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Forum Post: Updated: Call your congress person and tell them you don't want welfare protected

Posted 2 years ago on Feb. 14, 2012, 3:22 p.m. EST by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

tell them you would rather protect the right of 40 hour a week employees to make enough to not have to depend on welfare of any kind. The democrats are creating a false argument by pumping up social programs when in fact if they would address the real issue of income inequality, we wouldn't need those programs at the funding levels they are pushing for. They would rather protect our right to beg for help from the gov than to protect our right to fair compensation. You must call them out on this, especially fellow democrats. Stop letting them play the populist card when they aren't looking out for the population. Make this an election year issue!

If you responded to this post in anger over unemployment benefits or Medicare, You need to figure out the difference between welfare and government run insurance.

If you responded to this in anger over food stamp, you need to supply corroborating material that shows anyone is trying to defund or remove them.

If you responded in anger because you assume this post was made by a republican, shame on you for falling into party politics.

Almost all of you need to understand that No Party is above fear mongering to get out of paying you more and getting more for themselves. They could have prevented this, they let it happen because every time it does, they get more powerful and we lose more of our rights and say in this country. They need this power because they fear what would happen to them if the public ever found out what they've been doing behind closed doors since the end of WWII.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ug0IL7k3elQ

I am a registered Democrat. I am a working class human first.

168 Comments

168 Comments


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[-] 7 points by jart (1252) from New York, NY 2 years ago

I agree that welfare shouldn't be necessary but it'd be impossible to make welfare obsolete in the way you described (by paying all workers a living wage). Why? Because not everyone can get full-time jobs in the first place. Unemployment and marginalization exist by design in a capitalist system. It makes it easier to control people when they're afraid of losing their job and ending up in a lower class full of people they despise (the middle class does disdain the poor.) Not to mention that some people simply aren't able to work full-time jobs.

If you think everyone should be entitled to both a job and a living wage, you might be a socialist. But until we finally kill capitalism, please don't attack the social programs that poor and marginalized communities depend upon for survival :\

[-] 3 points by debndan (1145) 2 years ago

Not all middleclass or upper middle class distain the poor. Many of us go to great lengths to help through charities etc.

And capitalism isn't necessarily the problem, for whenever well regulated anti-monopolistic capitalism is practiced, then it can maximize resources for the benefit of all.

Here's a link you might like: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-morris/where-is-kropotkin-when-w_b_1267341.html

When companies in a capitalist system are owned by the workforce or/and it's customers, then capitalism works extremely well.

But when it's based on shareholders seeking the lowest common denominator for labor costs then what we have today is no surprise.

survival of the socially co-operative works

survival of the fittest leaves a lot of dead bodies

[-] 3 points by jart (1252) from New York, NY 2 years ago

Here's a link you might like: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-morris/where-is-kropotkin-when-w_b_1267341.html

Yea that's an excellent article, I read it on Common Dreams a few days ago. I absolutely adore Kropotkin and I'm glad to see that article on Huffington Post too. I just can't believe the liberal blogosphere is talking about Kropotkin!

Not all middleclass or upper middle class distain the poor. Many of us go to great lengths to help through charities etc.

Well generalizations never apply to all people :P It's more of a problem with our culture than the individuals themselves because pretty much everyone in the middle and upper class is socialized to hate the poor. It doesn't really matter how liberal minded the person is, the conditioning is generally still there. If you have any doubt just watch how white middle class people react when a black homeless person asks them for a dollar, or gets too close.

When companies in a capitalist system are owned by the workforce or/and it's customers, then capitalism works extremely well.

That's because it's de facto socialism!

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (17967) 2 years ago

Re. Kropotkin, a famous and prescient quote by him from a speech over 120 years ago goes :

  • "America is just the country that shows how all the written guarantees in the world for freedom are no protection against tyranny and oppression of the worst kind. There the politician has come to be looked upon as the very scum of society. The peoples of the world are becoming profoundly dissatisfied and are not appeased by the promise of the social-democrats to patch up the State into a new engine of oppression." : [Speech, 26 September 1891]

A perhaps more famously, from "Anarchist Morality (1890)" ['Anarchist Morality' : http://dwardmac.pitzer.edu/anarchist_Archives/kropotkin/AM/anarchist_moralitytc.html ]

  • "The history of human thought recalls the swinging of a pendulum which takes centuries to swing. After a long period of slumber comes a moment of awakening. Then thought frees herself from the chains with which those interested — rulers, lawyers, clerics — have carefully enwound her. // She shatters the chains. She subjects to severe criticism all that has been taught her, and lays bare the emptiness of the religious political, legal, and social prejudices amid which she has vegetated. She starts research in new paths, enriches our knowledge with new discoveries, creates new sciences. // But the inveterate enemies of thought — the government, the lawgiver, and the priest — soon recover from their defeat. By degrees they gather together their scattered forces, and remodel their faith and their code of laws to adapt them to the new needs."

pax et lux ...

[-] 1 points by debndan (1145) 2 years ago

Ahh, a fellow reader.... I fear if the GOP has their way with public education, that might be a growth industry of the future : D

Yeah, me too, on Kropotkin, I'm glad he's getting air time on the internet. Now if only spinoza, tolstoy, and orwell get more airtime then more liberal and conservatives, theists and atheists will work toward the common good.

Your unfortunately right about the example of a black homeless person scaring the bejezus out of many white middle class people. More fellow christians need to realize that the bible describes Jesus as having skin of burnished bronze, in other words, he wasn't the blonde blue eyed Jesus we tend to think of that would own a house like ours.

Jesus was more like that black homeless man you describe, and he went from town to town preaching social justice to boot.

But the capitalism I described might seem like de facto socialism, but not really, for it is the most stable form of capitalism.

In medieval times socialism was the Manors with their Lords and serfs, capitalism was the local town co-ops in the form of markets, trade guilds and such. They traded and produced excess capital in a free market atmosphere while the lords of the manor tried to provide for only the base nessesities for the surfs to survive while he exploited their labor for his benefit.

This socialism is prevalent in china and america. In china, the communist party members are the lords of the manor, here it is the stockholder and banker. Which is why they have no problem working together, for they are the same.

And they keep their surfs in line with promises of greater equality, when none exists, and keep them in fear of the false alternative, which is also each other.

[-] 2 points by jart (1252) from New York, NY 2 years ago

But the capitalism I described might seem like de facto socialism, but not really, for it is the most stable form of capitalism.

That doesn't explain why you disagree with me. To clarify: I define capitalism (like most people) as a system with private ownership of the means of production, return on investments, social hierarchies, and wage labor. The cooperative business model has none of these things because a) community members and workers who participate participate in the business have (ideally) equal equity therefore it's not privately owned, b) cooperatives don't pay dividends so there's no return on equity, and c) workers participate as equals in a democratically run enterprise; therefore there's no social hierarchies and there's no wage labor because workers are essentially business partners.

The point is that the cooperative business model is unlike capitalism in every possible way. It has far more to do with anarchist theory/practice. To be honest I'm somewhat offended that you're co-opting these ideas on behalf of capitalism.

In medieval times socialism was the Manors with their Lords and serfs, capitalism was the local town co-ops in the form of markets, trade guilds and such.

whoa whoa, why on earth would you come to that conclusion??? Capitalism didn't even exist in medieval times. Why do so many people think capitalism means bartering :(

[-] 0 points by debndan (1145) 2 years ago

Sorry I took so long to respond, Just got home. Now to respond in as concise and complete manor as possible I'll take it bit by bit, and give a few examples of anarchistic business models.

I'm sorry if I offended you, as that was not my intent. But here goes from your post:

That doesn't explain why you disagree with me. To clarify: I define capitalism (like most people) as a system with private ownership of the means of production, return on investments, social hierarchies, and wage labor.

In anarchistic and regular businesses:

1.private ownership of the means of production. In both types the means of production are privately held, no government owns these, in anarchism the workers and sometimes, the customers are the shareholders, they privately own it. In regular biz. shareholders are divorced from the stakeholders, but both are privately held

Example: my credit union is a private business, I as a member, receive full benefit of the profit of my money, that's me as a customer, not some shareholder, and the workers benefit with living wages that are set by their fellow worker, the bank president, whom is beholden to all the customers- this is one form of anarchism

2.Return on investment

In both anarchism and regular business there IS a return on investment, both seek to take capital, and increase it's value by some manner. in anarchism, the return on investment either goes for capital improvements, training, or is returned to the workers and or it's customers, in regular business the return on capital goes to the shareholder or executives whom do none of the work in creating that excess capital.

