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Forum Post: What Is Conservatism and What Is Wrong with It?

Posted 2 years ago on Nov. 26, 2011, 3:39 p.m. EST by metapolitik (1110)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

[this is a repost... Some troll managed to get it removed by lying about the contents and saying that it contained something homophobic...This is not true. Apparently, moderators here don't actually read what they are deleting first]

What Is Conservatism and What Is Wrong with It?

Philip E. Agre August 2004

Liberals in the United States have been losing political debates to conservatives for a quarter century. In order to start winning again, liberals must answer two simple questions: what is conservatism, and what is wrong with it? As it happens, the answers to these questions are also simple:

Q: What is conservatism?

A: Conservatism is the domination of society by an aristocracy.

Q: What is wrong with conservatism?

A: Conservatism is incompatible with democracy, prosperity, and civilization in general. It is a destructive system of inequality and prejudice that is founded on deception and has no place in the modern world.

These ideas are not new. Indeed they were common sense until recently. Nowadays, though, most of the people who call themselves "conservatives" have little notion of what conservatism even is. They have been deceived by one of the great public relations campaigns of human history. Only by analyzing this deception will it become possible to revive democracy in the United States.

//1 The Main Arguments of Conservatism

From the pharaohs of ancient Egypt to the self-regarding thugs of ancient Rome to the glorified warlords of medieval and absolutist Europe, in nearly every urbanized society throughout human history, there have been people who have tried to constitute themselves as an aristocracy. These people and their allies are the conservatives.

The tactics of conservatism vary widely by place and time. But the most central feature of conservatism is deference: a psychologically internalized attitude on the part of the common people that the aristocracy are better people than they are. Modern-day liberals often theorize that conservatives use "social issues" as a way to mask economic objectives, but this is almost backward: the true goal of conservatism is to establish an aristocracy, which is a social and psychological condition of inequality. Economic inequality and regressive taxation, while certainly welcomed by the aristocracy, are best understood as a means to their actual goal, which is simply to be aristocrats. More generally, it is crucial to conservatism that the people must literally love the order that dominates them. Of course this notion sounds bizarre to modern ears, but it is perfectly overt in the writings of leading conservative theorists such as Burke. Democracy, for them, is not about the mechanisms of voting and office-holding. In fact conservatives hold a wide variety of opinions about such secondary formal matters. For conservatives, rather, democracy is a psychological condition. People who believe that the aristocracy rightfully dominates society because of its intrinsic superiority are conservatives; democrats, by contrast, believe that they are of equal social worth. Conservatism is the antithesis of democracy. This has been true for thousands of years.

The defenders of aristocracy represent aristocracy as a natural phenomenon, but in reality it is the most artificial thing on earth. Although one of the goals of every aristocracy is to make its preferred social order seem permanent and timeless, in reality conservatism must be reinvented in every generation. This is true for many reasons, including internal conflicts among the aristocrats; institutional shifts due to climate, markets, or warfare; and ideological gains and losses in the perpetual struggle against democracy. In some societies the aristocracy is rigid, closed, and stratified, while in others it is more of an aspiration among various fluid and factionalized groups. The situation in the United States right now is toward the latter end of the spectrum. A main goal in life of all aristocrats, however, is to pass on their positions of privilege to their children, and many of the aspiring aristocrats of the United States are appointing their children to positions in government and in the archipelago of think tanks that promote conservative theories.

Conservatism in every place and time is founded on deception. The deceptions of conservatism today are especially sophisticated, simply because culture today is sufficiently democratic that the myths of earlier times will no longer suffice.

More:

http://polaris.gseis.ucla.edu/pagre/conservatism.html

200 Comments

200 Comments


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

Replace the word "conservatism" with the word "capitalism" and this article is spot on.

Anyone who promotes capitalism (liberal or conservative) is promoting a society ruled by an aristocracy.

We can have democracy where the institutions that govern society are equally owned by the public.

Or we can have monarchies and capitalism where the institutions that govern society are owned privately for the personal benefit of its aristocratic owners.

But we can't have both.

There is absolutely nothing democratic about capitalism just like there is nothing democratic about monarchies.

The means of law making should be democratically owned and controlled just like the means of production should be democratically owned and controlled.

If the means of production were democratically controlled, we would have long ago switched to green energy since nobody would have a stake in oil.

If the means of production were democratically controlled and its income democratically allocated, the minimum income would be $115,000 per year. Everyone would be wealthy. And there would be virtually NO social problems.

http://occupywallst.org/forum/solution-raise-the-minimum-wage-to-110000-per-year/

We replaced monarchies with democracy.

Now it is time to finish what the Enlightenment Era started and replace capitalism with democracy. The end of history is government democracy and economic democracy.

[-] 3 points by metapolitik (1110) 2 years ago

That was REALLY well put and I agree with every word.

Permission to quote you verbatim?

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

Thanks for the compliment. And of course, you can quote verbatim.

[-] 0 points by friendlyopposition (574) 2 years ago

I have enjoyed the conversation but ran out of replies above. I am going to bow out of the discussion at this point. I appreciate the time and research you have obviously put into this model - but it makes absolutely no sense to me.

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

"it makes absolutely no sense to me."

