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Forum Post: If it is OK for unions for push up wages for the working class by giving money to politicians, why is it not OK for billionaries to give money to the same politicians to lower wages for the working class?

Posted 8 years ago on Nov. 6, 2011, 12:40 p.m. EST by VladimirMayakovsky (796)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

If you want a fair playing field, eliminate both sources of money and have the market decide how much to pay the working class, which should be the prevailing world market wages, far below the current American wage structure.

390 Comments

390 Comments


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[-] 9 points by Teacher (469) 8 years ago

No one should be able to buy politicians. Not anyone.

Unions push up wages by bargaining with employers and striking when push comes to shove. If every country had unions then the worldwide prevailing wage would be much higher and foreign competion would not be a problem.

[-] 5 points by adhoc99 (4) 8 years ago

Higher wages without higher productivity = across the board higher prices. No one wins. There is no free lunch. The only way to increase prosperity generally is to increase productivity, and this is through a free and competitive market where good producers succeed and are rewarded, bad producers fail.

[-] 4 points by gestopomilly (497) 8 years ago

and so why does the ceo...who produces nothing get an increase in wage? into the millions.. thats what drives up prices.. the management trying to increase their wage.

[-] 1 points by screwtheman (122) 8 years ago

And why is the CEO the one that gets fired right away if they do nothing?

[-] 1 points by ebri (419) 8 years ago

Thank you. It's not just the CEO, but the owners themselves who do this to the rest of us.

[-] 1 points by bitty (0) 8 years ago

At what point do CEO's show patriotism to their country? When will they put country before money? When will they show concern for the everyday person? This is one of our biggest problems.

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 8 years ago

When the union shuts them down for a while.

[-] 0 points by YuckFouHippies (189) 8 years ago

Shareholders vote the stock based comp. Even, if your unicorn logic made sense, the math wouldn't. If it were the CEOs pay driving the cost of cars up a 10m comp package would add $20 to the price of a car. Vs the 300 or so odd employees with hs education making 75$k.

[-] 3 points by gestopomilly (497) 8 years ago

i just watched a show about chris gardner.. he only had a hs education. the idea that education equals the wage is crazy. if you knew anything about how actual work gets done you would understand that not just anybody can do just any job. you for instance cannot drive a snow plow,, nor climb a power pole yet you would scream an cry if there were no else to do so. but you dont want to pay for this. you want people that can only afford to live in a crackhead neighborhood to have the responsibility for these jobs cause they didnt have to waste 50k on education to climb or drive. you see nothing wrong in that thinking?

[-] 1 points by bitty (0) 8 years ago

Statistics do show people with education do better. Right now the problem is having the right jobs skills and right education needed for the new economy. We need statistics on specific jobs needed so people know where to put their education.

[-] 1 points by gestopomilly (497) 8 years ago

your wrong. no matter the skill,, the jobs are being eliminated. do you think if every person who lost a job had a bachelor degree that this would not have happened? this still would have happened. do you think that the 6000 nasa employess only had HS ?

[-] 0 points by YuckFouHippies (189) 8 years ago

I believe free markets set the price for everything based on supply and demand. I could very easily in fact retrain myself to drive a plow, or climb a pole. I would not scream about it as there will always people willing to do it for what the market supports. It costs approximately 3k$ for cdl training. So a minimum wage earner could save for that in a year and be looking at an entry level rate of about 45k. With experience, 60k. That doesn't seem to be too big of an investment to me. I never stated education equals wage. Several of the worlds wealthiest dropped out of college.

[-] 2 points by Truthseeker99 (99) 8 years ago

No you don't believe that. If a truly free market existed you would starve, because of farm subsidies and NOT paying workers for value. You would rather pay an illegal less than minimum wage so the price of your veggies can be low rather than pay an American a living wage to do the job. It is a fallacy that American workers won't pick tomatoes or apples, they just can't afford to do so. At a minimum wage of $8.50 a worker earns about $17,680 a year (40 hr wk, 52 wks/yr) so how does he save the $3k you mentioned? live in a tent without electricity maybe?

[-] 0 points by YuckFouHippies (189) 8 years ago

At 17k, your also getting food and probably rent assistance. Its not hard to save 5$ a day, no matter where you work. It's not a fallacy, I used to run a factory, ez jobs, air conditioned, sitting, 10$ an hour, and I had 200% turnover. You simply cannot motivate young America to work.

[-] 2 points by gestopomilly (497) 8 years ago

you think a person could save 3k out 15k ? and you would know how to do this? and you think snow plow drivers make 45k? and you could not train yourself to climb power poles.. electricity kills you are just trying to make the status quo ok without facing reality

[-] 0 points by YuckFouHippies (189) 8 years ago

A motivated person could save 1500$ and borrow the rest. And I do have experience with this. And yes, I do think CDL operators can easily make 45k. And yes, I know how electricity works, I TAUGHT myself. Quit making excuses and go do something.

[-] 1 points by gestopomilly (497) 8 years ago

no you are wrong. it takes 6k just to rent a very cheap home. and who would lend money to someone that has a minimum wage job that they plan to quit for this training? not a bank. you need to face facts about this economy and quit blaming the people. but im glad you can do this cause your company will shut down within the next year or so im sure and it wont pose any problem for you.

[-] 0 points by YuckFouHippies (189) 8 years ago

The schools will find you a loan. Perhaps high interest if credit sucks, but that again is personal choice.

[-] 1 points by gestopomilly (497) 8 years ago

a person cant take out a loan.. thats is not a option .. so whats your next plan? only someone completely unenlightened would take out a loan in those circumstances. so thats not an option for a realistic solution. and to suggest this to someone while they are desperate is unconscionable. you see that dont you

[-] 1 points by ebri (419) 8 years ago

"...and borrow the rest..." From whom would anyone "borrow the rest?" Their parents? Banks? Think long and hard before assuming we can all just "borrow the rest." "Quit making excuses and go do something." Is that what you say to third world citizens? We in the U.S. could be in third world conditions ourselves but for a few lucky factors, like latitude. Third world people try to improve their conditions but most have used up all their natural and other resources and can't think much beyond the day-to-day struggle to survive. Many in the U.S. find themselves suddenly bereft of resources, and without any hope of finding any. Look around you.

[-] 0 points by YuckFouHippies (189) 8 years ago

This is not a third world country. People make tough choices here every day.

[-] 1 points by JesseHeffran (3903) 8 years ago

The supply and demand chart is just an x on a graph when one institution controls both. ex: I own factories all over the world. My employees in America are not happy with my wages. before globalization, if my employees were perturbed enough, they would walk out and cause supply to drop, which would raise prices for my products. the higher price would lower demand. This would incentives me to come to a resolution which would be to give greater benefits. Fast foreword. Now, when my employees are disappointed with my shoddy benefits, and they walk out, I just increase production in one of my Marxist controlled factories and wait out my American chattel, while keeping my prices low. If we keep going this way, eventually a price parity is obtained with a country that has people that don't enjoy American style democracy. is that fair? globalized oligopolies are a detriment to the American people's interests.

[-] 0 points by YuckFouHippies (189) 8 years ago

It has not worked that way in years. Manufacturing is capital intensive, so we rarely have multiple factories making the same widgets. We build in places that are not union friendly. If a site decides to unionize, we close the plant and move the work elsewhere; usually a low cost country, as the pain of moving is going to happen, might as well maximize shareholder value. Companies control supply, consumers dictate demand. Thus iPads still have 250% margin, on 170$ worth of hardware, as stores can't keep em on shelves.

[-] 1 points by JesseHeffran (3903) 8 years ago

yeah, and how long do you think factories are going to enjoy that leverage? with a few strikes of the presidential pen that luxury is history. and that is what OWS, in my opinion, stands for, deleveraging corporate power.

[-] 0 points by YuckFouHippies (189) 8 years ago

Good luck with that. Manufacturing is gone. Adapt or whine, it's already gone.

[-] 1 points by gestopomilly (497) 8 years ago

yes supply and demand.. so when the demand slows.. does the ceo an managment take a lesser salary? no.. they keep thier salary and eliminate jobs. is that supply and demand? no that is greed.

[-] 0 points by YuckFouHippies (189) 8 years ago

Many CEOs work for a dollar. Apple and Ford were most notable, and most of CEO pay is stock based comp. If company struggles, paycheck of CEO reflects it. Learn the facts.

[-] 1 points by ebri (419) 8 years ago

Please explain how the "free market" works in places like Somalia.

Please explain how and why corruption ruins the "free market." Do you think we have a completely transparent flow of information in our first world "free markets?" Have you ever heard of "insider trading?" The "free market" brought about our current "privatized profits, socialized losses." The "free market" only works for people when balanced with regulations. Trust that these regulations work for everyone only comes about through a sense of shared responsibility for everyone in our societies (I know, those boring, adult-sounding terms again!), that we're all in this together, and that we are committed to helping all of the "winners and losers" in society (or finding ways to make everyone winners). After all of the "trickle down" entrepreneurial innovations and technological advances of the past thirty years, surely we can aspire to achieve these conditions for mankind. We practically eradicated polio because we aspired to do it. It takes political will to do these things. Perhaps the "trickle down" theory of economic benefit for all wasn't such a great idea after all, since wages have only stagnated or declined since its inception.

[-] 0 points by YuckFouHippies (189) 8 years ago

Somalia is lawless. It's not a free market. We do not live in Somolia, or I'd have a different approach.

[-] 0 points by JonFromSLC (-107) from West Valley City, UT 8 years ago

They oversee companies with thousands of employees, or companies that take care of BILLIONS of dollars. That kind of responsibility should pay a hefty salary. I've managed a department in a nursing home that had 10 employees. I can honestly say I'd probably kill myself the first week if I had that kind of responsibility.

[-] 1 points by gestopomilly (497) 8 years ago

not when the priority is money.. that is not a big responsibility. the employees are disposable like a used needle as you can see by the numbers of recently unemployed.

[-] 0 points by JonFromSLC (-107) from West Valley City, UT 8 years ago

For the person in charge, money should be the priority. The workers are under the supervision of their bosses. Who don't make NEARLY as much as the CEO.

The "recently unemployed" are most likely casualties of the housing market. Any tradesman that knows the basics of carpentry (which I'm assuming they should) can get a job with little trouble.

[-] 2 points by TLydon007 (1278) 8 years ago

"The "recently unemployed" are most likely casualties of the housing market. Any tradesman that knows the basics of carpentry (which I'm assuming they should) can get a job with little trouble."

It's insane to me that you actually picked carpentry. With the housing market down, why on earth do you recommend carpentry as the trade of choice??

"For the person in charge, money should be the priority."

The finances of the company can and should be one of their main priorities. The best thing they could do to raise revenue and profit is to take a pay cut by millions of dollars. In fact, it would increase their revenue and profits by exactly the same amount that they take a pay cut. Notice how the same principle applies to them but you've been brainwashed into completely ignoring it and always blaming workers?? Notice how workers (that are primarily concerned with the work in front of them) are the ones that suffer when the CEO does something wrong but million dollar bonuses only get bigger??

Nevermind. Keep living life in an insulated bubble.

[-] 1 points by ebri (419) 8 years ago

You know, it almost seems as if these people are being paid to produce the nonsense such as what you have referenced. Thank you for calling them on it.

[-] 1 points by JonFromSLC (-107) from West Valley City, UT 8 years ago

Well... lets try to break this down... Housing market plummets = Less people buying houses = Less people building houses.

Should I use a Crayon?

[-] 2 points by TLydon007 (1278) 8 years ago

Less people building houses = drastically reduced demand for carpentry

However, you said, "can get a job with little trouble"??

[-] 0 points by JonFromSLC (-107) from West Valley City, UT 8 years ago

Because people who can build houses can usually build other stuff. People with certain trade skills are valuable in more markets than just housing.

[-] 1 points by gestopomilly (497) 8 years ago

you are not intelligent. can you do anything besides work in an office? doubtful why would you think anyone less educated could do more?

[-] 0 points by JonFromSLC (-107) from West Valley City, UT 8 years ago

I work in a bearing companies warehouse. So yes I can.

Have you been drinking?

[-] 1 points by gestopomilly (497) 8 years ago

you said you would be scared of the responsibility of thousands of employees. and no..you contradict yourself.. if there are no houses being built because of the housing market.. how can a carpenter get a job?

[-] 0 points by JonFromSLC (-107) from West Valley City, UT 8 years ago

People who can swing a hammer building a house, can swing a hammer putting up drywall, or putting together rock conveyors at a rock pit, driving a truck... Usually if you're industrious enough to build houses, you probably have other skills. Like welding, which is always in demand because shit is always breaking.

All I'm saying is, people who can build a house, and have worked construction on a crew probably have other skills they can put to good use to find another job. Be a painter for gods sake.

[-] 1 points by ebri (419) 8 years ago

But who is having their house painted? People are losing their homes in this current economic climate. There aren't very many opportunities to paint someone's house and the few that exist are quickly taken by out-of-work, experienced painters. Thirty contractors showed up at a recent bid for construction work in our area. Only one of them got the bid.

[-] -1 points by uslynx81 (203) 8 years ago

You are looking at things all wrong, no matter what I say you will not listen. That being said, A person has to take risk and spend capital to create the company. Steve Jobs prime example. You have to save, take risk, market something people want to buy even if there is no demand for it at the time. Why risk if you take away the rewards. Look at the USSR, thats what you want. You may say no but that is what all liberals want, total government and 1% control over everything you do. whatever

[-] 1 points by shwe (38) 8 years ago

CEOs get rewards for their holding of common shares accordingly. Excessive compensations are not fair. Luxury life style travel's expenses are paid by corporations are not fair.

[-] 1 points by uslynx81 (203) 8 years ago

I do agree that a person gets hired as a "CEO" and makes millions with out risking anything. Like Freddie and Fannie executives getting 13 million dollars in bonuses then go to the Fed for 7 billion in new bail outs last week. If your not making a profit or you company is failing you shouldn't get any compensation or bonuses. Tax money shouldn't go to private companies for any reason in the first place so this is a special case and is just wrong. Last thing, life isn't fair.