Example: my life insurance is a par insurer, which means that the policy holders and sales agents own the company, absolutely no shareholders, which means it's also an anarchistic style business. And when the money I pay in earns more than what's needed to satisfy actuarial tables, the excess is returned to me, the customer and given in bonuses to the workforce, when an insurer is owned by shareholders, that excess payment of premium is given to the shareholder. Period.

3.Social hierarchies

In both anarchistic and regular business there absolutely is a social hierarchies. In anarchistic businesses you have boses, laborers, apprentices, journeymen, master journeymen, and customers. It's just that the hierarchy is democratic and equitable. In regular business you have just bosses, workers, and shareholders, and it's antidemocratic bosses better do the will of the shareholder, and the worker has to do what the bosses want. And though authority comes from on high, shit rolls down hill where the end worker takes the brunt of the abuse.

Example: My local electric co-op has officers that are elected by the membership, and they in turn divide how and when work is done, and the lineman does it. Now if the boss abuses his authority, or mistreats the linemen, or even a secretary, they as members, can bring it up at a meeting, and we can democratically punish or even fire, such a bad boss. In regular business... well that's just business as usual.

4.Wage labor

in both anarchistic and regular business model the workforce receives regular wages. It's just that in anarchistic businesses, the wages are higher, and sometimes besprinckled with excessive profits, depending on what type of business they are engaged in, and what the membership decides.

I hope I've answered this first half to your satisfaction, and haven't been overly simplistic, or left anything unanswered

But onward and upward to your next statement:

The point is that the cooperative business model is unlike capitalism in every possible way. It has far more to do with anarchist theory/practice. To be honest I'm somewhat offended that you're co-opting these ideas on behalf of capitalism.

1.the point of the cooperative business model and the 'for profits' if you will, is exactly the same, which is namely to take capital( money, resource,human, and combined) and provide a set of goods, or a service, or engage in a financial enterprise with the point being that value is added, and money is made.

Where they diverge is with whom does the value/money go to. in the cooperative the money goes to the workers, members, or customers or a combination. In the regular business model the lions share goes to the owner/shareholder at the expense of the worker, then also the customer if a monopoly can be established.

2.They are both capitalism, for you take capital(money, resource, and human) and produce excess value, for if they don't, they go bankrupt. The difference between the two is to where do the benefits go, how they are shared.

But they both must compete against other businesses to survive, unless they are a monopoly. In which case it's a difference as to where the benefits go to, the owner/shareholder, or the customer/member/worker.

Where they differ is the cooperative is egalitarian, democratic, and seeks to benefit all stakeholders the worker/customer/member

In the owner/shareholder version it is totalitarian, antidemocratic and seeks to benefit the owner/shareholder only, and is at the expense of the worker/customer, for the value they extract in exchange for non-participation, has to be removed from the other half of the equation for them to stay in business.

3.I'm sorry if I offended you, again this was not my intent, nor was it to co-opt cooperative/anarchistic ideas on behalf of capitalism, but only to show how anarchistic style capitalism is more sound and democratic and of the best value to workers/customers/members.

And it was also to show that without it then the owner/shareholder version is anti-democratic, and anti-worker/ customer and more in line with the political systems of china.

We are a capitalist/democracy and anarchistic/ cooperative fits perfectly and seemlessly in it, though people don't even realize it.

I know you do &I do, but when most people hear words like anarchist, cooperative, syndicalism,or collectivism they freak the fuck out and think it's unamerican, when it's as american as Mom, apple pie, and baby Jesus (maybe not bearded, older Jesus, he sometimes frightens me)

I, personally belong to 6 collective anarchist syndicates, they are:

1.My local power co-op

2.My local municipal water supply

3.My life Insurance policy is member/worker/customer owned

4.My credit union

5.My church

6.The eagles membership (cheap booze and food, while servers making a living wage, what's not to love)

The more people get used to the Idea of Anarchism, the more it will spread, as these are the most stable forms of institutions out there, and with a world in turmoil, we need them to be the ONLY business model.

Now with your last point: whoa whoa, why on earth would you come to that conclusion??? Capitalism didn't even exist in medieval times. Why do so many people think capitalism means bartering :(

not to cut it short( I know, too late) but not only did capitalism exist in medieval times, but for most of recorded history. I could go into great detail, but this would take up even more space that what I have so far. And the hour is late, but if you wish for me to do so, I can tomorrow.

I just hope I've successfully un-offened you, if not, my apologies are in order I hope : o

[-] 2 points by jart (1252) from New York, NY 2 years ago

Fuck this debate. This is entirely about semantics. You're saying cooperatives are capitalist because they exist in a capitalist society. I'm saying they're de facto socialism despite being forced to work with capitalist tools in a pre-revolutionary setting under the rule of a capitalist government.

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 2 years ago

In that case, I just might be a socialist. Do you think a somewhat mixed version, such as those in the Scandinavian countries would be adequate, or would a purer form be required?

[-] 2 points by jart (1252) from New York, NY 2 years ago

The Scandinavian countries managed to develop one of the most egalitarian implementations of capitalism yet. It's better than what we have for sure! But tthe only thing they really helped fix was income inequality and poverty but they allowed the rich to continue having privilege and control over property and the economy. I think we can do even better, and I don't consider this purism but rather an ambitious recognition of the direction in which we ought to be moving.

[-] 0 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

I'm not saying make it obsolete, I don't really speak in absolutes, the world doesn't work that way. There will always be disabled people, the elderly that don't hit the jackpot, so on and so forth. It's our obligation to ensure nobody is left behind. What I'm pointing out is the democratic party using the social programs as a cop-out to ignore and distract from the cause of income inequality and the decline of capitalism. There are people that worked their asses off to build their own biz and it has been destroyed because people working at walmart can no longer afford the products of those private business owners. There is also no safety net for the self employed. I'm just saying they need to stop playing games with the media and start addressing the real issue, and that is income inequality. The longer it gets ignored, the worse things are going to get. As far as killing capitalism and being a socialist, I am for both. I don't hit nails with a screwdriver and I don't screw nails with a hammer :P

[-] 3 points by jart (1252) from New York, NY 2 years ago

There are people that worked their asses off to build their own biz and it has been destroyed because people working at walmart can no longer afford the products of those private business owners.

The low prices helped but what I think was more important to Walmart's success was that they found ways to ruthlessly control all logistics and supply chains for thousands of goods in addition to engineering a one-stop shopping experience that's visible, consistent, familiar, and predictable to consumers. Not many companies can play the game as well as Walmart.

[...] the real issue, and that is income inequality.

If you really want to drill further down to the crux of the problems we face in this society, I'd personally choose 'privilege' to describe it rather than income inequality.

I am for both. I don't hit nails with a screwdriver and I don't screw nails with a hammer :P

Always use the right tool for the job my friend.

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[-] -1 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

Always use the right tool for the job my friend.

Nice :)

The low prices helped but what I think was more important to Walmart's success was that they found ways to ruthlessly control all logistics and supply chains for thousands of goods in addition to engineering a one-stop shopping experience that's visible, consistent, familiar, and predictable to consumers. Not many companies can play the game as well as Walmart.

I believe those advantages will go away once wages go up because competition will keep their prices down while costing them in labor, this would drag equity from their commodity and transit legs of the corporation to cover the higher labor and maintain a price advantage.

Also a society that isn't so strapped for cash all the time could and would pay for higher quality products that private business is know for.

Sadly yes, privilege is an issue for sure. I have no answers on how to deal with that, it's just bad parenting.

[-] 1 points by wiscokidd (12) from Hayward, WI 2 years ago

"strapped for cash" that is in illusion. Yes under such a greedy corrupt system based on infinite growth, we are over populated to some extent, but their are still enough resources to give every person on the planet a meaningful life once we arrest the people that are selling weapons all over the planet, which are one with the cabal of the USG. Check out Alan Watts. Money is just a method of the rich regulating, plundering and profiting from the goods and services of us all. Now of the ZioNazi bankster spawn provide any goods and services. They get their wealth by enslaving us to a deception called money. Yes there will be money to exchange goods and services but it will be regulated by elected officials who can be voted out if we don't like what they are doing with the monetary system. This last sentence is why every elected official except maybe Ron Paul, Bernie Sanders, maybe a few others are all guilty of treason.

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 2 years ago

I don't think it's a coincidence that Walmart expanded to the degree that it did during the same time middle class wages were stagnant. They were direct beneficiaries of this. Did they do a better job of developing their business model and taking advantage of this than other discount retailers - yes.

