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Forum Post: SERIOUS TOPIC: Does OWS want to "punish" the rich?

Posted 2 years ago on May 28, 2012, 3:22 p.m. EST by Misaki (893)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

I am thinking we may need to have this discussion. Suppose that there was a suggestion that could, pretty much instantly, fix unemployment and eventually fix inequality by making it harder to become rich (lower corporate profits for selling brands at high prices to stupid people).

It's fine if people are reluctant to adopt such a solution if they feel it ignores other problems. For example, maybe you feel that we cannot just ignore the past and how society got to how it is, or things like wars.

So what do you feel needs to happen to complete the "story"?

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95 Comments


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[-] 5 points by JackHall (413) 2 years ago

I don't know what you think punishment is. I am not for the kind of punishment of the rich that accompanied the French and Russian Revolutions. The rich who pay less taxes than their chauffeur, butler, cook, etc should pay a minimum flat tax or create American jobs equivalent to a responsible percentage of their incomes.

Concentration of wealth is a sign of a flawed economy. Its analogous to a growing tumor that deprives the surrounding tissues of growth factors. A healthy economy provides for housing, health, employment, education, retirement and stable markets. Does any individual need billions or millions of dollars to have a good life?

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

The top 5% of income account for something like 37% of income. They are spending money.

It's just that even that level of spending is less than they take in, due to the high profitability of corporations because of stupid people who buy brands instead of cheaper competitors' products.

How to stop people from buying brands, thus fixing the economy and unemployment: http://the99percentvotes.com/idea/US95

See also http://jobcreationplan.blogspot.com/2012/05/occupy-movement-is-wrong-about-rich.html

[-] 2 points by JackHall (413) 2 years ago

Fed Bailout Dwarfs TARP the $700 billion http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mohwrs3yp7o [right click]

What do you think the rich do with their money? They make risky investments. These aren’t always profitable. When there are huge losses they take from the taxpayer: privatize profit, socialize losses.

Goldman Sachs sold investments that they hedged were going to fail and reaped billions in profits.

Economic Collapse of 2008 GoldmanSachs http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9gF46sDrSQ [right click]

We , the middleclass, should receive a percentage of the bailout, considering the banks charge usury rates, nickel and dime customers for over drafts, fees for every service. Something like 10% interest for the bailout. This was a missed opportunity to create money for the unemployed, jobs, grants, etc.

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

What do you think the rich do with their money? They make risky investments. These aren’t always profitable. When there are huge losses they take from the taxpayer: privatize profit, socialize losses.

See here for why this happened and how we could change this: http://www.nextnewdeal.net/rortybomb/what-five-hours-last-thursday-can-tell-us-about-dodd-frank-and-jp-morgan

[-] 2 points by JackHall (413) 2 years ago

The Paul Ryan wing of the Republican Party is part of the counterattack on Franklin Roosevelt that began as the Reagan Revolution. President Obama has to withdraw troops from Afghanistan and defend what remains of the New Deal at the same time. Let's say the Republican Party that has been captured by Wall St has already forgotten how laissez-faire capitalism led to deregulation of financial markets and economic collapse as they propose legislation to oppose the latest regulatory reforms.

Obama and the Democrats should have never tried to negotiate with Republicans when Democrats had the power and momentum to offer unemployment solutions similar to what FDR did in his first 100 days.

House Republicans passed H.R. 5652, Paul Ryan's Sequester Replacement Reconciliation Act of 2012, by a vote of 218 to 199. This reconciliation act does many things; one is that it takes lots of money from poverty relief programs and gives it to the military, and another is that it renegs on automatic cuts that were agreed to as a result of the Super Committee's failure, which will almost certainly trigger a crisis on the next debt ceiling fight. But for our purposes, one specific thing it does is revoke Title II of Dodd-Frank, which is the resolution authority powers Gruenberg was presenting. It replaces them with nothing.

Paul Ryan Hidden Agendas http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8T_m3ERkH8&feature=related [right click]

[-] 1 points by Shule (2062) 2 years ago

I always wondered why the administration bailed out the banks instead of the people. (rhetorical question.)

[-] 1 points by JackHall (413) 2 years ago

We need new rules. The Federal Reserve is allowing banks to borrow billions from it or more at 1% and lend that money above 3%. 2% if 1 billion is $200 million in profit.

The new rule we need that 10% of the money the banks borrow from the Federal Reserveis invested in jobs creation, training, education, and free access to new technology.

