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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 12:35 am 
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I've been saying this for years, both on this board and the ESSMB. This study backs up what I've been saying:

Conclusion

Large retail firms are in the position to improve the lives of millions of American workers and their families, and to boost the national economy, all while improving their own outlook for growth. This study shows that a new wage floor that pays the equivalent of $25,000 per year for full time work, or $12.25 per hour, would raise the living standards of at least 5 million American households and feed back into the economy across sectors. Workers spending higher incomes in the marketplace – on retail goods and other purchases – could lead to the addition of $11.8 to $15.2 billion to GDP and between 100,000 and 132,000 new jobs. At the same time, the wage increase would be a productive investment for firms and a negligible cost for consumers. With a host of benefits and a small price tag, large retailers can embrace this opportunity to make a positive change in the economy by paying a wage that supports families, improves productivity, increases sales, and generates new economic activity and jobs.


The entire thing is worth a read, and I'd challenge any rightie to rebut it piece by piece. I've often talked about the lesson of Costco, and the study didn't miss it either:

Higher Wages Lead to Higher Sales

But large retail firms won’t have to cover the entire wage bill, because a new wage floor has the potential to pay for itself, at least in part. A large body of evidence shows that paying higher wages in the retail sector results in greater productivity and higher sales. Zeynep Ton, an expert on the retail sector at MIT, has shown that businesses that make an investment in their retail workforce find that well-paid, knowledgeable, and experienced employees can be a driver of sales, rather than costs. Paying for high quality workers who can answer customer requests and identify priorities meets the long term goals of the business, as opposed to simply satisfying short-term cost minimization. Ton’s findings are supported by other research on the performance of retail firms. Comparing high-wage retail employer Costco with its warehouse club rival, low-wage employer Sam’s Club, reveals a substantial payoff to paying fair wages: sales per employee at Costco are nearly double the average sales per employee at Sam’s Club. Across the retail sector higher payroll levels are associated with customer satisfaction, which translates to more money in the register.


Anyone who says that low wages are the only way to lower prices will have to explain the Costco vs. Sam's Club lesson. No rightie ever has been able to.

GoU


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:48 am 
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I took a quick look over the report and from that quick look it just reinforces what I've thought/know. I worked for K-Mart in the early 70s, when I was in my early 20s, and the wages for back then were decent enough for me to share an apartment with a roommate and actually save some money. The thing I noticed is like myself, many of the K-Mart employees spent their money in......K-Mart. Also, K-Mart was able to keep good employees by providing good wages which reduced employee turnover and reduced their training costs.

If you stop and think about it, retail isn't a good career choice unless you go into management or become an owner. Most of the people I worked with were either young, like me, or over 50. As an entry job it was a good start and for the older workers, especially those who had retired from a previous job, it supplemented their retirement income. A full-time retail employee at a large retail store should be able to support himself and/or family on a living wage. They won't become rich but they can meet their living expenses and perhaps save little for their future.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 4:54 pm 
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Of course, the right will have no rebuttal to this thread.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 5:33 pm 
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I totally agree.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 10:57 pm 
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The right can't explain reality.

To any sane human, it's obvious. You get what you pay for. Good employees are worth good wages. You pay people poor wages, they are going to give the effort you pay them to give.

It's funny how the right says you have to pay CEOs billions to motivate them to do their job, but that you should be able to pay a worker pennies and he should be motivated by the crumbs to work all day and all night.

GoU

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 11:02 pm 
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The right can't explain reality.

To any sane human, it's obvious. You get what you pay for. Good employees are worth good wages. You pay people poor wages, they are going to give the effort you pay them to give.

It's funny how the right says you have to pay CEOs billions to motivate them to do their job, but that you should be able to pay a worker pennies and he should be motivated by the crumbs to work all day and all night.

GoU

GoU

Who says you have to pay CEOs billions to motivate them to do their job?

Please be specific.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 11:14 pm 
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Who says you have to pay CEOs billions to motivate them to do their job?

Please be specific.

Specific:

The objective of a properly designed executive compensation package is to attract, retain, and motivate
CEOs and senior management.


GoU


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:12 am 
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More on Costco:

While most big box retailers insist on paying low wages with the claim that thin margins require reduced labor costs, Costco for years has been breaking the mold. Wall Street squawks that the membership warehouse giant should push for higher profit margins and reduced labor costs, meanwhile the company, led by its iconoclastic founder and former CEO, Jim Sinegal, constantly flicks his chin at The Street and its yammering analysts. The results: happy employees, enviable stock performance and a brilliant shopping model that, let’s face it, bludgeons consumers into shopping happily for more.

So what makes Costco so successful? Arguably the biggest difference is how the retailer treats its workers. Walk into any Costco and look at the name tags. Chances are you will read the phrases “since 2002,” “since 1999” and “since 1995.” Costco workers get paid very well compared to their counterparts at chains including Walmart. In fact, employees working on the floor can make a salary that reaches the mid-$40,000 range; not bad for someone who starts working for the company out of high school. And while the vast majority of Costco’s employees are not unionized (most of those are legacy employees from Price Club that the Teamsters represent), over 80 percent have competitively priced health insurance plans. The outcome includes more productive workers, lower turnover and for what it’s worth, relatively high job satisfaction.

Meanwhile Sinegal, who stepped down as the company’s CEO on December 31, earned a spartan salary compared to the vast majority of his counterparts. For years his salary, not including bonuses and stock options, hovered at $350,000. Critics lashed out when the company announced that current CEO Craig Jelinek would pull a salary of $650,000, but that is still a tepid amount compared to average CEO salaries, which are still on an upward trend despite the recent surge in “say-on-pay” shareholder votes. Meanwhile the stock has performed well, sliding only when the rest of the economy took a dive during the post 9/11 aftershock and the 2008 fiscal crisis. If you bought Costco stock a decade ago, your investment has roughly tripled in value.


GoU


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