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Forum Post: How Inequality Corrupts Society

Posted 1 year ago on April 4, 2013, 1:09 p.m. EST by LeoYo (5854)
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How Inequality Corrupts Society

Tuesday, 02 April 2013 10:16 By Salvatore Babones, Inequality.org | Op-Ed

http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/15478-how-inequality-corrupts-society

Imagine you are a politician facing a tough reelection campaign. You sincerely believe in low taxes for corporations and investors. Your opponent wants to raise taxes on the rich in order to pay for quality social services for everyone.

In the middle of the election cycle, corporations spend millions of dollars on dishonest attack ads against your opponent. Your opponent’s campaign crumbles. You are reelected in a landslide. Once in office, you push through tax breaks for profitable corporations and their CEOs. You serve out your term, then retire. The day after you retire you are appointed to the boards of directors of eight different corporations.

Each board position pays you a salary of $150,000 a year for attendance at six meetings per year, for a grand total of $1.2 million a year for less then 50 days’ work. You spend the rest of your life living well and playing golf.

Is that illegal? Certainly not. Quite the contrary. It’s business as usual. Is that corruption? Well, it depends what you mean by corruption. Very few wealthy people or corporations literally pay cash bribes to politicians, so if your definition of corruption is bribe-paying, American politics is probably not that corrupt. But let’s face facts. It’s corruption.

High levels of inequality in society create enormous incentives for corruption. In the low-inequality America of yesterday there were also incentives to be corrupt, but they were much smaller.

It used to be that only the most powerful corrupt politicians could become millionaires upon retirement. With today’s higher levels of inequality, any Congressperson can retire after two terms into a million dollar a year private sector “consulting” position.

The corrupting influence of inequality isn’t confined to politics. It is everywhere. For example, federal employees oversee bidding for big defense contracts. Will they perform their oversight in good faith? When defense contractors offer former federal employees sweetheart jobs with 5% or 10% raises, federal employees will likely stand firm in their service to the people.

When defense contractors offer former federal employees double their former salaries, many federal employees might be tempted. When defense contractors offer former federal employees ten times their former salaries, it’s a rare — one might say crazy — federal employee who resists temptation and refuses to give in to corruption. We all know that evil pays better than good. But we live in a world of degrees, not a world of absolutes. Inequality is corrupting because it raises the rewards for being evil to the point where almost no one continues to resist.

Should a corporate chief executive allow his or her company to pollute the environment in a way that leads to hundreds of people dying of cancer decades down the road?

For $100,000 a year, few of us would be willing to take decisions that we know will bring horrible deaths to other people.

For $1,000,000 a year, you’ll find volunteers.

For $10,000,000 a year, almost any high-achieving corporate executive can find ways to rationalize the evil that his or her company commits, convincing himself or herself that the blame really lies with someone else.

For $100,000,000 a year, you can easily find people who will knowingly kill hundreds or thousands of people just to keep their own profits flowing.

A world in which CEO salaries were capped at 500,000 a year would be a much more moral world.

Inequality corrupts. It corrupts society at all levels. At the top, otherwise normal people will do morally despicable things if the payoff is high enough. A million dollars a year compensates for a lot of cognitive dissonance.

At the bottom, inequality also forces people to make choices they would never otherwise make. When people have stable, well-paying jobs with full health insurance, sick pay, and vacation time they are very unlikely to steal from other people.

They are very unlikely to deal drugs, mug people at gunpoint, or steal cars.

Even when inequality is low, there are corrupt politicians and depraved criminals. But when inequality is high the incentives at both ends of the spectrum become much stronger. Inequality doesn’t make people behave badly, but it encourages people to behave badly.

There are lots of reasons to reverse America’s enormous economic inequality. Economic justice alone demands that the rich not be so rich and the poor not be so poor.

Nonetheless, the morally corrupting influence of inequality is equally troubling.

Would you sell your soul for $10? Certainly not. But would you sell your soul for $10 million, or $10 billion? No one should be faced with that choice. In a low-inequality society, no one is.

This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license.

