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Forum Post: Simple explanation of why capitalism is unfair

Posted 2 years ago on July 29, 2012, 1:24 a.m. EST by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

The entire system of capitalism is unfair because it is based on theft and exploitation and is undemocratic.

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THEFT

Capitalism is based on theft because it is based entirely on the privatization of the planet and its resources.

Since Mother Nature does not have a store where you can purchase the planet, 100% of this privatization came by way of pillage and plunder. Like Mark Twain said, "There is not an acre of ground on the globe that is in possession of its rightful owner, or that has not been taken away from owner after owner, cycle after cycle, by force and bloodshed."

Privatization of the Earth and its resources means you are claiming control over a portion of the planet for your own private benefit to the exclusion of everyone else and using whatever force is necessary to maintain your control. That is theft.

When you privatize a part of the planet, you are stealing that part of the planet from everyone else.

Every single good and service we produce in our economy are produced using these stolen resources. Every single business is essentially trafficking in stolen goods. So our entire economy is actually based on ill-gotten gains.

The planet and its rich resources naturally belong to everyone equally. This gives everyone a natural, equal right to a job converting their planet's resources into useful goods and services and a natural, equal right to get paid fully for that work, as equal owners of the economy, without being exploited.

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EXPLOITATION

Capitalism allocates income through the market--a system that pays you based on how much bargaining power you have which is just a nice way of saying how much exploitation you can get away with. Exploitation is using another person's labor without paying them an adequate compensation.

The only way to pay workers an adequate compensation is to pay them 100% of the income, since they do 100% of the work, and to pay them based on how hard they work, which you do by limiting differences in income between workers to only what is necessary to get them to do hard jobs and to give their maximum performance in performance based jobs.

Allocating income in this way would pay workers from $115k to $460k per year for working just 20 hours per week. You are being exploited if you get paid less than that.

And 97% of workers are getting paid less than that. They are being exploited. Capitalism enables the 3% who have bargaining power to exploit the 97% who do not. It enables the 3% to take most of the income the 97% produce merely because they have more bargaining power. So how do you get bargaining power in a capitalist market? By being lucky or scarce.

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Exploitation by the Lucky

One way to get bargaining power in capitalism and to unfairly get paid more than what you produce and contribute is to get lucky in the market. Half of all the income that workers produce gets paid as investment income to a small handful of gamblers who got lucky investing in the market like bankers and entrepreneurs.

Investment income is just welfare for the lucky. It allows guys like Mitt Romney to get paid $20 million per year every year without working a single day merely because he got lucky in the market a few decades ago. Workers produce that $20 million every year, not Mitt Romney.

Investing is gambling and the economy should not be used as a casino. It is unproductive and just robs workers of half the wealth they produce each year. Workers shouldn't have to work for free for 6 months every year just to pay off the gambling winnings of investors.

A system where workers, who produce everything, are paid half the income and a few lucky gamblers, who produce nothing, are paid the other half is absurd.

Of course, you need investment money to run an economy. But just like we don't need to pay people to print their own money in order to make sure there's a supply of money in the economy, we don't need to pay people to invest in order to make sure there's a supply of investment money in the economy.

Just like the central bank can provide the economy with the necessary supply of money, it can provide the economy with the necessary supply of investment money. We don't need private investors.

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Exploitation by the Scarce

The other way to get bargaining power in capitalism and to get paid more than you produce and contribute is to simply be scarce like an athlete or a celebrity.

There is something terribly flawed with a system that pays Kim Kardashian hundreds of times more than a brain surgeon for each hour worked. But since Kim Kardashian is scarce, she has bargaining power that enables her to take more income than everyone else for the same amount of work.

And the more income you pay to the lucky and scarce, the less that can get paid to everyone else. That is how capitalism works. Half of all the income workers produce gets paid to the lucky who do no work and most of what's left over gets paid to the scarce.

The vast majority of the workers who produce everything - the engineers, doctors, construction workers, factory workers, miners, farmers, teachers - have to fight over the few crumbs that remain.

Even though worker productivity is $65 per hour, enough to make every worker wealthy, most workers are broke because they only get paid a tiny fraction of the $65 per hour they produce. Most of that $65 unfairly gets paid to the lucky and scarce.

Of course, the lucky and scarce claim that they are getting paid adequately, that the other workers are not getting exploited because it is fair to pay them 50 to 150,000 times more for being lucky or scarce. But this is nonsense because:

1) They don't work 50 to 150,000 times harder than everyone else. They don't work 50 to 150,000 times the amount of hours or put in 50 to 150,000 times the effort.

2) They didn't earn this money from willing consumers in the market. It is important to understand that when consumers purchase a product, they are not doing it because they love the way that company allocates its revenue among its workers. Consumers do not in any way endorse the way companies allocate income in the economy simply because they buy things.

Yankees fans buy Yankees tickets because they think the GAME is worth the ticket price. That is all. They don't buy tickets because they believe they should make less at their job so that A-Rod, the Yankees third baseman, can make $25 million at his.

When you pay A-Rod $25 million, that is $25 million less that every other worker in the economy can make. If consumers had a direct say on how workers were valued, no worker would ever be able to earn thousands of times more income than another worker because they would never be able to convince consumers to take a huge pay cut at their job in order to pay their inflated salaries.

3) They do not provide 50 to 150,000 times more value than everyone else. Apologists for capitalism claim that people buy Yankees tickets to see A-Rod, not to see the groundskeeper, so A-Rod deserves more pay. But this is simply not true. They do buy tickets to see the work of the groundskeeper so groundskeepers deserve the same pay as A-Rod.

Take away the vendors who provide food while you watch the game, the landscapers who maintain the beautifully manicured field, the camera operators that film the game for television, the thousands of menial workers who deliver that video to your home, and the construction workers who built that palatial stadium.

Take away all those people who supposedly provide relatively little value and who are supposedly not the reason why people buy Yankees tickets and what you have left is a bunch of guys nobody knows playing a game nobody is watching. Without all those workers, millions will not watch Yankees baseball games. They are, along with A-Rod, the reason why people buy Yankees tickets. So they deserve the same pay as A-Rod.

4) There is no economic justification that requires us to pay them this amount in order for the economy to work well. The only economic reason for paying one person more than another is to get them to work harder. We don't need to pay people 50 to 150,000 times more income to get them to work harder.

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UNDEMOCRATIC

Capitalism makes society undemocratic. Democracy is a society where people have equal political power and equal freedom. Since your political power and freedom depends on the amount of income you have, paying some 50 to 150,000 times more income than others gives them 50 to 150,000 times more political power and freedom than others. This inequality no longer makes society democratic.

Just like we replaced monarchies, and its private ownership of government, with democracy so the means of law making are publicly owned and controlled for the equal benefit of everyone, we should replace capitalism, and its private ownership of the economy, with democracy so the means of survival are publicly owned and controlled for the equal benefit of everyone.

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What Is Fair

Capitalism is an unfair system that steals the planet's resources and pays you based on how lucky or scarce you are. The only fair economic system is socialism, as explained here, which makes everyone an equal owner of the planet's resources and pays you based on how hard you work in converting those resources into useful goods and services.

Socialism is simply a democratic system without exploitation. It's summed up in the slogan, "To each according to their contribution."

It's a system where you have a right to a job and equal ownership of your workplace, where 100% of the income produced is paid to workers (none is paid to investors), and where differences in income are limited to only what is necessary for income to be an effective incentive.

173 Comments

173 Comments


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

Although I support the movement I must respectfully disagree with parts of this post. It seems simplistic to suggest that 'capitalism is based on the privatization of planet and that it is done through force, murder and theft' - to paraphrase. I have seen some fine athletes and pool players in my time and though force was employed the deciding factors were talent and skill. Is it too much to suggest there are people who are skillful and talented in business and that they may through no fault of their own excel and conserve wealth? This is not murder. What is wrong is a system that caters to them - allows them to lobby for power and hamstring democracy and stack the deck woefully in their favor. They are not wise to undermine the system that gave them opportunity, they are merely businessmen and not statesmen. But they are not yet most of them murderers, and we weaken our argument to say so.

[-] 5 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

"It seems simplistic to suggest that 'capitalism is based on the privatization of planet and that it is done through force, murder and theft' - to paraphrase."

That is the simple truth! If it is not, then explain to me how a person gains private control over a part of the planet, to the exclusion of everyone else, without force, murder or theft.

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"I have seen some fine athletes and pool players in my time and though force was employed the deciding factors were talent and skill."

All workers in capitalism get paid based on how much bargaining power they have, it is not based on skill. Athletes do not get paid more than brain surgeons because they have more skill. They get paid more because they have more bargaining power.

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"...This is not murder."

I never claimed every business owner committed murder. You are arguing against a strawman!

What I claim is privatization requires theft. Claiming ownership of the planet, when you do not have rightful ownership of it, is stealing from everyone else. The planet belongs to everyone, not just a small handful of private owners.

And since EVERY single business needs to use these private resources which were acquired through theft, it makes EVERY single business illegitimate.

If you steal a car and I legitimately buy that stolen car from you, that does NOT make me the legitimate owner of that car! My ownership of some private business is illegitimate in the same way as me buying a stolen car is illegitimate.

But if all of this theft resulted in a fair distribution of the Earth's resources, nobody would complain about it. But it is not doing that. It allows our wealth to be allocated based on bargaining power which is unfair, and which allows a few people at the top to take most of the wealth and which forces everyone else into financial struggle and unnecessary suffering.

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" What is wrong is a system that caters to them - allows them to lobby for power and hamstring democracy and stack the deck woefully in their favor."

So it is perfectly fine for the lucky few and the wealthy to unfairly use their bargaining power to take most of the income through exploitation and leave everyone else broke? Exploitation is not a problem, most of the world living in abject poverty is not a problem, the only problem is that the wealthy can use their wealth to manipulate democracy?

I completely disagree.

The primary problem in the world is capitalism which allows a tiny minority to unfairly take most of the wealth the workers of the world produce, leaving them all broke.

[-] -2 points by salta (-1104) 2 years ago

owing your own business is theft?

