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Forum Post: Bottom Up Change: If only the poor voted....

Posted 2 years ago on June 21, 2012, 12:24 p.m. EST by JadedCitizen (4277)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Let's say every other election cycle, only the poor could cast a vote. What would happen? Would it end poverty?

From both sides of the political spectrum, most everyone agrees the only real way to effect change is with a bottom up, grassroots effort. But really, what could constitute bottom up change better than giving the 'least among us', the bottom percentile of the population, a real chance to change polices.

When the wealthy are questioned about greed, they often point to how charitable and generous they are at giving to programs to aid those less fortunate than themselves. What could be more generous than sitting out an election cycle to give those with small voices a big voice? What could be more charitable than giving up your seat at the table to let those not heard have a voice? Would that not be the ultimate form of charity - of compassion?

As a practical matter, it would not be all that difficult to set up. Philosophically speaking, it opens up a big can of worms.

Would you be willing to set out an election? What would happen? Would it be a disaster because the poor lack the education to vote wisely? Would it make for a better society? Would it create a never ending tug of war between the haves and have nots - is that a bad thing?

Would it end poverty?

138 Comments

138 Comments


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[-] 2 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 2 years ago

What would happen? The rich would continue to buy elections with their political contributions just as they do now. All reasonable voices will continue to be silenced by the overwhelming volume of political advertising favoring the wealthy's choice of leadership.

It does not matter who votes. It matters who influences the vote. That is where the flow of Democracy has been diverted. Away from justice and towards corruption.

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

If only the poor voted in the next election, would they not vote to get money out of elections and stop the rich from buying elections?

[-] 4 points by brightonsage (4494) 2 years ago

Which ballot is that going to be on? The last time they voted for that, it was with pitchforks and torches.

So it is important that they never get the chance again isn't it?

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

I see somebody got my point. Lol.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8846) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

this I think is sad but true, if you were allowed to just pay $50 a vote you would never lose

[-] 1 points by brightonsage (4494) 2 years ago

We try.

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

It's a billionaire bulldog eat poor person poodle world.

[-] 2 points by brightonsage (4494) 2 years ago

24 million people don't have picture ID's. Hmmm, wonder how they vote?

I am sure a few billionaires would be happy to buy each of them one, or even two, if....

Let's see, the Billionaires Club is investing $1 billion in the election. At $50 per vote that would be 20,000,000 votes. Yeah, that ought to swing it.

Send the check to brightonsage at ......

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

Did you want me to finish your thought?.....if billionaires gave a shit about anything other than profits.

[-] 2 points by brightonsage (4494) 2 years ago

If they are buying my vote and other's, I assume they would be doing so to protect their financial advantages, which some would term, PLUNDER.

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

Your check is in the mail.

[-] 1 points by brightonsage (4494) 2 years ago

I am sure it will be here before I am moved to inhale again.

[-] 1 points by SparkyJP (1646) from Westminster, MD 2 years ago

What about the electoral collage. Are delegates required to vote according to the popular vote? Can't they be bought off too? How about super-delegates? Idunno. Besides, all of the money and corruption in government; I can't see them letting a little thing like an auction (I mean election) interfere with their investments or agendas.

“What better way to enslave a man than to give him the vote and tell him he’s free.”

-Albert Camus

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

I agree all of the money and corruption is the problem. But when we get past this problem. How do we prevent the rich from running away with pie again next time people get complacent.

[-] 1 points by SparkyJP (1646) from Westminster, MD 2 years ago

IMO, the only way to prevent the theft of our government again, is by putting the people in charge .......... after all, it is OUR government, so why shouldn't we have the final say, instead of farming it out to people that don't represent us ...... who in fact, screw us. What we need is veto power. I've been advocating for this plan for a while now, because I think it's where we need to go, and since it's built upon our existing government, the transition would be the least disruptive.

http://www.osixs.org/Rev2_menu_commonsense.aspx

Under this plan, we still have legislators, presidents, and judges; it's just that the executive powers are transferred to the people and the presidents' office becomes the Administration Branch. The people don't legislate laws, but they do have oversight power over ALL OTHER branches. Everything operates as it does now until government assumes powers for which the people never put into their hands. Then the majority has the ability to veto decisions made by government, that are oppressive, unconstitutional, tyrannous, or very unpopular. A few examples would be: Wars, NDAA, the patriot act, taxes, etc. It would not be a pure democracy; but a hybrid built upon our current system.