This something the Democrats should have done in Obama's first 100 days.

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

It really doesn't matter if getting rich is hard or easy. The question is how the wealth is created or obtained. Creating value by providing goods and services that people freely buy is one way. Rigging the game and the use force, threats or fraud is another. Using the money that you inherited or that you made gambling or even from taking risks and rigging the game so that you will win and others lose and hiding the changes, is what matters in the situation we are currently in.

If you invented the iPod and the markets want it, you should make profits, if you use those profits to bribe Congress to let you avoid paying your taxes, shame on you and we must fix that. Is everyone who is rich guilty of something? I don't think so, but so may are that ti is encouraging others to bend the rules. What is wrong with raising the top rate 3%? It has been much higher without bad consequences. Punishment. No, that isn't punishment.

It is the real job creators, the middle class, who is being punished.

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

if you use those profits to bribe Congress to let you avoid paying your taxes, shame on you and we must fix that.

Let's pretend we do this (not sure what specifically you are referring to... Apple was taking advantage of existing tax law when it invented the "double irish with a dutch sandwich"), and so effective corporate tax rates go up slightly. Unemployment is still at 8%, and voters are incoherent with rage that Congress still hasn't created jobs. Do you have a plan for jobs that people will accept?

What is wrong with raising the top rate 3%?

The main resistance seems to be that many people, such as those in OWS, believe that most rich people pay a lower tax rate than the middle class, and that this is the justification for higher tax rates. Quote from this post:

The federal budget deficit is not because the wealthy pay less in taxes than the middle class. According to a report by the Congressional Budget Office[1], 30% of the income of the top 1% goes to federal taxes after including corporate income tax, compared to a national average of 20% of income.

(State taxes are more regressive but the rich still pay a higher average rate.)

So insisting that the rich pay "their fair share" is what leads to pushback. If people admitted that the rich already pay a significant share of their income but want the rich to pay even more, this honesty might lead to success.

[-] 1 points by Puzzlin (2898) 2 years ago

Most opportunities to become rich are made much much easier to obtain when you are already rich. (ever hear the expression, takes money to make money, it's true) The rich have seen their own incomes soar over the last 30 years while the middle class has lost ground and are losing their homes.

It's called INCOME INEQUALITY

So, to be precise, and answering the premise of this entire thread, it is the MIDDLE CLASS who have already been PUNISHED for the last thirty years.

The Puzzler

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

...so do you think we should raise taxes on the rich or what? You're not being very clear.

[-] 2 points by Puzzlin (2898) 2 years ago

Absolutely, the tax cuts never created the jobs as promised. That was a lie so the republicans could get elected as the rich fund their campaigns. This is clearly obvious and we know the game now.

We are quickly losing our middle class. The rich could not give a rat's a$$. Their more concerned the save their millions of dollars. They only suffer when they can't decide on what ritzy restaurant go to tonight.

No, this is not the whole answer but it's part of it. Time for them to pay their share.

Puzzlin

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

We are quickly losing our middle class. The rich could not give a rat's a$$.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/15/opinion/stop-coddling-the-super-rich.html

[-] 2 points by Puzzlin (2898) 2 years ago

Exactly, they aren't going to give us the money owed. Increase their taxes and they will buck up to the bar and pay. They did it during the Clinton Boom years and the democrats managed a budget surplus when the the tax system was in better balance (and we weren't opening up new war fronts). The rich already have plenty of incentive to be rich, a little off the top won't make much a difference in the art of making more and more riches.

Wow, Misaki, your making some good sense now! Good for you!

The Puzzler

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

And that is different from what I said in what respect?

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

we recognize money is needed to run government without talking loans(favor)

[-] 2 points by Puzzlin (2898) 2 years ago

Suppose there isn't an instant fix because there really isn't. Don't believe me?

The PUZZLER

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

Suppose there isn't an instant fix because there really isn't.

What makes you think this?

[-] 2 points by Shule (2062) 2 years ago

There is this idea out there of paying taxes equates to punishment. That's crazy. A better way to look at it is paying taxes amounts to contributing to community (that is if the government stops spending the money it receives on making wars, but that's another issue.) Paying taxes amounts to investing in the community. It should therefore be considered an honor to pay taxes, and those who can (i.e. rich) should take on the honor (and responsibility) of investing proportionately more. After all it is in their interest to support the community of which they are on top. Poor folk should not be taking most of the honor.

It's not a zero sum game. Rich men should see; a richer and happier poor man, also makes for a richer and happier rich man.

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

Many rich people are fine with the idea of raising taxes on the rich. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/15/opinion/stop-coddling-the-super-rich.html

If a majority of the population thinks we shouldn't spend more to create jobs, that means at least 49% of people who aren't the top 1% are included in that majority.

Also see http://occupywallst.org/forum/prelude-to-war-need-confirmation-from-ows/

[-] 3 points by Shule (2062) 2 years ago

Thanks for the observation. I've observed the same.

Seems like the problem may not be the 1% rich, but rather the 51% stupid. (as your suggesting ....)

[-] 1 points by Shule (2062) 2 years ago

Interesting article thanks.

I think though the real impetus for not raising taxes on anybody is much more cynical. I think the real reason has to do with depriving the government essential income for the purposes of crashing it, or crashing parts of it. Without a government to regulate big corporations and financial entities, these entities can then do what they want unabated. Essentially for the big boys its all about a power grab, and the small stupid tea party guys are in on it 'cause they're so filled with hate that they can't stand seeing somebody with an entitlement getting ahead.

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

The Republican party definitely wants to crash the government. But they believe that unemployment and inequality are small prices to pay if it lets them reduce the size of government; we just have to show that OWS is not just about accusing the rich for being rich, it is about doing whatever necessary to fix the problems that inequality has caused like unemployment (and political corruption etc. which most people see as secondary to unemployment).

Blaming the 1% has been the strategy until now because we "trusted", or rather assumed, that there was actually something the 1% could do and that inequality was just some kind of moral aberration that would go away if everyone was just nicer. I have been trying to show that for 50%, or even 90% of the rich to be "nice" won't help. If the economy is currently arranged as a "Prisoner's Dilemma" the solution is not to convince everyone to cooperate; it is to change the rules of the game so that "defecting" no longer has a higher payoff.

[-] 2 points by Shule (2062) 2 years ago

Very much agree. Now the question becomes, how does one change the rules of the game especially when one is in a minority?

(Personally, I feel the Republicans and Democrats are out playing good cop bad cop.)

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

This is a start. http://occupywallst.org/forum/the-traitors-within-us/

I said this in another comment:

In another thread I argued that people believe that they are helping the economy by working hard. In fact in polls, around 95% of people think they are "helping the world" in their jobs (notable cases where significant numbers of people say their jobs make the world worse, but a biased sample, include fast food jobs and the tobacco industry).

Given that most people do want less inequality and say that unemployment is an important problem, I believe OWS can 'win' this war since it just requires forcing people to recognize that their intuitive view of the economy and the effects of their actions is wrong.

We just need to point out who is responsible for our economic problems, and it isn't the 1%.

For example, conservatives react negatively to being called "Social Darwinists". http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2012/04/okay-call-republicans-social-darwinists.html

[-] 2 points by AlternativeSynergy (224) 2 years ago

No, the rich have enough already. Taking a little bit more in taxes is not punishment, it's economics.

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

What if we reduce inequality and create jobs without increasing taxes?

Since that's exactly what work conservation would do.

[-] 2 points by nichole (525) 2 years ago

We've figured out how to produce, more than enough, and that's the problem. Time to de-rig the system and figure a way past surplus inventory and concomitant poverty.

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

Yep I just wonder what it will take for people to admit that.

The thinking surrounding this topic is that if I can show that the rich, and the US as a whole, has already been 'defeated'....

I noticed the list of topics made by user MattLHolck and the "no war" thread. Really not sure the best way to procede though.

The point of this thread was, basically, to show how easy it is to become rich, so people would not feel disappointed for not becoming rich before the system radically changed.

[-] 1 points by nichole (525) 2 years ago

So you're saying that the "rich" are victims as well? Your response is enigmatic. It's not easy to become rich these days if not born into obscene piles of cash. We were able to maintain a myth of mobility during boom cycles, the idea that hard work and ingenuity would get anyone ahead if only they possessed the needed fortitude. The current anti-intellectual climate isn't boding well for many. And this "radically-changed" system? What do you envision?

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

FYI,

So you're saying that the "rich" are victims as well?

Argument made here: http://occupywallst.org/forum/unfinished-goals/

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

This is a good explanation of how companies capture profits by finding a 'monopoly' market:

http://blakemasters.tumblr.com/post/21169325300/peter-thiels-cs183-startup-class-4-notes-essay

It's not easy to become rich these days if not born into obscene piles of cash.

