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Forum Post: Economics and the Honey Bee 3

Posted 1 year ago on April 18, 2012, 3:39 a.m. EST by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA
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When I first thought of the example of the honey bee analogy, the goal was to determine whether a person with a mental skill should be paid more than a person with a physical skill. It seemed there should be a fair and impartial way to determine a fair distribution of income.

The simplest way would be to give each bee an equal share. Each bee worked the same hours, just the jobs were different. But there was no solid reason to support this, it just sounded right.

No matter how hard I tried to come up with a fair way to divide the surplus, I kept coming to the same conclusion. That fairness can only be determined by the participants.

The most important concept I discovered was whether a worker should receive higher wages because they had a different skill. Most people think that rarity of skills should always mean higher pay. Not at all. The best Yodeler in the world will never make as much as a popular singer, even though the yodeler is much rarer. The yodeler might have an audience of a few thousand, but the singer tens of millions. The higher compensation goes to the singer who provides the most benefit. That is the key. Compensation should be based on benefit provided. Not by hours worked, or how hard the work, or if the work is physical or mental.

Two workers perform the same job. One produces twice as much as the other. That worker should receive twice the pay because he provides twice the benefit.

Since the slow bee provided all of the benefit, she should receive all that the benefit produced. What about the 99, why should they work and not share in the bounty. They might as well not even work for her, they can make the same wage working by themselves, unless there is a benefit for them.

The slow bee's high salary is completely dependent on having the swift bees work with her. If she loses the 99 swift bees labor, she loses a huge profit. So the 1 slow bee and the 99 swift bees decide to compromise. Somewhere between 0 and 1 units of honey per bee should be should be paid but what is a fair amount? She decides on the minimum percentage of honey paid to attract the greatest number of bees to obtain the highest amount of surplus honey.

If she offered them a 10% cut, but only attracted 50 of the bees. she would get a surplus of 44 units. The 50 would share 5 units. .1 per bee

If she offered them a 30% cut, but only attracted 80 of the bees. she would get a surplus of 55 units. The 80 would share 24 units. .3 per bee

If she offered them a 50% cut, that attracted all 99 bees. she would get a surplus of 49 units. The 99 would share 49 units. .5 per bee

So the slow bee chose to offer them a 30% cut. The best deal for her. Her share would be 55 units of honey. 183 times the individual swift bees share of .3 units of honey. And for the same number of hours worked.

It doesn't sound fair. But it is. The swift bees do not work harder, or longer, just more efficiently. It is because of the benefit the slow bee provides, not the rarity of her skills, that she is able to make such a large salary. The swift bees also benefit. So the moral seems to be if you want to make a high salary, you also need beneficial skills to obtain it. The more benefit provided, the higher your wages will bee.

It's up to the 99 swift bees to renegotiate the agreement if they are unhappy watching most of the surplus go to the slow bee. What ever they settle for is what they will receive. The power to raise wages lies with those who are willing to stand up and not accept a 30% share, just as in any union movement.

It should also be noted that by the slow bee's choice of using her most benficial skill, that of directing bees instead of collecting nectar, all of the bees share in the increased surplus.

http://occupywallst.org/forum/economics-and-the-honeybee/

http://occupywallst.org/forum/economics-and-the-honey-bee-2/

139 Comments

139 Comments


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[-] 7 points by JenLynn (692) 1 year ago

Under the terms of this simplified analogy both sides can make a case that without them there would be no profit to argue over. Neither side can actually claim any moral high ground here though, both are making an argument driven by greed and/or envy not need. Each bee was already making a profit of 100% under the old system.

Let the two sides negotiate and get comfort from the knowledge that they are better off under any final deal then they were originally. Stop looking at what the slow bee gets and see how your own life is better.

As an alternative, I suppose the majority could enslave the slow bee and force the knowledge from her. If 99% vote together does it make their decision moral?

[-] 2 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 1 year ago

What if you and I were picking apples all day and at the end of the day we have ten boxes of apples and you say you want six boxes and I only have four. Would that be fair?

[-] 2 points by JenLynn (692) 1 year ago

Assuming we both walked into the orchard as equals, did the same work, and had no agreement about the division of the profits of our labor, my demand for 60% of the shared labor would seem unreasonable.

You don't offer much to base a decision on however. Bees or apples, analogies are occasionally useful but simplistic. The world is usually much more complex. Is it my orchard, did we have any agreement ahead of time, do I believe I worked harder then you, is my need somehow greater than yours, did I provide something necessary for you to gain access into the orchard, or am I simply greedy?

[-] 2 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 1 year ago

no, you just wanted more .. where does it say things should divided equally and fairly .. if there are no rules .. you could have said you want them all .. how do I argue with you .. on what grounds do I say what is fair and not fair ? If you say you want 6 boxes .. why should we divide this evenly 5 and 5 ?based on what .. simply because we both worked just as long [ all day ] ..

what if I retaliate and say ..no, I want six and you can have four ! than what? .. if it was fair for you , than why wouldn't it be fair for me ?

[-] 1 points by JenLynn (692) 1 year ago

OK, simple greed. Fairness is always in the eye of the beholder I suppose. As I said demanding 60% out of the blue would be unreasonable. Greed and envy are part of our nature though. If we went into this venture without some agreement ahead of time then we were both fools.

[-] 1 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 1 year ago

Not both, just me for thinking you were a fair person and would divide the apples evenly/fairly

[-] 1 points by JenLynn (692) 1 year ago

LOL, you made me the bad guy in this imaginary scenario, I'm just trying to answer truthfully. I believe contracts or agreements are necessary to avoid conflict. They essentially establish what is fair. Two strangers walk into an orchard and start picking apples with no thought to who get what is just asking for trouble.

As I see it the unreasonable demand, by me in your example, could easily result in physical conflict. Even if I'm able to win that contest I risk injury that may make my victory pyrrhic one. It's to the advantage of both to set the conditions before we invest time and effort in our apple picking.

Who owns the orchard anyhow? Maybe we're just two apple bandits and contract or no, there is no honor among thieves.

[-] 1 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 1 year ago

LOL, it's fun how this could imaginarily evolve ..

why would you say 6 boxes though .. I was so happy working with you .. even though we started out as strangers .. I thought I found a friend .. :-[

and than you did what you did .. broke my heart really .. it's not even about the apples anymore .. I would like to say have them all /..

