Date: 2017-04-20 12:59 pm (UTC)
danieldwilliam: (economics)
From: [personal profile] danieldwilliam
I'm not against the idea of pay ratios but I think they might be difficult to enforce, they will drive some behaviour that might be unwanted and I'm not sure they are entirely fair.

Ways of evading pay ratios include outsourcing low paid work. If you're an IT consultancy firm with junior software engineers on a salary of £30k and one receptionist on £18k then you transfer your receptionist to Conceierge Services Ltd and hire concierge services from them. That one move allows your CEO to put a multiple of £12k on their salary. You'd also need to have a think about how it interacted with other forms of pay, such as bonuses, commissions, pension payments and stock options as well as perqs and benefits. Your receptionist gets a payrise but has her holiday cut to the statutory minimum but is allowed to take lots of unpaid days off.

You need to be careful about what entity or business unit you decide is the supplier to the government. How do you deal with suppliers to suppliers of government contracts. The IT supplier to the architect who is sub-contracted to the road building civil engineering firm. Are they a government supplier?

Undesirable behaviour that might be driven includes outsourcing, sacking apprentices, automation of low-paid jobs and a driving away of firms from working for the government. My observation of the USA is that federal acquisition regulations are so burdensome that many firms just don't trade with the government.

Are they fair? I guess a libertarian would say not on general principles. I'm looking at how different CEO's get treated depending on the different structures of their industry. Banking for example. Running RBS is probably as complex as running BP. If one accepts that the CEO of a large business should be paid in relation to the complexity they are managing then I am not sure that the CEO of BP should be paid markedly more than the CEO of RBS. RBS however employs quite a large number of relatively lowly paid and low-skilled clerking or call centre staff. BP generally doesn't have large number of semi-skilled labour.

Which combined make the whole thing tricky. The government needs a bank. So either all the banks will No Bid the government banking contract or the Teller: CEO pay ratio will have to be set so high that it fundamentally fails to address low pay in other government contractors because although there will be a link between the lowest and highest pay bands the ratio will be high enough to not actually matter much.

Re: Pay caps

Date: 2017-04-20 01:52 pm (UTC)
danieldwilliam: (Default)
From: [personal profile] danieldwilliam
Well that's the obvious way of addressing the issue - higher marginal tax rates coupled with a steadily rising minimum wage which starts to replace tax credits, good investment in the sorts of public services that promote social mobility and improved incomes and the provision of decent social housing and old age pensions.

I think I'd actually be more in favour of a small reduction in corporation for companies that met certain pay ratios and which paid everyone the living wage and perhaps some other work-place democracy measures.

Date: 2017-04-20 01:07 pm (UTC)
danieldwilliam: (Default)
From: [personal profile] danieldwilliam
Oak Ridge National Laboratory is managed by Battelle who own some really fantastic tech companies.

Date: 2017-04-20 01:24 pm (UTC)
havocthecat: the lady of shalott (Default)
From: [personal profile] havocthecat
Triclosan is not banned from toothpastes? Oh, fuck me. I thought it was. Thanks for letting me know.

Date: 2017-04-20 01:28 pm (UTC)
danieldwilliam: (Default)
From: [personal profile] danieldwilliam
Given that many of the people actively campaigning for a progressive alliance can't decide what it actually means I reckon it's dead easy for Corbyn to reject the idea and to still be "accused" of supporting it.

Date: 2017-04-20 02:58 pm (UTC)
kmusser: (earth)
From: [personal profile] kmusser
Personal update re Stellaris - after playing it rather extensively I'm somewhat mixed on it, there are lots of things about it that are really cool, and yet the actual game play manages to be somewhat boring and I find myself going back to EU IV. I'm still hopeful that a couple more updates will let it fulfill its promise.
doug: (Default)
From: [personal profile] doug
The point of that, though, is that at that point it became possible to measure a metre other than by measuring the standard platinum-iridium metre bar. That was in danger of becoming pretty hopeless since a physical metal bar will change size over the course of a day by an amount we could now measure and sometimes care about.

(Actually, that particular change happened earlier - the metre was redefined as a certain number of wavelengths of a particular emission line in the 60s, for just this reason. But it's much tidier to define it in terms of the speed of light.)

We're trying to get good enough at metrology to do the same to the kilogram, which - astonishingly - is still defined as the mass of the international prototype kilogram, which is an actual physical thing you can touch, but probably shouldn't. It's the only thing in our measurement system still defined by an actual physical object. And the problem with that is that it's getting heavier over time as it absorbs gunk from the air, despite being cleaned to try to get rid of it. Of course, although in the everyday sense it is getting heavier, its mass is, by strict definition, utterly constant. Which is a problem.

But doing better is really hard - AIUI the best candidate is using stupendously accurate watt balances, so we can redefine the kilogram in terms of a fixed value for the Planck constant, but it's very hard to make single-arm balances that accurate. (A dual-arm balance, comparing one mass with another, is much easier to make very accurate - which is why for most of human history we did most of our weighing that way.)

My favourite method, though, is making astonishingly perfect spheres of silicon so we can count the number of atoms in them precisely and redefine the kilogram in terms of a fixed value for the Avogadro constant. This seems to be more impractical for lots of reasons, and is a little bit silly, but I like it anyway.

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