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Author Topic: Greedy Corporation Tricks: What Are The Methods Used To Rip Off The 99%? Back to Topics
SemiSteve

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2014 6:53:36 PM


Post all the ways used by big corporations and the 1% to rip off the rest.

Everything from making products more chincy, failing to stand behind them, deceptive packaging and ads, squeezing ever more out of workers while giving them less and less for their efforts, avoiding costs to properly dispose of polluting by-products, out-and-out fraud, to manipulating the government for profit: (ie: ripping off the taxpayers), etc, etc, etc.

This should be informative and enlightening....

[Edited by: SemiSteve at 2/24/2014 6:54:35 PM EST]
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MarkJames
Champion Author Albany

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Message Posted: Aug 1, 2014 12:49:03 PM

Many unhealthy habits are due to laziness and increasing demand for instant gratification.

People favor speed and convenience more than health.

Unhealthy stuff not only sells better, but the shelf life is much longer due to ingredients and preservatives.

Many are addicted to various unhealthy foods and beverages as well.

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SemiSteve
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Aug 1, 2014 12:31:35 PM

Our commercial media is complicit in this national addiction to unhealthy habits.
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MarkJames
Champion Author Albany

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Message Posted: Aug 1, 2014 12:19:27 PM

When you sell people What They Want - beer, cigarettes, soda, chips, candy, lottery tickets, scratch-off tickets and other non necessities for example, the economy is less of an issue as well.

Many customers will stop paying for necessities to pay for non necessities.
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SemiSteve
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Aug 1, 2014 12:10:30 PM

There ya go SE3.5.

It's all about greed. Once again.

There is no marketing visual audio bombardment about establishing healthy habits. It is the exact opposite.

Maybe we should tax the living who-ha out of cable. That's where is all starts. Use the proceeds to pay for universal health care.
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SE3.5
Champion Author Indianapolis

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Message Posted: Aug 1, 2014 11:55:52 AM

You can make a living selling people what they need, but YOU CAN GET RICH selling them what they want.
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MarkJames
Champion Author Albany

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Message Posted: Aug 1, 2014 11:54:36 AM

One of my suppliers asked why we stopped carrying many fruits and vegetables. I told them because they weren't selling well - even though we were selling them @ break even, or even a loss as a value add service for relatively few customers.

Now that cooler space is occupied by bottled water, sports drinks, energy drinks, beer and soda.

IMO, bottled water is one of the biggest rip-offs, yet it's one of our best selling and highest margin products.
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SemiSteve
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Aug 1, 2014 11:33:42 AM

Processed food suppliers know full and well that they are selling unhealthy junk. It is obvious they don't care. Their concern is making profits, the more the better. They try their bet to float the impression out there that they are providing a good service but they are quite aware that they really are providing a fix for those hooked on sugar, fat and salt. These ingredients are varied in their proportions in each product, trying to find that right balance of flavoring to keep buyers hooked on what is otherwise not very nutritious food. Packaging is a huge part of the sell.

Generally the more processed a food is, the more profitable it is and the less nutritious it is.

One could die an early death eating nothing but frozen foods and stuff loaded with preservatives.

It's all part of the boob tube life. Pay for the cable which gives one the ability to sit in front of the TV, eating prepackaged garbage and be shown commercials for more garbage. The images, the flavors, the addictive quality of that junk, the mindset, the marketing, the smiling faces, the shallow brainless urge to satisfy the created urge, it's all part of that loop.

Most people would be far better off to cancel cable, begin an organic garden, and start buying food from small local suppliers. Some things cost more, others less, you'll be shopping more often, but buying less at a time, food prep takes just a bit longer but is well worth it. Once off the fat-sugar-salt addiction you never want to go back. Too bad most people don't get this. It is part of why health care costs so much in the US. Because we get so sick!

Those who never consider changing their habits and let slick marketing companies implant their habits instead are under the spell of the big corporate plan for your life.

People who like to fear that government is taking over our lives don't even realize that in many cases corporations already have.
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MarkJames
Champion Author Albany

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Message Posted: Aug 1, 2014 11:16:23 AM

<<When the market has become saturated (meaning that everyone who wants one already got it) they get desparate to try to milk the product for all it can bring before it reaches end of market life.>>

Most of the stealth price increases are on food and beverage products, so people never get enough.