This plan allows the people to guide our leaders (NOT RULERS), to give us the government that most of us want. Our fore fathers did not have the technology that we have today. They could not bring everyone in the US into one room, so they devised a representative system. Today, we virtually have that ability.

Votasaurus made a post about this plan 2 weeks ago, and describes it well. I think you posted on it too.

http://occupywallst.org/forum/common-sense-31-summarydiscussion/

Although there may be other solutions, this is the most feasible one I've found, and it prevents our children and future generations from going through this shit, when the rich rears it's ugly head again.

Cheers :)

[-] 2 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

First I've heard about giving people veto power, but it seems like a very common sense solution. I have visited that website before, but did not dig into it. I will bookmark and read later. Thank you.

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 2 years ago

If the middle class won't do it, I wouldn't expect the poor to either.

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

Let's say this conversation was taking place in the future and we didn't have the current problem. Let's say it could be arranged (for the sake of argument) If the poor voted, would it end poverty?

[-] 2 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 2 years ago

Voting will not end poverty. They key to reducing poverty is for the people to realize how low their wages are in relation to the average wage paid in America. $15,000 minimum wage versus the roughly $100,000 per person average wage. As long as they accept low wages, poverty will remain.

[-] 2 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

But it misses the point. Being poor myself, and having associated within those circles the better part of my life, I can guarantee you the majority of poor people know how low their wages are in relation to the middle and upper class.

The realization of knowing you're on the bottom of the fish tank is not the problem, the feeling of powerlessness that comes with being trapped at the bottom of the fist tank is the problem.

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 2 years ago

I would bet even the middle class do not know what the average wage is in America based on GDP per working person. My guess would have been $40,000 to $50,000 a year. Relative to a minimum wage of $15,000, that is 3 times, but relative to the actual per person wage of $100,000, it's over 6 times higher.

If the people on the bottom knew how much lower in the tank they really were, they might begin to take action.

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

I agree with you about the average wage based on GDP. I think a lot of people are unaware of it when you put it in that light. Good point. How should we make more people aware? Something included with tax documents, like the w2 form?

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 2 years ago

Here is another interesting page about GDP per capita worldwide. Surprisingly Norway, Luxembourg, and Singapore all have a higher GDP per capita than the US.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_%28PPP%29_per_capita

It lists the US at about $48,000 per person. Only 150 million of our 300+ million population are in the workforce. The rest are children, students, unemployed, retired, and stay at home Mom's. So $100,000 per employed person is a relatively close figure.

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

The 48,000 dollar figure represents the average standard of living in the US not taking into account actual employment rate of the population, am I interpreting that correct?

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 2 years ago

Yes. Employment is not a factor. Since about half of the population is working, the $48,000 figure should be doubled to about $100,000 to arrive at the GDP per working person.

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

Well, that is an incentive to vote. Now, if I could only find an honest politician to represent me.

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 2 years ago

It would be a good article to post here and on our facebook pages, email, Etc.

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

I agree. Everyone knows we have income inequality, but it would be beneficial to help people see the big picture. Show all wages in relation to the overall wealth the country produces - nice. Thanks. BTW, is it easy to find this information?

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 2 years ago

Just google for info, but look under "images" to find graphs that grab peoples attention.

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 2 years ago

Here is a real eye opener. The GDP per capita in Mississippi is only $33,000, while it's $174,000 in Washington D.C.!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_by_GDP

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

DC is stomping everyone's butt. I guess lobbying is good for your standard of living.

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 2 years ago

If there are an equal number of non working people in DC as other states, then the average wage is $350,000 per person. Talk about a public trough.

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

You've illustrated an ugly picture.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

GSP Goods and Services Product

Posted 1 month ago on May 4, 2012, 8:09 p.m. EST by MattLHolck (8927) | edit | delete This content is user submitted and not an official statement

the GDP (gross domestic product) is the total money the sloshes around in a system.

That system is often tied to a nation such as the US.

The GDP measure the total of the money transactions and has been used as an indicator for the health of the working economy.

I submit that the GDP is biased because trades of stock and money do not create any real economic change of goods and services.

If we are to observe a working economy I suggest the indexed only include money when goods and services are exchanged,

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

We need better metrics that measure the economy, the well being of people, and environmental impact. There are plenty of better alternatives to GDP. GSP sounds like a step in that tradition.