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

Owning your own business is profiting off of theft. You need to use the Earth's resources to create a business. And all those resources are stolen.

So a business owner may not steal the resources directly, but they are using them nonetheless.

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

I often wonder why or how someone could claim ownership of a forest and cut down all the trees and make profit on this .. or how do people claim the oil under ground belongs to them , when it's been there millions of years !

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

It is amazing what you can convince people of when they are brought up their entire life in a society that brainwashes them 24/7.

[-] -2 points by salta (-1104) 2 years ago

congratulations on your lobotomy.

[-] 2 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

Capitalists don't have any rational arguments to make because everything in this post is true. That is why capitalism's apoligists resort to the kinds of childish comments you make.

How is privatization of the Earth not theft? How is buying those stolen resources to start a business legitimate?

You can't answer those questions because I am right and you are wrong.

[-] -2 points by salta (-1104) 2 years ago

private property ownership is key to freedom and prosperity. you are not " right" but you have been successfully brainwashed.

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

I'm brainwashed? lol

All you have done is mindlessly repeat capitalist slogans.

So the conquering of the Earth for someone's private use is freedom? Do you even know what the definition of freedom is?

So when the Europeans came to America and began to privatize the country by slaughtering the natives, they weren't killing Native Americans, they were giving them freedom?

When the Europeans shot an arrow in the back of a Native American who stood in his way of the privatization of the West, that wasn't blood running down his back, that was the sweet, glorious nectar of freedom?

You need a dictionary. First look up freedom. Then look up gullibility. People are taking advantage of your ignorance. Also, look up the word ignorance.

[-] 0 points by salta (-1104) 2 years ago

private ownership of property is key to freedom and prosperity. whoever taught you otherwise was pushing a socialist/marxist agenda.

[-] 2 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

So all you are capable of doing is continuing to mindlessly repeat capitalist slogans and mantras. You are unable to explain them or defend them or expand on them.

You have all the symptoms of being brainwashed. You need help. You have a sickness.

[-] -1 points by salta (-1104) 2 years ago

are you so stupid that you cant undertand the relationship of owning private property to freedom?

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

Yes, I am that kind of stupid. So please explain to me what freedom the Native American received when they were killed by the Europeans who stole their property in order for the Europeans to claim private, exclusive use of the Native American's land.

[-] 1 points by salta (-1104) 2 years ago

the so called native americans came to what is now the usa from asia. they were immigrants.they took land from others that lived here.

[-] -1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

So theft and murder is ok because everyone is doing it? That is your economic system? And you don't see any moral problem with that? lol

If the Native Americans privatized America and did not fairly share it with the Europeans, or anyone else, they would be just as wrong as the Europeans who slaughtered them.

The planet does not belong exclusively to the Native Americans any more than it does to the Europeans.

Privatization of the Earth and its resources - which is claiming exclusive control over a portion of the planet for your own private benefit and using whatever force is necessary to maintain your control - is unjust and barbaric.

The planet and its rich resources rightfully belong to everyone which gives everyone a natural right to be able to participate in converting the planet's resources into useful goods and services and a natural right to get paid fairly for that work.

As equal owners of the planet, you have a natural right to a job and a fair income. And the only fair way to allocate income is based on how hard you work which you do by limiting differences in income to only what is necessary to get people to do hard work and give their maximum effort.

If we allocated income in that way, as explained in detail here, everyone would have the right to a job that paid at least $115,000 per year.

Privatization, using force to claim ownership of a part of the planet you do not rightfully own, does not give you freedom!!

Freedom is the power to act without coercion or force. In a world where everything has a monetary cost, it is income that gives you the freedom to act, not private property!

In a fair and just system, where the planet was equally owned by everyone, everyone would have a right to a job with a pay of at least $115k per year which makes everyone wealthy. So it gives everyone maximum freedom.

In a system where the planet is privatized, income is concentrated in the hands of the few who benefit from the ruthless barbarism of using force to privatize the Earth. Look around. Privatization is a system that concentrates income in the hands of a few. So that means privatization is a system that concentrates freedom in the hands of a few.

There is nothing fair or just to limiting freedom to only those who are the most ruthless and barbaric.

[-] 0 points by salta (-1104) 2 years ago

obama and warren must be so pleased with you . you really are a "useful idiot".

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 2 years ago

The key to freedom is an educated citizenry, active and involved in their own governance.

Private ownership is key to some peoples prosperity but not everyones. And long term prosperity for all can only be achieved by fairness in opportunity, education, and taxes.

We all do well, when we all do well.

[-] -1 points by salta (-1104) 2 years ago

that " fairness" garbage again. while the constitution guarantees equal opportunity it doesn not guarantee equal outcome. as it shouldnt. people are free to pursue what they're good at. the govt is not your mommy and daddy.

[-] 3 points by VQkag2 (16478) 2 years ago

Agreed, but when people cheat and steal we deserve justice and redress.

The 1% have mugged the 99%. We want our money back. They have hoarded $30Trillion in overseas shelters.

It's time they paid the piper. No more welfare for the rich. Lazy, greedy, selfish, thieving, bastards.

Wheres my pitchfork,?

[-] -2 points by salta (-1104) 2 years ago

why is it " your money"?

[-] 3 points by VQkag2 (16478) 2 years ago

Good! let them sue the United States of America. We rule the planet God Damn it. We will tie up their money for decades. Unless they agree to some kinda settlement. A fair split. Like 90% for us! and 10% for them.

Greedy, selfish, Asset hiding, tax cheating. unAnerican. mothaF#@kers.

That'll learn 'em

Hows that?. It ain't theft if they agree to a fair settlment

[-] -3 points by salta (-1104) 2 years ago

you( being at the bottom of the food chain) rule nothing.

[-] 3 points by VQkag2 (16478) 2 years ago

30 yrs ago they lied to us when they told us they would be the job creators and the wealth would tinkle down if we gave them low taxes, and low regulations.

Instead they moved our jobs, their assets/hq overseas, kept our wages low, raised our health premiums, stole out pensions, busted our unions, crashed the world economy, took trillion in bail outs, lost 40% of our home value, and created an unemployment crises going on 4 years.

So they breached the agreement, we want our money back. With interest please! 29.99% interest thank you very much.

Where were you for the last 30 years? Did you miss all that?

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

still not convinced about the job exporting

other countries are capable of their own factory creating

[-] -1 points by salta (-1104) 2 years ago

you're so naive.

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 2 years ago

"not illegal to keep it overseas"? Lets take that money from thosde cheating selfish bastards and let them sue us. We can wrap it up for years all the while using the interest (and principle whatthe hell) to pay down the debt they created.

[-] -3 points by salta (-1104) 2 years ago

It is not illegal to invest money overseas, nor is it illegal to have money in a foreign bank. take it and then you would be a thief.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 2 years ago

I don't know if you're evil. I think anyone hoarding their money overseas to avoid taxes is dishonest and unpatriotic. I think our agreement with the wealthy requires that they take the money they made from us (couldn't make our money without our help) and invest it HERE! NOW. Especially during an economic recession that THEY created!. So since they ain't we should take it all. Prosecute the banksters take every penny and more. Their families should be made destitute for generations to come. Their grandchildren should have their salaries garnished to pay back the crimes they've visited upon the good, honest, hard working American families.

You disagree? You stand with those criminals? You don't have to be evil. Just naive.

[-] 3 points by DKAtoday (28443) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Visit the sins of the parent upon their children? I think giving the criminals a Madoff Makeover (riches to rags to prison) and letting their families rejoin society at the bottom with a fresh new start would be good enough, why punish the innocent for what the guilty did. Confiscate all ill gotten assets from the criminals and let the rest sort themselves out.

[+] -4 points by salta (-1104) 2 years ago

its not illegal to have money in overseas accounts.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 2 years ago

You're the naive one since you buy that non sense. They are hoarding upwards of $30T. Where do you think they got that from? From you! LMFAO. And your stickin up for them!. They didn't work for that. They sat behind a desk and devised a scam!. They ain't the job creators. The middle class (you and me) are the real job creators.

[-] -2 points by salta (-1104) 2 years ago

so i suppose im evil because i am " hoarding " my money? many people are doing the same thing given the current administration.

[-] 0 points by VQkag2 (16478) 2 years ago

Because they (1% plutos) stole it from us (99%)

[-] -1 points by salta (-1104) 2 years ago

how was it stolen?

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

" while the constitution guarantees equal opportunity it doesn not guarantee equal outcome"

Wait, you are for equal opportunity? Your capitalist masters who programmed you are not going to be happy with that statement!

So you are against Donald Trump being given $50 million by his Dad to build his real estate empire and everyone else not being given a $50 million start?

I'm glad you are starting to see the fairness in socialism and the unfairness in capitalism.

[-] -1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

"obama and warren must be so pleased with you . you really are a 'useful idiot'"

I thought we were making some progress. In the last comment you tried actually making a point. But now you are back to just mindlessly repeating capitalist slogans.

So let's try again.

You tried to justify Europeans slaughtering Native Americans because Native Americans did the same to the people who were here before them.

So the theft and murder necessary to privatize the planet is ok because everyone is doing it? That is your economic system? And you don't see any problem with that?

And who is the useful idiot? You are advocating a system which is making you poor. You are not getting fairly paid. People are exploiting you and taking most of your income. And these very same people who are taking your income convinced you to defend their ability to keep you poor and keep taking your income by giving you a bunch of laughable slogans.

You are gullible and being taken advantage of. You need help.

[-] 0 points by salta (-1104) 2 years ago

what makes you think im being exploited or not gettting fairly paid or poor? you must be a shill for the open society institute.

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

You suspiciously ignore questions that require you to think. Let's try again.

So the theft and murder necessary to privatize the planet is ok because everyone is doing it? That is your economic system? And you don't see any problem with that?

Ask the people who have been brainwashing you if they have another slogan for you to use as a response.

.

"what makes you think im being exploited or not gettting fairly paid or poor?"

97% of all workers are making a below average income, roughly 97% are being exploited, so there is a 97% chance that you are not getting fairly paid.

.

" you must be a shill for the open society institute."