[-] 0 points by JenLynn (692) 1 year ago

It was always about the apples sweetie! Only the apples.

[-] 1 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 1 year ago

..and what fine Apples they were ...

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

"apple bandits"...lol

[-] 1 points by elf3 (2045) 1 year ago

All the orchards are already owned - all we can do is work in them. Must have money to make money, get business loans, or grease pockets. That or you can sell drugs for a while, do something illegal hide the money and then be congratulated for all your business success like the mob does when they open a legitimate business with it through which they can launder the money.

[-] 1 points by JenLynn (692) 1 year ago

You're setting up conditions based on your own view of the world. It isn't completely accurate. There are businesses that can be started with little or no capitol. There are ways to become successful without resorting to crime.

[-] 1 points by elf3 (2045) 1 year ago

Well yes one could sell sock puppets on the corner but ...Really? Also if you do come up with something truly innovative invention don't think it won't be stolen by a monopoly as the company let's you try to sue them over the next 30 years and laughs the entire time. Also are you talking education ? Because that costs more than anything - were you born smart enough to do that or did you pay for it?

[-] 1 points by JenLynn (692) 1 year ago

I wasn't thinking of something in the manufacturing area, that only covers about one quarter of the US economy anyhow. I can lay out a real world example for you if you like. It's in the health field, low start up cost much of the education cost can be covered.

I agree education costs are high, mine are being met with a combination of parental foresight (they have come through with a little over half of what I need) and my working while going to school. Education in a State school in New York is running about $16k a year for everything. If my summer jobs continue to come through I'll make it out debt free.

The average student with loans graduates with a debt of just over $25k according to what I've read. The kids with $100k in loans make the headlines and bump up the average, but the average is do-able for anyone.

[-] 1 points by elf3 (2045) 1 year ago

You don't know what you're talking about - what kind of business are you going to start in the health care field? Are your parent's going to give you over half the money for that as well? I worked behind the scenes in the health care field payroll for nurses - good luck with that~ they put one nurse on the floor and hire CNA's to fill in the gaps - they literally run them into the ground with work and because of the cuts in staff due to scarcity of positions, their pay is suffering. You also haven't accounted for student loans there deary. For those of us whose parents didn't set us up in an apartment so we didn't have to claim our parents income to get financial aid - probably like you - a non federally backed student loan has huuuge interest, that's if you can get one if you're not in your twenties or work full time, you make too much to qualify and they don't factor in that you will have to cut your hours to be in school they only go by your tax return prior to your school year schedule. Though I'm sure yours was federally backed being that you are completely unaware of interest as a factor. Did your parents set up the summer job too? Good luck when you get out in the real world - hope you don't have to fall back to your parents basement when you realize how much you've been duped into believing we aren't in a catastrophic economic depression of downsize and outsource fever with rising inflation and low low wages and student loans larger than a monthly rent payment.

[-] 1 points by JenLynn (692) 1 year ago

It's very simple. House calls. It's already being done by doctors and nurse practitioners in many states. There have been quite a few articles written on it. I've seen the business plan, you can start up for around $5000, no office needed. It's not something I can start the day after graduation but it can be done, it's being done, successfully, by a lot of people.

Anything can fail, and I have a fall back position if the worst happens. The point is there are things that can be done. Even if the unemployment rate were 25%, that still means 75% of the people are working.

[-] 0 points by Pequod (17) 1 year ago

What if one worker picked 7 boxes of apples and the other picked 3? How do we ensure both work equally hard?

[-] 1 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 1 year ago

This is the key question with equal pay.

We do know both workers worked an equal amount of time.

My proposal of an hour-coin represents an hour of time worked.

would you not agree, in the perverbial "utopian world" we all work at our own pace.. in fact , even now in present times we generally work at our own pace. And as discussed earlier, monetary incentive does not increase performance. When you receive a raise do you produce more ?

The important question, what incentive/ motivation can we provide to encourage everyone to do their best ? in an equal hourly pay scenario ?

[-] -2 points by Pequod (17) 1 year ago

What!!??? Monetary incentive does not increase performance? I never saw that proved. You are wrong there. Most jobs pay raises based on performance. Many jobs pay for performance with bonuses. Many raises take into account experience, which usually allows a worker to work more efficiently.

No, i dont agree we would work at our own pace. You didnt answer the original question.

[-] 1 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 1 year ago

This question you did not answer-

"The important question, what incentive/ motivation can we provide to encourage everyone to do their best ? in an equal hourly pay scenario ?"

It's a tough question I admit.

If we set up a society as a collective where we all benefit according to collective accomplishments, how do we encourage evryone to "do their best?" at equal hourly pay for everyone.

[-] 1 points by Pequod (17) 1 year ago

I asled you whether a worker harvested 7 boxes of apples should be paid as the one who harvested 3.

To answer your ques"tion: Nothing will motivate a person to do their best other than higher pay. .

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Look at WallStreet and bonuses leading up to the meltdown and then after the meltdown - not much to show incentive for performance excellence there.


[-] -1 points by Pequod (14) 30 minutes ago

What!!??? Monetary incentive does not increase performance? I never saw that proved. You are wrong there. Most jobs pay raises based on performance. Many jobs pay for performance with bonuses. Many raises take into account experience, which usually allows a worker to work more efficiently.

No, i dont agree we would work at our own pace. You didnt answer the original question. ↥like ↧dislike reply permalink

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

Agree completely.

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (17667) 1 year ago

"Guns and Butter" ( http://www.kpfa.org/guns-and-butter ) : I really think more of us would gain from listening to this KPFA.org ( http://www.kpfa.org/ ) Radio Show and pertinent to this thread, I append :

  • "Modern Money Theory Explained" - with Stephanie Kelton. Myths about taxation and government revenues in a sovereign currency situation; debts and deficits; full social security and price stability; the use of sectoral balances to analyze the financial position of the different sectors of the macro economy; the three sectors of the macro economy; the two rules governing the three sectors; the financial balance model. http://www.kpfa.org/archive/id/79811 &

  • "Formula For Fraud" with William K. Black - from the first Italian economic Summit on Modern Money Theory in Rimini, Italy. How to become a billionaire - the four necessary ingredients in the recipe for fraud; the three sure consequences of banking control fraud; gutting of the underwriting process; Gresham's Law; The Business Roundtable; hyperinflation of a bubble." : http://www.kpfa.org/archive/id/79331 .

