22 20:10:03
  1. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Well-Known Member

    Here everything is open 7 days a week. Big box stores like Wal-mart are open 24/7. Nothing is closed on weekends.

    People routinely work more than 40 hours a week by choice. There was a magazine that came out recently that did one of those "best places to work" surveys. One of the critiques about the company I work for that knocked it down in the rankings was that they encourage people (strongly a lot of times) to go home at 1700. They don't like it when their employees work 60 or 70 hours a week or more and don't like people to work around the clock. This was considered to be a negative of my company, not a plus. Part of this might be because it's a tech company, but still, I doubt that would happen in Europe.

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  2. jhtalisman

    jhtalisman Well-Known Member Contributor

    Many companies choose overtime vs. new hires not because of the monetary compensation, but the benefits package makes it a less costly alternative. Also, some of the overtime hours given would not directly correlate into an additional full time position due to them being sporadic or seasonal.

    I would personally like to see corporate tax breaks converted into a per hire tax credit. No new hires, pay what you should in taxes. Hire new employees and you get X amount per new hire. That would help the governments revenue stream, consumer spending, and the unemployment rate all with one change.
  3. ElasticNinja

    ElasticNinja Well-Known Member

    This is why I find the idea of companies paying >$5K for health insurance ridiculous. Its a massive disincentive to employment.
  4. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Well-Known Member

    Health insurance costs are just a tiny part of why people don't hire.
  5. ElasticNinja

    ElasticNinja Well-Known Member

    Tiny = less than like 1%. I think not.
  6. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Well-Known Member

    I disagree. Employers here aren't required by law to offer insurance at all. If it was a huge part of the reason why people aren't hiring, they just wouldn't offer it.
  7. jhtalisman

    jhtalisman Well-Known Member Contributor

    No, but the benefits package as a whole is a viable way to attract and retain quality employees vs the competition. And it is not a tiny portion, most employers spent 20-30% of an employees salary/wages on health insurance. That is not including 401k match, dental, life, paid time off, etc.

    Most companies are smart enough to not hire a full time employee to fill a position that is only needing to be filled an average of 1-2 days a week.
    ElasticNinja likes this.
  8. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Well-Known Member

    Let me put it another way. We all know people who are out of work in this economy. Just speaking anecdotally, how many of them do you know who have turned down a job offer because of the benefits package? If the main reason employers weren't hiring was health insurance they would simply not offer health insurance or would shift the largest cost of the insurance on to the employees shoulders as there is no legal penalty for not offering it.
  9. jhtalisman

    jhtalisman Well-Known Member Contributor

    Let me put it another way, since you obviously don't know anyone with highly demanded skills.

    When you have employment offers from 2 or more companies with similar responsibilities and salary, it's going to come down to the rest of the package.

    And there are some companies faithful to providing their employees with peace of mind. Knowing you aren't going to go bankrupt due to medical bills is just a start. You are correct that there isn't a law requiring health insurance, some companies do actually care enough to provide it.
  10. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Well-Known Member

    How many unemployed people do you know who get job offers from two companies simultaneously?
  11. OutofDate1980

    OutofDate1980 Well-Known Member

    Not relevant to the posters presented example and borders on ad hominem.
  12. jhtalisman

    jhtalisman Well-Known Member Contributor

    Who even said unemployed? Someone could be looking a potential better place to work in their field. Has nothing to do with unemployment.

    Hypothetical person is currently employed at Apple and has been for 5 years writing programs. He hates the facility, coworkers, and his boss, yet enjoys the line of work. He applies at Google and Microsoft, which both offer him $92,875 a year to start.

    Google gives him 2 weeks paid time off, fully paid health insurance with no co-pays or out of pocket costs, dental, the option to work from home 2 days a week, and a company Lexus.

    Microsoft gives him 1 week paid time off, health insurance but he pays 10% of the premium and has a $1000 yearly out of pocket deductible, no option to work from home ever, and a free bus pass.

    Which would you choose if you had this option?
  13. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Well-Known Member

    The initial argument was that employers are not hiring because health insurance costs are too high. My counter-argument was that if that was the case they'd simply not offer health insurance. Unemployment is close to double digits. There are plenty of people out there who are looking for jobs. We don't have a situation here where companies are exactly competing for employees. It's a buyers market when it comes to labor right now.
  14. saptech

    saptech Well-Known Member

    It is a companies job market now days and they are calling all the shots on who they interview and hire. Alot of companies are putting more of the cost of health insurance on the employees.

    Companies don't have to offer health insurance but it's a good incentative, and now days they are putting more of the cost on the employees.
  15. saptech

    saptech Well-Known Member

    We will need to have bullet trains criss-crossing this country in the next 20 years. Japan is celebrating the 48th anniversary of its first bullet train this year.
    The fact that the technology already exists for us to go from New York to L.A. in 17 hours by train, and that we haven't used it, is criminal. Let's hire the unemployed to build the new high speed lines all over the country.

    Initiate a program to put light rail mass transit lines in all our large and medium-sized cities. Build those trains in the closed down GM factories, since the government bailed them out. And hire local people everywhere to install and run this system.
    For people in rural areas not served by the train lines, have the GM plants produce energy efficient clean buses.

    Have some factories build hybrid or all-electric cars (and batteries). We can be building these sooner than later, do not believe anyone who tells you it will take years to retool the factories, that simply isn't true.

