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Nice to see that economists are reading material that accurately reflects our tradecraft findings. Extra money isn't much of an incentive (in and of itself) unless it will change your lifestyle. Absent handsome sums, a lot more weight needs to be placed on process, total rewards and non-cash remuneration mechanisms.

@Jim - Exactly. It's a never ending process to find the right balance: Look at the cash. Look at the non-cash. Now look at the cash again.

Like many one-over-the-world articles, the theory of engagement is correct, but its execution by U. S. businesses is lacking. Agree that the non-monetary examples cited are, for some businesses and employees, organizationally do able and appreciated. But for some. nay perhaps many or most, the non-cash inventives are rejected outright. "It's not in the business model" as I was told recently. Translated: it would take away profits for owners or company executives. Many non-cash perks are a dream for those in the retail, service and hospitality sectors. Employee presence/effort on-the-job, not elsewhere, is the only thing that counts to bean-counter owners. For workers in these sectors, it's pay that counts, and counts, and counts, etc. Many of these workers are earning minimum wage and are eligible for government support programs. A raise of 25 cents/hour, as our manager approved this week, clearly demonstrates that many business executives still believe, and continue to propogate, class warfare. Data available from the BLS also shows that workplace benefits, once seemingly part of the normal compensation package, are being offered by fewer and fewer employers. In many sectors, (see service/hospitality above, for example) the norm is no benefits whatsoever. We have line-level/hourly-wage employees who have served for 20-30 years who have never been offered one day of paid vacation/time off, etc.

Beg to differ on the generalized "class warfare" implication which is not justified by the facts. Different cultures operate differently. Here in the States, "class" is defined more by achievement level than by birth: in that narrow sense, the accusation is correct. Those who have no (or limited) marketable skills stand at great economic disadvantage to those who do have knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) that are in demand. Great shortages continue to exist for many talents.

That said, the indignation is righteous against the callousness of those privileged by virtue of their achievments who treat their employees in such an unAmerican way. It should be noted that there are more charities, foundations and other non-profits guilty of those "mistreatments" than for-profit businesses who are required to produce dividends for their shareholders who are frequently unions, charities and foundations. The tragedy of the commons is always more complex than a simple them versus us scheme.

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