You can find more details here:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/solution-raise-the-minimum-wage-to-110000-per-year/

And also read these comments:

Why paying incomes from $115k to $460k doesn't cause inflation:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/solution-raise-the-minimum-wage-to-110000-per-year/#comment-329780

The average income in the US is $135k per year. To learn how that is calculated, read this comment:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/solution-raise-the-minimum-wage-to-110000-per-year/#comment-335999

To learn how the incomes proposed here of $115k - $460k are calculated, read this comment:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/solution-raise-the-minimum-wage-to-110000-per-year/#comment-339860

How do we determine what the incomes are in a democratic economy? Read this comment:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/solution-raise-the-minimum-wage-to-110000-per-year/#comment-353341

How to cut the work week in half by using existing technology to automate 55% of the jobs we do:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/are-you-rebels-or-revolutionaries-choose-revolutio/#comment-71303

[-] 1 points by smallMObizowner (6) 2 years ago

I've spent my adult life as a laborer. My Capitalist employers trained me, feed me, gave me health insurance, and provided me the means by which I stopped being a laborer and opened my own business. Over the years I've made as little as 8k a year, up to 220k a year, and now as a business owner I scrape for every dollar I earn. Don't have enough to pay an employee, so I do everything myself. I do this not because I have to, but because I want to, and I live in a country that gives me that freedom. But if I'm understanding you right, you think you deserve a part of my business just because you exist? What about all my work? Are you saying that if I do start to hire labor, and thus perpetuate knowledge, training and tools that will allow them to someday go out on their own, that they should be "owners" of my business? This is where the so called 99% lose me. I'm definitely not in the 1%, but you do not represent the true hard working, Free, American. You represent Socialism and I consider you a threat to our nation and our way of life. And I will fight this enemy within to my last breath.

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

Nobody wants to own your business. We don't need you or anyone else to risk their own money in order to produce what people want.

All companies would be publicly financed. If you were the founder of a business, you would be responsible for that company's financial viability. But the company would be launched with public funds, not your own personal funds.

All income from all businesses would be paid to all workers according to a plan that is democratically established through the collective bargaining process at the national level. So you would get the same right to an income as everyone else, which in this example would pay at least $115k.

As the founder of a company, depending on how well it performed, you would have a chance to earn up to $460k.

But you would still have the freedom to struggle and starve if you want. You can donate everything you make above $8k to charity so that you can meet your unique, personal definition of "hard working".

You can fight for a country where half are at or near poverty and people earn $8k. I am fighting for the exact opposite of that. I am fighting for a country that works well for everyone, where everyone is wealthy, so they have the real freedom to do whatever they want with their life without economic restraint.

[-] 1 points by kingscrossection (1203) 2 years ago

What is your opinion of Henry Ford?

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

I don't have an opinion of him. Why do you ask?

[-] 1 points by kingscrossection (1203) 2 years ago

Its just that he only succeeded in becoming successful and becoming incredibly rich and making sure everyone had transportation as we know it today because of the way our system works now.

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

The vast, overwhelming majority of workers spend their days making sure consumers have what they want, not just Ford. But only a very, very small percentage of them receive financial success for it.

That's a problem.

The economy should work well for everyone, not just the top 3%.

[-] 1 points by kingscrossection (1203) 2 years ago

Why? Because you're greedy? You claim the top 1% are greedy but what do you thing OWS stands for? Taking money from people who work is the problem. OWS is greedy

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

I don't think the top 1% are greedy. And I don't want to take anything from anyone. I want to switch from an unfair, backwards, medieval, barbaric, cruel, uncivilized system that has no place in the modern world and that only works for 3% of workers to a fair, democratic system that works well for all workers.

[-] 1 points by kingscrossection (1203) 2 years ago

How do you plan to do that?

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

By organizing the workforce. They produce 100% of our wealth. It is their economy. If they want a democratic economy instead of a capitalist economy, that is the economy we will get. And since a democratic economy would increase the income of 97% of workers and increase the income of 50% of workers by at least 500%, that is what they would demand if they organized nationally as a single union.

[-] 1 points by kingscrossection (1203) 2 years ago

Where do you get these statistics?

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

The average income in the US is $135k per year. To learn how that is calculated, read this comment:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/solution-raise-the-minimum-wage-to-110000-per-year/#comment-335999

To learn how the incomes proposed here of $115k - $460k are calculated, read this comment:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/solution-raise-the-minimum-wage-to-110000-per-year/#comment-339860

How do we determine what the incomes are in a democratic economy? Read this comment:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/solution-raise-the-minimum-wage-to-110000-per-year/#comment-353341

[-] 1 points by kingscrossection (1203) 2 years ago

That last one is definitely a what if we changed this.

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

I don't understand your last comment.

[-] 1 points by kingscrossection (1203) 2 years ago

Of course if we changed the minimum wage their income would increase. However, how would you convince everyone to change it?

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

The only way to produce radical change in short order is with a general strike. Every worker in the economy, except for critical/emergency workers, goes on strike. And they don't go back to work until we have an economy where all businesses are publicly financed and total income produced by all businesses is paid to all workers according to a plan that is democratically established through the collective bargaining process at the national level where differences in income are limited to whatever is necessary to get people to do difficult work and give their maximum effort.

Raising the minimum income to $115k and reducing the work week to 20 hours by making full use of our existing automation capabilities is a deal that workers will find worth striking for.

Past victories won by general strikes are:

  • Chicago, New York, Cincinnati, and elsewhere, 1886 – First victory in the fight for an eight-hour day
  • Toledo, OH, 1934 – First successful unionization of the auto industry.
  • San Francsico, CA, 1934 – Unionization of all West Coast ports of the United States.
  • Poland, 1980 – Began the process of democratic reforms that led to the end of Soviet control over the country.
  • Egypt, 2011 – Brought the 30-year reign of an autocratic despot to an end.
[-] 1 points by larocks (414) from Lexington, KY 2 years ago

good point

[-] 1 points by friendlyopposition (574) 2 years ago

Captialism is not the enemy- greed is. Capitalism equates freedom to produce and benefit from that production. How far an individual takes that right is up to them. Greed is a moral issue, and we shouldn't legislate morality.

[-] 3 points by metapolitik (1110) 2 years ago

All legislation logically stems from morality and/or ethics.

Capitalism is private ownership of the means of production.

This is unethical and amoral.

Therefore, should be outlawed.

