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Forum Post: The Fear of Equality

Posted 6 years ago on Dec. 4, 2014, 12:32 a.m. EST by donOld (134)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

If we could only learn to settle for true equality, then all full-time workers would be earning about $100,000 a year (see http://www.financialParty.ca/income.htm ). Although the richest 5% may not like this idea, 95% of humanity should be able to see that true equality would benefit them personally. So why is there so much resistance to the idea of equality? What do people fear about equality?

Equality does not require that we give up our individuality. Equality does not imply that we must become “the same”. In fact, the opposite is true. Equal rights insist that, despite our individual differences, we all maintain a natural right to live freely, without coercion or exploitation.

Equality does not limit our abilities or prevent us from being better than others in certain capacities. Again, the opposite is true. Equality gives us the freedom to explore and develop our own unique set of abilities without the threat of financial insecurity. People are totally free to develop their natural superiorities. They just can’t use them to lessen the equal rights of others.

Equality would not make us all lazy. This is a false prophecy perpetuated to scare and mislead the public. Think about the facts for a moment. If income alone motivates people to work, why are so many people working at difficult or stressful jobs for the minimum wage? When the marginal cost of doing nothing is so low, why aren’t workers flocking to the welfare roles? There must be another motivation for working a minimum wage job other than just a slight increase in income. Does it really make sense that paying people more money for what they already do now will motivate them to quit working? Do you feel like quitting your job every time you get a raise?

Equality will not destroy the incentive and motivation of our most talented people. The brilliant and artistically gifted are driven by their desire to express themselves. The depth and meaning of their lives comes from the pursuit of this expression. The true artist or genius has no choice. It is simply who they are. If they try to ignore their gifts, they will destroy themselves. They must release the creative urges that drive them, whether they are paid for it or not. Albert Einstein would not have chosen to work in a coffee shop even if a coffee shop worker earned the same as a physicist. John Lennon would not have worked at Walmart even if they paid him as much as he earned on the road. Most people are reasonably content once their income level enables them to live comfortably and avoid the risk of poverty. Finding work that is interesting, socially meaningful and personally challenging becomes much more important to them than merely earning more money. Fortunately there will always be many people who will be happy to work in less demanding occupations, as long as they are compensated fairly.

It is curious that the true source of all real wealth on this planet comes from things that mankind has had absolutely no control over. Natural resources are a gift from nature to all living species, both here today and yet to come. Mankind had no hand at all in their creation. Likewise, before our birth, we were not given a choice of the talents and abilities we would have here on Earth. Nature again provided us with the internal gifts that we inherited. Everything of value made by man was created by combining these natural gifts together. Human and natural resources are the only two ingredients of every human creation. So how can we justify anything other than an equal human right to enjoy the gifts that nature provided freely for us all?

Our intuitive and innate desire for equality has a long history of denial. The Declaration of Independence introduced the principle in 1776 with the famous words “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Unfortunately however, these unalienable rights from our Creator never made it into the economic fabric of society. If we are ever to learn to cooperate peacefully and survive as a species, we had better incorporate them soon.

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176 Comments


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[-] 3 points by johannus (386) from Newburgh, NY 6 years ago

If "true equality" is defined by you to mean that we should all be making the same wages, without regard to a person's intelligence, talents, education, skills, or the exposure to the elements or danger that they inherantly may have in their jobs, I disagree.

No matter how hard that you try to paint an egalitarian picture otherwise to prove your assertion, 'incentives' based in large part on increased compensation is what drives many people to excel in their chosen field. Trying to implement your ideas of "equality" which I view as being unrealistic, and stifling is just another form of oppression.

Occupy's raison d' etre, and the reason that many of us are here has far more to do with a rigged system which causes an unprecedented disparity in wealth/wages, and which reeks of injustice big time. To put simply, it unfairly benefits the plutocrats and those who support, set up and propagate this corrupt system while simultaneously, giving us the shaft.

I do agree with many people here, and you too probably that capitalism today, crony or otherwise, is not just useless and out-dated, but actually the cause of many of our problems. And if we really want to face and solve our most pressing challenges with the goal of putting us on the road to a sustainable future, we need to look for radical solutions to at least mitigate the inevitable, and to find a conducive political system where we can promote a sustainable future. If we fail to do that, we may well be debating this while sea-water is lapping away at our feet.

[-] 2 points by flip (7101) 6 years ago

hey man how about max neef - how about max neef - AMY GOODMAN: And if you’re teaching young economists, the principles you would teach them, what they’d be?

MANFRED MAX-NEEF: The principles, you know, of an economics which should be are based in five postulates and one fundamental value principle. One, the economy is to serve the people and not the people to serve the economy. Two, development is about people and not about objects. Three, growth is not the same as development, and development does not necessarily require growth. Four, no economy is possible in the absence of ecosystem services. Five, the economy is a subsystem of a larger finite system, the biosphere, hence permanent growth is impossible. And the fundamental value to sustain a new economy should be that no economic interest, under no circumstance, can be above the reverence of life.

AMY GOODMAN: Go back to three: growth and development. Explain that further.

MANFRED MAX-NEEF: Growth is a quantitative accumulation. Development is the liberation of creative possibilities. Every living system in nature grows up to a certain point and stops growing. You are not growing anymore, nor he nor me. But we continue developing ourselves. Otherwise we wouldn’t be dialoguing here now. So development has no limits. Growth has limits. And that is a very big thing, you know, that economists and politicians don’t understand. They are obsessed with the fetish of economic growth. And I am working, several decades. Many studies have been done. I’m the author of a famous hypothesis, the threshold hypothesis, which says that in every society there is a period in which economic growth, conventionally understood or no, brings about an improvement of the quality of life. But only up to a point, the threshold point, beyond which, if there is more growth, quality of life begins to decline.

And that is the situation in which we are now. I mean, your country is the most dramatic example that you can find. I have gone as far as saying — and this is a chapter of a book of mine that is published next month in England, the title of which is Economics Unmasked. There is a chapter called "The United States, an Underdeveloping Nation," which is a new category. We have developed, underdeveloped and developing. Now you have underdeveloping. And your country is an example, in which the one percent of the Americans, you know, are doing better and better and better, and the 99 percent is going down, in all sorts of manifestations. People living in their cars now and sleeping in their cars, you know, parked in front of the house that used to be their house — thousands of people. Millions of people, you know, have lost everything. But the speculators that brought about the whole mess, oh, they are fantastically well off. No problem. No problem.

[-] 4 points by johannus (386) from Newburgh, NY 6 years ago

And Thanks for those words from Manfred Max-Neif. I had forgotten, not just his expertise, but also his obvious humanity, even him having lived with the poor. He reminds me of Occupy's Hannah Appel who, like him, her discipline exceeds that of just being an economist. So it is easy to see that they both have a better understanding of the bigger picture. Perhaps if we had more economists like them, we wouldn't be here.

[-] 2 points by flip (7101) 6 years ago

Agreed!

[-] 2 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 6 years ago

"Just another form of oppression", yes. The problem is that you're dangerously close to being branded a conservative for saying that people who excel should earn increased compensation. The StillModestCapitalist dude is going to come around and "mark" you as a conservative infiltrator.

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 6 years ago

right on newburgh man! complete equality is not what we are looking for. some people will always want to work harder or improve their skills or whatever. that should not be the debate anyway. we are far away from utopia so no need to debate the fine points. we clearly need to move to a production for use and not for profit system. in a world of finite resources we cannot continue on this unsustainable path.

[-] 4 points by johannus (386) from Newburgh, NY 6 years ago

It's fair enough if donOld has the opinion that "...equality" means that everyone should be making the same pay if they work, no matter what, but I would bet that a clear majority of the people who want systemic change, Occupy or not, do NOT feel the same way, nor do I.

As you have implied, moving away from a society that has an economic system that relies on conspicuous consumption (consequently infinite resources) to a sustainable one of need, or "production for use" is essential. Equally as important though, are at least two more tenets that support your view. The first is, taking time to reconsider our value system, and hopefuly slowly implementing a new one where we hold the well-being of people in far higher esteem than profits. And another consideration in setting up a new economic system which is less 'corrupt' and more 'just' would be having one where, we cannot totally discount the human condition, as flawed as it may be. That does not mean though that we should not reign in the most egregious aspects of it which could be detrimental to the rest of us. It's called accountability and justice.

Nothing though is more important than addressing the environmmental crisis that we are in now. Unless we do that, nothing else will probably matter.

[-] 1 points by donOld (134) 6 years ago

It's fair enough if donOld has the opinion that "...equality" means that everyone should be making the same pay if they work, no matter what, but I would bet that a clear majority of the people who want systemic change, Occupy or not, do NOT feel the same way, nor do I.

I respect that, but remain curious to know why the 90% of workers whose incomes would improve feel that way. A few here have made their positions clear, but what about the rest of you reading this thread?

"Nothing though is more important than addressing the environmmental crisis that we are in now. Unless we do that, nothing else will probably matter." I agree with you completely, but as long as the profit motive remains society's primary driving force, the environment will continued to be disrespected and treated as an "externality".

[-] 4 points by turbocharger (1756) 6 years ago

Go onto a roofing crew, and tell the guys that have been there for years that they are now making the same wage as the new young guys on the ground.

Lets see how long it is until they have you nailed to the house via your shirt lol.

[-] 2 points by flip (7101) 6 years ago

well done turbo - good point. presumably the older workers know more about the job and help train you young bucks

[-] 1 points by donOld (134) 6 years ago

I love your sense of humor :) having been a licensed carpenter, I get your point completely. But turn it around, and again you run into the same reality... the experienced guys wouldn't want to switch places with the young guys, so their experience rewards them with the better positions. But why is their time any more valuable? The roofing job can't be done without everybody doing their part. The young guys need money to feed their families and pay their bills just as much as the older guys. Why does experience always have to cost somebody else his equal rights?

[-] 4 points by turbocharger (1756) 6 years ago

It's doesnt cost the guy on the ground anything, it rewards him if he keeps at it.

Ive worked with more fuck ups than most. The guys who want to bust their ass, buy tools, etc, they are valuable.

We used to find guys passed out from heroin on the job. One dude was literally shooting it on the roof, could have gotten the entire job shut down.

Its not punishing people by giving them a starting point.

[-] 1 points by donOld (134) 6 years ago

It does cost him his equal right to earn a living by working. I currently drive a city bus, full-time, in a union shop and have some seniority. New recruits drive the same buses, along the same routes, on the same schedules. Why should they earn less money for doing exactly the same work as I do? My seniority rewards me with a better choice of routes, hours, holidays, etc. I don't need to get more money too.

Proving that you are a good worker, and sticking with it, should open up doors to more interesting or creative or exciting work, and other benefits like paid sick days or longer paid holidays, etc. You don't have to devalue someone else's time to provide incentives & rewards. If integrity, morality & respect moved people to the top, instead of just a thirst for more money, society might just learn to get along.

