Skip to comments.Betsy DeVos: Michigan workers paid too much
Posted on 04/28/2004 4:52:10 PM PDT by FourPeas
So, who does Betsy DeVos think is getting paid too much?
The Republican state party chairwoman raised the issue Tuesday when she issued a press release saying high wages were partly to blame for Michigan's economic woes.
"Many, if not most, of the economic problems in Michigan are a result of high wages and a tax and regulatory structure that makes this state uncompetitive," DeVos said in the prepared statement.
The press release was issued as DeVos criticized Gov. Jennifer Granholm for pinning the blame on President Bush for Michigan's loss of nearly 200,000 manufacturing jobs. Granholm was in Washington, D.C. with U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow touting plans to protect manufacturing jobs.
Michigan Democratic Party Chairman Butch Hollowell wasted no time in pouncing on the comments.
"I hate to tell Betsy DeVos this, but high wages are not a bad thing," Hollowell said. "They're good, and we need more of them."
DeVos, a longtime West Michigan GOP activist who owns the Grand Rapids holding company Windquest Group, and whose husband's family owns Alticor Inc., said she only was referring to the realities of the global economy.
"When you see jobs going to our neighbors to the Southeast -- South Carolina, Virginia and Alabama -- their economic climate for job creators is much more hospitable than ours," DeVos, of Ada, told the Press Tuesday.
All three states DeVos mentioned are right-to-work states, which have few unions and lowered wages. According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, right-to-work employees earned $5,333 less a year in 2001 than workers in union jobs.
DeVos said right-to-work laws must be considered, along with other solutions to regulations and high taxes on businesses.
"States with right-to-work environments have an advantage in attracting new jobs," she said. "The fact we have high wages in some areas, there will continue to be adjustments as job creators adjust to the realities."
Greenville refrigerator maker Electrolux announced plans earlier this year to send thousands of jobs to plants in South Carolina and Mexico, the latter of which pays workers $2 an hour, noted Lupe Ramos-Montigny, the Kent County Democratic Party chairwoman.
"To be competitive, we have to resort to getting paid less than the minimum wage?" Ramos-Montigny said. "Is that what she's saying? If that's the case, it won't work, because people won't be able to survive."
With Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry scheduled to campaign today in Ann Arbor on jobs issues, the rhetoric heated up Tuesday.
Greg McNeilly, the executive director of the state Republican Party, said Democrats will be hard-pressed to engage in what he suggested was class warfare.
"When it comes to who's more like Michigan's working class, I'll match my $8 Supercuts haircut to John Kerry's $1,000 hair trim," McNeilly said. "Grow-up, Mr. Hollowell. Playing the 'class card' is so Dukakis."
Hollowell said he hopes Kerry will use his Michigan appearance to single out DeVos' comments on high wages.
It has been a month since DeVos and Democrats got entangled in another war of words over the economy.
When it was announced that Milwaukee-based Johnson Controls Inc. was sending 885 jobs to its auto visor plant in Mexico, where workers earn $2 an hour, Hollowell said, "If (DeVos' family) were so concerned about job losses, they shouldn't have sold it to JCI in the first place."
The JCI operation in Holland was originally Prince Corp., founded by Betsy DeVos' father, Edgar Prince, and sold by the family in 1996 for $1.35 billion.
DeVos shot back, saying, "That is probably a commentary on what Butch Hollowell knows about business."
Hollowell said DeVos still doesn't get it when it comes to the economy.
"The fact that we had a manufacturing economy which paid people good wages is responsible for our middle class," Hollowell said. "They allowed people to send their kids to college, make improvements on their homes, save for their retirement. That's the American dream. This just underscores how remote the Republican leadership is from ordinary people. ... It means the Republican Party in general just doesn't get it."
Agreed, completely. But, she should be (is) smart enough to not hand it to them on a platter.
Looks to me more like the Dems don't "get it" - the operative word there is "had" - "HAD a manufacturing economy."
