The following is the transcript of a debate on Facebook that I entered. The only change I made was to redact the last names of the parties involved. The rest is a direct copy and paste.
Ezekiel (The original poster): Amricans are still free to choose where to work, how much for, how long to work as well as how HARD to work...no one is forced to work anywhere. ..furthermore these "corperations" that are getting bashed hire millions of people to do UNSKILLED labor and often do not even require a high school diploma. ..I know it is difficult to make a decent living...It has been a long time since I have not worked 60-70 hours a week to feed my family. But that is my CHOICE and others can choose to make changes on their lives in order to get ahead...no one is going to give you a free ride it is your INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY to make these decisions
Brandon: The point is that you shouldnt have to work 60 to 70 hrs a week just to make it. The labor unions fought hard for that. And we set back and let companys like wal-mart,mcdonald's make millions of dollars while us the tax payer foot the bill for their under payed employees. By payin for their foodstamps and medicare ect. Did you know that if the minimum wage was raised at the same rate as the 1% and with the rate of cost of living it would be around 20 dollars an hr. And we would have no reason for this conversation at all. But no the wealthy have done every thing to put more money in their pockets while stealing it from us! Makeing us have to work harder just to foot the bill that the refuse to pay!
James: If minimum wage was $20 per hour you would see millions of jobs go over sees. We can't have it both ways, we can't want to be "citizens of the world" without competing on the world stage. McDonald's would use technology to further automate the check out process, Wal-Mart would accelerate self checkout implementation and all the remaining manufacturing jobs would be gone in 5 years. We live in a free capitalist society. I have been flat broke and I have had a lot of money and while I care deeply for those in poverty and give as much as I can to help, the solution isn't to make our country less competitive or take more of my money in taxes so I can afford to hire less people. Look at the industries where unions rule and that is where you will see the bulk of outsourcing to other countries this is not a coincidence.
James: BTW Ezekiel keep working, I loved your post you are doing what you need to do to take care of your family! We need to get together again sometime I really enjoyed meeting you in KY I hope you and your family are doing well.
Ezekiel: Hey Brandon I hear ya...it sux having to work long hours...it isn't fair that some people (ceo's) make 100 times the salary of an common employee...however that drive, that GREED if you want to call it that, is what BUILT this country and the thousands of products/industry s that we RELY on for our needs as well as our jobs...I'm simply tossing in MY 2 cents and saying that I'm not ready to try and hold back anyone who desires to "GET RICH" and wind up hiring people someday by FORCING companies to do run their businesses a certain way.
Dan: We would be better off with NO MINIMUM wage! I guarantee it! Every serious economist will tell you that! America was built on the Capitalist free market system! Man.... we fed half the world... and built the greatest society the world has ever known with it!!!!!! Look at us now.... look... and weep!!!
Dan: Everything Government gets its hands into gets corrupted!!! Look at SSI.... look at the USPS.... look at every Government agency! Filled with waste ... poorly run. Look at the Obamacare train wreck!!!!!
Government needs to keep its filthy hands off private business!
Dan: If Walmart and McDonalds are forced by evil socialist Gov to raise salaries... to say.. $15.... you will see see price of food and product raise drastically.... and would see a snowball effect. eventually... the same people would be complaining and wanting it raised again.
The free market system works if Gov stays out of it. Supply and demand...
Dan: Funny... the corrupt union bosses are all filthy rich... but for some reason... nobody is mad at them.
Dan: This is applicable in the same way to business. One day... business men are going to take that profits and close up... and go to some other country. Then... those who want to rob him of his wealth... will have to go start their own business. hahaha
Dan: You folks do know... there is only one reason to start a business right?? To make money!!! You hire men to work as the business expands... but the goal is to make profits!! With all the red tape now... you have to wonder why some are still at it. When it is no longer profitable to run the business... you get out.
Ezekiel: Ayn Rand wrote the book ATLAS SHRUGGED 50 years ago...in it the people she called "the movers" the builders and creator's and business owners went on STRIKE...its fiction of course but very strongly depicts what life would be like without the great minds of whom we enjoy the benefits
Dan: Everyone needs to see this.... and don't miss the truth of it for the humor.