As for your heroin co-workers, no matter what pay system you use, they should have been fired. (sorry for the add-on, I didn't have the time to finish this earlier)

[-] 2 points by turbocharger (1756) 6 years ago

Ok, well driving a bus is a bit less skill than running a roofing crew efficiently.

Efficiency is key to most of this stuff. Anyone can do it, but who can do it best?

Generally it is the people who have integrity, morality and respect that move up in organizations. I'm not talking about the blood sucking hedge funds here, Im talking about your average everyday businesses.

How about the guys who were functioning drug addicts? They showed up and put in a decent day. Not a great work day, but another body that is moving. Should they make the same amount as someone like me that is dedicating my life to making to the company better? And if so, what do you think that would do to my personal motivation to be the best I can be?

When you break the marketplace down the furthest point, you end up at the individual. Humans tend to act in self interest, with outside interests usually only going out as far as constant communication permits (even the most peaceful societies has factions warring).

What motivates these people the best? Give them the best possibly opportunity to not only take care of their family (the minimum) but also to build something to be proud of (the upper levels of motivation)?

[-] 1 points by donOld (134) 6 years ago

@tc "Ok, well driving a bus is a bit less skill than running a roofing crew efficiently."

You obviously haven't driven a city bus, loaded with wheelchairs, walkers, strollers and screaming children through busy rush hour streets full of bicycles, skateboards, jaywalking pedestrians and distracted drivers.

"What motivates these people the best? Give them the best possibly opportunity to not only take care of their family (the minimum) but also to build something to be proud of (the upper levels of motivation)?"

This is exactly what an equal hourly pay rate would do... give everyone the best possible opportunity to take care of their families and, no longer having to worry about money, focus on building something to be proud of.

[-] 3 points by turbocharger (1756) 6 years ago

No I havent driven one. I do happen to know quite a few, and sorry to tell you, running and managing a construction crew with all the ins and outs is more complicated, it just is. Theres more moving parts, the processes change constantly, its subjective to the paying customer, pay schedules and inventory/purchase orders fluctuate wildly, etc.

Im sorry, but again, you put that entire roofing crew on all equal pay and the quality of the work will plummet, as will motivation.

You are ignoring inherent tendencies in humans, like the desire to build and compete . If we were a more docile species your situation may work.

[-] 1 points by donOld (134) 6 years ago

How many guys on your crew do you pay $100,000 a year?

[-] 2 points by turbocharger (1756) 6 years ago

None. The amount people are willing to pay someone to put shingles on their roof is less than they are willing to pay for heart surgery.

Go figure.

[-] 0 points by donOld (134) 6 years ago

So if what you say is true... "To a certain degree people are just trying to get as most for themselves so they can take of their family"... then are you sure they would say "No I don't want twice the income I'm making now, because those new guys on the ground would make the same as me.”

Others here have said “I really don't care what the top earnings are - as long as the very least earnings support a good life.” (DKAtoday)

"I too don't give a hoot if somebody is richer than me, or what the richest guy makes so long as I have a deal where I can live decently and not get screwed out of what I've already earned." (Shule)

So let me get this straight… people don’t care about others making more than them, but they don’t want those who earn less than them (the very least) to have as good a life as themselves... and they're even willing to settle for less for their families, to make sure that there are others who remain below them.

[-] 1 points by turbocharger (1756) 6 years ago

That is not straight by any means, sorry.

[-] 1 points by donOld (134) 6 years ago

@ flip "complete equality is not what we are looking for. some people will always want to work harder or improve their skills or whatever.

What does work harder mean? If it means working longer hours than the next guy, then you still earn more than the next guy. If it refers to the difficulty of the work, explain to me how an architect sitting at a computer doing creative, stimulating work all day deserves more than a cashier at Walmart who is standing on her feet all day enduring an endless, repetitive stream of self-centered morons. Pay everyone the same hourly rate and get the architect to work at Walmart for a week. He'll tell you pretty fucking fast which job is the most difficult, as he races back to his desk.

As for improving their skills, many Walmart workers would jump at the chance to do something more meaningful with their lives, if they were paid to get an education, instead of being enslaved in debt for trying.

"we are far away from utopia so no need to debate the fine points" Actually we are only a few simple concepts away from achieving "utopia", or more correctly... a practical survival plan.

[-] 2 points by flip (7101) 6 years ago

i would say that the guy picking up the garbage should earn more than the guy sitting in the office doing admin work. how about the woman who goes to school to learn engine repair getting more pay (somewhat - nothing crazy) than the one who starts tending bar. nobody said anything about walmart workers so let's stay on topic here. everybody should make enough money to live well in this country - no argument there. if you are saying the guy who works longer hours because he wants to buy a bigger car or house or whatever should make more money then we agree.

my uncle filled vending machines for a living in 1965 - about as low on the job scale as you get. for a locally owned company. they lived a very middle class life style. he spent a month in florida during his retirement. we are not far from that possibility. as for utopia - we are far from it - get a grip - and far from a good survival plan. our rulers cannot even talk about it. we are heading towards a cliff and the great obam can only think about fast tracking the tpp - just wait for hillary to get in. if we ever get close we will see which side the army is on!

[-] 1 points by donOld (134) 6 years ago

@ flip "as for utopia - we are far from it - get a grip - and far from a good survival plan. our rulers cannot even talk about it."

We don't need our rulers, or their permission, to save ourselves. We have all of the power we need already... the power to think for ourselves, the power to inform others, and the power to vote differently.

Forget the Reps and Dems. Their survival plan doesn't include us. Pleading to a madman who is beating you to death to hit a little softer just isn't going to work. They don't give a fuck about us until they need our votes, then they'll say whatever it takes to get us to make the same mistakes again.

We need our own plan. It has to get to the very roots of our problems and be a complete fix, yet be simple enough that average voters can easily understand that it is clearly in their own best interest to vote for it.

Once such a plan is agreed upon (phase 1: the power to think) we need to inform others about the plan. The internet has tremendous potential for this. Because people are entertainment junkies, videos are the best medium to reach them. Video can be entertaining and informative at the same time. Local OccuCentres could also help spread the word coast-to-coast and possibly raise some needed cash ( http://occupywallst.org/forum/occucentres-a-way-to-revitalize-the-movement/ )

But by far the most powerful tool to inform others is direct contact at "kitchen-table" workshops. These are small group meetings (no more than 7 people) hosted by one person who is already well-informed and committed to the plan. The host explains the plan to the other 6 people, addresses their questions and concerns and encourages their ideas & suggestions. Each cell (small group) meets as often and as many times as necessary to generate 6 new well-informed and committed hosts. The cell then "bursts" and the 6 new hosts and the original host start 7 new cells. The cycle starts again and repeats logarithmically by the power of 7. One person, by repeating this process just 5 times himself, can grow 16,807 new hosts (if all of the hosts that he recruited continue the cycle). If each host recruited repeats the cycle just 5 times himself, it takes a total of only 10 bursts to reach 282,391,214 people. This is the purest, most direct and democratic way to inform (phase 2: the power to inform).

Once there are informed, committed hosts in every major riding, the new political party is formed. It's final platform is shaped by the ideas and suggestions gathered from the kitchen-table sessions. Candidates can be recruited as the hosts are being generated. There is nothing to hold us back but ourselves (the power to vote).

Fuck the mainstream media. Fuck the existing political parties. We don't need them.

[-] 1 points by donOld (134) 6 years ago

"if you are saying the guy who works longer hours because he wants to buy a bigger car or house or whatever should make more money then we agree"

that's exactly what I am suggesting. Determine the average hour value of the GDP, then allow people to pay themselves (create new money by working) at that hourly rate. You work 8 hours, I work 4, you make twice as much as me. Equal pay RATE, not equal pay.

[-] 2 points by flip (7101) 6 years ago

how about" from each according to their ability - to each according to their needs" - how about the guy with 5 kids?/ how about the garbage man and the coal miner. kind of a silly debate anyway no?? a long way from what you describe - no? we have some baby steps to take before we work on anything like this.

[-] 0 points by donOld (134) 6 years ago

How about "to each according to their right to live" Our time on Earth is all we have to give. How we use it is the only thing that we have any control over. We didn't choose our intelligence, abilities or good looks. Look beyond the damage that our current system has inflicted on people and give them a little respect. Only by removing the harness of money completely will we ever be free.

[-] 2 points by flip (7101) 6 years ago

so are you saying that a man with a family of 6 should make the same as a young single person? what you say about money is correct in some ways but not sure how we would run a modern economy without money. that said it is pointless to debate this in detail. we are far off from your utopia. we will have to see where the road takes us - "we build the road as we travel" - no?

[-] 1 points by donOld (134) 6 years ago

@ flip "we have some baby steps to take before we work on anything like this."

We don't have time for baby steps! Environmental & natural resource failures and a massive debt implosion/economic crisis are brewing into a perfect storm that will shred what little is left of democracy. I fear that our leaders will use this opportunity to achieve their dream of a global totalitarian military state. Everything you believed about life will vanish in an instant. Everything you thought you owned will vanish right along with it. Never before has humanity faced such a serious threat.

We need to disarm these madman before the SHTF. We need the brightest minds on the planet to co-operate for the public good, instead of compete for corporate profit or personal wealth. We need to re-establish the remaining natural resources on the planet as public treasures and use them wisely to develop sustainable technologies, instead of squandering them on war and consumer trinkets. We are not far off from "utopia", we are only 3 or 4 simple concepts away.

Read or re-read, whichever the case may be, the comment I made to your last reply (about 5 spots up). We have all of the power we need already...

[-] 2 points by flip (7101) 6 years ago

i agree that there is urgency in our situation but we will not get the change you want anytime soon. i hope to be wrong here but that is doubtful. how about the man with the family as opposed to a young single person - same wages for both??

[-] 1 points by donOld (134) 6 years ago

A young single person could work part-time @ 20 hrs/wk ($57,500) or full-time @ 40 hrs/wk ($95,800). The parents of the 4 kids would have to decide for themselves how to divide their time between working and raising the kids. They might hire a nanny and both work full-time ($191,700). One might work full-time, the other work part-time ($153,400). One might work full-time, the other parent full-time ($115,000). Both might work part-time and parent part-time on staggered hours ($115,000). One might work part-time, the other parent full-time ($76,700). Both might not work at all ($38,300). Whether they work or not, every person aged 20+ would receive a basic income of $19,150... and there would no longer be any need for income taxes, so they get to keep all of their earnings.