Demand for food, beverages especially junk food, processed foods, sweetened/refrigerated beverages, plus demand for speed and convenience is relatively inelastic, so many continue to pay more despite paying more for less.

As long as there are enough suckers willing to pay more for less stealth price increases will continue.

[Edited by: MarkJames at 8/1/2014 11:17:26 AM EST]
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MarkJames
Champion Author Albany

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Message Posted: Aug 1, 2014 11:09:39 AM

<<Sounds like your employee was doing all she could but the commute distance was the problem. Does she own an efficient vehicle?>>

Long commutes have been the norm for many for many years due to location and especially poor job security.

For example, this worker has moved 5 times in 3 years to be closer to work, only to lose jobs in weeks/months.

Twice she ened up commuting towards the places she moved away from since business closure, downsizing, hour cuts, layoffs and terminations are so common in low skilled positions.

Much local work is seasonal in nature as well and.or depends on nice weather.

Like many, she's staying put in beautiful place with 4 seasons recreation, numerous lakes/rivers, low crime, affordable housing and outstanding school systems, then working locally, or commuting to changing jobs.

Commuting is the price many have to pay for a much better quality of life outside the urban areas. She lives in a 2 bedroom 2-1/2 bath duplex directly on the lake with a boat dock, sandy beach, boats/canoes/paddle boats, tv and WiFi included in the rent.

Yes, she has an efficient vehicle - a Mazda Protege with fuel economy in the mid 30 MPG range. She owns a motorcycle as well, however it's not on the road currently.

It's mostly highway miles to work with no stop signs for 25 miles and beautiful scenery, so the drive is enjoyable as well as efficient.

If she wants she can park and take the transit more than half way Monday through Friday all year and Monday through Saturday May to September.

She can also carpool if she wants, but chooses not to.
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SemiSteve
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Message Posted: Aug 1, 2014 10:30:11 AM

Sounds like your employee was doing all she could but the commute distance was the problem. Does she own an efficient vehicle?

Yes, a classic corporation rip-off method is to reduce content of a given product. Changing the packaging to make it more attractive on the shelf is a common trick.

When the market has become saturated (meaning that everyone who wants one already got it) they get desparate to try to milk the product for all it can bring before it reaches end of market life.
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MarkJames
Champion Author Albany

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Message Posted: Aug 1, 2014 10:00:52 AM

This morning I stopped doing business with yet another supplier due to one of the biggest ripoffs these days - Stealth Price Increases.

In the last year alone they've decreased the volume of their products 3 times, yet raised prices each time.

Each time this happens we sell less and less product.

Since space is limited, we can't afford to keep low margin and low volume products on shelves.

To add insult to injury, in order to give the illusion of size, they'd increased the size of packaging, so the larger footprint took up more warehouse, truck and shelf space.

[Edited by: MarkJames at 8/1/2014 10:01:23 AM EST]
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MarkJames
Champion Author Albany

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Message Posted: Jul 31, 2014 7:33:02 PM

<<Can I infer from context that she lost daycare providers because she was unable to consistently pick up the child due to trying to take care of personal needs as well as spend 2 hours per day commuting in addition to working full time?>>

No, her babysitters generally came to her apartment.

.
.--<<What was she doing conducting work searches while she had a full time job working for an employer who fixed her car, loaned her cash, and did other favors to help her stay in her apartment? She'll never find another position like that.>>

She was looking for a job or two closer to where she lives with fewer hours, later start times, more flexibility etc.

<<Perhaps she had debt and/or expensive habits that ate up all her earnings?>>

No, just the usual. Rent, electric, heat, hot water, food, clothes, laundry, household goods, vehicle maintenance, repairs, insurance and gas consumes most of her money.

She has no credit card debt, no loans, no checking/savings account, no cable bill, no internet bill, doesn't drink, smoke or gamble and lives very frugally.

She lives so frugally that there's not much to cut...


[Edited by: MarkJames at 7/31/2014 7:34:06 PM EST]
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SemiSteve
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Jul 31, 2014 4:05:34 PM

What's this 'beginning to' stuff, fly?

I have always been a fiscal conservative.

I have always endorsed spending reductions - on the right things. Needless wars and military build-ups, corporate subsidies, the dole, the failed drug war, etc.

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flyboyUT
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Message Posted: Jul 31, 2014 3:44:16 PM

Careful there Steve - you beginning to sound like a conservative - you know - holding people responsible for decisions they make themselves......

snicker
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SemiSteve
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Message Posted: Jul 31, 2014 3:28:09 PM

Well it sounds like you more than 'went the distance' to help that worker. It appears that the long commute was the real deal killer. Besides the fuel and time it incurred extra child care expenses and vehicle wear and tear beyond the budget of a low wage worker.

Can I infer from context that she lost daycare providers because she was unable to consistently pick up the child due to trying to take care of personal needs as well as spend 2 hours per day commuting in addition to working full time?

I've heard that many daycare providers end service when the parents pick up the kids late too many times /on a regular basis.

What was she doing conducting work searches while she had a full time job working for an employer who fixed her car, loaned her cash, and did other favors to help her stay in her apartment? She'll never find another position like that.

Perhaps she had debt and/or expensive habits that ate up all her earnings?

One easy way for her to save lots of cash would have been to cancel cable/internet/landline and optional mobile phone features. Perhaps just get pre-loaded phone.

Many foolish people rent furniture. Hard to believe; but amazingly enough people will sign up to make monthly payments on couches, tables, chairs, appliances, etc. As if they never heard of garage sales, thrift stores, etc.
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MarkJames
Champion Author Albany

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Message Posted: Jul 31, 2014 2:45:30 PM

<<The employer feels that the pay is ample for the job but does not have enough work to make it a full-time position.>>

I'm the employer and it was a full time position - at least until she lost past and current daycare providers.

She would have lost her vehicle, apartment and more long ago had I not fixed her car, did some favors for her landlord, loaned her some money.

From a financial and stress related perspective she's currently better off working a much lower paying job closer to home and receiving more non cash benefits.
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MarkJames
Champion Author Albany

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Message Posted: Jul 31, 2014 2:15:04 PM

Semisteve, The payment is a combination of hourly rates (3 or less hours) , part-day rates, full day rates and weekly caps and they only pay for the hours the employee is working.

For example, if this worker worked 3 hours and their babysitter worked 5, they'd receive an hourly rate of $3 per hour - $9 for 5 hours of work.

If they worked 7 hours and their babysitter worked 9 hours, they'd receive a part-day rate of $10 for 9 hours of work.

If they worked 12 hours and their babysitter worked 14 hours they'd receive a full day rate of $16 for 14 hours of work.

Regardless of how many hours they work weekly pay is capped at less than $100. I belive it was around $85.

Besides travel time the babysitter was working a lot of unpaid time so this worker could do her shopping, banking, work searches etc.
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SemiSteve
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Message Posted: Jul 31, 2014 12:31:55 PM

"When her babysitter received their first check they were shocked to learn that they only paid them $1.60 per hour and that they only pay the hours our employee is working, not travel time.

After travel time they're paying about $1 per hour."

"Our starting pay is $10.50 per hour which is decent "starting pay" for such a low skilled position and such an easy job."

Interesting. Let me see if I understand this correctly. She was making $10.50/hr and could not afford child care or even to pay for the child care while she was traveling. The babysitter was paid $1.60/hr by the State but when the unpaid travel time was factored in that dropped to $1/hr.

If she worked 4 hours and traveled 1 hour each way that would be a total of 6 hours.

4*1.6 = $6.40 (paid by State)

$6.40 / 6 hours = $1.10/hr (effective babysitting pay)

What if she only worked 3 hours and traveled 1 hour each way?

3*1.6 = $4.8

$4.80 / 5 hours = $.96/hr (effective babysitting pay)

Well, obviously the problem here is that the worker is not getting enough hours to support living as far away as she does from the place of employment. According to the information presented, it appears the worker may only be getting 3-4 hours of work a day. And since the worker can not afford babysitting services on what she is earning then she is being forced to go on the dole and do her own babysitting.

The employer feels that the pay is ample for the job but does not have enough work to make it a full-time position. Either that; or has chosen to break a full-time position into several part-time positions to get out of paying health care benefits required by law for a full-time position.

Another job-seeker is being considered who may either live closer or have a more affordable arrangement for child-care.

<<Yes, but just who is doing the rip-off in that situation, Mark James?>>

"The government and state. They don't practice what they preach. They tell others they have to pay $8 per hour, however the laws don't apply to them apparently."

I don't think that is an accurate statement. A job is something one person can do. Many would love to get paid twice for working a job but of course the problem is that one person can only work one job at a time. It would be nice if people could simultaneously get two paychecks from jobs but in order to do that they would have to be in two places at once, so once they decide to take a job, they become unavailable to take another one.

Providing a babysitting service is not a job per se. It is a business arrangement. A babysitter can conceivably babysit for more than one child at a time. Although in this case to earn $8/hr @$1.60 per child one would have to babysit 5 children. Now that sounds like a job worth more than $8 an hour!
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MarkJames
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Message Posted: Jul 31, 2014 9:56:14 AM

<<And is that the message here? That taxpayers should be on the hook for parents who don't have high paying jobs? That doesn't bode well for balancing the debt since most young want children and a vast number lack the qualifications for higher paying jobs.>>

From my experience with hundreds of job seekers and workers with kids, work availability issues due to daycare availability, distance and costs are far greater issues than qualifications.

Our number one reason for culling out many low skilled job applicants during the first cut is hours of availability.For workers with kids to work various hours they need daycare providers willing/able to work the same hours (many more due to long commutes), plus they have to be affordable.

Since more and more work odd hours, on-call hours etc, they have difficulty finding babysitters willing/able to match their schedules, so they have to turn down jobs, hours, days, shifts, overtime, on-call hours etc.
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Troller_Diesel
All-Star Author Denver

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Message Posted: Jul 31, 2014 9:25:11 AM

SemiSteve: "...and a vast number lack the qualifications for higher paying jobs."

So did I when I graduated from High School. I no longer have that problem. So whose fault is it if someone fails to take the steps needed to obtain the qualifications for higher paying jobs?

And why should I and others suffer because of their lack of effort and honest work?

This is the problem with being blinded by an ideology, SemiSteve, you cannot provide the answers to those questions because they don't fit into your narrow intolerant worldview...

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MarkJames
Champion Author Albany

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Message Posted: Jul 31, 2014 9:17:11 AM

<<Yes, but just who is doing the rip-off in that situation, Mark James?>>

The government and state. They don't practice what they preach. They tell others they have to pay $8 per hour, however the laws don't apply to them apparently.

<<Is your business going to seek another more desparate employee who will accept such meager pay? Perhaps someone who has no children?>>

Our starting pay is $10.50 per hour which is decent "starting pay" for such a low skilled position and such an easy job.

Our employees receive many perks as well. For example, I performed well over $1,000 worth of automotive repairs for this employee so she could keep a job, drive to daycare etc.

The person we're considering for the job has 3 kids.
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SemiSteve
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Message Posted: Jul 31, 2014 8:54:38 AM

Yes, but just who is doing the rip-off in that situation, Mark James?

Is your business going to seek another more desparate employee who will accept such meager pay? Perhaps someone who has no children? And is that the message here? That taxpayers should be on the hook for parents who don't have high paying jobs? That doesn't bode well for balancing the debt since most young want children and a vast number lack the qualifications for higher paying jobs.
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MarkJames
Champion Author Albany

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Message Posted: Jul 31, 2014 8:23:40 AM

Here's a Rip-Off I heard of yesterday.

After losing a babysitter and after a long search for daycare providers in her region an employee found a neighbor willing to accept subsidized daycare as payment, or partial payment for babysitting her son.

None of the daycare providers she's talked to will accept subsidy customers.

She figured they'd pay close to the minimum wage.

When her babysitter received their first check they were shocked to learn that they only paid them $1.60 per hour and that they only pay the hours our employee is working, not travel time.

After travel time they're paying about $1 per hour.

This babysitter makes 10X to 20X more checking in on neighbors' dogs.

Since the pay is so low the babysitter can't help her, so our employee missed work this week.

Since she can't afford to pay out of pocket, she's quitting and applying for full welfare.

We've lost about a dozen employees in the last couple years due to similar issues.
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MarkJames
Champion Author Albany

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Message Posted: Jul 31, 2014 7:35:27 AM

I was once charged over $25 for one small bottle of spring water due to a minimum charge and included gratuity.