True, and lower economic mobility is empirical proof of that.

And this "radically-changed" system? What do you envision?

Well, for example, being honest would be a more viable business strategy. Many people probably feel that the subliminal messages of commercial advertising are inherently dishonest; if people are more careful with their spending and don't work just for the sake of working or so they can tell other people what their "income" number is, then marketplace competition will be based more on actual product quality (compared to price) instead of just "assumed" quality based on advertising messages.

And if jobs are readily available, then the Fed might not need to have a policy of a (low) positive rate of inflation to encourage spending and "investment" for job creation. So people might be able to just put money in the bank instead of trusting in a "hedge fund manager" who gets paid whether or not they lose most of the assets they are entrusted with in a catastrophic global financial crisis.

This would significantly reduce the demand for financial services from Wall Street, which is another aspect of business that many people (such as most of OWS) see as dishonest.

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-great-american-bubble-machine-20100405
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/14/opinion/why-i-am-leaving-goldman-sachs.html

Wealth concentration in general also drives the financial sector of course. It did leading up to the 1929 crash the same as for the more recent crisis. http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/04/17/business/income-earned-by-the-wealthiest.html

So you're saying that the "rich" are victims as well? Your response is enigmatic.

It can be hard to make generalizations... but that's the general idea.~

[-] 2 points by nichole (525) 2 years ago

So you're holding out for deregulated, anti-governmental amelioration through some collective recognition that honesty is truly our best policy? I see everyone working against their own best interests now because everything is too competitive for anyone to truly thrive in this ultra-individualist anti-society. I'd like to think that we'll encounter some radical spiritual transformation, and I've been called an idealist, though I really don't see any of that happening. Thinking that the only way would be an alien invasion, something to get us working as a collective (much like the WWII, "greatest generation" banded together), or else we're going to have to suffer some unimaginable catastrophe as a collective, something that would force us to work together and perhaps practice honesty among us, get us to realize we've got to work together rather than against one another.

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

through some collective recognition that honesty is truly our best policy?

Honestly is not clearly the best policy now, at least for many goals and situations. With changes to the social environment, it can become the best policy.

Economics is just sort of a subset. The idea that working more somehow helps the economy (you commented on this regarding "Why economists are wrong") leads to distortions in optimal business practices because there are many people with 'too much money' since earning money is not really their main goal, so removing this distortion is much of what would allow honesty to seem more viable in business. For honestly in other aspects of life though, it requires that people really do practice "critical thinking" more often, and for all the logical arguments that are built up we can't say that this will happen unless it really does.

(I sort of hoped to get evidence that this would have the expected effects through suggestions in MMO design and resulting changes in culture but was unable to get that evidence.)

something to get us working as a collective

I actually was trying to fit "outside challenge to society" into the argument in this thread but it sort of went in an unexpected direction. I think the 'conservative' ideology is one that embraces this point of view; this is a really good example I thought: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/mitt-romney-and-russia-geopolitical-foe-at-the-un/2012/03/27/gIQATzCneS_blog.html

...who is it that always stands up for the world’s worst actors? It is always Russia, typically with China alongside, and so in terms of a geopolitical foe, a nation that’s on the Security Council, that has the heft of the Security Council, and is of course a massive security power — Russia is the geopolitical foe.”

But I still think change is possible. Despite high corporate profits, if people were really in financial trouble, then 1) they wouldn't be willing to take a pay cut and 2) would be more supportive of labor unions and laws that encourage labor unions. So even with high unemployment many people still have a comfortably high income. This is partly because "a nice social environment" has more utility to managers than "fire current employers for someone who will work for half as much".

And, of course, it's important to show that people get can basically the same value by spending less. People seem to assume that things cost more to make/provide that they really do. But the argument that included this didn't really get much of a response either....

The basic rationale for showing how the rich are, in a way, 'victims' is that it means that the reason for a deterioration in society or poor economic conditions is not because the rich want things to be that way; rather, they have their own goals (possibly no more than helping the economy) which they have failed at.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (25072) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

The disaster is happening in small degrees right now - wait until Global Warming goes synergistic.

