Look, There’s a White Guy on the Roof!

On a new homes sales interview in Amarillo, my prospective employer was driving  us through his subdivision, when I spotted this white guy working on the roof of a home under construction. In Houston, in my four years and 100+ sales of new homes, I never, ever saw a white guy on a roof. My fellow sales counselors were white, black and a lonely Puerto Rican. The construction managers were white college graduates with a sprinkling of blacks. The people who built the homes from the ground up were Mexican illegals working for legal Salvadorian/Mexican owners.  Immigration and Naturalization Service, the precursor to ICE would periodically raid a subdivision and scatter the entire workforce – I guess Amarillo was a sanctuary city for white construction workers.

I talked with a cement finisher who had been in Texas for over six years, still making only $5.00/hr. I bribed Abundio Laredo away from his 11 hours a day, six days and $500 a week  meat cutter job at the Chinese restaurant, to milk our cows and goats for $15.00/hr. And yes, there is no way to make an illegal, legal in the USA – “There is no controlling legal authority ….” – Al Gore

FREE THE MINIMUM WAGE SLAVES

Walmart employs an astounding 2.1 million people.  In the United States alone, the company employs 1.4 million people.  This is a staggering 1% of the U.S.’s 140 million working population.

Walmart, in other words, matters. Its payrolls, and its pay, move the needle. And right now, many people argue, Walmart is very much part of the problem.

The average Walmart “associate,” Wake Up Walmart reports, makes $11.75 an hour. That’s $20,744 per year. Those wages are slightly below the national average for retail employees, which is $12.04 an hour. They also produce annual earnings that, in a one-earner household, are below the $22,000 poverty line.

On the other hand, these wages are far above minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. They also aren’t THAT FAR below the national retail average (only 2.5% below). In a two-earner household, moreover, these wages would produce a household income of $40,000+, which, in some areas of the country, is comfortably middle-class.  Walmart offers benefits to some of its employees, as well as store discounts and profit-sharing plans.

Small businesses are Big business

Employees per establishment in the U.S. coffee and snack shops industry from 2002 to 2016 was 9.51There are roughly 130 million U.S. workers employed by small businesses.

  • Represent more than 99.7% of all employers
  • Employ half of all private-sector workers and 39% of workers in high-tech jobs
  • Provide 60% to 80% of the net new jobs annually
  • Pay 44.3% of total U.S. private payroll
  • Produce more than 50% of non-farm private gross domestic product, or a GDP of roughly $6 trillion
  • 3% are franchises

Source: SBA, “Small Business by the Numbers,” June 2004

Prior to 1950 eighty percent of the population was self-employed – down on the farm. Today 98% live in urban areas that employ 90 million in the service sector and only 12 million in manufacturing. Adam Smith divided the employment world into Farmers-Merchants-Manufacturers. Farmers were the most important because they were the only ones who produced more than they consumed – it’s the one, two, three baby analogy. If a nation’s birthrate falls below 2.3, without immigration they’ll eventually go out of business.

Farmers, as long as they take care of the soil, can make 3 babies (grow more foodstuffs than they consume) every year to infinity. Merchants (Service Sector) don’t make any babies and Manufacturers make orphans that can’t reproduce. So, Houston what we have here is a big, big problem.

Family business farming before 1950

Small businesses (really family businesses, Sam Walton might have had 9.51 employees in his Dime Store) have always represented 99.7% of all employers, only by the end of WWII 80% of them still lived in the country.  Worse yet, now the Merchants & Manufacturers have occupied rural America. In 1950 there were 12 million farmers, each raising an average of 200 pigs. Today there are 200 farmers each raising 2 million pigs.

THE CIVIL WAR WAS ABOUT SLAVE WAGES

Henry Ford gave everybody $5.00/day instead of the standard two-twenty-five, “so his employees could afford to buy a car.” WRONG! Ford didn’t raise wages so that his workers could afford his cars. What happened is that he hired and then lost some 52,000 workers a year in order to have a stable workforce of 14,000. This obviously had vast costs in trying to hire and then train all of these workers: as well as the costs when they walked off the assembly line disrupting production. The doubling of wages to $5 a day reduced those costs by more than the extra pay cost him. Which is why he did it. Ford had to hire 52,000 a year to keep 14,000 for a turnover of 370%. Retailers today range from 150-300% turnover. Each entry level new hire costs at least $2,000 to replace the dear departed. What really hurts is how much a May 25, 2014 five-dollar bill is worth today, $118.26 to be exact. Those poor turds were running in off the farm to get $14.72 an hour on the assembly line.

The biggest difference between workers in RTW and non-RTW states is the fact that workers in non-RTW states are more than twice as likely (2.4 times) to be in a union or protected by a union contract. Average hourly wages, the primary variable of interest, are 15.8 percent higher in non-RTW states ($23.93 in non-RTW states versus $20.66 in RTW states). Median wages are 16.6 percent higher in non-RTW states ($18.40 vs. $15.79).

COOL SLAVES

So, the rest of the wage story of America had the unions driving manufacturing from the rust belt to the sun belt. The three or four dollars an hour wage difference didn’t hold a candle to 15 cents an hour in Mexico and of course there was China. Which came first Wal-Mart or China. All recovering Yankees that weren’t nailed down moved to Atlanta, Houston & Dallas. After 2008 nobody but nobody could get a job for more than the $7.25/hr. MINIMUM and Wal-Mart became the employer of last resort.

DEFINITELY NOT COOL SLAVES

As a 14-month veteran of Richmond-Rosenberg’s Wal-Mart Tire, Lube, Express it takes a lot of humility and quasi-permanent damage to your self-esteem to work at Wal-Mart. I cannot list a single redeeming feature; on the contrary working at Wal-Mart is hazardous to your mental health.

THE SOLUTION

Legalize Immigration

There are 20 million plus, not 11 million, Abundio’s working for real slave wages because the slave labor supply to nationalized ratio is at least three times greater than when Lincoln ran the show. Build the Wall – issue federal photo ID cards – write the law

 Eliminate All Subsidies and Tariffs

New Zealand did it 20 years ago and agriculture thrived. Absolutely no adverse consequences, only innovation and the benefits of a healthier food supply.

Reset World Reserve Currency to Gold Standard

US trade deficits were flat until Tricky Dick pulled the plug on Gold. Our 1998, 80 cents a pound goats are now worth $2.50/lb. According to the CPI calculator 80 centavos in ’98 is worth $1.25 in 2018, giving the self-employed goat farmer a $1.25/lb wage increase or shall we say, profit.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *