The working poor and the $2 million dollar impact of the Events Center

While our city ‘Leaders’ and supposed ‘Progressives‘ talk about increasing regressive taxes in Sioux Falls to build a $169 million dollar playground, WORKING people can’t even afford to feed their families;

South Dakota’s working poor slipping into food insecurity is a phenomenon emergency food agency heads already have recognized.

“We are seeing more people coming in where one or both parents have a job,” says Tamera Jerke-Liesinger, executive director of The Banquet. The Banquet fed notably more people in 2009 than previously.

The Feeding America report suggests 36 percent of households requiring emergency food aid have at least one employed adult. But 74 percent of those families have incomes below the federal poverty level. About one-third of those families reported having to choose between buying food or paying for utilities or housing, and 25 percent had to choose between buying food or medicine or food or transportation.

“Until the early 1980s, food stamps provided most of people’s food needs. But during the 1980s, so much of that public safety net kind of unraveled,” says Hugh Grogan, Minnehaha County human services director.

“It used to be there was almost no way you would not qualify for food stamps if you were poor,” Grogan says. “Now there are lots of ways.”

Also, food stamps don’t go as far as they used to, according to Davidson. “With bigger families, food stamps just aren’t enough,” she says.

Gassen said the numbers in the Feeding America report on the working poor “told a unique story about South Dakota. People are reaching out for hope. They’re not doing nothing, trying to get free food.”

I started thinking about this the other day. Like I mentioned previously, taking $50 million out of the economy by giving it to the city in the form of new taxes actually takes money away from local businesses, which is very BAD for the economy. The irony of all this is that the Events Center Task Force has said that the EC would have a $52 million dollar impact on the city each year. So if you subtract those numbers, it seems building the EC would have only a $2 million dollar impact each year. Whoo-Hoo! What are we waiting for, we are losing money!!!!!! Let’s get it built!



40 comments ↓

#1 hosenpheffer on 02.15.10 at 5:59 am

did you see the poll the other day in the AL, was it 70% thought that using bonds to pay for the event center is a good idea?
I know the percentage was a lot higher than those disapproving.

#2 l3wis on 02.15.10 at 6:02 am

It’s wrong actually, I caught the online poll at the end of the night, it was 70% against (1172 votes, total), Theresa has been trying to get them to fix it. They originally posted it xx because they forgot to print it, then when they corrected it they got it ass backwards. Then they wonder why they call it the Argus Liar.

#3 Ghost of Dude on 02.15.10 at 7:26 am

$2million a year until it’s paid off. Then it’s all gravy.

Still doesn’t make a sales tax a good option to pay for it.

#4 Poly43 on 02.15.10 at 7:59 am

l3wis says:

It’s wrong actually, I caught the online poll at the end of the night, it was 70% against (1172 votes, total), Theresa has been trying to get them to fix it. They originally posted it xx because they forgot to print it, then when they corrected it they got it ass backwards. Then they wonder why they call it the Argus Liar.

I wondered about those X’s. Saw a copy of the angus at a restaurant and wondered what the hell they were up to now.

Did they ever bother to explain it?

#5 Poly43 on 02.15.10 at 8:09 am

Ghost of Dude says:
February 15th, 2010 at 7:26 am
$2million a year until it’s paid off. Then it’s all gravy.

Still doesn’t make a sales tax a good option to pay for it.

Depends on how you choose to look at it dude. 52 mil minus 50 mil is indeed 2 mil. But that 52 million dolar impact is a number thrown around like we have no existing “Events” center. Before you subtract the 50 mil regressive tax from the 52 mil economic impact we need to subtract EXISTING economic impact from 52 mil. Based on what the capacity of our arena is now, the likely attendance for “Events” and we are likely to subtract 52 mil from 52 mil first…then subtract the 50 mil regressive tax. Whooppee!!! Where do I sign up?

#6 Poly43 on 02.15.10 at 8:32 am

South Dakota’s working poor slipping into food insecurity is a phenomenon emergency food agency heads already have recognized.

“We are seeing more people coming in where one or both parents have a job,” says Tamera Jerke-Liesinger, executive director of The Banquet. The Banquet fed notably more people in 2009 than previously.

We can thank Bill Janklow skirting the usery laws back in the 80’s. That brought us a hoard of greedy, slippery credit card companies like First Premier, Citi, WELLS FARGO, and a host of others with their poverty level wages.

#7 Costner on 02.15.10 at 8:37 am

What a tool… I mean troll.

#8 Poly43 on 02.15.10 at 8:45 am

Costner says:

What a tool… I mean troll.

Back at “work” I see. But then if I “worked” for one of these slimeball credit card companies I’d cruise the net all day long too.