[-] 1 points by shwe (38) 8 years ago

"Tax money shouldn't go to private companies for any reason" I agree. "washington mutual" should be take over by public money with the price "chase" paid and then made it public bank. What do you think?

[-] 1 points by gestopomilly (497) 8 years ago

the ceo already has his reward. he wants more reward. after an investment of say 1k.. when he gets payback for that of say 10k he has the reward. after that is just greed. he made 10 times what he invested. over a period of time this increases. and increases. and increases. that is greed.

[-] 1 points by genanmer (822) 8 years ago

Yes planned obsolescence and businesses creating artificial scarcity (purposely limiting the supply of necessities or intentionally creating problems) should be discouraged.

[-] 1 points by ebri (419) 8 years ago

We're already productive enough. It is the outrageously out-of-control greed by the very few wealthy who blame the victims of their greed and try very hard to get the victims to blame themselves, through people like you. You have been duped.

[-] 0 points by Socrates469bc (608) from New York, NY 8 years ago

The question is not higher wages but minimum survival wages. The way to make make minimum wages sustainable is to make fair regulations across the globe, that way all countries compete fairly with uniform regulations and standards.

[-] 0 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

So let's have Chinese labor laws in the USA.

[-] 2 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 8 years ago

During the slave era we had total "free market" conditions in the south. Plantation owners were "free" to enslave human beings. No "Big Government" stepped in to interfere with "the market" In China when people protest their conditions, they are met with tanks. Any one remember Tianemen Square? In Columbia< union organizers are shot dead. In the US prior to the labor movement, workers were treated in a similar fashion. Vlad, I want to thank you for showing us the true viciousness of the free market ideology. You've done our side a great service.

[-] 0 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

Why don't you just say that you want American laws to be followed all over the globe because you are a neo-colonialist?

[-] 1 points by ebri (419) 8 years ago

Again, focus the discussion on "fair" and "ethical." Please don't cloud the issue with patriotic references. All humans have very similar needs. Many do not get them met. Why is that? Let's solve this problem. Just keep it simple. Thank you for discussing these issues. We just want to get something done.

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 8 years ago

Yeah, we've been over that one, as you well know.

[-] 1 points by ebri (419) 8 years ago

Chinese labor laws may not coincide with American values. How about we adopt "fair" and "ethical" labor laws? Why don't we focus on the idea of "fair" in laws we create? "Fair" is a worthy concept, don't you think? Just stick with "fair" as a concept. The Koch brothers love it when we deviate from simple concepts like "fairness" and "ethics." Let's be bigger than they are and focus on "fair" laws. We have the means to do this. We don't have to descend to the level of cynicism where they would have us remain. Please don't confuse the issue by bringing nationalism into the discussion.

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 8 years ago

So maybe you're actually a Chinese "colonialist" hiding behind a fake Russian name, since you're recommending Chinese laws be enforced in the US.

[-] 0 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

I am a run of the mill free market capitalist. I want every country to take care of itself.

[-] 1 points by ebri (419) 8 years ago

"Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel." Can someone remind us to whom this quote is attributable?

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 8 years ago

Every country should take care of itself. At least I can agree with that one sentence.

[-] 0 points by electrictroy (282) 8 years ago

You can't force sovereign countries like China or India to adopt our regulations. The US is not the world's policeman. - As for minimum wage: I suspect the 10% of Americans (and Europeans) currently unemployed would rather work for 3 dollars an hour than not work at all.

And yes I sincerely believe if wages dropped to 3 dollars/hr, then iPhone and other factories would move back to the US, because it's cheaper to manufacture inside your market (versus 10,000 miles away). The only reason they don't manufacture here, in Steve Jobs own words, is because labor is too expensive.

That's why the Mac factories left the U.S. in the late 90s and moved to China.

[-] 2 points by TLydon007 (1278) 8 years ago

"That's why the Mac factories left the U.S. in the late 90s and moved to China."

So you would advocate opening up sweatshops where people live in dorms and are jumping out of windows and have no freedoms??

That's your position..

Do you consider yourself patriotic?? Just curious.

[-] 0 points by electrictroy (282) 8 years ago

So you would advocate opening up sweatshops where people live in dorms and are jumping out of windows and have no freedoms??

No.

I advocate giving unemployed Americans a $3/hr job, rather have them commit suicide, because they've been jobless for three years.

[-] 2 points by ebri (419) 8 years ago

"I advocate giving unemployed Americans a $3hr job, rather than have them commit suicide, because they've been jobless for three years."

But the very few extremely wealthy (whose net worths eclipse most nations) should be allowed to continue to accrue greater and greater wealth -- right? Third world nations could become first world nations if we all stopped being so afraid of the very wealthy -- if we stopped living in such fear that we can't think straight about how to share and maximize resources. Our extremely opulent, wasteful first world lifestyle (compared to third world countries) is not sustainable in the long run and makes second and third world advancement in living standards impossible. Our natural resources are nearing exhaustion at current consumption rates. The very rich want to keep us distracted and in a state of fear about issues unrelated to the very real limits on water, for instance. I really do blame the Koch brothers and their ilk for keeping people from studying these kinds of issues, along with issues of social justice and equity. It's like blaming the victim, making the victim think their injuries are somehow their own fault.

Really, is a choice between a $3/hr job and suicide the best choice you propose to offer to out-of-work Americans? Please try to expand your sense of possibility in this world.

[-] 0 points by electrictroy (282) 8 years ago

continue to accrue greater and greater wealth -- right?

Please don't stereotype or prejudice me, man. Yes I'm libertarian-republican, but I'm also an individual. Not a collective that just blindly follows the R party line. - I think the U.S. income tax rate above 5 million(?) should be raised to 100%.

AND I think we need to compete against the Chinese and Indians to produce green technologies (solar panels, EVs, etcetera). The only way that will happen is if we lower our labor costs (i.e. 3 dollars per hour). We need to get those iPhone, PC, and other factories BACK on U.S. soil. We need to rebuild our manufacturing infrastructure.

Otherwise we will soon have no industry left and rot from the inside-out (like happened with the Roman Empire). And of course without industry we will never be able to repay that ~$150,000 per home government debt.

[-] 1 points by ebri (419) 8 years ago

Is a three dollar an hour wage really sustainable? How long do you think it will be before Indian and Chinese workers demand higher wages and living standards? Their infrastructure is improving slowly but they will achieve first world status in a few years, and people everywhere will question why they work 70 hour work weeks at three dollars an hour while the wealthy continue to amass greater and greater wealth. In the meantime, countries with reasonably healthy, educated, well-adjusted people will out-perform exhausted, disenfranchised people. The very rich should realize they need to keep their workers reasonably healthy physically, mentally, and emotionally, if they want their investments to continue performing well over the long term. It is just a matter of mutual self-interest. The very rich need to evolve psychologically from their own culture of fear-based acquisitiveness to be able to perceive the larger picture, which ties their own futures in with the rest of humanity's.

[-] 0 points by electrictroy (282) 8 years ago

I doubt Chinese or Indian factory workers will be seeing a jump from 50 cents to 3 dollars/hour any time soon (I'm thinking decades), which means there will still be a giant sucking sound as factories quit the U.S. and move over there.

Pretty soon the U.S. won't have any factories left. It would be wiser to drop U.S. wages and prevent that. Stop the attrition now before it's too late.

[-] 0 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

"I think the U.S. income tax rate above 5(?) million should be raised to 100%."

Why?

[-] 0 points by electrictroy (282) 8 years ago

Because it only takes ~$20,000 for an individual to live. $30,000 for a family of four. No person or family "needs" more than 5,000,000. So basically I'd leave the 2 million marginal rate the same as now, but add one more tier at 5 million that is 100%.

Of course after the rich take their deductions, the effective rate would probably only be 50%, but still that's better than the current 32% effective rate.

[-] 1 points by LibertyFirst (325) 8 years ago

If the amount of income one is allowed to keep is based on 'need', you immediately make beggars of all men. Instead of rewarding results, you make them prove how needy they are. You now have a populace whose purpose--whose means of survival--is not producing but rather proving that they are a bigger victim.

You only intend to make victims of the super-rich, though, right? Then you will get 5 million worth of production and not a penny more.

From a philosophical standpoint, how can you apply this standard only at the 5 million dollar level? If having all one "needs" is to be the determining factor in how much of the fruits of one's labor one is entitled to keep, then why 5 million? Why not determine a level of need and take away everything above that for everybody?

[-] 0 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

Why is being greedy a moral failing, and since when is the govt into the business of regulating morality? Also, most of the world can't even imagine $10k/year in income. It is super greedy to want to pay no tax on that income.

[-] 1 points by ebri (419) 8 years ago

Taxes must be progressive according to income levels. There is no justification for one person making $395 million a year and pay a smaller proportion of their earnings in taxes than someone making 10k/year. How can you justify this? Doesn't a 10k/year earner work for that money? It is a "job" at which they toil for that bit of money, isn't it? They call it "work" because it is kind of difficult and only slaves would do it for free. Otherwise their boss finds someone else who is willing to do whatever job it is. Compare that with the life of a $395 million a year earner. Who "works" harder? They both work, and there simply isn't any justification for that huge gap in income between the two, and especially for that huge gap in their income/payroll/capital gains tax rates' progressivity.

[-] 0 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

If there is no justification for the huge gap why does the market pay it?

[-] 0 points by electrictroy (282) 8 years ago

Because the market is not free. Cronyism is working the market, not capitalism. They give themselves big wages, and collect the profit from success, but if the business fails then they demand that the Congress steal money from the taxpayers to bail them out.

Cronyism.

[Removed]

[-] 0 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

What does need have to do with income? Income is a matter of supply and demand for your skills.

[-] 1 points by ebri (419) 8 years ago

Income and need are not that simple. Look at tax loopholes for the very rich and how they are taxed at lower rates. They have more deductions, they hide their money and evade taxation, and accrue greater and greater wealth than regular working people over their lifetimes and those of their children who inherit much of their wealth. Please do not pretend "income is [simply] a matter of supply and demand for your skills."

[-] 1 points by electrictroy (282) 8 years ago

This is OWS isn't it?

You think the top 1% are greedy correct? Well then help them fix that moral failing by taxing all wages above 5 million at 100%. And then spread that wealth to the housing and food stamps programs to help people that are barely surviving.

I would also adjust the marginal rates so the U.S. tax below 100,000 would be zero. Low and middle income persons already pay enough in sales, gas, electric, phone, local, and state taxes. They don't need the added burden of federal tax too.

[-] 1 points by ebri (419) 8 years ago

The only way three dollar an hour wages would make sense is if prices for basic goods and services declined to a level which would allow these wage earners reasonable living standards. If not, figure out how to allow workers to live decently and adjust accordingly.

[-] 0 points by LibertyFirst (325) 8 years ago

I own a condo that I rent out. I can only rent it for whatever people can afford to pay. If I demand more, my condo will sit vacant. Supply and demand.

[-] 1 points by ebri (419) 8 years ago

There is a disconnect between the plea for reasonable living standards for workers and the obvious truth that if no one wants to rent a condo, the condo sits vacant. Please clarify your reply.

[-] 1 points by LibertyFirst (325) 8 years ago

You said that $3 an hour wages would only make sense if prices for basic goods and services declined. I'm pointing out that, as a landlord, if my prospective tenants can only afford to pay whatever rent a $3 an hour wage can accommodate, then my choice is to either accept that level of rent or let my condo sit vacant and collect nothing.

The same principle works in reverse. if wages go up (or if everyone is guaranteed a certain basic income), competition amongst prospective renters increases and so rents will go up.

Prices (unless artificially controlled) reflect what the market will bear. This is the basic law of supply and demand. Price action can lag supply or demand action at specific points in time, but ultimately, the law of supply and demand wins. This is why a minimum wage of, say $20 would only make people better off in the very short term. Prices would quickly rise so that the $20 now only bought whatever the previous minimum wage bought.

[-] 1 points by ebri (419) 8 years ago

I thought that in most jurisdictions landlords can't raise rents usuriously, unless the rent was way below market price originally. Rents are usually only allowed to rise according to the overall inflation rate, absent rent control. Rents don't immediately rise 400% even if someone gets a high-paying job. If my tenants' wages increase even 10%, I don't raise their rent unless they are a bad (albeit rent-paying) tenant, in which case I know I can only raise it by a reasonable amount. I am grateful when bad tenants decide to leave on their own. If they're good tenants, I leave their rent the same from year to year (I've had the same tenants since 2005 in one place, but raised the rent a bit on some discourteous tenants in another place, who thankfully left). We live more frugally than our tenants, which is why we're the landlords, but we don't believe in continually raising the rent just "because we can." We are careful but not greedy, preferring to keep our tenants as happy as possible.

[-] 1 points by LibertyFirst (325) 8 years ago

Who said anything about usurious rates? Actually, I'm not even sure what usurious means in this context since we're not talking about interest. Anyway....

I don't know what you are talking about in terms of rents only being allowed to rise at the rate of inflation. There are no laws where I live that dictate rents. I can charge whatever I want. If my price is too high, I won't get a renter. Just like if my local grocery store charges too much for their food, I won't shop there.

[-] 1 points by ebri (419) 8 years ago

Yes, supply and demand exists. The issue centers around our quality of life. Do you care about our society's quality of life? Perhaps this is a non-issue in discussions about the free market.

[-] 1 points by LibertyFirst (325) 8 years ago

"Our" quality of life? How about we each take care of our own quality of life, and we help those unable to help themselves?

Nice trick trying to juxtapose the free market with humanitarianism. It seems you believe in giving a man a fish (that you forcibly took from someone else) so he can eat today, whilst I believe it is best to teach a man to fish so he can feed himself and his family for the rest of his life.

[-] 1 points by ebri (419) 8 years ago

A "nice trick?"

But isn't that what you are trying to do?