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How the Financial Plutocracy Tugs the Leash on the Two-Party Duopoly

Wednesday, 03 April 2013 00:00 By Mark Karlin, Truthout | Interview

http://truth-out.org/news/item/15491-how-the-financial-plutocracy-tugs-the-leash-on-the-two-party-duopoly

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A Forest of Poisonous Trees: The US Criminal (In)Justice System

Wednesday, 03 April 2013 00:00 By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers , Truthout | News Analysis

http://truth-out.org/news/item/15498-a-forest-of-poisonous-trees-the-us-criminal-injustice-system

37 Comments

37 Comments


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[-] 4 points by windyacres (1002) 1 year ago

Great post! Thanks, good point about people at the bottom being less likely to steal if they had enough money.

[-] 2 points by LeoYo (5854) 1 year ago

Dr. King’s "Two Americas" Truer Now than Ever

Thursday, 11 April 2013 15:16 By Michael Winship and Bill Moyers, Moyers & Company | Op-Ed

http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/15688-dr-kings-two-americas-truer-now-than-ever

You may think you know about Martin Luther King, Jr., but there is much about the man and his message we have conveniently forgotten. He was a prophet, like Amos, Isaiah and Jeremiah of old, calling kings and plutocrats to account — speaking truth to power. King was only 39 when he was murdered in Memphis 45 years ago, on April 4th, 1968. The 1963 March on Washington and the 1965 March from Selma to Montgomery were behind him. So was the successful passage of the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act. In the last year of his life, as he moved toward Memphis and his death, he announced what he called the Poor People’s Campaign, a “multi-racial army” that would come to Washington, build an encampment and demand from Congress an “Economic Bill of Rights” for all Americans — black, white, or brown. He had long known that the fight for racial equality could not be separated from the need for economic equity — fairness for all, including working people and the poor.

Martin Luther King, Jr., had more than a dream — he envisioned what America could be, if only it lived up to its promise of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for each and every citizen. That’s what we have conveniently forgotten as the years have passed and his reality has slowly been shrouded in the marble monuments of sainthood.

But read part of the speech Dr. King made at Stanford University in 1967, a year before his assassination and marvel at how relevant his words remain:

“There are literally two Americas. One America is beautiful for situation. And in a sense this America is overflowing with the milk of prosperity and the honey of opportunity. This America is the habitat of millions of people who have food and material necessities for their bodies, and culture and education for their minds; and freedom and dignity for their spirits…

“…Tragically and unfortunately, there is another America. This other America has a daily ugliness about it that constantly transforms the buoyancy of hope into the fatigue of despair. In this America millions of work-starved men walk the streets daily in search for jobs that do not exist. In this America millions of people find themselves living in rat-infected vermin-filled slums. In this America people are poor by the millions. They find themselves perishing on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity.”

Breathtakingly prescient words as we look around us at a society where the chasm between the super-rich and poor is wider and deeper than ever. According to a Department of Housing and Urban Development press release, “On a single night last January, 633,782 people were homeless in the United States.” The Institute for Policy Studies’ online weekly “Too Much” notes that single-room-occupancy shelter rates run about $558 per month and quotes analyst Paul Buchheit, who says that at that rate, “Any one of America’s ten richest collected enough in 2012 income to pay an entire year’s rent for all of America’s homeless.”

But why rent when you can buy? “Too Much” also reports that the widow of recently deceased financier Martin Zweig “amid a Manhattan luxury boom” has placed their apartment at the top of the posh Pierre Hotel on the market for $125 million: “A sale at that price would set a new New York record for a luxury personal residence, more than $30 million over the current real estate high marks.” Meanwhile, a new briefing paper from the advocacy group National Employment Law Project (NELP) finds there are 27 million unemployed or underemployed workers in the U.S. labor force, including “not only the unemployed counted by official jobs reports, but also the eight million part-time workers who would rather be working full-time and the 6.8 million discouraged workers who want to work but who have stopped looking altogether.” Five years after the financial meltdown, “the average duration of unemployment remains at least twice that of any other recession since the 1950s.” And if you think austerity’s a good idea, NELP estimates that, “Taken together, the ‘sequester’ and other budget-cutting policies will likely slow GDP this year by 2.1 percentage points, costing the U.S. economy over 2.4 million jobs.”