I can't recommend "Guns and Butter" with Bonnie Faulkner highly enough.

~*~

fiat lux ...

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

Could you summarize the "Guns and butter" for us if it's not too complex?

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (17667) 1 year ago

"Guns and Butter", is an excellent (imho) one hour radio show on San Francisco based 'KPFA' (links above). Maybe I could summarise the two shows above beyond the short descriptions above but I doubt that I would do them justice so IF you wish to know you'll perhaps have to put some time in.

However, I can provide a transcript to William K. Black's ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_K._Black and http://law.umkc.edu/faculty-staff/people/black-william.asp ) interview :

fiat lux ...

[-] 2 points by gestopomillyy (1695) 1 year ago

and that would work except. when the 99 produce 0 to 3 units. the slow bee still takes the surplus 2.55. the 99 still only receive .3 and that is not fair

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

Exactly. Roofers make $15 on average. Our idiot politicians make a boat load.

[-] 2 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 1 year ago

jrhirsch-

Everyone wakes up in the morning and works ten hours per day, but you will be paid less than everyone else for your ten hours of work , even though you work as hard as you can for the entire ten hours your job is just not as important as anyone elses job.. so there fore you will be paid less, always be the person at the bottom of the pay scale and have a lower standard of living than everyone else . How will that make you feel ? will you be happy working ten hours everday as hard as you can and getting paid less than everyone else.. simply because your job is not as important as anyone else's job.. will you continue to work hard? or will you feel the system is unfair and give up .. ?go on welfare and just say to hell with the world.. they didn't treat you fair so srew'em !

This is what you are telling those 99 bees they are working as hard as they can but they will be paid less because their work is not as important ..and they can just go home and live with it .." suck it up"

well listen.. " an hour of time[hardwork] is the same for everyone regardless of the importance of the job you do." and should be paid equally.

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

It's up to the 99 swift bees to renegotiate the agreement if they are unhappy watching most of the surplus go to the slow bee. What ever they settle for is what they will receive. The power to raise wages lies with those who are willing to stand up and not accept a 30% share, just as in any union movement.

"or will you feel the system is unfair and give up .. ? "

The slow bee wins with this attitude.

[-] 0 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 1 year ago

Everyone loses .. when unfairness dictates economic rules.

what is your goal? it is clearly not to create a happy society ..

[-] 0 points by Pequod (17) 1 year ago

"fairness" is a word with a very flexible meaning. Is it fair that some people are very attractive and some are ugly? no, but it still remains. Hard work has no meaning. I assume the yodeler spends time learning to yodel and y

ideling might b

e hard work, but it isnt valuable hard work.

Ditch digging is very hard work, but it isnt valuable work because machines do it much more easily and efficiently. I have always had admiration for the works machinists do, but now computer driven cutting tools are far better than a man.

Managing people is very hard work, not easy at all, but i think management is not valued here on OWS.

[-] 1 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 1 year ago

"Hard work has no meaning."

"Managing people is very hard work"

you can't have it both ways .. nor just when it suits your arguement.

[-] 0 points by EdiblePlanet (50) 1 year ago

The only reason managing people is hard work is because they inherently resent being "managed". Most people know how to manage themselves if given the opportunity and those that don't quickly learn.

[-] 1 points by Pequod (17) 1 year ago

That isnt at all true.

[-] 1 points by EdiblePlanet (50) 1 year ago

Maybe the first part isn't quite true but the second part definitely is.

[-] 1 points by Pequod (17) 1 year ago

I mkved from being worker to owning my own business and i was ill prepared to manage people. Its a very difficult job. You are right, people dislike being managed and you find out that lots of people have trouble managing their non work lives, let alone their worki g life.

[-] 0 points by EdiblePlanet (50) 1 year ago

The only reason why a job wouldn't seem important is low demand either because that job market has too many people or the service or product it is involved in doesn't have a demand. The only reason a, say janitor, would receive a low wage in a Real Economy is because there are too many janitors.

PS - A Real Economy is not what we currently have.

[-] 1 points by elf3 (2045) 1 year ago

Then how come your average trash picker up guy is pulling in a cool $70,000 - $100,000 ?

[-] 1 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 1 year ago

How does this post relate to the real world. Do you feel a CEO has a special talent that no one else has ?

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

It has to do with the everyday struggle of determining what is fair. If we can't come to agreement on such a simple fictional example, how can we on a more complex real world one? A ceo is not mentioned, just a bee with a different skill. The reader is the one who gives her that title.

[-] 1 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 1 year ago

How do we settle an agreement? There have been many solutions offered.

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

There is none. It's ultimately between the employer and the employee.

[-] 1 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 1 year ago

..or decided by the government.

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

Can the government decide a fair wage for 147 million workers? Only a communist government would attempt it.

[-] 2 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 1 year ago

If humanity is to move forward , we are going to have to provide dignity, equality and fairness for everyone. Only than will we be able to work together as a whole human race, moving forward approaching the vast universe.

[-] 1 points by Revolutionary (247) 1 year ago

Right now payments are made only in one parameter that is money but we do not use the points of appreciation which give /express quality of a service and on that one more mistake is done that is the humane qualities are not rewarded or recognized.

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

An example might be Thomas Jefferson writing the Declaration of Independence, but not receiving a penny for it?

[-] 1 points by Revolutionary (247) 1 year ago

Penny but not terms of money.But he(Thomas Jefferson) got it what is called recognition and respect.

[-] 1 points by elf3 (2045) 1 year ago

It is presumed that if you have a degree you have more shit to pay back so you should get paid more - though unless it was a specialized field most people I know partied their way through school and failed classes... They just had more money to go, or resources to take out loans. (aka parents with an equity line). Degree or no degree they're all being rewarded for rewarding the system that takes advantage of us all. But great analogy so true, so true - I think of all the people that work so hard but get paid so little - they are the workhorses. And the higher ups sit around and dictate and do very little that actually contributes other than delegate. Why is everyone paying their managers so much ? - are they even needed? I think half the time they just slow down or mess up the gears ..Oh well it's all running away, anyway, the train is off the tracks and things will break - the country can't go on like this people are aware now and eventually they will come together and say enough.