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 6 years ago

well you have a nice little mathematical model don't you. you did not really answer my question - i will set it up differently. how about a young single girl and a single mother of 3 - they should both make the same amount? and no need for income taxes - nice - how did you work that one out. maybe we don't need roads or schools anymore since all are equal. and now that you have this nice little fantasy land in place how much does my house cost - do i have a mortgage. single payer health care or obama style market based. and food - any inflation allowed - gas prices. what might they be - and since we are running out of oil how do you plan on kep prices low during scarcity? i assume you have this all worked out but i would like to know before we agree to your plan

[-] 1 points by donOld (134) 6 years ago

I tried to answer your question as honestly as I could and you get angry and attack me. Yes, there are a lot of good reasons to be cynical and suspicious these days, but if hopeful ideas are instantly rejected as being "too good to be true" without any serious consideration at all, then we really are fucked. If you can take the time to read long articles explaining how fucked-up everything is, why can't you make the time to read some detailed, positive suggestions? I'm not trying to sell you any books or dvds. I'm just trying to get you to think outside the box.

[-] 3 points by flip (7101) 6 years ago

well thanks for your answers now we can end this silliness. your ideas are of no interest to me - if this is your response to the needs of people - " If you're going to tell me that the single mom's financial needs are greater than a 2-parent family's then I'll say bullshit. Maybe she should have thought about that before she walked out the door (her responsibility)." you are not thinking outside of any box - you have simply put yourself into a smaller one. for sure our system is evil and must be changed. sorry but your answer to it is bullshit - thanks and goodbye

[-] 1 points by donOld (134) 6 years ago

Before you huff off, what's your answer? Her basic income alone would provide $28,750. If the kids' father worked even just 20 hrs/wk her income would be $38,300 (the same as 2 people not working). How much do you think she needs and who do you think should be responsible for looking after her and her kids?

[-] 0 points by donOld (134) 6 years ago

So you are a fan of the socialist nanny-state and don't mind the government taking as much of your paycheck as they want to support those who use the excuse of their children to live off others.

You really need to work on your understanding of conversation too. You can't even discuss ideas that differ from your own without going offside. Are you even old enough to be on a computer alone?

[-] 2 points by flip (7101) 6 years ago

It should be obvious. Look it up if you need help

[-] 2 points by flip (7101) 6 years ago

socialist nanny state - wow - i am always surprised at the stupidity here at "the site for radicals" now let's see - " those who use the excuse of their children to live off others." - hard liner aren't you. so you do not like "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need" - no you like your little money party and it's formulas. you must play lots of monopoly

[-] 1 points by donOld (134) 6 years ago

@ flip "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need"

What does that mean? What would you suggest instead? Please use some numbers, not just general statements.

[-] 2 points by flip (7101) 6 years ago

there will be no huffing off - boy you really need to work on your understanding of conversation. as for this comment - "Before you huff off, what's your answer? Her basic income alone would provide $28,750. How much does she need and who should be paying for her and her kids? - my answer is that she obviously needs more than a single woman. until you tell me about rent and food etc who can say what she might need. your answer points to the shallowness of your position and of the stupid financial party. some sort of libertarian bullshit where coming up with a formula for wages makes all good. and no - i am not angry. you seem to think the world is a mechanism that can be reduced to a formula - well it cannot. so good bye and keep your dopey money bullshit to yourself.

[-] 2 points by flip (7101) 6 years ago

angry- not at all. attack you - i don't see how. i would like an answer to the questions - we can start with these two - a young single girl and a single mother of 3 - they should both make the same amount? and no need for income taxes - nice - how did you work that one out. maybe we don't need roads or schools anymore since all are equal. if you are like some here and cannot answer a straight question then - well then fuck off. but i imagine you will and we can have a reasonable conversation - can you - will you? you give no detailed suggestions just a bunch of numbers as far as i can see. maybe i missed earlier posts - sorry if that is the case. and thank you but i have been thinking outside the box for 40 years or more - but thanks anyway - now the question - i will have more you know?

[-] 1 points by donOld (134) 6 years ago

@ MattHolck0 "must the members pay rent or a bank loan to live in a house/apartment ?"

What members? This is not a private club, this is an idea about how to run the nation. No there would be no down-payments or mortgages or "market rents". Users of a residential asset would simply pay a monthly depreciation cost based on the life expectancy of the asset under "normal wear & tear". The life expectancy would be determined when the asset is designed by competent, professional architects. If they run the place down they would owe additional depreciation costs when they vacate. If they add value to the property while living there, they would receive a rebate for the upgrades.

[-] 1 points by donOld (134) 6 years ago

Excerpted from the Financial Party's site. (this resource depletion premium would replace all other taxes including income taxes)

A Resource Depletion Premium

For over a century now, we have been recklessly depleting the earth's supply of natural resources. Allowing only profit and self-interest to guide us, we have torn apart the gentle fabric of life that sustains us. So caught up in our own ambitions and abilities, we never bothered to consider what consequences our plunder might bring.

Think of our economy as a race car. Our productive capacity is the engine of the car. Natural resources are the fuel that drives the engine. Human ingenuity and technical innovation is constantly increasing the size and power of the engine. The car is going faster each and every day. The faster it goes, the more fuel is required.

But our race car doesn't have a brake pedal. It was not designed to slow down. The only way we have to stop it is to run out of fuel. We can slow it down temporarily by crashing into things (like a depression) but it always resumes its acceleration.

Conventional economic wisdom would have us believe that higher prices (or higher taxes) will decrease demand and slow down consumption. But higher prices do not extinguish any money, they simply transfer purchasing power from one person or group to another. Higher taxes transfer purchasing power from consumers to governments. Higher prices simply create higher profits for one group at the expense of another. Total purchasing power remains the same, only its distribution is changed. (the rich get richer, the government consumes more and more ...does this seem at all familiar to you?)

The Financial Party's pricing system includes a brake pedal for the economy that will not favour one group over another. In our system of accounting, money does not recirculate. Consumption does extinguish money permanently. Higher prices do actually extinguish purchasing power.

The Financial Party believes that a natural resource depletion premium should be added to prices to slow down the rate of consumption and resource depletion, if necessary. All natural resources would be classified according to their annual depletion rates. A totally renewable and fully sustainable resource would have a depletion rating of 0%, a totally non-renewable and critically unsustainable resource could have a depletion rating as high as 50%. The depletion premium would be calculated by multiplying the total labour cost of supplying the resource by the depletion rating. If it took 10 labour hours to produce a barrel of crude oil, and the depletion rate for crude oil was set at 50%, then a barrel of crude would cost 15 hours. If money doesn't recirculate, and there is no artificial system of debt to sustain consumption, when resources cost more than what was paid out to produce them, then consumption rates will fall accordingly.

Although putting a brake pedal on the race car of the global economy may not be immediately popular, it is the only way to stop humanity from driving recklessly over the ecological cliff we are now speeding towards. If you have any doubts at all about this, please watch the video links that are listed on the Action page of this web site.

[-] 1 points by MattHolck0 (3867) 6 years ago

must the members pay rent or a bank loan to live in a house/apartment ?

if money determines whether we can eat. money must be provided so all may eat

[-] 0 points by donOld (134) 6 years ago

o.k. you drop the insulting innuendo and let's continue a reasonable conversation. The question you are asking is exactly the same as your last one, except now it's a single mom instead of a man and his family. The answer is the same too, it depends how many hours they work. Surely you can't be suggesting that each employer should base the wages of his staff on their personal lives.

I don't want to live in a capital DICK-tatorship where people steal the productivity of others to make themselves rich, but I also don't want to live in a socialist NANNY-state where people steal the productivity of others to support the irresponsible. If you're going to tell me that the single mom's financial needs are greater than a 2-parent family's then I'll say bullshit. Maybe she should have thought about that before she walked out the door (her responsibility). If she was in an abusive relationship and had no other choice but to leave then I would say her kid's fuck-up father should be made to be responsible for his own children and pay her half of the money that he earns. This is just my personal opinion, but with a money system like the Financial Party is proposing, it would be very easy to set it up so that half of the father's income automatically went into her account.

"well you have a nice little mathematical model don't you"

as I said before, the Financial Party's model simply divides the current value of the national GDP by the total number of hours worked by everyone (full-time, part-time, government employees, commercial employees, self-employed... everyone) to determine the average hour value of the GDP. To provide everyone with a basic income (without having to fund it through income taxes) they simply add 10 hours a week to everyone's income. This increases the total number of hours that have to be divided into the value of the GDP so the average hour value drops a bit, but since all working people receive a basic income too, this dilution doesn't affect their total income much at all. It does however provide financial security against unemployment, illness, etc. without the need for a whole lot of separate and expensive government income maintenance programs. (less government is good in my books)

"and no need for income taxes - nice - how did you work that one out. maybe we don't need roads or schools anymore since all are equal."

I'll answer this one in a separate post.

[-] -2 points by StillModestCapitalist (343) 6 years ago

Alright flip, you poser, explain to me why you won't vote AGAINST any politician opposed to a minimum wage increase.

By the way, I see you conservative posers have been marking down my older comments again in order to reduce my overall user rating. That's fine. From now on, I will post the following link with each comment.

http://occupywallst.org/forum/ows-readers-beware-our-site-has-been-taken-over-by/

[-] 3 points by flip (7101) 6 years ago

grow up!

[-] 1 points by donOld (134) 6 years ago

Does the FACT that those "incentives" FAIL to lift over 90% of the population up to the level of an equal hourly wage bother you at all? You must be talking about incentives that reward the 1%.

[-] 3 points by gsw (3382) from Woodbridge Township, NJ 6 years ago

Romney said of Obama, “he wants another stimulus, he wants to hire more government workers. He says we need more fireman, more policeman, more teachers. Did he not get the message of Wisconsin? The American people did. It’s time for us to cut back on government and help the American people.”

Romney should be silent. We told him to be quiet in his election vote of no confidence.

Bushes should be banned from politics for treason and family incompetence.

Also the whole republican faction should move to wisconsin

[-] 0 points by donOld (134) 6 years ago

equality is oppression... wow!

[-] 0 points by MattHolck0 (3867) 6 years ago

'incentives' based in large part on increased compensation is what drives many people to excel in their chosen field.

if one is a salesman. I suppose

[-] 2 points by donOld (134) 6 years ago

Over half of the population makes less than $30,000 a year. To ignore the possibility of making $100,000 yourself, simply because you fear that other people are lazy, makes no sense to me at all. Currently working people must pay the full cost of keeping the lazy alive through their taxes. In the alternative system, no one's income would be taken away from them to support anyone else. If we already have lazy people now, how does making more money yourself hurt you?

The only thing that people ever comment on is this issue of laziness. They are stuck on it. Nobody even mentions the public capital idea, the elimination of all debt and interest, the basic income suggestion, or the idea of paying students to learn. Yet everywhere you blog, these other issues are being discussed. It is frightening to see how deeply this puritan work ethic has been programmed into society’s psyche?