[-] 1 points by SparkyJP (1646) from Westminster, MD 2 years ago

I think the reason that some of the poor and middle class don't vote, is because they think the system is rigged and that voting is a waste of time. That the outcome is already predetermined. The other reason is that they feel that they don't have a "real" choice. Personally I think they're right; but I vote by mail, just in case I'm wrong. (And to avoid the unverifiable, no paper trail, voting machines) What state would buy such machines ?........................ Maryland ;(

[-] 2 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

I think the system is soooooo.....rigged

[-] 1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 2 years ago

No it wouldnt. What is deemed 'poverty" is all relative. There will always be those who make less money than others, due to a variety of vairables.

Starving people in Africa and Asia, around 2billion people. would slap you in the face if you pointed to our bottom 10% and said they are "poor".

Its all relative.

Like education. Everyone agrees everyone should be educated. But even if everyone goes to college, you are still going to have some that just arent as smart as others, and hence will be the "uneducated" group in society.

Dont get me wrong, we should always strive for better. But we should also realize what is static and what is managable.

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

We have a 'standard' measure of poverty in this country. You are looking for excuses, I am looking for answers.

[-] 1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 2 years ago

Im not looking for excuses, Im simply stating that what you are "measuring" is relative to that which you are comparing it to.

Duh.

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

I know I'm better off than the poorest person in the entire world, but you're employing typical right wing tactics to deflect away from the issues of inequality within our own borders. We have a measurable poverty level in this country and it is relative to the cost of living within these borders. If you want to take up the issue of Africa and Asia's poverty, try the UN.

[-] 1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 2 years ago

Im simply stating that you will never be able to cure poverty, because all human beings are not created with equal talents, and therefore some will always be more valuable to the group than others, and there will always be those that arent.

I agree we have poverty problem here, and that income inequality is far too wide. Im just saying I dont think we can ever eliminate it. You asked the question, Im just giving an opinion.

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

"I'm simply stating that you will never be able to cure poverty"

"You will never be able to sail around the world because it is flat"

Yes, you are offering an opinion ---- a God-like opinion that you have somehow acquired absolute knowledge that must never be challenged. You must have a very huge ego.

First rule of knowledge. Never say never. Of course, you could be right, but it is also possible that you could be wrong. Time will tell.

[-] 2 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

Freud would call that a super ego "a social rule for guidance"

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

Fascinating. I think Freud later expanded the concept into the term: 'cultural super ego'.

[-] 0 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

extending the word "ego" has lift confusions between the connection of social rule to will(ego)

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

Freud did not lift the confusions enough. People still bewilder the hell out of me.

[Removed]

[-] 1 points by atki4564 (1259) from Lake Placid, FL 2 years ago

True, "the only real way to effect change is with a bottom up", so support a new constitution, as follows:

We the peoples, in order to secure Freedom and Justice for All, do enact this Constitution for Strategic International Systems LLC (or SIS LLC) as summarized in the following Business Operations Forecast:

The customer value mission of SIS LLC is (1) to organize all customer-investors into 3,000 investment squad sites of 16 friends (or virtual specialties), and related internet investment legislatures of 50,000 friends (or virtual towns), requiring (2) a $20 weekly capital contribution for 1 year (or $1,000) to (3) create your investment club bank of 50,000 friends (or physical town) -- that is, having $50 million in initial assets -- which (4) due to the operation of today’s fractional banking system becomes (5) $500 million in new annual business loans (or $10,000 in new annual individual loans) from yourself as a new bank officer to yourself as a new business officer who (6) takes 75% employee business control as business officer-investors and 25% customer business control as bank officer-investors of (7) your specific 12 businesses (or investments) in your new bank investment account wherein (8) your investor voting power equals (9) your 1 of 12 levels of experience in (10) your 1 of 12 sectors in 1 of 50 industries in 1 of 200 occupations in 1 of 3,000 specialities which (11) votes-upon your purchasing (or investment) orders as (12) proposed by your employee-elected chain of command.