Just like theft, murder, bribery... And all of the other unethical / amoral things that society has chosen to legislate.

[Removed]

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

Capitalism is the domination of society by an aristocracy.

Capitalism is incompatible with democracy, prosperity, and civilization in general. It is a destructive system of inequality and prejudice that is founded on deception and has no place in the modern world.

[-] 1 points by justhefacts (1275) 2 years ago

Aristocracy is a form of government rule defined as "rule by the best".

Capitalism is NOT a form of government. It is an economic system.

If you want to understand why so many "right wing" people would rather have a "Republic" (which is what our Founding Fathers designed and intended) rather than the FORM of "Democracy" that it has become-read this for starters-

http://lexrex.com/enlightened/AmericanIdeal/aspects/demrep.html

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

Capitalism is in fact a set of rules that GOVERN economic behavior. And those rules can create an outcome where a minority owns, consumes and controls most of everything or an outcome where everyone owns, consumes and controls most of everything equally.

Since democracy means rule of the people, since it is a system where power rests with everyone equally, the latter would be democratic, the former would not.

Democracy is a Greek word. It is not a Greek word for "voting" or "mob rule". It is a Greek word for people power. It means power rests with everyone equally.

Equal power means, among other things, that you get equal treatment under the law. So two wolves and a sheep cannot vote to eat the sheep for dinner because that would violate the sheep's equal right to treatment under the law. The law protects the rights of the minority to the same degree as the majority.

Our country was founded on the enlightenment ideals of freedom and equality which is the modern interpretation of a liberal democracy. However, those democratic principles of freedom and equality can be applied to more than just the law.

It can be also be applied to government and it can also be applied to the economy. And that was what scared some of the Founders because an equal say in government and equal treatment in the economy would undermine their privileged positions within government and the economy.

The Founders were comprised of rich, white, slave owners. Of course they were scared of democracy and equality. Madison, in particular, wanted an oligarchy and was scared that democracy might put an end to the privileged lifestyle him and the rest of the opulent enjoyed.

Madison wanted a society where only rich, white property owners could vote.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWvIWxh2yRs&feature=player_detailpage#t=511s

[-] 0 points by justhefacts (1275) 2 years ago

Your link to Chomsky discredits anything you have to say on the matter as biased. Those who bother to read everything Madison wrote, instead of trusting Noam's interpretation of all things to be accurate or fair, know beyond doubt that how you paint him here is false.

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

Cite your source.

[-] 0 points by justhefacts (1275) 2 years ago

The Greek word Demokratia does mean people power, but the Greeks who developed the word did not consider women, slaves or the poor to be "people". The Greek Demokratia was a form of rule where every citizen had specific duties (not rights) to protect family, government, and worship the Gods. Freedom to choose? Um. no.

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

We have obviously evolved to understand that blacks are as equal as whites, women as equal as men, eventually poor as equal as rich and eventually foreigners as equal as natives.

I don't know what you mean by freedom to choose. For Aristotle, the chief purpose to democracy was to give everyone equal freedom.

[-] 0 points by justhefacts (1275) 2 years ago

It is the "excesses" that a Democracy (as a government) can produce that ends up causing the inequality of Capitalism to exist in the first place. In a Republic-every citizen counts as an equal to another and so the Majority is LIMITED in that it's power cannot infringe upon the rights of the minority and individuals. In a Democracy every citizens vote only counts to the establishment of the MAJORITY whereupon that majority's power is UNLIMITED and CAN infringe upon the rights of the minority and the individual. That is why the Continental Congress debated so long and so hard over a Democracy vs a Republic. A republic has a LIMITED majority, A Democracy does not.

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

"It is the "excesses" that a Democracy (as a government) can produce that ends up causing the inequality of Capitalism"

lol. Inequality is caused by democracy, not capitalism!?!

If you have a system where there is no limit on how much income you can have and a system that allows you to use your existing income to earn even more income, you will wind up with an economy where the wealthier you get, the easier it is to get even more wealthier.

Who has a greater ability to earn $1 million? Someone who has $25 million in savings or someone earning the $33k median income?

The person with $25 million has a close to 100% chance at earning $1 million. The person earning $33k has a close to 0% chance at earning $1 million.

The more income you have, the easier it is to increase your income.

So that system will always lead to income concentrating in the hands of the few. The economy will work great for the few at the top. Everyone else, the majority, struggle.

.

"that majority's power is UNLIMITED and CAN infringe upon the rights of the minority"

A democracy means equal power. It does not mean tyranny of the majority. Equal power means equal treatment under the law. So a majority cannot vote to violate someone's legal right because that would violate that person's democratic right to equal treatment under the law.

I want democracy, not Madison's republic where society works well for the white, male, land-owning, slave-owning aristocracy only.

For me, a modern, liberal democracy means FREEDOM, EQUALITY and SCIENCE.

Every human on this planet shares the same purpose and goal in life: to maximize their happiness.

Everything you do, no matter what it is, you do because you think it maximizes your happiness.

Society is a way for us to do collectively what we cannot achieve individually.

So the only purpose to society should be to just enable people the FREEDOM to better pursue their happiness. And the only fair society is a society that enables everyone an EQUAL degree of freedom to pursue their happiness. And the purpose of SCIENCE is simply to maximize that freedom.

But this is only meaningful if freedom and equality are correctly defined.

Freedom is the ability to pursue happiness - the power to act, think and speak in a way that you think maximizes your happiness - without political coercion or restraint and without economic coercion or restraint.

Equality means you have the freedom to act, think and speak so long as it does not reasonably violate that same right to freedom in others.

And the methods of science should be used exclusively to maximize our freedom to pursue happiness.

This should be the law that governs all of society and what every society should be based on.

So it is not reasonable to allow you the freedom to murder me because it violates my freedom to live.