And I think we agree. To the degree that middle class wages would rise, Walmart will see a drop in volume. If things go really well, they would contract and have to close locations.

[-] 1 points by jart (1252) from New York, NY 2 years ago

I believe those advantages will go away once wages go up because competition will keep their prices down while costing them in labor, this would drag equity from their commodity and transit legs of the corporation to cover the higher labor and maintain a price advantage.

I don't understand. Are you saying that Walmart would sell products at a loss if cost when up to remain competitive?

Also a society that isn't so strapped for cash all the time could and would pay for higher quality products that private business is know for.

Not necessarily. Quality isn't the selling point for most people. Some people just want to go in one store, know the experience will be exactly as they suspect, get everything they need, and have it work well enough. About 50% or so of the population is aversive to new / unpredictable experiences. That's the market Walmart serves.

Sadly yes, privilege is an issue for sure. I have no answers on how to deal with that, it's just bad parenting.

I don't think we share a common definition of the word privilege. Privilege is when society treats you and others like you better than others. Here's some examples of privileged classes: the rich, the middle class, white people, men, straight people, etc.

[-] 0 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

I don't understand. Are you saying that Walmart would sell products at a loss if cost when up to remain competitive?

No, their profitability lay in those thing you pointed out, mostly logistics, with higher wages, equity would be pulled from those legs and kill that advantage. They would then be on a level playing field with ma and pa stores that don't require the massive logistics wallmart has. The vendors to ma and pa stores pay the transit costs for goods and those vendors spread the cost of logistics, making it affordable to the ma and pa stores. Keep in mind, a lot of local stores save on labor because the owners themselves work there if not operate it entirely by themselves, such as corner store grocers and hardware stores. But their money stays in the community not in offshore bank accounts.

Not necessarily. Quality isn't the selling point for most people. Some people just want to go in one store, know the experience will be exactly as they suspect, get everything they need, and have it work well enough. About 50% or so of the population is aversive to new / unpredictable experiences. That's the market Walmart serves.

This has been true for a long time, there was a 60 minutes special in the 90s about the superficial nature of shoppers. However, I think people are fed up with this and I can only point to small movements like The Story of Stuff and the growing number of law suits for shoddy products as a hint that society is tired of the low quality high volume sales gimmicks.

I don't think we share a common definition of the word privilege. Privilege is when society treats you and others like you better than others. Here's some examples of privileged classes: the rich, the middle class, white people, men, straight people, etc.

True, I see privileged as those who have wealth and never worked a day in their life, no appreciation of those working for them and no ability to connect with the humanity of working. Your application of it is a societal issue and I still have no answer for that accept bad parenting.

[-] 1 points by jart (1252) from New York, NY 2 years ago

No, their profitability lay in those thing you pointed out, mostly logistics, with higher wages, equity would be pulled from those legs and kill that advantage. They would then be on a level playing field with ma and pa stores that don't require the massive logistics wallmart has.

When talking about paying the workers higher wages, please also remember the overseas workers who actually manufacture the goods. Even if paying a living wage to store employees managed to level the playing field between Walmart and small shops then you haven't really accomplished much at all because you've simply given each business an equal opportunity to sell the goods of cheap exploited foreign labor.

To be honest I think the only way the govt would ever stand a chance of leveling this playing field would be if it used anti-trust laws to demolish Walmart. But then Target would just make a spin-off brand to market to low income people >_> you can't win.

society is tired of the low quality high volume sales gimmicks.

Oh yea, classy quality products have been coming back for a while and are very hip. But it's still only the other 50% that actually cares and is buying them.

True, I see privileged as those who have wealth and never worked a day in their life, no appreciation of those working for them and no ability to connect with the humanity of working. Your application of it is a societal issue and I still have no answer for that accept bad parenting.

Then perhaps you should check your privilege.

[-] 2 points by April (3196) 2 years ago

Walmart has directly benefitted from 30 years of middle class wage stagnation. By necessity, many must shop at Walmart, not necessarily out of desire. When middle class wages rise, Walmart volume with drop. People that can afford to, have a wonderfully predictable and enjoyable shopping experience at Macy's. And more people will choose non-discount retailers when wages rise. Walmart is already researching smaller store layouts in convenient high traffic areas. More of a corner convenience store concept, than a superstore retailer. Perhaps in anticipation of this.

I agree with you about anti-trust. Not to demolish Walmart or anyone else. But at some point I think the benefits of large/mega large corporations outweigh the benefits. Or the soft cost which may be difficult to quantify is more harmful to society.

Certainly the Walmart's of the world have such huge economies of scale that a small business cannot possibly compete in many areas. The big have gotten too big. I don't understand why already big companies keep being allowed to buy up other big companies. Pretty soon the whole country will be one giant single corporation. I thought that's what anti trust was for??

I don't know alot about anti-trust, but it seems to me that there could be some kind of measure of market share in a given area. For retail/consumer type businesses anyway. In order to help maintain and prop up small businesses that serve to improve competition if nothing else. By limiting the number of Walmarts/Targets (which are essentially the same thing). They don't need to be within 1 mile of eachother, or even 10 for that matter.

[-] 1 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

not sure what my privilege is?

[-] 1 points by oldyeller (3) 2 years ago

You disgust me Richard! Look at you! Complaining about your government when you're one of the privileged individuals. You white middle class heteronormative cisgendered able-bodied males make me sick! Step out of the way and let the homoabnormals lead OWS. You're not wanted here.

[-] 1 points by jart (1252) from New York, NY 2 years ago

Are you an white middle class heteronormative cisgendered able-bodied male?

[-] 1 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

That has spent 1/4 of my life homeless, currently have no possessions besides a bed, clothes, my kids toys and this net book after working since I was 13, sure. I guess stereotypes don't always lead to privilege :/ No, I'm not middle class by far.

How may nights have you spent sleeping behind a gas station?

[-] 2 points by jart (1252) from New York, NY 2 years ago

How may nights have you spent sleeping behind a gas station?

I can't say I've slept behind gas stations, but I can claim to have lived in a 1 bedroom apartment with 10 people while eating out of dumpsters lol. But then again I have no right to complain about my frugal lifestyle choices since I could always quit being an activist and get a six figure job quite easily.

I'm sorry that things haven't been working out for you economically :( I suppose you're like many of us who're involved heavily in occupy wall street---we have skin in the game.

But privilege is about more than how much money you have. You can be privileged while also being unsuccessful. This is because privilege means you get preferential treatment from society, and when you're privileged you typically don't even realize you have privilege because you think it's normal.

Here's a few examples of ways that men are privileged which I hope will help you understand. For instance, it's easier for men to have a high paying successful career because people are more deferential to male opinions and more likely to consider men experts. For women it's the opposite, especially when working in a field that people consider "for men" like engineering. Like when I go to tech conferences, I have to deal with guys talking over me, not listening to what I have to say, asking me where my boyfriend is (because clearly I'm not qualified to be there on my own!) But male privilege isn't just about getting jobs, it exerts influence over nearly all human interactions and even personal safety. Did you know that 1 out of 6 women will be raped in their lives? What's even worse is the limitations and psychological impact that fear has because you have to live your life afraid each time you're alone with a man you don't know, or are walking alone at night. Women are also trained from birth to want to work jobs that pay $0/hour like raising children or other forms of domestic labor and socialized to believe that more "important" tasks should be left to men. A very wise woman once said, "When an individual is kept in a situation of inferiority, the fact is that he does become inferior."

Also may I ask if you were raised in a suburban middle class family? I think class has less to do with your salary and is mostly about your social environment. When you're raised in a white suburban middle class world with middle class parents and middle class friends, you're socialized in a way that makes it easier to succeed in society. Think of it as the opposite of what I mentioned before regarding how women are socialized to be inferior.

But what do you think is holding you back? You seem to have good tech skills so I find it surprising that you're having trouble finding work. Even with second rate skills and no professional experience it's relatively easy to get a 40k/year job if you know the right people. Are you living in a really shitty area with no tech jobs? Mental health problems? No degree? Trouble motivating yourself to go out job searching? If you want I'd be happy to give you advice through private message on some things you can do that will help you find work.

[-] 2 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

My folks both worked as short order cooks, family income level. I had a job with an ATM company and began seeing a payoff for my tech education right before the economy dumped. As you know I am working on my own software platform and hope to see this pay off pretty soon. Not trying to appear tragic, just wanted you to know that preferential treatment comes these days from more than skin color and sexuality. I may be white, but that doesn't mean I'm the right culture for where I live to gain preferential treatment.