[-] 1 points by beautifulworld (20414) 1 year ago

I'm sorry, jrhirsch, I've read it a few times, but I'm not comprehending how you are paying the bees the "cut" and her "surplus." I'm sure it's me, but I'm not getting it. LOL.

Anyway, in my mind, labor costs are a function of both hard work and rarity or "skill" or "benefit." So hard workers can have more value, and be paid more, than a "skilled" worker. It just depends on each situation. Re: The Yodeler - he has a "skill" but little "benefit" as few people want to listen to him yodel.

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

It does not matter how hard a person works or how rare his skills are. All that matters is the resulting benefit. Physical labor by a sports figure can make more than a mental labor by a Doctor because the sports figure provides more benefit.

A doctor has a few hundred patients, the sports figure has millions of fans.

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (20414) 1 year ago

But the doctor saves lives and the sports figure does nothing important. And....they are both overpaid in this country.

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

If you think your doctor is overpaid, find another that charges less. The sports figure may not provide a benefit in your eyes, but to many of his fans he is worth every penny. If he wasn't why would they pay the high ticket prices?

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (20414) 1 year ago

Re: The doctor. You try finding one that charges less. Re: The sports figure: People have been conditioned to think that they need to attend these events in order to fulfill some void in their happiness. It's just more of the consumerism that's been pounded into Americans.

[-] 1 points by engineer4 (272) 1 year ago

BW. I have to disagree with you there. I think you chose a wrong example. We have not been conditioned to believe we have to attend these events. We attend because we desire to watch something interesting, exciting and compelling. But attendance quickly drops when that is removed (I.e. a bad team). We have free choices and we are quite free to choose not to attend. Besides, today it can be expensive. So why pay? Because they want to. The same would apply to movie or rock stars. Now I would agree with you if you would have chosen something like high end clothes, handbags, jewlry etc. That is a better example of how conditioning of our culture makes us feel less important if we do not own or wear this things.

[-] 1 points by beautifulworld (20414) 1 year ago

Are we not free to choose handbags and jewelry as well? Of course we are, but that we make these choices based on what we've been brainwashed into thinking is "need," is where the problem lies.

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

If you don't attempt to look for a doctor that charges less, you will never find one.

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (20414) 1 year ago

The old blame game. Blame the poor, they don't work hard enough. Blame me for not finding a cheap doctor. I didn't look hard enough. Please!

I shouldn't have to!

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

Have you looked for a less expensive Doctor?

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (20414) 1 year ago

That is a silly question. You are not getting my point at all. Not surprising.

I'll humor you though. What if EVERYONE looked for a cheaper doctor. Would they find one? NO! Because most charge way too much for their services. So, although one person may find a cheap doctor, that is not the point!

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

My doctor charges $80 for a visit. Time spent with doctor? Less than 5 minutes. That is more than a days pay at minimum wage.

I know of a clinic on the other side of town that charges less. The building is not as nice, the wait is longer, but is the quality of service just as good? Probably. He uses a stethoscope and blood pressure gauge just like my regular Doctor.

Since Occupy woke me from my slumber, the decision to choose alternative sources is much easier. It's like a veil has been lifted from my eyes. The elites power has slipped another fraction of a percent lower.

I encourage everyone to take a chance, step out from the way you are currently living, and stop supporting this gluttonous society. You will be richer for it.

[-] 1 points by beautifulworld (20414) 1 year ago

I do the same as you, believe me, but if everyone did this there would not be enough doctors to go around, way to few, in fact, so elf3, below, is right. I'm saying we need doctors to be paid less across the board.

[-] 1 points by elf3 (2045) 1 year ago

That's not enough - If your scenario was an accurate portrayal of our current economy the more expensive doctor would already have driven out and put the other doctor out of business by any means necessary and the only doctors left would be the ones who charge enough to compete with their money and they would each charge the same rate and you would have no cheaper option available. You could just let yourself get sick and die but chances are you'll come up with the money work 6 jobs if you have to - is this making sense to you now? The domino effect of the monopoly model is taking hold everywhere and yes large medical practices along with HMO s and insurance companies are now driving out smaller doctors - just wait a while - it's coming to your area soon if it hasn't yet

[-] 1 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 1 year ago

"It does not matter how hard a person works or how rare his skills are. All that matters is the resulting benefit."

You have this completely wrong.

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

Back up your statement with your reasoning..

[-] 1 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 1 year ago

I knew you would ask !

The benefit is the direct result of skills and hard work. Whether it be the skills of a janitor .. polishing and cleaning all day with the benefit of a nice clean finish , or the benefit from a musician playing music all day to an audience for simple pleasure/ relaxation. it is the benefits that we all enjoy at one time or other. The person performing these skills are of equal importance.. but with the reality of civilization if we were all musicians we would be living in a pigsty ! so we must list our priorities carefully , and allow for the health and well being of civilization.. whether you are skilled at one thing or other .. all skills have value and are necessary .. and it's a variety of skills that we need. If 99 bees could smell honey and only one bee was fast , what would you do than .. ? how would you divide the honey .. ? when only one bee is needed to point out the honey the others will want equal pay too .. see how unfair it is to give special privildges to one and not the others .. equality comes without discrimination .. of skill or talent.. but it comes with participation .. if you choose to work 2 hours today and your neighbor works ten hours , than your neighbor deserves five times more compensation than you because your neighbor participated five times longer..

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

I know your feelings well, I have them same ones myself. We are living in a capitalist system, but trying to inject a socialist system into it. They don't seem to mix well, like oil and water they repel each other.

So Occupys other fight, to restore Democacy, must be won. Then the people will have the power to decide which system, or mixture of systems they truly want. Without political equality we will not be able to make that choice.

[-] 2 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 1 year ago

If Henry Ford waited for the world to build highways before he built the automobile .. he would still be waiting.

Or perhaps we should give up on finding a cure for cancer, because .. how would we distribute it in such a troubled economy ?

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

So you think that a socialist system can be brought in by a people who so far are not even strong enough to remove the influence of money from our government?

[-] 1 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 1 year ago

Should the Wright Brothers have given up on their dream of flight.. because there were no runways" ! Many people tried to convince them flight was impossible .. why did they not give up ? Other people before them had given up .. considered the idea a failure ..

Would you like to give up ?

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

I am not aligned with Occupy because I'm giving up. It's to see Occupy take off and fly!. To wake people up and encourage them to stand up for justice. I want them to make the choices, not a small group of elites.

