Are Working Women Choosing the Wrong Guys?


Traditionally women sought out guys to marry who showed that they could earn money and provide for a comfortable lifestyle.  Looks and personality were also factors, and certainly some women married guys with few prospects to provide an income out of love, but the ability to earn a living was always important. At one point in history this was probably the guy who could hunt and build a cabin, or who had land and could raise crops and animals, but with time it morphed into the guy who could earn a six-figure salary.  The guy with the nice car, nice clothes, and nice watch was the one who got the girl.  Guys would buy the meals and pay for everything on dates, give gifts, and even give an expensive diamond ring when proposing in part as a way to show the ability to provide.

For many guys, attractiveness, both physical and inner beauty, were important factors when looking for a wife.  Finding someone who was fun to talk to and nice to be around, and someone who was caring and nurturing, could also be important factors.  Few guys really cared about a woman’s ability to pay for things because they had always assumed that they would be earning money for the family.  Many guys might even feel intimidated if a woman earned more than them and was the primary breadwinner, and therefore not even seriously consider a woman who was more successful.  Likewise, many women would not respect a man who earned less than them.

Gender roles are all changing, however, with many women are choosing to primarily focus on a career.  Women are moving into top roles at companies and gaining parity with men in many fields.  There are even more women attending college then men in the US, so it only makes sense that many women are moving into the position of primary breadwinner.

Given this shift, one would expect more men to be taking the role of caring for and training the children, along with managing the household since it would make more sense for the wife to work.  Given this trend, you would therefore expect women to start seeking men who would be better at raising children.   You would expect them to be looking for men with qualities such as patience, concern, devotion, communication, an ability for multi-tasking, and selflessness instead of seeking the type-A personality with little patience who is quick to anger.

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And yet it seems as though men’s role has rarely changed, so we have ended up with scenarios in which both parents work and where both are heavily focused on their careers.  This can result in some high household incomes, leading to the generation of lots of tax revenue, but it leaves the children being raised by others or by themselves.  It is as if both parents have decided to leave the cave and hunt because the hunt has become such a focus that both parents have forgotten why they were hunting in the first place.  Society has suffered as the internet and television has raised the last generation of children and imparted its morals upon them, the morals of Harvey Weinstein and individuals in the darkest corners of the world.

Maybe it is time for career-minded women to seek out men who can better fulfill the role of primary caregiver and mentor for their children instead of choosing men based on their ability to provide.  A woman who can ear a six-figure income doesn’t need a man who can do so as well.  Most people who really crunch the numbers will find that a family will actually come out better on one income with a spouse spending time doing things like preparing meals at home and taking care of the children than they will with two incomes.  In addition, time spent in childcare for one’s own children is tax-free, where extra income made at work is taxed at the highest rates.

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Our children really need to become more of the focus.  Why wouldn’t we want to spend time training our children to be good, self-sufficient citizens that share our values and make the world better rather than creating the next report or presentation that will just be forgotten in a week?  Children are our greatest legacy and will make far more of an impact that anything most of us will do in the office.  Why would we be satisfied to pay a stranger minimum wage to simply watch our children rather than to make sure our children are educated, motivated, and cared-for?

So what do you think?  If you are a woman who is focused on your career, would you marry a guy because he would be a good parent instead of finding someone who would be a good provider?  If you are a guy, would you be satisfied raising your family instead of going into work each day, and would you feel important doing so?

Got and investing question? Please send it to vtsioriginal@yahoo.com or leave in a comment.

Follow on Twitter to get news about new articles. @SmallIvy_SI

Disclaimer: This blog is not meant to give financial planning or tax advice. It gives general information on investment strategy, picking stocks, and generally managing money to build wealth. It is not a solicitation to buy or sell stocks or any security. Financial planning advice should be sought from a certified financial planner, which the author is not. Tax advice should be sought from a CPA. All investments involve risk and the reader as urged to consider risks carefully and seek the advice of experts if needed before investing.

What do you think?  Please leave a comment?

Contact me at vtsioriginal@yahoo.com

Follow on Twitter to get news about new articles. @SmallIvy_SI

Disclaimer: This blog is not meant to give financial planning or tax advice. It gives general information on investment strategy, picking stocks, and generally managing money to build wealth. It is not a solicitation to buy or sell stocks or any security. Financial planning advice should be sought from a certified financial planner, which the author is not. Tax advice should be sought from a CPA. All investments involve risk and the reader as urged to consider risks carefully and seek the advice of experts if needed before investing.

An Update on The Kiosks are Here!