[-] 2 points by jart (1252) from New York, NY 2 years ago

As you know I am working on my own software platform and hope to see this pay off pretty soon.

What was that again? If you want I can help you with your business plan. However I strongly advice against going into entrepreneurship if you need a source of income.

Not trying to appear tragic, just wanted you to know that preferential treatment comes these days from more than skin color and sexuality

Well of course. But being an intelligent straight cis white male gives you a ridiculously strong boost in this society. Obviously not every straight cis white male is rolling in cash, but there's no getting around the fact that you're in an advantaged position, or that you'd be even worse off if you weren't those things.

Also I forgot to ask, are you between 18-25? Because young people are shit on pretty heavily by society.

[-] 1 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

I'm 34. I am cooking for my regular income at the moment, so no, I wouldn't place responsibility on the side while waiting for it to pay off :) I have a pretty good model set up right now that hooks with a low start-up cost for clients but priced so I make it back in the long run. Waiting to finish .3 before I make any marketing advances.

[-] 1 points by jart (1252) from New York, NY 2 years ago

Well good luck :)

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[-] 3 points by debndan (1145) 2 years ago

End the corporate welfare queens first, but when people can't find jobs, I'm glad that there is some sort of safety net out there.

I think welfare of any form can become an addiction, but right now, people are plain hurting and need jobless benefits, training programs, heating assistance, food stamps, medicaid.

I feel more comforable will PEOPLE benefiting from needed assistance over giving billions to corporations on top of the billions they earn in profit

[-] 3 points by shooz (17946) 2 years ago

I like you richard, but I think you're putting the cart before the horse here.

It's also a pretty rough time to ask for this.

Although I believe the need for welfare could be reduced, it will take massive improvements to education and job markets to make it feasible.

With the current (R)epelican't push against improvements to all three, I don't see this happening anytime soon.

[-] 1 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

More pay will create more demand for existing industries. This will happen almost simultaneously because of something called pent up demand. These are products that people need but have had to forgo because they don't have the capital. This would act like a slingshot propelling us into a recovery.

[-] 2 points by shooz (17946) 2 years ago

More pay, may or may not have that effect, as in some cases it just creates further hoarding. At his point we really need more good paying jobs.

[-] 1 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

Not sure how you believe that.


http://www.mybudget360.com/how-much-does-the-average-american-make-in-2010-household-income-new-data-100-million-make-less-than-40000/


It's pretty clear to me that these people will buy everything from clothing to new cars of they had an increase in pay. I'm not talking about just raising the minimum wage. I'm talking about protecting the work force like any other industry. We provide a unique service to each of our employers and we have simply been disenfranchised as a way to cut us out of the loop that we actually provide to america and the world. This was the idea of slavery and we haven't exactly made leaps and bounds in how we respect the human being that actually produce. I'm talking about mandatory quarterly evaluations of all pay levels against the cost of living and inflation. For EVERY employer. I could give a rats ass about taxing the rich or increasing capital gains, we wouldn't need unions and the healthcare mandate does away with the need for workers comp. It is possible and It does work, look at every economic gain this country has had. It has always been preceded by an increase in wages. That fact alone has paved the way for the standard of living we have now. You just have to back away from the talking points.

[-] 2 points by shooz (17946) 2 years ago

I very much understand "most" of what you are saying here richard, But this won't put those out of work on the pay role.

[-] 1 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

How do you not get this. Maybe philosophy is getting in the way of basic logic here.

Higher wages = Higher purchase rate. - Demand

Higher purchase rate = Higher production rate.

Higher production rate = Higher demand for those that produce (workers). - Supply

This is exactly how it works.

[-] 2 points by shooz (17946) 2 years ago

You've left off the importance of "onshoring" the production.

Without it, you're plan will fail, and recreate the 1%.

Nothing against China or India, but they should learn to serve their own markets.

[-] 0 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

That again is over stated bs. Our economy collapsed because of wallstreet, you know, Occupying it and all. Outsourcing did not cause the collapse and the truth is, it's being promoted as such as economic warfare with china. Obama and Bush signed legislation after the decline that allowed cheaper outsourcing to south america. So why is it a big deal now? It isn't. It's more media fodder. We have the service industry, tech, entertainment, agriculture, engineering, construction, Infrastructure(private and public), banking, the list goes on and on of industries we excel at far and above any other part of this planet. And we still have manufacturing. Not all of these industries, even manufacturing can be outsourced for a profit.

http://www.npr.org/2012/02/15/146944907/ge-exec-outsourcing-doesnt-mean-lost-us-jobs

[-] 1 points by shooz (17946) 2 years ago

I'd like to believe you and NPR, but I know far too many who've lost their livelihood to offshoring and outsourcing. Some of those actually took years of cuts to pay and benefits, yet those corporations left anyway.

[-] 0 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

I didn't say it doesn't happen. I said it's being overstated.

http://reason.org/files/4275b89640247336408d391422ad2c9a.pdf

[-] 1 points by shooz (17946) 2 years ago

You do understand that both authors are stating this from a PURELY libe(R)tarian perspective, and that there's little they don't overstate?

The people I'm referring to are actual flesh and blood, and have no PR department.

[-] 0 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

ok, so a political label invalidates the data? There are plenty more articles that say the same thing. Pointing out the obvious, "flesh and blood", this post also advocates for, is not information.

[-] 1 points by shooz (17946) 2 years ago

In the case of those that back libe(R)tarianism, to it's nth degree?

YES!

I have yet to see an overall positive effect from their "philosophy".

[-] 0 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

it's your argument that is invented.

You prove wage increases didn't lead to a decade of gain every time they've been raised, then you can use discrediting to validate your opposition to wage increases.

[-] 2 points by shooz (17946) 2 years ago

Take a look at the constant raises given to CEOs.

Didn't work out so well for most of us.

BTW: Good luck "forcing" COLA on ANY libe(R)tarian run corporation.

Like all of libe(R)tarianism, it's pie in the sky thinking.

[-] 0 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

ok, well I can only debate the facts of this. I have no interest in treating the matter as magical or mythological. It's very simple and those who choose to complicate it do so because they are inventing an argument they don't yet have.

[-] 2 points by shooz (17946) 2 years ago

I'm sorry, but it's libe(R)tarians that are all about the myth of the invisible hand. So it's your argument that is invented.

[-] 0 points by JanitorInaDrum (134) 2 years ago

Wrong, they should be buying from the united states only.

[-] 1 points by shooz (17946) 2 years ago

Who should be buying what?

[-] 1 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

I think the biggest problem with this thread, is people don't know the difference between a government run insurance program and welfare. They just lump them into one basket because they don't take the time to learn the difference.

[-] 0 points by B76RT (-357) 2 years ago

Sore , philosophy should be part of a well rounded education, but when my boiler needs replacing I call a plumber not a philosopher.

[-] 1 points by shooz (17946) 2 years ago

And our country is in BAD need of a dose of philosophy, and you've yet to call for one........

[-] 3 points by randart (498) 2 years ago

I would rather give a person a helping hand to stand on their own rather than an oil company billions to do with what they will.

The real BIG recipients of welfare are the wealthy and big corporations. If we are going to begin taking away any social assistance then I suggest we begin with the biggest feeders at the trough.

I would much rather have a job than live on subsistence level support.

So, if we are to call congress and tell them NOT to support welfare then we should stipulate that the gluttonous wealthy should be cut off first.

[-] 2 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

ABSOLUTELY!!! corporate welfare is the dumbest thing ever conceived and borders on criminal. Kill the subsidies.

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[-] 3 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

We need both jobs and a strong social safety net. Your are presenting a false choice fallacy.

[-] -3 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

I don't think you get what I'm saying. You also have not presented and argument, just discrediting. If you want to debate the issue, you could at least present an alternative view instead of just being a nay sayer.

[-] 3 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

I think we need both jobs and a strong social safety net.

[-] -1 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

I have a job, and a business with building clientele. I am speaking as someone who fully intends in the future to comply with the very idea I suggest when I hopefully get to hire some people.

[-] 3 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

I think that's great. And the best of luck in your business.

I fully agree that a real loving wage should be enacted, and that the system must change to protect jobs from being destroyed by banks. But you suggest that right now, Democrats in congress are wrong in trying to extend unemployment benefits to those currently out of work. I think you are wrong about that. Right now we need all the help we can get. Not one thing or the other, but everything.

[-] 0 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

Unemployment isn't a social program, it's insurance you and your employer paid for. It is not part of the discussion I was addressing.

[-] 3 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

What about food stamps? Are they really not needed now? What about Medicaid? What about TANF? Or Section 8 housing?