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eldiablopoco
Champion Author Grand Rapids

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Message Posted: Jul 30, 2014 8:57:19 PM

Pension Smoothing...

Corporation defer making contributions to employee pension to reap higher profits, today. In the future, the corporations pay the back contributions to lower profitability in order to pay less in taxes.
First, this works only if a corporation will be viable in the future. If the corporation is not viable in the future, and files for bankruptcy before those pension liabilities come due, this forces the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) or taxpayer to pick up the tab.
Second, this shorts the government in the future of revenues for operations under the assumption that a dollar today will not buy as much as a dollar tomorrow.
Third, this permits CEOs to manipulate the current viability of a corporation by inflating profits to garner higher bonuses from an uninformed board of directors and investor.
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SE3.5
Champion Author Indianapolis

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Message Posted: Jul 30, 2014 10:24:00 AM

Hotel ripoffs are the worst. $127 for 3 bottles of water.

[Edited by: SE3.5 at 7/30/2014 10:24:40 AM EST]
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MarkJames
Champion Author Albany

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Message Posted: Jul 30, 2014 8:26:17 AM

Yesterday I forgot to put a flow restrictor on a bottle of dressing and ended up squeezing at least 3 times as much as I wanted onto my salad.

Between the unintentional overpours and inability to get much of the contents out of the oddly shaped plastic bottle a person could easily waste 1/2 the product.

The bottle design was so flimsy that squeezing it lightly results in a 2/3X overpour.

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flyboyUT
Champion Author Utah

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Message Posted: Jul 29, 2014 11:03:29 PM

Steve I could have told yo BofA was a bad place to do business 40 years ago. That is nothing new to anyone who is the least bit observant.

There is a reason why I do all my 'banking' business with a small locally owned credit union.
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SemiSteve
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Jul 29, 2014 10:57:03 PM

Hard to get much greedier than bank of America:

"In September, Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) announced it was laying off 30,000 people. Its share value has dropped 55% in one year. And the bank continues to face legal actions from the federal government, several states and some of its shareholders. In early September the FHFA officially announced its lawsuit against 17 banks, including Bank of America, Citigroup (NYSE: C), JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) and Goldman Sachs, concerning $196 billion in mortgage securities. Bank of America has even been charged with keeping one of its largest legal threats a secret from shareholders. Reuters reported in August that top Bank of America lawyers knew as early as January that American International Group (NYSE: AIG) was prepared to sue the bank for more than $10 billion, seven months before the lawsuit was filed. Retail customers have shown their disdain for Bank of America’s customer service. Not only is it near the bottom of many customer satisfaction surveys, 41.5% of respondents in the MSN Money-IBOPE Zogby International customer service survey rated its service as “poor.” That is the highest percentage of respondents giving a “poor” rating to any company."

source
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SemiSteve
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Message Posted: Jul 27, 2014 11:12:46 AM

Well I always did believe that automation would lead to shorter work weeks. What I didn't realize was that along with that people would just be shut out of having an enjoyable living that they could afford and that the spoils of all these advances would go mostly to the very few at the top.
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MarkJames
Champion Author Albany

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Message Posted: Jul 26, 2014 12:18:14 PM

Here's a dirty employer trick that happens frequently.

Many employers will schedule workers for various shifts, then when workers arrive they don't have much work or many customers, so they'll "expect them" not to punch in.

If they expect to be paid when they're not needed they'll be viewed as non team players and many likely won't have a job for long.

Recently one of my relatives made a 30 mile trip to work a 4 hour shift. When they arrived they were overstaffed, (employer mistake) so they were "asked" to go home.

The supervisor was visibly upset that they still wanted to work and be paid. The next 2 weeks their scheduled hours dropped from 28-1/2 hours to 2 4-hour shifts per week and they suddenly stopped receiving on-call hours.

The new rewards and punishment these days are often hours since many work so few hours.

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MarkJames
Champion Author Albany

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Message Posted: Jul 26, 2014 11:55:25 AM

Many in my industry and similar industries where 24/7/365 emergency service is the norm have spent much of working lives on-call without pay.

When we work and get called the pay is so good that we don't mind the unpaid hours.