😉

#9 Sy on 02.15.10 at 10:36 am

You can and certainly will bash the CC companies all day long, but if you want to be fair about it for a second, you’ll realize that we owe Janklow and Mickelson some credit.

Take that same EC analogy Poly used: “take away the existing impact and what’s left?” You can’t simply throw out hourly wages as your only criteria to pass judgment. Look at what those companies have spent locally on facilities, on gross payroll & benefits, on local donations etc.

Even in looking at their hourly wage, it’s much better than minimum wage and I’d bet nearly all of those workers have decent health insurance, as Citi set the bar pretty high on benes and the other companies (not just in Finance) had to follow suit to attract workers.

Imagine if all those evil banks hadn’t come here, would we still be a packing town? Would we be known as a regional medical center? Or would we be competing with Sioux City as the regional Meth hub?

#10 Sy on 02.15.10 at 11:03 am

As for the AL poll, I’d bet you’d see much broader support if you laid out the scenario of raising B&B & Entertainment taxes to cover the P&I on the new facility.

There’s a lot of misguided thought that private money should built it because only the “rich” will use it. Even in best cases, private funds might get you to 20-30%. The City gets the bulk of the direct & indirect economic benefits. The only way private money would fund the whole place is if they got all the benefits, which is an impossibility under our current system of Govt.

You show people that the bulk of the burden would fall on those buy tickets, who dine out, rent a room or have drinks and I’d wager you’ll see a 70/30 split in favor of that method.

#11 Plaintiff Guy on 02.15.10 at 11:23 am

The legislature is considering no tax on food. If passed, a huge working poor assist.

Sioux Falls is not democracy. I go out of my way to buy hard goods from outside the city (internet, other SD cities).

It might be a good time to consider a state income tax. I’d prefer a method to pay into state democracy without the city getting anything but sales tax revenue.

Revoke Home-Rule

#12 James Milne on 02.15.10 at 11:39 am

PG, I am all for getting rid of the food tax, but why replace that with a state income tax? It would simply be exchanging one burden for another, if not a heavier one. Sure you can get the money back…at the end of the year, without interest. I am not convinced that state income taxes are necessary anywhere. If govt needs more money then their expenditures should be looked at closer.

#13 Costner on 02.15.10 at 11:49 am

Sy – logic and common sense will get you nowhere. It is much more fun to whine about those big bad companies paying call center employees $10 an hour.

Granted I have worked in a call center years ago (Gateway) and I have had many friends work in call centers as well… what people tend to ignore is that those are generally not career positions. They are entry level, and if someone has a desire and ability to better themselves, they can and will.

In the scope of things, Citi, WF, FP, HSBC et al probably serve to actually raise the standard of living in Sioux Falls… not the opposite.

Then again, if someone feels a $10 call center job is beneath them they are free to seek employment elsewhere. Citi doesn’t seem to have any problems filling positions though… so they must do something right.

As to your comments about private funding for the EC – I agree and believe people are sorely misguided if they feel private dollars can or should fund the entire facility. You can get private funding from sources such as naming rights or leases on boxes etc, but private funding will never be sufficient to build a public facility unless any profits obtained from it return to private shareholders, and this city is far too small to make that a worthwhile investment.

As long as we don’t end up with the “Sanford Events Center” I guess I’m ok with a mixture of private and public funding.

#14 Ghost of Dude on 02.15.10 at 12:57 pm

what people tend to ignore is that those are generally not career positions. They are entry level, and if someone has a desire and ability to better themselves, they can and will.

Entry level whether you have a college degree or a GED. Someone with student loans to pay and some actual knowledge will scoff at $10/hr and rightly so. Which brings us to our next problem…

Then again, if someone feels a $10 call center job is beneath them they are free to seek employment elsewhere.

People are seeking employment elsewhere – in other states. While there are still plenty of kids moving here from the rural areas of the state where job prospects are even dimmer, their kids will move where they can be paid what they’re worth.
Using my high school class as an anecdote, of the kids who stayed in SD to go to college, about 10% are still living in SF. The other 90%left for larger cities where the jobs seem to pay about $10,000 more on average and where the jobs themselves don’t involve the mind-numbing bullshit of a call-center.
So if you’re OK with the vast majority of our brightest students leaving to benefit another state, fine. But don’t act like those call center jobs are the greatest thing to happen to this city. Also, remember how quickly and easily those jobs could be moved to India.

#15 Costner on 02.15.10 at 1:11 pm

GoD: But don’t act like those call center jobs are the greatest thing to happen to this city.

I don’t see anyone suggesting that to be the case, but they aren’t the worst thing either. I would simply rather see call center jobs than no jobs at all… and prior to the CC industry establishing themselves in SD, what was the alternative?

If anything, this has slowed (albeit not stopped) the brain drain. However, let’s also admit the fact that until we have a city with a population of 1M+ (and the cultural and educational benefits that come along with it) we will continue to experience brain drain in the state. Even if we had a large city to attract and retain some of these people – the weather is always going to be a negative that works against us.

Since we are using personal anedotes here… I have several classmates who left the state for college and never returned. For those that stayed here and went to a state school, there are a number who have left since that point… but it seems it is almost always to a much larger metro area (Minneapolis, Denver, and the East Coast are common destinations).

However none of these people that I’m aware of ever worked in a call center after college. Not everyone is in their dream job, but if someone really wishes to better their personal situation, they can do so regardless of where they choose to reside. Call center jobs (and the like) have their purpose, but I don’t think you will find many people saying it is a career goal.

#16 Plaintiff Guy on 02.15.10 at 1:48 pm

One must also consider those moving into the area. Most come here because they couldn’t find work elsewhere. Once they get here, they accept a call center job but continue to look for something better. As an interum job, the CCd’s are beneficial.

However, they soon realize this area requires specialty skills or a paternal connection. Then, many discover they must move again to where jobs pay more.

Here’s the dilema, we need good jobs with fair pay and good benefits. You can get rich, don’t have to work, get the best health care, and comfortably retire if you work for the city. However, you must be bored to death and realize you are cheating other citizens.

Milne, you’re right. Not a good idea to get a state income tax started. Surely, there’s some way to divert city money into state expenditures. This revenue is being wasted and pocketed unless/until Home-Rule is repealed or revoked.

#17 Ghost of Dude on 02.15.10 at 2:00 pm

The one good way to become established in this town without “paying your dues” at a CC is to find a way to start your own business. It’s realatively easy to do in SF and it’s the only way most folks around here have any hope of rising above mid-5-figure wages.

#18 Poly43 on 02.15.10 at 2:24 pm

Bottom line is this. There were 135,110 jobs in this town as of September 2009. 33,777 of those jobs pay less than $10.62 an hour. 67,555 of those jobs pay LESS than $14.00 an hour. These are the kind of numbers that the Banquet and Food Stamps cannot keep up with. These are the kind of numbers that have our kids in school on some sort of assistance. l3wis, you usually have some hard data for these numbers. What are they at now? These are the kind of numbers that drive young people away from our state. And the credit card industry had a hand in setting these numbers, make no mistake about it.

So, go ahead, apologize for big bidness and their skimpy SF wages. Go ahead, and say these are just entry level jobs. 67,555 jobs ARE NOT ENTRY LEVEL JOBS.

You’ll not see me carry their water….EVER.

#19 Costner on 02.15.10 at 3:47 pm

Start you own business and pay your entry level employees $28 an hour then.

Of course you will be forced to shut the doors within 45 days because you can’t make payroll, but at least you can give it the old college try.

Meanwhile back in the real world, if any call center upped their wages by the $5 or so an hour that would make those jobs acceptable in the eyes of the economically ignorant, they would need to pass those costs onto the products or services they offer.

You think a 79.9% APR with $350 in fees over the first year is obscene, just wait until they adjust pricing models to match their “new and improved” wage structure.

Maybe in the world of rainbows and unicorns companies exist if for no other reason than to benefit mankind… but in a capitalist society – not gonna’ happen.

Thats life… whining about it won’t change a thing.

#20 HB 1255: Ax Food Tax, Bump Sales Tax to 4.3% « KELOLAND.com | Issues Blogs on 02.15.10 at 4:15 pm

[…] willing to eat that cost to end the food tax? As Mr. Ehrisman points out, more South Dakotans are having to turn to food aid like The Banquet. Food stamp use in the state is up over 10%. Would HB 1255 help working families […]

#21 Poly43 on 02.15.10 at 5:58 pm

Start you own business and pay your entry level employees $28 an hour then.

Never suggested this cos and you know it. When I was 18 and waiting for my draft notice, I got a job in a warehouse for $2.15 an hour. In todays dollars that is $13.81. Six months later I was making $2.50 an hour. Thats $16.06 in todays dollars. And that was with an employer who knew I would soon be drafted. DIGNITY & RESPECT cos. That’s all todays worker wants. Just a job that can keep him, or her, or them, out of the Banquet line. Is that so much to ask for cos?

Meanwhile back in the real world, if any call center upped their wages by the $5 or so an hour that would make those jobs acceptable in the eyes of the economically ignorant, they would need to pass those costs onto the products or services they offer.

Not so cos. Maybe guys like t denny would be worth only in the high nine figures instead of a ten figure guy. Maybe CEO’s would only get 10 million dollar bonuses instead of 50 million dollar bonuses. Aren’t your banker bosses lining up at the trough for their yearly seven figure bonuses just a year after we bailed yer worthless asses out? Your front line grunts deserve more than what CEO’s think they are worth.