These are desperately needed now.

So are jobs, good paying ones, and a living wage.

The bank fucked up the economy. 50% of the population is living at or near the poverty line today. In the short term, social programs are the only lifeline people have and it is government's responsibility to provide them. That would be true regardless of the reason, but the fact that government's deregulation of banks facilitated their reckless behavior, the government must at least make some effort to mitigate the results of its complicity.

That does not mean that it should not work to create jobs, or that is should nt require a living wage for workers. Very much the opposite. And by requiring that living wage universally, it would put no one business at a disadvantage to another for doing the right thing.

[-] -1 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

Medicaid

We pay for that also. Another insurance program.

50% of the population is living at or near the poverty line today

exactly, primed and ready to accept welfare as a real solution when in fact it isn't. This thread didn't say remove those programs, not even the republican candidates are talking about getting rid of them so that is not a valid argument. What is being discussed is how much to cut from it. They don't need to defend this because they have control of the white house and senate. It's a given that this legislation to slash it will not pass. They should instead be campaigning for what they want to get through, not what they want to and can with no resistance prevent. They may as well be campaigning on preventing the sky from falling, it's not a reality either. It's a distraction homie. Nobody is going to let food stamps be taken away, it's simple fear mongering to get you to think they are doing something. They need to be campaigning for a solution, like wages, not working your fear like a bad political commercial. Why aren't they? Because you're satisfied they are doing their jobs by preventing something that isn't going to happen anyway.

[-] 2 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

The republicans have been talking about getting rid of these programs for years. Did you miss the Ryan plan, only the latest incarnation of these plans?

I absolutely agree that politicians need to work for solutions. But your implication in the OP was that social programs were part of the problem. Sorry if I misread it, but that came across fairly strongly. (Only 3% of the population receives welfare, btw, even today). They are not part of the problem but a necessary part of society. If anything, they need to be strengthened.

Additionally, the solutions to making sure we are never in the mess we find ourselves in today absolutely must be addressed, and honestly for a change.

[-] 2 points by paulg5 (673) 2 years ago

It's always easier to take the bread out of the hands of the poor than it is the rich!

[-] 2 points by HitGirl (2263) 2 years ago

Traditionally Democrats have fought for higher wages too.

[-] 0 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

I know, but they aren't now. Instead they're clowning around.

[-] 2 points by HitGirl (2263) 2 years ago

The political and economic environment is not really ripe for a push for higher wages right now. What kind of legislation do you envision?

[-] 1 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

A system that evaluates wages of all levels, quarterly against the cost of living and inflation. Just making the minimums of that would I guess be the new minimum wage. The work force is the only part of the economy that isn't allowed to account for increases in cost and inflation. Every other industry has this option, from daily adjustments to annual or quarterly, they do it without asking, it's a given. Why is the workforce, the human beings that actual make this country operate, not allowed the same?

[-] 1 points by HitGirl (2263) 2 years ago

Employers often give increases for inflation, but it's not a mandate.

[-] 1 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/10/us/recession-officially-over-us-incomes-kept-falling.html

I am addressing the trend that you're saying isn't happening.

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

what's up with the title ?

the government should promote the welfare of the people

[-] 0 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

LOL, it is based on the reality that people will sooner stop to take part in something negative than something complex and boring. Keep in mind that nowhere did I say get rid of it, and the idea that it is actually under threat is simply political fear mongering.

No way they would let this country turn into what countries do when they are starving. It's media fodder.

[-] 2 points by Neuwurldodr (744) 2 years ago

"please don't attack the social programs that poor and marginalized communities depend upon for survival"

Agreed...you know why, because few stepped up to the plate when outsourcing kicked in, and workers were kicked out! You know why...because this country is not equal enough for EVERYONE, to get, maintain or have 40 hours a week of employment, or benefits, or medical care! You know why...because in some states the minimum wage is still set at $7.95 so 40 hours time $7. + = doodily squat!!! Let this country get real and perhaps people's lives will be real and worthwhile!!

[-] 2 points by gestopomillyy (1695) 2 years ago

40 hour a week worker? you missed the part about 14 million of those out of a job did you? not because they dont want a job.. because there are NO JOBS. of course welfare has to be protected.. it is all thats left when they set the stage for a great depression. its way too late for anyone to fix the job situation and there are now 14 million plus the extra 130000 airline workes the 8700 coke co.and the 5000 whirlpoos workers still to go. just what job are you planning on these people working at to earn fair compensation? for the next 20 yrs when the entire mind set is changed welfare is all that will keep america from looking like sudan.

[-] 0 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

yep, social programs will get increase demand and get them all back to work. really? Welfare states have a one way road.

most of the programs people point to when making comments similar to your point out insurance programs run by the gov. They aren't the same thing and you make no points by lacking this discernment. I also didn't say get rid of those programs, something you and others read into the post that just isn't there.

[-] 2 points by gestopomillyy (1695) 2 years ago

no it wont get them back to work because there is no work to get back to. therefore you have a permanent increase in welfare. therefore you have to strengthen the welfare programs in order to make sure america does not become sudan.. the 14 million jobs lost in the last 3 years are never going to return so you have to stop imagining you can encourage 14 million people to go back to work at non existent jobs. or you have to start a war and kill most of them. which way do you see the worm turning?

[-] 0 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

The social programs aren't going anywhere. I can't for the life of me understand how after the last 20 years you folks don't know fear mongering when you see it. The only way to fix the economy is for people to buy more than they are. The Social Programs Are Not Under Threat. It's bullshit and I'm sorry you can't see that. They know very well the consequences of a starving country. But you don't seem to know how much they fear that reality or what it will take to fix the economy. They've got you because they've got you fooled.

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

The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA) is a United States federal law considered to be a fundamental shift in both the method and goal of federal cash assistance to the poor. The bill added a workforce development component to welfare legislation, encouraging employment among the poor. The bill was a cornerstone of the Republican Contract with America and was introduced by Rep. E. Clay Shaw, Jr. (R-FL-22) who believed welfare was partly responsible for bringing immigrants to the United States.[1] Bill Clinton signed PRWORA into law on August 22, 1996, fulfilling his 1992 campaign promise to "end welfare as we have come to know it."[2]

PRWORA instituted Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). which became effective July 1, 1997. TANF replaced Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program, which had been in effect since 1935 and supplanted the Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Training program (JOBS) of 1988. The law was heralded as a "reassertion of America's work ethic" by the US Chamber of Commerce, largely in response to the bill's workfare component.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Welfare_Reform_Act_of_1996

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[-] 1 points by JIFFYSQUID92 (-994) from Portland, OR 2 years ago

This post is a mess.

Iran-Contra may be our last glimpse into real corruption in our Government. It was perpetrated by a cabal of RW zealots.

When more people vote, Dems do better. When fewer people vote, Cons do better. So Cons try to suppress the vote. One Con tactic to suppress the vote (especially in a news cycle where their corruption has come to light, like massive Con sabotage and hostage taking) is to promote the idea that both parties are the the same. They are not.

No party is perfect, but Cons work for the 1% and Dems work for everybody. If Dems aren't delivering, Con sabotage has a lot to do with it. Compromise is often better than nothing.

We need to get the Cons out of government.

Unite and Win! Unite and Win! 2010 Never EVER Again!!

Image and Vote! Image and Vote! "We the 1%" NOT What They Wrote!!

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

If everyone were given $50 dollars a day to stay out of trouble,

entrepreneurs would have greater opportunities to gain that money form the people.

That money could be skimmed off the top of those capital gainers

to reimburse back to the general population

[-] 0 points by wiscokidd (12) from Hayward, WI 2 years ago

Capitalism is a wicked form of socialism. We need to sever the agreement the stupid sheeple government made with the international ZioNazi bankers in 1913. Welfare is in the constitution and the word means social security for every American. Do you want welfare only for infinitely greedy international banksters like we have now? Yes once we give every person the minimum needs allowance that they have earned by living through the totalitarian rule of self appointed sadistic money gods. Then people who want more than this minimum of universal health care, food and shelter, those people will work to provide those needs rather than the needs of the infinitely greedy war profiteering, energy monopolizing, sub humane spawn. Eventually the capable willing people on living allowance will be educated and work for our great humane nation and planet. Well you can laugh and it won't be quite as simple as a paragraph but it can be done. Most people do want to work for the good of others, it is natural for humane beings.

[-] 0 points by PretendHitGirI (13) 2 years ago

Don't you think that realistically formulating how much income one requires to cover necessities needs to happen and then tax reform so that anyone making more receives no entitlements from the government, anyone making less pays NO taxes. Not even the payroll tax which is clearly more costly to those earning lower wages.