Just like California couldn't force me to stay there to pay their absurd 8.25% sales tax and 9.3% income tax to fund their white-elephant rail systems and fill their $30 billion Democrat-dug fiscal hole, Michigan can't force businesses to stay there to be sucked dry by taxes, regulation, and employement lawyers.
The reason the manufacturing jobs paid people good wages is because the businesses were making even more money on their labor. This is a cardinal sin among Democrats, of course.
High wages per se are not a bad thing or a good thing. Paying somebody fifty bucks an hour to push a broom at McDonald's is great for the broom pusher, but a payroll based on those wages would result in ten dollar hamburgers and a fast bankruptcy.
On the other hand, paying the same fifty bucks an hour to a software engineer who brings in incremental revenue to his employer above and beyond his salary is good for both employer and employee. The solution is for people to get education and/or training so that their empirical worth can be reflected in their salary. There ain't no free lunch.
I live in California and I don't even pay 7.5% sales tax.
Yep. Lived in The Thumb for 10 years, working for a nonunion automotive supplier.
It's expensive to do business here and it's not just wages, it's regulations, legal climate, insurance costs, etc.
As you should well know, the Big 3 squeeze the lifeblood out of their suppliers, so wages paid in The Thumb were just as low as any other rural area in our nation. But I agree with you on the regulatory/litigitory/insurance climate -- it sucked.
Could it be because you haven't asked it on this thread?
Or could it be one you asked sometime maybe 6~9 months ago that I actually answered and you now want to falsely accuse me of avoiding?
OR (final option) could it be the one that I intentionally ignored because I got tired of playing your silly rhetorical games?
In all fairness, I do appreciate Betsy for forcing Dubya to appear in the first Y2K GOP primary debate, and for pushing for school vouchers. I think it crappy how MIGOP dropped the ball on vouchers the same way I think its crappy that Bush/Rove/Santorum backed Arlo Spectre over Toomey. Conservatives keep getting backstabbed by the same RINOs for the same reasons.
Engler/Miller/Abraham were bums. During the 10 years I lived in Michigan, I finally wised up and realized that the only real power I have at the ballot box is to refuse to vote for bums no matter what Republicrat label they've attached to themselves.
"Logical" enough for you?
I live on the other side of the state but I am well aware of the strong arm tactics of the Big 3. Not all of it was bad, there were a lot of fat and happy suppliers who developed better business models and operations under that pressure.
But I'm no fan of the Big 3. Their "monopoly" led them to their own fat and happy pursuits and practices and then they cried and moaned to buy American as they ran American owned companies out of business by going overseas for supplies.
I live in the PRoM, and I agree, it's the regulations, etc. The state is basically insane. There is a new-this-year obligation for farmers to self-meter and report their water usage, or else face staggeringly draconian fines and penalties. This atrocity is not receiving any press coverage that I'm aware of.
I'm gonna guess that the next ratchet-up incremental step will be to require actual meters on wells (rather than an undefined as-to how to measure obligation that they report, or else), and the next step after that will be to charge people for the use of their own well water.
As to the insurance costs, thank John "Baby Doc" Engler. He never met an insurance industry he could resist crawling into bed with. The man was a total insurance whore. And after he found out Bush wasn't gonna give him a prime slot in the admin -- his first defeat, ever -- he dropped any facade of giving a rat's ass about Michigan and slunk off in a self-pity huff.
Right now, the Big Sooper-Sekrit make-money-fast deal is apples. After decades of watching the fruit market go to hell, thanks to the combined efforts of the gov't and our "friends" in China and Mexico, all of a sudden, a (relatively, in the grand sceme of things) small outfit in Shelby, MI got a contract with McD to supply them with apples for some new kind of menu item they'll be selling in their restaurants.
From what I hear, McD came up with some way of processing apples so that they don't turn brown, and now, they're gonna need lots of apples over the next (who knows how many?) years. So, they got a contract with this processor, who in turn is now (apparently) lining up growers.
So, the two farms that surround me -- one that was peaches until they were tore out last fall, and the other apples until about 5 years ago, when they were tore out, and replaced by a succession of vegetable crops -- are now suddenly sporting thousands of brand new apple saplings.