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

“an increase in a state’s unemployment rate is associated with a decrease in the probability that residents think global warming is happening, and with a reduction in the certainty of those who think it is. Higher unemployment rates are also associated with views that we should do less with respect to policies designed to reduce global warming.”

http://www.freakonomics.com/2010/08/24/unemployment-vs-global-warming/

As with everything else, work conservation would fix it lol.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (25072) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Just the criminals. The rest we just want to have them share in our effort to make a better world.

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

Such as by donating the majority of their wealth to charity?

Or do you have a better idea of what the rich can do with their money?

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

recognize that it isn't their money

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

Done. Now what? The banks still think it's their money and aren't about to let you, or anyone else spend it.

[-] -1 points by DKAtoday (25072) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Green Tech.

This is where we should be going: Green Energy we have the technology we just need to use it. This is what I am talking about. A clean future to be implemented NOW!

http://www.hopewellproject.org/

http://ecat.com/

http://www.wired.com/magazine/2009/12/ff_new_nukes/all/1

FuelCell Energy http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/news/progress_alerts.cfm/pa_id=600

You have got to watch this vid: The liquid Metal Battery - another piece to the puzzle.

http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/donald_sadoway_the_missing_link_to_renewable_energy.html

Additional Liquid Metal Battery links.

http://lmbcorporation.com/

http://lmbcorporation.com/files/flyerFinal.pdf

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

We already know how to make solar panels and so on. Nuclear energy could last forever using extraction of uranium from seawater with existing technology.

Are you saying the rich should hire people to research how to do something we already know how to do?

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (25072) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Obviously you did not bother to explore the links or you would not be mentioning solar panels. Nor do we need uranium as you also would have seen.

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

The US still produces a significant amount of its electricity from coal or gas. Cars might benefit from batteries, but as you say we already have the technology for "green energy" we just aren't using it.

And the primary reason is cost. Lower income inequality would allow us to introduce taxes on things like gasoline so that 1) we could use more "green energy" 2) developing better kinds batteries would be profitable.

"Are you saying the rich should hire people to research how to do something we already know how to do?"

[-] 1 points by Shule (2062) 2 years ago

Batteries are not a source of power, they only hold it. So if cars ran on batteries, somebody somewhere still has to burn a dead dinosaur, or a nuclear rod. Then there is the problem of disposing of the batteries.

The only solution is to not drive so much, or at least drive a much smaller car with a much smaller engine, and drive it much slower.

[-] 1 points by the100 (1) 2 years ago

we are the 1 but we own the 99

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

Punish the guilty. Are all of any class guilty, nooooo.

Justice should be the goal. Not just now, but always.

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

Apple has $100 billion in cash in tax havens that it isn't spending, due to gross margins of 50% on most of its profits since people prefer expensive Apple products to cheaper competitors' products.

Did Apple make this money dishonestly? Is there any failure of justice here?

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

First, it is gross margin on their sales or or products, not profits. Second, we don't have sufficient knowledge of the relevant facts to pass a judgement. Third, I was in their storefront operation well before the introduction of the Apple II e and have watched their progress with interest for that time. I even negotiated a strategic relationship with them at that time that my employer refused to enter.

I think it is quite possible that Wozniak was badly treated, as were some contractors, employees and suppliers along the way, but I have no direct evidence of crimes of any kind.

In the general case, is Apple breaking any laws related to taxes? If so, is it more egregious than many others? The tax havens, the incentives to outsource, the ignoring of the human rights of the workers that produce their products, all fall under the special treatment that many companies buy and have bought politicians to obtain. That is why the failure of justice can't be measured by the compliance or non compliance with the law.

So, is there a failure of justice? if there were sufficient transparency, we would be able to judge with confidence. Even that deficiency is dishonesty and a failure of justice, isn't it?

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

I think it is quite possible that Wozniak was badly treated, as were some contractors, employees and suppliers along the way, but I have no direct evidence of crimes of any kind.

It's pretty clear that any 'ethical violations' in Apple's supply chains are no different from that of any other company. For example, the explosions that killed/injured workers were, according to the NYT's series on Apple, due to using vaccuums/high-pressure air to clean out filters clogged with aluminum dust, which sounds like it was done many times before without incident. It was a risky situation but entirely due to Chinese management decisions, the same kind of problem which lead to the Sanlu milk scandal or similar controversies.

In the general case, is Apple breaking any laws related to taxes?

The NYTimes article on the subject says that hundreds of other corporations use the same tax evasion strategies, although Apple was a pioneer in the specific method.