About a year ago I wrote the post below after seeing an ordering kiosk in a McDonalds down in Alabama.  I was in our Hardees last night, and they now also have kiosks in addition to a single person taking orders.  It looks like order takers will be replaced by kiosks and smart phone apps very soon.  The way to fight back is to give great customer service, making the restaurant make more per hour than your salary by your being there instead of a cold, humanless machine.

McKiosk?

McKiosk?

I was reading a stat this weekend that one in three working people were in a union in 1970 but only one in ten are now.  The author of the editorial used this to explain why wages have stagnated, but I took a different meaning.  Given that once a company is unionized it is virtually impossible to de-unionize it, this statistic means that we saw a lot of union jobs go away, forever.  A drive through Detroit (with your windows rolled up and at top speed, not stopping at the lights) would also show the effect of trying to force companies to pay a worker more than what the value of what he was doing was worth.  This, combined with absurd work rules (in some union car plants, you needed to continue to pay workers who sat and read the paper in a room in the plant if you didn’t have enough work for them), has chased a lot of companies out of the country or just out of business.

Now the same folks who brought us the unions and ran great American cities into the ground have their sites set on minimum wage workers.  With demands of $15 per hour wages, organizers are convincing some  misguided fast food workers (many workers wisely don’t participate because they can do the math) to protest at their place of business.  Note that the average McDonald’s worker produces about $13.50 in value for his/her company, so the company would be losing $1.50 per worker per hour if they paid $15 per hour.  Multiply that by thousands of workers, and you would see millions of dollars in losses each year.  No company could withstand that.

The solution for companies faced with rising labor costs who can’t just move out of the country as did the factories is to cut the number of workers.  Enter the ordering kiosk.  The picture above shows kiosks I found at a McDonald’s in Florida last week.  There were six kiosks setup and they were getting a lot of use by the customers without many complaints.  I went ahead and ordered at the counter (I like to support the workers, plus I would rather have a person help me with my order than go to a machine), but a lot of others chose the kiosks.  Smart phone apps are also being rolled out.  Raise costs enough and you’ll just have a cooked burger appear on a conveyor belt and you would add the toppings yourself.  The restaurant would just need to employ a couple of people to load the burgers into the hopper.  They could eliminate the need to clean by just making it a drive-thru with no table service.

People with three kids and a home should not be in these jobs.  These are jobs for teenagers and young liberal arts majors to take as a first job to learn the skills needed to get the next job and move up the ladder.  If you take these jobs away by raising the minimum wage or by protesting until McDonald’s and other employers relent, you’ll be cutting off this critical pathway to a better life that a lot of people need.  You can’t get a job without experience, and without minimum wage jobs, you can’t get experience.

So if you’re a fast food worker and want to keep your job, what can you do?  Be the best worker that ever existed.  Show up ten minutes early.  Leave your cell phone in the car and concentrate on doing your job to the best of your abilities.  Smile at the customers.  Help them with their orders.  Make suggestions for them to save a few cents by bundling items.  Provide value for your employer so that they have more business because of you.  Make customers visit your store to see you, rather than go to the place across the street with the kiosks.  In short, act like you work at Chick FilA.  Plus, don’t demand to be paid more than you create.

Got and investing question? Please send it to vtsioriginal@yahoo.com or leave in a comment.

Follow on Twitter to get news about new articles. @SmallIvy_SI

Disclaimer: This blog is not meant to give financial planning or tax advice. It gives general information on investment strategy, picking stocks, and generally managing money to build wealth. It is not a solicitation to buy or sell stocks or any security. Financial planning advice should be sought from a certified financial planner, which the author is not. Tax advice should be sought from a CPA. All investments involve risk and the reader as urged to consider risks carefully and seek the advice of experts if needed before investing.

What do you think?  Please leave a comment?

Contact me at vtsioriginal@yahoo.com

Follow on Twitter to get news about new articles. @SmallIvy_SI

Disclaimer: This blog is not meant to give financial planning or tax advice. It gives general information on investment strategy, picking stocks, and generally managing money to build wealth. It is not a solicitation to buy or sell stocks or any security. Financial planning advice should be sought from a certified financial planner, which the author is not. Tax advice should be sought from a CPA. All investments involve risk and the reader as urged to consider risks carefully and seek the advice of experts if needed before investing.

Why the Young and the Old Should Oppose a $15 Minimum Wage


IMG_0123It seems like the idea of a $15 minimum wage just won’t die. As they like to do with these things, those who are pushing for a minimum wage hike won’t give up until it is enacted.  Once it is and all of the minimum wage jobs go away, as is very predictable, they’ll then say it was the fault of rich corporations.  Odd how they never take blame for the bad ideas.

