Friday, August 23

NO-stradamus - Your Inability to See the Future is Why You Don't Make Much Money

If one can accurately and consistently predict the future, he or she needs no other skills in order to become wealthy, famous, or even legendary.  If you had this ability, you would never have to work, but your potential for income would be limitless.  You could invest in stocks or businesses that you knew would do well, or if you could just bet on football games, or gamble at casinos.  As long as you knew what was going to happen in the future, you could make a fortune in a very short time.

Everyone is always trying to predict the future, whether they know it or not.  It’s called, “Doing what you think is best”.  Some people are better at this than others, but no one is perfect at it.  What one lacks in prognostic capabilities, must be made up for by their labor.  When you think about it, these are the only two facets of one’s income earning potential that matter.  The only reason you get up and go to work in the morning is because you do not have enough confidence in your ability to predict the future to bet the farm on any of your hunches.  If you knew what the winning lottery numbers were going to be next week, who was going to win the World Series, or what tech company was going to come up the next revolutionary product, you wouldn’t even have to get out of bed in the morning.

So there it is, life in a nutshell, as far as income earning potential is concerned, only two things matter - labor and seeing the future, and it is obvious which of the two is more important when it comes to making real money.  Since the dawn of man, people have been devising ways to reduce labor, but no one is interested in reducing their prognostic capabilities.  The more intelligent and knowledgeable one is, the better one is at being able to predict the future, and the less actual labor they have to perform.  As the saying goes, “Work smarter, not harder.”  

It’s fun to watch a neighbor that just purchased his first chainsaw.  He will cut down a tree, then cut up all the brush into smaller pieces.  He will then drag each cut piece, sometimes 100 feet or more, over to his designated burning site and make a pile.  After about fifty trips, he attempts to light that pile of green brush on fire.  If he manages to avoid burning himself, from a flash of igniting gasoline, all he’s left with is a pile of charred, green wood.  Now you could have given him some advice right from the get go and saved him a lot of work and risk, but you figure that it’s best to let him suffer through the learning curve because you had to years ago and besides, he will be more open to suggestions after experiencing his own failure.

The next time he gets out his chainsaw, you offer some help.  After he cuts down the tree, you chain the tree to your truck and drag the whole thing over to the burning site.  Then you start a good hot fire with some dry wood.  You tell him, “You don’t make a pile then start a fire, you make a fire then start a pile.”   At that point, you instruct him to start cutting the brush off the felled tree and throw each piece onto the fire. All of it burns regardless of how green it is, and the size of the fire can be kept at an optimum by adding branches at a controlled rate.  Your neighbor now knows how to do the job more quickly, easily, and safely, and he will never do it any other way again.  It all comes down to being able to see the future.  Any branches cut at the tree felling site will have to dragged be the burning site and wet wood will not burn unless it is placed into a hot fire.

Hey. look at that!  Five, count ‘em, five paragraphs and I haven’t even started ripping on liberals yet.  For those of you that are regular readers of the Golden Geese, and have any amount of ability to predict the future, you already knew this was coming and here it is!

Liberals don’t understand the difference between work and labor.  They’re two different things.  As we saw it our tree cutting and burning example, the amount of labor expended does not necessarily translate into the amount of work accomplished.  Understanding what is going to happen in the future, saves on labor, regardless of the task.  The better one’s ability to see the future, the more valuable their labor becomes, because they can get more work done in a given amount of time.

Now, we already discussed the fact that if one had the ability to consistently and accurately predict the future, one could become very rich without having to work at all.  There is entire spectrum of labor, seeing the future, and the trade-off between the two.
Now, if one considers the above spectrum, it is easy to understand why CEO’s get payed so much and fast food workers get paid so little.  I’ll say it again; If you can consistently and accurately predict the future, you never have to work at all.  People with this ability would be on the extreme right of the spectrum.  Here is where you will find your CEO’s.

On the other hand, people that do not have any ability to predict the future will be on the extreme left.  You know the type, the people who never bothered to try and make something of themselves, spend every dime they make, and are drowning in debt.  Here is where you would find a large percentage of your fast food workers.

If one could become a billionaire, doing nothing more that consistently and accurately predicting the future, it only makes sense that someone is going to be paid a huge amount of money if they are responsible for seeing the future for a large multinational corporation.  Their decisions can make or break the organization and their compensation (however large) is peanuts compared to what’s at stake.  Would you rather hire someone for $10 million per year whose decisions made the company $500 million, or pay someone $100 thousand per year whose decisions cost the company $1 million.  It’s a no brainer.  CEO’s deserve every dime they make, if their decisions increase company profits by a margin that satisfies the stockholders and the board of directors.  Nothing else should enter the equation.

The people who complain about the pay of CEOs are not only full of crap, they’re hypocrites.  In their own lives, they will choose options that they think will net them the most amount of money.  Why shouldn’t corporations be allowed to do the same.

Now let’s look at some real idiots on the left side of the spectrum.  The pro-union fast food workers that are planning a strike.