We can still do other less important jobs and fun stuff, however some of us stay within an hour or two of our service areas and/or have back-ups.

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MarkJames
Champion Author Albany

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Message Posted: Jul 26, 2014 11:50:11 AM

Even when many aren't "required" to respond to on call opportunities, many that don't more than X times won't keep their jobs, nor get promotions, perks etc.
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SemiSteve
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Jul 26, 2014 11:41:30 AM

It is one thing for an employer to accept that on-call workers may or may not be available, but it is quite another to require availability without paying for it.
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MarkJames
Champion Author Albany

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Message Posted: Jul 26, 2014 9:57:31 AM

<<Oh and never work them over 29 hours a week so they get no benefits. Way to stick the 99% with the bill for supporting your workers, Walmart, mcdonalds , etc.>>

One of my former employees works for a business where she never receives over 28 hours of work.

To add insult to injury she works many short 2 to 3 hour shifts, plus many short 2 to 3 hour shifts many hours apart and many miles apart.

These shifts are very expensive to work due to transportation and daycare costs of working so few hours and such long commutes.

She had to quit working for me since she works so many split shifts so many hours apart which ties up most of her time.

Since she works so few hours, plus she's a single mother she applied for numerous welfare benefits after she quit working for me.She's since lost her vehicle and may be forced to apply for TANF assistance until she can afford another car.

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MarkJames
Champion Author Albany

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Message Posted: Jul 26, 2014 9:44:28 AM

<<Here is a widespread greedy corporation trick to rip off the 99%.

Place employees on an on-call status and don't pay them for their time unless they are actually called in for peak times. Great for profits but pretty much guarantees the worker will be on government assistance because they are unavailable to take another job. Oh and never work them over 29 hours a week so they get no benefits. Way to stick the 99% with the bill for supporting your workers, Walmart, mcdonalds , etc.>>.

.
--Much of today's On-Call low skilled workforce are unpaid voluntary On-Call workers. We call them Floaters.

Our own floaters and the floaters at many other businesses list their availability online, then we call them when other workers don't show up, leave early, quit, they're suspended/terminated or we're really busy.

Response isn't necessary, so they can still work other jobs, look for other jobs, spend time with friends and family etc. When one floater doesn't respond we drill down the availability list.

Since part-time, temporary and seasonal jobs, plus having 2, 3 or more part-time jobs is so common these days more and more employers offer flexible scheduling.

So many work so few hours that they're constantly looking for additional hours, days and shifts. Many floaters we know receive as many, or more unscheduled hours than scheduled hours.

Floaters that frequently respond to short notice calls are also much more likely to receive more calls, keep their jobs, get promoted etc.

[Edited by: MarkJames at 7/26/2014 9:45:45 AM EST]
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SemiSteve
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Jul 25, 2014 4:31:58 PM

Here's what I noticed fly. You said nobody paid the top rate and the link to article said few paid it.

SE: "Everyone was paid half time for the hours we were required to be on standby."

That sounds reasonable. Businesses which require employees to be on standby should be paying them for their time.
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flyboyUT
Champion Author Utah

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Message Posted: Jul 25, 2014 12:53:39 PM

Steve --- TD asked to have a link made to this for your enjoyment.
.
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>>>In 1958, the top 3% of taxpayers earned 14.7% of all adjusted gross income and paid 29.2% of all federal income taxes. In 2010, the top 3% earned 27.2% of adjusted gross income and their share of all federal taxes rose proportionally, to 51%.

So if the top marginal tax rate has fallen to 35% from 91%, how in the world has the tax burden on the wealthy remained roughly the same? Two factors are responsible. Lower- and middle-income workers now bear a significantly lighter burden than in the past. And the confiscatory top marginal rates of the 1950s were essentially symbolic—very few actually paid them. In reality the vast majority of top earners faced lower effective rates than they do today.
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The changes came about not so much by movements in rates but by the addition of tax credits for the poor and the elimination of exemptions for the wealthy. In 1958, even the lowest-tier filers, which included everyone making up to $5,000 annually, were subjected to an effective 20% rate. Today, almost half of all tax filers have no income-tax liability whatsoever, and many "taxpayers" actually get a net refund from the government. Those nostalgic for 1950s-era "tax fairness" should bear this in mind.