But it may be reasonable to allow you the freedom to murder me if I broke into your house in the middle of the night and pointed a gun at you.

You should have the freedom to play music.

But it may not be reasonable to allow you the freedom to play music in the middle of the night because it violates my freedom to have quiet while I sleep.

Of course one of the biggest restraints on freedom is economic.

A poor girl in a so-called free Western country who cannot afford tuition has the same lack of freedom to get an education as a girl growing up in a Taliban ruled Afghan village where education for girls is banned.

Your freedom to act, think and speak depends on how much money you have to spend.

For every dollar someone takes in income above average, that is one dollar it forces someone else to take in income below average.

So it is not reasonable to allow you a greater freedom to act by allowing you to take an income that is above average because it reduces my freedom to act by forcing me to take an income that is below average.

But it may be reasonable to allow a doctor to take a larger income than a cashier because doctors do far more difficult work and there may not be enough of them without the extra pay.

This is the ONLY rational way to run a society.

[-] 0 points by friendlyopposition (574) 2 years ago

Capitalism: an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market

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

...and most importantly, a system that concentrates more and more income in the hands of fewer and fewer people.

If you have a system where there is no limit on how much income you can have and a system that allows you to use your existing income to earn even more income, you will wind up with an economy where the wealthier you get, the easier it is to get even more wealthier.

Who has a greater ability to earn $1 million? Someone who has $25 million in savings or someone earning the $33k median income?

The person with $25 million has a close to 100% chance at earning $1 million. The person earning $33k has a close to 0% chance at earning $1 million.

The more income you have, the easier it is to increase your income.

So that system will always lead to income concentrating in the hands of the few. The economy will work great for the few at the top. Everyone else, the majority, struggle.

If you have an economic system where the majority struggle, you have a bad economic system that needs to be changed. Capitalism is an aristocratic system that works well for the wealthy few and needs to be replaced with a democratic system that works well for everyone.

[-] 1 points by friendlyopposition (574) 2 years ago

According to the Social Security Association, the national average wage index for the United States in 2010 was $41,673. I understand that we are having some rough economic times in the US (and the world) right now. But to say that the majority of Americans are 'struggling' is taking a pretty limited view of the world. There are plenty of who are living in poverty under our capitalist structure - no doubt - but if you compare poverty numbers and the level of poverty in the US compared to the world as a whole and I think it paints a different picture. There is great disparity between the highest and lowest paid, but even our lowest paid citizens fare far better than people in most of the world.

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

The average income in the US is $135k, not $41k. That number you are referring to is probably the median household income. According to the Social Security Administration, the median income of wage earners is $26k.

Since our income is allocated so unequally, 97% of all workers make a below average income.

To say someone isn't struggling because someone might be struggling more is not a fair statement.

[-] 1 points by friendlyopposition (574) 2 years ago

I think "struggling" is a relative term. I only bring that up because you are stating that capitalism is the reason people are struggling. I believe that capitalism is the reason why our citizens are so much better off by comparison.

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

All our wealth comes from technology, not capitalism. Capitalism just allocates that wealth unequally.

The reason why the US is wealthy and China, for example, is not is because we have been developing for several hundred years. They have been developing for only several decades.

If you had capitalism and no access to the latest technology, you would be poor. And you would be poor for hundreds of years.

And the reason why China and every other country is capitalist is because all technology is privately owned by companies.

So China can do what the West did and spend the next 300 years developing technology on their own. Or they can become capitalist, open their country to foreign companies, and gain access to that technology immediately.

Mao’s China never had access to GM’s cars, Deere’s farming equipment, IBM’s computers, Monsanto’s agriculture yields, Fanuk’s factory automation robots, NASA’s GPS, Merk’s drugs, GE’s medical equipment, ad infinitum.

China got access to all that technology when Deng Xiaoping made China capitalist and allowed all those companies to go to China and profit. None of those companies were going to give up their technology to a communist country for free.

And once they got that technology, they started becoming wealthy.

[-] 1 points by friendlyopposition (574) 2 years ago

Right - and where did practically all of that technology develop? In a capitalist environment. One where innovation is rewarded with more than just the choice of where you can work. You have to be able to see the connection between the two?

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

You don't need capitalism - where the means of production are privately owned - in order to reward people who innovate.

Just like we don't need a King in order to have laws.

[-] 0 points by justhefacts (1275) 2 years ago

In 1928, the top 1% earned 23.9% of the total earned income in the US. In 2009-the top 1% earned 16.9% of the total earned income in the US.

In 1928, the top 10% earned 49.3% of all reported income In 2009-the top 10% earned 43.2% of all reported income.

No matter how "rich" (as in total wealth) that 10% became in the years between 1928 and 2009-they are earning LESS of the TOTAL reported income today than they were then. They weren't taking "more of it", and the wealth they accumulated that was not considered as "income" was grown USING THEIR OWN, previously earned AND TAXED money.

In fact the top 10% earned 43.19% of all adjusted gross income in the US in 2009 yet paid 70.47% of ALL the Federal Income Tax collected in 2009 (last year available for tax data) -http://www.taxfoundation.org/news/show/250.html

My point? The RICHEST 10% aren't taking any more, as a percentage, of the income generated in America in 2009, than they were 83 years ago.

And yet there as of 2010-there were 3.1 MILLION, millionaires in America. MORE than there ever have been before (http://blogs.wsj.com/wealth/2011/06/22/u-s-has-record-number-of-millionaires/)

How is it possible that we have more millionaires today than we have ever had, if the "wealthy" 1% are taking so much that no one else can get ahead?

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

What your data shows is that wealth has been concentrated at the top for 80 years. For the past 30 years it has been getting worse.

That is an unfair society.