I'm hearing it's the same thing all over this part of the state. Apple trees going in like nobody's business.
Me, I'm wondering what's gonna happen a few years down the pike, after all these farmers are committed, extended, and dependent on one customer for all these apples (remember, up 'till now, apples were a glut on the market!), if that "one customer" decides to start barking out demands.
Last I heard, China is still capable of growing apples. And apples will handle storage and container transport just fine.
So, I'm not expecting an "apple miracle" for the PR of Michigan. But apparently plenty of people are expecting one. Me, I'm worrying about what the aftermath will look like if it all goes to hell a few years down the pike.
Michigan is a proving grounds for socialism. The sustained class warfare between the automakers and the autoworkers provided a fertile environment to test out various tenets of the monster. And, both sides played their parts with gusto. Idiots.
As to Mme. DeVos persnicketting about people making too much money, LOL! There is a certain undivine comedic aspect to seeing an Amway Heiress complaining about people making too much money.
I'm presuming she's not talking about "Independant Amway 'Distributors'", LMAO! (And yes, I am humiliated to confess that years ago, when I fell on hard times, I did allow my family to get suck[er]ed into that machine. And man, oh man, it did change my economic situation. It made the hard times harder. But I did have to work at it!)
LOL, but a sad, poignant laughter.
LOL ...Yea, no taxes in New Hampshire.
Just like Powell did on the Second Day of his trip to India...Offshore Outsourcing is now the OFFICIAL Policy of the Bush Administration!
G-D, the Stupid Party just being the STUPID PARTY!!!
LOL! Surely you jest.
PS: to the guy who suggested that I "did next to nothing", I am tempted to say how I really feel about that slam, but I'm not going to breach FR ettiquette. I'll simply say that's pure BS. I worked my ass off, and lost my shirt. My "upline" worked even harder, and did even worse than me. He was a hell of a lot more disillusioned than I was when his hopes and dreams came crashing down.FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 19, 1986AMWAY CORP. TO PAY $100,000 CIVIL PENALTY, SETTLING FTC CHARGES IT FAILED TO MAKE REQUIRED EARNINGS DISCLOSURES IN NEWSPAPER ADAmway Corp. will pay a $100,000 civil penalty to settle Fed eral Trade Commission charges it violated a 1979 Commission order by making earnings claims for its distributors without disclosing actual average gross income figures, under a proposed consent decree filed in federal court today. The consent decree and a complaint were filed at the request of the FTC by the Department of Justice. The consent decree is subject to court approval. Amway is a manufacturer and marketer of household and consumer products, which are sold door-to-door, including home and personal-care products, vitamins and food supplements. Under its Amway Sales and Marketing Plan, the Michigan-based company sells its products to distributors, who in turn resell to other distributors or directly to consumers. A 1979 Commission decision resolved FTC charges that Amway's claims about the amount of money distributors are likely to earn had the capacity to deceive potential distributors. The order accompanying that decision prohibits Amway from misrepresenting the amount of profit, earnings or sales its distributors are likely to achieve. The order also requires that whenever Amway makes above-average earnings or sales claims, it must also dis close clearly and conspicuously either the average earnings of all distributors or the percent of distributors who actually earn the amount claimed. According to a complaint filed with the proposed consent decree, Amway violated the 1979 order by placing an advertisement in newspapers across the country that represented the earnings of distributors without the required disclosures. The complaint charged that the 1983 ad, which offered Amway distributorships, contained earnings and sales claims that were higher than the average income actually earned in any recent year. In addition, the complaint charged, Amway violated the 1979 order by failing to include in its ad clear and conspicuous dis closures of the average earnings or sales of all distributors in any recent year or the percent of distributors who actually achieved the results claimed. Under the consent decree, Amway is prohibited from making claims about above-average distributor earnings or sales unless it makes the required disclosures about actual earnings or sales. This consent decree is for settlement purposes only and does not constitute an admission by the company that it violated the law. The proposed consent decree was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. FTC Chairman Daniel Oliver and Commissioner Andrew J. Strenio Jr. did not participate in the vote.(More) Copies of the proposed consent decree, a stipulation by the FTC and Amway agreeing to the consent and the complaint are available from the FTC's Public Reference Branch, Room 130, 6th St. and Pennsylvania Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580; 202-523- 3598; TTY 202-523-3638.# # #MEDIA CONTACT: Dee Ellison, Office of Public Affairs, 202-523- 1891STAFF CONTACT: Elliot Feinberg, Bureau of Competition, 202-634- 4604FTC File No. D. 9023Civil Action No. 86-1360[amway]
The Internet is filled with all the documentation anyone would ever need to form their own opinions on what happens to people who sign up for that religion.