[-] 1 points by beautifulworld (23520) 6 years ago

Well said. They talk about laziness, but who is the most lazy of all? The stockholders who do nothing at all, the "owners" of capital who sit on their asses while they reap the profits of other peoples' labor.

The Protestant work ethic is an antiquated notion that gave rise to the Industrial Revolution. If the U.S. stays stuck in such an outdated ideology the world is going to flash right past us. Wake up! We've had a technological revolution in the last 50 years which needs a new economic system that will work with it. The revolution in technology just does not fit with the capitalist system as we know it which is why it is failing the masses miserably.

[-] -2 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 6 years ago

If we already have lazy people now, then how would eliminating the down side of being lazy impact society? Are you actually serious in asking that question?

If everybody made $100k/year, then $100k/year would become the new minimum wage. Some people would earn more than that through investments. Do you plan to outlaw investment?

[-] 1 points by donOld (134) 6 years ago

I'll say it again, lazy people won't make $100K. Lazy people will get fired.

You mean investments like "buy low, sell high" that jack up prices without producing a thing? Of course not. People can spend the money they created working however they like. If you think Elvis Presley's false tooth is worth 5,000 hours of your time, then knock yourself out.

[-] -1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 6 years ago

No I mean investing in business ventures. Most of the people who you resent for making too much money don't make their millions in wages. They earn their revenue through investment. They invest in growing companies or they create new ones, and then they profit from the growth. The top 5% that you mentioned in your first paragraph would not be affected by a wage cap, since that isn't how they earn their money. To achieve equality, you would have to outlaw investment. But those investments are how capital is allocated, and without them there would be no private-sector jobs at all.

[-] -1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 6 years ago

That other post of yours was interesting but it didn't answer my question. How will you ensure equality without outlawing business investment? If you don't outlaw investment then you're always going to end up with a tiny percentage of the population having a lot more money than everybody else. If you do outlaw investment then pretty much everybody will be poor and destitute because you'll destroy the entire economy. So at least then you will have achieved equality?

[-] -2 points by donOld (134) 6 years ago

With public capital the value of the investment remains public. No private capital is ever needed. If a factory is built, the labor of the workers itself creates new money to pay them. The same process occurs along the whole supply chain. All of the inputs like steel, concrete, etc. are also priced using labor costs and asset depreciation only. Workers have been paid and no private capital needs to be rewarded, so the factory rightfully belongs to society to share freely.

[-] -1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 6 years ago

You say that you're not advocating communism, but you want to eliminate money. Got it.

Why would anybody build that factory in the first place? You understand why people build new factories, right? You want to eliminate that motivation, so that means no new factories. In your vision, a bunch of workers will just spontaneously get together and form a co-op to collectively build iPhones? They're going to plug into a supply chain of other factories built for fun by people who are just really into building CNC machines and glass furnaces? Also, who would design the phone and why? I'm assuming that you also plan to eliminate intellectual property?

[-] 1 points by donOld (134) 6 years ago

Let me ask you something. What would you do if all jobs paid the same hourly rate? Would you continue to work at the job you are doing now or would you try something different?

[-] 0 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 6 years ago

I would do exactly what I do now but I might not be a good example.

Your question illustrates the problem though: who would haul garbage or work on sewers or prep food at restaurants under your system? Nobody.

[-] 0 points by donOld (134) 6 years ago

How do you know that? If people are doing it now for way less money, why will giving them a raise stop them?

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 6 years ago

Because they could work a far less unpleasant job and earn the same money. So why would anybody work an unpleasant job? If you can get paid $100k for answering the telephone or saying "Hello" to everybody who walks into Wal Mart then why would you dig ditches?

[-] 0 points by donOld (134) 6 years ago

Because real men like to use machines and machines are now used to dig ditches, not people.

[-] 2 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 6 years ago

Why are machines used to dig ditches?

Phased differently: Why would anybody invest in the development of a ditch-digging machine?

Answer: to save money. To increase profit. But you want to eliminate profit. You want to eliminate the motivation for developing ditch-digging machines and self-checkout systems and automated burger-flipping technology. So your economy is going to require a lot of manual labor. But in your economy, nobody has to work in difficult or unpleasant jobs because everybody is guaranteed $100k/year. So then why would anybody dig ditches or flip burgers or stand on their feet in front of a cash register for eight hours a day?

Nobody would do those things and the economy would contract. And that would harm poor people more than rich people.

[-] 0 points by donOld (134) 6 years ago

Why would anybody invest in the development of a ditch-digging machine? To reduce labor hours spent doing difficult work.

Current motivation, to save money and increase profit (because paying people to do difficult work is expensive). New motivation, to enjoy the same standard of living without having to work as hard or as long.

Most of the benefits of automation and technology currently go to the owners of capital in the form of increased profits. With an equal pay rate, productivity gains benefit everyone equally. If technology allows us to produce the same level of GDP in fewer hours, then the average value of an hour of work goes up. We can all work less hours and still maintain the same purchasing power.

[-] 2 points by MattHolck0 (3867) 6 years ago

much depends on who owns the property

[-] 2 points by donOld (134) 6 years ago

I'm curious why this post has received no comments. Our beliefs and attitudes towards equality are at the root of all of our other major social and economic problems. This is the issue that has to be addressed before any solutions to debt, poverty, profit, wealth or war can be worked out. Do we all have an equal natural right to be alive and prosper or not?

[-] 2 points by turbocharger (1756) 6 years ago

I agree, but I would take it one step further. What has caused this inequality, this entire situation we are living under?

Corruption and apathy towards it.

[-] 2 points by donOld (134) 6 years ago

The causes of this inequality are well known. The initial government gifts of public land and resources to a tiny privileged class, and a debt-based money/profit system that continues to rob working people of the true value of their labor. But all that is holding us back from correcting this tragic mistake is a lack of demand for true and complete human equality.

Unequal property and income rights would vanish in a truly equal society but people seem to be afraid of even talking about the possibility. Why?

[-] 2 points by turbocharger (1756) 6 years ago

To a certain degree people are just trying to get as most for themselves for they can take of their family. Never going to have total equality, as some people just work harder at certain tasks than others, and hence end up with more bargaining power.

[-] 1 points by donOld (134) 6 years ago

But this is just re-stating the way things are now. True equality would be achievable IF enough people believed that it was in their own (and their family's) best interest and demanded it. Like so many other words, the word equality has been captured by a few special interest groups and limited to the realm of their discussions. But true equality for everyone is what is needed to save this sinking ship.

[-] 3 points by turbocharger (1756) 6 years ago

REstoring a sense of community would probably take us the furthest, the easiest, to where you are thinking perhaps.

And just like no one likes to work their asses off at work while the other guy is high and does next to nothing, that person would have a hard time splitting the fruits at the end of the day evenly.

[-] 5 points by beautifulworld (23520) 6 years ago

The important thing is that everyone has enough.

Working people in the richest country on earth should not be forced to live in debt, struggling and worrying about every move they make.

[-] 4 points by turbocharger (1756) 6 years ago

I agree. For some reason, our bargaining power is controlled by some other group.

The first minimum wage law was passed almost 100 yrs ago. Since then its been a nonstop effort to keep pushing to get it raised. Time is our most precious resource, and by focusing on the symptom instead of the cause, we are assuring that the same exact actions will need to be had in another 5 years, right about the time the politicians say these latest ones will be in full effect lol.

Our bartering is constantly manipulated and downgraded, along with the people themselves caring less whom they barter with. To hell with neighbor Joe with the vegetable stand, I'm going with King Henry and his baskets, because I can save a few bucks.

Then you have the old woman, who actually lived responsibly, purchasing from Joe. She saved her money, but is now realizing that what she used to be able to afford, can no longer. Joes prices have increased 400% over the course of her lifetime, and now she is too old to work. What to do? Watch her money slowly evaporate? Or give it to King Henry because he says he can grow it quicker than it evaporates.

No one realizes King Henry is the one evaporating it in the first place, and then making money on the retirement to boot, all while keeping wages down as well through the same basic scheme.

We are in quite the conundrum lol.

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (23520) 6 years ago

Exactly, getting to the absolute deepest roots of the problem is the only way out. They have set this up so that that is very difficult for regular people, just trying to survive, to do, as you point out.

And, why do you always start out with zero points now? I find that really annoying.

[-] 3 points by turbocharger (1756) 6 years ago

Lol I have no idea, honestly never noticed that. Is it just me?

Once everyone started whining about their points, and I seemed to be getting the boot on a regular basis, I kinda stopped paying attention to it.

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (23520) 6 years ago

I've seen it happen to others, I think it was flip who used to have that happen. Right, just forget about it and keep posting. It's all part of the process.

[-] 1 points by grapes (5232) 6 years ago

Inflation is the number one enemy of the working people and societies but there are so many working and non-working idiots believing that inflation is good for societies!

I do admit though that inflation does achieve equality given enough time. Everyone (aside from the creators creating wealth from thin air but actually stealing wealth from everyone) will be broke and that is certainly Not what we want.

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 6 years ago

you are so wrong here it is hard to believe - your house goes up in value (the greatest source of value for most americans who have any wealth at all) and your mortgage goes down. inflation helps debtors (again most of americans) and deflation helps creditors - the rich want stable money - or deflation. you are carrying water for the 1%. whether you do it intentionally i don't know but the fact remains - you are echoing the rallying cry of j p morgan and those in power

[-] 2 points by turbocharger (1756) 6 years ago

Eh, gotta say, house values going up vs retirement funds going down, most Americans will never have a house at this point. House increasing in value is only nice if you want to sell or refinance- again, the bankers make out.

Its not the house that is getting more valuable, its that your money is just worth less. If the house that some people own - not me, and most of my friends- is worth the entire debt ridden, manipulative top down scheme, then I guess you must be one of the ones who is planning on selling your house to make up for the losses in every other area?

I think we have debated this before lol. All good.

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 6 years ago

well how about student debt etc - most of us are debtors one way or the other. deflation will crush debtors - those with cash in the bank love deflation. j p morgan can buy more of everything when there is deflation. you know the liquidate quote of mellons no? no time now but i do not think this is a complicated point - very important to understand. bond holders hate inflation no? wages are generally tied to inflation no? debt is a huge problem during deflation no? retirees on fixed income are hurt by inflation no doubt so it can be a mixed bag but i would like to try to work this out.

[-] 2 points by turbocharger (1756) 6 years ago

Its certainly a mixed bag.