Another one of the dumb, meaningless slogans you have been brainwashed with. I can assure you that the Open Society Institute does not want to replace capitalism with democratic market socialism.

[-] -2 points by salta (-1104) 2 years ago

you have no idea what the OSi is and what it funds.

[-] 1 points by know1 (210) 2 years ago

would i be assigned a job and place to live

who would get the beach front houses

[-] 3 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

You would decide what line of work you want to go into. But consumers in the market will decide what jobs are available. If you want to be a cement shoe maker but nobody wants to buy cement shoes, you will not be able to be a cement shoe maker.

Nobody will decide what job you must do. You will choose from the jobs that are available.

The people who want to spend their money on buying a beach front house will be the ones who get the beach front houses.

[-] 1 points by GarrettConnelly (4) 2 years ago

Beachfront houses are already illegal in civilized societies.

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

Your claim that beachfront homes are already illegal is not true.

And a democratic market socialist system would not make beachfront homes illegal.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (28443) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

If I get a beach front place I want it at the new beachfront location that global warming is bringing. It would suck to have to look at the beach from the wrong direction ( from the water ).

[-] 3 points by VQkag2 (16478) 2 years ago

Your right it's extreme to punish the grandchildren. In fact I do not believe that. Just trying to annoy the right wing salta. I do want the criminals prosecuted and I do think their money should be taken. All of it. I don't see why the madoff family should enjoy the high life whilehis victims are destitute.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (28443) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Yes I can well understand wanting to irritate salta as salta is very irritating. But be careful as others see these comments too and well they can be easily mis-taken.

[-] 3 points by VQkag2 (16478) 2 years ago

I understand. I can't please all the people all the time. Hopefully my continued efforts at being respectful can overcome the suspicion I create with the extreme exagerations I sometimes throw out there.

I'm glad you asked, I wouldn't want you to think I am over the edge.

Just right on it! ;)

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (28443) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

I think with the stress we deal with perpetually on a daily basis - that we are all standing or walking on the edge. I know you have a good heart and good intentions - others may not be as perceptive or have a different perception - I know I too am very guilty of going off on some rather irritating assholes - but I think I try for not being misunderstood - in actuality or by someones malevolent design. {:-])

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 2 years ago

Well if anyones is interested I will be happy to explain myself.

Peace

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (28443) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

It is always good to express where you are coming from - and I wish more people would honestly ask and that more would honestly answer - rather then jump to conclusions and go on the attack.

Peace.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 2 years ago

An let me assure you and anyone who reads this I want to maintain respectful debate. I want to be inclusive in order to possibly grow the movement. I support Anarchist concepts of direct democracy and I will agitate the existing corrupt govt to implement the changes necessary to lay the ground work to make that direct democracy possible.

Oh I have no patience (but still respect) for right wing anti progressive shills/plants and I seek them out to engage and discredit them.

Hows dat?

V

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (28443) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Keep-on Keeping-on.

Support unity support inclusiveness - don't go looking for a fight but refute wrong thinking and/or misinformation.

COOL?

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 2 years ago

Cool!

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (28443) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Awesome. {:-])

[-] 0 points by gnomunny (6592) from St Louis, MO 2 years ago

"Wrong thinking" is subjective and I'm not sure he has the comprehension skills to not take that the wrong way, i.e. "my way is right thinking, theirs is wrong." I hope he does.

My jury's still out.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 2 years ago

Since I don't recall the encounter you refer to I cannot comment. I will not submit to your definition that I have comprehension problem. LOL But I will certainly make every effort to try and "comprehend" your comments as well as possible.

Hows dat? comprende?

[-] 0 points by gnomunny (6592) from St Louis, MO 2 years ago

Yep. I do have one off-the-wall question for you, and you don't have to waste time answering if you don't want to. How tall are you?

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 2 years ago

I can answer. but you have tell me why and tell me how tall you are as well?

6'

.

[-] 0 points by gnomunny (6592) from St Louis, MO 2 years ago

I thought it might explain the chip on your shoulder. Not that an attitude is necessarily a bad thing, sometimes it's necessary for survival. Thanks for not taking offense to me asking a personal question, just trying to understand the man. You seem like a good guy, and definitely passionate about this cause and that's what's important, not whether we get along.

Just average. 5'9" or so. Carry on V. Peace, which is what I'm all about.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (28443) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Peace - life is one long journey of learning.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 2 years ago

Talkin' about me?

[-] 0 points by gnomunny (6592) from St Louis, MO 2 years ago

Kinda.

[-] 3 points by VQkag2 (16478) 2 years ago

Lets try to remain respectful. I may have only barely got trough High School but I have pretty good "comprehension skills" boss.

Peace

[-] 0 points by gnomunny (6592) from St Louis, MO 2 years ago

That's the nicest thing you've ever said to me V. There was no disrespect, by the way. It was an opinion. Based on my observations, and I'm sure their not shared by the majority, I don't you think do, "boss." You don't seem to know the difference between an opinion and an insult. You have trouble discerning the difference between a sincere caution and an attack. You seem to think that those of us that don't tow the pro-Obama line are Republicans or right-winger. No, your comprehension skills leave a bit to be desired. Which you will undoubtedly view as another attack, when it's actually an opinion.

Other than that, keep on the good fight V. At least you're on OUR side. And by that I mean OWS since you probably thought I meant the Republicans.

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 2 years ago

Sorry, I was being a little tongue in cheek. I do not agree with your opinions of me but you're right they aren't accusation (wild or otherwise).

Can't say I recall our 1st encounter I do remember an unfortunate encounter dominated by my cautions regarding vulgarity and name calling on your part. I do have a bit of a hang up about that. And I might have misunderstood to some extent. (not that I am condoning such behavior)

In regards to Obama. I can see me getting defensive regarding supporting him. I do avoid stating that people should vote for him but I do support him, and I have expended much energy defending inaccurate (in my opinions) accusations about him.

That is another weakness perhaps. Caution might be called for but I have always been act 1st, ask questions later. Not conducive to makin friends but I've been very successful in my life.

Anyway. Thanks for the exchange. I ask only for respectful debate if you so choose.

Again, Good luck in all your good efforts

[-] 0 points by gnomunny (6592) from St Louis, MO 2 years ago

You're warming V, and I like that. You know as well as I do (I ran the streets back in the '70's and '80's as well, but admittedly not nearly as dangerous a place as Brooklyn) that when you have a fairly large group of people, there always going to be a couple that don't initially get along.

For the record, I didn't call you names in that first encounter. What I did was caution you against openly endorsing Obama. I understand that particular forum rule isn't enforced but it is there. I cautioned you because I didn't want a pro-OWS guy getting banned. Somehow you thought that I was threatening to ban you, something I couldn't do anyway. I believe it was my wording you misunderstood. When I went back and re-read what I'd said, I apologized and said "carry on" and your response was "Why are you still attacking me?" You then complained to admin that I was harassing you. That's what set me off. And when someone can't tell the difference between an apology and a verbal attack, well, that makes me question their comprehension skills. See where I'm coming from?

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 2 years ago

Your opinions are wild accusations that are not accompanied with facts. So naturally all I can say is your opinion is absolutely not supported by the facts.

I make an extra effort to avoid vulgarity and personal attacks. I can't agree with everyone but always try to be respectful.

I also make an extra effort to challenge the fallacy that the parties are the same.They ain't.That's where you and I get into trouble perhaps.So since I do believe it is a fallacy I believe it is an effort to minimize republican crimes and discourage progressive OWS supporters from voting for dems.

And thus the battle. But I am not resorting to the vulgar, nasty, insults that I usually must contend with. I want to be better than that.

Good luck, In all your good efforts. Peace

[-] 0 points by gnomunny (6592) from St Louis, MO 2 years ago

You just keep proving my opinion, V. You obviously have a chip on your shoulder. My opinions are not wild accusations. They're opinions. An accusation is a claim of wrongdoing. Not the same thing. Get a dictionary. Try to use it.

And I know both parties are not the same; I've said so numerous times. That's not the source of our trouble. Our trouble started in our first encounter, when you attacked me for cautioning you about endorsing Obama.

[-] 0 points by delayedgrat (-157) 2 years ago

How wrong can one be?

this is silly

2) They didn't earn this money from willing consumers in the market. It is important to understand that when consumers purchase a product, they are not doing it because they love the way that company allocates its revenue among its workers. So consumers do not in any way endorse the way companies allocate income in the economy simply because they buy things. Yankees fans buy Yankees tickets because they think the game is worth the ticket price. That is it. They don't buy tickets because they believe they should make $80k less at their job so that A-Rod, the Yankees third baseman, can make $25 million at his. When you pay A-Rod $25 million, that is $25 million less that every other worker in the economy can make. If consumers had a direct say on how workers were valued, no worker would ever be able to earn thousands of times more income than another worker because they would never be able to convince consumers to take a huge pay cut at their job in order to pay their inflated salaries.

3) They shouldn't have the power to force the rest of society into poverty or financial struggle. When A-Rod takes $25 million in income, that is $25 million less the rest of the workforce can make. The top 3% take so much of the available income, they leave 97% of all workers earning a below average income and the bottom 50% of all Americans in poverty or close to it.<<

going to a baseball game is purely voluntary. The fans must think ARod is worth $25 million or the wouldnt go. They could go to a minor league game and be entertained by players who make less than the fans but they CHOOSE to go to a Yankee game. They could go to a movie or play or bowling alley.

you really are baffled by the world around you.

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

"The fans must think ARod is worth $25 million or the wouldnt go"

You don't understand baseball if you think people buy Yankees tickets because they think A-Rod is worth $25 million and not because they like watching baseball games.

Your claim is ridiculous.

[-] 0 points by delayedgrat (-157) 2 years ago

I understand baseball WAY better than you. The fans could watch high school games or little league if they just liked watching "baseball." Since they pay huge sums to watch the NYY, whenthey could watch Little League or minor baseball for pennies, In fact I know guys who DO watch local teams in preference to watching high priced Pro baseball. They espouse a bit of your thinking. However the vast majority of fans choose to watch pro baseball when there are so many other venues they could patronize. That proves unequivocally that I am right and you are wrong. Sorry.

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

"The fans could watch high school games"

And the reason why they watch pro baseball instead is not because they want to see the best players in the world playing on perfectly manicured fields in beautiful stadiums, it is because they want A-Rod to make $25 million?

lol

Try again.

[-] -2 points by delayedgrat (-157) 2 years ago

Yes they want to watch the best and they dont care how much the players are paid. If they did care and it upset them they wouldnt go. My friends dont like high salaries so they CHOOSE to go to minor league games.

Geez, you dont have any friends, I bet.

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

You are wrong and I am proof. I watch sports regularly even though I think they are unfairly paid. I do that because I like sports and because me not watching is not going to put an end to them getting paid unfairly.

People watch sports because they like sports, not because they like how they get paid.

Get a clue.

[Removed]

[-] 0 points by palyos (0) 2 years ago

police beating protesters may be legal, but is it just ? - could this be a banner ? - police actions may be legal, but are they just ? -

[-] 0 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

The primary problem in the world is not police beating protestors. It is the struggle and misery people are subjected to from their lack of income caused by a small group of wealthy people at the top unfairly taking most of their income.

[-] 0 points by blue987654321 (0) 2 years ago

Some basic facts need to be considered to provide context. We are not all born equal. We are not meant to be equal so we need to celebrate the differences in everyone. We all contribute in different ways some contribute more than others. Desperate levels of poverty in many regions of the world is due to corruption, greed and the desire for power. Enforcing the rule of law would solve many problems and one law written in many religions would do away with wars - thou shall not kill - how do we enforce the rule of law? as was once said f"Evil thrives when good men do nothing" so if you are a "Good man" or "woman" do something however small to help enforce the rule of law around the world.

[-] 0 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

"We are not all born equal. We are not meant to be equal so we need to celebrate the differences in everyone"

You are confusing equal with identical. People are not identical. But they should be equal. The only reason why they are not equal is because the capitalist system is being imposed on the public by the wealthy few who benefit from capitalism's institutionalized theft and exploitation.

.

"Desperate levels of poverty in many regions of the world is due to corruption, greed and the desire for power."

There is a name for this system of "corruption, greed and the desire for power." It is called capitalism. Capitalism is the reason why poverty exists. We have more than enough resources to go around. But most of the resources are unfairly taken by the few at the top who have bargaining power which leaves everyone else broke.

If we had democratic market socialism, you would have a right to a job and a fair wage. Everyone would then be wealthy as a right. Poverty and financial struggle would vanish instantly.

.

"Enforcing the rule of law would solve many problems"

The capitalist system is based on privatization of the Earth's resources. Claiming exclusive use over a part of the planet, a planet you do not own or have any greater right to than anyone else, is theft.

You are stealing the Earth's resources from the public. And this theft is made possible by law! It is laws that are the problem. The European settlers invaded the US, took all its land from the natives, killed anyone who got in their way, and then enacted a law that says don't steal after they stole an entire country.

The law needs to be changed, not enforced.

[-] 0 points by GarrettConnelly (4) 2 years ago

When I was fourteen years old I earned $1.65 per hour, the minimum wage. With that I could buy eleven sodas and eleven candy bars per hour. Today I would need to earn at least $25 per hour to earn what I did as a fourteen year-old.

Let us imagine that a quality based society and a fully functional democracy are able to arrange the fifteen hour work week at a minimum wage of $25/hour, that would provide $375 per week, about $20,000 per year.

Then you learn to build a beautiful sculptural $5 per square foot house and flycatcher compost toilet (85% of money spent on food recaptured in the poop).

There's no land, you say ? Of course not, the system is rigged. If you save your poop and grow your food in the 25 hours left, then the corps won't be able to sell you their stuff. People buy back the stolen land at 5¢ on the dollar.

We have the power and the smarts to design an efficient way of life that heals the planet with human rights. Forget confrontation with capitalism, make an end run, ignore it and boycott it. If you feel over powered by the need to buy from a corporation, call the OWS hotline and beg for help finding a twelve point shopper sobriety plan.

Boycott corporate pirates; don't sell them your art, don't buy their stuff, and don't associate with them socially.

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

I think we can do far better than $25/hour where people live primitive lifestyles like the one you describe.

A democratic market socialist system would pay a minimum wage of $55 per hour and then $110 per hour soon after, once we fully automate all the jobs that are currently automatable.

Everyone should be able to live in beautifully designed, luxurious homes with all the modern amenities. We have the resources to make that possible.

[-] 0 points by jannjoe (0) 2 years ago

One thing you don't address is how prices would be set. Capitalists like to repeat the lie that the magic "Market" sets the price. Although we all know that is hogwash and the price is really set by the corporate oligarchy, what do you envision as the alternative?

[-] 0 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

I mention that democratic market socialism is the result of a peer reviewed process in a legitimate academic journal that went on for nearly a century. So it is a system that has been thoroughly thought through.

Much of the debate happened during the famous Economic Calculation Debate which talked specifically about how to set prices in a socialist system. Although the points debated are easy to understand, it takes a bit of writing to explain it.

So I have included something I wrote on the subject below that specifically answers the question of how pricing would work in an economy that is completely socialist.

.

Some of the earliest socialists advocated an economic system that did not use markets and money. They envisioned a system where the right people could just plan what needs to be produced in a way that satisfies everyone's demand. On the surface, this seems like common sense and feasible. If you have 100 people, you need to build 100 houses. You don't need money and markets to figure this out.

Advocates of capitalism argued that this is an oversimplification and in practice would not work because the economy is too complex to plan. So the Economic Calculation Debate began as a debate between a capitalist system with money and markets and a socialist system without money and markets.

The debate started with Ludwig von Mises claiming that you cannot run an economy without money and markets generating prices. Without money and prices, you cannot measure the expense of anything and you cannot measure demand. For example, you cannot take a survey of consumers to see what they want because if the consumer does not know the price of things and they do not know what budget they are working within, their answers will be meaningless. What do you do when the survey says everyone wants mansions and private jets? So you could not make any rational decisions on what to produce and what not to produce.

I agree with Mises and so does virtually every economist (including most socialist economists). But then Oskar Lange in response to Mises claimed that a socialist economy could use money and markets in the same way that a capitalist economy does and demonstrated how a socialist economy would actually be better able to generate prices and match supply with demand than a capitalist economy could.

Mises never responded to Lange and the economics community generally agreed that Lange debunked Mises's argument. Not only could a socialist economy do exactly what a capitalist economy could do in making rational decisions, but it could actually do it better.

So then Friedrich Hayek tried to pick up where Mises left off. Hayek accepted Lange's argument but then tried to argue that although a socialist economy would work better than a capitalist one on paper, in reality there would be little incentive to.

The economics community did not accept Hayek's argument for the following reason.

In a capitalist economic system, a rise in price signals an economic shortage and provides the incentive for businesses to produce more of that good or service in shortage.

The Mises argument is that without money and markets creating prices, you won't know where there is a shortage and you won't be able to match supply with demand.

Lange said in a socialist system, you don't need a rising price as a signal that there is a shortage. You can simply see the shortage on the computer that tracks orders. And managers at those companies will be responsible for acting on that information.

Managers can then just continue to increase their prices until demand matched supply. They don't need to be driven by profit in order to know that their responsibility as managers is to continue to increase or decrease prices in response to market conditions so that supply always matches demand.

Marx and early socialists like Owen argued that you do not need to even change prices. You can just price everything you produce in labor time. And the total price of everything you produce would be allocated to everyone as income.

Since the total price of everything you produced and that is available for purchase will always equal total income, supply will always match demand. Consumers will only ever have enough money to buy what is produced. Under a labor voucher system, since total income equals total price, if there is a shortage in 1 good then there must be a surplus in another good. So you would just move the labor away from the company that was producing the surplus and move that labor to the company that was producing the shortage.

Labor will be constantly shifting in order to produce exactly what consumers are purchasing even though consumer demand and tastes are constantly changing.

And since everything is priced based on how many labor hours it took to produce, you have rational data to make economic decisions. Advocates of labor time argue that prices using labor time would be a much more scientific measurement of expense than floating market prices.

Lange was against the labor time system. He believed you needed a Walrasian auction to manage the economy. So you needed prices to constantly fluctuate with changing market conditions just like they do in a capitalist system.

Most recently, Paul Cockshott has added to the economic calculation debate. He believes with modern computers able to track orders in real time and our extensive productive capacity, a labor time system would work just fine. We don't need to fiddle with prices in order to match supply and demand. If there is a shortage, we can easily and quickly increase production to eliminate the shortage without having to raise prices.

So you can see how Mises argument does not hold water for a socialist economy that used money and prices.

And despite what Hayek claimed, there will also be an incentive for a socialist system to react to that shortage just as the market does now.

When consumers stop spending money on product A and spend that money on product B instead, revenue for the producer of Product A will go down, forcing them to lay off workers, and revenue for the producer of Product B will go up which will give them the money to hire those newly unemployed people so that they can meet their increasing demand.

In order for this to work, socialist companies must remain financially viable just like capitalist companies do by making sure they have enough revenue to cover expenses. If they do not, they should be shut down just like a capitalist company would be shut down for being unprofitable. This requirement will force the economic system to submit to consumer demand without a capitalist market or private profits.

[-] -1 points by Porkie (-255) 2 years ago

The problem here is that none of these people were true philosophers. I think that a true philosopher could round the equation, complete the circle, address all the issues which are obviously, intentionally, ignored here.

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

I'm not sure I understand your comment. Who is not a philosopher? And how do you think the issues should be addressed?

[-] 0 points by Porkie (-255) 2 years ago

Well, we put the above to a logical test to see what fault can be discovered here.

There are those, I suppose, who would prefer to think of economics as a branch of science. But all science begins with philosophy - that is why at one time it was referred to as "Natural Philosophy." Science develops a life of its own, but whether theoretical or experimental, all science begins with natural philosophy.