The FTC citation above took me all of ten seconds to locate. I typed amway ftc into google. It was the second link returned, out of 2,810.
I'd suggest doing some googling if you want to find out what people have gone through. I'd also suggest backing off with the party line accusations against people who've lost money with that outfit.
It's generally acknowledged that the real money is in the "self-help" materials and services. Books, tapes, seminars, etc. Those guys -- that small cadre of biggies -- are the ones who rake in the money from the "true believers" who keep on forking out in the hope that if they somehow stick it out long enough, they'll get rich.
Personally, in retrospect, Clue One should have been when I had to spend a bunch of time in someone's house -- a friend, no less -- giving a long, drawn out pitch -- to try to sell a box of soap, so that I might make a few cents. That's a few cents gross. After subtracting all the costs of "doing business" -- it's tragically laughable.
Suffice it to say that most people find it more convenient to buy a box of soap at the store, where they don't have to get preached at by the checkout (who by the way doesn't have to sit there filling out forms just to sell the damn box!)
Watch it with the personal attacks. I've been there, I've paid my dues, and I've seen the lives tossed by the wayside. If all you've got to "contribute" are personal attacks, then I suggest you stow it.
Course old Andrew would have gone back to child labor if he could have gotten away with it.
"The order also requires that whenever Amway makes above-average earnings or sales claims, it must also dis close clearly and conspicuously either the average earnings of all distributors or the percent of distributors who actually earn the amount claimed."
With the claim that
"In the United States, the Federal Trade Commission requires Amway to label its products with the message that 54% of Amway recruits make nothing and the rest earn on average $65 a month."
I see nowhere in the FTC document where it states that Amway is required to label its products. There seems to be a truth in advertising problem with your claims. Ironic, eh?
I see YOU are calling me a liar. This, I believe, falls under the category of "personal attack", thus the A/M flag.
Given that the entire FTC notice I copied above pertains to a violation of the order mandating the company to provide the actual percentages in their promotions -- and, their failure to comply with that order -- I am force to wonder exactly what it is you read before blasting off your attack.
I suggest you read the FTC's notice again. The whole thing, this time.
Some highlights: "Amway violated the 1979 order by placing an advertisement in newspapers across the country that represented the earnings of distributors without the required disclosures. ... Amway violated the 1979 order by failing to include in its ad clear and conspicuous dis closures of the average earnings or sales of all distributors in any recent year or the percent of distributors who actually achieved the results claimed. ... Under the consent decree, Amway is prohibited from making claims about above-average distributor earnings or sales unless it makes the required disclosures about actual earnings or sales."
How much money do YOU make via Amway?
What percentile are you in?
What is your relationship to the company?
Time for you to put up or shut up.
And by YOUR "logic", Ted Bundy was a cultural icon. After all, HE was unique too.
You can't have it both ways. Either Amway is great for the average guy -- or, it's a meat-grinder for all except the "unique" few.
One more thing. It is a big deal that a modern big business actually supports conservative, not politically correct, causes.
Blah, blah, blah.
The scope of the outfit encompasses far more than the money they pitch to the Country Club "G"OP set that knows what side its bread's buttered on.
If you were trying to impress me, you did. Not necessarily in the way you intended, though.