The savings in doing this would be huge.

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[-] 0 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

I think hammering our dependency on the gov into stone is the final nail in the workers coffin, not a solution.

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[-] 0 points by Faithntruth (997) 2 years ago

Bad argument. 40 hour work week has nothing to do with welfare. Many people go on welfare because it is required to get medicaid. a minimum wage job, working as a temp or part time, often does not provide medical benefits which forces the person with a sick spouse or child to turn to medicaid and thus to welfare.

The bigger problem is tying health care to jobs. If a person had an option, they could keep that low pay job.

So please explain why you are linking a 40 hour work week to welfare, and implying that having one means we cant have the other, and why you are creating a false argument that dems are against a living wage when republicans have fought every minimum wage increase?

[-] -1 points by Marlow (1141) 2 years ago

Why dont you Shut your Pie hole.. and Ask your Freakin Republicans to do the BEST THING for AMERICA.. and invest in Infrastructure? You Dim Witted Moron?

Knowing how politics works, and knowing where the Interest lies is meant for those IN POLITICS!.. you arent!

so learn to GET their Attention or Shut up! I mean you Complain.. but DOING anything .. doesnt seem to be your Virtue

[-] 0 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

Lol, I'm a liberal. You sure are angry. Good. We all are.

[-] -1 points by shield (222) 2 years ago

Hell, remove the commerce clause from the constitution and problem solved! Then the United States would have no (pretend) authority to regulate people's business dealings with each other, including their right to keep what they earn.

[-] -1 points by XenuLives (1645) from Charlotte, NC 2 years ago

For all of the defending of the poor that I do, I actually agree with this. If we forced companies to pay all Americans a living wage, then we wouldn't NEED a Welfare program. The responsibility for providing a base compensation that allows everyone the ability to afford the essentials (food, water, clothing, shelter) would be pushed from the government (taxpayers) to the businesses.

[-] 2 points by April (3196) 2 years ago

There is no way to force companies to pay a living wage. The problem is there are too many people chasing too few low skilled jobs which further depresses those wages. Much of this is due to outsourcing of low skilled labor. While at the same time there are too few people chasing more high skilled positions which drives those wages up. Further exasperating the problem of income inequality.

This is a shift that the job force will have to adjust to over time. It may require increases or changes in the education system. To prepare the workforce for the shift from blue collar (went to Asia and ain't coming back) jobs to more technology related and white collar jobs. We're already way behind the curve on this. This should have been done long ago. We weren't prepared. And we are seeing the effects of it now.

Even if you could force business to provide a living wage, they would easily pass this on to the consumer. It would be a wash.

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[-] 1 points by jart (1252) from New York, NY 2 years ago

food, water, clothing, shelter

Don't forget transportation and telecommunications.

[-] 1 points by dalton (111) 2 years ago

Sorry. It is not the governments job to tell me how much to pay my employees.

[-] 0 points by XenuLives (1645) from Charlotte, NC 2 years ago

You can try to violate minimum wage laws, but good luck:

  1. Getting anyone to work for you
  2. Avoiding prison
[-] 2 points by dalton (111) 2 years ago

Oh, and restaurants and movie theaters do it all the time.

[-] 1 points by jart (1252) from New York, NY 2 years ago

Minimum wage is lower for people who get tips.

Generally when employers violate minimum wage laws it's because the worker is an immigrant.

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[-] 1 points by dalton (111) 2 years ago

I did not say that I would violate the law now did I? I simply said that it is not the governments job to tell me what to pay them.

[-] 0 points by XenuLives (1645) from Charlotte, NC 2 years ago

I'm telling you that it is. You have to pay all employees at least the minimum wage. Right now that's $7.25/hr. That needs to increase to at least $15/hr if you want to get everyone off of welfare and EBT.

[-] 1 points by dalton (111) 2 years ago

Where did I say that I would not follow the law? I simply stated that it is not the governments job to tell me how much to pay my employees. No where in my post did I say that I would not do what the law states.

I am disagreeing with the statement that the gov't gets to tell me what to pay, not that they have told me what to pay. There is a difference.

[-] 0 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

Your argument makes no sense. The government represents the people. So it is the people telling you what to pay employees based on the needs of society. If you are unwilling to pay the cost then you are not qualified to be an employer and should find work with someone else.

[-] 3 points by jart (1252) from New York, NY 2 years ago

Relax, they're probably just a right-wing libertarian agitator. You won't get anywhere arguing with them because they're opposed to pretty much all forms of business regulation / social programs and believe the only thing the government should do is create an armed force to defend the rights of the privileged class to their property and contracts.

To be honest, I'd be surprised if they actually employed anyone.

The government represents the people.

Come on now, you don't really believe that do you?

One of the most prominent themes of this movement has been that the government works for the 1%, not us.

[-] 3 points by April (3196) 2 years ago

The government is a reflection of ourselves. The 1% has simply paid it alot more attention (play on words - get it? "paid" it!! haha). And the government is now a reflection of the 1%, as would be expected.

[-] 2 points by jart (1252) from New York, NY 2 years ago

The government is only a reflection of ourselves is the sense that governments enforce prevailing social customs and maintain the status quo. Aside from that explanation I don't see how your statement could make sense outside of a new age framework.

[-] 2 points by April (3196) 2 years ago

That is the explanation. I suppose that to go beyond the maintaining the status quo, there would be a lag, should there be a cultural shift. I don't think the government is an immovable force, or necessarily prevents change. Just that change in government follows behind cultural change. To then reflect the new culture, or new prevailing attitudes and ideals.

[-] 2 points by jart (1252) from New York, NY 2 years ago

Awesome, glad we're on the same page.

I don't think the government [...] prevents change.

They absolutely do, especially in situations where privilege and power are threatened. The history of social change tells a story of people collectively waking up to injustice, fighting to fix it, and then being brutalized by the people in power until one side caves.

[-] 2 points by April (3196) 2 years ago

There are forces that will try to prevent change, for sure. It's not the system of government that prevents change. Our system may be such that change happens more slowly than we would like. But this is a good thing. So as to prevent any short term drastic shift or swings that might be undesirable in the long run.

Perhaps we can avoid that brutality if the collective forces for change are massive enough. Or at least lessen it. A truly huge social movement that could bring together enormous amounts of people to work for some clear and simple common causes, such as government corruption and wealth inequality. That would seek to minimize confrontation rather than invite it. Might make that change happen more quickly and would hopefully lessen any brutality. Just a strength in numbers thing. Here's hoping anyway.

[-] 2 points by jart (1252) from New York, NY 2 years ago

What planet are you on? The government has been suppressing this movement for social change from the beginning using techniques like violence, evictions, surveillance, intimidation, etc. But apparently you think the government doesn't try to prevent change. This isn't the sort of thing you get to have an opinion on... sheesh

[-] 2 points by April (3196) 2 years ago

I'm on planet April-land. Maybe I'm out of touch with reality. Or maybe OWS-land is. But on planet April-land, I don't see much support for this movement. Most people don't view government or authority as an enemy. Which is the worldview of OWS-land. Not everyone is going to accept my worldview and not everyone is going to accept the Occupy worldview.

Change is never easy. It's not specific to the government. Where the government specific is trying to prevent change. I would say opposing views will be the most resistant to change. It's practically human nature to resist change. Most often I think it's better to help people along gently towards change. Not shove it down their throats. That usually only works with cough medicine.

As far as evictions and violence go - I think in alot of cases the authorities have been remarkably restrained. Considering all of the occupations, camping on property for months at a time. Many people find this problematic for many reasons. Most of those people are the 99%. And yet, most communities and authorities have been pretty tolerant of it. It's the role of the authorities to protect the rights of all people. Not bend to the will of Occupiers at the expense of others. To fault authority for that, is like telling others their rights don't matter. Only what OWS thinks is right matters.

Occupied areas were not meant to be occupied/camped on for months at a time by protesters. If for no other reason than basic health and safety concerns. I don't consider this suppression. I consider this balancing the rights of everyone. And considering the intended and safe use of space. This is different from suppression of a protest and freedom of assembly.

But by pushing the issue perhaps OWS will get a court ruling that further defines freedom of assembly as to allow unlimited encampment. I really don't know what good purpose this would serve. Maybe my April-land worldview is just too limiting. But that's fine. I guess it doesn't really matter since my opinion on this doesn't count being I don't agree.

[-] 2 points by dalton (111) 2 years ago

Funny. Down to name calling? I simply responded to a false accusation and someone putting words into my mouth.