The tax code of the 1950s allowed upper-income Americans to take exemptions and deductions that are unheard of today. Tax shelters were widespread, and not just for the superrich. The working wealthy—including doctors, lawyers, business owners and executives—were versed in the art of creating losses to lower their tax exposure.
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It's hard to determine how much otherwise taxable income disappeared through tax shelters in the 1950s. As a result, direct comparisons between the 1950s and now are difficult. However, it is worth noting that from 1958 to 2010, the taxes paid by the top 3% of earners, as a percentage of total personal income (which can't be reduced by shelters), increased to 3.96% from 2.72%, while the percentage paid by the bottom two-thirds of filers fell to 0.51% in 2010 from 2.7%. This starker division of relative tax burdens can be explained by the inability of upper-income groups to shelter income.

It is a testament to the shallow nature of the national economic conversation that higher tax rates can be justified by reference to a fantasy—a 91% marginal rate that hardly any top earners paid.

In reality, tax policies that diminish the incentives and capacities of innovators, business owners and investors will not spur economic improvement. Such policies will, however, satisfy the instincts of those who want to "stick it to the rich." Never mind that the rich have already been stuck fairly well. <<<

So Steve do you still want to go back the the days of what you consider the "ideal tax code"?

A fair tax code should be one where everyone - without excuse or reason - pays the exact same percentage on each and every dollar of income regardless of the source of that income. No more deductions or special deals - fair is we all pay the same percentage on each and every dollar of income.

If you make $10,000 or $100,000 or $100,000,000 everyone should pay the exact same percentage. That will achieve Steve's goal of the rich pay more wont it - after all 10% of one hundred million is lots more than 10% of ten thousand isnt it?.

[Edited by: flyboyUT at 7/25/2014 12:54:00 PM EST]
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SE3.5
Champion Author Indianapolis

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Message Posted: Jul 25, 2014 9:02:47 AM

"Place employees on an on-call status and don't pay them for their time unless they are actually called in for peak times."

I put myself through school by working summers for a bus company. Every bus had to have a driver, but only during rush hour. Drivers with less seniority were on "standby shifts" in case someone called in sick for their shift.

Working drivers were also put on standby as morning and evening "rush hours" ramped up and cycled down. Everyone was paid half time for the hours we were required to be on standby.
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SemiSteve
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Jul 25, 2014 6:10:11 AM

Here is a widespread greedy corporation trick to rip off the 99%.

Place employees on an on-call status and don't pay them for their time unless they are actually called in for peak times. Great for profits but pretty much guarantees the worker will be on government assistance because they are unavailable to take another job. Oh and never work them over 29 hours a week so they get no benefits. Way to stick the 99% with the bill for supporting your workers, Walmart, mcdonalds , etc.
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Troller_Diesel
All-Star Author Denver

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Message Posted: Jul 24, 2014 9:50:05 AM

flyboyUT, let me get this one:

online dot wsj dot com/news/articles/SB10001424127887324705104578151601554982808

"Peter Schiff: The Fantasy of a 91% Top Income Tax Rate

A liberal article of faith that confiscatory taxes fed the postwar boom turns out to be an Edsel of an economic idea.

Democratic Party leaders, President Obama in particular, are forever telling the country that wealthy Americans are taxed at too low a rate and pay too little in taxes. The need to correct this seeming injustice is framed not simply in terms of fairness. Higher tax rates on the wealthy, we're told, would help balance the budget, allow for more "investment" in America's future and foster better economic growth for all. In support of this claim, like-minded liberal pundits point out that in the 1950s, when America's economic might was at its zenith, the rich faced tax rates as high as 91%."

Now, we will await our friend SemiSteve's effort at Liberal "logic", aka the "Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy."

You'll probably have to repost it, since I'm pretty sure SemiSteve has me on "ignore" since he can't handle the criticism of his self-defined version of "logic" that he makes up as he goes along...



[Edited by: Troller_Diesel at 7/24/2014 9:51:43 AM EST]
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MarkJames
Champion Author Albany

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Message Posted: Jul 24, 2014 9:25:32 AM

<<That is why I bag my own groceries. I have 2 large canvas bags for all the dry goods & I will use plastic for the non dry or hazardous goods.