Dan: Yes... anyone want to see where we are headed? Watch the movie ATLAS SHRUGGED I and II
Scary how close we are to the second movie...
Dan: Yup.... the over taxing... and Gov intrusion... will run business people out of here! We shall then see what the critics do.
Ezekiel: Don't forget the original topic on this thread was WEATHER OR NOT BIG CORPORATIONS ARE ROBBING THEIR EMPLOYEES BY NOT PAYING THEM A CERTAIN WAGE...or making a profit that ranges in a percentage much greater than the employee. ...??
Dan: I would challenge anyone reading here.... go out and sacrifice.... borrow money... take a risk.... work 80 hours a week... and start a business. Get it going.... get it growing.... to where you need to hire a few guys so you can expand and make more profits. Then.... let the 22 year old boys organize a coo.... come in to your office... give you their demands of how much they deserve to be making.... how many hours they want to work.... more paid holidays... vacations.... paid sick days... health care...etc...etc...
Then you will understand.
Brandon: Lmbo at some of these comments! Im at work but trust me ill be back after my shift. Lol
James: Actually most serious economists are not against minimum wage and neither are most business owners. The minimum wage laws really came about to keep firms from stepping over the line by paying too little. Ironically minimum wage helps businesses compete as long as it is low and realistic. For instance, I am trying to run my business honestly and pay a decent wage to my employees. If one of my competitor's started paying $3.00 per hour it would be very difficult for me to compete and I would have to lower my pay per hour to my employees. This could go back and forth until you have a nasty situation with no one making enough money to buy what business sell. Minimum wage stops this from happening. There are a couple serious solutions proposed by economists on both sides of the isle but they all seem to be ignored. I would type them out right now but I have to get to work LOL. I will add more later.
Dan: My point on minimum wage is being missed. 2 things.
1. It is bogus.... the economy .. cost of living... inflation..adjusts around it.... it does NOTHING to help the so called minimum wage earner.
2. The free market system works just fine without it and has for decades and decades.
You mean to tell me... if I am paying my workers $10.00 an hour.... and the guy across the street offers them $8.00 I will lose them????? Or... as you say.... my competitor will be able to sell his product cheaper than me because he pays his workers less? Friend.... that makes no sense. He is gonna have a hard time GETTING workers don't you think???
Dan: No.... I say... let the system alone!!!!!
Dan: What you are saying is.... if the minimum wage was abolished tomorrow...... the McDonalds across town could lower its wage $2.00 and hour.... to say... $5.00 and thus.... sell their Hamburgers much cheaper and hurt the McDonalds across town???? I bet you would be wrong! I bet he would lose his help... have to hire the bottom feeders to work for him.... quality would go down fast......
Same illustration would be with any company.
Just my humble opinions.....
Chris Polk: I love the folklore that comes with the union history. "unions fought hard for minimum wage and hour laws." I remember too many times in my career where I was earning an hourly wage and was stifled by the hour laws. The employer says "I'll pay you $10/hour, but government makes me pay you 1.5 times over 40 hours." So the employer cut me at 40. It was a rare case that I could actually CHOOSE to work more than 40 hours. I had to go get a different job with a different company if I wanted to make more. So here's what I ended up with. 40 hours x $10 = $400. I could've chosen to work 70 hours and made $700. Instead, I was cut off at $400. To earn the extra $300 I had to go find another job to get it. The overtime did me no good. It only made me jump through more hoops to earn the same money I could have at the first firm I was working for. Fortunately now I don't earn wages. I wake revenue. I make three to four times what I did as an employee, and soon as I build my business and hire people, I'll get the honor of being the 1% and can then have my hard-earned money confiscated by the government to please people that are too stupid and clueless to think for themselves.
I do not, nor have I ever belonged to a union. Nor will I. I can represent myself in the marketplace. I don't need a proxy that will place its interest in front of mine.