#22 Costner on 02.16.10 at 8:08 am

poly: “Never suggested this cos and you know it.”

No of course not – you never suggested it because it is easier to continually complain about wages when you aren’t the one paying them. Yea… real tough position you put yourself in there isn’t it.

poly: Aren’t your banker bosses lining up at the trough for their yearly seven figure bonuses just a year after we bailed yer worthless asses out?

I believe those banks and financial institutions that did take bailout money are having their pay scrutinized by the feds…so I can’t say. However for those bonuses I am personally aware of they are based upon profitability of the banks themselves. I wouldn’t condone a bank handing out bonuses when they are losing money, or if they are dependent upon the government to keep them afloat so I would agree with you on that point.

What I do know is over half of the banks that received TARP money were forced to accept it. There were only a handful of financial institutions that actually needed it (Citi, AIG, Fannie, Freddie, etc), and therefore those that needed it should be held to a higher standard.

As to some of the others (JP Morgan, BOA, Wells Fargo, US Bank, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley etc) have all actually paid their TARP funds back already because they never needed them in the first place. I guess in those cases what they pay their people is their own business because we as taxpayers are no longer shareholders.

I could be wrong here, but I don’t believe T Denny took any TARP funds… so considering he owns a private company I guess he has the right to pay himself whatever he feels is appropriate. Granted you don’t have to like it, but when you start your own bank and credit card company from the ground up, I guess you can determine what you consider a fair salary. Otherwise it is just more bitterness with the true root in jealousy.

#23 Poly43 on 02.16.10 at 8:43 am

WELLS FARGO has taken $25,000,000,000.00 of our hard earned tax dollars from the Troubled Asset Relief Program. So what did this mean for CEO’s of banks lining up at the corporate welfare trough? It means BIG, FAT paychecks. Compliments of you and me cos. Unless of course you don’t pay taxes. John Stumph, WELLS FARGO CEO, lined up at the banking welfare trough in 2009 to the tune of $18,700,000.00. Not a bad years haul in light of YOU and me bailing him and his worthless-ass company out to the tune of 25 billion.

Of course it’s not just WELLS FARGO slimeball Stumph with his hands out. Nearly all the banking execs lined up at the corporate welfare trough this year. A couple years ago when I first started following the credit card industries fee harvesting scam, I became very impressed by the junior senator from Missouri, Claire McCaskill. She has become a true crusader for victims of banking scams. WHY you might ask. Her own mother, in her 80’s, was a victim of a fee harvesting operation. This is what Claire had to say recently when banking CEO’s showed up at a subcommittee hearing on just what exactly the banks did with OUR TAX DOLLARS.

“These financial institutions on the brink of extinction come to the American taxpayer for hundreds and billions of dollars. At the very same time, they think they’re going to buy a $50 million corporate jet. They’re going to pay out $18 billion in bonuses. They paid an average of $2.6 million to every executive at the first 116 banks that got taxpayer money under TARP.

Going forward, if you want taxpayers to help you survive, if you want the people at your financial institution to have a job tomorrow, then you’re going to have to limit everyone’s pay at your company to the same salary that the President of the United States makes.”

~Claire McCaskill

So what did the banks you apologize for do with OUR tax dollars cos? Read on.

http://abcnews.go.com/Business/Politics/story?id=6849013&page=1

Do I think front line grunts working in thousands of cubicles in this town are worth more than $10.00 an hour? In light of what exec’s think they are worth, DAMN STRAIGHT I DO. How much? Well, like I said earlier, back in ’67 I made $2.15 an hour in an unskilled warehouse job. That’s $13.81 in todays dollars. That’d be a good starting point.

#24 Plaintiff Guy on 02.16.10 at 9:34 am

Start your own business. Yes, but sell only via mail and internet to out of state.

I’ve a friend with a service business who failed to get a $20 license from the city. He didn’t know it was required and I’m not sure it was till this year. He works in-state and pays tax on services without ever being delinquent. The city seized a checking account with $6,000 in it. It took an unrecovered $1,000 via an attorney to get things cleared up.

Start your own business but locate it in Brandon or Harrisburg safe from city communists. I had one bank account in state but have since moved it. This is the corner of the state and banking from IA, NE, or MN is hardly a problem. Be sure they have no presence in SD.

Interesting City Facts
(#21 of 74)
The city often requires tax and banking information for most simple matters such as licenses or zoning. Unconstitutional, violates privacy laws.

(#22 of 74)
The city has no authority for liens on real or personal property. They often block checking accounts (personal property) citing taxes due. Usually, nothing is due and this action is a vendetta initiated by the mayor to cause financial injury.

Revoke Home-Rule. Restore constitutional democracy.