[-] 1 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 1 year ago

When it comes to doing the right thing .. there will emerge a huge reserve of strength.. it is until that time that the people sit idle.. that is why it is important we consider the possibilities as we discuss your post.. what is the right thing ? how do we advance into the new millenium .. what style of governemnt , what style of economics , and justice .. it is through many long debates of honest ideas and thoughts which we will reach that destination .. bringing to the table what we have to offer while others bring theirs .. we approach this from all possibilities and all angles..

jrhirsch, I have truly enjoyed your input and debate.

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

There is a very big difference here in those who want change, and those who want to work with a bunch of criminals to eventually get a few crumbs.

One is the stuff that movements are made of. The other is typical media-fed dreaming.

[-] 1 points by elf3 (2045) 1 year ago

Socialism prevents Corporatism (which is not Capitalism or free market but monopolization and destructive and stifles innovation) Capitalism prevents Communism (picture Orwell Animal Farm and China) - they repel each other in a good way - we need equal parts - if one gains to much hold then the system falls down. Corporatism and Communism are in essence the same thing.

[-] 1 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 1 year ago

she came into this with a preconceived sense of wrongful fairness.

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

If you mean the slow bee, she came in to agreement with a selfish motive, to make as much as she can. The swift bees are also motivated by selfishness. Whoever is most selfish reaps the greater surplus.

[-] 1 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 1 year ago

"No matter how hard I tried to come up with a fair way to divide the surplus, I kept coming to the same conclusion. That fairness can only be determined by the participants. "

"Compensation should be based on benefit provided. Not by hours worked, or how hard the work, or if the work is physical or mental."

I was referring to your preconceived wrongful fairness.

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

And which preconceived idea was that?

[-] 1 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 1 year ago

"Compensation should be based on benefit provided.

-this is a wrongful fairness that you preconceive.

Compensation should be based on participation. Equal hourly participation. It is the fairest solution. Each bumble bee works an equal amount of hours and therefore all benefits should be divded equally.

If one bumble bee stays home and is the janitor .. he too should have an equal share.. if one bumblebee stays home to babysit .. she too should have an equal share .. everyone should have an equal share according to the amount of time the yparticipate .. the benefits are a result of collectivism .. any one not wanting to be a part of the collective will not receive a share. But as you can see .. being a part of the collective .. production doubles ..and thus so would your share !!!

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

The idea that "Compensation should be based on benefit provided." was not preconceived. It was not even thought about until honey bee #3. It is considered fair in the capitalist system.

How people set up their economic system is up to the people. Can you show an example of a successful socialist system?

[-] 1 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 1 year ago

"It is considered fair in the capitalist system."

this alone is preconceived.

Show me a successful capitalist system .. touche !

We are trying to build a system using all known methods for study and example .. not one previous system was perfect by any means .. not even any of the current systems are perfect .. surely we can agree on this .. yes ?

Fairness is the principle we must strongly consider when developing a new system .. it is the principle which will decide whether the system stands or falls. And looking at the current capitalist system we see huge inequalities in the distribution of wealth.. resulting in many economical and social problems.. what you propose is just more of the same, ..an unequal distribution of wealth.

[-] 1 points by elf3 (2045) 1 year ago

Socialism prevents Corporatism (which is not Capitalism or free market but monopolization and destructive and stifles innovation) Capitalism prevents Communism (picture Orwell Animal Farm and China) - they repel each other in a good way - we need equal parts - if one gains to much hold then the system falls down. Corporatism and Communism are in essence the same thing.

[-] 1 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 1 year ago

I have always considered the broad-brush label too far removed from actual reality. and gives no clear description as to what it is refering to. the broad-brush label tries to encompass a complete set of values distinctly of their own , when in the case of civilizations.. there are simply to many overlapping areas.

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

I don't propose unequal distribution of wealth. That is the nature of the capitalist system and every other system.

Systems are imperfect, but the people within them are much more imperfect. If people were perfect it wouldn't matter what system they were living in. The result would be the same.

[-] 1 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 1 year ago

The capitalist system is a set of rules we follow .. which end in a final result. It is the rules that we must change if we want the result to change , and right now the results are not satisfactory in a capitalist system.

It is the people that develop the system.. it's result: civilization. nothing is absolute and permanent.. we can make adjustments where we see necessary .. and improve the system ..

A cap on profits is a huge improvement on capitalism.

HUGE HUGE HUGE improvement ;-]

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

Use the cap on profits in the honey bee example. what would happen?

[-] 1 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 1 year ago

is this your question, or someone else advised you ? it doesn't feel like your's ..

but anyway .. to answer/respond .. hmnn..the honey bee example is relating to something different.. similiar but different. If there was a merchant at the hive buying the honey from the collective and than reselling it back to the hive.. so if they haul in 100 units of honey all day , what would the retailer pay for the honey with? .. no , sorry I can not find a way to use the cap on the honey bee example.

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

Nobody is advising me. I've seen you cap on profits idea in other posts and thought we might see how it worked. If you make the slow bee the manufacturer, you would cap her profits, her surplus?

[-] 1 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 1 year ago

no, because the profit cap does not go on manufacturing !

The cap would only apply if there was a middleman ..

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

Ok.

[-] 1 points by beautifulworld (20414) 1 year ago

Interesting way to look at it.

[-] 1 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 1 year ago

"It doesn't sound fair. But it is."

No, it is not fair !

" Occupy- Bee - Hive "

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

What is fair then and your reason to support it?

[-] 1 points by francismjenkins (3713) 1 year ago

Democratize the workplace, participatory democracy in our society, take care of the big stuff (like financial reform, energy, education, heathcare), pass laws more favorable to labor unions, increase minimum wage laws, etc., and I think we'd be a on a pretty good trajectory.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (10721) from Phoenix, AZ 1 year ago

Here's a thing I like to say:

Collective labor for collective capital.

I think a lot of our problems got atarted when we upset this market place that some on the right refer to, (I love to take their tools and use them for good propose), when we allow people to combine their money, then negotiate with individuals for their labor, I believe that as part of the incorporation paperwork, unions must be on the labor side of the table. This is so that the employer will be required to cover the cost of providing that labor fairly with minimum input from government. As we see today, in some cases the corporations that should be adding to the common good actually draw tax dollars away because their wages are so low people need help just to live. This may sound radical, or tame, but it is very possible, congress has the power to regulate interstate commerce, and corporations need that and get a lot from it, so it would be more than fair.