This means you will have 75% employee business control over your workplace as business officers and, as bank officers, 25% customer business control over all 12 investments (or businesses) in your new bank investment account. In turn, with this 100% town-level business control of your 3,000 workplaces, you can decrease your 12 customer consumption expenses by 75% for services, vehicles, education, retail, food, construction, technology, manufacturing, wholesale, health, justice, and banking expenses; that is, over your first 12 years of SIS LLC membership using a 75% more effective and efficient town design, and related 3,000 workplace designs (herein). Furthermore, while creating your new town & workplace design as described by this constitution, you will replace today’s communist big businesses, and related big governments, with your new small investment club banks, and related small businesses (or investments), as proposed, financed, and patronized by your 3,000 investment squad sites of 16 friends (or virtual specialties) in your internet investment legislature of 50,000 friends (or virtual town).

Why? First, because today’s executive business income (mostly from bank or financial asset income) is 33% of all income which is a huge amount of upper 1% income to split among yourselves as new bank officers having 25% customer business control, right? Second, because today’s executive business wealth is 42% of all wealth which is a huge amount of upper 1% wealth to split among yourselves as new business officers having 75% employee business control; that is, only after becoming new bank officers (above) first, right?

For example, this means if you earn $12/hour today, then you will earn $36/hour tomorrow after adding (1) your old wage income, plus (2) your 33% (more and new) interest income as a new bank officer, plus (3) your 42% (more and new) dividend & gain income as a new business officer. Together, these 4 sources of wealth & income from your specific 12 businesses (or investments) will double your net worth every 6-12 years (until retirement); that is, from the compound interest decline of today's upper 1% executives whom you will replace as the new bank & business investor-officers. So, with this power, let’s end today’s communist big businesses, and related big governments, okay? How? By helping to operate your own Business Operations Forecast (above) at http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/StrategicInternationalSystems/ ; so help us help you, today!

[-] 1 points by MattHolck2 (44) 2 years ago

I think most poor people vote anyway

as most are poor

[-] 2 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

Those with a family income below $25,000 (which, staggeringly, can still be above the federal poverty level) are 1.5 times less likely to vote than those with family incomes between $25,000 and $75,000 and two times less likely to vote than those in families earning more than $75,000 per year.

http://news.change.org/stories/why-poor-people-don-t-vote

[-] 0 points by MattHolck2 (44) 2 years ago

noted

[-] 1 points by LeoYo (5834) 2 years ago

Since politicians don't represent the interests of those who make less than the national median wage, don't vote for anyone who makes more than the national median wage.

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

I might as well vote for a fairy, they would be easier to find.

[-] 1 points by LeoYo (5834) 2 years ago

If the majority chose to only vote for fairies, they would become a lot easier to find. The collective choice of who to vote for forces the type of candidates to run. If everyone only voted for candidates who would sign a legal contract with them to support a particular issue, the unaccountable politicians who wouldn't sign would be weeded out.

[-] 1 points by JackHall (441) 2 years ago

That is the way a democracy should operate. Florida Republicans are trying recreate the election magic again. After 2000 wouldn't Floridians be too embarrassed to fiddle with the vote out of concern that their tourism industry would dry up? If this politically correct nation can boycott Arizona over its bias against undocumented individuals what can it do for Florida?

The Banana Republic of Florida

http://occupywallst.org/forum/floridas-purging-1000s-of-voters-for-2012-election/ [right click]

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 2 years ago

Some interesting statistics here on who does and doesn't vote and why.

http://www.people-press.org/2006/10/18/who-votes-who-doesnt-and-why/

[-] 0 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

Those at the bottom don't participate because they really don't think (feel) their vote counts. Is it true or just psychological?

[-] 2 points by HempTwister (667) from Little Rock, AR 2 years ago

And then along came Rush. He pandered to the nutballs who never voted before. The Clinton hate was like the current Obama hate. But they need to think they are a huge block. Crush them a few times and they will go back to thinking their vote does not count and crawl back under the rocks Rush flipped over. In my dreams.

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

1 vote for psychological. btw, Crush Rush has a nice ring to it.

[-] 1 points by HempTwister (667) from Little Rock, AR 2 years ago

Good start. And his infallibility has come under question recently.

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

In what way?

[-] 1 points by HempTwister (667) from Little Rock, AR 2 years ago

Calling the college girl a whore and showing ignorance of how birth control works comes to mind.

[-] 2 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

There was some stink raised for sure, but as far as I know, he didn't get the Beck treatment, which he should have.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

I don't think he's had an epic rap battle

[-] 1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 2 years ago

Very true.

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

Votes truly don't count. Why?