Understand that the crowd pushing for the $15 minimum wage is the same people who unionized the auto industry and made is so people could never be fired, wages and benefits were high and fixed, and whether you were laid off or not depended only on your seniority – never your work quality or speed.  There was a time when people were sitting in a room for weeks at a time at the large auto manufacturing plants, playing cards, reading the paper, or just talking, because they could not be laid off. If there were no cars to be made, they just got paid to sit there.  Once all of the plants left Detroit and the place became a wasteland, just as those of us who can do math expected, the closings were blamed on bad moves by management and greedy executives.  Never were the absurd work rules and labor costs that exceeded the money being generated by the workers blamed for the plant closings.  No one mentioned the people paid to do nothing and the effect they had on the bottom line.

Now the same people who destroyed Detroit are trying to get the minimum wage raised to $15.  Understand they don’t really care about minimum wage earners.  They just want to see minimum wage increase since the union wages are tied to minimum wage.  If minimum wage earners get $15 per hour, they suddenly get $40 per hour.  If union workers get paid more, the unions get more money.   Some of that money goes to get Democratic officials elected, who then use the power of government to create more absurd work and pay rules.  It is a vicious, corrupt circle.

But maybe you think, “So what?  It would still be great to make $15 per hour.  Think of all that extra money.”

Realize that the company is only making a couple of dollars per hour off of each minimum wage worker.  The worker is making the majority of the wealth being created.  Companies just make a lot of money because they employ a lot of workers.   You could not raise wages to $15 per hour since the company isn’t making enough to cover those wages.  Maybe during the fast times, but not during the slow hours.  If you try to raise wages beyond what the workers are producing, one of two things could happen.  Something would need to happen since a company can’t keep paying out more in salaries than they are bringing in from customers.  In actuality, a combination of both would happen.  These are:

1.  Companies would cut back on workers until they were bringing in enough to pay the workers and generate a reasonable profit.

2.  Companies would raise prices to cover the salaries.

Cutting workers would mean cutting the number of people at a business during a given shift and leave more work for the people who remain to do.  This would mean companies would only keep the most capable workers – those who were able to do the additional work.  People who aren’t able to produce at a higher rate would be let go.  Technology would be used wherever possible to replace workers – expect to see a lot of self-service, phone apps, and kiosks.  Companies wouldn’t hire many young workers with no experience because they wouldn’t have the ability to have you learn on the job.  This would make it very difficult to find a summer job or even a first real job because almost all jobs would require experience and a really strong work ethic.  This is why young people should be against a raise in the minimum wage.

Old, retired people should be against this as well because of the second consequence, higher prices.  For those working, wages would rise if prices went up, so you’d need $15 to buy a burger and fries instead of $6, but you would be making $15 per hour.  Note you would still need to work about an hour to pay for a meal at a fast food restaurant – there would be no change in the amount of work needed to buy a given product since there would be no increase in your efficiency just because you were paid more.

Older people wouldn’t see an increase in wages since they were not working, however.  This means that the amount of money they had in their retirement savings, assuming it was in bank CDs as many people’s is, would effectively be cut in half.  People who are receiving money from a fixed annuity would also see their income drastically cut since they would be receiving the same number of dollars but those dollars would buy far less.

The effect would go far beyond fast food restaurants.  People in the healthcare industry include a lot of people currently making less than $15 per hour, so health care costs would soar.  Ditto for things like maid service and senior care, home repairs, services like cable TV, and even buying food at the grocery store.  You might still have $50,000 per year in income from savings and annuities, but it would buy what $25,000 buys now.  You would need to trade the hard work you did for so many years for far less.  Many of the hours of work you put in would simply be stolen.

So if you’re young or old, you should be opposing a minimum wage hike.  The only people it helps is the union bosses.  Everyone else loses their job or sees their savings evaporate.

Please contact me via vtsioriginal@yahoo.com or leave a comment.

Follow me on Twitter to get news about new articles and find out what I’m investing in. @SmallIvy_SI

Disclaimer: This blog is not meant to give financial planning or tax advice.  It gives general information on investment strategy, picking stocks, and generally managing money to build wealth. It is not a solicitation to buy or sell stocks or any security. Financial planning advice should be sought from a certified financial planner, which the author is not. Tax advice should be sought from a CPA.  All investments involve risk and the reader as urged to consider risks carefully and seek the advice of experts if needed before investing.