[-] 3 points by francismjenkins (3713) 1 year ago

If the "company" were employee owned, the two sides of the table would be the employees and their customers, it seems to me the only two sides of the table (in this equation) that should be important. Although, I don't see anything radical with your suggestion, I mean, it's basically consistent with our adversarial system.

The whole idea with our Constitution was to induce as many conflicting interests as possible ... in theory, they tend to keep each other honest, and the idea certainly has merit (but the question is, can we improve on this idea)? Overall I love our Constitution, and with the exception of amending it to get the corrosive influence of money out of politics, I wouldn't want to change it.

But this adversarial methodology has permeated into all aspects of American life, and I question whether or not that's a good thing. Certainly, some conflicting interests in the economy will always exist. Even if companies were employee owned, they would still compete against other companies. But is it necessary to have adversarial relationships built into every aspect of our system and culture? Is it necessary to have power relationships (boss/owner/landlord/worker/tenant) built into our economic system? If we begin with the premise that power relationships are undesirable, only then can we begin to test the limits of what's possible. Maybe some of these relationships are necessary, but they should at least have to justify themselves in every case (and simply saying something is a good idea because that's how things have always been, is not a justification).

Furthermore, the one interest that seems to be left out of our checks and balances system, is the people. Participatory democracy wouldn't require a new Constitution, just a mechanism to enable people to hold politicians accountable (like recall elections). The rest of it we can do ourselves.

But like I said, I like the idea of more unions, and solidarity among unions, but this doesn't require a centralized authority. Indeed, all this does is move us further in the wrong direction. Some might say because corporate power has become so concentrated, we need something to counterbalance that power, whereas I don't think that level of power should even exist. By trying to set up a counterbalancing power, all we do is reinforce the idea of authoritarianism (and create more power structures). Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (10721) from Phoenix, AZ 1 year ago

I was lucky enough to have a PhD in psychology as my principal in high school, he had the philosophy that the fewer the rules the better. So he cut ours down to ten, I know the ideal has been corrupted but still, it can work well. That’s why I like the ideal of simply requiring balance then letting the sides work it out, of course whole systems build up from this. I agree that things have in general become “too big” unfortunately I am not sure nations can correct this within their borders without simply allowing others to fill that role, so I think many things must be considered, in principle I think we have some common ground, and that’s pretty good overall I think. I do believe there are some examples where employee ownership has worked out well, I believe Harley Davidson does something like that, pulled them out of a hole from what I understand, kinda cool ideal, real Americans building real motorcycles and getting real paychecks.

[-] 0 points by EdiblePlanet (50) 1 year ago

The best way to tame an adversarial social structure is ensure that everyone has free and equal access to land. Confused?

[-] 0 points by monetarist (40) 1 year ago

At the very onset you are wrong. It's not really about whether a person with mental skill should be paid more than a person with physical skills. Wages are determined by three factors

  1. The scarcity of the skills
  2. The risk of the job
  3. The undesirability of the job
  4. Money made from the job
[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 1 year ago

In your 4 reasons to determine wages, the most critical was left out. Demand.

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

The scarcity of the skills

Yodelers make less than popular singers. Wages are high only if there is also demand for those skills and the benefits they provide.

  The risk of the job

Fisherman, and loggers have the most dangerous jobs but are not paid for their much greater risk of death. An accountant sitting safely at a desk makes the same as a fisherman.

  The undesirability of the job

Stoop labor anybody? Migrant laborers picking our food are at the bottom of the pay scale.

  Money made from the job

Profit made from a job does not guarantee that those whose labor provides it will also share in it. Ask anybody who works for Walmart.

[-] 1 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 1 year ago

Well said jrhirsch. A singer can sing all day for a hundered people, but a gardener working all day will provide food for those people .. where is the true benefit ?

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

One fills their stomach and the other fills their soul.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Astounding - who woulda thunk it?

Imagine a skilled yodeler not being financially set for life in the 1st year of their carrier - and the skill being so rare? Huh.

I guess the example given by the monetarist (-18) was to denote things to avoid if you were looking for fair pay.

Huh.


[-] 0 points by monetarist (-18) 3 hours ago

At the very onset you are wrong. It's not really about whether a person with mental skill should be paid more than a person with physical skills. Wages are determined by three factors

The scarcity of the skills
The risk of the job
The undesirability of the job
Money made from the job
[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 1 year ago

When people blindly believe what they are taught, their thoughts become the prison from which they cannot escape.

[-] 1 points by gnomunny (5651) from St Louis, MO 1 year ago

If that statement isn't a quote from a famous individual, it should be. Great quote.

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

My words, but similar ones must have been said before.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

OK - but that comment is tied to what ( in response to ) ?

I mean you are correct - belief without supporting truths or facts is blind faith on the information you were fed and it's source. But? ( your rejoinder is true but directed where ? )


[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (841) from Sun City, CA 1 minute ago

When people blindly believe what they are taught, their thoughts become the prison from which they cannot escape. ↥like ↧dislike reply permalink

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

Sorry, not directed to you. It was in response to monetarist's theory of wages.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Not a problem that is where I figured you were going but all things considered these threads can be a little messy to those just looking in.

BTW - Thank you jrhirsch for adding your voice.

[-] 0 points by monetarist (40) 1 year ago

Belief? Those aren't beliefs. Those are observed facts. As for supporting evidence, if you had half a brains or cared to read a few books and understand the arguments therein, you wouldn't be asking me for evidence. If you lived in a cave all your life and you come out and I tell you that the earth is round and revolves around the sun, you would still ask me for evidence. And yet, it does not mean I am the one believing in something without proof. Dude, read books, good books.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Books? Read good Books? I am sorry but I will go by 1st hand experience on things that I have personally encountered in life before I am going to take someones written opinion on something they may not have experienced - something they just decided to write about as they were paid to do or because they saw a paycheck in it.

There are good articles out there that speak to skills and education as being key to success and in a sane world that would be correct as it makes sense - knowledge is power.

But when you are living in a world where the worker is continually pushed down while their employer takes more and more of the profit for them self - when you have a government that supports this behavior - then NO your position does not hold water.