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 2 years ago

That isn't addressed in the statistics.

[-] 0 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

Any personal interpretations about the statistics?

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 2 years ago

Non voting and seldom voting is a serious problem. When one group doesn't participate in Democracy, they will be exploited by the group that does participate.

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

I really hate exploitation. I know there is no simple fix, but surely there must be some way to increase voter participation.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (34825) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Word of mouth education as to why and how it is in their best interest to participate. You are not going to get politicians doing that as they like it the way it is.

[-] 0 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

If word of mouth would do the trick, wouldn't the problem have gone away by now. Should we not brainstorm for creative, alternate solutions.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (34825) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Like the birth of all of the Occupy movements? I would say that that is a good indicator that people are looking for other solutions.

[-] 0 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

Occupy hates exploitation too. Why can't everybody be more like Occupy?

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (34825) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

The point of realization of best interest has not spread past the false sense of security that those who are employed at the moment feel. We are fighting years of indoctrination into a false belief system.

[-] 0 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

"Word of mouth education as to why and how it is in their best interest to participate. You are not going to get politicians doing that as they like it the way it is.".

For the sake of clarity, you said "you won't get politicians to do it" - could that not be interpreted as a Freudian message not to vote ???? are some sort of paradox? Why bother to vote if you can't trust them once you vote them into office.

You are telling me to tell other people to vote, at the same time you are sending out the message that you yourself don't actually believe the politicians you voted in are doing what you wanted them to do?

Do you see what I mean?

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (34825) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

You are not going to get politicians trying to educate the populace as to it being in the public's best interest to participate.

Yes - and that is part of what the ongoing protest is about - the government not working for the people.

There are some in office who actually do try to do good for the people - look at those who have signed on in support of reinstating Glass-Stegall or the ones who have signed on in support of repealing corporate personhood or who have signed on in support of OSTA.

There are some good people in politics just not enough of them - and this is where not only showing up at the polls makes a difference - but also in selecting representatives to vote for and also booting the corrupted or ineffectual out of office - like on a well run recall.

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

Even looking at the current picture of corruption. Historically, voter turnout has not been high. Word of mouth does not work now and it did not work then. When and if we eventually do restore some sanity to this country, we need to rethink this.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (34825) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Proper education of the public. Not just in school but in the Media business. Ban and prosecute propaganda - facts only please - all of the facts - snippits of conversations are not allowed - show the whole damn thing - IN context.

[-] 1 points by friendlyopposition (574) 2 years ago

We know that the poor already vastly outnumber the rich - why do you need the rich to "sit it out?" When it comes to voting it is still 1 person, 1 vote regardless of your socio-economic status - so the poor actually have a very BIG voice, they just choose not to sing.

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

Good point. Why do you think they don't vote? Could they possibly think the elections are rigged?

[-] 1 points by friendlyopposition (574) 2 years ago

No, I don't think most people think elections are rigged - though there may be a sense of futility that causes people not to vote.

I think apathy plays a part, as does education. If someone's parents aren't politically active, then it is likely that they children will not be as well. It almost becomes a cultural thing.

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

Where does that sense of futility come from? Being born poor in the first place? Kind of a shitty start to life wouldn't you think?

[-] 1 points by friendlyopposition (574) 2 years ago

No doubt. I think we all have a sense of futility at times. People look at what goes on with government, and feel like they don't have any power to change things, so why bother voting. The same thing goes for your power bill, or the price of gas, or the costs of college tuition as examples.

Some people are able to moved beyond it, and work towards changing things, and others aren't. I think that a desire to rid ourselves of a sense of futility is what spawned the OWS movement.

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

So, if we were to empower the poor with an election, would it not decrease that futility and empower them to think they could effect change. Talk about just in terms of personal responsibility and ownership. If the lower percentiles of the country, and only the lower percentiles, had the responsibility for determining the outcome of an election, do you think it would decrease that futility?

[-] 0 points by friendlyopposition (574) 2 years ago

They are already empowered with elections. I don't think saying to them "hey, you guys get all the votes this time" would increase the people voting - obviously it would increase their impact because even if only one person voted, they would win.

The futility doesn't come from their vote not mattering, but the outcome of the vote not mattering. That is, it doesn't matter who wins - we're still screwed.

[-] 2 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

I thought you said elections were not rigged. How could the outcome not matter?