#25 Costner on 02.16.10 at 9:48 am

Poly: WELLS FARGO has taken $25,000,000,000.00 of our hard earned tax dollars from the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

First, Wells Fargo, US Bank, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase and many other big banks never requested the TARP funds… they were told in no uncertain terms that they would take them. Do you even pay attention to the news?

http://money.cnn.com/2009/03/27/news/economy/tarp_takeback/index.htm

Since that point, those banks have paid those funds back to the US government… with dividends. So the reality is, the taxpayers made off pretty well considering the short term loan netted billons of dollars in dividend payments.

Perhaps it would be in your best interests to actually know what you are talking about before commenting further. These agencies were never in any financial trouble and thus never needed assistance – so why should they be put in the same basket as a company like AIG or GM which surely would have collapsed without assistance from the government?

As to Stumph’s pay… I believe that is due to the fact that even in a down economy Wells Fargo actually made billions in profits. Check the facts if you don’t believe it:

http://money.cnn.com/2009/10/21/news/companies/wells_fargo/index.htm

The fact is the shareholders reaped the rewards of a well managed company – and Stumph was paid as a result of his management. Warren Buffett seems to agree that Wells is doing things right – because he has continued to add to his holdings and currently owns millions of shares of Wells stock.

Should I take the advice of one of the most successful investors of all time… or a guy who just whines about banks and red light camersas on an internet forum. Tough call on that one.

As to how much “grunts” (your chosen word) make while sitting in cubicles I guess I can’t say. Aside from my own experiences in the call center world I have no idea what those people make per hour. It wasn’t too long ago I saw HSBC offering over $12 an hour for phone jobs and I’d have to guess their competitors are in the same ballpark – so maybe those big evil banks are already paying what you think those jobs are worth. Either way it is a matter of supply and demand… and if workers aren’t willing to work for the wage offered, employers will be forced to raise wages. So that being said – is it really the fault of the employer for offering a salary which is accepted by the employee?

It is easy to whine about what people are earning when you aren’t signing the checks. If you don’t agree with what a company pays it’s employees, then by all means don’t support that company. Don’t use their products and services – don’t buy their stock, and instead put your money where your mouth is.

Then again – it appears Wells Fargo is consistently ranked as one of the best places to work… so maybe you should ask their employees if they like working for them instead of assuming things.

https://www.wellsfargo.com/about/diversity/awards

#26 Poly43 on 02.16.10 at 10:08 am

What I do know is over half of the banks that received TARP money were FORCED to accept it…

… As to some of the others (JP Morgan, BOA, Wells Fargo, US Bank, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley etc) have all actually paid their TARP funds back already because they never needed them in the first place.

FORCED cos? You are a hoot. If they were in fact FORCED and did not want a corporate welfare check, they could have paid it back within a month. Seem logical to you cos? Does to me. But did they? Nah. More than a year after they lined up at the trough and they’re still holdin onto the taxpayer dollars. Why you spose that is cos? Start here.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601039&sid=aYpfY52Yg0I8

and here.

http://money.cnn.com/2009/12/03/news/companies/what.next.wells.fortune/index.htm

So for you cos? You just go on and keep carrying water for WELLS FARGO.

#27 Sy on 02.16.10 at 10:19 am

Back in ’67 you had your wage and what else? Just guessing, but I doubt you had any benefits at all.

All of LBJ’s Great Society programs were just kicking in. Yet, the Feds weren’t done. Since then there’s been no less than 23 major Labor laws enacted with such promising titles as the Fair Labor Standards Act-1974, Employee Retirement Income Security Act-1974, Job Training Partnership Act-1982, Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act-1986, etc. etc. Hell the Dept. of Labor itself is now a $134 billion entity with more employees than Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac combined.

What’s the point, you ask? Exactly. We’ve thrown hundreds of billions of OUR money at this “problem” for a generation and yet apparently we should all be pist about a minute fraction of 1% paid out to bank Execs.

For fux sake, at least that bonus money didn’t disappear into a black hole. What do you think those execs did with those bonus’? They did the same thing you did with your raise, they spent, saved or invested it as they saw fit. Any of those three places is a better spot for those dollars because that means they acutally got to filter back into the Economy. Does it really frost you that much if one of them went out and bought a new Chris Craft yacht? I bet there’s a bunch of workers in Sarasota, FL who would beg to differ with you.

#28 Sy on 02.16.10 at 10:27 am

PG:

“I’ve a friend with a service business who failed to get a $20 license from the city. He didn’t know it was required and I’m not sure it was till this year. He works in-state and pays tax on services without ever being delinquent. The city seized a checking account with $6,000 in it. It took an unrecovered $1,000 via an attorney to get things cleared up.”