I said that it is not the governments job to to tell me what to pay my employees and was accused of not following the law.

Then someone says lower minimum wage is for those who get tips. Ever tip someone at a movie theater? I never have. If we want to play that game, they should all be paid minimum. Most restraunts do not track nor report tips.

[-] 2 points by jart (1252) from New York, NY 2 years ago

Saying you're most likely a "right-wing libertarian agitator" isn't name calling. None of those words are derogatory. If I wanted to be mean I would have called you a lolitarian.

[-] 2 points by dalton (111) 2 years ago

Actually, it is. Only because you are trying to put someone down and make them lessor in your mind.

[-] 1 points by jart (1252) from New York, NY 2 years ago

Do you or have you ever owned a business that employs full time salaried workers?

[-] -1 points by XenuLives (1645) from Charlotte, NC 2 years ago

"I said that it is not the governments job to to tell me what to pay my employees and was accused of not following the law."

Because that is the government's job: to enforce the law. The law is that you have to pay at least $7.25/hr to all of your employees (with few exceptions.) Ergo, the government is telling you what to pay your employees: any amount >= $7.25 /hr.

How is this hard to understand?

[-] 0 points by dalton (111) 2 years ago

Very easy. I never said I would not follow the law. I said that I do not believe that is a law that the gov't should have passed as it is not their job to tell me what to pay.

[-] 0 points by XenuLives (1645) from Charlotte, NC 2 years ago

Well then I'm glad there aren't more people like you running around. I like paying employees more than $2/hr. You know, actually caring about other people? Try it some time.

[-] 0 points by dalton (111) 2 years ago

I did. When I had the restaurant, I paid my entire staff $10 an hour, and that was 3 years ago. You see, I never said I did not care about people. That is you putting words in my mouth.

My argument was very simple. It is not the governments job to tell me what to pay. But because they do, I have to do that. It is still not their job. That is part of what is wrong with capitalism today. The government interference but passing laws such as this.

[-] 0 points by XenuLives (1645) from Charlotte, NC 2 years ago

So what is the government supposed to do, if its not going to enforce its own laws?

[-] 1 points by dalton (111) 2 years ago

Once again, please read. I have not said anything about not enforcing the laws.

[-] 1 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

lmao, ok. my bad. I should have said, it's supposed to.

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[-] 0 points by B76RT (-357) 2 years ago

$15? why not $25? or $50?

[-] 0 points by XenuLives (1645) from Charlotte, NC 2 years ago

It is probably closer to $19-20, depending on geographic region. Basically, whatever wage is required for one adult person to be able to afford rent, food, and water (plus related expenses like transportation and energy) without having to work two jobs. The goal isn't to have everyone live comfortably, but to be able to work and come home to food on their plates, clean water to drink, and a roof over their heads.

[-] 0 points by B76RT (-357) 2 years ago

so, if you want to live on the upper east side of nyc your minimum wage should be $500 hr? what about westport or greenwich conn.? or berkeley ca.?

[-] 0 points by XenuLives (1645) from Charlotte, NC 2 years ago

Why do you hate poor people?

[-] 0 points by B76RT (-357) 2 years ago

i want poor people to raise themselves up, go to school, learn a trade, be responsible for themselves, have pride in achievement.

[-] 0 points by XenuLives (1645) from Charlotte, NC 2 years ago

And how are they going to afford all of that learning?

[-] 0 points by B76RT (-357) 2 years ago

public schools are free, you can go to a vocational high school.

[-] 0 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

Why are you baiting? At times you seem to have a grip on what is important and other times you seem like a spoiled rich kid. What gives?

[-] 1 points by B76RT (-357) 2 years ago

how am i baiting?vocational schools teach skills that can be used to get a job . skills that can be built upon for further knowledge and advancement. when i have a problem i call an electrician or a plumber. what does going to college and getting a degree in philosophy get a person except a large tuition bill?

[-] 1 points by shooz (17946) 2 years ago

Why does everybody pick on philosophy?

It's study should be part of a well rounded education.

[-] 0 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

Ok but what does this do for people my age that do not have the faculty to teach themselves a new trade and have no assistance available to them for retraining?

[-] 0 points by B76RT (-357) 2 years ago

Good Luck to You.

[-] 0 points by B76RT (-357) 2 years ago

live near a local community college? night school a low cost. i know you have a computer. you can learn on line. what are you looking to retrain in? i know someone that waitressed in a resturant chain. after a few years, with some of her friends , she started her own business ,as a caterer. she also learned to tend bar and can use those skills when her primary bussines is slow.

[-] 1 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

I have spent the last 5 years retraining myself with great success. I hope to see it pay off quite soon. My reality does not speak for the majority unfortunately.

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[-] 0 points by beautifulworld (21343) 2 years ago

Amen.

[-] -1 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

exactly, they have pushed the true cost of doing business almost entirely onto the government (society). Time to make them pay it forward.

[-] 2 points by Faithntruth (997) 2 years ago

Bad argument. When does business do anything that decreases profit? Business will simply raise cost to consumer and thus we as individuals still absorb the cost.

[-] 0 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

So capitalism only works if there is a group of people that can be exploited? Capitalism needs welfare in order to function? You just made the case against capitalism. I'm very pro-capitalism and I don't think that holds true. There is a way. But it involves bring up the base pay, evaluating all wages against inflation quarterly, doing away with workers comp once the healthcare mandate comes into effect, and doing away with unions and replacing them with legislation that protects workers. The inflation will level off after a few years. The commodities, energy companies, insurance companies and other top of the economic food chain industries will be the ones to absorb the hit because they have the profits to buffer the inflation and still make a profit. The inflation problems do not exist in this reality because all sectors would remain relative to inflation. It's when inflation gets to far ahead of one sector or another that we see the problems with it, like we do now with cost/income that is killing demand and our economy.

[-] 1 points by Faithntruth (997) 2 years ago

Regular insurance companies are not likely to share insurance claims across their established lines.... Car accident? Auto insurances problem. Work accident? Workers comp claim. Heart attack? Hope your job has medical benes.

Insurance companies are dumping anything that hurts the bottom line, or individuating claims as cost per coverage items, like flood insurance that none of them in florida now offer, and wind coverage, versus, fire, theft, etc. Medical insurance already controls their costs by refusing drugs and treatments for various reasons. Look how hard it was to make them take people with pre existing conditions, even as they charge more for people seen as high risk.

My opinion: Workers comp is an added and unnecessary burden on businesses that offer health insurance. I dont know how it came into being, but I do know they do not pay out to medical providers equatably to regular insurance, and that better medical providers will not take workers comp. But companies should have to have one or the other. And under regular insurance it means they could not drop a person with continuing health problems even if that person is unable to work, unless the person qualifies for medicare.

I did not make any statement about capitalism. I pointed out that business costs are rarely absorbed by the business, but are passed on to the consumer. I did not talk about exploiting people...dont even know where you got that.

Any republican will happily tell you that increasing pay drives inflation because that cost is passed to the consumer whenever possible, as well. They will also claim it hurts business. Change the topic to taxes, and it is the same line of defense.

When a company is valued on quartely growth, it has to either really grow profit, or create an illusion of growth through manipulation of other factors (reducing work force etc). No one seems to find consistent performance as acceptable, but in a closed system, there is a natural cap to growth. This is why they needed to expand the market globally, and build plants in the countries where wages could be low enough for local consumers to be able to afford to become customers.

Unions have led the drive to create the legislation we have to protect workers. That legislation was fought tooth and nail. It is still being fought. Unions give workers the clout to force business into fair practices. Right to work states let the workers decide to support the union or not through democratic process.

[-] 0 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

OWS is having far more of an impact than unions at the moment, I think they are obsolete and just as corrupt. No idea what you are getting at with the insurance bit, I was pointing to their margins if you want to expand on that.

overhead:

The average labor overhead for the service industry is 22%. So you bring up the prices to keep up with the wage market and your labor stays at 22% but because insurance companies are about 5% labor, their cost of business would not see that much of an increase and their product would stay about the same cost, bring it down as a percentage of overhead for industries with higher labor margins. Same with energy, about 5% labor so they would see a minor increase in overhead bringing down the cost of overhead to the service industry by percentage. You need to look at the math before regurgitating lame ass talking points laid out there by lobbyists against wage hikes.

[-] 1 points by Faithntruth (997) 2 years ago

Personal attack not required again, richard. I do not know what lame talking points you refer to since I dont listen to lobbyists, and my opinions come from looking at the long term history of business practices and my experience in the work force in the same right to work state in which you claim to live, working in both a mixed union / non union shop and non union businesses, as well as the state of new york where closed shop is the rule.