You are actually saying the elections are rigged because it does not matter who wins - the people still get screwed. By my standards, that means the election is rigged. So why should anyone vote in a rigged election?

[-] 2 points by friendlyopposition (574) 2 years ago

In November,we will have either voted in Obama or Romney...It doesn't matter which one of them wins - we are still screwed.

That is futility.

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

See you in the streets.

[-] 1 points by friendlyopposition (574) 2 years ago

:-)

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

Ah, the infamous sound of silence.

[-] 0 points by francismjenkins (3713) 2 years ago

If voting really made a difference, it would be illegal :)

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

When I lobby the government, they call it a vote, when special interests lobby the government, they call it a back room deal.

[-] 0 points by Misaki (893) 2 years ago

Step one is finding something that the poor can vote for. Some people think that both political parties are corrupt and in league with Wall Street.

So, as described here, this is what we can do:

Here in the United States, the amount that people think the federal government wastes has risen to 50 cents out of every dollar. We must take a stand against inflation and wasteful government spending. Our political leadership must promise to make any necessary legislative changes in support of the accelerated work week. If they do not, we vote them all out of office no matter what party they are, and any candidate we vote for must promise to end the lifetime pension benefit for all past and future members of Congress as well as support the accelerated work week.

[-] 0 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

accelerated work week is a poor name

how about emergency employment measure?

[-] 0 points by Misaki (893) 2 years ago

;_; how is it a poor name? The earlier feedback was that "work conservation" sounded slackerish, but what's wrong with the new name?

And it isn't right to describe it as "emergency", since it would help even if we didn't have crisis levels of unemployment. Unemployment hasn't been at "crisis" levels for most of the 1979~now period, but it has still been high enough to keep wages from rising with productivity.

For the car discussion, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesla_Roadster#Reviews

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

shorter work week is pretty university understood

don't cull woods to satisfy some social propaganda agenda

[-] 0 points by Misaki (893) 2 years ago

"Have already pointed out the problems with that: people would just ask for overtime. France tried it, and "more overtime" is exactly what they got."

don't cull woods to satisfy some social propaganda agenda

?

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

cull words like "work less hours"

oh no they call us slackers

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (34825) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

No they would not call you a slacker - they would call you unemployed. You work the hours that the boss/business requires of you or you are gone.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

indeed the work place controls our lives more than the government

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (34825) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

YES/NO - government allows this practice by employers - so they in a sense are in control but are allowing even supporting abuse. So in effect yes the employer can do pretty much as they please.

[-] 0 points by Misaki (893) 2 years ago

The point is that it isn't something everything needs to do. "Shorter work week" sets a new standard of normal, but that isn't what we want.

"Work conservation" seemed more slackerish because you might think of work as an activity you do in variable amounts while at a business ("work as effort"), instead of an activity you do "at full speed" always ("work as a way to occupy time").

Using Facebook at work is just one example, but for office jobs at least it is well known that many people spend time surfing the web or news sites instead of doing work, and this is why things like Internet usage monitoring exist.

(And inefficiency is currently "good" because it leads to higher employment.)

[-] 0 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

what do we want?

I want more straight forward proposal about whatever idea is being suggested

[-] 0 points by Misaki (893) 2 years ago

It is pointless to make yet another proposal (I have already made probably a dozen) if no one is willing to support it through political change. This part:

Here in the United States, the amount that people think the federal government wastes has risen to 50 cents out of every dollar. We must take a stand against inflation and wasteful government spending. Our political leadership must promise to make any necessary legislative changes in support of the accelerated work week. If they do not, we vote them all out of office no matter what party they are, and any candidate we vote for must promise to end the lifetime pension benefit for all past and future members of Congress as well as support the accelerated work week.

[-] 0 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

I make make sense

so I don't make sense

[-] -1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

Step one is understanding excessive inequality is the real problem.

[-] -1 points by Misaki (893) 2 years ago

The accelerated work week would fix inequality.

Are you interested in addressing what you say is real problem?

[-] -1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

Tell it to me, without a bunch of jargon, why I should support your policy. Specifically, how would it help a poor person?

[-] 0 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

His explanations that he keeps linking to are pretty long-winded and not very descriptive. But I might be able to help interpret: he proposes a regressive pay scale, mandated by the government, where people would be paid less per hour for their time, as they work more hours. You would get paid more per hour for the first 20 hours of the work week than the last 20 hours.