No offense, but your friend has absolutely no one to blame but himself. Free help was available through the Small Business Development Center, SCORE or any number of online guides. Don’t blame the City for his pride and/or ignorance.

#29 Poly43 on 02.16.10 at 11:10 am

Sy says:

Back in ‘67 you had your wage and what else? Just guessing, but I doubt you had any benefits at all.

Actually there were bennies Sy. Paid vacations. Holidays. No 401k plan tho. So what’s that to a $10.00 an hour employee? Maybe 30 cents. Big fuckin deal. Oh. And no health insurance either. But then, really didn’t need it back then. We had our first child in 1971, six months after seperation from the military. Had no health insurance.
Working part time at the same place I was at before I got drafted, and going to school full time when there was still a REAL GI Bill.

BTW, that warehouse paid me the same wages I got when I left in the spring of ’68. At the time I thought they were ripping me because the military always drilled into us the employer you had before being drafted was obligated to give you any raises you may have been entitled to for longevity while gone. So much for that line of bullshit. At any rate, it was $2.50 an hour…part time…in 1971. You know what that is in todays dollars? $13.24 an hour.

So…$13.24 an hour…part time, the wife not working, and we have our first child at Sioux Valley with zero health insurance. Gonna break our backs with the hospital bill right Sy? Wrong. Five hundred bucks. Of course, those were the days before hospitals, doctors, and drug companies decided greed would guide them.

And so what if a company pays for 50% tops of your health insurance costs? Does it really fuckin matter? Most health insurance policies today are written with riders on previous health issues and at least $1000 dollar deductibles, per family member. Co-pays and all the other BS can make health insurance coverage irrelevant, at least it does when you’re tryin to make ends meet at the poverty level wages this town is so damn proud of.

#30 Costner on 02.16.10 at 12:08 pm

So now when Sy points out a flaw in your line of thinking, you shift your focus to healthcare costs?

Fact is, healthcare costs have risen since the 60s and 70s nobody can debate that. Many of these employers you love to hate pay for the vast majority of insurance costs – and if they didn’t they could like add a couple of bucks an hour to the wage. They also offer dental care, vision, disability coverage, employer sponsored life insurance etc. Some even offer reduced costs for daycare facilities, gym memberships, and even tuition reimbursement so those “grunts” can better themselves if they so choose.

Employer 401(k) contributions can also add up quick – I know several large companies offer dollar for dollar matching and the average for such matching is 6.5%. There are also stock purchase plans, yearly bonuses paid in either cash or stock, and in the case of at least one of the “evil” credit card companies (Citi) they even offer their employees a pension plan on top of the 401(k).

The simple truth is, when you look at the big picture, employees are probably compensated better today than at any point during the past several decades… but don’t let that stop you from bitching about it.

#31 Poly43 on 02.16.10 at 12:13 pm


We’ve thrown hundreds of billions of OUR money at this “problem” for a generation and yet apparently we should all be pist about a minute fraction of 1% paid out to bank Execs.
~Sy

Sy, yer a good ol boy, and I’d sit down and have that cool one you owe most anytime…..but….

I cannot buy into your trickle down economic voodoo bullshit. And neither does Joe Sixpack standing in the Banquet line after escaping his cubicle.

Look at this list.

http://www.companypay.com/to1000.asp

Look mainly at the banking sector, cuz there the ones who got our corporate welfare check. Do you really believe these guys are worth thousands of times more than their front line employees? I do not. In fact, this is what MILLIONS of Joe and Jane Sixpacks think of trickle down economics.

http://steadfastfinances.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/trickledown.jpg

#32 Costner on 02.16.10 at 1:47 pm

polly: Do you really believe these guys are worth thousands of times more than their front line employees? I do not.

Amazingly…neither do I, but I don’t accept for even a second that CEO pay has any bearing on front line level pay. Take Steve Jobs for instance…he is number two on that list and made right around $75M last year. So let’s say Steve decides he doesn’t need anymore money so he retires. Apple decides to replace him with a new CEO who they will pay $1M a year. Do we really think that other $74M will be distributed to the employees in the form of raises?

No… if anything it would simply impact the balance sheet and every shareholder would make a few extra cents in dividend payments for every share of stock they own. Considering there are over 900M shares of Apple stock floating around out there, that would be about 8 cents a share – considering Apple is trading north of $200 per share, that is .04% return on the investment for each share.

Now you take a poll of Apple shareholders and ask them if they would rather have that .04% ROI per share, or if they would much rather keep paying Steve his $75M a year to keep their stock on the rise (which by the way is up about 112% over the past year).

Let me know what you find out… but I think we both know the answer. So yes $75M a year sounds absurd – and frankly it is, but in the scope of things, when you look at this objectively, I can promise you from the eyes of an investor Steve is worth every penny.