That thug system of take as much as you can and to hell with everyone else has left 97% of all workers earning a below average income, 50% of all wage earners making less than $26k, 1 in every 3 people near or below poverty, 16% underemployed, 52 million without health insurance, and 55% of all workers wasting their lives doing pointless jobs that can be automated with existing technology, despite the fact that we have the resources and technology to produce a near unlimited amount of anything.

A society that works well for everyone is far superior to a society that only works well for the top 1%.

If we limited differences in pay to whatever was necessary to get people to do difficult work and give their maximum effort, we would be able to pay everyone from $115k to $460k, enough to make everyone wealthy and eliminate nearly every social problem we have.

Capitalism is a backwards, medieval, barbaric, cruel, uncivilized system.

http://occupywallst.org/forum/solution-raise-the-minimum-wage-to-110000-per-year/

[-] 0 points by justhefacts (1275) 2 years ago

A society that works well for everyone has never existed. Even ancient civilizations set up kings and aristocracy over themselves and submitted to doing the difficult work and giving their maximum efforts WITHOUT the promise of wealth. And the idea that humanity has somehow "evolved" past that mentality is discredited at every turn by simply observing HUMANITY.

You cannot make people "do difficult work"-or "give their maximum effort" no matter how much you pay them. Especially if the government is willing to pay them enough to exist on without doing ANYTHING. People are NOT the same. They do not have the same goals or desires or ambitions. And you can give them all exactly the same opportunities and knowledge and they will ALL do something different with their lives. Ask any parent that has multiple children.

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

Like I said, you have bizarre logic.

Murder has always existed, should we just allow it? People always got sick, so why bother having doctors?

And just because people have different skills, motivation and ambition does not mean we can't make the minimum income $115k.

[-] 0 points by justhefacts (1275) 2 years ago

It's as bizarre as the website your nickname results in. Looks like a whole bunch of people are becoming very UNequally rich-or at least someone's trying to insinuate that they are-there. I hope the CIA and FBI agents watching these forums INVESTIGATE "demandthegoodlife.com" and throw it's creators in jail for promoting a PYRAMID SCHEME online!

I'm done with you. Period.

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

It's part of a game.

But that is odd that a capitalist is so against earning a commission for selling an idea. Isn't that what fuels all of capitalism?

[-] 0 points by justhefacts (1275) 2 years ago

YOUR criteria was getting them to do difficult work AND give their maximum effort. I'm asking you-how to you PROVE and INSURE that they are indeed giving their maximum effort-ESPECIALLY if they're doing difficult work? You cannot FORCE people to do something-even for money-if they value their time or laziness MORE than money.

And if you cannot get EVERYONE to perform to their best level-then you CANNOT pay everyone the same amount of money because that would NOT.BE. FAIR. You'd have to start paying DIFFERENT amounts because as soon as the people sense the UNFAIRNESS of them working their asses off while Miss slacker or Mr Not so active earn the same thing they do, they'd be INSANE to work any harder than they do.

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

Nobody will be forced to do anything. If you don't want to work, you will get paid nothing.

If you want to work a difficult job, you will get paid $230k.

If you work a performance based job and are one of the top 2.5% of performers, you will earn the top pay of $460k.

If you want to work a regular job, you will get paid $115k.

Managers will be responsible for the financial performance of the companies they manage and they will have the power to hire and fire like they do now. If you do not perform, you will get fired, just like you would now.

If you are so unenthusiastic about your job that you have no interest in putting in any effort, you should get a job that you actually like.

[-] 0 points by justhefacts (1275) 2 years ago

We haven't prevented murder-you can't prevent all murder-we just don't allow the people who commit murder to remain free in society. We TAKE AWAY one of their unalienable rights-LIBERTY-because they took away someone else's unalienable right to LIVE.

People will get sick with or without doctors. Many people will get sick with things doctor's cannot cure. And MANY of the things doctors can do actually make things WORSE, not better.

Just exactly where do you get your calculations that this country could generate $115k per every working aged person (16 yrs+)?

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

"Just exactly where do you get your calculations that this country could generate $115k per every working aged person (16 yrs+)?"

It is based on the total income from our economy in 2010.

You can read the details of the idea at:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/solution-raise-the-minimum-wage-to-110000-per-year/

Those income numbers are based on paying the top 2.5% of workers who give the highest performance or do the most difficult work $460k, paying the 12.3 million workers who do physically or mentally difficult work $230k (science, computers, engineering, medicine, construction, mining, or farming), and everyone else $115k.

If, for example, we voted on a plan to pay the top performers $1 million per year, then the bottom earners would drop to $100k.

In 2010, we produced $14.5 trillion in total income:

http://www.bea.gov/national/nipaweb/TableView.asp?SelectedTable=51&ViewSeries=NO&Java=no&Request3Place=N&3Place=N&FromView=YES&Freq=Year&FirstYear=2010&LastYear=2010&3Place=N&Update=Update&JavaBox=no#Mid

And we worked a total of 222,736 million hours:

http://www.bea.gov/national/nipaweb/TableView.asp?SelectedTable=212&ViewSeries=NO&Java=no&Request3Place=N&3Place=N&FromView=YES&Freq=Year&FirstYear=2010&LastYear=2010&3Place=N&Update=Update&JavaBox=no#Mid

$115k is $55.28 per hour

$230k is $110.57 per hour

$460k is $221.15 per hour

$14.5 trillion = ($221.15 * (2.5% * 222,736 million hours)) + ($110.57 * (9.47% * 222,736 million hours)) + ($55.28 * (88.03% * 222,736 million hours))

So the total income paid out in this plan is exactly equal to the total incomes paid out in 2010.

[-] 0 points by justhefacts (1275) 2 years ago

And here's another FACT from those same charts from the Tax Foundation- http://www.taxfoundation.org/news/show/250.html

In 1980-the TOP 50% of taxpayers was paying 93% of the Federal Income Tax burden. The BOTTOM 50% was paying 7%.