Walmart’s one of those companies laying people off, but according to the website Business Insider, the mega-chain’s CEO Michael Duke gets paid 1,034 times more than his average worker. Matter of fact, “In the past 30 years, compensation for chief executives in America has increased 127 times faster than the average worker’s salary.”

Two Americas indeed.

This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license.

[-] 1 points by LeoYo (5854) 1 year ago

Killings and Repression Spark Revolt in Brooklyn

Thursday, 11 April 2013 10:46 By Peter Rugh, Occupy.com | Report

http://truth-out.org/news/item/15671-killings-and-repression-spark-revolt-in-brooklyn

New York City's Office of Emergency Management issued a citywide brush fire warning last week. Authorities said that dry weather conditions combined with strong winds could turn the ember of an abandoned cigarette into an inferno. But New York police officers who stared down the young men and women emptying rain water from candles on the corner of 55th Street and Church Avenue on Easter Sunday were watching for a different sort of fire.

The candles are arranged to spell “Kiki”, a black youth whose recent killing by the police has dropped a match into a fuel bucket of anger over what critics describe as systemic racism on the part of the New York City Police Department. Whereas firefighters use water to put out blazes, the NYPD have used truncheons and pepper-spray to squelch the outrage burning in the streets. Their tactics of suppression have only deepened the sense of distrust and resentment the community feels towards the blue uniforms on their blocks.

Kiki, birth name Kimani Jamani Gray, was known as a dedicated student to his teachers at the Urban Assembly School in Midtown Manhattan, and a joker and ladies man to his friends. But Kiki wasn't a man yet. He was 16 years old when he was gunned down by two undercover narcotics officers with the 67th Precinct while leaving a party on the evening of March 9.

Officers Mourad Mourad and Jovaniel Cordova put seven bullets in him; three entered his body from behind. Police insist that he was brandishing a gun, but the sole evidence released by the NYPD to support this claim is a photograph of a revolver taken on a police station table. Questions continue to swirl around the killing. “I want to see the ballistics test,” said council member Jumaane Williams, who represents East Flatbush where Kimani lived and died. “I want to see the finger prints on the gun. But what the NYPD does is jump the gun and start trying the case in the media.” Police say Gray was a member of the Bloods gang and have released his juvenile record to the press. Speaking at the Easter memorial, Carol Gray sought to clear her son's name. “What gangster comes home at night and gives his nieces and nephews a bath?” she asked, “What gangster makes his bed in the morning?” Carol added that while Easter is supposed to be a celebration of the Lord's resurrection, “All I can think about is Kiki. I keep expecting him to come home.”

In a sense, Carol's son has been resurrected, as chants of “We are all Kimani Gray!” have rung out up and down Church Avenue since his death. Kimani has become emblematic of so many lives snatched early in New York, where killings by police are on the rise.

Last June, just blocks from where Gray was killed, 23-year-old Shantel Davis was shot in the stomach after crashing a car police say was stolen. Davis, who was unarmed, was dragged from the vehicle by her shooter, Officer Philip Atkins, and eventually bled to death in the street. The incident occurred in broad daylight and there were many witnesses.

Officers confiscated cellphones that had captured the killing, supposedly to be used for evidence. The Brooklyn District Attorney's Office says it is investigating, but ten months on, the Davis family is still waiting for answers.

Two months prior to that shooting, 27-year-old Tamon Robinson died when he was hit by a squad car. Officers had pursued Robinson in their vehicle, mistakenly believing that he was stealing construction materials. Robinson's mother was later sent a bill totaling $710 for damages to the police cruiser that killed her son.

A total of 19 New Yorkers were killed by police in 2012, up from 13 the year before, according to researchers with the Stolen Lives Project. In all but one of the deaths, no charges have been filed. The case of Ramarley Graham is the exception. Anti-police brutality activists and the Graham family credit both public pressure and evidence that contradicted the NYPD's original version of events surrounding their son's killing.