ALWAYS check the receipt before you leave the store. I have caught discrepancies & had to go to the main desk.>>

This happened last night as well. A cashier triple scanned 1 item, double scanned 2 items and entered an incorrect price on another item since they were too lazy to scan it.

Had I not noticed I would have lost about $25.When I shop I add prices in my head, so I know roughly how much my total should be within a few bucks on large purchases and pennies on smaller purchases.

My own cashiers would have been written up and suspended for these mistakes, or demoted or terminated depending on previous violations.
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PopcornPirate
Champion Author New Jersey

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Message Posted: Jul 24, 2014 8:41:34 AM

""Yesterday I was almost ripped off by 3 incompetent cashiers that overcharged me - 3 double scans and 3 incorrect entries.

Two also attempted to place bloody meat in bags with my dry goods.
Many businesses aren't demanding enough performance from workers.""

That is why I bag my own groceries. I have 2 large canvas bags for all the dry goods & I will use plastic for the non dry or hazardous goods.

ALWAYS check the receipt before you leave the store. I have caught discrepancies & had to go to the main desk.
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SemiSteve
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Jul 23, 2014 10:46:52 PM

Yeah. Didn't think you could prove that.
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SemiSteve
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Jul 22, 2014 12:57:01 PM

Fly, it sounds to me like you have repeated a conservative myth so much you think it is a fact.

I don't believe you.

I bet there were people who paid the full 90% tax.

That is what I am going to believe unless you can show some definitive proof that loop holes made it so easy to get out of paying that not one single person paid the entire tax. Remember you said:

"I repeat NO ONE actually paid 90% taxes."

Prove it.
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MarkJames
Champion Author Albany

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Message Posted: Jul 22, 2014 12:48:25 PM

<<squeezing ever more out of workers while giving them less and less for their efforts>>

Yesterday I was almost ripped off by 3 incompetent cashiers that overcharged me - 3 double scans and 3 incorrect entries.

Two also attempted to place bloody meat in bags with my dry goods.

Many businesses aren't demanding enough performance from workers.
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flyboyUT
Champion Author Utah

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Message Posted: Jul 22, 2014 12:05:01 PM

Steve there is a rather huge difference between the tax rates and what people actually pay. Saying that people used to be taxed at 90% is silly because no one paid those rates. Given all the ways to reduce taxes and dodge them no one - I repeat NO ONE actually paid 90% taxes.

You really need to look at what income percentile or different measure actually pays. Dont look at rates - look at actual income and actual payments.

The word fair should stand for equal treatment. As presently used by progressives it means ever higher rates/payments on some people and not others. That is not fair at all. A "fair" tax rate is everyone pays the exact same rate on any income regardless of source.

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SemiSteve
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Jul 22, 2014 11:56:02 AM

Excellent example, I75.

At some point all they are doing is creating new structures solely designed to avoid paying taxes, with no other benefit to society.

From your link:

" Regulators should also intensify scrutiny and take legal action against banks involved with abusive tax structures, the report said. "

Ya think?

[Edited by: SemiSteve at 7/22/2014 11:57:32 AM EST]
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I75at7AM
Champion Author Dayton

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Message Posted: Jul 22, 2014 11:07:37 AM

How about hedge funds that avoid $6 Billion in taxes?
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SemiSteve
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Jul 21, 2014 5:53:19 PM

fly: "the folks who have the highest incomes pay a hugely disproportionate share of the taxes now. "

--And those same folks are STILL able to increase their wealth at an even higher disproportionate rate than the rest. They also did this when their income taxes were 90%.

AC: "even if we taxed the "1% ers" at a rate of 100% of their earnings, we still wouldn't have enough to balance our fool US budget."

--If you are figuring the revenue for one year and expecting to wipe out debt accrued over many decades of course there will be insufficient funds. Certainly the differential will be far less if the robber barons are taxed more. But don't assume I claim this alone will solve the issue. Recall that I also said stop paying the poor to have more poor.

While you are at it, legalize and tax cannabis, stop locking people up for possession, stop mandatory sentencing, stop rewarding bigoted DA's with greater funding because they are prosecuting more blacks, stop prisons-for-profit, and get the big money out of politics by reversing 'Citizens United.' Raise the minimum wage, too. End wars for profit. Address the MIC.
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