A "nice trick" indeed is to juxtapose the idea of "we each take care of our own" with trying to "help those unable to help themselves."

That is the whole point.

The point of just and fair taxation is to do just that.

Where did you come up with the trick of inserting the phrase "that you forcibly took from someone else" into the debate?

Who is "forcibly" taking? Am I "forcibly" taking anything away from someone else? Where is the "force" involved? Nice trick.

If you really want to solve these problems, please do not assume those on the other side are trying to "trick" you. This is merely a projection of your own unconscious bias. Be better than that.

[-] 1 points by TLydon007 (1278) 8 years ago

"You can't force sovereign countries like China or India to adopt our regulations. The US is not the world's policeman."

It's not a matter of policing them. It's a matter of rewriting free trade agreements so that they can either give their own people a more equitable standard of living and comparable rights and freedoms or they can pay us out the ass in tariffs. This would expand the world's middle-class, while balancing the playing field and compel them to give their people more rights rather than enslave them. All your free market positions do is encourage them to not only exploit us but to deprive their own people of the rights we have.

[-] 1 points by gestopomilly (497) 8 years ago

no thats wrong.. its because steve jobs wanted to put billions into thehands of just a few at the top. greed. had nothing to do with wages.

[-] 0 points by electrictroy (282) 8 years ago

No it's because Apple almost went bankrupt in 1996. They could no longer afford to operate factories in the U.S. because it was too expensive, and they were losing money hand-over-fist.

Understand?

[-] 2 points by gestopomilly (497) 8 years ago

watch triumph of the nerds. there you will see the reason they went broke is because gates and ibm sold computers cheaper and with more apps . steve jobs refused to accept a lesser price. he went broke. nothing to do with labor.

[-] 0 points by electrictroy (282) 8 years ago

Well you're wrong. First off IBM wasn't even making PCs in 1996, because they had left the business. Second Steve Jobs wasn't running Apple in 1996 (he had been fired in 1985). So discussing him is pointless.

Third YES labor was a factor, because PCs were being built in China, which is why they were so much cheaper than the US-made Macs. Apple was losing money hand-over-fist because their workers cost too much. The solution was to move the Macs to China, and stop losing money.

If you guys are going to claim hate (or love) for corporations, you should take the time to learn the history so you don't sound dumb to those of us who know what happened.

[-] 2 points by gestopomilly (497) 8 years ago

i did learn the history. i saw steve jobs himself explain what happened. you are listening to propaganda and too naive to understand

[-] 0 points by electrictroy (282) 8 years ago

Steve had nothing to do with it. He was still working at Next. MY sources come from newspapers of that day. --> A quick google search will turns up HUNDREDS of 1995 and 96 articles discussing Apple, their billion dollar losses, and speculation if they would survive another year.

As it turned-out they did survive, but only because (1) they got an injection of cash from Bill Gates and (2) they used that cash to move their Mac factories overseas where labor is 50 cents an hour.

THAT'S how Macs became competitive against the cheap $300 PCs. They cut labor costs. (And again hundreds of articles from 1997-98 will support that.)

By the way, LEVIS LEFT THE COUNTRY FOR THE SAME REASON. They were losing money in huge amounts, so they moved to Mexico where labor is cheaper. I know that's not what you want to hear, but it's the truth. Factories move to where it is cheapest to produce the good.

[-] 1 points by Socrates469bc (608) from New York, NY 8 years ago

who said anything about force?

Diplomacy!

[-] 0 points by GeorgeMichaelBluth (402) from Arlington, VA 8 years ago

Great post. Anything that pushes wages above the market rate artificially, will result in a massive fail. Whether through high prices as you have mentioned or jobs going off shore. You can't force anyone's hand and expect to succeed.

[-] 2 points by Socrates469bc (608) from New York, NY 8 years ago

Of course it's ok for Billionaires to crush the working poor, at least the Supreme Court of the US says so. See how they have bought out not only the politicians but the supreme court judges.

Watch: Go Kochs! Crush Americans!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOCHAv25uTw

[-] -1 points by GeorgeMichaelBluth (402) from Arlington, VA 8 years ago

Rhetoric free zone please, and no links. My youtuber is worn out.

[-] -2 points by Rob (881) 8 years ago

so what do you call it when a liberal closes up shop because, although very wealthy, he is not making money i.e. John BonJovi and the New Jersey Generals arena football team? He voted to shut down the league resulting in thousands of people becoming unemployed.

[-] 0 points by gestopomilly (497) 8 years ago

yes. the ceo's driving up prices to increase shareholder wealth. this is what drives up prices and causes failures. unions have nothing to do with it. you do know that . they have been telling you for soo long that it is the measly worker that causes the problem.. that is a lie , propaganda,

[-] 0 points by JonFromSLC (-107) from West Valley City, UT 8 years ago

Really? Stock shares going up raises prices? Your brain must really just consist of a piece of paper with MSNBC talking points scribbled on it in Crayon. They want to drive stock share prices up because it makes more people want to invest or utilize their company.

So let me get this straight... The big car companies, which have evil CEOs that are at the mercy of unions that DEMAND not negotiate $75/hr jobs for their workers to watch machines build cars, only want the stock to go up so they can raise the price of their cars? The reasons the price of the cars is going up are A) The Fed keeps shitting out money hand over fist to pay for the Congress's spending spree the last 12 years so we're starting the inflation roller coaster, and B) They have to pay their employees $75 an hour to watch machines make cars.

[-] 1 points by aaa (18) 8 years ago

not very informed making comments like this people in the car plants earn every cent you try repeating your job 500 times a shift every day few people can handle that work and the pay is less than half what you state but medical costs do raise what the company has to pay out.but i guess its the unions fault we have the most expensive medical cost in the world and ranked 37th in quality

[-] 1 points by gestopomilly (497) 8 years ago

no the price of the car goes up so the ceo can give more than deserved to himself and the shareholders.. you have it backwards. prices increase due to the greed of the corporations. then the wage earner has to be paid more in order to buy the dang car that gives the ceo more than deserved to himself and shareholders.. the idea that the wages cause increases is a lie. propaganda you have fallen for , you dont have enough sense to see this

[-] 0 points by JonFromSLC (-107) from West Valley City, UT 8 years ago

I don't see it because it's not true.

For car companies, what's the bottom line? Sales. If cars sit on the lot, the CEO doesn't make shit. Neither do the shareholders. What makes cars sell? Competitive pricing, quality, and value. What causes pricing to not be competitive? Overhead. Which means, how much you pay your employees, how big of a factory you can have, how much the cars cost you to make etc. Unions raise the overhead like crazy. When you're forced to do things that aren't good for business, business suffers.

Unions are bad for business.

[-] 1 points by gestopomilly (497) 8 years ago

if you hire unskilled labor.. you lose quality. and value.. and it is not competitive pricing. it is increase the price to get the ceo more money. the share holders. then all the other car makers do the same thing and create the illusion that it is competitive. and you fall for it

[-] 0 points by JonFromSLC (-107) from West Valley City, UT 8 years ago

So you don't drive a car?

[-] 1 points by gestopomilly (497) 8 years ago

of course i drive a car whats your point

[-] 0 points by JonFromSLC (-107) from West Valley City, UT 8 years ago

How'd you pick it? Most reliable? Fuel efficient? Hybrid? To say car company CEO's are only in it for the money... eh that's a stretch. The car has to be good enough for you to buy it.

Read this:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-06-22/hyundai-teaches-uaw-best-factory-job-doesn-t-need-a-union-cars.html

They had to basically try to bribe the employees to go union because the workers were perfectly happy WITHOUT a union.

[-] 1 points by TLydon007 (1278) 8 years ago

Why don't you watch the stock prices of oil companies and comparing them to gas prices??

You'll find out everything you believe in is a lie.

"If cars sit on the lot, the CEO doesn't make shit. Neither do the shareholders."

There's a crock of shit if I ever heard it. The CEO still collects millions in bonuses and don't tell me they can be held accountable unless you can prove it.

[-] 1 points by cmt (1195) from Tolland, CT 8 years ago

Oddly enough, the original Ford thought that paying decent wages built consumers, who were good for business.

We have a downward spiral going on - lower wages - less buying - lower wages - less....

[-] 1 points by weeicemon (15) 8 years ago

Other countries have this odd goal--they want to be competitive!! Yeah, every country will have the same unions and we'll do global collective bargaining and then you union punks can just 'strike the planet', right?

Idiot.

Unions are a blight on American economic and social strata. They contribute to jobs being pushed overseas due to their ridiculous, selfish, socialist demands. Unions are hate-America thugs, punks and socialists and should be outlawed.

[-] 2 points by Teacher (469) 8 years ago

Do you have any idea what America was like before unions?

[-] 1 points by weeicemon (15) 8 years ago

y'know you're right--if we eliminated unions we'd have 6 yr olds working in sweatshops and required 90 hr work weeks--LOL. Thank God we have unions because we don't want to make carpenters have to plug in to an outlet--no--that' for the electricians to do. So let the carpenter sit around for 2 hrs at $80/hr until the electrician comes along. Unions are one of the primary reasons jobs are overseas. Stop the nonsense and stop living in denial. SOCIALISM KILLS!! AND THAT'S WHAT YOU WANT!

[-] 1 points by colonelingus (13) from Minneapolis, MN 8 years ago

how much would that button on your shirt cost if the person who sewed it on was making 100 grand a year? Are you people fools?

[-] 0 points by JonFromSLC (-107) from West Valley City, UT 8 years ago

Bargaining? Is that what they're doing?

[-] 0 points by ebri (419) 8 years ago

I agree completely. Every country in the world should have unions and higher worldwide prevailing wages. Thank you for understanding and communicating this.

[-] 0 points by GeorgeMichaelBluth (402) from Arlington, VA 8 years ago

I'm all for voluntary grouping of labour, but I have never seen corruption like I have seen in the unions. The premise that they are making things better for workers, is just that, a premise. The truth is very different.

[-] 1 points by gestopomilly (497) 8 years ago

im glad to hear that. so it is not the cost of wages then. thank you

[-] 0 points by JenLynn (692) 8 years ago

Public employee unions too? Their employer is the people represented by those politicians the unions contribute to. The best solution would be to get all money out of politics, no bundling, just small individual contributions. Not sure what you can do about the ads the pacs make, free speech shouldn't be suppressed, even when you pay a lot to make it.

[-] 1 points by aaa (18) 8 years ago

wrong time line if the union people in the top 20% owned 87% of the nations wealth you might have a point since thats not the case you should maybe rethink their role as the bad guy and perhaps focus on real problems we face and why

[-] 1 points by colonelingus (13) from Minneapolis, MN 8 years ago

public unions-another word for crooked thieves preying on taxpayers

[-] 1 points by ericesq1 (0) 8 years ago

free speech must not be confused with blatant electioneerng...educating the public on a political issue is free speech; cheerleadng for a specific candidate who you will coerce to write legislative loopholes for you is repugnant to the integrity of the democratic process and should be banned.

[-] 1 points by gestopomilly (497) 8 years ago

isnt that the very job definition of a lobbyist?

[-] 1 points by JenLynn (692) 8 years ago

It gets hard to make a determination My imaginary PAC can say what it wants about an issue, but is banned from mentioning a candidate by name. That prohibits my group from political speech. Should the same thing hold true if an individual wants to spend his own private funds to speak for a candidate?

[-] 1 points by Teacher (469) 8 years ago

Yes. That includes public employee unions. No money in politics, period.

No one should be able to raise money for political purposes except the candidates, which should be tightly regulated and capped. No PACs. Money is not free speech

[-] 1 points by JenLynn (692) 8 years ago

Sounds good to remove the money, but I'm not comfortable with limiting a group's right to say something through ads. The pacs now are supposed to stay on an issue and there are plenty of them on both sides of most issues so it my just even out. Stopping the large bundled donations might be the best place to start.

[-] 1 points by Teacher (469) 8 years ago

Right now the monied powers can secretly donate unlimited funds to groups who don't have to report how they spend it. That practice should be abolished.

You want to support a cause, go knock on doors, put a sign in your yard, make a youtube video. The moment money comes into it then its should be subject to election laws, disclosure, and strict spending limits.

[-] 1 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

Does that mean no donations to the OWS movement, too?

Look, let's be real. Money is needed to campaign. You can't knock on to many doors if you are running a statewide or countrywide campaign. Your yard is not long enough. youtube videos are hardly going to reach people above 40-50.

So money is needed.

[-] 1 points by gestopomilly (497) 8 years ago

only problem i have is,,, when i look for a job,, i use my own money, i dont ask people to pay for that job search. so no not till they prove they have less than a million in the bank.. no one should contribute to a campaign

[-] 1 points by GeorgeMichaelBluth (402) from Arlington, VA 8 years ago

Sensible post!

[-] 1 points by Teacher (469) 8 years ago

Candidates should be able to raise funds within a set limit. Individuals should be able to lend support. Thats it.

[-] -2 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

If that's OK, then it should be perfectly OK for employers to fire any union member (the reverse of striking). As for every country having unions, since it is not the best interest of the poor countries to have unions which would merely concentrate jobs in the rich countries by eliminating wage competition, you need to stop shedding crocodile tears for the poor and the downtrodden in the third world.

I ask you again, if the students were to bargain and strike for a grade, how would you react? If everyone got A+, surely the world's population would suddenly become more educated, eh? Grade inflation doesn't make anyone smarter, and wage inflation leads to massive erosion of purchasing power. You are a teacher, and you repeatedly avoid my questions about your thoughts on grade inflation. You don't seem to understand the repercussions of wage inflation at all. It worries me what you are teaching your students.

[-] 3 points by Teacher (469) 8 years ago

They should go on strike if they work there tails of for Ds, even though they earned As

[-] 0 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

Do you give grades for working hard or for good quality of work?

[-] 1 points by Teacher (469) 8 years ago

There is very little difference. Hard work produces a greater understanding of the subject matter. Sure some are naturally better at certain subjects, but that in itself does not make the major difference

[-] 0 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

Do you think all hard working students should be able to go to Harvard?