Look you stupid bitch, it’s not exploitation if you’re free to leave.

This post would become way too long if I discussed all the reasons why pro-union fast food workers are stupid, so I’m just going to focus on one thing - the thing they are incapable of doing - predicting the future.

What if they got their way?  What if they managed to get all fast food workers a $15 per hour wage?  They envision them all be making $30,000 per year, and everything would be fine. Their vision of the future itself,  explains why they are working at low wage jobs.  They do not have the ability to accurately predict the future, so they must compensate for that with their labor. The job market is flooded with people who can’t accurately predict the future, so the wages for jobs that don’t require it are low.  

The pro-union people will tell you that reason for low fast food employee wages is that the fast food corporations are greedy.  If that were so, why don’t the fast food restaurants pay their employees even less?  Your average liberal would answer, “Because of minimum wage.  Thank God for that!  It should be higher!”  But many fast food restaurants pay more that minimum wage and include some benefits as employee compensation.  If greed was the motivating factor for determining wages, why wouldn’t they be at the bare minimum with no benefits?

The reason fast food employees are not payed less (or more) is because they’re paid the going rate for wages in their local labor market.  Market, that’s a word that liberals can’t stand, and they don’t understand why companies have pay according to it.  Even liberals understand that just one restaurant chain couldn’t raise it’s wages to $15 per hour and not be run out of business by the others.  That’s why they want government to step in and make a law requiring all fast food restaurants to do it.  Many think we should just raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour and then everyone will be making a living wage.

Only the stupidest of of people believe such a thing.  Most people intuitively know that such a thing cannot work, but they are hard pressed to put it into words to explain why.  Liberals think that markets are like modeling clay, and can be shaped and fashioned anyway that they see fit.  In reality, markets are more like wet, gooey river bottom mud in that while you may be able affect them, you are unable to manipulate them successfully through force.  The harder you squeeze, the more just squishes through your fingers, and you just end up with a mess that doesn’t resemble anything that you may have envisioned.

So what would the future look like if fast food restaurants were required to pay their employee’s $15 per hour.  First of all, you would see dramatic price increases.  Don’t let anyone tell you that this wouldn’t make much of a difference in prices.  Payroll is a major expense for labor intensive businesses like restaurants, and what is paid out in actual wages is only part of it.  Here, liberals are their own worst enemy.  They are the ones in favor of all the things that increase payroll costs - social security, medicare, workman’s comp, unemployment insurance - the costs of all of these things are determined by the dollar amount of a business's payroll, and that money could go towards wages if they were not required.  Increasing wages, increases costs - by more than most people realize.  

Increased costs must be covered by price increases, which puts downward pressure on sales, which will decrease the demand for employees.  If wages went up to $15 per hour, employers would have to cut their number of workers, and demand more of the ones they still have.  They would have every right to demand more of someone making almost twice the free market rate.  Small perks employees enjoy like free food and uniforms would disappear, and their productivity would be closely monitored. It would much more challenging to keep a job as a fast food employee because there would be plenty of people in line waiting to take that $15 per hour job.  Little violations like being late, would mean termination.  

The whole pay plan might be changed to one based upon sales and productivity, with the whole restaurant being purposely and permanently understaffed.  Every minute of every day of for the fast food worker might resemble the lunchtime rush, and they will be exhausted by the time them were halfway through their shifts.

Secondly,  you would see fast food restaurants try to cut costs in every (and I do mean every) possible way.  Did you ever notice that failing businesses and health and safety violations go hand in hand?  Think about that before you get on the “increase business's costs against their will” bandwagon.  Quality would be the first casualty.  The food would not be as appealing, so sales would fall even more, further decreasing the demand for employees.

If fast food joints could get the same amount of work out of half their present number of employees, they might be able to pull off paying $15 per hour, but the prices would be high, food would suck, and working there would be a living hell.

Haven’t places like McDonald’s taken enough hits already?  They’re making burgers for cripes sake, not manufacturing napalm.  You got people in the government and the First Lady, running them down because they’re not serving only salads, you got people making documentaries, accusing them of making pigs fat, (As if they have nowhere else to eat.) and you got Lionel Hutz and his buddies trying to sue them for serving hot coffee.

I used to go to McDonald’s a lot.  Back when I was raising pigs, I could just hop in my truck and go through the drive through.  I didn’t have to waste time cleaning up, because I never even entered the building.  (There’s nothing worse that being inside a restaurant and some hick slob walks in smelling like pigs or cows.)  Back then, McDonalds was cheap - $2.99 for a value meal.  Now it’s almost twice that, so between that, the burgers now being overcooked and dry, and no longer being able to get the super sized fries and coke for just a few cents more, I hardly ever go there anymore.

My point is that most people are very price sensitive when it comes to fast food, and it’s not the only place that they can get something to eat.  If you turn the screws too hard on the fast food joints, people will turn to lunch wagons, traditional restaurants, or just brown bag it.  No one knows exactly what would happen, but I promise you, it’s not going to be a situation where everyone makes $15 per hour and everything’s just fine.

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