Never has this been profound as it is in electronics. Fifteen or twenty years ago, I snapped my fingers and said, "I want digital storage" - science gave me digital storage; then I snapped my fingers and said, "I want digital music" - science gave me digital music; I said I wanted streaming video, first for voice conferencing, and then for video - science gave me streaming video; I said I wanted a wireless keyboard, a wireless mouse - science gave me both; I said I wanted wireless surround sound (yea, picture that, right? all those different frequencies, absolutely impossible) - well, I got wireless surround sound.

Ad infinitum, ad infinitum, ad infinitum... we the people, by consensus, with the aid of capitalism (our tool) direct all science. It all begins with some basic human philosophy.

(And as you can see, this is where the English language begins to fail us... because words are not always definitive enough.)

But before we apply theoretical science, we put it to its logical test; is it workable, is it possible, is it the correct path? We must discover the faults, if any, and we do this through a process of logic. It's a deductive process, deductive reasoning through applied logic (see the Founding Fathers - they were absolute experts at this; it's a "Puritan" trait).

I think any true philosopher could discoverer the faults here within minutes. And where fault is discovered - as in, it's not a true truth - you might perhaps be left feeling as if hammered by a prosecuting attorney.

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

Unfortunately, I still don't know what you are trying to say!

[-] 0 points by brady400 (1) 2 years ago

This is WITHOUT doubt the dumbest "article" I have ever read. Just go ahead and move to Russia and take part in their great "utopian" society. What you suggest does NOT and WILL NOT ever work. There would be no incentive to work harder than you absolutely had to. And you fool, if everyone was making $100,000+ ALL prices would rise on EVERY good and service making $100,000 equal to $1. Stop trying to spread your Commie propaganda. Complete foolishness.

[-] -1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

Russia is a capitalist system and more corrupt than the US. I advocate replacing capitalism, not doing what Russia does. So you might want to read the article again if you missed that basic point.

I also advocate a system where people are paid more income in whatever amount is necessary in order to get them to do difficult work and give their maximum effort. So I am not eliminating the incentive to work harder. You might want to read the article again if you also missed that basic point.

And since I also advocate re-allocating EXISTING income, not increasing the total income we pay out, what I advocate will NOT cause inflation.

If all we did was increase the minimum wage to $115k, and kept everyone else's income the same, that would cause inflation. But that is not what we are doing. We are also lowering the top pay from hundreds of millions and billions of dollars to just $460k. The amount we are reducing the top pay is exactly equal to the amount we are increasing the minimum pay. The net result is no increase in price on average. This is math 101.

If you have a $15 trillion economy and you only pay out $15 trillion in income, it is mathematically impossible to have inflation. How is the economy going to inflate beyond the $15 trillion if only $15 trillion is being spent? It can't. It is impossible.

I go through the math of how the incomes were calculated in this comment here.

Lastly, communism is a hypothetical stage society will reach once it develops the technology to eliminate scarcity. Once you eliminate scarcity, you don't need money or property or government. Technology enables you to reach such an abundance that you no longer need goods and services to be rationed with money, people can take all they want. And automation is so advanced, all the jobs nobody wants to do are done by machines, so you don't need to pay people to work.

No society has ever achieved communism. We do not have the technology to achieve it. I advocate the use of money, prices, markets for goods and services and working for an income. So I do not advocate communism.

You might want to read an article on what communism actually is if you also missed that basic point.

[-] 0 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 2 years ago

Question:

If everyone gave their maximum effort, would they all be paid the same?

[-] -1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

No because giving your maximum effort as a cashier is far easier than giving your maximum effort as an iron worker.

Also, only some jobs would be paid based on performance. Most jobs would get a flat salary. Here is a good ted talk on monetary incentives that argues most people should just be paid well and paid a flat salary.

[-] 0 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 2 years ago

Iron work may be physically harder, but it is much more rewarding, enjoyable (fun). There is a greater sense of accomplishment plus one feels healthier from all the exercise.. will this be considered in payment value? Someone stuck behind a cash register all day, can be painfully unsatisfying.. and to be paid less ..would only add injury to insult would it not ..?

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

The reason why we need to pay someone more than another is to get them to do undesirable work. It may turn out that doing iron work is more desirable than being a cashier, even though the work is harder, so you wouldn't need to pay iron workers more. These are testable claims.

And our national compensation plan will be required by law to limit differences in income to only what is necessary to get people to do a particular job as supported by evidence.

If it turns out that if we paid cashiers and iron workers equally and we have an oversupply of iron workers and a shortage of cashiers, and that this is the result of paying them equal incomes, we may need to pay cashiers more than iron workers.

But I think the evidence will show that we will need to pay iron workers more than cashiers to get people to be an iron worker.

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

In reality, there will be a limited amount of iron workers vs cashiers required.. and also in reality their will be stronger indivduals and weaker.. will this difference in strength be taken into consideration as to which jobs are available to whom ?

[-] -1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

People would be free to choose among the available jobs which ones they want to work. I suspect strong people or people who like doing physical labor will be the kinds of people who choose iron work.

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

If you want to start from where the people actually are:

Or, as the study's authors put it: "All demographic groups -- even those not usually associated with wealth redistribution such as Republicans and the wealthy -- desired a more equal distribution of wealth than the status quo."

The report (pdf) "Building a Better America -- One Wealth Quintile At A Time" by Dan Ariely of Duke University and Michael I. Norton of Harvard Business School (hat tip to Paul Kedrosky), shows that across ideological, economic and gender groups, Americans thought the richest 20 percent of our society controlled about 59 percent of the wealth, while the real number is closer to 84 percent.

More interesting than that, the report says, is that the respondents (a randomly selected 5,522-person sample, reflecting the country's ideological, economic and gender demographics, surveyed in December 2005) believed the top 20 percent should own only 32 percent of the wealth. Respondents with incomes over $100,000 per year had similar answers to those making less than $50,000. (The report has helpful, multi-colored charts.)

Maybe it would be a good idea to try to deliver what people want?

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

I completely agree. The truth is people want more equality.

Also look into the John Rawls argument (which I believe is referred to as Rawlsian Justice). He created a thought experiment called the veil of ignorance. Suppose a bunch of people were going to be sent to Earth, but you didn't know in advance where you would wind up economically. How much inequality would you want that economy you were being sent to have? People universally answer that they want it to be equal.

And here is a link to Richard Wilkinson's tedTalk on how economic inequality harms societies.

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

I have seen that before. I think people understand that we are not equal in every respect but if the system is obviously unfair and some are benefiting without doing anything or even what they are capable of doing, while others are working very hard and getting little, they think it is unacceptable. I don't believe they want or expect outcomes to be equal regardless of effort.

[-] 0 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 2 years ago

That is a very interesting study and response.

Thanks for sharing.

[-] 0 points by RobDinsmore (4) from Sunnyvale, CA 2 years ago

Out of curiosity what income is the 3% mark? I was under the impression that it took ~ 400k/yr to be a 1% household and that is 'only' about 10 times more than the median income. So I think the 50-50k number only can apply to people in the top fraction of a percent. It doesn't justify their obnoxious pay or the fact that high earning execs cut their employees salary well before taking a cut in their 100 times + greater compensation.

[-] 0 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

Calling the top 3% the ones who are doing the exploiting is just a guesstimate. It is roughly the people who make an above average income. You need bargaining power to get an above average income, so that is why I chose the 3% as the number.

If all income was paid to workers and that income was allocated equally, that would give you the mathematical average I am referring to. It is $65 per hour (so $135,000 for a full time worker). I explain that calculation here. Currently, 3% make more than this amount.

In a democratic market socialist system, some people will make more than $135k. So I think it is fair to pay people more than $135k and thus not everyone who makes more than $135k today is exploiting.

If you read the post here that describes how democratic market socialism works, I argue that it is fair to pay some workers up to 4 times more than others, maybe even 10 times more. You might be able to scientifically justify that much is required to get people to perform and for income to be an effective incentive.

But I also argue that you could never generate proof that paying someone 50 times more is necessary, let alone 50,000.

[-] 0 points by PaulYork (0) from Toronto, ON 2 years ago

"If wealth was the inevitable result of hard work and enterprise, every woman in Africa would be a millionaire. The claims that the ultra-rich 1% make for themselves – that they are possessed of unique intelligence or creativity or drive – are examples of the self-attribution fallacy." - George Monbiot. http://www.monbiot.com/2011/11/07/the-self-attribution-fallacy/

[-] -2 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

Well said. The self attribution fallacy is a potent term that I was not familiar with. Thanks for the link.

When people claim that their results are entirely the product of their own effort, I tell them to do the same exact thing starting from some shack on a garbage dump in Liberia where many Liberians grow up and see where they wind up.

[+] -7 points by salta (-1104) 2 years ago

you, elizabeth warren, obama, all the students of marx.

[-] -1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

I am the student of common sense, compassion and fairness. Most likely Warren, Obama and Marx were too.

[-] 1 points by NS88 (-23) 2 years ago

Marx. Inspired a system that murdered more human beings than any other system in history. Warren. Filthy liar willing to do anything to get elected. Obama. The most incompetent president this nation has ever had.

[-] -2 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

Capitalism has killed far, far, far more people than any other system. Tens of millions were killed by capitalist wars. Tens of millions more were killed by poverty. Thousands of kids die every single day, not because we ran out of food and medicine, but from the poverty imposed on them by the world's capitalist economic system.

Marx never called for the killing of anyone.

[-] 1 points by NS88 (-23) 2 years ago

Lies. While I am no fan of capitalism you need to read some history. Your system murdered over 10 million people in the 1930's alone. Forget the millions in Cambodia, North Korea, etc... You and everyone that thinks like you is a genocidal killer.

[-] -2 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

My system guarantees that everyone is wealthy as a right and makes murder illegal. So my system has not killed a single person.

Cambodia and North Korea do not use the system I advocate. They do not have democratic market socialist economies. So you may want to re-check your facts.

If you are no fan of socialism and no fan of capitalism, what are you a fan of?

[-] -3 points by salta (-1104) 2 years ago

obama et al are not interested in common sense, fairness or compassion. neither was marx. it about power, and control.over you.

[-] -1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

Capitalism is about a small handful of wealthy people having control over you. Socialism is about freeing you from that. So Marx was about liberating you, he was not about controlling you.