[-] 1 points by Teacher (469) 8 years ago

Of course not. Harvard only has so many slots.

[-] -1 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

Why not increase the slots? I mean, you want all hard working people to get paid the same, right? Regardless of whether they are shoving shit or doing brain surgery. So why not open up the doors of Harvard and have everyone come in as well. While you are at it, why not give a medal to anyone who runs a marathon?

[-] 1 points by Teacher (469) 8 years ago

No, I want hard working people to get paid enough to survive without charity. I never said equal wages for all. You know it. Its called a strawman arguement.

[-] -1 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

How much is enough for survival? Note the word survival. It means food and shelter. The Govt provides that to a large extent already. I am saying let's make 100% covered.

You do not like charity? What do you think paying someone above market wages are? Not charity?

[-] 1 points by Teacher (469) 8 years ago

Value is created by labor. The factory owner could make a mint by sitting on his butt while white and blue collar workers create wealth for him in exchange for a tiny piece of it. But demanding a larger share of the value you create is charity?

[-] 2 points by Teacher (469) 8 years ago

Which is exactly why an outside force has to counter market forces, because market forces will always push wages down to the barest minimum. Read a history book. Look at this country in the late 1800s, early 1900s. Whole families worked in the mills in order to rent a freezing tenemant and buy a little bread.

[-] -1 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

Repeat after me, you are not paid according to the value you think you create. You are paid according to the balance of supply and demand of labor like you. If truly you were creating a lot of value, then there would be few like you. Then your wages will go up. It does for CEOs. But if your wage is not going up, it means that there are many like you who can create the same "value", and you are dime a dozen. That's why you are paid less.

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 8 years ago

Wage increase does not equate to wage inflation. not one and the same. Now we should stop shedding crocodile tears for the downtrodden. I see you've changed your tune on that one.

[-] 0 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

Why not let the Chinese worry about China? What's with the neo-colonial attitude? The Chinese consumer market is already huge. Ford sells more cars in China than in the USA. The Chinese understand that rapid wage growth leads to inflation so they are carefully managing it. That's their privilege.

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 8 years ago

I'm saying let China worry about China. That seems the opposite of neo-colonialism to me. I don't support US hegemony.

[-] 0 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

So if you let China worry about China, and you worry about the USA, in order to bring back the jobs you have to lower wages in the USA, because you can't raise wages in China. It is that simple.

[-] 1 points by gestopomilly (497) 8 years ago

wrong.. you institute a tax on corporations for outsourced jobs that exceeds the money spent outside the us on labor

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 8 years ago

That's what tariffs are for.

[-] -1 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

Nice. Tariffs caused the Great Depression. I thought you were a student of history?

[-] 2 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 8 years ago

Not your history. That's not my interpretation of history. I know it is Michele Bachmans', or rather i should say, those were the lines she was supposed to recite. Of course she blew her lines, not knowing Smoot-Hawley from Hoot- Smalley. There are students that blindly accept the conventional ideas and those who dig a little deeper. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJThSA59uqI

[-] -1 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

This has been dug deeper into by economists for three generations. Trade barriers don't do anyone any good.

[-] 2 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 8 years ago

"Economics is extremely useful as a form of employment for economists" . John Kenneth Galbraith

[-] 0 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

If nothing changed about the job and the wage increases, that is inflation indeed, as you are buying the same labor at a higher cost. That's basic economics. As for crocodile tears, whose are shed by those who clamor of income equality within the USA and income inequality between the USA and China. The worse ones are those that clamor for wage equality between USA and China by raising Chinese wages instead of lowering US wages such that jobs leave China and come back tot he USA leaving the Chinese workers to starve.

[-] 1 points by gestopomilly (497) 8 years ago

and what is wrong with that? they should build thier own businesses not reap benifit from the ones of another country.

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 8 years ago

Inflation is by definition, an over supply of dollars in the monetary system. Raising wages may result in a redistribution of wealth from the investor, management category to the workers who are actually creating the increased wealth. It might push the ratio of worker to CEO pay back toward the 1 to 40 ratio that it was a while back, from the nearly 1 to 400 ratio it has reached now. I'm OK with that.

[-] 0 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

That is not what inflation is at all. Inflation simply means that if you take the same commodity in two different time periods and in one it costs more than the other without any material change in the commodity, then the price for the commodity has inflated. If you were shoveling shit 30 years back and shoveling shit today as well, your wage shouldn't go up.

What you are talking about is redistribution. The easiest way to do it is to tax the rich and pay that out in EITC for the poor. I support high taxes that invest in infrastructure and education. I do NOT support high taxes the only purpose of which is income redistribution. I come back to me grade analogy here. Why not also take points out of the top students and give them to the poor then?

[-] 1 points by gestopomilly (497) 8 years ago

point being, when the wage earners of america go broke.. who do you imagine is going to be paying for education and infrastructure? where do you think that money comes from? steve jobs? it comes from the taxes on the working class not from investors

[-] 0 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

Not true. The poor and the middle class pay a very low share of total taxes.

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 8 years ago

Your grade inflation paradigm is misleading. If the grading is done "on the curve",then yes< it could amount to "grade inflation". If however, the grade is achieved based on a fixed standard, it is not inflation.

[-] 2 points by TheCloser (200) 8 years ago

VM - that's the tension in our system. People who make money influencing the government (lobbying) are the saviors to their groups. Corporations operate with a global perspective - politicians operate with a regional perspective. Corporations are obliged to manage politicians as best they can to keep legislative problems at a distance - like child labor laws, human rights issues, industrial pollution, etc. Less powerful governments are more likely to accepts bribes to look the other way - while the USA is the Executive Office country.

[-] 0 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

Campaign contributions are just a legalized form of bribes. Thing is, there is nothing you can do about it unless you want to turn the clock back to the stone ages. As, the PACs will just fill in the void. Hell, even the OWS movement was started using Canadian funding. Money makes the world go around.

[-] 2 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 8 years ago

Neither group should pay our leaders.

The ugly truth. America's wealth is STILL being concentrated. When the rich get too rich, the poor get poorer. These latest figures prove it. AGAIN.

According to the Social Security Administration, 50 percent of U.S. workers made less than $26,364 in 2010. In addition, those making less than $200,000, or 99 percent of Americans, saw their earnings fall by $4.5 billion collectively. The sobering numbers were a far cry from what was going on for the richest one percent of Americans.

The incomes of the top one percent of the wage scale in the U.S. rose in 2010; and their collective wage earnings jumped by $120 billion. In addition, those earning at least $1 million a year in wages, which is roughly 93,000 Americans, reported payroll income jumped 22 percent from 2009. Overall, the economy has shed 5.2 million jobs since the start of the Great Recession in 2007. It’s the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression in the 1930’s.

Another word about the first Great Depression. It really was a perfect storm. Caused almost entirely by greed. First, there was unprecedented economic growth. There was a massive building spree. There was a growing sense of optimism and materialism. There was a growing obsession for celebrities. The American people became spoiled, foolish, naive, brainwashed, and love-sick. They were bombarded with ads for one product or service after another. Encouraged to spend all of their money as if it were going out of style. Obscene profits were hoarded at the top. In 1928, the rich were already way ahead. Still, they were given huge tax breaks. All of this represented a MASSIVE transfer of wealth from poor to rich. Executives, entrepreneurs, developers, celebrities, and share holders. By 1929, America's wealthiest 1 percent had accumulated around 40% of all United States wealth. The upper,middle, and lower classes were left to share the rest. When the majority finally ran low on money to spend, profits declined and the stock market crashed.

 Of course, the rich threw a fit and started cutting jobs. They would stop at nothing to maintain their disgusting profit margins and ill-gotten obscene levels of wealth as long as possible. The small business owners did what they felt necessary to survive. They cut more jobs. The losses were felt primarily by the little guy. This created a domino effect. The middle class shrunk drastically and the lower class expanded. With less wealth in reserve and active circulation, banks failed by the hundreds. More jobs were cut. Unemployment reached 25% in 1933. The worst year of the Great Depression. Those who were employed had to settle for much lower wages. Millions went cold and hungry. The recovery involved a massive infusion of new currency, a World War, and higher taxes on the rich. With so many men in the service, so many women on the production line, and those higher taxes to help pay for it, some United States wealth was gradually transfered back to the majority. This redistribution of wealth continued until the mid seventies. This was the recovery. A partial redistribution of wealth.   Then it began to concentrate all over again. Here we are 35 years later. The richest one percent now own over 40 percent of all US wealth. This is true even after taxes, welfare, financial aid, and charity. It is the underlying cause. No redistribution. No recovery.

The government won't step in and do what's necessary. Not this time. It's up to us. Support small business more and big business less. Support the little guy more and the big guy less. It's tricky but not impossible.

No redistribution. No recovery.

Those of you who agree on these major issues are welcome to summarize this post, copy it, link to it, save it, show a friend, or spread the word in any fashion. Most major cities have daily call-in talk radio shows. You can reach thousands of people at once. They should know the ugly truth. Be sure to quote the figures which prove that America's wealth is still being concentrated. I don't care who takes the credit. We are up against a tiny but very powerful minority who have more influence on the masses than any other group in history. They have the means to reach millions at once with outrageous political and commercial propaganda. Those of us who speak the ugly truth must work incredibly hard just to be heard.

[-] 1 points by ebri (419) 8 years ago

I couldn't agree more. Stay on message, focus on these numbers (as well as a few numbers related to reforming the tax code, like restoring progressivity to tax rates for the very highest income brackets and dealing with capital gains taxes), be adults, be non-violent, legal, persistent for years and years until a true recovery returns, and we can do it. We can't be distracted by those who want us to be distracted, who are paid by the Koch brothers and others who want us to be distracted. I don't believe in organized religion, but I am willing to devote my life to this.

[-] 1 points by adhoc99 (4) 8 years ago

I think we may have spotted a couple of the Napoleons on this Animal Farm. It's nice to see there are some people here open to a real, thoughtful dialogue. It's discouraging to see you simply exhort others to go and repeat your (ill-informed) message. If you truly want to effect change that will actually make things better, spend some time understanding the issues better, instead of just engaging in an adolescent screed against 'greed'. Confiscating other people's money through a coercive tax system (taxes are collected, remember, at the point of a gun) that punishes legitimate success is no way to create prosperity. Prosperity is only created through innovation that boosts productivity. Penalizing the innovators and the producers will in no way increase prosperity. The truth is, most people are greedy, including most of the 99%. The question is why do things turn out the way they do in certain times? If you really want to understand what happened in the great depression and the current recession, go read von Mises. Hint - it's all about credit expansion, the debasement of money, and state interference in the market. I don't want to be too negative, but your full throated exhortation is alarming, as is your call for additional confiscation of people's money. Now is the time for inquiry and dialogue to find real causes and solutions, not screaming from the rooftops.

[-] 2 points by sassafrass (197) 8 years ago

What's "adolescent" is feeling persecuted because you have to pay some taxes back into the society that makes you possible. What's adolescent is the view that this "confiscation" of money only happens to the wealthy, as if everybody else doesn't pay, or like what has happened on Wall Street does not count as the biggest "confiscation" in our history. What's adolescent is feeling that your "success" is being "punished" because you might have to wait a little longer to buy the next beach vacation home while others starve to death from the policies you want to create. What's adolescent is thinking of yourself as an "innovator". What's adolescent is your manufactured black-or-white implication that anyone who disagrees with your perverse ideology is a totalitarian pig (literally). (The true and most total of totalitarianisms will be when corporations are kings governed by no higher authority.) What's adolescent is probably your age, which would only marginally excuse your narcissistic naivete.

[-] 1 points by ebri (419) 8 years ago

Though you won't like to hear this, I am immune to name-calling. I know what you are trying to do -- to somehow convince me to be quiet. About 50 years ago I went through this I think with some kids in the neighborhood or something like that.

I don't know how a so-called "adult" (you are of adult age, are you not?) fails to grasp the reality that services and infrastructure are shared resources that must be maintained. Taxes are the adult way to do this. There doesn't seem to be a way around this. I don't think I am "screaming from the rooftops." But if it makes you happy, you may accuse me of such acts anyway. I am not convinced of your viewpoint, however. I don't know how "Napoleon" came into the picture either.

[-] 1 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 8 years ago

I'm also in this for life. Glad to be on the same team.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 8 years ago

I heard that

the staff office leaders would be offered jobs after they are finished working for their congressmen at x3 times their current pay rate

[-] 1 points by cmt (1195) from Tolland, CT 8 years ago

Greed.

The key factor is greed. Pushing up middle class wages slightly actually makes the whole economy stronger. Read your history.

Creating and expanding an underclass, so a small minority can have more than anyone could possibly need - that's greed. It's just wrong.

[Removed]

[-] 1 points by chuck1al (1074) from Flomaton, AL 8 years ago

VladimirMayakovsky .............Your too Ignorant to reply to.................

[-] 1 points by JesseHeffran (3903) 8 years ago

I got ninety nine problems but lack of love ant one. If you got social anxiety, I feel bad for you son.

If the poor would respect the middle, they would want to help. If the rich were not loosing their standard of living, they would not eat the middle's lunch. if the taxes were progressively fair, then the poor would have money to buy the middle lunch, and the rich would not be tempted to reduce the value of the currency. Social engineering is not rocket science it is respect. good day

[-] 1 points by OneVoice (153) 8 years ago

The prevailing world market wage. That's a good one. I first have to buy into your idea of a globalized workforce. The fact is that I'm not going to base my wages or living standards on the working conditions in China or Rwanda. Slavery is outlawed in the United States and ou living standards don't have to be diluted to make shareholders happy with double digit returns on their money.

[-] 0 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

Why not?

[-] 1 points by OneVoice (153) 8 years ago

Why not in which way? I survived long before former President Nixon opened dialog with China. I'm sure corporations love the idea of cheap labor and in the short run will in fact bring healthy financial returns for shareholders and hefty benefit packages for CEO's. Instead of the United States lowering the standards of living for middle class and lower class workers how about corporations raising the living standards in 3rd world countries instead .