Go somewhere else and work is the common non-answer touted by many - what somewhere else? when they are all playing the same game.

An observed fact is that the worker has been getting left out of prosperity progress for decades - that is observed fact.

[-] 1 points by monetarist (40) 1 year ago

The problem with learning from experience is that you can never learn enough and the learning, more often than not, is one sided because you haven't seen the full picture owing to a rather limited sample size.

The thing about books is that they are a compendium of all knowledge related to the subject that has accrued over ages. It's a far faster way to learn.

Besides, experience may not necessarily lead to the right conclusions.Allow me to draw analogies from one of my favorite subjects - Physics. For ages, humans experienced sunrise and sunset and the chance of weather and rains and deduced that these were the work of some supernatural power. It took Copernicus, Galileo and many others to change that view, borne out of experience no less, because these guys deduced soething completely different from their experiences and experiments.

The problem then simply is that how do you know that your conclusions derived from your experiences are right? And say even if they were right, you can only learn so much from experience. From figuring out that the Sun is at the centre of the solar system and not the earth, to understanding gravity and subsequently deriving the laws of motion, constants g and G, laws of gravity, friction, then onto atoms and further to subatomic particles and charges and electricity and then to theory of relativity and quantum mechanics; there is only so much you can learn from experience. It took scientists ages to understand all of these phenomenon, each scientists making some small or big contribution from their own experiences. There is then no way that you can figure out all of these in one life time through your own experience.

Why is why my friend I read books.

Besides, what makes you think books contain opinions only? The existance of gravitation is not Newton's opinion, it an observed fact. Atoms and subatomic particles aren't opinion either, neither is the fact that the ratio of circumference to radius of a circle is an irrational number. All of these are observed facts. Also these books don't ask you to belive in them. Most of what is written is self evident, and if in doubt you can surely conduct experiments to check it out.

Now let's come to the study of economics. It's a social science and not a perfect science. It's a blend of facts, deductions, empirical proofs, theories, ideas and yes, opinions. Why is it so? Because it's a social science and society does not behave like a mathematical equation. We humans are far more complex to be reduced to mere equations. Economics, a rather recent science, then tries to develop models of human behavior based on existing data.As someone with a mathematical bent of mind, i find economics perfectly logical and rather interesting.

That being said, I do not 'believe' in economic theories any more than I believe in differential calculus or set theory or proof by induction. If new information were to emerge that modify, add to or completely refute established theories I would happily accept those.

As for worker getting pushed down, I don't see that happening all that much. I see a continual increase in my salary because of good performance. I see my company giving me perks to retain me instead of taking away anything from my salary. Looks like the only worker you guys see are the ones on minimum wage, may be because thats what the OWS crowd is composed of. As min wage workers with low or non existing skills, it would always be hard to maintain a job and salaries would always be bad. It does not take a whole lot of skill to serve coffee at Starbucks and there are 10 other immigrants or college kids who would happily do the same at that salary or even lower. Why should I not hire them? Or why should I not replace the barista with a robot, one that does not tire, does not ask for insurance cover or leave and always starts on time, never gets a order wrong. Is that wrong?

I am a 'worker' too and I am prosperous.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Obviously your experience has been much different than mine and as well, different than a major portion of the population. I do believe in the pursuit of knowledge and I can take information that makes sense as this is how things should be working as they are so obvious - I can then take that search for knowledge for truth and compare it to the real world. The real world is fucked-up in a major way right now. I do not know where you are employed or what you do that you are experiencing such success but I will let you know that you are on a ride that is going to come to a stop due to the corporate practices going on - the only question is "when will your position become the next to go under, to become disposable" ?

[-] 0 points by monetarist (40) 1 year ago

I am a product manager at a rather well known software company and my success is nothing out of the ordinary, unless ofcourse one screws up the job completely.

As to when my position becomes disposable, well the nature of my job is such that cost is not a major factor (understanding of customers, market, tech and company culture matters) so it can't be outsourced to IT guys in India. It cannot, in the foreseeable future, be replaced by a machine because it's not a mechanical job.Yes, it is possible that the entire job of product design to development to testing and release can be outsourced to India in which case I will either have to relocate their or find a new job. And as a matter of fact, the company does have a development center in India and they work on products, but other products. Take Apple, it outsourced manufacturing to China but not stuff life design or development. And it for the very same reason that my job is secured for the foreseeable future. But if it were to become disposable, I would find other things to do but not sit outside my company HQ and protest.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Luck with that as many have gone down that road before you.

As for doing business in China? Some companies have stopped doing that because their properties were being stolen ( cloned ), I believe others will also be experiencing this as well - Apple and others may be in for a rude awakening.

BTW - software development is not all that unique and is just as susceptible as any other business to be co-opted. All you need is the hardware to operate off of........... Hhmmmmmm....... now how would anyone get a hold on that kind of technology capability . . . Hhmmmm . . . wait OHhhh yeah....hmm... think that could be part of the rude awakening for Apple and others for outsourcing to China and India and the Philippines and other such places?

[-] 1 points by monetarist (40) 1 year ago

Yes there are IP issues with China. Things are improving but you can bever trust them enough. India too has a rather weak IP regime but companies usually find ways to work around it.

What I do is not software development but rather figuring out what products to make. The actual nitty gritties of writing the code is taken care of by others, some of whom are spread out across the world.

[-] 0 points by monetarist (40) 1 year ago

Such smugness. But borne out of what? Thin air. Next thing I know, you will want to teach me math and programming also.

[-] 0 points by monetarist (40) 1 year ago

My dear friend, wages depend on a combination of each of those factors and not just one of them. Anyone with a basic understanding of micro econ will explain this to you but for your benefit I will make one last try

  1. Fisherman, loggers and accountant : It does not require a degree to be a fisherman or a logger but it does require a degree to become an accountant. As such, there are far more people available to take up fishing or logging if one fisherman or logger dies, than there are accountants.

  2. Migrant labor: Again, does not require a degree or certificate to become a migrant laborer so the supply of such skills are virtually unlimited. Take the case of a full time housekeeper. The cost of getting a full time housekeeper here in US is much higher compared to that in Asian countries (even after adjusting for PPP). Why? Because Asian countries have too many people with no education and too few jobs, hence people are ready to any job for any salary. As such, many middle income households in countries like China, India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Mayalsia have one or more domestic help, say one for cooking, another for cleaning etc. But then again, in the larger asian cities finding domestic help is tougher than in the smaller cities and towns for similar reasons.