Officer Richard Haste shot the 18-year-old in the bathroom of his Bronx home in front of his grandmother and 6-year-old brother. Haste had originally claimed he was in hot pursuit of Ramarley when the incident occurred. Surveillance footage says otherwise. It shows Haste and other officers kicking down the door to Graham's home, minutes after he entered the building from the opposite direction. The case against Haste is currently lurching through the court system and he likely won't go on trial for another year.

In East Flatbush, the cops who killed Davis and Gray – officers Atkins, Mourad and Cordova – can be found behind the desk at the 67th Precinct. The three had previously accumulated more than $300,000 between them in payouts made by the city to victims of abuse and false arrests in their hands.

“For a lot of the these police officers the bar is too low,” said council member Williams, “I don't know any other place where you can make a mistake, someone dies and nothing happens; nobody apologizes, nobody says anything, people still have their jobs.”

But the slayings are just the most extreme form of what critics describe as racist policing.

Like so many other black and brown communities in New York, East Flatbush has long been under the boot of the NYPD. The force's day-to-day instrument of social control comes in the form of its “Stop, Question and Frisk” policy, whereby officers patrol the streets and stand at subway entrances interrogating and reaching into the pockets of mainly young men of color.

Furtive movements and the wearing of clothes commonly worn in a crime – hoodies and gloves for instance – are often given as accuses for stops, but since nearly 90 percent of those targeted are of color, critics charge that race is the underlying factor. The stop-and-frisk policy is currently on trial in a federal class action suit in New York in which the Center for Constitution Rights is arguing that it constitutes arbitrary and unconstitutional harassment.

During the trial recently, New York State Senator and 20-year NYPD veteran Eric Adams testified that in a private meeting last year, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly disclosed to him that stop-and-frisk was designed “to instill fear” in blacks and latinos with the knowledge that “any time they leave their homes they could be targeted by police."

Kimani's death ignited the outrage stop-and-frisk had left under the surface in East Flatbush. “They are terrorizing us,” said former Black Panther Charles Barron, who like Williams is on the City Council and has sought to hold the police accountable for the Kimani's killing. “We're living under a greedy, monopoly-capitalist system that keeps people impoverished and unemployed, that closes down schools and youth centers and puts us out here with drugs and guns and police. It's a powder keg situation.”

Two days after Kimani died, that powder keg exploded when a vigil in East Flatbush morphed into a spontaneous march to the 67th Precinct. Events took a violent turn as teenagers holding yellow “Kiki Forever” balloons in their hands were manhandled by officers. In response, the youth let their balloons drift up into the night and picked up bottles which they hurled at police. Fruit carts were tipped over, car windows smashed.

Though protests have largely been nonviolent since then, nightly marches to the 67th precinct have been stalked by cops on scooters, cops on foot, cops on horses, cops in vans, and cops three to a rooftop.

Scenes of unrest have spread beyond Brooklyn. On Saturday in Queens, riot troops were deployed when residents of a local housing project hurled projectiles at police and marched on the 113th Precinct after they witnessed officers beating two young men. But by Easter outright tensions in East Flatbush seemed to have smouldered down. Police who had been clustered 24-7 on corners for more than a mile down Church Avenue had mostly withdrawn, but approximately 20 still hung around the memorial site, keeping a few dozen paces from where friends and family stood paying their respects to Kiki.

Someone caught Carol Gray's eye. “Oh my lord,” she said approaching a black youth in a white hoodie, one of those whom, like Kimani, Ray Kelly hopes to instill with fear. There's a look of expectation in Carol's eyes but as she gets closer to the teenager it breaks into tears. “I thought, you were Kiki,” she says.

“No,” he sighed, embracing her, “I was a friend of his.”

Later, Carol addressed friends, family and supporters. “I pray that you guys stand up with me,” she said, “for Kimani, and Shantel and Ramarley and all the other kids who have been brutalized and killed. We want to fight for them. We want justice for them.”

This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license.

[-] 2 points by LeoYo (5854) 1 year ago

Report: Ohio Courts Illegally Jailing the Poor

By ANDREW WELSH-HUGGINS | Associated Press – Thu, Apr 4, 2013

http://news.yahoo.com/report-ohio-courts-illegally-jailing-poor-224308615.html

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Several courts in Ohio are illegally jailing people because they are too poor to pay their debts and often deny defendants a hearing to determine if they're financially capable of paying what they owe, according to an investigation released Thursday by the Ohio chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.