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 6 years ago

while it is true it is all a mixed bag and many people are hurt by inflation i think it is a disservice to understanding how the world works to say inflation is the boogey man. it is very likely that the world is entering a new phase - resource scarcity. i doubt the next 70 years will look like the last 70. inflation may be driven by the fact that we are running out of oil and that will cause huge pain. that will be a different type of inflation than we have seen before. having said that - if the world looks like it has for the past 40 years then inflation will be good for the majority in this country. not hyper inflation but some normal rates by historical standards.

i do not have time to look up numbers but i am sure that the majority of most peoples wealth is tied up in their house. that is the source of much of the baby boomers wealth and what they will pass on to their children - again assuming we keep a somewhat normal economy. for those people inflating house prices and lower mortgage payments is a huge bonus.

it should be obvious looking back at history - in 1935 a pizza cost $.35 in nyc - today with huge inflation there are many more pizzas sold. look at inflation over the years and the country gets richer and richer - here is noam on the bond vigilantes and the virtual senate - those who want low growth and low inflation because their wealth is tied to bonds - and as inflation kicks up their bonds are worth less.

"Professional economics literature points out what should be obvious, that the free flow of capital creates what is sometimes called a 'virtual senate' of lenders and investors who carry out a moment-by-moment referendum on government policies, and if they find that they’re irrational, meaning they help people instead of profits, then they vote against them, by capital flight, by tax on the country, and so on. So the democratic governments have a dual constituency, their own population and the virtual senate, who typically prevail. And for the poor, that means regular disaster."

[-] 1 points by grapes (5232) 6 years ago

Banks differ greatly from other bondholders such as the U.S. idiots who own pensions, certificates of depreciation, 401(k)s, 403(b)s, IRAs, life insurance policies, U.S. savings bonds, etc. because their profits hinge on connecting depositors to borrowers with a fudge factor for banks' profits sneaked into the transactions. The banks' mantra is to roll the capital THROUGH, not to hog it unless they are scared stiff.

That word "THROUGH" is the crux of the matter that triggered the Longest Recession. Banks' proprietary trading created so much toxic derivatives that they could not get rid of them fast enough by selling them to China, Germany, Japan, etc. Lehman Brothers was the big hard lump that could not get out because Hank Paulson and Ben Bernanke became fatigued and anal-retentive. Financial constipation is a fatal disease but the U.S. Congress and the Federal Reserve applied an enema so suck it up if you were splashed by the explosive relief. Of course, real Americans try not to get splashed twice if they can help it.

[-] 1 points by grapes (5232) 6 years ago

If you understand banking, it is not in the interest of JP Morgan Chase to have deflation to be able to buy more. The bankers own debts which tend to default in deflationary environment. That is where the really humongous losses in banking tend to originate from. Hence, there is the persistent banks-owned federal reserve bias towards creating inflation.

The more a bank owes its depositors multiplied by a greater than one factor, the more it can own debts in the form of loans. Liquidity of any bank hinges on collecting on the debts it owns. Inflation makes debts easier to collect so it provides better protection for the bank. Banks have the propensity towards creating infinite amount of debts because their profits are a fraction of that number. It is the reason that banks are like the Fukushima nuclear reactors, sitting near a fault, always nearly going critical, waiting for the tsunami, or like the tsunami's aftermath now, waiting 10,000 years for the radioactivity to die down. When can the Fukushima residents go back home? When can the U.S. idiots stop bailing out the banksters? Hmmm, answers require Bill Clinton's exquisite touch, "Don't ask! Don't tell!"

[-] 1 points by grapes (5232) 6 years ago

It is a mixed bag so it is best to have zero inflation and zero deflation. Messing with the measuring rod's unit while measuring the economy to steer it well is absolute stupidity but apparently many people think that it is a good idea as long as it is in their own individual interest.

Okay, I hear cries for $15 an hour minimum wage. With inflation, we will be back again to clamor for more to get back to the same purchasing power. This is stupidity for the people to clamor for higher minimum wage and higher inflation. I know the numbers get bigger so let us make ourselves happier by declaring through law that we shift all of our numbers one decimal digit to the left on 1/1/2015. We would have 10 times the wage and 10 times the wealth. Yay!

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 6 years ago

from an investment newsletter - stating the obvious - "Deflation and inflation don't create or destroy resources. They simply move resources between people.

Inflation takes resources out of creditors' hands and gives them to debtors.

Deflation shifts resources from debtors to creditors.

That's why the Fed, banks and governments dread deflation. Deflation makes paying back loans harder.

Banks suffer when people owe them money. If those people can't pay, the banks fail.

The Fed suffers in a deflation because as bankruptcies pile up. Governments suffer because they owe more money than anyone else. If they don't pay, government has a debt crisis and needs to shrink.

The Fed suffers in a deflation because as bankruptcies pile up, everyone shows up on their doorstep with torches and pitchforks.

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 6 years ago

inflation redistributes wealth - from the rich to the poor. you can keep making your pronouncements - they have little basis in fact. how about if i leave it there

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 6 years ago

very easy to index the minimum wage to inflation like social security - should be done better than ss but that is a problem of democracy not economics. again you confuse the symbol of wealth and money - why. you seem smart enough to get it - is it intentional? do you want to be the guy in the lifeboat or the rich guy trying to buy his seat on the titanic - do you want to be the guy in the desert with a jug of water or the guy with lots of dollars bills - or perhaps you would rather have gold there?? i teach 12 kids who get this instantly - why can't you?

[-] 1 points by grapes (5232) 6 years ago

Why is the minimum wage not indexed to inflation? Political smartness against turkey brains, I believe.

I knew the difference decades ago but many people still do not know, unfortunately. I would gobbledygook if I am talking to turkeys; I would bark if I am talking to dogs; I would meow if I am talking to cats.

Not grasping the difference between wealth and money makes the minimum wage a perennial issue that politicians gladly use for getting votes by proposing to raise it. That is one way to keep the turkeys opening up to the rain from the rainmaker up on high and on the farm for Thanksgiving.

[-] 1 points by grapes (5232) 6 years ago

Sound money is the basis of any sound economy. Germany had sound money, the deutschmark, after its extremely painful lessons of inflation and war. Germany got a sound economy. Even during the Great Recession, Germany still held control of the euro, still not hyperinflating. That is historical fact that you can check on. Also Switzerland seems to have fared really well over many decades by having a sound money, the Swiss franc.

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 6 years ago

your point about germany is correct - again pointing out the difference between money and real wealth. the germans lost the war because they could not get oil and coal and steel - not because the mark was inflating or any other silly thing. as to the swiss - look up the price of a loaf of bread in ch in 1956 and today. tremendous inflation adn ye a much richer country. none so blind as those who will not see. it is really very simple - just take a look at who wants stable money - the bond vigilantes and the 1% - oh and you

[-] 1 points by turbocharger (1756) 6 years ago

There could certainly be a tie to a worthless currency and the ones running the goods not wanting to deal with them.

The swiss got hit with an adjustment about two years ago, where they pegged their currency to the Euro (forget about the swiss being neutral from now on).

The people lost 10% of their purchasing power overnight.

[-] 1 points by grapes (5232) 6 years ago

Capital fled to Swiss franc to get haircuts to become unrecognizable by law enforcement authorities and retain its purchasing power (sometimes a bad haircut turns them bald instead). The Swiss cannot tolerate the effect of this torrent of capital influx on pricing them out of their export markets so negative interest rate becomes the more orderly daily shave on capital.

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 6 years ago

i do understand those issues that can cause big problems for working people. that is why the currency should be under democratic control and not that of the ruling elite - whether bankers or otherwise. italy spain and greece would be much better off if they could devalue their currency - one of the unspoken political reasons for the euro in my opinion.

keyes had it right about currencies not being subjected to speculation. all of this does not change the bigger picture about bond holders and the wealthy in general wanting slow growth and stable currencies. my bank (i am holding a 30 yr mortgage at 3.8%) does not want inflation to take off to 5, 6 or 7% - it would help me and hurt them. for sure the banks do not want deflation or depression but those sitting on piles of cash (or gold) will be happy when it comes - like j p morgan and andrew mellon of old. seems in our upside down economic system there are always winners and losers - doesn't have to be that way. i leave you with howard zinn

HOWARD ZINN: We grow up in a controlled society. And so we thought, if one person kills another person, that is murder. But if the government kills 100,000 persons, that is patriotism. And they’ll say we’re disturbing the peace, but there is no peace. What really bothers them is that we’re disturbing the war. ............. start from the supposition that the world is topsy turvy, that things are all wrong, that the wrong people are in jail, and the wrong people are out of jail, that the wrong people are in power, and the wrong people are out of power. I start from the supposition that we don’t have to say too much about this, because all we have to do is think about the state of the world today and realize that things are all upside-down.

[-] 1 points by grapes (5232) 6 years ago

Switzerland introduces 0.25% negative interest rate to stem the rise of the strong safe-haven currency.

Negative interest rates are quite an impressive breakthrough!

[-] 2 points by turbocharger (1756) 6 years ago

Ya I saw that on tv, how insane.

We are heading for one corporate controlled currency/government/regulated shit storm. Hopefully the human desire to build and create outweighs the wave of stupidity and the downfall doesnt last that long.

THe thing that worries me is that everything is so centralized at this point, that the ones running things dont need to work to make it, and are so distanced from the production that the guilt of taking care of employees is none existent.

If things were more decentralized, and the economy crashes, well the farmers who feed town X would keep going, because they dont want to loose it all.

As it stands now, its just some corporate fat cat in the middle of Kansas who decides to shut down the factory for the time being, and there ya go, half the country gets no bread.

But, those sickos do love money more than anything else, so perhaps even they have that inner desire to keep going regardless of macro conditions.

[-] 1 points by grapes (5232) 6 years ago

Oh yes, flip, I am so EXCITED that I have discovered the NEW Switzerland south of our cold wet damp drizzly Gringoland. It is Venezuela where gasoline costs only 18 cents per gallon and inflation runs above 60%. The climate is nice and warm there (Russia was a runner-up but its distance, climate, and different time zone would make migratory journeys of yanquis more difficult). It will become a paradise soon because of the inflation that you said is good for people. I had doubts about that but the 18 cents per gallon gasoline price was the clincher. You should pack up and move there soon to take advantage of the inflation rate before the "rocket" takes off. There will be unstable money gushing your way there (through devaluation perhaps).

[-] 2 points by flip (7101) 6 years ago

what the hell do you read? where do you come up with these ideas? - like this -"The lunch ladies achieve near-100% eradication of famine of children in our schools. The U.S. puts its money where its mouths are through free lunches." - "In the US, hunger isn’t caused by a lack of food, but rather the continued prevalence of poverty.

  1. 1 in 6 people in America face hunger.

  2. ”Food insecurity” refers to USDA's measure of lack of access, at times, to enough food for all household members. Households with children reported a significantly higher food insecurity rate than households without children in 2011: 20.6% vs. 12.2%.

  3. Food insecurity exists in every county in America. In 2011, 17.9 million households were food insecure. More and more people are relying on food banks and pantries. Collect food outside your local supermarket for a local food bank. Sign up for Supermarket Stakeout.