Brandon: Ok since I have a min. Ill take it. Lets get a little personal for a sec. Zik her is an example for you. Lets say lord forbid that tomorrow you turn your truck over and you dont make it. Like I said I pray this never happens! But if it did brittany would have to go to work. She has no skill set or trade skills. So she would more then likely have to work for one of these companys. And provide for your family on this minimum wage. Which would be imposible today without goverment help or working 2 to 3 jobs. Then whose gonna be take care of and teaching the kids. It wont be her cause shes all ways at work. That is why the wage has to be raised. She would deserve a 40hr week that paid for their house and food at least! Not to mention ins. for them to. The problem is these companys wont do it even though they have more then enough money. And they wont more! Greedy! Did you know that we pay over 1.2 billion dollars a year for gov. programs just for wal-mart and M. D.'s employees. Just because they dont wont to pay for it. So they say let the gov. Do it we can keep the money in our pockets and give or ceo's multi-million dollar bonus each year. As for polk ill get to you later. Out of time for now.
Ezekiel: U bring to light some interesting points Brandon...there is definitely too much dependence on government programs in this country...it is a strain on the working class when millions cannot/will not pull their weight...who then, is responsible?? Who,s job is it to feed and clothe the single person...whos responsibility is feeding, clothing, educating, my wife and children?? You and I both agree that its NOT the governments responsibility...I do not believe that it is Corporate America's job either...it is MY responsibility...incidentally it is also my responsibility to provide for my family when I DIE...either by life insurance (which I have) or by leaving them with enough assets to sustain them.
Ezekiel: I see no religious teaching or moral code which dictates that a BUSINESS pay a certain wage...when good deeds or charity are taught, it is directed MOSTLY to individuals and also to the church...God teaches is as INDIVIDUALS to care for widows, fatherless, sick, poor etc.
Chris Polk: And you still leave out personal responsibility. My wife doesn't work outside the home. That's why we have life insurance. She is the beneficiary of a policy that is more than enough to provide for her and the kids' needs if I were to die. It costs me $54.82 per month. I will be teaching my kids to NEVER work for minimum wage. They can use their talents, skills, education, and experience in the marketplace to provide for themselves. Fast food is a job for teenagers not adults. No one kidnaps people and forces them to work at mcdonalds or Walmart. If you're working minimum wage it's because you chose to.
Ezekiel: Now if I may get REALLY Biblical... in Mattew chapter 20 verses 1-16 Jesus himself speaks of WAGES...in the first 12 verses it appears that the owner of the field is being unfair. ..Jesus however puts us all in our place...I love verse 15 "Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own?" KJV
Ezekiel: Please don't get me wrong...I know there are places out there that SHOULD pay more...but govt. FORCING a certain wage is not the answer. ..the company that tries to "cheap-out" weather its the quality of its product or like in our discussion paying for "cheap labor" they run tje risk of failing in the long run
Brandon: interesting you brought up Matthew 20. yes I know it and that chapter is speaking about filling the contract that you agree to. and the contract that was spoken about in that chapter was for one days wages. however if they will all showed up the next day they would have all gotten paid for a full days work at the same wage. also if you look in chapter 19 he speaking about how you would be accepted into his kingdom no one greater than another. and now on the other hand I'm happy that you have life insurance you and your friend polk. but there are many out there that do not. and what if your insurance company find a loophole to keep from paying it. what will your wives do then? nothings wrong the 1% makeing money. actually that's a good thing. what's wrong is there making is at the expense of the taxpayer because they don't want to pay a living wage. and once the government to make up for their lack of interest in the People. the fact is they only worry about themselves no one else. and when they do give to charity is because it helps them on their taxes. if you can name me one that gave to charity and did not claim it on their taxes then I will personally write them a letter thanking them for their contribution even though I'm not associated to their charity. and as far as owning a business congratulations polk I hope you succeed in your goal. I have the same goal however we probably differ on where we are going to go with it. me I plan on providing my employees with a livable wage, insurance, and a good pension. I personally don't care if I ever become one of the 1%. my goal is it to just make money but help those in my community. I am NOT obsessed with bettering myself. I want to better everyone I come in contact with. I want their families to live a good life not just mine. and if that means I have to sacrifice then so be it. but like I said good luck on your quest I just hope you don't succeed off of someone else's back.
Ezekiel: Ya that would be one interesting conversation in the marketplace the NEXT day lol i bet most of them try and barter for 2 pennies
Ezekiel: Verse 3 notice also...these laborers were IDLE...weren't make ANYTHING untill the vineyard owner hired them
Chris Polk: Brandon I think you need to turn off the propaganda machine a read a book or two. Start with The Millionaire Next Door by Dr Thomas J. Stanley. It has useful things like facts about people who are wealthy, not BS media propaganda created to drive wedges between people. I would be fine with a complete abolition of government and it's cronyism, cartels, and monopolies.