[-] 0 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

Thye are doing that already. All those jobs going to China has done a lot to improve the economic power of China.

[-] 1 points by OneVoice (153) 8 years ago

The economic power has improved. How's the standard of living for Chinese workers?

[-] 0 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

Improved a lot. People who would starve in villages now have jobs that, adjusted for cost of living, provide for middle class lives. It is really impressive how much good the multinational corporations have done for China. No wonder China welcomes MNCs with open arms.

[-] 1 points by OneVoice (153) 8 years ago

Sounds like the multinational corporations have created a great life for the Chinese factory workers. As more manufacturing jobs return back to the United States we will have to see if multinational corporations are all that interested in providing middle class factory wages in China. This globalization of the workforce isn't about providing middle class wages and benefits.

[-] 0 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

Depends on your definition of middle class. McMansions and two vacations a year are certainly not included.

[-] 1 points by OneVoice (153) 8 years ago

Interesting. No vacations. You sold me on this globalization of the workforce.

[-] 1 points by FrogWithWings (1367) 8 years ago

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUisfLtGN2A&feature=related

postal reform heist

pay attention

Keep in mind that

endoftheamericandream.com/archives/insider-trading-is-legal-for-members-of-congress-and-they-refuse-to-pass-a-law-that-would-change-that

and

http://wallstcheatsheet.com/stocks/these-30-american-corporations-paid-0-of-income-taxes-for-three-years.html/

[-] 1 points by stuffuff (3) 8 years ago

I could totally go for abolishing lobbying outright. And I also think campaigns should have campaign contribution caps. (realistically it would also keep us from watching the same campaign ad over and over again on the tv. they'd be forced to use they're contributions wisely) and I don't think they should be able to accept more than 1k from any one source, business, or individual.

[-] 1 points by TheCloser (200) 8 years ago

Simple: politicians will take money for any reason.

[-] 1 points by Toynbee (656) from Savannah, GA 8 years ago

Fair question.

I for one believe you do not need unions ... but only IF the workers are treated fairly. They make a living wage. They make enough to tend to their medical needs. They make enough to enjoy some basic recreational leisure time. They don't work in a sweatshop. They earn enough so that they can live out their golden years with dignity when they are too old to continue working.

Unfortunately, corporations, at least many of them, don't believe in this principle. They only believe in their allegiance to the stockholders and the corporate officers. Everyone else fend for themselves.

Sad.

[-] 0 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

Corporations are required to care only for shareholders by law. It's called fiduciary responsibility. The money is the shareholders' money, not the CEO's money. The CEO can't do charity with other people's money. Incidentally, public pension funds like CALPERs are the largest investors in stock. So unions are investing in stocks and asking companies to increase profits so that the stocks go up in value, and then complaining when the companies are increasing profits by firing employees that belong to unions. Nice.

[-] 1 points by Toynbee (656) from Savannah, GA 8 years ago

Gee, just think how much the shareholders and CEOs could make if the people who actually build the products and perform the services were treated as chattel or serfs or indentured servants?

[-] 0 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

If people do not like the treatment they would surely get another job? It is a free market.

[-] 1 points by Toynbee (656) from Savannah, GA 8 years ago

Vlad... you don't seem to get it. If every employer treated their employees like shit, then there would be no jobs worth taking.

You seem to be the mouthpiece for the corporate aristocracy. Greed without compassion will bring disaster.

[-] 0 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

I have worked all my life and I was never treated like shit. I was courted from company to company with more money offers. It depends on your skillset. If you have a skill that is in short demand, then you will do well. Otherwise, yes, you will be treated like shit. Not abused, but not courted either.

[-] 1 points by Toynbee (656) from Savannah, GA 8 years ago

Go work for Wal*Mart goof ball.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (8702) 8 years ago

Agreed with Teacher, below. No one should be able to buy politicaians. But as it is, billionaires have a great advantage over unions when it comes to buying politicians because unions don't have nearly as much money. I might add that billonaires are .001 percent of the population while working people are, I would guess, 60% of the population. Therefore you're implication that these problems are equally destructive is blatently undemocratic. Finally, it was billionaires who first corrupted the system with their vast ability to influence politics with money - unions only entered the game reluctantly, at a severe disadvantage, because the buying of politicians was subsequently the only way of forwarding the interersts of working people. Finally the corruption of unions was allowed or even fostered by the billionaire corrupted government. Wow, the FBI couldn't root out union corruption? They just didn't want to - gee, I wonder why? Just read a little of the history of J. Edgar Hoover if you don't believe this. In fact from the stupidity of this post I would recomend that you take up reading anything, as you obviously speak from preconceptions rather than knowledge.

[-] 0 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

So you think the rich shouldn't be able to buy politicians but the poor should be able to do so, and that is democracy?

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (8702) 8 years ago

Please read the second sentance of my comment. Sorry if you couldn't comprehend the message in its entirety.

[-] 1 points by ebri (419) 8 years ago

But the few, very wealthy, whose combined net worths eclipse most nations' should continue accruing wealth at geometrically increasing rates, given current corporate profits, reverse progressivity of tax rates and capital gains at the highest income levels -- right? Just let these very few, select individuals covertly wield and manipulate power over us all while the Koch brothers and other media distract us from ever seeing how they do it -- right? Is that the best you can do?

[-] 0 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

You can accrue wealth too. What's preventing you?

[-] 1 points by isiah (6) 8 years ago

Do you know the park in NYC that the Wall Street protesters are occupying? It's Zuccotti Park. Did you know this park is not owned by the city of New York? It is owned by Brookfield Properties. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zuccotti_Park

Who was just hired by Brookfield Properties as an attorney? Vice President Joe Biden's son. Who sits on the board of Brookfield Properties? Mayor Bloomberg's live in girlfriend. http://www.forumsforums.com/3_9/showthread.php?t=50580

Now, guess what company just received some of the last of the Obama Stimulus $$$$$$$. (Brookfield is renewable energy collecting $136M + $168M (ink still wet) in DOE Federal loan guarantees... ) That’s right folks, Brookfield Properties. http://shutking.blogspot.com/2011/10/new-york-city-mayor-bloombergs...

Wake up OWS! The Obama administration is the most corrupt in our nation's history and they are using you.......................

[-] 1 points by isiah (6) 8 years ago

Do you know the park in NYC that the Wall Street protesters are occupying? It's Zuccotti Park. Did you know this park is not owned by the city of New York? It is owned by Brookfield Properties. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zuccotti_Park

Who was just hired by Brookfield Properties as an attorney? Vice President Joe Biden's son. Who sits on the board of Brookfield Properties? Mayor Bloomberg's live in girlfriend. http://www.forumsforums.com/3_9/showthread.php?t=50580

Now, guess what company just received some of the last of the Obama Stimulus $$$$$$$. (Brookfield is renewable energy collecting $136M + $168M (ink still wet) in DOE Federal loan guarantees... ) That’s right folks, Brookfield Properties. http://shutking.blogspot.com/2011/10/new-york-city-mayor-bloombergs...

Wake up OWS! The Obama administration is the most corrupt in our nation's history and they are using you.......................

[-] 1 points by isiah (6) 8 years ago

Do you know the park in NYC that the Wall Street protesters are occupying? It's Zuccotti Park. Did you know this park is not owned by the city of New York? It is owned by Brookfield Properties. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zuccotti_Park

Who was just hired by Brookfield Properties as an attorney? Vice President Joe Biden's son. Who sits on the board of Brookfield Properties? Mayor Bloomberg's live in girlfriend. http://www.forumsforums.com/3_9/showthread.php?t=50580

Now, guess what company just received some of the last of the Obama Stimulus $$$$$$$. (Brookfield is renewable energy collecting $136M + $168M (ink still wet) in DOE Federal loan guarantees... ) That’s right folks, Brookfield Properties. http://shutking.blogspot.com/2011/10/new-york-city-mayor-bloombergs...

Wake up OWS! The Obama administration is the most corrupt in our nation's history and they are using you.......................

[-] 1 points by aaa (18) 8 years ago

when unions control 87% in the top 20% we will complain until then you have no point

[-] 1 points by Saikron (24) from Charleston, SC 8 years ago

I think back when the fair market was deciding things like wages and working conditions was when Charles Dickens was writing about the pleasantries of industrialization. You heard of him?

[-] 1 points by audiman (90) 8 years ago

Great point! I always thought it was unfair that if you were in a union that a portion of your dues goes to Dem canidates and policy. And you have no say so at all in the matter. And union wages are way higher . The time for the unions is over. I hope all OWS folks read this. Many unions are joining OWS but it is all fake. I was in a union for a year and during vote time my mailbox was full of Dem voting guides ...everyday. FOLKS IT IS THE SAME, MONEY STILL GOING TO THE POLITICIANS!!!! You folks need to re think OWS. Otherwise you will just look like fools.

[-] 1 points by Lockean (671) from New York, NY 8 years ago

Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?

[-] 1 points by Teacher (469) 8 years ago

Very simple. There will always be a surplus of labor. In an unrestrained market, that surplus will drive wages lower and lower. The company sees this as a "labor cost" working people see it as "the only way I can survive and buy food for my family" Companies will always want wages to go down because that is in their interest. Unions and labor protection laws FORCE companies to pay workers a better wage, one that is at least survivable.

Labor generates value. Without workers you can't have a company. Profit is when your workers get paid less than the value they create. No one is against profit, but the unthinking urge to increase profits cannot be pursued without a countering force that is interested in preventing human suffering.

[-] 0 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

What human suffering are we talking about here? People having to make do with one car when 2 cars were the norm in the past? It is funny that Americans talk about human suffering, while they also want protectionist policies which would starve the third world.

[-] 1 points by Teacher (469) 8 years ago

You once suggested a minimum wage of $2 an hour and said it was okay if people live in crowded conditions with mimimal food.

[-] 0 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

Crowded conditions? I am not talking tent cities. I am talking high rises and communal apartments provided by the Govt. No one has to go hungry in the USA, there are food stamps. But that cable TV may have to go. The suburban home may have to go. Vacations may have to go. Eating out may have to go. People will have to watch Monday Night Football on smaller TVs.

Oh the suffering.

[-] 1 points by Teacher (469) 8 years ago

$2 an hour is a slave wage. And government benefits have to be paid for by someone. Wouldn't it be easier just to pay people a living wage.

[-] 0 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

No, because benefits are paid by the Govt and wages are paid by the corporation. Benefits have to be paid via higher taxes, which will be borne by everyone and not just the corporations. Yes it is a subsidy to the corporations, but if you don't give that subsidy corporations won;t bring jobs back. So what do you do? Also, the advantage of benefits is that it is not money, so you can control what people spend it on. Wages will just go to buy the next fancy gadget.

[-] 1 points by Teacher (469) 8 years ago

So I should pay higher taxes in order to provide more benefits to people whose wages have been slashed by 75% so a corporation can make more of of that person's labor. And the gov gets to control how that person lives. Doesn't sound at all like slavery....

[-] 0 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

Next you will say that public schools are a form of slavery as well and the Govt should just give out vouchers. As for higher taxes, you don;t like them, eh? You only want the rich to pay higher taxes. Figures. So much for your sympathy for your fellow Americans without jobs.

[-] 1 points by Teacher (469) 8 years ago

Strawman. Paying someone a decent wage without being subsidized by the state is not a radical notion, nor is it something new.

[-] 0 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

It is neither radical nor new as long as profits are maximized. You keep repeating the word slavery - that's the real strawman.

[-] 1 points by Teacher (469) 8 years ago

Do you have any idea what the conditions in Nike's Vietnamese factories are? Slavery is the right word.

[-] 1 points by Teacher (469) 8 years ago

These are American companies using slave labor.

[-] -1 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

I have no idea nor do I care. Let Vietnam worry about Vietnamese labor laws. Let Americans worry about American labor laws. Why are Americans always trying to change other countries? Didn't they get their rear end kicked once already by Vietnam? Let Vietnam be and do whatever it wants to do in Vietnam.

In the mean time, you were talking about Americans being slaves. That's the strawman.

[-] 1 points by Puzzlin (2898) 8 years ago

Do you worship this money ?

Money before people, I don't think so.

We know you have lots of right wing ideas.


Is that only narrative that plays in your head?


If it is, why do think we are so ignorant to entertain any of your ideas?



You need to think for yourself & seek the truth. Learn to recognize and look for the evidence of the truth.



[-] 1 points by shwe (38) 8 years ago

Why don't you try to answer again for "the purpose of tax." I believe you can do better.

[-] 0 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

Why don't you answer it even once?

[-] 1 points by shwe (38) 8 years ago

You can copy from "wikipedia.org"

The answer from wikipedia.org is much much better than your answer.

Your behavior is similar to "a dictator behavoir."

You like to put your words into other peoples' mouth.

You do not want to play a fair game.

Equal opportunities are not for you.

[-] -1 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

Why don't you copy and paste from Wiki? I am not putting any words in your mouth, I am asking you to say what you want to say. So say.

[-] 1 points by shwe (38) 8 years ago

"I am happy to note that you are requiring the Govt to pay for the cost instead of forcing businesses to incur the cost for free."

This is what you did.

[-] 1 points by nickhowdy (1104) 8 years ago

Hey moderator can we dump this thread already?..Look Vlad, I'm creating a new World Union for Humanity where all workers will get paid a living wage IAW their cost of living...All the "Free" Trade Agreements will have to go though me for fucking approval...Those approval would be rare indeed...Of course no one would want a "Free" Trade Agreement if they can't exploit cheap/child labor..

[-] 1 points by barb (835) 8 years ago

Its not okay on both counts.

[-] 1 points by nickhowdy (1104) 8 years ago

Does anyone know how lowering wages for the working class here in America is going to make life better for the people of this country?

25% Tariff on goods going to China from the U.S. A. 2.5% Tariff on goods from China to the U.S.