In 2009-the top 50% of taxpayers paid 97.75% of the Federal Tax burden and the BOTTOM 50% paid 2.25%.

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

Are you suggesting that people who cannot afford to buy the basics have to pay more taxes and the people who make millions per year are unfairly carrying the tax burden?

You have a bizarre sense of right and wrong.

People are poor because the people at the top take all the income. And the poor people would gladly trade in their poverty for the ability to earn millions per year and pay millions in taxes.

[-] 0 points by FriendlyObserverA (610) 2 years ago

this is an excellent point so few understand. Today the wealthy have accumulated so much wealth that even at a small percentage of profit they consume so much profit it shirks the economy . At 13 trillion dollars 1% would = 130 billion . thats why the stimulus plan of 860 billion did not go far it was sucked up by the profiteers.

It's like a giant sponge sucking up the money out of circulation .. leaving the economy dry .. while they wait for more borrowers to pour more money into the economy .. again this is where we need to place a cap on how much they can suck up .. a profit cap.

thanks for listening

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

Nobody has a right to produce in a capitalist society. The ability to produce is limited to an aristocratic class of wealthy people. And how much you earn is dependent on them.

Only 3% of workers make an above average income. The top 3% is the new royal family.

If privatization is OK in the economy, why not privatize the ownership of government? Shouldn't the owners of business and wealth, who have the greatest stake in society, have the most votes?

Why should some loser office worker who makes $30k per year have the same say in government as the owner of a billion dollar business? If you want a greater say in government, go out an earn it.

[-] 0 points by friendlyopposition (574) 2 years ago

Thank you for clarifying my point. You are correct - production is not a right. You have to have the right product. Something people want/need, at a price they are willing to pay.

Do you honestly feel that if we divided up the GDP evenly among all citizens that the next year the GDP would still be at $15 trillion? What would be the motivation to produce - good intentions?

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

I do not advocate that everyone should get the same pay.

I advocate that you should get equal pay for equal work. Differences in income should be limited to whatever is necessary for income to be an effective incentive.

And you will not find any scientific study that says people need the ability to earn much more than a 200% to 400% increase in pay in order to be an effective incentive.

We do not need to pay some workers hundreds or thousands of times more than others in order to get them to do difficult work or give their maximum effort and have a dynamic, growing, productive economy.

And when we limit differences in income to just what is necessary to be an effective incentive, where top earners are able to make 4 times more than the lowest earners, based on the US economy in 2010, there is enough income to pay everyone between $115,000 and $460,000 per year.

In a democratic economy, you wouldn't have a right to produce what you want. The market and what consumers buy determines what is produced. But you would have a right to an income of at least $115k when you worked.

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

Oh Man...you are missing a huge part of the picture....it isn't just "work" that separates income levels, in fact...that is a minor factor, there is also the component of delayed compensation (well written about by Emerson in his essay on compensation) Those at the top of the income scale have, largely, contributed vast amounts of time and effort in pursuit of a goal (also check the 1979 Harvard Business School study on goal-setting, and the difference it makes in real dollar compensation, the 3% with concise written goals were worth 10 times that of the other 97% combined, in just 10 years) without direct compensation for their time or efforts, in stark contrast to those who DEMAND compensation without effort, in it's myriad forms, free health-care, free tuition, free'_', etc...

If you were to compare the amount of effort, research, adjustment, improvement and preparation between the "average" worker and someone at the top, typically...the disparity in pay would be far eclipsed by the disparity of long term focused effort and sacrifice, and THAT is what you lose when you create a contrived and inorganic system...it's amazing all the technological and culturally enhancing products and idea's that came out of the USSR and other Soviet Bloc countries in comparison with those that came out of capitalist nations, huh?

I know it all sounds good from a lectern, in a THC altered reality, in a gathering of excuse makers and ne-er-do-wells, or in pseudo-intellectual academic theory...But, it's never worked in practice or produced any significant results of any sort. You think you can control incentive, that somehow you have that formula, and thousands of years of human evolution haven't contributed anything to the discussion...nor have the massive advances in human technology, society, and culture, made in the 146-ish year evolution of free, protected, market capitalism been any indication to you of the benefits of that system?

You need to get a better understanding of the value of labor, and effort... and their relationship to reward, before you advocate that a man who has developed no more skill in their entire working life, than to push a broom, clean a toilet, or run a machine paid for and supplied by another man, be paid a wage equal, or nearly equal, to those who have endured failure after failure and...adapted, adjusted, and improved themselves in a myriad of ways over a course of years until they finally reach the point when their skills make them ready for the opportunities of life...and to think that men will actually continue to suffer that course of action for the same, or similar, compensation as those who do none of those things...brands you a fool, simply and absolutely....

Democracy is mob rule, and becomes "Idiocracy" as the population seeks to eliminate the struggle that separates the wheat from the chaff, the good from the bad, and the producer from the consumer.... one mass of fools looking for a handout without surrendering the equitable labor for its attainment....

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

"check the 1979 Harvard Business School study on goal-setting, and the difference it makes in real dollar compensation, the 3% with concise written goals were worth 10 times that of the other 97% combined, in just 10 years"

lol.

I advocate a modern democratic society where power rests with everyone equally.

You advocate a Medieval aristocracy where society is ruled by a small group of rich people based on a bunch of nonsense you learned at a Tony Robbins motivational seminar.

And you think your Medieval society is fair and legitimate because you learned at your get-rich-quick seminar that if you just work hard, you will become wealthy too.

You have been conned into thinking that everyone who works hard becomes a member of the Royal Family, a member of nobility. Little do you know, you are just being their gullible, useful idiot:

http://youtu.be/FSoglDcRbAg

http://youtu.be/Hip1HR0BJk4

.