Dan: All posts... well stated Chris Polk.
Dan: Hey... the following was a comment after the story of the McDonalds bag full of cash... it is great and fits here:
McDonald's is for high school or college students who are still on their parent's insurance plans. If you work at McDonald's and you are older than 26, you probably aren't smart enough to even know what benefits are. Leave these minimum wage jobs to teenagers and go get a real education and real job 40 year old McDonald workers and quit complaining about your wages and benefits! You aren't even worth the wage you are getting!
James: Ok, so a couple thoughts here. First of all the "Free Market System has worked great without it" comment way back is a little confusing to me. If by "it" you mean minimum wage you are incorrect. We have had minimum wage for decades and what happened before we had minimum wage was exactly what I described. Firms got together and kept bidding down the pay of labor until full time workers were in complete poverty so minimum wage does work better than no minimum wage any way you slice it. So, the issue here is really what rate should minimum wage be at. Certainly the free market system makes a lot of sense and as a business owner myself who has taken the risk and worked the hours to be in a position to hire many people, I love the free market and I believe in capitalism 100%! That being said I believe what we need is a re-allocation or government resources to help businesses compete and to provide an incentive to work. Currently there is a 100% disincentive for those on welfare to work. In other words, if I am on welfare benefits and get $300 per week and I get a job, for every $1.00 I earn, I lose $1.00 in welfare benefits. This is insane, absolutely nuts! Rather than doing this we should instead have very strict guidelines for who can receive welfare with no work and instead raise minimum wage but stager it. For a teenager, unmarried, single, childless worker $7.00 makes sense. For a primary bread winner it might need to be $12.00 but the government would pay the extra $5.00 per hour to the employer or directly to the employee. By doing this, the government would be paying this individual maybe $150 or $200 per week instead of $300 or $400 and they would be getting this person to work and generate productivity for our economy. That is my thought...
Chris Polk: I heard it once stated that the best way to keep government actions in perspective is to add "with a gun" to the end of the sentence. In order for government to get any amount of money to "pay the extra $5 per hour," it has to take it from another citizen...with a gun. That's not freedom.
Dan: Chris Polk.... similar to what I was getting ready to post. I was going to ask James... "Where does Government get that money to pay those workers?" And.... I can see the other workers who are not compensated by Government to increase their wage... maybe because a spouse works.... getting jealous and upset!!
Government must steal every dollar it "gives" to anyone.
No... the free market is not perfect.... but it is 1000 times better than Socialism!!
Dan: Raising the minimum wage.... simply causes inflation.
Brandon: Polk the government is not the problem. is the people running it Republican and Democrat. even better yet it's our problem because we keep voting these idiots in. if you want to do something about the government run yourself. or even better yet just get involved! if you think you can do any better then it's your responsibility to do so. if it wasn't for government this country would be a worse shambles then it already is. once again the problem is is the man and women that are in our government that can easily be bought off. neither party actually stands for the people anymore they stand for themselves. it comes back to money! how much can you put in my pocket. selfishness is all of this. which is the same case with most of the 1%. notice I said most of. our government and all of us living in this country need to stop worrying about our selfs and start worrying about everyone else. and as far as reading you might want to do that about your history. and find out the facts about what unions have done for you. you seem to be very confused about the hourly wage. and why you have to be paid overtime to work over 40 hours. you see the point was for you to be able to live off of 40 hours a week. you didn't have to work 70 hours a week just to be able to pay your bills. and by only working the 40 hours you had more time to spend with your family and enjoy the things in life that really matter. here's a hint its not money! but if you want to get rid of government fine I can live that way. I'll live off the land I'll grow my own food I'll hunt my own game I have no problem with that. however 90 percent of society would not be able to survive. that life has been lost. and don't tell me you don't think the wealthy had nothing to do with that. this all started by the wealthy man not willing to do the work himself. like slavery! the wealthy men of the past didn't want to do the work so they bought slaves. similar to today the wealthy man wants to get the cheapest deals to keep the most money in his pocket. like paying people low wages to where they have to survive off of the government subsidies to make it. its modern day slavery! and you believe in it.