Should people make below minimum wage (say 3.00/hr) as some a$$hole suggested to bring jobs back into the U.S. ?

Is that what this country should be about? Should we encourage Capitalists jumping around the globe exploiting the cheapest labor they can get their hands on? Enriching and then destroying a different nation's economies as they go along?

Let me tell you the USA is the consumer of last resort...We buy and buy and guess what..When we stop buying the whole fucking world shuts down..Why? People in other countries emerging markets just are no going to buy as much stuff as we do..They haven't been brought up to CONSUME.

It's all going to be over real soon...

[-] 1 points by nickhowdy (1104) 8 years ago

One of those things you mentioned encourages slavery...As an American I'm not into making the working class into wage slaves...

[-] -1 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

Wage slave? Explain please?

[-] 1 points by gestopomilly (497) 8 years ago

willing to do anything regardless of how wrong and suffer any abuse in order to get paid. wage slave.

[-] 0 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

We have labor laws in this country. Low wage is not the same as wage slave.

[-] 1 points by gestopomilly (497) 8 years ago

laws are made to be broken. look at wal mart. they use to lock people inside the store at night with the threat that they will lose thier jobs if they open a door. a man died of a hear attack at one store because they were too afraid to open the door. this is a wage slave. right here right now within the last few years. where were the laws?

[-] 0 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

Just enforce the laws then.

[-] 2 points by gestopomilly (497) 8 years ago

my point exactly. if it goes against a rich man the law will not be enforced. this is one reason for this protest.

[-] 0 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

The laws were enforced in the WalMart case.

[-] 2 points by gestopomilly (497) 8 years ago

after an uproar.. after the protest.. if not for that they would have continued for ever. im pointing out the disregard for workers that all corporations share. this is what makes a wage slave . those were minimum wage earners that sacrificed a human life for their wages. do you see

[-] 0 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

Having disregard is not the same as breaking the law or getting away scott free. Show me cases where there re clear violations of labor laws that are not prosecuted.

[-] 1 points by gestopomilly (497) 8 years ago

all over the world. in any country that has foreign employees that should be covered under the laws that govern their employers.. but instead, they cite the local laws. the poor government does not make any laws that would anger the corporation. wage slaves again

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 8 years ago

create a voting system that can be tallied in less than a month

if the people are unhappy with their representative, they will be able to express it

[-] 1 points by spflhome (41) 8 years ago
[-] 1 points by spflhome (41) 8 years ago

Adopt the following platform to achieve political clout:

Why this is Important Currently Congress is reviewing cutting benefits of millions of Americans while keeping their perks and benefits intact. They must not be treated differently than any average hard working American. If the hatred and the childish behavior we are currently witnessing in the congress does not end soon we must fire the elected representative whether a Democrat or Republican and elect a new member who puts the interest of the millions of hard working Americans before the party. If necessary, the time is now to start a new 3rd party "All American" that governs from the middle representing the most Americans. This party can start with the following platform: 1) Balance the Budget in the next 8 years. 2) Make a pledge to make America energy independent over the next 8 yrs. Start using natural gas for converting national Buses, Trucks and all gas guzzling vehicles to natural gas in the first phase. In many countries mass transit buses and some private automobiles already run on natural gas which is cleaner than regular gas. The technology already exist. 3) Cut the budget of non-essential and non-productive Federal Departments in half. 4) Cut the budget of every other Federal Department except Defense by 10% 5) Review Defense and cut all the waste wherever possible and feasible. Strengthen wherever necessary. 6) Put wage and price freeze across America until we balance the Federal Budget that includes Congress, Federal Employees and ordinary Americans 7) Cut the Expense Budgets of Congressman by 15% and put a mandate that they must travel in economy class in public airlines like most Americans do. 8) Give Tax Breaks to companies that innovate and manufacture in America using American workers. 9) Close all corporate loopholes, stop all subsidies to large oil companies and other profitable public corporations. All large corporation should pay a minimum of 15% corporate tax, no exceptions. 10) Give incentives and low rate loans to bonafide new start-up small companies with a strong business plan that would employ more than 10 employees. 11) Re-evaluate all trade agreements and stop all unfair trade practices by all foreign countries. 12) Give 10% Tax Credit to anyone buying an American car or any American made large ticket item. 13) Require banks to approve all mortgages in a timely manner with clear guidelines to stimulate home buying. Hold banks accountable if they turn down any qualified loan application in a timely manner. Offer $2000 Tax Credit to a qualified new home buyer for the next 3 years 14) Introduce a new 2% National Debt Reduction Tax for all the ordinary American tax payers. Anyone making more than half a million dollars ($500,000) per year would pay 3% National Debt Reduction Tax while all corporations with the revenues over 1 Billion Dollars would pay 4% National Debt Reduction Tax. The budgets of all the federal departments would be frozen until the federal budget is balanced. THIS TAX MUST BE ELIMINATED UPON BALANCING THE FEDERAL BUDGET with a going forward balanced budget amendment without this added tax. 15) Put a 5% National Debt Reduction Tax on all the Chinese imports until the federal budget is balanced. 16) The Social Security and Medical Benefits of all the individuals over 58 yrs would be protected while looking to eliminate waste without reduction in benefits. In the future, Congress should not be allowed to dip in to Social Security and Medical trust fund. The Congress and the Federal Employees will not have a separate program. All individuals should be given control of their own accounts with a limited safe investment options similar to the options available in the annuities offered by many private insurance companies.

IF YOU AGREE, PLEASE MAIL THIS TO EVERYONE CONCERNED ABOUT OUR ECONOMY AND SERIOUS ABOUT FIXING THE PROBLEMS. We must be strong at home to be strong abroad. If we don't fix our problems at home, we would become a laughing stock in the rest of the world. Fire any elected official who play the partisan politics and ignore the reality and fail to understand the pain of ordinary citizens. Do send this to your Congressmen and Senators.

[-] 1 points by gestopomilly (497) 8 years ago

Cut the 1 trillion in foreign aid welfare programs

[-] 1 points by MortgagedTent (121) 8 years ago

Let's reverse the question. If its ok for "billionaries" (must be some cross between a billionaire and a canary), why not unions? I'm not union, but I sympathesize. They're actions are a response to corporate greed, not a cause.

[-] -1 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

I think it is OK for everyone, unions, corporations, individuals, Govts, whoever wants to influence policy through money should be able to do so.

[-] 2 points by MortgagedTent (121) 8 years ago

Ok, your either extremely rich, an agent of the extremely rich, or extremely stupid. No offense, but its got to be one of the three.

[-] 1 points by shwe (38) 8 years ago

VladimirMayakovsky does not have any intension to create the equal opportunities.

[-] 1 points by Eco (9) 8 years ago

He could also be the citizen of a different nation who, like many throughout history, looks at what the poorest within the US have relative to the poorest elsewhere and thinks 'that's really not so bad'.

[-] 1 points by MortgagedTent (121) 8 years ago

That would fall under the catagory 'agent of the extremely rich'. If you are correct, let me remind him (and you) that this is a forum about America. Not about the world trying to rob our middle and lower class. They have their own political process to influence. They should stay out of our business and we should stay out of theirs. Enough of these fruitless imperialistic campaigns.

[-] 1 points by frankchurch1 (839) from Jersey City, NJ 8 years ago

ACLU is with Wall Street.

[-] 1 points by frankchurch1 (839) from Jersey City, NJ 8 years ago

If you noticed, most progressives thought Citizens United was a complete sham and that gives Unions more power. My view is that Unions should stop giving money directly to the democrats and use the money for activism, organizing.

Shame on the ACLU for supporting Citizens United. boo

[-] 1 points by bensdad (8977) 8 years ago

Yes - corporations & unions!
There are a huge number of great COMPLICATED ideas that will garner GREAT OPPOSITION.
In an ideal country full of great idealistic philosophers, these would be easy to implement. We need to be realistic & pick an issue that is simple - that is popular -
that 83% of Americans agree on -
that 56% of TP agree on -
that will bring together the people in OWS with the people outside of OWS.
Everybody wins!

Our only goal should be to pass a constitutional amendment to counter Supreme Court decisions Citizens United (2010) & Buckley v. Valeo (1976), that enable unlimited amounts of anonymous money to flood into our political system.
“Corporations and organizations are not a persons & have no personhood rights”
and
“money is not free speech”.

We don’t have to explain or persuade people to accept our position – we have to persuade them to ACT based on their own position. Pursuing this goal will prove to the world that we, at OWS, are a serious realistic Movement, with serious realistic goals. Achieving this goal will make virtually every other goal – jobs, taxes, infrastructure, Medicare – much easier to achieve –
by disarming our greatest enemy – GREED.


THE SUCCESS STORY OF THE AMENDING PROCESS The Prohibition movement started as a disjointed effort by conservative teetotalers who thought the consumption of alcohol was immoral. They ransacked saloons and garnered press coverage here and there for a few years. Then they began to gain support from the liberals because many considered alcohol partially responsible for spousal and child abuse, among other social ills. This odd alliance, after many years of failing to influence change consistently across jurisdictions, decided to concentrate on one issue nationally—a constitutional amendment. They pressured all politicians on every level to sign a pledge to support the amendment. Any who did not, they defeated easily at the ballot box since they controlled a huge number of liberal, and conservative and independent swing votes in every election. By being a single-issue constituency attacking from all sides of the political spectrum, they very quickly amassed enough votes (2/3) to pass the amendment in Congress. And, within just 17 months, they were successful in getting ¾ of the state legislatures to ratify the constitutional amendment into law. (Others were ratified even faster: Eight —took less than a year. The 26th, granting 18-year-olds the right to vote, took just three months and eight days.)


If they could tie the left and right into a success -
WHY CAN'T WE??????????


I feel that we should stay with this simple text to overturn CU:
”corporations are not people” and “money is not free speech”
for four simple reasons and one – not so simple:
1
83% of Americans have already opposed CU in the ABC/Washington post poll and the above
IS THEIR POSITION ALREADY.
2
We don’t have to work to convince people on the validity of our position.
3
Simple is almost always better.
4
This simple Amendment is REQUIRED to overturn CU.
And all other electoral reform can be passed through the normal legislative process.

5
OWS and these pages are chock full of ( mostly ) excellent ideas to improve our country.
All of them have strong advocates – and some have strong opposition.
None of them has been “pre-approved” by 83% of Americans !
Pursuing this goal – without additional specifics is exactly what Americans want.
What do we want? Look at that almost endless list of demands – goals - aims.
Tax the rich. End the Fed. Jobs for all, Medicare for all. So easy to state! Can you imagine how hard it would be to formulate a “sales pitch” for any of these to convince your Republican friends to vote for any of them?
83% of Americans have ALREADY “voted” against CU. And 76% of the Rs did too.
All we have to do ask Americans is to pressure their representatives – by letters - emails – petitions.

Wanna take your family on vacation?
Convince the 7 year old and the 10 year old to go to Mt Rushmore.
Then try to convince them to go to Disneyland.
Prioritizing this goal will introduce us to the world – not as a bunch of hippie radical anarchist socialist commie rabblerousers – but as a responsible, mature movement that is fighting for what America wants.


I feel that using the tactics of the NRA, the AARP an the TP – who all represent a minority – who have successfully used their voting power to achieve their minority goals - plus the Prohibition Amendment tactics – bringing all sides together - is a straight path for us to success that cannot fail to enable us to create and complete one MAJORITY task.

[-] 1 points by number2 (914) 8 years ago

It's not OK for either

[-] 1 points by AlternativeSynergy (224) 8 years ago

Without unions how do the working folks share in the rewards of higher productivity? Unless companies are faced with walkouts, they don't share in the gains that society makes possible, and the working-class wages fall. I don't think that unions should be able to donate to political campaigns anymore than corporations should.

[-] 1 points by adhoc99 (4) 8 years ago

By allowing competition between companies for labor. In a truly free market, if a company is underpaying its employees and earning excessive profits, a competitor will come in and bid up profits. Excessive profits (and therefore wages that are 'too' low) come from barriers to competition, usually erected by government regulations such as licensing requirements, etc.

[-] 1 points by sassafrass (197) 8 years ago

More likely, a competitor will see that they don't have to raise wages because people are "willing" to work for crap wages. They're not going to decide to get more profits by paying workers more because, well, that lowers their profit margin. More likely, they will look at the competition and think "hey, they've got a good scheme going. Wonder if we can get away with paying our workers EVEN LESS." Or if they don't think they can get away with that, they'll consider what benefits they might be able to take away, quickly or slowly. Or, if they don't think they can get away with that, they'll find ways to work their labor force harder to squeeze out the productivity. And with no regulations, there won't be any limits on this. Excessive profits come from excessive greed, from too little regulation.

[-] 1 points by LibertyFirst (325) 8 years ago

Productivity is not the only way to increase profits. Market share is another and the way one gets to the top of the heap in a given industry--very appealing for most companies.

If I want more market share, I need people to chose my product over my competitors. To do that, I need to provide the best combination of price and quality. In order to do that, I need to attract good workers. I need dependable people to do the manufacturing line work; I need the best engineers to insure quality and manufacturing processes that increase efficiencies; I need the best R&D minds, etc, etc. In order to attract these folks, I need to pay them better than my competitor.

[-] 1 points by AlternativeSynergy (224) 8 years ago

If this were a truly free market prices would be going down on everything as productivity and competition increases.

[-] 1 points by adhoc99 (4) 8 years ago

I agree with you completely. We are not in a free market. But the answer is not more coercion, seizure of property, or growth of the state. The answer is in rolling back to a small set of laws that we can all understand, transparently and vigorously enforced, and by making people responsible for their choices, and then helping those we perceive as needing help, voluntarily.

[-] 1 points by sassafrass (197) 8 years ago

By then, the culture of soul-less arrogant "me-ism" will see no one as needing help. After all, they are "responsible for their choices", so why should anyone help them? This kind of bullshit simply doesn't fly with anyone who's got a brain or a real History book.