So, is there a failure of justice? if there were sufficient transparency, we would be able to judge with confidence. Even that deficiency is dishonesty and a failure of justice, isn't it?

If people voted for politicans like the US Senator in the Abscam scandal who refused a bribe, maybe there would be more transparency. (Compare the politician who introduced the legislation forcing the US military to buy $17k drip pans when a competitor offers them for $2.5k.)

Some people might assume that we have to work around the stupidity of the average voter, but I disagree. One of the main arguments concerning work conservation is that conflicting goals cause people to think more critically.

There is also evidence that problems like unemployment cause people to ignore other issues like global warming. So work conservation, by fixing unemployment, would allow people to vote more intelligently on other issues.

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

I really didn't hear a solution in there. A lot of wallpapering over Apple's conduct because others are doing it too? Apple can afford a lot better apologists than you, and they do.

I still like my answers better than yours. They weren't refuted and I am comfortable with them. getting money, and other forms of corruption, out of governance (not just politics) is where the solution begins. Tiny little band aids that the 1% can get removed for chump change aren't.

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

The solution was linked in the original post. http://the99percentvotes.com/idea/US95

Are you suggesting that we focus on political corruption instead of jobs? You would prefer to leave economic inequality as it is, and just add more rules so that rich people can't influence politics instead of reducing the amount of money that rich people have?

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

No but we can't really fix jobs without gaining control of our government. I suggest that we focus on every element of governance and every level and every geographic area. When we can make change we should make the necessary changes, rather than nibble around the margin. You keep trying to put words in other peoples mouths and it is an obvious technique. I suggest your first step is to abandon it.

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

No but we can't really fix jobs without gaining control of our government.

If you want to "gain control" of government there are two possibilities:

1) Voting is not rigged, therefore you can vote and convince other people to vote.

2) Voting is rigged or you're not allowed to vote, meaning the only solution is revolution in the spirit of the American Revolution or the Arab Spring.

According to you "we" don't have "control" of the government. So which of these two choices do you suggest? Or do you have a third option to offer up?

[-] 1 points by bensdad (8977) 2 years ago

The first step - the immediate step - the whole thing - America's future
is in Wisconsin next week
DO ANYTHING YOU CAN
to recall the koch stooge
If they can prove thier money can beat the people - we are done -
and Lincoln was wrong


......................"Government of the people, by the people, and for the people shall not perish.


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

If they can prove thier money can beat the people - we are done -

lol

and the disparity is magnified

[-] -2 points by secnoot (-14) 2 years ago

,,, but the Soros stooge is okay? Soros money can beat the people and that is okay?

[-] 2 points by bensdad (8977) 2 years ago

you cant handle the truth- or are you stupid enough to rant without knowing the truth? kochs alone are putting $400,000,000 in how much is Soros putting in?

[-] -2 points by secnoot (-14) 2 years ago

Billions

[-] 2 points by bensdad (8977) 2 years ago

billions? your source is? your straight jacket?

[-] -2 points by AudacityOfDrones (-34) from Chicago, IL 2 years ago

THESE FOUR MEN REQUIRE YOU TO...

What was that BS again? BS from the right (them) or BS from the left (you), in the end it still gets a corporate-owned Demopublican elected to office. If you think otherwise, put on the straightjacket.

[-] 2 points by bensdad (8977) 2 years ago

Are you afraid to answer the questions -
……why do supreme court appointments make no difference ?
……why do ( roberts + alito ) = ( sotomayor + kagan ) ?
.……do you believe that President Gore would invade Iraq ?
…….do you believe that President Gore would NOT read his PDBs ?
AND
do you have a source for the "billions" of Soros contributions?
Are you afraid to answer the questions ?

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

Shush! You're not supposed to talk about that. Clearly the "other side" are all zombies!

Are people who disagree with you inherently evil?

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

Never seen it.

So I will just reply with this.

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

If you are bored, watch this series about a poor girl who is attending a high school for rich people.

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

Is it even possible to create a better society without 'punishing' the rich? Personally, I'm not pro-punishing anyone (unless they committed a crime), I'm simply pro-better-society. But I don't see any real solution to our problems that does not address curtailing hyper-consumerism and putting profits before people.

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

Lower inequality means reducing... inequality, which means the rich would make less comparatively. This is what work conservation would do. Yet few people seem to be interested in it.

I don't feel that it would be "punishing" the rich to have lower inequality, which is why I question what people think needs to be done.