  4. 50.1 million Americans struggle to put food on the table.

  5. In the US, hunger isn’t caused by a lack of food, but rather the continued prevalence of poverty.
[-] 1 points by grapes (5232) 6 years ago

I read the hamster-like cheek pouches of school children stuffed.

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 6 years ago

your ny times view of thee world gets no traction here - didn't you know that? first of all did you mention poverty reduction in venezuela? this is from mark weisbrot

"This is especially true for Jon Lee Anderson, writing in the January 28 issue of the New Yorker ("Slumlord: What has Hugo Chávez wrought in Venezuela?"). He mentions in passing that "the poorest Venezuelans are marginally better off these days". Marginally? From 2004-2011, extreme poverty was reduced by about two-thirds. Poverty was reduced by about one-half. And this measures only cash income. It does not count the access to health care that millions now have, or the doubling of college enrollment – with free tuition for many. Access to public pensions tripled. Unemployment is half of what it was when Chavez took office.

I shouldn't have to emphasise that Venezuela's poverty reduction, real (inflation-adjusted) income growth, and other basic data in the Chavez era are not in dispute among experts, including international statistical agencies such as the World Bank or UN. Even opposition economists use the same data in making their case against the government. It is only journalists like Anderson who avoid letting commonly agreed upon facts and numbers get in the way of their story."

then we have the issue of productivity

"The New York Times, for its part, ran yet another hate piece on its op-ed page. Dog bites man. Nothing new here, they have doing this for almost 14 years – most recently just three months ago. This one was remarkably unoriginal, comparing the Chavez government to a Latin American magical realist novel. It contained very little information – but being fact-free allowed the authors to claim that the country had "dwindling productivity" and "an enormous foreign debt load". Productivity has not "dwindled" under Chavez; in fact real GDP per capita, which is mostly driven by productivity growth, expanded by 24 percent since 2004 (for an explanation of why 2004 is a reasonable starting point, see here). In the 20 years prior to Chavez, real GDP per person actually fell. As for the "enormous foreign debt load", Venezuela's foreign public debt is about 28 percent of GDP, and the interest on it is about 2 percent of GDP. If this is enormous – well let's just say these people don't have a good sense of quantity.

[-] 2 points by grapes (5232) 6 years ago

Why is Venezuela reminding me of what happened to Zimbabwe? Disappearance of dissidents seems to have become a favorite sport inhuman right. Hmm, I clamor for Citgo to sell 18-cent per gallon gasoline in New York to reduce U.S. poverty.

[-] 1 points by grapes (5232) 6 years ago

While I certainly admire the achievement of the Chavez regime in reducing poverty, I should also mention the feeding miracle occurring in our public school cafeteria nearly every school day. The lunch ladies achieve near-100% eradication of famine of children in our schools. The U.S. puts its money where its mouths are through free lunches.

[-] 1 points by donOld (134) 6 years ago

Replacing private capital with free public capital would eliminate debt completely and free mankind from the R.I.P. of rent, interest & profit.

[-] 1 points by donOld (134) 6 years ago

If you divide the value of the GDP by the number of hours of work that it took to produce it, the average value of an hour of work is about $55. That means an average full-time worker should be earning over $113,000 a year. Splitting the fruits evenly works to the advantage of almost everyone. Providing a basic income looks after the guy who would rather stay high, and paying students a normal wage while they are learning (instead of enslaving them in debt) gets rid of their claim to be worth more than the rest of us after they graduate.

[-] 1 points by turbocharger (1756) 6 years ago

Except the overwhelming vast majority of people will have a huge problem with A) the guy next to them slacking off and being a bum, but getting the same amount of pay, and B) the people whom go to school and train themselves in either very difficult or very dangerous fields will not do that, when they can take it easier and make the same amount.

Its a great idea, its just never going to work with a species as competitive as humans.

[-] 1 points by donOld (134) 6 years ago

A) if you mean the guy next to them is a neighbor who doesn't work, then he won't be getting the same amount of pay, in fact he won't be getting any pay. If you mean the guy next to them is a co-worker, then he won't be around long. Once they start complaining, he'll be fired. Competition for jobs will still weed out the lazy.

B) People will finally be free to vote with their lives (life work) for the kind of society they want, not just for some make-believe democracy at election time. This is true freedom. And yes, if no one wanted to bother becoming a brain surgeon, then society would have to learn to live without them.

Our negative attitudes and beliefs about others are just a symptom of the injuries that our current monetary system has caused. Once you take away the oppressive, money system that dictates the way we think now about life, an entirely new set of meanings and motivations will kick in. Public respect will replace personal gain, and an unheard of level of individual creativity will take root. Some people thrive on the dangerous jobs, and machines to eliminate "hard work" will continue to be invented. A world of unimaginable possibilities awaits us, if we can only shake our fears and superstitions about equality.

[-] 1 points by grapes (5232) 6 years ago

I would like to say that we all have an equal natural right to be alive and prosper but actual means being limited, it would just be little more than empty rhetoric from me, like most of the leaders around the world.

Firstly, we need to define equal. Equal cannot mean identical because anyone who has ever dealt with children fighting over toys should know. The other one's toy always seems more preferable. Once a child gets the other one's toy, that toy is No Longer "the other one's toy." I knew a way for the children to share the toys equally well - by removing All the toys from them to make them equal. Obviously, that is Not what the children want. Now with toys back, there comes the "other one's toy being more preferable" problem and the bickering begins anew. The only way "equal" can work is that it is defined abstractly but we run into trouble very soon because abstract notions are subject to opinion differences. Maybe we can introduce statistical resolutions such as polling to firm up the abstract notions but that has not worked due to the attention deficit.

Secondly, we need to define prosper. We run into differences about what "prosper" means. It is a notion valid if viewed from 30,000 feet above but it loses its meaning if viewed upclose.

[-] 2 points by donOld (134) 6 years ago

To me, equal means the natural right to live freely, without coercion or exploitation. This is only possible if everyone has equal access to the economic resources needed to self-develop and prosper. Equal access to education, equal access to capital and an equal reward for trying your best pretty well sums it up.

Prosper implies having the means and opportunity to follow your own path, your own way, without anyone else siphoning off your productivity. It doesn't mean that you'll always be successful, it just means you'll have the opportunity and right to try.

[-] 1 points by StillModestCapitalist (343) 6 years ago

Reads like the same old 'there is no economic injustice so don't you dare tax the rich' crap to me. The same old conservative hogwash.

Am I misinterpreting your comment?

[-] 0 points by grapes (5232) 6 years ago

Freedom is relative to one's perceived constraints as I had discovered. For example, are you free if someone gives you expensive tickets to a show that you have no interest in and yet you still attend? Is it prosperity? What if I have no interest beforehand, still attend, and discover that it is interesting after all? Am I freed by my change of interest?

I am of the opinion that the so-called equal opportunity does not suffice. The not-so-successful ones should get an extra helpful push. The successful ones should share their knowledge and experiences to help but redistributing their wealth involuntarily is not the right way to go (that is the crux of the fear of equality as we had already lived through with idiotic Communism - everyone aside from the ones making others equal become equally poor and constrained but the regimes work hard on gaining "freedom of the minds" through propaganda). I believe in meritocracy so lowering standards to make anyone look good as if they were over the bars is unacceptable. High standards are required for excellence. As a society, we should strive for excellence and remember noblesse oblige.

[-] -2 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 6 years ago

Mandating that everybody gets paid the same is the OPPOSITE of a system where you have an opportunity to succeed without other people siphoning off of your productivity. You're mandating that nobody can succeed since everybody gets paid the same. You're eliminating opportunity.

[-] 1 points by StillModestCapitalist (343) 6 years ago

We don't need to eliminate opportunity but we sure as hell should cap it tight.

But we won't because we are too fucking stupid and corrupt as a society.

[-] -2 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 6 years ago

Why should we "cap" opportunity in the Land Of Opportunity? Some people are less successful than others, so we should eliminate the concept of success to pander to people who can't cut it?

[-] 1 points by StillModestCapitalist (343) 6 years ago

We should not eliminate the concept of success but we should stop concentrating the benefits.

A firefighter gets paid a modest five figures to save lives and property risking their own life in the process.

An actor pretending to be a firefighter gets paid millions for their electronically reproduced likeness.

I say pay both by the hour based on some reasonable scale. 1-20 max. Anymore of a disparity is obscene, illogical and immoral.

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 6 years ago

You're fighting for a guy who makes six figures?!?

[-] 0 points by StillModestCapitalist (343) 6 years ago

Sorry, I have made that reference many times. I meant five figures. I'll make the correction.

[-] 0 points by donOld (134) 6 years ago

It sounds like succeed, to you & grapes, means simply being better than the other guy, or getting ahead & getting more. What I meant by "successful" was achieving what you set out to do (like building a bridge across a river). Success comes from completing your plan or objective.

The kind of success you are talking about IS the siphoning off of someone else's productivity. It's self-enrichment at someone else's expense. You are correct, public capital would eliminate this kind of opportunity.

[-] -1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 6 years ago

If you're planning to outlaw profit from building bridges over rivers then you have to realize that nobody is going to build bridges over rivers. Right?

[-] 1 points by donOld (134) 6 years ago

Not at all. There are other motivations that inspire people.

[-] 1 points by StillModestCapitalist (343) 6 years ago

For example, the real world benefit of working together for a common cause. This was the pure logic on which society was formed to begin with. Unfortunately, it has been sold out for maximum profit.

Extreme wealth never should have become socially acceptable to begin with. It is pure evil.

[-] 0 points by donOld (134) 6 years ago

The saddest part is that we waste most of our precious time on Earth pursuing something that will never satisfy us. Beyond a certain point, material wealth is not what we need to live an enjoyable, meaningful life. Love and respect is what people need most. Build a society around that and the whole game changes.

[-] 2 points by StillModestCapitalist (343) 6 years ago

I would join without a second thought.

[-] -2 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 6 years ago

You're basically suggesting scaling down the economy. That would hurt poor people a lot more than it would hurt rich people, because your ideas would eliminate jobs. From what I can tell, you want to eliminate the entire concept of a job. That doesn't help a guy trying to feed his family.

[-] 1 points by donOld (134) 6 years ago

Where exactly did I suggest scaling down the economy?

[-] 0 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 6 years ago

Obviously fewer homes will be built if you eliminate the economic motivation to build houses and expect people to build houses just for fun. That will happen in every sector of the economy and so the economy will contract. You're proposing eliminating the reason for doing business: profit. And so there will be a lot less business. That would hurt poor people more than rich people since poor people are the ones who need jobs.