How does this 'fix wealth inequality'? You'll have to ask him.

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

No wonder Misaki is always so vague. No working person in their right mind would support that. Thanks for the reply.

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

I'm waiting for him to refute my summary of his proposal, but I'm pretty sure that I understand it at this point.

There are two different aspects of the proposal that are obvious problems. First, a regressive pay scale is backwards. Second, the government shouldn't be dictating compensation packages in private industry.

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 2 years ago

First, a regressive pay scale is backwards.

That's the point. Your above description (lower wage rate for higher hours) was accurate.

Second, the government shouldn't be dictating compensation packages in private industry.

1) Overtime already does this. 2) This would help businesses AND workers; the only thing hindering adoption is the cultural inertia of the past century.

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

I'm waiting for him to quit being vague, but I'm not holding my breath. Good luck with that guy.

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

Yeah I'm a little bored of him now too. But it's entertaining to see him proselytize. He's been dropping the "accelerated work week" panacea catchphrase almost as often as the "resource-based economy" people used to. He reminds me of the DemandTheGoodLife guy who thinks that he could magically fix the economy by mandating a six-figure minimum wage.

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

Everybody's selling a cure these days. I'm always a bit more skeptical of those who claim to be too certain of their ideas. Show me some pros and cons and you come off a lot more genuine.

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 2 years ago

I have pointed out the cons. Including the two from the99vote.com,

1) structural unemployment as financial sector workers, and other private sector jobs that will go away if inequality decreases, lose their jobs leading to a local oversupply in labor until people or businesses relocate.

2) lower GDP so people might have their egos hurt if the US is no longer #1.

3) possible market crash as markets adjust to the idea of no more inflation.

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

A little scale goes a long way. How possible is a market crash? slight? great? 1 in a million chance? better odds of winning the lottery? getting struck by lightning?

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 2 years ago

I would rate it as "certain". Its severity I am less sure of, but one Wall Street insider described it like this:

So when Lehman collapsed, every single player panicked, going, 'If Lehman was nothing but a Ponzi scheme--and I know what I'm running is a Ponzi scheme--holy shit, that means everyone else is running a Ponzi scheme too! Run for the exits!' No one trusted anyone else, everyone pulled out, and the entire global economy collapsed just like that.

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

The con of your plan would certainly cause a market crash. Wonderful.

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 2 years ago

You would prefer we continue with the Ponzi scheme?

[-] -1 points by Misaki (893) 2 years ago

(responded to wrong comment)

Specifically, how would it help a poor person?

Educated workers would work less. This lets college students currently working in retail to do the work they studied for. This lets people with less education, or who have just been unlucky in their job search, to do the low-skilled job.

Meanwhile, lower employment raises wages (and wages as share of national income) for ALL workers, including those who already have a job, e.g. working at Walmart.

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

What makes you think that a low-skilled worker could just step into an educated worker's job as soon as the educated worker relinquishes some of the hours in his work week?

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 2 years ago

Because we have $1 trillion in student debt and college students still can't find good jobs.

Someone with no job experience might need a little on-the-job training, but really... that's nothing to complain about.

[-] 0 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

If I make 15,000 a year, will my yearly earnings increase under your plan? Reducing work hours seems to run counterintuitive to my ability to earn more money. Why not just reduce the retirement age if you want people out of the economy?

[-] 0 points by Misaki (893) 2 years ago

If I make 15,000 a year, will my yearly earnings increase under your plan?

Yes.

You wouldn't work less (unless, of course, you wanted to). This is aimed more at higher-wage workers who are actually even more likely to work longer hours than uneducated workers.

Why not just reduce the retirement age if you want people out of the economy?

That's a good question! People seem to oppose it for some reason; probably many people do not actually have any retirement funds or their savings were wiped out by the financial crisis, so they went back to work.

[-] 0 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

How would your plan effect the overall unemployment rate? And I don't mean the fake one the government talks about all the time.

[-] -1 points by Misaki (893) 2 years ago

The whole point is that the unemployment rate would go down.

As it explains, even if working and earning less means people shop at Wal-mart more, the fact that they are working less means that other qualified people can step up and work for the same business. So as a society, our 'strategy' would be to sell to the US's rich (there are plenty of non-tradable sector jobs) while buying from China's poor.