At what point do you realize that you are just being gullible when you believe the rich people who are telling you that freedom is their capitalist system where they take most of your income and you struggle living paycheck to paycheck and slavery is Marx's socialist system where you are guaranteed wealth as a right and all undesirable work is automated away so you have the free time to enjoy that wealth?

[-] 0 points by salta (-1104) 2 years ago

you know so much about what you dont know.

[-] 0 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 2 years ago

You are giving way too little credit to that small group. That group controls the finances to every major economy of the world. Socialism will not change that.

[-] -2 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

I don't know if Warren and Obama would support replacing capitalism with democratic market socialism. My guess is that they would. But if they don't want to change and most of the workforce wants to change, and went on a general strike to enact that change, they would not be able to stop the change.

Their control of the world's finances would be meaningless if all the workers stopped working for them.

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

Well Warren was a Republican for a long time. If she had that much experience with the political machine in this country, and decided to just switch sides....you know where Im going with this.

Obama does what the money tells him to. Too weak to lead.

I support the general strike.

[-] -1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

So I think we are in agreement. I am certainly not here to defend Warren and Obama. I was just speculating. But I could very well be wrong about their support for a non-capitalist system.

[-] 0 points by Blackfire667 (2) from Montreal, QC 2 years ago

Socialism is nice and all, but what about abolishing the whole money system in its entirety? Hear me out, it's not a crazy as it seems. "Zeitgeist: Moving Forward", anyone? "The Venus Project"?

[-] 0 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

I have a pretty thorough understanding of a Resource Based Economy. I think we both agree on the goal of creating a society where everyone is wealthy and all undesirable jobs are automated.

However, eliminating money will not enable us to achieve that goal.

If you eliminate money, people will demand far more than we are able to produce. So that would require some unelected central authority to decide what people can consume and what they cannot. That is why Jacque wants to put everyone in those white, igloo-type homes.

And since people consume different goods and services, without money, it is impossible to have a system where everyone is consuming equally (if equal consumption is your goal).

Lastly, we cannot automate enough jobs. And there is absolutely no evidence that we will have enough volunteers.

A more workable solution is the one I link to in this post. It uses money so that we can measure consumption and so that people are free to consume whatever they want to buy. You don't have to force everyone to live in Jacque's igloos. With money, people can spend their income on house ornamentation if they want even though Jacque says it is a waste of resources.

Finally, money ensures that you will always have enough workers.

Eliminating money is just not a realistic or workable idea today. In the future when we have more sophisticated automation and nanotechnology makes the Star Trek replicator real so that we do away with scarcity, it might be possible. But today it is not.

[-] 0 points by Blackfire667 (2) from Montreal, QC 2 years ago

Perhaps not TODAY, precisely, but in the near future, I believe that it is more attainable than you seem to think. After all, 3D printers can replicate some 90% of their own parts, and I don't think a few nuts and bolts are out of the question. Scaling this technology up to "print" out larger structures strikes me as definitively possible, especially if "cost" was to be removed from the equation.

Likewise, there are innumerable automated factories, and all of those "jobs" could easily be replaced by machines. And while not every job can yet be replaced by machinery, the science behind such automation is not too far off, methinks.

Plus, how do you know there wouldn't be enough volunteers? The RBE system is unprecedented and untested, is it not?

Also, how does money ensure enough workers? You believe this external factor that forces people to toil at tasks most of them probably don't want to do is the only way to motivate enough people for a functioning economy/society?

P.S: Jacque's ideas "force" nothing on no-one... In fact, if I recall correctly, the RBE essentially does away with the state and other such massive hierarchies.

[-] 0 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

With sufficient advancement, I think we both agree an RBE is possible. I know Jacque deliberately avoids this, and I agree that he should, but an RBE is communism.

Socialists have been speculating that we will eventually reach a point where technology puts an end to scarcity and automation puts an end to involuntary labor. They called that stage communism. It is a society where technology and abundance enables you to do without money, class, state or property.

We clearly are not there yet, so I think it is pointless to advocate for an RBE. We still need money.

I also disagree on when this technology will come available. If Kurzweil and the singulatraians are correct, it may be right around the corner. But I do not think the are. A 3D printer can print 90% of its own parts, but it cannot print anywhere near 90% of the things people consume.

I don't think it will happen in our lifetimes. We are a ways off before robots are as versatile as human workers and a ways off from being able to print out finished homes, cars, food, furniture, appliances, clothes, health care, buildings, stadiums, factories, restaurants, computers, phones, energy, etc.

.

"Jacque's ideas "force" nothing on no-one"

I know that he is adamant that they do not. But it is not true.

An RBE would be a system where everyone lives with HIS plan. He would decide everything everyone would be able to consume and would make all the subjective economic decisions. For example, you would not be able to live in an expensive, ornate home because he says it is a waste of resources. Everyone would have to live in one of his simple, cheap, plain, cement domes. He says people will choose the house they want to live in. But a brick tutor with columns would not be among the choices. So you really don't have a choice.

To his credit, he says this will only come about if people want it. He does not advocate a violent revolution to impose this on everyone. But nobody will ever go for that kind of system where Jacque makes all the decisions.

If this is not what you thought an RBE was, view this interview:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THo1DEYioac#t=2098s

When repeatedly asked by the interviewer who makes the decisions, Jacque finally responds by saying that nobody does because all the decisions are already made. They are in his plan.

So Jacque decides everything. They are not open to debate.

He over simplifies what it takes to run an economy. And he also incorrectly thinks that all economic decisions are objective and technical. They are not. The question of what to produce (how should resources be allocated) is mostly subjective. Only the question of how do you produce the things we want is technical. He confuses the two questions. And you need a system like money and voting to make the subjective decisions of what to produce.

For example, do we build $1 million homes or do we build $10k homes and use the $990k worth of saved resources for something else? Clearly that is a subjective question. There is no scientific answer to that.

Some people like to travel and are always outdoors and may feel like a $1 million home is a waste. Some are hermits and spend most of their time in their homes and feel that building lavish homes is the best use of resources.

[-] 0 points by coppertrees (0) 2 years ago

It is possible to change things as long as the old roots are pulled out, firing the ones who do nothing but sit and call for money are not doing the jobs we are expecting them to do

[-] 0 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

Firing lazy workers is not going to change our economic system or end poverty or make everyone wealthy or fix any of our social problems or somehow make capitalism fair and just!!

The solution is to replace capitalism with democratic market socialism.

[-] 0 points by beautifulworld (21086) 2 years ago

Good post. We must think of new ways to organize our economy so that it benefits ALL people.

[-] -2 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

Thanks!

However, I think that thinking of a new way has already been done. We have debated the alternatives to capitalism through a peer reviewed process and found out which is the best. Democratic market socialism works best. The idea has been around forever. It is all worked out. It has been thoroughly thought through. It is the best alternative way of organizing the economy we have.

What we should focus on now is making it a reality. What we should be focusing on is selling it to the public and organizing workers into a single union so that we can make the change.

Continuing to debate alternatives will enable capitalism to continue its reign forever!

Divide and conquer is the most effective tactic capitalism has. So long as the people opposed to capitalism continue to debate the merits of their different alternative visions, and remain divided on what should replace capitalism, capitalism continues to win!

It is now time to embrace Democratic Market Socialism (DMS) as the solution and begin the work of enacting it for the following reasons:

1) We have already debated alternatives to capitalism through a peer reviewed process and DMS came out the winner.

2) DMS delivers a society that does work for ALL people. You are guaranteed a job that pays at least $115k. So everyone is wealthy as a right.

3) DMS is already proven to work in practice. We use a regulated market to allocate goods and services because markets are already proven to work in efficiently producing what consumers want and in generating continual technological progress. DMS won't be an unproven system.

4) DMS has a plan to overthrow capitalism. The plan socialists came up with to bring their socialist revolution about has always been to organize workers into a single union and then demand that socialism be enacted or they will go on strike. A general strike by a union that has the vast majority of workers as members will work. It is a non-violent way to change the system.

4) DMS has an effective sales pitch that can win over the masses necessary to change the system. Our pitch is that you will be guaranteed a job so will never be unemployed, your income will be raised to at least $115k or $230k, your work week will be reduced to 20 hours, you will be guaranteed access to a 100% mortgage at 0% interest, you will be paid to go to school, and we will allocate income fairly which means based on how hard you work. That is a pitch that will appeal to almost everyone. And there is a good chance that enough of those people will be willing to join the worker union to change the system.

We already developed the workable alternative. We already developed the plan. So let's now begin the work of building the union to replace capitalism with DMS.

[-] 1 points by GarrettConnelly (4) 2 years ago

Being guaranteed a job by whom ? And making what ? Democratic market socialism with more big corps providing jobs?

No thanks. As a matter of fact, much more debate is needed.

Let's not throw the baby out with the bath water for a fancy name requiring a huge change when what we have is so distorted by crooks we can't even figure out what's up.

Someone wants to make a big change ? Fine. Remove the subsidies, decide if marketing propaganda should be subsidized free speech, for example. Apply democratic principles to the economy ? Of course. Use democracy to force externalized costs such as cancer back onto the products that makes sick messes out of happy lives. It will take decades for a democratically controlled economy to settle toward rationality.

The first step is repairing democracy so it can be used to rationalize the economy (call it whatever you wish). The direct action coordinating committee of Occupy Franklin County calls for this first step now.

Non-violent Direct Action Coordinating Committee Communique

July, 2012 | Please Forward

... Occupy Democracy ...

A fundamental need of all humanity is to fix our broken governing mechanisms. In order to accomplish much needed democracy repairs, the direct action coordinating committee of Occupy Franklin County enthusiastically and unanimously endorses a write-in vote for None of the Above for US President. Write in None of the Above for any other war-like candidate with positions not fully committed to human rights and healing our damaged Earth.

The idea is to convince and register the 50% who don’t vote to come on board as independents. Though our work may only be successful in the 21 towns of our one small county, we have committed to defeat the billions spent on false democracy propaganda without spending one cent. We plan on winning with a people powered write-in campaign for None of the Above. Occupy Democracy ... Write in None of the Above.