  3. Walmart makes a measely 4% operating profit. Just because Walmart employs a lot of people and it is literally large and has huge revenues does not mean it makes a huge profit. Besides, with Walmart the employees who man the stores are hardly the ones making profit. Those employees are cost centre and not profit centre from a purely business perspective.

Just remember this. When economists, who are far more educated than the average OWS squatter and have far more experience, write stuff they are usually right. And when people like myself, who have achieved some measure of academic success, agree with those writing, you can be pretty sure those writings are, more often than not, right. Sure, you could be the Einstien who upsets Newton's view of the universe by introducing the 4th dimension of time but the odds of that are very very very slim.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

And that is why all of the economists were screaming fire and shouting dire warnings prior to the economic meltdown?

OH......Wait>>>>>>>Sorry that was only pretty much Brooksley Born.

Never mind... the all seeing all knowing all wise economists were on vacation back then. Right?

[-] 0 points by monetarist (40) 1 year ago

Actually a lot of them (including those from Harvard, Columbia, Booth, Stern) did warn about this but those at the helm of things did not listen to these warnings. You see, good economics does not necessarily make good politics. And politics won. Economists can only suggest.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Point out those numerous economists that sounded the warning bells, warning of the imminent melt down. We have a lot of footage of Brooksley just watch Inside Job. The documentary also talks to those economists I think you are referring to.

[-] 1 points by monetarist (40) 1 year ago

Well one of them is Dr. Raghuram Rajan. He actually pointed this out in a speech in the presence of Bernanke, Greenspan, Bankfien and many others including some reknowned HBS profs.

[-] 0 points by monetarist (40) 1 year ago

Actually a lot of them (including those from Harvard, Columbia, Booth, Stern) did warn about this but those at the helm of things did not listen to these warnings. You see, good economics does not necessarily make good politics. And politics won. Economists can only suggest.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Point out those numerous economists that sounded the warning bells, warning of the imminent melt down. We have a lot of footage of Brooksley just watch Inside Job. The documentary also talks to those economists I think you are referring to.

[-] 2 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 1 year ago
  1. By this logic the fisherman should be paid less than the accountant. Greater supply should equal less pay.

  2. Again undesirability of the job does not always equate into higher wages. If it did Migrant workers would be paid much more. Because these people are usually foreign born, unaware of their rights or afraid to stand up for them for fear of being fired or deported, they are easily exploited.

  3. Employees are an expense? Are fields of wheat an expense? Are the trees in an orchard an expense? Employees are the engines that move the entire economy. Try disabling a few cylinders in your car and see how it runs.

Because your writings agree with economists means that you are correct? Some of your writings don't agree with common sense.

[-] 0 points by monetarist (40) 1 year ago
  1. I doubt fisherman are in greater supply than accountants. Not to mention accountancy is a far more specialized skill than fishing

  2. Yes, I never said it always does. If it did, coal miners would be billionaires. As I have already said, its a combination of all those factors and not one factor alone that determines wages.

  3. Not all employees are an expense. It depends.

I don't think we agree on what is common sense.

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 1 year ago
  1. You said previously there are far more fisherman available to fill that position, now you say you doubt it?

  2. Show me an example of an undesirable job that receives high wages.

  3. Which employees are an expense and which ones are not?

[-] 1 points by monetarist (40) 1 year ago
  1. My bad. Yes, fisherman are in greater supply. Are fishermen paid more than accountants? I don't know. Never heard.

  2. How about Investment Banking? These guys get really huge salaries and one of the reasons the salaries are so high is because the work hours are crazy - 100 hour weeks are common. Sure that isn't the only factor but it's one of those factors. Also private military personnel get paid many times more than thier counterparts in the army. For the same reasons, expats in 3rd world countries get paid higher than their non expats counterparts to compensate for the trouble of shifting to a third world country.

  3. Nice question. Sometimes its simply an accounting matter. Say GM hires McKinsey consultants. For GM those guys are a cost centre and for McKinsey there are a profit centre. Internally also, companies consider their operations and R&D staff as cost centre while marketing and sales people are profit centre. Sometimes even within a company if one team takes the help of another team and each has a seperate P&L, then one of those P&L will have the other team's cost as an expense.

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 1 year ago
  1. According to a quick internet search, fisherman and accountants both make about $55,000. I would have expect the fishermen to make less. Must be due to those highly paid lobster fisherman working near the arctic circle.

  2. Investment bankers hours are incredible. It is very difficult to rate how undesirable this job is.

  3. It's wrong to consider employees as a burden instead of a benefit. If they were not beneficial, businesses would not hire them. It isn't just about making money, it's also about minimizing losses as well. An employee who makes $100,000 in profit is just as valuable as the employee who saves the company $100,000 in expenses. If they didn't have the accountants, they would not be able to track their losses.

[-] 1 points by monetarist (40) 1 year ago

I totally agree with point #3. Somehow that fact escapes most accountants and in fact some managers too. Which is why you will see that it's CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) or CFO's who are more often than not making it to the CEO position rather than COOs.

[-] 1 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 1 year ago

what if wages were simply determined by" time " .. ie. an hour coin for an hour of time worked.

How would we than encourage everyone to do their best .. with what method of incentive/ motivation could we use ?

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

The selfish are motivated by individual wealth. The rest are motivated by the wealth of the group.

[-] 1 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 1 year ago

well, as we see wtih the single honey bee , her individual wealth doubles when working as a team !!

[-] -1 points by monetarist (40) 1 year ago

Looks like you watched that Justin Timberlake movie. I like to excercise my brain cells thinking of real and plausible things.

[-] 0 points by EdiblePlanet (50) 1 year ago

Or better yet all of the bees could form a cooperative and make their own honey and keep and share 100% of the cut -) It really doesn't take much knowledge to run a company - most of it is involved in relationship building.

[-] 1 points by engineer4 (272) 1 year ago

If it does not take much knowledge to run a company, then why aren't more doing so? Relationship building is just a small part of the whole. I believe you are wrong in your opinion on this. As for the cooperative, what happens if there is a poor year of honey. Would the loss be equally shared? Are they willing to put up with the risk? Are they willing to starve or die? Many would say no to that.