"have the massive advances in human technology, society, and culture, made in the 146-ish year evolution of free, protected, market capitalism been any indication to you of the benefits of that system?"

All our wealth comes from technology, not capitalism. Capitalism just allocates that wealth unequally.

The reason why the US is wealthy and China, for example, is not is because we have been developing for several hundred years. They have been developing for only several decades.

If you had capitalism and no access to the latest technology, you would be poor. And you would be poor for hundreds of years.

And the reason why China and every other country is capitalist is because all technology is privately owned by companies.

So China can do what the West did and spend the next 300 years developing technology on their own. Or they can become capitalist, open their country to foreign companies, and gain access to that technology immediately.

Mao’s China never had access to GM’s cars, Deere’s farming equipment, IBM’s computers, Monsanto’s agriculture yields, Fanuk’s factory automation robots, NASA’s GPS, Merk’s drugs, GE’s medical equipment, ad infinitum.

China got access to all that technology when Deng Xiaoping made China capitalist and allowed all those companies to go to China and profit. None of those companies were going to give up their technology to a communist country for free.

And once they got that technology, they started becoming wealthy.

.

"be paid a wage equal, or nearly equal, to those who have endured failure after failure and...adapted, adjusted, and improved themselves in a myriad of ways over a course of years until they finally reach the point when their skills make them ready for the opportunities of life"

Only a gullible fool would think that working for years and not getting paid while the wealthy consume all the income is a good deal. Just don't quit, keep buying our soap and eventually you will also become a millionaire AmWay distributor. Like Barnum said, there is a sucker born every minute.

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

technology? that is the driver of our economy....man, you are stupid...and, BTW, China did not become wealthy once they got our technology, they got wealthy when they started producing products that were accepted and desired in the marketplace. The Oil Producing nations are largely primitive, but they have huge amounts of wealth, as do countries that engage in the service of leisure, in the pacific, tropics, Mediterranean, and gulf-atlantic, existing largely without mass modern technology (and before you make the mistake of saying that it's oil corporations that bring wealth to those nations, better check the facts, the state-owned oil companies are many times larger than the private ones)

What created the technology? was Ford besieged from all sides to produce an automobile that was dependable and affordable to the masses? Were Jobs and Gates hounded day in and day out to improve upon the the personal computer and it's operating system by a demanding consumer base? these and millions of other everyday examples are the difference between capitalism and every other economic system. The ability to take an idea, see it through, and "CREATE" demand by offering a product or service that makes people's lives easier and better...

You are one of those idiots that think without capitalism you'd have all the gadgets and useful technology that now exists, aren't you? You think you'd have all the fun and helpful things that make American life better and more comfortable, right...and you point to places like the Social Democracies of Europe as your example....(which are falling like dominoes, btw, under the weight of a system they cannot support)..See, the difference is the USA, we don't have another country leading the way that we can ride on the coattails of like the nations of Europe can on ours. You think that capitalism is bad, when, if you did a quick check to your right, and your left, there is nothing in the space around you that wasn't created by capitalism...nothing, because the USA went, in a short couple of hundred years, from a primitive nation to the greatest, most effective nation in the history of mankind, who's reach...just measured by the secondary influence of the products we create and send to the world...is second to none, ever. But, I guess there isn't room for that in your myopic view of capitalism, so you'll just ignore the reality and construct your own...I understand...it's tough to be a fool, and remain one in the light of knowledge.

I find it funny you bring up Tony Robbins, and AmWay as some example of your delusional view of capitalism. You think that those things are "get rich quick" schemes....but, there is no "get rich quick" reality, effort, sacrifice, and desire is required for any success at anything. I really wasn't as impressed with Robbins as I was his mentor, Jim Rohn...

anyway, you are obviously one of the failures that needs to blame everyone else, and even the system for your personal failures, and, as such...you will remain a failure...and that make you the "sucker" my friend.. I am doing quite well, even during this economic dip, and will continue to do so by any means necessary....See, there are those who recognize no obstacles as permanent, and others...like yourself, apparently, who are dismissive of every opportunity as too difficult....

If you want to remain small, no one will stop you, and "Occupy" is the small trying to appear large...and largely a social gathering of failures and losers seeking to remain, as such, and seeking validation and acceptance from one another....you gotta network with better people man...seriously..

[-] 1 points by metapolitik (1110) 2 years ago

Capitalism, capitalism.

How do I loath thee?

Let me count the ways….

  1. Few would argue with the conclusion that greed, selfishness, ruthlessness, and egocentrism are qualities that all of us humans possess, to varying degrees of course. Equally compelling is the argument that nearly all of us are capable of acting with kindness, compassion, justice, honesty, generosity, and empathy. Yet despite the sweeping epidemic of unnecessary suffering caused by torrential waves of avarice, self-centeredness, and brutality, our filthy moneyed elite, their well-compensated sycophants, and countless millions of deeply inculcated members of the working class defend the sacred cow of capitalism with the zeal of the Siccari. What a brilliant way to conduct human affairs and organize ourselves socioeconomically! Not only do we embrace the inevitability of our human frailties; we willfully and perpetually embrace a system that ensures that the worst elements of the human psyche will predominate AND which amply rewards those who act the most reprehensibly.

  2. One of the idiocies advanced as a logical argument to justify the continued existence of the abomination of capitalism is that while it may be flawed, it is still better than any alternative. If capitalism is the best humanity can do, it’s time to cash in our chips and leave Earth to our non-human animal counter-parts. They may not have opposable thumbs and formidably sized frontal lobes, but at least they don’t engage in the systematic destruction of themselves and the rest of the planet. However, before we act too hastily and engage in mass Seppuku, perhaps it would make more sense to implement a mass reorganization of our socioeconomic structure, basing the new paradigm on far more egalitarian, sustainable, democratic, just, and rational principles. Or we could just keep destroying each other and the fucking planet….