Partisan propaganda politics has been purposefully inserted into the ancient and organic human community decision tool we call democracy.

A first step toward fully functional modern democracy is automatic inclusion of a place to check None of the Above. Each country will be a democracy laboratory for deciding how to set a new election when None of the Above wins. And we plan on winning.

About half the people don’t vote. At least half of that half don’t vote out of disgust for endless war and many other logical reasons. If half of those who don’t vote turn out for None of the Above, we will have occupied democracy with victory at the polls.

There are good alternative candidates who will be quite willing to energetically campaign again once we the people occupy democracy and establish a level playing field for them.

We will know victory by subtracting officially published votes from actual turnout. We the People will decide on our next step after we win the first ; write in None of the Above.

[Removed]

[-] 0 points by Proteus (141) from Quebec, QC 2 years ago

Democracy-Capitalism and socialism under the current form must give birth to something new or be immediately stopped in war before it is too late. Too late is in 10-15 years, there you won't cry that your system is the best, that it only need some rewiring, you'll be condemned to the death to a failure of unimaginable proportions and you'll have done everything to defend it.

People have known for a long time that this system is evil, you defend evil? you "love" evil? you think you can make evil a good thing with James bond movies? Then reap what you sow! And yes you'll bring everybody along in mass death defending your wonderful system, but I hope there are no god to judge my pain because i'm blue with rage and frustration at the stupidity of the masses that still defend this mess (hell).

[-] 0 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

I'm not sure I understand this comment. I do not defend capitalism. I am against it.

And unless we deliberately overturn capitalism and replace it with something new, capitalism will continue to exist on 10-15 years.

[Deleted]

[-] 0 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

Gotcha!

Give a link to your book. But a much better idea would be to just post an article on this forum which summarizes your idea and then give me that link.

It is very difficult to sell a new idea through a book. You need to give people a reason first to want to read it.

[Deleted]

[-] 0 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

What I recommend for overturning capitalism is a union and a general strike. That is a peaceful way of changing our economic system and what socialists have been saying we should do for over a century.

Post a link to the article you are referring to.

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

The people do not have control of our present political system. Even if yours was the perfect economic system, they could not adopt it even if they wanted to.

Before we even consider changing to one of the many differing economic and political systems discussed on this forum, the people must have the power to decide to either fix the present one, or adopt a completely new one. Without that power to choose, the perfect system does not matter.

The only rational decision is to put all of our effort into regaining our lost power to choose. Everything else is secondary.

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

Revolutions happen all the time throughout history. To say that our system cannot be changed is wrong. It will surely be difficult. But it is possible.

In our current system, wealth is allocated based on bargaining power. If you want to change the system, you just need more bargaining power. The way you do that is through a union.

That is why public enemy number 1 for capitalists is the union. They know that it is GAME OVER for capitalism once workers organize.

So I think the most effective strategy is to organize workers into a single union so that the workers have the power to demand a new system.

The way you organize workers into this union is we simply start a grassroots campaign where you, me and everyone else who is interested in this idea just approach your friends, family and co-workers and ask them to join a worker union.

You tell them this union will guarantee you a job so you are never unemployed, get them a minimum income of at least $115k or $230k per year, depending on their job, reduce their work week to 20 hours, guarantee them a 100% mortgage with 0% interest, pay them a pension at retirement and pay them and their kids an actual income to go to school.

When asked how this is possible, you will simply say by demanding that workers get paid fairly by basing their pay on how hard they work.

Nearly everyone you talk to wants a higher income and this will give them a significantly higher income. And everyone believes in fairness and that paying people based on how hard they work is fair.

If enough people join this union, we can simply demand that these changes be made and the economic system will have no choice but to change.

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

I agree with starting a grassroots union, but I'm convinced that your economic system would never be accepted. The majority agree there should be wealth disparity, but not as great as it currently is.

A more reasonable goal would be to get the lowest paid workers wages at least up to 25% of the average GDP per worker. About $25,000+ a year for minimum wage workers. Can you imagine the resistance to that, even by the mid income workers?

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

Making the minimum wage $25k would not solve any problems. Sure it is better than making $18k or nothing. But you still would be poor and struggling.

The majority DO NOT care about wealth disparity. They care about how much they personally make. And this system will RAISE the incomes they make. So most of those people will be for it, not against it.

Half of all wage earners make less than $26k. Your claim that these people would rather make only slightly more than $26k and continue to struggle financially so long as we continue to have a lot of inequality instead of a system which pays them $115k but with much less inequality IS COMPLETELY AND TOTALLY ABSURD!!!!

People would much, much, much rather make $115k with little inequality than make $26k with a lot of inequality!

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

If you don't maintain to same total amount of money you and inflation in that proportion. The surveys have been taken on the amount of disparity people want. Also on how much disparity they think there is. They believe there is much less than there actually is but they think that is far too much. But they want more than you suggest. Google it.

Or, as the study's authors put it: "All demographic groups -- even those not usually associated with wealth redistribution such as Republicans and the wealthy -- desired a more equal distribution of wealth than the status quo."

The report (pdf) "Building a Better America -- One Wealth Quintile At A Time" by Dan Ariely of Duke University and Michael I. Norton of Harvard Business School (hat tip to Paul Kedrosky), shows that across ideological, economic and gender groups, Americans thought the richest 20 percent of our society controlled about 59 percent of the wealth, while the real number is closer to 84 percent.

More interesting than that, the report says, is that the respondents (a randomly selected 5,522-person sample, reflecting the country's ideological, economic and gender demographics, surveyed in December 2005) believed the top 20 percent should own only 32 percent of the wealth. Respondents with incomes over $100,000 per year had similar answers to those making less than $50,000. (The report has helpful, multi-colored charts.)

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

"If you don't maintain to same total amount of money you and inflation in that proportion"

Could you re-type that so I can understand the question? I think you made a typo somewhere.

I agree people want more equality. But I don't think the studies you are referring to suggest that they would be opposed to the amount of equality I advocate.

If you did a survey which specifically asked whether you want a system where you make at least $115k or $230k with limited inequality or a system where you make significantly less than that amount but there is more inequality, I believe people would choose to take the higher income and lower inequality.

People are far more concerned with how much income they are earning than with how much inequality there is in the economy.

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

If you adjust the system to affect only some of the people, and you raise the amount of money they make, the total amount of money in the system is increased while the goods and services remain unchanged. As a result, the prices of everything will go up. That is inflation. With higher prices, the wealthier, who had no change in their incomes will be able to purchase less and have a lower standard of living. How much they earn is always relative to what others earn and to what real prices are. If you change the total amount of money in the system prices always change relative to that total. People don't want a system in which everybody has the same income. Nor do they want system in which there is only two incomes. They want a system in which there are an infinite number of incomes but the disparity between the lowest and the highest is about 30-40 times. Not 300-400 times as it is now in the US.

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

All we are doing is re-allocating EXISTING income. We are not increasing the total amount of income that is getting paid out. So it does not cause inflation.

If all we did was increase the minimum wage to $115k, and kept everyone else's income the same, that would cause inflation. But that is not what we are doing. We are also lowering the top pay from hundreds of millions and billions of dollars to just $460k. The amount we are reducing the top pay is exactly equal to the amount we are increasing the minimum pay. The net result is no increase in price on average.

If you have a $14.5 trillion economy and you only pay out $14.5 trillion in income, it is mathematically impossible to have inflation. How is the economy going to inflate beyond the $14.5 trillion if only $14.5 trillion is being spent? It can't. It is impossible.

Click here to see the calculation in paying out those incomes.

.

I agree people would not want a system that has 1 income or 2 possible incomes. That is not what I advocate. I advocate that we limit top pay to just 4 times more because that is all that is necessary for income to be an effective incentive.

Although that is a workable plan, that doesn't mean that it is politically feasible. I don't know. If we increased top pay to 10 times more, we would be able to pay incomes from $100k to $1 million. That may be more politically feasible.

But I don't agree with your claim that people will not go for anything less than a disparity between highest and lowest of 30-40 times.

If people had a choice where they would make $45k and a less than 3% chance to make 40 times that amount or a system where they would make $115k or $230k and a less than 3% chance of making $460k, I think most would choose the $115k or $230k.

People care more about how much they make than they do about how much inequality there is.

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

OK, It wasn't clear that you were making the second adjustment, So no inflation.

However, the surveys show that they want what I said, 30-40 times. I don't believe four will be acceptable. Do you have any support for your numbers?

They wouldn't have been acceptable to me.

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

The survey you are referring to did not give them the choice of reducing disparity to 4 times if it meant increasing their income to at least $115k. So we don't know whether that is something they would choose. In fact they weren't given anything to consider. More importantly, they weren't given information on how that disparity would affect their income.

So I think the survey shows people want significantly less inequality. But it does not at all show that people, after careful consideration of all the facts, will only want a disparity of 30-40 times.

I do not have data on a survey asking people would they consider the inequality in the plan I advocate.

But I do know that most people want more income, not less and that the amount they earn is people's most important issue. So that is why I think people will want far, far less inequality if it meant far, far more income for them.

Truthfully, I find it really odd that you would rather make less income so that we can have more inequality!! How do you benefit from that?

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

I like most people responding know that they are above average. That being the case, we would have more income not less. In fact, the folks doing the survey pointed out that returning to the 30 times would result in the bottom workers getting about $5,000 more and it escalates from there to the crossover point. So how do you figure less? Bringing the top down from 300 to 30 would not rersult in anyone getting less except those between the 30 and 300.

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

Correct, bringing the top down from 300 to 30 would increase your income.

But bringing the top down from 30 to 4 would increase your income more. So my claim is that I don't think people would choose to bring the top down to 30 instead of 4 because they would make a lot less income with the top at 30 instead of 4.

I think people would be open to bringing the top all the way down to 4 because they would make more money and because the economy would still work as well as it does with the top at 50,000.

[-] 0 points by Mooks (1985) 2 years ago

The money ARod makes comes from people who gave up that money by choice. I was just at the game Friday night and I was surrounded by 50,000 other people who (foolish or not) freely gave up anywhere between $50 and $15,000 of our own money to watch an athletic event. Athletes like ARod are what makes us do that so isn't there quite a bit of value, at least to some people, in what he does?

