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How about prohibiting renumeration differences of a certain magnitude throughout a company, Say 10: If the CEO gets a million, then the lowest janitor in the company must get at least 100K, and everybody else at least as much as well. No ceiling for the stars, but they have to drag everybody up with them....

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$E(X_t|F_s) = X_s,\quad t > s$
by martingale on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 07:37:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think banks have actually directly employed janitors for quite some time...

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 09:01:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Which is actually a good thing. Quite a lot of the time, concentrating on the core competency and hiring subcontractors to do the other stuff is a good idea and increases the total wealth of a society.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 09:06:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"increase the total wealth of society" being, quite particularly in the case of the cleaning staff, a codeword for more efficient exploitation of wage slaves.
Instead of being one of your co employees, the janitor becomes faceless ; going around labor laws is much easier for the subcontractor than the large bank ; a janitor asking for better wages gets a "but we will lose the customer" rather than a non credible "we can't afford it". This goes for work conditions, too.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 09:11:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Because all the increase in wealth (and sometimes more that 100% of it) accrues to the business that outsources the non-core function.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 09:11:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How much of the "increase in wealth" is actually a transfer of non-monetary wealth towards monetary wealth ? In which case there is no increase in wealth.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 09:13:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It does result in economies of scale and higher efficiency when there are a number of specialised cleaning or security or whatever companies serving customers compared to when every steel mill or fire station have their own guards or janitors.

I didn't talk about equality or labor conditions. That's something for labor unions and politicians to deal with.

But I really, really dislike the word "wage slave" except when used in jest. There are still real slaves around you know, and they don't get any wages. Even crappy jobs are real jobs, not slavery.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 09:22:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You know, a few of those holding these kind of jobs in France actually are slaves, and many are "illegal aliens" who as such don't have access to legal and union defense of their working conditions.

Janitors and guards don't result in "economies of scale". Those are service jobs, and take as much time to do wether the worker is employed by the the large company or a subcontractor. Hell, the large company is certainly more efficient in dealing with the administrative side of employment. The "economies of scale" come solely from the possibilities of enforcing rougher working conditions (which includes wages).

How can you separate working conditions and efficiency ? Very often, "efficiency" improvals come from transfers from the utility function of the employee and that of the employer - the later is monetarised, unlike the former, and that why it shows up as an "increase in wealth" which it is not.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 09:31:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
... employing their unskilled employees is also something that ought to be tackled, and probably won't be.

If there is regular employment at a business for a certain number of janitors, which they have outsourced, they should pay a penalty on outsourcing that work as opposed to hiring the janitors directly.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 01:05:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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