[-] 1 points by AlternativeSynergy (224) 8 years ago

Only problem with free market deflation is our debt to income ratio would go up as our wages fell, especially with long term mortgages. I don't think people would like that much.

[-] 1 points by adhoc99 (4) 8 years ago

And then debt would have to be re-priced, just like everything else. Surely there would be some pain in a transition, but we all agree the current situation is painful and not sustainable. Given all the damage that's been done by decades of fiat currency, credit inflation, and state tampering in the economy, there is no easy way out, but there are alternatives better than others. Glad to see there are some thoughtful folks here open to real dialogue. Watch out for the Napoleons in the midst.

[-] 1 points by AlternativeSynergy (224) 8 years ago

I guess that's better than Gorillas in the midst. Thanks, I'll keep an eye out for them.

[-] 1 points by adhoc99 (4) 8 years ago

:) Wouldn't want to see this place become an Animal Farm. There's a lot of positive energy here, but also some worrying signs. I'm hopeful that some of the grass roots movements that are emerging from various shades of the political spectrum can find some common ground to effect meaningful, positive change. I think everyone has to be on the lookout for ill-informed ideologues - left and right - that simply want to stoke passions to serve their deluded agendas.

[-] 1 points by AlternativeSynergy (224) 8 years ago

Of course the perfect solutions would be ones that are effective and acceptable by the left and the right. But solutions like that have been frustratingly elusive. Still this movement gives me hope.

[-] 1 points by adhoc99 (4) 8 years ago

Reason is our compass, hope is our fuel, a better world is our destination.

[-] 0 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

Higher productivity comes from investments in capital made by the corporations. If a guy is given a jackhammer instead of a shovel and his productivity increases, why should the guy get a share of the gains? He didn't buy the jackhammer, his employer did.

[-] 1 points by gestopomilly (497) 8 years ago

because,, a jack hammer is much harder work!

[-] 1 points by AlternativeSynergy (224) 8 years ago

Society created the technology to invent the jack hammer. Government investments in education created the engineers that designed it. It's not so simple as who has the capital. This is a society, not a plutocracy.

[-] 1 points by LibertyFirst (325) 8 years ago

No, society did not 'create the technology to' invent the jackhammer. Each step of technology created was created by someone, not the collective. J. George Leyner invented the jackhammer. He did not get a government grant to pay for his education. Nor did those who invented the technologies that led to George's invention.

When you take credit for someone's work and spread it to 'society' you are behaving like a parasite, no better than the office a-hole who claims credit for work you did.

The vast majority of everything that has been invented since the dawn of man has been invented without government 'assistance'. Don't diminish the work of others or lay claim to the products of great minds. They aren't yours to take.

[-] 0 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

Govt investments are funded by taxes which are overwhelmingly paid by the rich. Society didn't create the jackhammer, a specific engineer did who gets paid through patents and wages. There is no reason why the unskilled laborer using the jackhammer should get anything.

[-] 1 points by gestopomilly (497) 8 years ago

the work is harder and will lead to an earlier death.. he shouldnt get anything for that? also if he does not.. he will not work for you. he will go on strike. then you have zero productivity. same result.

[-] 0 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

If he strikes the job will get offshored. Wages are not based on difficulty of work. They are based on supply and demand.

[-] 1 points by gestopomilly (497) 8 years ago

you cant offshore a jack hammer job. the ground doesnt travel. no wages are based on difficulty of the job. thats why a roofer makes more than a waitress. you cant see that?

[-] 0 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

You can import the foreign laborer here though.

[-] 1 points by gestopomilly (497) 8 years ago

true enough.. you would still have to pay him the same plus pay for his housing. you still lose money with this attitude.

[-] 0 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

Not the same, he will work for less.

[-] 1 points by sassafrass (197) 8 years ago

"A specific engineer" is the product of society. S/he is the product of being born into a family that raised him/her, staying healthy by the work, study and social improvements done by others to make "health" possible, getting an education by and alongside other members of society, based on work and research by every member of society who practiced in his/her field in history; s/he's the product of the work of everyone else in society who does all the things in life that the engineer doesn't, including growing the food s/he buys at the grocery store, making the clothes s/he wears and collectively providing for the common defense that keeps everyone from robbing each other. In short: the engineer, like the boss, like all of us, exists because of the work of everyone else in society. The employer bought the jackhammer with the profits made off the workers' work with the shovel. Without the workers, without society, there's no productivity at all.

[-] 0 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

This sounds surprisingly like what the soviets would say. So there is no concept of private property? My job depends on my education which I earned while paying tuition to my schools. Now I have to share the benefits of my job with everyone else in society who didn't get the same education or experience? Just being born is enough to share in the riches of other people's work? Why should anyone do any work then? Let's just live of the works of others.

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 8 years ago

"Le'ts just live off the work of others." That's what stockholders CEOs and upper management does.

[-] 0 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

Shareholders live off the capital. CEOs and upper management actually do a lot of work for shareholders to maximize profits and shareholder wealth. You may not think it is work, but shareholders do, which is why they get paid the big bucks. It is the shareholders' money so stop complaining.

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 8 years ago

Some CEOs have shown the're not worth the big bucks. I's more about whether the're worth 400 times more than the workers. Not whether they are of no value.

[-] 0 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

Let the shareholders decide. If you want to be part of that group. Buy lots of shares and get a seat in the corporate board. Change opinions.

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 8 years ago

Reply to; "That's what they're doing now...." Within the parameters you stated, yes.

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 8 years ago

Fine, let them decide as a group. Also let labor decide as a group, what wage they will accept.

[-] 0 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

That's what is going on right now. Let both groups influence politicians and try to undermine the other group. I am fine with that. Are you?

[-] 1 points by sassafrass (197) 8 years ago

Nice black-or-white, all-or-nothing reductio ad absurdum. But it doesn't fly with me. Facts is facts. yes, just being born is enough to share in the benefits of other people's work. It's called: living anywhere where there are other people. You got your education and job because other people built the schools, made the paper, even run the machines that make the paper you spent to have access to the other paper. Any concept of "you" as you currently exist would not be possible without millions of other people. Why should anyone do work? Because we live in society. Because all of our work makes all of our existence possible.

[-] 0 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

I pay taxes to support the others in society. Why is that not enough?

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 8 years ago

It is less efficient than paying a decent wage. If people are paid decently, they can contribute more to the tax base. You can pay less tax.

[-] 0 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

If people are paid "decently" then the unemployment will go up even more as the wage gap between USA and China will grow so companies would have no choice but to offshore. Be careful what you wish for. You may get high wages but fewer jobs.

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 8 years ago

Reply to; There is still a huge gap: Tariffs are a form of protectionism. (duh) Protectionism (tariffs) allows wages to remain higher here. At the start of this countries' history, tariffs where established by George Washington and Alexander Hamilton (see; Tariff Act of July 4, 1789) for a slightly different reason, but with the same goal; to promote the development of manufacturing in the US. The issue then was not so much about labor cost, but about the fact that England could produce cheaper because they had better developed technology and infrastructure. Guess what. It worked.

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 8 years ago

reply to; "Examples please". Prior to the abandonment of protectionist policies, there was a huge wage gap between US workers and 3rd world workers. The US was the leader in manufacturing along side this reality. Surely you already know that.

[-] 0 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

There still is a huge gap, that's why jobs are not coming back. Anyway, now you are including protectionism in the mix. You earlier said that raising wages in the USA alone will do the trick. It won't.

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 8 years ago

History disagrees with you.

[-] 0 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

Examples please?

[-] 1 points by sassafrass (197) 8 years ago

It's a matter of proportion and perspective. A reasonable proportion (not excessive, but not ridiculously low), and the perspective that comes from recognizing you are a part of society, and society cannot function in a fluid, mutually beneficial manner if all the prosperity flows up to the top and stays there.

[-] 0 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

What's a reasonable proportion? And why?

[-] 1 points by sassafrass (197) 8 years ago

whatever is mathematically determined to be the proportion necessary to keep the money flowing in the economy to a balanced degree where we don't have mega-billionaires and beggars. There will always be people who are more, or less, prosperous than others. I dare say (sadly) there may always be some amount of poverty. I personally don't advocate a completely flat society where everyone earns and pays the same amount. But there needs to be a balance and a standard where the vast majority of people --if not everyone--- can find a job, get paid a living wage, have true hope at some upward mobility, get health care and have someplace decent to live... even if this varies to some degree, as it naturally would.

[-] 1 points by sassafrass (197) 8 years ago

[in response to comment below]: I don't have a number. I'm not a mathemetician nor an economist and the number itself is not important. It would fluctuate some, anyway, with the GDP. Trying to pin me to a number is another distracting debate tactic, which is your right to attempt, but it is distracting. But anyway-- I disagree that our society is currently balanced socioeconomically. Where you see a reprehensible hypothetical that a beggar could afford an ipad from a certain kind of legal, ethical wealth distribution, I see a reprehensible reality that a mega-billionaire could afford to buy a government via a kind of ILLegal, UNethical wealth distribution. Where you want to micro-scrutinize whether the beggar "deserves" an ipad or what s/he should have to do for society to "earn" it, I'd rather scrutinize whether the mega-billionaire "deserves" a government and what s/he should have to do for society to prove s/he "deserves" it. Where you see the beggar getting an ipad as frivolous, I see a person getting an educational tool, a self-promotion tool, the capacity to interconnect into the same virtual, information society that allows the billionaires to profit by using the same technology to call what they do "work". I see the billionaire getting a 10th Mcmansion as frivolous.

[-] -1 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

What is balanced? I am looking for some numbers here so that we can debate whether it is fair or not. Otherwise I can say that the current situation looks balanced to me and you can say that it doesn't and we can argue back and forth forever. Any thoughts on the numbers? We will always have mega-billionaires and beggars in my world view. The key is to have enough infrastructure spend such that the beggars can get an education and have a shot at being mega-billionaires. So if you tell me that we should tax the rich to pay for free college education for all, or substantially improve the K-12 education (the unions have to go), then I am fine with it. But to say that we will tax and redistribute so that the beggars will not change what they do but will be able to now afford ipads is just offensive to me.

[-] 1 points by ebri (419) 8 years ago

Please look at third world countries, which allow the "free market" (whose ethics are based on "survival of the fittest") unregulated power over the least among us. If you really want deregulation, go live in Afghanistan. They don't have regulation there. Adam Smith didn't advocate complete deregulation. He recognized a simple fact about free markets, and that is they work well when operating transparently, in which all players are on the same page, and information is readily available. Adam Smith knew nothing about the kind of media manipulation exerted nowadays by Koch brothers, etc., in which fake scandals are manufactured to distract us from the numbers. The happiest societies in this world are those which commit to helping both "winners and losers" in their societies. It is time we do the same.

Money must be taken out of politics, but the terrific vacuum this will create must be replaced -- quickly and completely -- by ethics in government and society, or it will be replaced by opportunists with their own vested interests. I hope you understand that corporations are not persons and shouldn't be able to exercise free speech. Unions do not create fake scandals or influence the media the way corporations do. Look at the numbers, and follow the money. Compare the net worth of corporations with that of all unions combined. Be an adult and actually look at these numbers. Then tell us how you stand on this issue.

[-] 0 points by figero (661) 8 years ago

those are not "free markets" hello ! total corruption no rule of law etc.

[-] 1 points by ebri (419) 8 years ago

You're right! There is no rule of law and total corruption persists. How do people come to trust enough to set up effective systems of governance, laws, etc.? How does this trust come about?

[-] 0 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

I don't think I said anything about regulations. I merely said that if unions are allowed to contribute corporations should be allowed to contribute as well. Are unions individuals? You want a level playing field? Either allow no one to contribute or don;t allow anyone to contribute.

[-] 2 points by ebri (419) 8 years ago

I agree; take the money out of politics! Make elections fair.

[-] 1 points by gestopomilly (497) 8 years ago

unions are voted on. unions only represent what the people want. corporations have no interest in people and people have no say as to the way they operate. do yousee a difference yet?

[-] 1 points by LibertyFirst (325) 8 years ago

Corporations have boards of directors who vote for the policies they want the corporation to pursue. If you are not on the board, you don't get a say. Just like if you are not in the Union, you don't get a say.

[-] 1 points by MJMorrow (419) 8 years ago

Vlad, What will we get out of helping to make life easier for billionaires though? MJ

[-] 0 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

We don't have to do it. Billionaires can do that for themselves.

[-] 1 points by MJMorrow (419) 8 years ago

We agree there Vlad!

[-] 1 points by PandoraK (1678) 8 years ago

Unions, corporations, nonprofits (supposedly nonprofits that is) are among the 'special interest groups' that desire to affect policy. Since in politics, 'donations' can and do create a sense of debt that must be repaid in some form, usually policy decisions, it stand to reason that these groups must also be eliminated from financially supporting any candidate or political party with finances.

Campaign reform is necessary, if the trend toward 'he/she who garners the most funding...' continues it becomes a public announcement to the world that our government is for sale to the highest bidder. This is about as anti-republic as it can get.

Remove the sense of debt from our political process and we regain our government , of, for and by the people.

[-] 0 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

So, it seems like you are in favor of not allowing anyone to contribute. Great, now you tell me how do you run for office in say a statewide election?

[-] 2 points by PandoraK (1678) 8 years ago

Paul Wellstone, a two term Minnesota Senator managed to run for office from a bus, in 1990. He was elected.

There is your statewide election.

[-] 1 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

Paul raised money too. He was a good guy. God bless his soul.

[-] 1 points by PandoraK (1678) 8 years ago

Yes, Paul was a good guy...when his bus broke down, that was his real boost, the media covered it like a quilt on a cold winter day.

[-] 2 points by shwe (38) 8 years ago

Campaign reform for media. All the media have to give same air time minutes for all the candidates by laws without charges. All media cannot discuss the issues of the candidate for public. If a media want to announce their opinions, they have to let that candidate to announce their respond to those opinions.