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

I prefer to think of it as 'greater equality'. Anyway, I don't think the rich give a damn how you feel about it.

"It's fine if people are reluctant to adopt such a solution if they feel it ignores other problems.".....I think you answered your own question.

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

So what problems exactly do you think this solution ignores?

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

I think it totally ignores a corporate run government who have every intention of seeing any plan that hurts the 1 percent fail.

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

The government has done many things that decrease corporate profits. Sometimes these efforts are weakened (see: recent financial sector reform attempts), but that happens mostly because the underlying system is complicated and it takes effort to fight against the creation of loopholes.

This idea, in contrast, is so simple that corporations cannot subvert it.

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

No, they could just reject it.

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

1) Much less likely if people agree that we need to reduce unemployment, and understanding that work conservation supports that goal (and that it doesn't conflict with other goals since higher GDP just hurts the environment at this point).

2) Many companies would benefit from adopting work conservation.

If people can agree on #1, then we just put media pressure on any corporation that doesn't give people the option (repeat, option) to work less.

(See also changes to health care and tax laws though.)

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

How would companies benefit?

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

The long explanation is at the hyperlink in the post you replied to. The shortest explanation is this one:

4. Types of businesses

Not all businesses would have a reason to adopt this system. The three main benefits to employees that a business could extract profit from are efficiency increases for employees that value their time, more dedication to the business for employees that value the option to choose how much to work, and lower hiring costs for employees that value stability in a time of economic depression over continuing to work full time.

[...list of businesses that would not benefit from efficiency increases...]

For other businesses, the possible efficiency increases can be understood through the concepts of auftragstaktik which emphasized the intent of a command and workplace empowerment with a similar goal of greater autonomy, as well as to some extent flexitime which has been gaining popularity in the United Kingdom.

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

Flexitime?


In recent years, the term "flextime" has acquired a more controversial definition when used to describe proposals to overhaul the nation's overtime regulations. Under one such proposal by the Bush administration made public on August 5, 2004, employers would not be required to pay non-exempt employees overtime for working more than 40 hours in a week so long as the employee works no more than 80 hours over a two week period. For example, a worker could be required to work 70 hours one week and receive no overtime compensation as long as they work 10 hours or less the following week.


I guess it would be in the fine print. Work conservation may not be that attractive if it is often used in manners such as this.

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

Unfortunately, as you point out, there is an ideological rejection, by a large portion of the country, about the idea of raising taxes.

In another thread I argued that people believe that they are helping the economy by working hard. In fact in polls, around 95% of people think they are "helping the world" in their jobs (notable cases where significant numbers of people say their jobs make the world worse, but a biased sample, include fast food jobs and the tobacco industry).

Given that most people do want less inequality and say that unemployment is an important problem, I believe OWS can 'win' this war since it just requires forcing people to recognize that their intuitive view of the economy and the effects of their actions is wrong.

We are no more trying to punish the rich than the rich are trying to punish the middle class or the poor.

Reading many of the comments on these forums would lead to the opposite impression.

What the hell do you think OWS is if not an unusual response?

OWS has tried to present itself (and the entire 99%) as being a minority in political influence. But this hasn't worked.

Now, work conservation smacks of placing the burden of propping up society on the shoulders of the working classes. I believe you have the wrong prescription to fix what ails our society.

If you mean that it would create jobs for working-class people and those without a college degree, that's exactly what it's supposed to do lol.

If this creates enough jobs that unemployment goes very low, then businesses will really really want workers to work full-time instead of part-time. But what the business wants would be less important. Realistically, if a business is just barely getting by then workers will probably end up working full-time; if the business is very profitable, as many corporations are and will continue to be (due to more efficient work practices etc.) then workers will have the moral advantage and enough bargaining power to work less.

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

The description of work conservation is geared toward increasing wage rates in the short term if people work less, which people would be encouraged to do unlike with flexitime (flexitime might lead to reduction of waste and less hours at work but people are still expected to do the same total amount of work as someone with a 40-hour week).

Overall though, work conservation would only increase wage rates long-term if it lead to a reduction of unemployment at the national level (meaning it raises wages for workers at all companies in the US since labor is somewhat mobile within the US). But your question is how companies would benefit, and flexitime is an appropriate concept that describes how they could benefit.

Companies in the UK don't use flexitime because it allows them to work employees harder; they use it because it gives employees an incentive to eliminate useless work practices so they can leave earlier, which makes them happier (= company benefits).