The ACLU likens the problem to modern-day debtors' prisons. Jailing people for debt pushes poor defendants farther into poverty and costs counties more than the actual debt because of the cost of arresting and incarcerating individuals, the report said.

"The use of debtors' prison is an outdated and destructive practice that has wreaked havoc upon the lives of those profiled in this report and thousands of others throughout Ohio," the report said.

Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor of the Ohio Supreme Court, responding to the ACLU's request to take action, promised to review the findings. O'Connor told the group in a letter Wednesday: "you do cite a matter that can and must receive further attention."

The report says courts in Huron, Cuyahoga, and Erie counties are among the worst offenders.

Among the report's findings:

— In the second half of last year, more than one in every five of all bookings in the Huron County jail — originating from Norwalk Municipal Court cases — involved a failure to pay fines.

— In suburban Cleveland, Parma Municipal Court jailed at least 45 defendants for failure to pay fines and costs between July 15 and August 31, 2012.

— During the same period, Sandusky Municipal Court jailed at least 75 people for similar charges.

Judge Deanna O'Donnell of Parma Municipal Court said Thursday the court was unaware of the issue until contacted earlier this week by the ACLU. She said officials were examining the 45 cases in question.

"If there's an issue here, a problem, we're going to correct it," O'Donnell said.

Messages left for Norwalk and Sandusky municipal court officials Thursday weren't immediately returned. The ACLU also sent letters to officials at Bryan, Richland County and Hamilton County municipal courts and Springboro Mayor's Court.

ACLU spokesman Mike Brickner said the group believes the practice is widespread in Ohio.

The report is a follow-up to a national 2010 report that focused on Georgia, Louisiana, Michigan, Ohio and Washington.

That report determined that many courts are violating a 1983 U.S. Supreme Court decision that courts had to hold a hearing to determine why people are unable to pay before sentencing them to incarceration.

"The report shows how, day after day, indigent defendants are imprisoned for failing to pay legal debts they can never hope to manage," according to the 2010 report, 'In For a Penny: The Rise of America's New Debtors' Prisons.'

"In many cases, poor men and women end up jailed or threatened with jail though they have no lawyer representing them," the report said.

A similar 2010 report by New York University's Brennan Center for Justice looked at the growth of court fees in Florida. It concluded, in part, that the "current fee system creates a self-perpetuating cycle of debt for persons re-entering society after incarceration."

Courts are breaking the law by holding defendants in contempt of court for failing to pay fines without proper notice or allowing an attorney to be present, the report said. Courts are also issuing arrests warrants for people who fail to show up and pay their fines and jailing defendants who are too poor to pay, according to the report.

Court costs should be recovered through civil lawsuits, not jail time, the report said.


Andrew Welsh-Huggins can be reached on Twitter at https://twitter.com/awhcolumbus.

[-] 1 points by LeoYo (5854) 1 year ago

Some Bailouts Taxpayers Seldom Ever Notice

Saturday, 06 April 2013 10:56 By Sam Pizzigati, Inequality.org | Report

http://truth-out.org/news/item/15574-some-bailouts-taxpayers-seldom-ever-notice

All across Corporate America, top execs are feathering their own nests at the expense of their employees. The French have a better idea.

The founder of modern management science, Peter Drucker, considered excessive executive pay an assault on good enterprise management practice.

Peter Drucker, the analyst who founded modern management science, died in 2005 at age 95. At his death, business leaders worldwide hailed this Austrian-born American for his enormous contribution to enterprise efficiency.

But Peter Drucker also cared deeply about enterprise morality. In his later years, he watched — and despaired — as downsizing became an accepted corporate gameplan for pumping up executive paychecks. Drucker could find “no justification” for letting CEOs benefit financially from worker layoffs.

“This is morally and socially,” he would write, “unforgivable.”

If Drucker were still writing today, he’d likely be even more unforgiving. CEOs these days aren’t just slashing worker jobs to add on to their own rewards. They’re slashing worker pay as well — and no CEO may be benefiting more from shrinking paychecks than Ford chief executive Alan Mulally.