[-] 2 points by ebri (419) 8 years ago

This used to be called "The Fairness Doctrine," which used to govern political discourse. President Reagan did away with that in the mid 1980's I think. Then Rush Limbaugh, et al came along and look where we are today. We probably have to go back to being adults again and allow equal time for political expression from both sides (politics is center-seeking and tends to be expressed in a debate format).

[-] 1 points by shwe (38) 8 years ago

Thank you for your information.

[-] 0 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

Why should the media give away anything for free? They can sell those spots to advertisers for diapers or whatever. Why steal from the media?

Also, if that is the case, what would prevent anyone - including the 50 year old living in his mom's basement for the past 30 years - from running for office? Then all day long all we will have is candidate ads, no other programming.

[-] 1 points by shwe (38) 8 years ago

The media make money from the public so that the media should pay air time as a tax.

I am not saying for 24hr/7days.

Also, choosing the good candidate is more important than the other programming.

All the candidates should have the equal opportunities (especially media exposures)

[-] 0 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

Media pays taxes already. Are you also going to ask other businesses to give stuff free to candidates? Why single out media?

[-] 1 points by shwe (38) 8 years ago

What is the purpose of tax for?

The equal opportunities for all candidates are my purposes. "stuff free" = "tax"?

Is "fair playing field" your intension?

[-] 0 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

All businesses pay tax already. Are you going to ask American Airlines to give a free plane to all candidates? Hilton to provide free room and board? Why single out media? If you want a true equal opportunity situation then you have to give everything free to all candidates.

I am OK with the Govt giving all candidates a lump sum amount which they can spend - on media or otherwise. But businesses need to get paid for their services. That's my point.

Do you think the NY Yankees should be forced to share their budget with all the other teams? Do you think USA should be forced to share it's budget with China and other countries? Is a fair playing field across the globe your intention?

[-] 1 points by shwe (38) 8 years ago

You use "fair playing field" at your post. Not me.

I am talking USA and you want to discuss global issues.

Do all the 50 states have same tax rate?

[-] 0 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

If you want a fair playing firle in a global economy, you have to think globally.

[-] 1 points by shwe (38) 8 years ago

Now you want to discuss "the corporation are multinationals"

You just want to change the topic again and again.

[-] 0 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

I don't want to discuss that. I am stating a fact.

[-] 1 points by shwe (38) 8 years ago

I am talking about "Campaign reform" .

Now you want to dicuss "global economy."

Everythings have same similar situation. Within a family,a city, a state, a country, there is a fairness.

You make money just enough to feed your family. But you use some of money for other families. How should your family members response? ...

As a country, we do not have enough jobs. Some corporations export the jobs to other countries(china,india,thailand,etc). How should the workers responds?

[-] 0 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

The corporations are multinationals. You are not their family.

[-] 1 points by shwe (38) 8 years ago

You are not answering "the purpose of tax".

Government giving all candidates can create many legal loopholes to abuse the funds.

All the candidates should be competing based on their equalities not based on their wealths and/or their supporters' wealths.

Free air tickets, room and board, etc, should be provided by government if these things can not create unfair competitions.

[-] 0 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

The purpose of tax is to pay for Govt expenditures.

I am happy to note that you are requiring the Govt to pay for the cost instead of forcing businesses to incur the cost for free. Now, if there are a million candidates for the job of the POTUS, who should the Govt fund? Everyone? Then all the homeless and out of work folks would become professional candidates immediately.

[-] 1 points by shwe (38) 8 years ago

"The purpose of tax is to pay for Govt expenditures"

Your answer is similar to "I get milk from the refrigerator."

[-] 0 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

What is the purpose of tax?

[-] 1 points by shwe (38) 8 years ago

Thank you for your answer "The purpose of tax is to pay for Govt expenditures."

You are missing a lot points for tax.

Your note for my points are wrong also. I will continue later.

[-] 1 points by shwe (38) 8 years ago

You are the one using the word "forcing business"

Every qualified US citizens can become candidates. If there are a million candidates, all of them should still have same opportunities. If a media service is not available for all candidates, then all of them should have no such media service.

[-] 0 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

You have no sense of practicality, now do you? A million candidates putting ads on TV, ROFL!

And why wouldn't all the people without jobs become professional candidates? After all the Govts will be paying.

[-] 1 points by Truthseeker99 (99) 8 years ago

the only thing wrong with the prevailing world market wages is that they are based on the standard of living in each individual nation. paying all workers worldwide the same wages would mean LOWERING the standard of living of ALL Americans, including the rich ones! only by raising the wages in other parts of the world do we raise the standard of living of people everywhere. dragging America down to the level of others doesn't help the others,; raising them up does.

[-] 0 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

If wages were the same in China and the USA, the Chinese would be without jobs. What good is a high wage if it doesn't generate jobs? 0 hours worked at a high hourly wage gets you 0 in wages. The Chinese realize this (Americans don't seem to). If salaries stabilize between China and the USA jobs will come flooding back to the USA and the Chinese workers will be without jobs.

[-] 1 points by Truthseeker99 (99) 8 years ago

Wrong. If the standard of living was the same in all parts of the world then we would have a level playing field. We will NEVER improve the economy anywhere, even here at home, if we drag ourselves DOWN to the level of other parts of the world. You can only improve things by improving them, not by making things worse.

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 8 years ago

China will have to raise wages if they want a consumer market. No crocodile tears, remember? If they raise wages they will have a huge consumer market. It's their choice.

[-] -1 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

Wages will rise in other countries in their own time. Worry about America. Leave worrying about China to the Chinese.

[-] 1 points by Truthseeker99 (99) 8 years ago

I was replying to the comment that suggested that Americans should be paid the prevailing world market wage. You can't suggest using prevailing market wages without taking into account standard of living.

[-] 1 points by Faithntruth (997) 8 years ago

A guy from haiti worked in the US, saved his money, bought a piece a land and started to build a home. The county tore it down because it was not to code, as he felt he had no need for electricity. We do have a different standard of living, and we are expected to pay for it. It costs in permits, fees, materials, taxes, etc... As our wages drop, neither the standards nor the costs have dropped. They want to pay us like we are in haiti, buthave us continue to pay them like the americans we used to be...

[-] 1 points by Truthseeker99 (99) 8 years ago

exactly! you can't improve the economy by making it worse.

[-] 0 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

What makes Americans entitled to a certain standard of living? Can a country forever continue to have 5% of the world's population and consume 30% of the world's resources?

[-] 1 points by Eco (9) 8 years ago

What makes us 'entitled' to it is, by luck of draw and legacy, receiving a brand new continent chock full of resources a mere 300 years ago. It's a monstrous blessing that many of us take completely for granted. We consume fabulous amounts of resources, but for the most part they are "our" resources.

[-] 1 points by sassafrass (197) 8 years ago

What makes greedy, insanely rich Americans entitled to a standard of living that only their .01% of the world can have while using a huge percentage of the country and world's resources?

[-] 0 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

Nothing. It is not an entitlement. It's a free market and if you can earn so much you deserve it. If you don't you are not entitled to a great standard of living.

[-] 1 points by sassafrass (197) 8 years ago

You can't earn it without the work and the money of other people. If you could, there might be an argument (albeit a rather mean one) that you "deserve" to keep all the profits you get. But that is simply not reality. Because in the reality we all live in, you get those profits off of everyone else.

[-] 0 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

And I pay them either directly through wages or indirectly through taxes.

[-] 1 points by sassafrass (197) 8 years ago

As it should be. There are those who would argue that they should have to do neither.

[-] 0 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

That's not me. I am willing to pay higher taxes. But I am not willing to pay higher wages than what the market decides. I will not entertain the entitled attitude of working class Americans that they should be able to afford a suburban house and 2 cars and vacations while doing low skilled work. I am happy to pay higher taxes so that they get a small communal apartment and a food stamps and free healthcare.

[-] 1 points by Truthseeker99 (99) 8 years ago

That goes back to my comment about prevailing world wages. You are willing to pay taxes in a local market but not wages in the local market. And this economic crisis is NOT between unskilled and skilled workers. It is between ALL workers and management (the very upper echelon--1%). The CEO who makes 2000% of what their secretary makes. Do NOT tell me that the CEO works so much harded than his secretary!

[-] -1 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

It is not the hard work, it is the impact.

[-] 1 points by sassafrass (197) 8 years ago

But here's the question--- why is it so repulsive to you that "working class Americans" doing "low skilled work" (that I dare say you are mighty glad you don't have to be doing) should be able to afford a suburban house and two cars and vacations? What does that matter if you are also prospering and getting to live in probably a much nicer house in a much better neighborhood, with two or more high-end cars and going on vacations and all the other stuff? Why-- because you need a palace and 10 luxury cars and 25 vacations a year and a private jet? Or is there something that bothers you about the idea that other people's work has value and entitles them to a decent comfortable life, and the lessened feeling of superiority this would create in you?

[-] 0 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

I am opposed to it because I believe in fairness. It is unfair on skilled workers if they do not get a leg up over unskilled workers. It's like giving everyone an A regardless of performance. My personal standard of living is a direct result of the work that I have put in and the sacrifices that I have made in my life.

[-] 0 points by velveeta (230) 8 years ago

That is what the 1% want. A worldwide slave state, where everybody starts working at the age of 7 for 5 cents a day.

[-] 0 points by velveeta (230) 8 years ago

John Corzine can't find $600 Million. It's gone missing. That's just the tip of the iceberg. This isn't about wages. This is about a massive black hole of junk paper debt, debt that the entire structure of the modern world is based on. You could work all 7 Billion of us like slaves for years and not keep up with the galaxy of paper debt being created every second. The Feds are going to need print a shitload of money.

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[-] 0 points by alouis (1511) from New York, NY 8 years ago

"The market", that's the problem. "The market" includes politicians for sale, regulators for sale, media for sale. there is precious little other than unions, OW and a more or less still free internet to even make a small dent in this uneven and rigged contest.

[-] 0 points by OccupyWallStreetButtons (16) 8 years ago

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[-] 0 points by Spankysmojo (849) 8 years ago

Waiting?

[-] 0 points by steven2002 (363) 8 years ago

I think the minimum wage should be $25.00 an hour. So what if a McDonalds hamburger cost $12.00, look at all the good it will do. Some people will be laid off but the survivors will be paid a living wage. Which is the most important thing.

[-] 0 points by Spankysmojo (849) 8 years ago

Why do you consider that fair? The world market will not allow unions in countries where there is child slavery. No unions going on there. The billionaires are so short sighted. If they could see past their fat bonus checks they would realize that a happy work force makes them more money and they don't have to deal with protests like OWS when it blows up in their face.

[-] 0 points by steven2002 (363) 8 years ago

Yes, because for the most part unions support Democrats, while billionaires support Republicans.

[-] 0 points by l31sh0p (279) from Sand Fork, WV 8 years ago

You should only get paid more if you work harder/better. Asking for more money to do the exact same thing sounds like personal greed to me.

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 8 years ago

Yes, since the average CEO only makes about 380 times what that average worker makes( the people who are actually creating wealth) it would be greedy for them to ask for more.

[-] 0 points by l31sh0p (279) from Sand Fork, WV 8 years ago

Time devoted is often overlooked in what a person is worth. The 'average person' may have worked a desk job for 2 years, received a few promotions, but only did as they were told and had minimal effect on how the company worked as a whole.

The CEO is more than likely prefixed with Dr., with an exponential amount of knowledge on processes the average worker has no idea even exist.

If you were asked to step in as CEO, what would you do? Ask for training obviously... how long do you think it would take for someone to teach you EVERYTHING you needed to know? a decade?

People are worth what they make themselves worth.

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 8 years ago

Well, technically, I am a CEO. I own a small business. No need to explain long hours, long weeks and few holidays. Next question.

[-] 0 points by l31sh0p (279) from Sand Fork, WV 8 years ago

That's not a response to my point.

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 8 years ago

A statement like, "People are worth what they make themselves worth." is far too much of an oversimplification, in my view. I would even go so far as to contend that there have been a significant number of CEOs who were perceived to be brilliant experts, (even some with PHD after their name) that have brought their corporation to a crash. Do longer hours and a higher level of training warrant higher pay. I think so, but the harder question is how much more. CEOs are not gods or kings.

[-] 1 points by LibertyFirst (325) 8 years ago

We are not paying the CEO's salaries--the corporations they work for are. The boards of directors decide what the CEOs salary will be, because they think he/she is worth that amount. Whether or not the CEO is greedy has nothing do with it.

If a company's workers are producing great value for the company, but the co. does not see it, treats them like shit, fires them--whatever, those who have value to offer will leave, and the company will be left with workers who don't give a shot and won't do their best for the company. Company then suffers. This is the free market.

Force a company to pay a certain wage regardless of the value of that labor, and you will get crap. People who have value to give will not be content doing their best when the guy next to them doesn't give a shit and is entitled to the same wage. Mr. Value will take his offering elsewhere and if you control all wages and he has nowhere else to go, he will simply stop providing that value while still collecting your set wage and use his efforts on something he finds rewarding.

This is not speculation, it's human nature and there are plenty of examples throughout history. The Soviet Union is the most well known, but there are plenty of others.

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 8 years ago

I'm not arguing against the concept of, pay for performance. The thing is your "those who have value to offer will leave" doesn't really represent reality. What if, due to an oversupply of labor, the company decides to pay extremely low wages to the productive worker as well. It's a bit like musical chairs. Someone always gets left out. This gives the employer an inordinate amount of power over the potential employee. History shows that without the counter of organized labor, the result is sweat shops, slave wages and general exploitation. That occurred here in the US during the "robber baron era" and continues in China and other third world nations today. As far as ,"We are not paying CEOs salaries,maybe to some extent we are. As consumers, if a company pays out billions in CEO and executive compensation, it may very well impact the price of products that are produced. That is, after all, their source of revenue.

[-] 0 points by Monkeyboy69 (150) 8 years ago

Unions are corrupt

[-] 0 points by Richardgates (133) 8 years ago

Because we are part of the democratic party and so are unions.