[-] 0 points by donOld (134) 6 years ago

Why is profit currently the reason for doing business? 1) to pay for the fixed assets that the business requires 2) to pay interest on borrowed money and dividends to shareholders 3) to pay CEOs ridiculous incomes

With public capital, businesses don't pay for the fixed assets they require. They get to use them for free. The only cost they pass on in prices to their customers is the asset's actual depreciation cost.

With public capital, there is no debt or borrowing costs to worry about. Businesses don't need other people's money to get started, so there are no shareholders to reward and please.

That leaves only #3, the ridiculous salaries and perks of the CEOs. This must be the real cause of your concern. You either support, or are, the 1% and would hate to see your privilege go.

Your ridiculous logic betrays you... the poor would be able to create their own jobs. There would be far more business activity and it would locally based. They don't need CEOs, or shareholders, or financial speculators who grow rich on their sweat.

[-] 0 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 6 years ago

The whole point of doing business is to make a profit. Why would anybody start a business if their future would be the same whether they succeed or whether they just don't even try?

You really think that a trailer park full of uneducated poor people are going to spontaneously organize into a co-op business that earns everybody a living wage?

[-] 0 points by donOld (134) 6 years ago

Your disrespect for others is astounding.

[-] 0 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 6 years ago

Elsewhere in this thread you suggested that people would invest in automation that enhances productivity so that they can work fewer hours. But that doesn't fit into your model. People who develop automation and then work fewer hours would effectively get paid more per hour. A person who invents his way to making his $100k in 20 hours per week instead of 40 could earn $200k instead of $100k by working 40 hours.

So would you prefer to eliminate that persn's ability to earn more than everybody else, or would you prefer to eliminate innovation?

[-] 1 points by SerfingUSA (451) 6 years ago

Let me preface by saying the subject of technological unemployment is a very delicate subject for most humans to contemplate objectively. The main reasons are that humans typically have huge egos and too often delusions of grandeur. To even suggest that humans will someday be inferior to technology in all salaried labor tasks, is too much for the human ego to accept.

Presently we are experiencing the death throes of an obsolete economic model. No longer is enough of our population needed for labor to drive society as it did last century. People want to argue about the Luddite fallacy. That jobs displaced by technology spawn new ones, etc. The trajectory for that dynamic is now on a descending curve.

Many experts who were adherents of the Luddite fallacy, are now advocates for confronting the destruction of technological unemployment on our societal model. Someday various forms of technology will outperform humans at all labor tasks. Who knows when that time will come. 60, 100, 200, 300 years? I think today we are seeing enough human labor replaced that is starting to render last century's economic systems obsolete. Under normal conditions, any economic system that does not provide enough of it's population with adequate financial opportunity cannot sustain a premium society.

[-] -1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 6 years ago

You're trying to make a case that the Luddite Fallacy is not a fallacy, but you simply repeated the fallacy. That's not very convincing. Of course technology outperforms humans. That's what it's for. There has to be an efficiency gain for automation to be worth inventing. But it doesn't decrease the amount of problems for humans to solve. It simply shifts those problems around. Once somebody invents an automated lace-stitching machine, the problems that the company faces shift from finding people who can stitch lace by hand, to finding people who can operate machines and maintain machines and improve machines and to finding people on the supply side who can keep up with the increased productivity to feed the machines with raw materials. Jobs are not eliminated overall, but the new jobs require higher skill levels. Structural unemployment is bad for some people but it's great for other people. The difference is your ability to learn new job skills. A lot of the skills that I use on the job every day didn't even exist when Occupy Wall Street first started. In an economy with rapid innovation like ours, the ability to learn job skills is a form of wealth.

I'm curious to hear more, though, about how you would propose "destroying" technological unemployment? donOld doesn't seem to realize that his proposal would eliminate innovation. It's apparently an unintended effect that he hasn't thought about. But you seem to actually be in favor of eliminating innovation?

[-] 1 points by donOld (134) 6 years ago

Did you ever visit the link in this article to understand the idea? The $100K figure is what a 40-hour work week would earn you at the average GDP/hr rate. A 20-hour work week would only earn you half of that amount.

[-] -1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 6 years ago

So your answer is that you would eliminate innovation. Why would anybody invent a ditch-digging machine, if they would end up getting paid LESS for working more efficiently?

[-] -1 points by donOld (134) 6 years ago

Ask yourself one simple question... would you and your loved ones be better off if you could make $100,000 a year working at something that you enjoy?

If the answer to that is yes, but you still don't believe that an equal hourly pay rate would be good for society, then please tell me whose interests you are putting above you own family's, and why?

I just can't figure this out.

[-] 7 points by beautifulworld (23520) 6 years ago

People tend to put the interests of corporations and the wealthy above their own interests because that is what they've been brainwashed to do, sadly.

Turkeys voting for Thanksgiving.

[-] 4 points by grapes (5232) 6 years ago

This is sacrilege! Turkeys are the most American birds of all, sacrificing their lives for our Thanksgiving feasts. Benjamin Franklin favored the American turkey over the bald eagle but to no avail. The spirit still survives.

[-] 3 points by grapes (5232) 6 years ago

I bet that you have Never watched an American turkey family in action. They have family values and what looks like extended kinship when foraging.

[-] 2 points by grapes (5232) 6 years ago

I vote for Equality for All before a roasted turkey carcass, cranberry sauce, and next to every nativity scene in America, the display of a turkey hen brooding over her eggs with the courageous patrolman waddling nearby gobbledygooking "To Serve and To Protect."

Eating the flesh and the red sauce should be a ritual familiar and unoffensive to many religious observants. After Easter, the turkey chicks will all fly phoenix-like from the bleached bones of their mother. There will be the "New Birth of Freedom" and the new Prosperity for All by next Thanksgiving. I harbor Hope that their mother will be in Paradise preparing them new homes by then. It seems that beloved pets can enter through the Gates as well.

[-] 1 points by donOld (134) 6 years ago

"Turkeys voting for Thanksgiving"... now that there's funny :)

But OWS isn't filled with turkeys, is it? Visitors here should know better.

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (23520) 6 years ago

True occupiers are not turkeys of course, but there are some good intentioned Americans, I believe, and some of them post here, who fight real hard for the status quo. In my opinion, fighting for the status quo, to work within the current political and economic system, is against the interests of the 99% despite what these people may think. This is my opinion.

[-] 0 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 6 years ago

If everybody earned $100k/year then that would be the new poverty line. You've heard of inflation?

Way back during the actual OWS protests, there was a guy on this forum trying to promote a guaranteed minimum income of $100k for everybody. He just couldn't understand that $100k would not be worth what it is now if everybody earned that much.

[-] 1 points by StillModestCapitalist (343) 6 years ago

Do you agree that in order for the poor to have more actual buying power, the rich must have less?

[-] -1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 6 years ago

Not necessarily, since rich people don't buy the same things that poor people do. Whether Bill Gates has ten billion dollars or a hundred billion dollars doesn't affect the price of a Big Mac, since Bill Gates doesn't buy Big Macs.

If all of the poor people who used to make $20k/year get pushed up to $100k/year then that won't help them that much, since everything will end up costing five times as much. A Big Mac that costs $5 today would cost $25 if everybody made at least $100k. So your idea doesn't really help the poor. It just changes the numbers, not their actual purchasing power.

[-] 1 points by StillModestCapitalist (343) 6 years ago

Yes it does by effecting the distribution and value of currency. If some have too much, others have too little. It then becomes necessary to print more. This generally reduces the value. No matter how you slice it, buying power is always relative.

The rich also drive up the cost of living by hogging and squandering resources.

Bill Gates is part of the problem.

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 6 years ago

Rich people having a lot of zeroes in the their bank account balances doesn't take food off of the table of working people, but inflation would. You support a system that would force the working class to scramble to keep up with the inflation that your social engineering would cause. Money is just a way to measure wealth, it isn't real wealth.

[-] 1 points by StillModestCapitalist (343) 6 years ago

Yes it does. It also causes social strife and economic instability. It has already caused one Great Depression and will soon cause another. It will eventually cause the fall of modern society.

Money isn't real wealth on a deserted island but it damn well is at the retailer. There is no excuse whatsoever for such a heavy concentration.

Fortunately for the rich, our government is too corrupt to do anything about it and the people are too stupid to change their spending habits.

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 6 years ago

The Great Depression was caused by deflation, not inflation.

[-] 0 points by donOld (134) 6 years ago

o.k. let's talk about inflation. There is a grain of truth in what you say but we need to get the whole truth about inflation on the table.

Inflation is a natural, healthy and essential part of a truly free and open market. Like a grease, inflation lubricates the friction between the interests of capital and the demands of labor. In a free market, both capital and labor continually strive for a bigger share of the proceeds from production. If labor wins a wage increase, management tries to raise prices in order to maintain or improve their previous level of profitability. If prices rise, labor attempts to negotiate a wage increase in order to maintain or improve their previous purchasing power. Neither side ever wins absolutely and the contest is never over.

The freedom to struggle, however, is essential if the market is to remain free and open. A market is really only free and open if there is an equal opportunity for all parties to negotiate for a bigger piece of the economic pie. As long as the market remains free and open, neither side can get too far ahead of the other before the other side begins to catch up. Inflation, or rising prices, is the natural consequence of each small victory for either side. Each victory provides a temporary, relative advantage for the victor, but as others in the marketplace attempt to recoup their losses (rising costs), the victor's relative advantage soon disappears. (We, of course, don't have anything even close to a free market now. Non-union employers, back-to-work legislation, etc. have decimated labor's rights to negotiate)

Inflation would not occur in the equal hourly pay system that I am suggesting because the conflict between management and labor would be eliminated completely. Prices would be labor costs + asset depreciation... that's it. There would be no debt or interest and no profit or rent to push up prices. It would be utterly pointless for labor to demand a higher equal pay since prices would simply rise by exactly the same amount.

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 6 years ago

Inflation results from the loss of value of currency. Money loses its value when the money supply is increased. You're talking about increasing the money supply by paying everybody six figures. If dollars are plentiful then they will be less valuable, and then you'll be back to the starting line again. Adding zeroes to everybody's bank accounts wouldn't increase people's purchasing power, it would simply devalue money itself.

[-] 1 points by donOld (134) 6 years ago

"Money loses its value when the money supply is increased."

Money also loses it value when the money supply stays the same. Inflation can occur when profits push prices higher, but wage levels stay the same. Workers can buy less, profiteers can buy more, but no increase in the money supply is necessary. Inflation is an inevitable consequence when all market values are subjectively defined.

If you want to see the real effects of inflation simply divide today's wages and prices by 10 and compare them to the wages and prices of 70 years ago. Compare how many hours of work it took back then to buy a car or house to now.

[-] 1 points by StillModestCapitalist (343) 6 years ago

Or 35 years ago when we still had a strong middle class.