Mulally has restored Ford to profitability, his many business and political admirers never tire of pointing out, without having to take any taxpayer bailout. But Mulally has indeed enjoyed a hefty bailout — from his workers.

Entry-level workers at Ford used to make $28 an hour. That rate fell by half when the auto industry financial crunch first hit five years ago and now sits a bit above $19. And since the crunch all Ford workers, not just entry-level workers, have given up cost-of-living wage adjustments and health benefits.

Auto industry execs have declared these worker concessions as absolutely necessary. Without lower compensation for auto workers, the argument goes, the auto industry would never become “globally competitive.” This same reasoning apparently doesn’t apply to compensation for Ford CEO Mulally.

Ford has just announced that Mulally’s pay package for 2012 nearly hit $21 million. His personal rewards for the year almost doubled the pay that went last year to his chief German rival, Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche, and even more stunningly dwarfed the $1.48 million Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda took home.

But the magnitude of how well Mulally has done for himself — since Ford workers started coughing up concessions — only swings into real focus when we step back and contemplate the towering pile of Ford shares of stock he now holds. In just over a half-dozen years, CNN Money reports, Mulally “has amassed holdings valued at more than $300 million.”

Among America’s CEOs, of course, Mulally hardly stands alone. The outrageousness of American CEO rewards has been building for some time.

Back in 1986, as Forbes noted last week, America’s ten highest-paid CEOs together pocketed $57.88 million in compensation. In 2012, the top 10 pulled in $616.4 million, about five times as much as the 1986 total after taking inflation into account.

Over that same 26-year span, average weekly wages for America’s workers barely increased at all.

So what should we be doing about CEO compensation? In France, the newly elected government of President François Hollande has placed a 450,000 euro cap — about $580,000 — on executive pay at the 52 companies where the French government holds a majority stake.

This cap will essentially limit executives at these publicly controlled companies to no more than 20 times the pay of their lowest-paid workers.

The French people, for their part, would like to see their government apply a similar cap to executives at all corporations, not just those companies where the government holds a controlling interest. Earlier this month, just after Swiss voters passed a national referendum that bans executive signing and merger bonuses, a major French pollster asked whether people favored or opposed creating a “maximum wage” for all corporate CEOs. A whopping 83 percent of the French public supported the idea.

The French may have been reading their Peter Drucker. American CEOs, Drucker believed, should earn no more than 20 or 25 times their worker pay. Last year, in Great Recession-ravaged Michigan, Alan Mulally pulled in over 500 times the pay of Ford’s lowest-paid workers.

This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license.

[-] 1 points by beautifulworld (20455) 1 year ago

Very interesting way of looking at greed. So true.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (28056) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Except for the mentally ill - where is the need to steal (?) - if everyone is making a living wage.

[-] -2 points by RwOrn (-290) from Berkeley, CA 1 year ago

I doubt that if everyone were making a "living wage" , that theft( stealing) would not occur.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (28056) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

RowndwOrm ( I take it that is what you meant ) - you do not see the disease GREED - mental illness in corpoRATions?

[-] -3 points by RwOrn (-290) from Berkeley, CA 1 year ago

People at all economic levels steal. Why do you single out corporations?

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (28056) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Pointing out the WORST offenders. Where the law should be most interested/enforced.

[-] 1 points by gsw (2687) 1 year ago

Ok people and corporations. We're tired. Just want more fairness. "A Christmas Carol" message actually impacts many people.

So too Robin Hood http://occupywallst.org/forum/implementing-the-initiatives-ammendments-action-pl/

Greedy should be retrained

http://www.icij.org/offshore/how-icijs-project-team-analyzed-offshore-files

[-] -2 points by RwOrn (-290) from Berkeley, CA 1 year ago

You can't change human nature.

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 1 year ago

nor can you define it.

[-] -2 points by Nationwide (-93) 1 year ago

Why is always that you want to take somebody's liberty away?

[-] 1 points by LeoYo (5854) 1 year ago

Pertaining to what?

[-] -2 points by Nationwide (-93) 1 year ago

Pertaining to me living pursuing happiness. I work hard so why do I have to provide for those who don't?