You're the first person to respond to this part of the concept btw.

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

I'm an intuitive thinker and it takes time for my head to catch up to my gut, but from the start, work conservation just misses the mark. I think the reason it fails to resonate with me as a viable solution stems from its blind ignorance of the existing corruption. Work conservation might very well be a fine idea to address efficiency issues in the workplace, but it won't work if 'a fix' isn't first implemented to change the culture of corruption we live in. Any benefit derived from work conservation could easily be twisted into an anti-worker controversy as above. Which leads me back to my original gut feeling -- our country is ruled by an oligarchy. Fix that first.

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

Fascinating. But leading nowhere.

The next step in the process is this thread: http://occupywallst.org/forum/prelude-to-war-need-confirmation-from-ows/

Maybe there is effectively an oligarchy ruling the country... but it has vast numbers of minions in the form of the conservative ideology voters. The founders of the US recognized that in a democracy the majority will sometimes repress a minority and that these situations might require unusual responses.

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

After reviewing your other thread, I need to point out that I'm against concentrated wealth in the hands of a few. It serves no purpose other than pure greed and hurts the economy and chances of other people. How are people supposed to buy any goods at all, brand or not, if the majority of money is taken out of the economy and concentrated among a few hundred people or so? It makes no sense. The sensible thing to do is fix that problem. Unfortunately, as you point out, there is an ideological rejection, by a large portion of the country, about the idea of raising taxes. They seem to think highways build themselves and everyone should fend for themselves in some primitive Darwinism jungle. But, Hey, if everyone should fend for themselves, then really --- just what is the point of having any society at all. I guess we should just all actively try and beat the hell out of each other while trying to scramble to the top. Anything resembling collaboration or cooperation or goodwill be damned.

Now, you really need to lay off the 'punish the rich' rhetorical nonsense you are peddling. We are no more trying to punish the rich than the rich are trying to punish the middle class or the poor. We are simply offering a different vision of what society should be about.

What the hell do you think OWS is if not an unusual response? Do you think people head out into the streets with their signs simply because they have nothing better to do? Or as FOX suggests, to camp and party and hook up with a booty call?

Now, work conservation smacks of placing the burden of propping up society on the shoulders of the working classes. I believe you have the wrong prescription to fix what ails our society.

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 2 years ago
[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

Fascinating. But leading nowhere. The origin of this conversation reveals how I feel about 'punishing' the rich.

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

Evidence that the 'corruption' is due to stupidity, and not malice:

http://jobcreationplan.blogspot.com/2012/05/unfinished-goals.html

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

Or a little of both.

[-] 0 points by DJnoodles (-136) 2 years ago

intuitive thinker = oxymoron, i.e. intuition is the faculty of instinct, not thinking.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (25072) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Learning Style Inventory www.thoughtfuled.com/assess_identify.php Intuitive Thinkers prefer to be challenged intellectually and to think things through for ... Intuitive-Thinking learners approach learning in a logical, organized, ...

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

Whatever.

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

Do the rich want to renounce their citizenship?

All hands on deck for Wisconsin! The partisan spark that inspired OWS in the first place!! Caused by the same Voter discouragement campaign in 2010 that we see here, now! Don't let history repeat!!

http://www.alternet.org/story/155624/koch_brothers%27_americans_for_prosperity_goes_all_out_in_wisconsin_recall--and_denies_it!/

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

They're not really a minority.

"18. Which comes closer to your own view? 1) The federal government should spend money to create jobs, even if it means it has to borrow the money to do so, OR 2) The federal government should not spend money to create jobs and should instead focus on lowering the country’s debt."
6/24-28/11
Gov’t should spend money - 42%
Gov’t should not spend money - 52%
Don't know/no answer - 6%

If you want job creation, work conservation is the way to do it. But this thread is really about why people aren't supporting work conservation.

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

FDR got us out of a similar 1% rape of our country, by spending and building!!

Austerity, like trickle down, doesn't, and never has, worked.

This is Shock Doctrine (avaialble on Netflix) in progress!!!

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

True, it's still an option (and would be effective). It would be in the interests of "conservatives" to admit this just as it is in the interests of "liberals" (and OWS) to admit that currently, the majority of the population is not convinced that option is needed.

Which is why work conservation is still the best solution to unemployment. http://the99percentvotes.com/idea/US95

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