By the way, I see the conservative posers have been marking down my older comments again in order to reduce my overall user rating. That's fine. From now on, I will post the following link with each comment.

http://occupywallst.org/forum/ows-readers-beware-our-site-has-been-taken-over-by/

[-] 0 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 6 years ago

Prices rise as an effect of inflation, rising prices are not the cause of inflation. And profit increases aren't necessarily tied to price increases or decreases in wages. Companies often improve profitability by reducing wages. Look at Costco for example: low prices, high volume, and they pay a living wage. The market prevents companies from increasing their profit by increasing prices because companies compete with other companies. If one raises prices too high then that creates opportunities for other companies to compete. Businesses set prices based on what the market will bear, not based on how much profit they would ideally like to extort out of the masses.

BTW, thanks for your post. That was a fascinating explanation of your perspective on inflation, as viewed through an ideological lens. Stuff like that is exactly what I find so entertaining about this site.

[-] 2 points by elf3 (4203) 6 years ago

Prices are only high if your pay can't meet them. Why is there such disparity in product prices vs employee pay. Production costs have been decreasing as labor goes to China...so have wages. And the savings if the offshoring are not passed on to consumers...they get pocketed at the top. Eventually the music is going to stop ...you can't lay off all your workers and think they will still have the means to buy your products. (Nor will they be able to provide subsidies to others so they can keep shopping after they are laid off). This whole model is flawed.

[-] 0 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 6 years ago

Perhaps, but the model that donOld is proposing is even more flawed.

[-] 1 points by StillModestCapitalist (343) 6 years ago

Ideological lens? Tell me, does the game of Monopoly play any different with no lens? What happens when one player out of 10 owns 80% of the board? What happens EVERY SINGLE TIME?

By the way, I see the conservative posers have been marking down my older comments again in order to reduce my overall user rating. That's fine. From now on, I will post the following link with each comment.

http://occupywallst.org/forum/ows-readers-beware-our-site-has-been-taken-over-by/

[-] 0 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 6 years ago

Funny paranoia stuff, thanks for the entertainment.

What I meant by "ideological lens" was the idea that inflation happens because evil industrialists raise prices. In reality, higher prices are an effect of inflation and not the cause, because the market determines pricing based on supply and demand. The actual cause of inflation is the devaluation of money, not the evil 1% jacking up prices just to stick it to the 99%.

[-] 2 points by StillModestCapitalist (343) 6 years ago

You can tech it up from here to eternity. It makes no difference. The buying power is ALWAYS relative. When some have too much, others have too little.

In other words, the 1% damn well are evil.

http://occupywallst.org/forum/ows-readers-beware-our-site-has-been-taken-over-by/

[-] 1 points by donOld (134) 6 years ago

no problem... glad to entertain you.

"Prices rise as an effect of inflation, rising prices are not the cause of inflation." Inflation IS rising prices.

"And profit increases aren't necessarily tied to price increases or decreases in wages. Companies often improve profitability by reducing wages." You just contradicted yourself.

[-] 0 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 6 years ago

Sorry yes, I mean to say that companies often improve profitability by reducing PRICES, not wages. Mis-spoke there.

Example: Costco's business model is based on reducing prices to stimulate volume. They pay a living wage.

[-] 1 points by donOld (134) 6 years ago

You are just chirping out the same old economic tune that sterilizes people's imagination of anything better. I'm not talking about increasing the money supply, I'm talking about redistributing the current value of the GDP based on the time value it took to produce it. The equal hourly pay rate would simply be the value produced (GDP) divided by the number of hours spent producing it. So if it takes society 10 hours to produce 100 widgets, the equal pay rate would be 10 widgets per hour. The value of the GDP already exists... no new money needs to be added to earn $100K each.

[-] 0 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 6 years ago

Your idea would increase the money supply by giving people a lot more money to spend, and that would make each dollar worth a lot less. This is a really simple concept. If everybody had lots of dollars then dollars would be worth less.

[-] 1 points by donOld (134) 6 years ago

Bullshit. This idea started by looking at the facts... the government's own published statistics. Do the math yourself if you don't believe it. Divide the GDP by the total number of hours worked, that's what the average hour of work produces. That's the money that we already have. This is a really simple concept.

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 6 years ago

If you and I both want to buy the same apartment then we're going to both submit our bids and one of us will win. If both of our incomes were increased to one million dollars per year, then both of us would make higher bids, since we would have more dollars to spend. Home prices would move up. That's inflation.

You're proposing giving people more money so that they can spend more money. If everybody spends more money on the same things then money itself becomes less valuable. That's inflation.

Get it?

[-] 1 points by donOld (134) 6 years ago

We can't buy any apartment... they are free (except for the depreciation our living there causes).

I'm not proposing giving people more money, I'm proposing redistributing the existing money equally.

[-] 0 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 6 years ago

You're proposing giving most people a lot more dollars. That will make each dollar worth less. So you end up back at the beginning, where people don't have more purchasing power, they just have more zeroes on their bank accounts. That's called "inflation".

[-] 2 points by donOld (134) 6 years ago

o.k. let me explain it a different way. Forget dollars altogether for a moment. Instead of a currency based on dollars, we use a currency based on hours. If you work for 10 hours, 10 hours are deposited in your bank account. All prices are also in hours. The price of any good or service is simply the sum of all the labor hours that went into producing it.

In such a system, the ONLY thing that can cause a price increase is an increase in the number of labor hours that went into making a product. There is absolutely nothing else to cause inflation. No debt & interest, no profit, no rents. There will always be just enough money to sell everything produced, and not a penny (minute) more. New money is created by working, money is extinguished by consumption. Money does not recirculate. One hour's work will always be worth 60 minutes. It can't be inflated to 65 minutes, or deflated to 55 minutes. An hour is a universal constant that cannot be manipulated by human greed.

[-] 3 points by elf3 (4203) 6 years ago

Bunk...ok, productivity? In your little model an employee who produces 100 whodangles an hour is no more valuable than the one who only produces 5. And in fact, Labor has no relationship to price....the Company sees the increase and the consumer never gets a lower price...the workers are paid only by time and not how hard they work or can produce per hour. What does a CEO produce? They produce ways to cut back on production costs aka employees while increasing the productivity of the workers....so the harder you work the less you get ( when you achieve the speeds of two workers...they downsize someone else) and pocket the difference and use the increase to increase the stock value probably to sell it or merge with another company who then lays off all the workers and decreases consumer choice.... so hard work in the employee world has no relationship to earning more nor does increased production have a relationship to cheaper costs. Inflation occurs when worker pay doesn't keep up with product costs. In a world where a wealth gap develops...the ceos and the like can still afford the costs and actually consider them low on their scale...but the worker can't keep up. Eventually this will cause an economic collapse and the ceo's are shooting themselves in the foot. How long can they exist only selling to the very rich? That happened in housing. We saw that crash. The less the profits are distributed...over time less products will be sold. Employees are assets because they are also consumers...an investment in them is an investment in sales. It is called economics. A market doesn't exist in a vaccum. Nor does success. It is a circle thus the more you give the more you get. The less you give...expect a crash.

[-] 1 points by donOld (134) 6 years ago

If company A produces 100 whodangles per hour, each of their whodangles would sell for 1/100th of an hour. If company B produces only 5 per hour, their price would be 1/20th of an hour. Consumers would buy from company A and company B would have to try producing something else. Without profit, consumers (workers) would receive 100% of all productivity gains.

[-] 0 points by elf3 (4203) 6 years ago

Reply to don old below ...then why do you pay by hour and not production...why don't you have profit share incentives? If theoretically the big producers make you more...why aren't they getting paid more? So while you measure and threaten firings for a low productivity...you still only pay them by the hour. In stead of dangling a carrot you are hitting them with a stick. Tell me then as all production goes to China and the employees get the proverbial stick...the prices haven't changed for consumers? There is a ridiculous mark- up. Is it because the Chinese workers are being generously rewarded for their excellent productivity and have great benefits? Phht.

[-] 0 points by donOld (134) 6 years ago

You want to give me an example in today's world where an employee produces only 5% of what his co-workers are producing? Obviously that worker would be fired. A standard productivity range is expected and enforced by management. It would be no different in the system I suggest.

As for the rest of your comment, you have no idea what I am talking about. There are no stock values or shareholders, and prices automatically go down as costs go down.

[-] -1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 6 years ago

This is a terrible idea because it incentivizes inefficiency. Nobody would ever invent ditch digging machines because they would have no incentive, since everybody's goal would be to work MORE hours, not less. Economic growth would stagnate, because what would be the point of increased productivity?

[-] 1 points by elf3 (4203) 6 years ago

Welcome to our world. I think you are starting to get it.

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 6 years ago

we need economic growth to stagnant no? the world is running out of most of the raw materials that our society is built upon - no? we cannot "grow" our way out of this problem - no? how about max neef -

AMY GOODMAN: And if you’re teaching young economists, the principles you would teach them, what they’d be?

MANFRED MAX-NEEF: The principles, you know, of an economics which should be are based in five postulates and one fundamental value principle. One, the economy is to serve the people and not the people to serve the economy. Two, development is about people and not about objects. Three, growth is not the same as development, and development does not necessarily require growth. Four, no economy is possible in the absence of ecosystem services. Five, the economy is a subsystem of a larger finite system, the biosphere, hence permanent growth is impossible. And the fundamental value to sustain a new economy should be that no economic interest, under no circumstance, can be above the reverence of life.

AMY GOODMAN: Go back to three: growth and development. Explain that further.

MANFRED MAX-NEEF: Growth is a quantitative accumulation. Development is the liberation of creative possibilities. Every living system in nature grows up to a certain point and stops growing. You are not growing anymore, nor he nor me. But we continue developing ourselves. Otherwise we wouldn’t be dialoguing here now. So development has no limits. Growth has limits. And that is a very big thing, you know, that economists and politicians don’t understand. They are obsessed with the fetish of economic growth. And I am working, several decades. Many studies have been done. I’m the author of a famous hypothesis, the threshold hypothesis, which says that in every society there is a period in which economic growth, conventionally understood or no, brings about an improvement of the quality of life. But only up to a point, the threshold point, beyond which, if there is more growth, quality of life begins to decline. And that is the situation in which we are now.

I mean, your country is the most dramatic example that you can find. I have gone as far as saying — and this is a chapter of a book of mine that is published next month in England, the title of which is Economics Unmasked. There is a chapter called "The United States, an Underdeveloping Nation," which is a new category. We have developed, underdeveloped and developing. Now you have underdeveloping. And your country is an example, in which the one percent of the Americans, you know, are doing better and better and better, and the 99 percent is going down, in all sorts of manifestations. People living in their cars now and sleeping in their cars, you know, parked in front of the house that used to be their house — thousands of people. Millions of people, you know, have lost everything. But the speculators that brought about the whole mess, oh, they are fantastically well off. No problem. No problem.