[-] 1 points by LeoYo (5854) 1 year ago

Where have I expressed a desire for you to provide for those who don't?

[-] -3 points by Nationwide (-93) 1 year ago

You want me to work so that 47% of the population can have free handouts and not work

[-] 2 points by LeoYo (5854) 1 year ago

Since when does 47% of the population not work?

Still waiting on you to point out where I've expressed any desire for you to work for others to receive free handouts and not work.

[-] 0 points by Nationwide (-93) 1 year ago

You want to cap my salary while I strive to get ahead. We have the highest percentage of people on assistance that we have ever had while the lowest amount work. Why you want to penalize those who produce and reward those who don't is amazing to me.

[-] 3 points by LeoYo (5854) 1 year ago

We have the highest inequality of corporate executives giving themselves millions of dollars of bonuses while reducing the wages of workers and laying off others.

So, why do you want to make baseless accusations that I want to penalize those who produce and reward those who don't?

[-] -1 points by Nationwide (-93) 1 year ago

The free market system allocates compensation to CEOs because that's what the people vote for. You want to limit that compensation. Let the system work. If you don't want to give money to those who don't work then leave it alone.

[-] 2 points by LeoYo (5854) 1 year ago

People don't vote themselves lower wages to give executives bonuses and they certainly don't vote themselves out of jobs for it. Furthermore, people who want to let the system work don't need to be begging for taxpayer bailouts when they fail.

You want to make baseless accusations of what I want while ever avoiding producing any quotes to back your accusations.

[-] -1 points by Nationwide (-93) 1 year ago

Sure they do, it's called buying and selling shares.

[-] 2 points by LeoYo (5854) 1 year ago

Show me the reduced waged and laid off stockholders.

[-] 0 points by Nationwide (-93) 1 year ago

Happens every day when stock prices decline.

[-] 3 points by DKAtoday (28056) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

OH BOO-HOO-HOO fired with multi-million dollar buy-outs for their failure. Those poor poor assholes.


[-] 0 points by Nationwide (-37) 3 minutes ago

Workers and shareholders are impacted by the profitability of the company. Look at Hostess. You want to limit CEO compensation and I say that good CEOs should be rewarded. Look at Rick Pitino. He is payed very well and he produces. When CEOs don't produce they are fired. ↥twinkle ↧stinkle permalink

[-] 0 points by Builder (4202) 1 year ago

I guess a promotion to politics is a possibilty of failure in the open market.

[-] 2 points by LeoYo (5854) 1 year ago

Stock declines are neither the cause nor result of workers voting to lower their own wages and lay themselves off to give executives bonuses. There's no such thing as workers voting to lower their own wages and lay themselves off to give corporate executives bonuses. But you already know this.

[-] -2 points by Nationwide (-93) 1 year ago

Workers and shareholders are impacted by the profitability of the company. Look at Hostess. You want to limit CEO compensation and I say that good CEOs should be rewarded. Look at Rick Pitino. He is payed very well and he produces. When CEOs don't produce they are fired.

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 1 year ago

There are not, nor have there ever been, nor are free markets possible. They are an illusion, so STOP pretending they aren't.

[-] 0 points by Nationwide (-93) 1 year ago

Sure, but everything is relative. More free markets are better than less free.

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 1 year ago

No such thing. It's an illusion.

At best, it's an oxymoron.

There can be no "freer market", because there is no free market to begin with.

[-] 1 points by gsw (2687) 1 year ago

Changes in the world economy, advance in tech, ship jobs overseas, as a byproduct employers seem to not need as many labores as before.

So we better think what to do with all the underemployed- retraining, green tech, local agriculture, health care, elder care, or you'll be supporting them for eternity. I vote for on the job training.

[-] 0 points by Nationwide (-93) 1 year ago

The problem is that job training doesn't work. It just throws good money into a put and the decision. Why not give the money back to the people so they can make the decision.

Just look at what has happened over the past five years in energy and manufacturing which NO ONE predicted. New technologies are now making the US energy independent and lowering the cost of energy so much that manufacturing is being brought back to the US. The Obama administration fought these new technologies. The Bush Administration just thought they wouldn't work.