You can throw percentages all over the page and call it math. Im talking about the reality that most people are living with, in which a business increases price, reduces work force, reduces benefits, reduces services to protect the profit they make as well as add to it over time.

Propose valid ideas and support your ideas and you may discover attacking the person is not neccessary.
Additionally, before accusing someone of regurgitating lame ass talking points, one might want to ask the person if they are in fact even against wage hikes....

For the record, I think actors and sports figures are overpaid, cops firefighters and teachers are underpaid, wait staff cooks and cleaning people get royally screwed, walmarts system is akin to serfdom, and most folks from doctors to secretaries earn what their services are valued in the market.

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[-] 0 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

I have not attacked you on this thread, you have been on topic. But again you throw my credibility into question rather than debating the topic at hand and then sprinkle in some common complaints. I don't see this a anything to debate or where you have shown my points are invalid. If you care to rebut my thread with some facts, I would be glad to entertain a debate on the matter.

[-] 1 points by Faithntruth (997) 2 years ago

Deny, deny....

You said I regurgitate lame talking points.

That is a personal attack because it is not against the actual points made, but is made against the speaker, and it is a tactic to dicredit the reasoning and therefore validity of any point that speaker makes.

The attack comes in the subject of the statement, where the insult is directed at the individual, rather than at the point itself, subtle, but not subtle enough and I wont let you skate out on it.

Of course, it could have been a simple error, which would demonstrate a poor command and understanding of language, but I dont think you are either stupid or careless, richard, so Im afraid i do suspect it was a deliberate attempt to both generate a slur and turn the discussion. But you must know that is really okay with me because it is fun... Plus this is educational for anyone who wants to see a propagandist in action ( that would you).

[-] 0 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

Do you have a position on this thread to debate or not? Please reread the post if you need to and get back to me with relevant material.

[-] 1 points by Faithntruth (997) 2 years ago

Perhaps we could continue a conversation when you apologize for your intentional slurs against me, both here and in the other thread. You are a very smart person, and you have a very good command of language, and you have tutored about the very tactics you employed here. But everyone can see it, and you need to apologize....

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[-] -1 points by XenuLives (1645) from Charlotte, NC 2 years ago

Maybe, but that market will still only pay what it deems a fair price for goods and services. Don't worry, McDoubles are still going to be $1 if these changes take place!

[-] 1 points by Faithntruth (997) 2 years ago

And when a company no longer makes enough in profit, they leave. So while they may offer those mcdoubles,the single item will be smaller, and if people dont buy them in boise they will close that location.

[-] 0 points by XenuLives (1645) from Charlotte, NC 2 years ago

Or they will adapt to remain competitive and profitable. Smart businesses do this every day. Businesses that are resistant to change will fail, just like they always have.

And frankly, it wouldn't be that bad if McDonalds left town. We would have one less avenue to obesity, for starters!

[-] 1 points by Faithntruth (997) 2 years ago

Empty calories are cheaper than good healthy food. And knawing on cardboard is free if you get the boxes before the recycle company takes them...

[-] 0 points by XenuLives (1645) from Charlotte, NC 2 years ago

Exactly, and that's partly why we have such an issue with obesity in this country. Oh, and Girl Scout cookies. NOM NOM NOM

[-] 1 points by Faithntruth (997) 2 years ago

Lol. ...

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 2 years ago

Government assistance programs are a necessary reaction to the recession and financial crisis. Not an end unto itself. It's not a false argument to help those in need. It's a necessary reaction. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Seems to me paying it forward would include something like higher taxes on the wealthy (individuals and corporations, especially the corporate tax evaders) and using the revenue generated for some kind of government created jobs program like the WPA from the 40's which provided 8 million jobs. To help drive the economy while it undergoes whatever corrections are necessary. And provide necessary work for the unemployed while at the same time investing in our country with infrastructure or similar improvements.

[-] 0 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

I'm for doing away with all subsidies and a flat tax. I didn't say get rid of social programs, just that the dems need to stop playing up to it like it's a solution, because it's not and that is what they should be focused on. A solution.

[-] 2 points by April (3196) 2 years ago

Why on earth would you go so easy on the wealthy? We need a more progressive tax system.

Pres. Obama is proposing higher taxes on the wealthy. I would have liked to see him go alot further. In the mean time, until that is passed, social programs are necessary. If the Dems don't push for it, who will? You can't trash on them for that. Look what they are dealing with. An immovable House controlled by Boehner, the Tea Party and Grover Norquist.

[-] 0 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

Because North Korea doesn't build cruise ships and theme parks lol. The wealthy would be taxed enough just by getting rid of all subsidies (corporate welfare) something the right is also fighting. Obama is simply trying to pick the low hanging fruit. I voted for the guy so it's not like I want to see him fail.

[-] -2 points by B76RT (-357) 2 years ago

income inequality? a neuro surgeon should make the same money as a toll taker? while a surgeon can be a toll taker , i wouldn't to have a toll taker doing sugery on anyone. do you have a batting average of .340? few do. the ones that do , get paid get paid for their talent.

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 2 years ago

I don't think that's what he means to suggest. Anyway, I agree that I want my doctor to make alot more money than my landscaper. It's about value add and supply/demand. But the truth is, extreme income/wealth disparity is harmful to society.

[-] -2 points by B76RT (-357) 2 years ago

the constitution guarantees equal opportunity NOT equal outcome. the point is to raise people up not lower ambitious , talented people down.

[-] 1 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

No, income inequality like sitting on your ass and making 25 million while the people actually producing can't buy shoes for their kids. That kind of income inequality. Joke if you want but it's that kind of rationalization and ignoring of facts that is killing capitalism homie.

[-] -2 points by B76RT (-357) 2 years ago

why do you assume that people that make a lot of money do nothing to earn it?

[-] 1 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

That isn't what was being said thrasy and you know it.

[-] -1 points by B76RT (-357) 2 years ago

so explain, what was being said?

[-] 1 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

I may have missed my mark but I was trying to distinguish between those who have worked to make what they have, even though investments, and those who have had it handed down to them and raised like spoiled rich kids. I know well the difference. I grew up with some 1%ers and they were made to get jobs at an early age, and there were markers they had to reach before any privilege the family had would be passed to them. At 28, one of my closest friends is still working on those expectations to this day by working and has returned to school. and his cousin at 35 is currently serving in Afghanistan. Their family already had it made before the 57 million dollar sale of a company in the defense industry. x-Harvard leaders, you name it. Now conversely, they have cousins that never had to live up to such expectations.

[-] 0 points by B76RT (-357) 2 years ago

going by what you said, ambition and drive count no matter what the field. expectation is just that, an expectation, a hope, not a reality.

[-] 1 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

My point was the difference between spoiled wealth and earned wealth, I do not hold all wealthy people's feet to the fire for our situation because like us, they are not all the same. And harder work does not equal higher pay.

[-] 0 points by B76RT (-357) 2 years ago

giving up equals no pay.

[-] 2 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

not true, that was my point. Some never even have to try and they are rewarded. There is a shitload of people that get placed in positions they are not qualified for every single day because of who they know. They also aren't expected to perform as anyone else in that field, they get a free pass. Romney calls it crony capitalism and he's right about that even if nothing else. There are so many other examples where wealth is abused and this is only one factor in thousands that ensure hard work does not equal better pay or even better opportunity. Lets add racism, sexism, homophobia, age discrimination, and in the south we can add the good-ol-boy network in our law enforcement, politics, justice system and many other industries. The list goes on and on. Your logic would work perfectly, if you could separate it from the reality of human nature.

[-] 0 points by B76RT (-357) 2 years ago

No matter what laws are in place , life is unfair. amibition, drive and persistance do matter, if only for self respect.

[-] 2 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

I never said it was a null factor, only that it alone is not enough. Just like the laws that keep people from taking things from you physically and keep people from taking things away from you intellectually, we need laws that keep people from exploiting you by paying you unfairly for your time and labor. People lobbied in ancient times for guarding against physical theft and more recently lobbied to prevent intellectual theft and are pushing now for further protections. We also need this now to protect against the exploitation of labor. Human beings are still the most complex and valuable tool of any production to date, all the way up to a one man operated assembly line.

[-] 0 points by B76RT (-357) 2 years ago

laws have no meaning if they'e not inforced.

[-] 1 points by shooz (17946) 2 years ago

That's a fatalistic way of looking at things.

Ambition, drive and persistence, all change in a normal persons life, and in some cases a single day.