It should be easy to understand that with this strategy, you don't need to work much to have a reasonable standard of living. (For example assembly costs for an iPhone in China are only about 2% of the phone's price, while profits are over 50%.)

[-] 0 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

Lol. I guess you missed the part where I am advocating for the poor. Why would I want to support a plan to buy from poor exploited Chinese workers?

[-] 0 points by Misaki (893) 2 years ago

Paul Krugman is often see as someone supporting the "liberal" cause and OWS's goals; do you see him as a reliable source of information?

From http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2012/01/29/the-apple-boycott-people-are-spouting-nonsense-about-chinese-manufacturing/

First of all, even if we could assure the workers in Third World export industries of higher wages and better working conditions, this would do nothing for the peasants, day laborers, scavengers, and so on who make up the bulk of these countries’ populations. At best, forcing developing countries to adhere to our labor standards would create a privileged labor aristocracy, leaving the poor majority no better off.

And it might not even do that. The advantages of established First World industries are still formidable. The only reason developing countries have been able to compete with those industries is their ability to offer employers cheap labor. Deny them that ability, and you might well deny them the prospect of continuing industrial growth, even reverse the growth that has been achieved. And since export-oriented growth, for all its injustice, has been a huge boon for the workers in those nations, anything that curtails that growth is very much against their interests. A policy of good jobs in principle, but no jobs in practice, might assuage our consciences, but it is no favor to its alleged beneficiaries.

See also: rent for even a single room in the US is usually $200+, but Foxconn workers only pay $17/month for their dorm room, as bad as it might be.

[-] -1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

He's okay for a keynesian economist. I am looking for solutions that challenge conventional thinking. Exploiting the poor to sell to the rich just perpetuates business as usual.

[-] 0 points by Misaki (893) 2 years ago

When you buy an iPhone, maybe you could say you are "exploiting the poor" (Foxconn may pay around minimum wage but in China, and that specific region, it's actually pretty good pay) but you are also buying from the rich (Apple).

Selling to the rich is fine. Buying from the rich is what people need to avoid doing.

[-] -1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

Do you think it is right for 400 Americans to have as much wealth as the entire bottom half of the country?

[-] 0 points by Misaki (893) 2 years ago

I always thought that statistic sounded suspicious. After reading a lengthy paper I understood it better.

The "bottom half" is in terms of wealth, not income, which are correlated but not necessarily the same. Someone might make $80k/year, but be underwater on their mortgage and have credit card debts of $50k, and also student loans of $100k.

See Table 8 from that paper (p14). The bottom 40% in wealth (again, not income) had average net worth of only $2300 in 2007.... but this was because average debts of $47,000 were almost exactly equal to the total of stocks (average $1700) + non-stock assets such as housing equity (average $47,600).

Then you can look at Table 12 (p24), "Household debt service as a share of household income, by income percentile". (Also Table 11 shows financial obligations, including rent, for renters at 25%.)

Table 12 shows that the poorest quintile of income (not wealth~) paid 17.6% of their income to "debt service", which includes mortgages but not rent... but the second-highest income quintile paid 21.7%, and the 80~90% group paid 19.7% of their income to debt service. Table 13 does show that low-income households are more likely to have a "high debt burden" but this means some poor households have very low debt service while others have very high payments.

Basically, if we create more jobs and bring down unemployment it'll all be better. Some people choose to have massive credit card debt, maybe because prior to 2006 it was easy to go bankrupt (Figure L, page 26) while other people just want a job.

Job creation without higher government spending, inflation, or trade barriers: http://jobcreationplan.blogspot.com/

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (34825) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

BS - people work the hours their boss tells them to. The boss would love to pay less as the hours worked go-up.

[-] 0 points by Misaki (893) 2 years ago

I'm sure the police officer making over $270k per year including overtime is only doing it because his boss is telling him to.

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (34825) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

The boss has a reason for favoring this person - as the accountants are likely screaming at him otherwise. This is not a norm this is an exception. Why is this individual being allowed that kind of money when everyone is screaming about monetary shortfalls in their budgets?

You are again - engaging in wrong thinking.

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 2 years ago

Another link from these forums: http://newjersey.watchdog.org/2012/04/02/100k-club/

The number of retirees collecting more than $100,000 a year from state pensions jumped to 1,244 last year, up 28 percent from 2010, according to New Jersey Watchdog’s analysis of state data.