Thus if you are complaining about executive pay it should be from the perspective of a shareholder – and as such if you don’t own any stock it won’t impact your life one bit…. other than the jealousy and bitterness issue.

Do some of our nation’s CEOs make an absurd or even disgusting amount of money? You bet – but until the shareholders revolt and prevent it from happening, they will continue to pay themselves as much as possible because that is human nature like it or not.

I will not however condone the government telling private industry what they can and cannot pay their employees. It is one thing for those companies that would have gone belly up without TARP funds or government loans… but for those that never had their hand in the cookie jar or for those who paid back their blood money already – they should answer to their shareholders and customers… not the government.

Not that this has anything to do with the events center mind you.

#33 Warren Phear on 02.16.10 at 1:55 pm

employees are probably compensated better today than at any point during the past several decades…

~cos

LMFAO cos. What a tool you are. As of two years ago WELLS FARGO employed 3615 people in this town. Don’t know what it is now. Maybe you can tell us what the MEDIAN income is for the Wells Fargo workforce today? Not average cos…MEDIAN. You know…that median income that keeps the Banquet lines backed up.

Meanwhile you keep doin what you do best.

http://www.lincolnvending.co.uk/images/carry_water.jpg

#34 Sy on 02.16.10 at 2:00 pm

Poly:

“FORCED cos? You are a hoot. If they were in fact FORCED and did not want a corporate welfare check, they could have paid it back within a month. Seem logical to you cos? Does to me. But did they? Nah. More than a year after they lined up at the trough and they’re still holdin onto the taxpayer dollars. Why you spose that is cos? ”

Here’s an excellent, albeit long explanation:

Why Is the Government Holding Wells Fargo Hostage?

by Tom Brown
Dec.9, 2009

“Are you impressed yet with the prudence and transparency the Treasury Department has displayed as it manages the redemption of the government’s TARP investments in the country’s big banks?

No? Me neither. From what I can see, the whole process has been a hash.

It’s hard to feel sorry for Bank of America (BAC) or Citigroup (C) for what they’ve had to go through to try to get out of the government’s clutches. They needed the money! But what about the other banks still in the government’s TARP doghouse? In particular—and here I confess to a special a soft spot for one of the best-run big banks in the country—what about Wells Fargo (WFC)?

Wells came through the credit crunch as strongly as any large institution. Yet the company must feel as if it’s been singled out to appear in some banking-industry version of The Twilight Zone. Its nightmare began, recall, in October of last year when Dick Kovacevich was summoned to Washington (along with heads of nine other big banks) and told that Wells would take $25 billion in TARP money, whether it wanted it or not. Which, as Kovacevich pointed out at the time, it did not.

No matter! Down Wells’s throat the $25 billion went anyway.

Cue the creepy music. With the government now a major Wells shareholder, it started to do what governments always do when they get involved in the private sector: meddle. Suddenly once-common business practices, such as sales-rewards trips in places like Las Vegas, became objects of thundering Congressional scorn. Executives found themselves being grilled in front of House panels for no offense other than being bankers. Compensation arrangements were second-guessed. Then there was all the special pleading on behalf of politically connected would-be borrowers.

As I say, a nightmare. If you suspect that all this doesn’t help optimize economic performance, you’re right. Naturally Wells wanted to pay back its TARP money as soon as it could, which was, in fact, the moment it received it. But no! The government wouldn’t say why it wouldn’t take back the money. It just wouldn’t.

And the nightmare continued. The feds then came up with their next lousy idea: that misbegotten stress test foisted on the big banks this past May. Even though Wells’s first-quarter earnings were much stronger than what the test’s “stress case” had predicted, after the test the government insisted Wells raise another $7.5 billion. Might it repay TARP, as well? No dice. Then second-quarter earnings were strong. Then third quarter.

And Wells still has this TARP millstone stuck around its neck.

So what will it take for Wells to be permitted to repay TARP? The government simply won’t say. Instead, Wells is left in a crazy regulatory netherworld where actual rules don’t count anymore, and all that seems to matter is the regulators’ mood at any given moment. Regardless how high the company’s capital levels rise, for example, they never seem to be quite high enough. Back in the good old days, when bank regulators weren’t lunatics, bankers knew what counted as “adequately capitalized” (4% Tier 1 capital) and what counts as “well-capitalized” (6%). They knew what ratios mattered (Tier 1 Capital, Leverage, and Total Risk-Based Capital) and which ones didn’t (Tangible Common Equity, for instance). Which is to say, bankers lived in a rational, predictable world.