Point #5 above is the only one that really carries any weight in my opinion. Wealth should not equal political power. There is nothing wrong with wealth itself though. I mean how do you know how "hard" someone works? Does a ditch digger work harder than an actuary? Probably, one does hard labor the other sits at a desk. But I can train anyone to be a ditch digger in about 5 minutes whereas only a small percentage of people are able to be actuaries. How would you value ones work?

[-] 2 points by shoozTroll (17632) 2 years ago

5 MINUTES TRAINING???

I sure hope you're the one paying workers comp and all kinds of medical insurance, because they will be lucky to get through 5 days without getting injured.

You really think that kind of work is that easy?

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

I grew up doing it. Its very easy. Physically demanding but not a lot of critical thinking involved. The hardest part of figuring out where the gas and electric lines are ran, and the utiliteis companies will do that for ya. I think that is where he was going with that.

[-] 2 points by shoozTroll (17632) 2 years ago

Hmmmm, no wonder everything floods.

Here in the BIG city it takes a civil engineer, because they get pipes buried in them and need to be put up to grade to lessen flooding.

I guess that's a modern ditch than you're used to.

I've also seen some that were over 20 foot deep.

But then leave it to you to over simplify something so it fits what you want to believe.

[-] 0 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 2 years ago

Well civil engineers make a nice buck, so Im assuming he was talking about the basic physical labor ditch diggers.

Just a guess.

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 2 years ago

Most of that simple stuff is done with a ditch witch these days.

My complaint is the over simplification of such things, to fit a lame argument, along with discounting psychical labor.

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

It wasnt an argument, it was a question : "How do you value one's work?"

Thoughts?

[-] 2 points by shoozTroll (17632) 2 years ago

I'm sorry you missed it again.

It was his claim to be able to teach someone that skill in 5 minutes.

It just ain't that simple.

It's another FLAKESnews stye excuse.

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

Ok, well here are my thoughts on it anyways.

Someones value is determined by the marketplace. How rare is the skill, how much training was involved, how many people are willing to do it, and how needed is it. How well can you do the skill in relation to those that are in the field?

And to answer the all imporant aspect of 5 min ditch digging- to run an eleborate electrical/gas/drainage system is pretty complex. To be the guy on the site that digs when needed is not.

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

"I can train anyone to be a ditch digger in about 5 minutes" Doesn't it actually depend on the ditch and what it is intended to accomplish?

What type of equipment will this digger be using, a backhoe, a Ditchwitch, how long and deep will this ditch be, will there be an incline, or will it be level. If an incline, what percentage? If level, is a transom to be used? (Please forgive any regional vernacular used in referring to equipment)

I doubt your statement has any true accuracy to it and not anyone can be taught to dig a ditch.

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

You DID NOT go to a Yankees game because you wanted to make some $80k less at your job so that A-Rod can make $25 million at his!!

You went there because you thought the value of the ticket was worth the price. You have ABSOLUTELY NO SAY over how that ticket revenue is then allocated among the people who work for the Yankees.

You DID NOT buy that ticket because you like the way Yankees management allocates income.

If the workers who you think provide less value than A-Rod did not work, A-Rod would have no value. If nobody built the stadium or built the massive tv infrastructure, you would not pay money to see A-Rod play. A-Rod may be the most visible member of all those workers, but he does not provide any more value.

The reason why A-Rod gets paid more is because he has more bargaining power than everyone else, not because he provides more value.

Deciding how much more you need to pay someone for their work is easy. You look to see if the increase in pay attracted enough workers. In order to get people to do undesirable work you need to pay them more. If you pay some job 10% more and it does nothing to attract the workers you need, you increase the pay.

So we can devise a compensation plan based on what we already know about incentives. And constantly improve the plan based on results.

I outline what that initial plan would likely look like in the post that describes the system. Mentally or physically difficult jobs would get paid twice as much. And performance based jobs would get paid up to 4 times as much.

Ditch digging is a physically difficult and undesirable job. So that would get paid twice as much as a regular job.

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

It seems unnecessary and undesirable for everyone to give their maximum effort to their job all the time. Wouldn't the world be a more pleasant place if everyone worked at a pleasant, reasonable pace instead? Plus then we would need more workers and everyone would be able to find work.

[-] -3 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

I agree that it is unnecessary for everyone to give their maximum effort.

I think people should be free to give less than their maximum effort. But I think it is fair for the people who give their maximum effort to get paid more than those who do not if they are working in a performance based job.

But if you are getting paid, you are expected to perform. So if you are a complete slacker, obviously the company has a right to fire you. So you would incur some kind of financial penalty.

I think people should get paid by the hour so that part timers get paid the same as full timers. So if you wanted a more laid back approach to work, you could choose to work 10 hours per week and live off of $55k per year.

I disagree with your claim that everyone giving their max effort would cause us to run out of work to do. We will never run out of work to do. We will always think of more ideas to pursue and things to make than we can ever fulfill.

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

There's no reason why most of those ideas need to be done as paid work, though. If you were being paid decently for fewer hours of work, you could spend most of your time working for pleasure or to do something worthwhile, instead of working for money.

If we're going to pay people more for working harder, does that mean that lettuce picking and mining will be the best paid jobs around?

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

You are obviously free to do whatever you want with your free time. We have the technology to automate half our jobs. So we could reduce the week to 20 hours.

Differences in income would be limited to only what is necessary to get people to do undesirable jobs and give their maximum effort in performance based jobs.

Since mining is one of the least desirable jobs, they would be among the highest paid.

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[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

You capitalists have no legitimate arguments. That is why you resort to childish threats.

[-] 0 points by tedscrat70 (-35) 2 years ago

The legitimate argument is the fact that individuals will work for profit and the opportunity to get ahead. And don't kid yourself, the drive for green energy, green industry, etc has everything to do with a demand and a business's attempt to make money meeting that demand.

[-] -2 points by bearclaw (-152) 2 years ago

Socialist = More Gov control over our lives. F that

[-] 2 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

Capitalism = More Private Business control over our lives. F that.

Socialism, on the other hand, does not mean more government control. Socialism is public ownership of the means of production, not necessarily government ownership of the means of production.

Socialism can mean more government control over your life. But that is not the kind of socialism I advocate!

If you read my post here where I explain how democratic market socialism works, you would see that all businesses are still independently run and consumers would still dictate production based on how they spend their money.

Businesses will not be run by the government. And the government will not be making consumption decisions.

Democratic market socialism will give you SIGNIFICANTLY MORE FREEDOM.

Democratic market socialism will most likely give you significantly more income. Since your freedom depends on how much income you have, significantly more income means significantly more freedom.

Democratic market socialism will also reduce the work week to 20 hours. Since your free time will increase by 20 hours each week, it will give you that much more freedom.

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

This current situation is not the result of capitalism. It is the result of people having very little concern with what goes on outside their bubble. Its a cultural problem. Doesnt matter what system you put this country in, it WILL become corrupted quickly.

[-] 2 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

Financial struggle and all the problems that creates is not the result of capitalism's unequal distribution of income? You think it is caused by culture? That is just factually wrong.

And if we had a system that allocated income more equally so that everyone was wealthy, nearly all of poverty's problems will disappear. That is a fact.

It has nothing to do with culture. Making everyone wealthy will not make people perfect or put a permanent end to crime or corruption. But it will make society a million times better than what it currently is! And it will change our culture.

Capitalism is not the product of our culture. Our culture is the product of capitalism. If we changed the economic system, the culture will change too.

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

You are confusing and economic model with a political one. Our culture is so flawed that no one wants to slow down for five seconds to get involved. Apathy, apathy, apathy.

[-] 0 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

It is your fault people don't want to get involved, not their fault. You need to give people a reason to get involved. If you are not giving people a reason, that is your fault, not theirs.

People are currently offered the choice between the status quo and the status quo light. And the known alternatives to the status quo only appeal to a certain niche demographic. So I understand why they are apathetic.

I believe that offering people the chance to increase their income to at least $115k or $230k, decrease their work week to 20 hours, and get the rest of the benefits I outline in this post, and if this offer was backed by sufficient credibility and branding, that is something people will not be apathetic about.

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

There are people running that represent what about 70% of the people in this country want.

Over half dont bother to vote. Many are allowed to because of past mistakes. The ones that do refuse to do anything different.

I have personally given people other options, and they simply arent interested. Not that they dont appreciate it, they just dont want to do anything besides pull a lever at the polls once every four years.

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

If people aren't interested in your options, that is your fault, not theirs!

It is difficult to change the status quo. But if your tactics are not getting results, you need to change tactics, not blame the people you are trying to change.

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

Its not just me dude, its everyone.

Congress has a 9% approval rating. Yet where are all the people lining up to get involved to fix it? There arent any. No one cares enough to move themselves.

At the heart of most of these problems is simply apathy.

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

People don't move because they don't know what to do and they are working 50+ hours per week, not because they don't care.

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

And what about the 31 million that are laid off? What are they creating as a new option to this obviously broken system?

Im not trying to be harsh here, but until WE THE PEOPLE are willing to take a hard, long look in the mirror, we are not going to find the solutions we need.

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

I am confident in what the solution is. It is to replace capitalism with democratic market socialism. I also think that solution is appealing enough to generate enough support to make changes to the system.

Even if it does not result in the overthrow of capitalism, it could still make significant changes. I agree with Bill Maher on one of his recent closing monologues that Occupy should become a radical left in the way that the tea party is the radical right.

Just like Boehner is forced by the tea party to push the agenda as far right as possible, a radical left could do the same. Obama would then say I would love to do a deal with you but I have these bat-shit crazy socialists who want a revolution, so I am willing to compromise with just offering single payer healthcare or I am willing to compromise with just offering free higher education or I am willing to compromise with raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour. You get the idea.

[-] 0 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 2 years ago

Ya, anything would be better than the raw fascism we a currently being dealt.

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

The people simply dont care. They troll to the polls once every four years and thats it.

Nothing new is popping up. No new names. Nothing new. Same ol same ol.