    Transform some of the empty GM factories to facilities that build windmills, solar panels and other means of alternate forms of energy. We need tens of millions of solar panels right now. And there is an eager and skilled workforce who can build them.

    To help pay for this, impose a two dollar tax on every gallon of gasoline. This will get people to switch to more energy saving cars or to use the new rail lines and rail cars the former autoworkers have built for them.

    Just some thoughts!
  16. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Well-Known Member

    I don't think there's a huge demand for light rail here. If we waved a magic wand and had light rail tomorrow I don't see a lot of people using it to travel.
  17. saptech

    saptech Well-Known Member

    It seems to be doing pretty good in cities with local transit rail systems. That is one of the things about it, would need to convince a majority of people to use it
  18. PH8AL

    PH8AL Well-Known Member

    Sorry but that changes dramatically with the rise in price of fuel. Europe is a perfect example. When I lived there we used our car for local running because we could buy fuel on the base for a third the price of local gas staions. Any time we were going any distance we went by train. It was that much cheaper.
    The liberals are correct in how they want to deal with this. If you ban something you create a black market. If you raise the cost while offering a cheaper option people will flock to that option and after awhile people whowere opposed get used to it or die off from old age. I don't personally like that method but will not deny that it works.
  19. ElasticNinja

    ElasticNinja Well-Known Member

    I think HSR on the East coast would make sense, from New York to LA probably would be unviable.

    Light rail is a decent idea. I'd rather a metro, but oft times it isnt practical.
    The trains should be built by the most efficient builders IMO, if GM is them fair enough, but otherwise...

    Solar is still inefficient, might be better to put that money into R&D.
    Building a lot of new nuclear plants, upgrading dams etc, would give large amounts of temporary work.

    Two dollar tax on a gallon really needs doing. It would be nice to see a carbon tax that everybody pays on fuel, from petrol to heavy fuel oil.

    They would if they had to pay far more to run and own a car, and light rail was affordable.
  20. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Well-Known Member

    First of all, that's not the case now. Second of all, we Americans are married to our cars culturally. Look at it this way. Gas is hovering near $4 a gallon right now right? That means it has basically quadrupled in price in the past 10 years. Yet there doesn't seem to be a big demand for cheaper means of transportation. People want cheaper gasoline. They don't want light rail trains, monorails and subway systems. They want cheaper gasoline. A candidate who could deliver $2 gasoline would win in a landslide. A candidate who promised a $2 hike on gasoline prices ($6 gasoline) and a developing light rail system in exchange would be run out of town on a rail.
  21. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Well-Known Member

    We haven't built a nuclear plant here in more than 20 years. They are efficient and give out a lot of "clean" power, but environmentalists tend to oppose them every time one is proposed. Plus, people here in the US don't want to live anywhere close to one. They fear Chernobyl or Fukushima will happen in their backyard. People here just don't want them at the end of the day.

    Proposing either of those things will get you tarred and feathered here in the States. Prepare for your opponent accusing you of hating the poor and the middle class. When you're basically proposing $5.50-6.00 a gallon gasoline, you are not going to get anyone to go along with you.

    Would have to be affordable and practical as well. If it is affordable, but takes me longer than driving the car, I, and a lot of other people, are going to stick with the car.
  22. saptech

    saptech Well-Known Member

    There was a time when majority of the people said they would never give up their horse & buggy for a horseless carriage, but when Henry Ford started mass producing horseless carriages, it finally took hold. It will take time for people to grow on it.

    Gas prices are itching its way up to that $5 mark, sooner than later, besides, we should be demanding some alternatives to gasoline since some of our biggest haters control the oil. $2 a gallon days are long gone.
    The government will just have to put a plan into action, yes there will be alot of people against it at the beginning, but as has been said, if its cheaper than to maintain an auto they will accept it.

    We can't afford to continue on the status quo, it's not beneficial for us in the long run.
  23. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Well-Known Member

    There's a difference though because the infrastructure for cars was already there. Cars were more efficient. They got you there faster and the roads were already there. That's not really the case now.

    Look at it this way. There are a handful of cities that have really well developed public transportation systems. These tend to be big cities like NYC, Chicago, Washington DC, etc.... There are maybe a dozen of them in the US like that. Maybe. So yeah, you could link NYC and Philly via a light rail and that makes sense.

    But let's look at something that's more practical. The biggest city near me is like a 3 hour drive away. If I have business up there tomorrow, I'm going to get up early and drive the three hours. I could fly and get there in like an hour, but I'd then have to rent a car because that city, like the vast majority of cities in the US, doesn't have a public transportation system that's worth anything. I'm left to either take a cab once I'm there or rent a car. Because both of these plus the cost of airfare and the time involved in this, I'm going to drive. Even if you put in a light rail that could get me there in 45 mins, I'm still going to drive just because I need a car at the other end. Public transportation just isn't developed in the vast majority of US cities. In a lot of places it just isn't there at all. In the places where it is there, you can look forward to walking for miles between the stop and your destination. A car is just more efficient in most cities. You would have to spend billions and maybe even trillions in overhauling the entire infrastructure.

    Edit: TLDR - people don't want light rail. They want cars. They just want more efficient cars and/or cheaper gasoline.
  24. ElasticNinja

    ElasticNinja Well-Known Member

    Who cares? Its not workable, so it has to change.
  25. ElasticNinja

    ElasticNinja Well-Known Member

    You keep mentioning

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