No longer. At the end of last quarter, Wells Fargo’s Tier 1 Capital Ratio was 10.6%. Its Leverage Ratio was 9.0%. Its Total Risk-Based Capital Ratio was 14.7%. These numbers are off the charts. And they’d be high even if Wells repaid TARP tomorrow without doing a capital raise. Tier 1 would be 8.1%; Total Risk based Capital, 12.2%. Once the company reports its fourth-quarter numbers, its capital ratios will surely go higher. And yet if other big banks’ experience with their TARP repayment is any indication, Wells will have to raise even more capital before it will be allowed to rid itself of its TARP burden.

This is insane. If nothing else, a government that’s interested in promoting economic recovery should not be insisting that private investment capital migrate into areas where it is redundant. More generally, if the regulators are bent on changing the rules under which the banking industry operates, they should tell the banks what the new rules are, already! Tim Geithner and his gang seem to have it in their heads that well-capitalized banks should have to operate at 10%-ish Tier 1 capital, and that other ratios, such as TCE, are suddenly important. Fine. We’ll see how well U.S. institutions can compete against foreign banks under those rules. In any event, regulators should disclose what the new minimums are and which ratios count, so the banks can comply with them and get out from under the government’s thumb. That way, they can get on with their business and help drive the economic recovery.

But the government is diddling, instead. In the process, it’s not doing the economy any favors, or the banking industry, either. Nor is it showing itself to be especially prudent or transparent. If Tim Geithner wants banks to operate under a new set of rules, he ought to say what they are and get out of the way.”

http://seekingalpha.com/article/177472-why-is-the-government-holding-wells-fargo-hostage

#35 Costner on 02.16.10 at 2:03 pm

WP: “Maybe you can tell us what the MEDIAN income is for the Wells Fargo workforce today?”

I have zero idea nor would I know how to obtain that information, but I’d bet it is higher than the Sioux Falls average.

I sincerely doubt you will find many Wells Fargo, Citibank, HSBC, or First Premier employees standing in line at the Banquet – although I bet quite a few of them are behind the counter volunteering.

Are you and Poly altar egos of one another?

#36 Warren Phear on 02.16.10 at 2:14 pm

I have zero idea nor would I know how to obtain that information, but I’d bet it is higher than the Sioux Falls average.

And I’d bet it’s not. And I’d also bet you do have access to that info.

And oooohhhh. What a slueth you are. I am Poly on my netbook and WP on my puter in the den. Just haven’t bothered to change it yet. The important point is…they are both on my own personal IP address. How bout you?

#37 Costner on 02.16.10 at 2:15 pm

polly: FORCED cos? You are a hoot. If they were in fact FORCED and did not want a corporate welfare check, they could have paid it back within a month.

Sorry I missed this bright shining example of ignorance, but Sy did an excellent job at showing how out of touch you really are polly.

By the way dumbass…Wells Fargo already repaid the TARP funds, so yet again you show your complaints (and your sources) have no basis in fact. Nice job quoting articles from November – those are pretty relavent after Wells paid back the TARP funds in December.

http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20091223-710227.html

Yea…looks like they really needed those TARP funds doesn’t it. Especially considering they paid the government something like $1.5B in dividends over that time period.

Get a clue.

#38 Warren Phear on 02.16.10 at 2:19 pm

Hey Sy ol buddy. If I wanted to read War and Peace, I would…but not today. Why not just the link? Like I did.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601039&sid=aYpfY52Yg0I8

http://money.cnn.com/2009/12/03/news/companies/what.next.wells.fortune

#39 Warren Phear on 02.16.10 at 2:24 pm

By the way dumbass…Wells Fargo already repaid the TARP funds,

Yeah sure…we know that dumbass. But over a year AFTER they claimed they didn’t need it?

TOOL.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601039&sid=aYpfY52Yg0I8

http://money.cnn.com/2009/12/03/news/companies/what.next.wells.fortune

#40 Costner on 02.17.10 at 7:24 am

polly: Yeah sure…we know that dumbass.

Really? Because yesterday you said this:

More than a year after they lined up at the trough and they’re still holdin onto the taxpayer dollars.

Seems to me you don’t know shit until the facts are pointed out to you. If you knew anything at all you would know there were several large banks that wanted to pay back their TARP funds but were repeatedly told they couldn’t. The government kept raising the bar – which if you actually took the time to read Sy’s post you would already know.

Besides – do you know what happened to those TARP funds? They were *gasp* distributed in the form of loans to small businesses and individuals. So in essense, the government used banks as the intermediary so they could open up the credit floodgates again and spur the economy. Only after the funds were loaned the government decided they wanted to establish new rules, so the banks said they would rather run their businesses without government intervention at which point they were finally allowed to pay back the funds (due in no small part to media coverage making the fed look like a bunch of gradeschool children).

Sorry polly – but once again you show your complaints have no basis in fact and once again you show how you have to attempt to change your position when your original position is proven to be factually incorrect.

Maybe you should start yet another username, because these two both look like retards.

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