Brandon: No dan the only reason minimum wage causes inflation is because the multi millionaires and multi billionaires won't make the sacrifice. they are greedy and they are selfish. they think they earn their money and they do it alone! but the fact is without the worker they would have nothing!
Here is where I decided to take a different approach.
Chris Polk: Brandon I wanted to have better response than typing it out.
Dan: Excellent... I listened to the whole thing. here is a man who has read... studied... and lives the principles he is speaking about. The trucking illustration is a great example of the free market system. (Those 249 other drivers in the truck stop)
Dan: The pensions he speaks of.... what a great lesson.... hope you got it Brandon McGuire. It is one of the things that broke the back of General Motors.
Dan: After a while.... you are paying past employees as much as you are paying present employees. And Chris is right.... if you rely on the ability of your employer to take care of you after you retire.... you may find yourself out on the street! How much better it is... for the employee to invest for his future.... and what a blessing that some companies match funds with you.
Here comes his personal attack on me.
Brandon: Polk that is one of the best lines of bs I have ever heard! Lmbo! you are hilarious! I love how you miss combobulated my sentences to make it sound better for yourself. but without realizing it you just made my point. your industry is apparently getting screwed and not making enough money. or maybe a better way to say this is your free market is destroying your industry. sure there's always someone is willing to do it cheaper. but can they do it as good or better. if you're half as good as you claim that you are I'm sure the answer is No. therefore your product which in your case is trucking should speak for itself and get paid what it's worth. I'm sorry if you don't think that you're worth more. or that you're future employees aren't either. but you chose to work in the industry that you did! which explains a lot. it is a hard industry to survive in. so is construction. however in construction is a whole lot easier to see the bad quality work. however back to business. if you cannot afford to provide your employees with what they need to survive and have a future. you have no right to own a business. and it already sounds like you don't have much confidence in it. you haven't even started it yet and you're already talking about it failing. oh yeah I was going to comment on the dollar speech but to be honest I completely forgot the BS you were preaching.lol. but hear is something for you. just like you said about the Walmart in McDonalds employees if you don't like your job or the conditions that you're in quit! find something better, get a better education, find another skill that you have. sounds to me that you're worried about the man undercutting you so you undersale yourself. you sound like a smart man. just not one that makes smart decisions.
Followed by a personal attack on Dan.
Brandon: Ok dan ive been trying not to exploit you because you're Ziks father and I have much respect for Zik. but you keep on making nonsense comments. by the way what year was it you worked your last real job? better yet did you ever have a real job? not trying to insult I'm just asking a legitimate question. that being said it's time for me to go to bed. we will have to continue this conversation later. and zik do me a favor call me and let me know what's going on with your car if I would have known I woulda came over and looked at it yesterday. still love you man no matter what side you're on. Lol
Dan: Depends what your definition of a "Real job" is.
Don't have a clue what this personal attack is all about....
Chris Polk: And ladies and gentlemen, this is America in 2013. I've forgotten more about running a business than Brandon will likely ever know, especially with his nasty and hateful attitude. America used to be filled with bright and energetic entrepreneurs. Now it is filled with lazy, entitled, elitist snobs. It matters not what someone's actual experience is. If their experience doesn't match what the news media or their preferred political party told them, they're wrong.
I'm actually sad for you Brandon. You have some very difficult lessons left to learn. I've learned many of them myself. I could've skipped some of them had I not been so arrogant myself. But life will teach you all you need to know. Getting your teeth knocked out (figuratively) by life is one of God's best teachers. I've been there and it sucks, but it will only add to my success later.
This is the generation we have raised. They are taught that if they are losing the argument, attack! Notice the government school system no longer has economics classes or debate clubs. Based on the ramblings on Facebook, it also no longer teaches about grammar and punctuation.
Brandon, I'll never get in your way to stop you from success or failure. That is what a true free market is. However, when you start voting for your preferred party of thugs in Washington to interfere with my affairs on your behalf, you're going to get a door slammed in your face. I nearly lost everything I had this year because of the EPA and I'm done pretending there's an alternative to government. I will ignore it. I will ignore you. Good luck. You're going to need it.
I followed up this morning with another video response to Brandon's attack.