  3. Capitalismo has raped Central and South America nearly to death. Unlike the “Land of the Free,” most of those horribly victimized nations have a vibrant, thriving, and well-organized Left to stand in opposition to the scourge of humanity and the Earth. US-sponsored death squads, torture, disappearances, privatization, “free” trade, deregulation, union busting, evisceration of social programs, coups, and vilification of leaders with the audacity to defy the status quo of avarice on steroids have assailed our southern neighbors since we in the United States (the self-appointed champions of capitalism) began our wholesale exploitation, imperialism, and neoliberalism by “acquiring” half of Mexico. Let’s see now. Remind me again. How many invasions has that “dire threat” to humanity named Hugo Chavez launched? How much “collateral damage” has he inflicted?

  4. Capitalism is an anachronism that long ago out-lived its usefulness (except to the morally rotten parasites comprising our de facto aristocracy) and has proven itself to be an abject failure as a means of human interaction and organization. It’s one step removed from feudalism, for Christ’s sake! (Oops! Sorry, I forgot about mercantilism—the transition to capitalism made such a difference). One of humanity’s strengths is our capacity to evolve. Given that, why in the hell do we stubbornly cling to a system that enables a fraction of a percent of the population to live in OBSCENE opulence while 35,000 of our fellow human beings die of starvation-related causes each day? Are the rest of us truly inane enough to believe that asinine myth that any of us has a REALISTIC chance of becoming the next Bill Gates, if we “just work hard enough.” Or that there is an ounce of moral virtue in pursuing the accumulation of excessive wealth?

  5. Resting upon the “pillars” of greed, selfishness and hyper-competitiveness, capitalism is irrational and unstable. Crisis and resource wars are chronic and inevitable. How could we expect it to be otherwise? Unleashing some of the ugliest aspects of the human spirit and creating artificial shortages in a world of abundance (by allowing a select few to hoard most of the resources as “their property”), capitalism doesn’t exactly engender an environment of peace and brotherly love. While our filthy ruling plutocracy has allowed a degree of socialism to diminish their power to rape, pillage and plunder, they only did so to quell social unrest during times of serious instability (i.e. The New Deal). Meanwhile, reactionary elements in our “democracy” are consistently scheming to eliminate the use of public monies to actually benefit the public. Witness George Bush’s ongoing demands for an open purse to fund our insanely bloated military and the war crimes we are committing in Iraq. Compare that to his recent refusal to spend an additional $35 billion to provide health care for 3.9 million children. Bush and the moneyed interests for whom he is fronting are inflicting gaping, cankerous wounds upon humanity and the Earth. How much more obvious could it be? (And this administration isn’t an aberration; they are simply bold enough to reveal their agenda—that’s the scary part).

http://www.tlaxcala.es/pp.asp?lg=en&reference=4015

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

and where is your evidence that centralized socialist utopian thinking has had ANY success whatsoever....seems you are on the wrong side of history on that one....and again...everything you have in front of, beside, under, over, and around you are the fruits of the capitalist system...unless you are standing in the mud.....but, again..you, and the other fools think that all the perks of the capitalist free market system would still exist outside of it...try a study of Soviet Russia, Maoist China, or any of the other collectivist regimes in history and see the contributions they've made to the technological and cultural advancement of mankind....keep the faith little children, and you will keep yourselves bound to failure and struggle without reward...

you place a lot of blame on others for not supporting people, but no blame on those people for not supporting themselves...and that abundance you speak of is derived from the capitalist system....there is no abundance in the socialist systems of history.....and I find it interesting that it is always those who stand to benefit most, and contribute least who are all for sharing everything.....it's easy to share when it's not your life that is being shared...

[-] 1 points by metapolitik (1110) 2 years ago

"Property is Theft"

-Proudhon

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

thank you for revealing yourself....finally and surely

"Socialism is theft of life" Me

[-] 1 points by metapolitik (1110) 2 years ago

Do you know what "reveling" means?

I am "reveling" in your stupidity right now!

LMAO!

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

eh' Iphone autocorrect...

spelling is simple to fix, drones like you.....much more difficult, I have hope for you though...

[-] 2 points by metapolitik (1110) 2 years ago

At any rate, the whole socialism vs. capitalism debate is a false dichotomy stirred on by Capitalists who want to deregulate everything so they can take us back to the feudalism of the 1600s.

Third Way Radical Centrism is a far more enlightened approach to the political ecology:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/approaching-a-metapolitical-discourse/

http://metapolitik.org/article/approaching-metapolitical-discourse

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

The enlightened approach is to let, and expect, the individual to make and be responsible for his own choices, with government staying out of the way...

There's nothing enlightened about coercion or oppression by mob rule....people are different, and have different levels of incentive and initiative......reward should be equitable, not equal....

[-] 0 points by friendlyopposition (574) 2 years ago

The government is going to decide how much each person gets paid from a private company? And you think lobbyists have power now... Under this model, all you would do is set $120k as the new poverty level.

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

A person making $115k is not living in poverty! lol

The compensation plan is directly voted on by workers, it is not set by government. It is no different than what you get through collective bargaining in a union.

But the law in a democratic society will say that differences in pay cannot be any more than what is necessary to get people to do difficult work and give their maximum effort.

The political process would filter out reasonable compensation proposals where differences in income are limited to just what our best scientific evidence says is necessary to be an effective incentive and then the worker population votes directly on its approval.

So we can't predict what the exact final plan will be.

But what we can predict is that you will not come up with any valid scientific study that says we need to pay people much more than $230k (or twice the amount as everyone else) in order to get them to do difficult work or that we need to pay people much more than $460k (or four times the amount as everyone else) in order to get them to give their maximum effort.

You do not have to pay someone billions in income in order to get them to build a social networking website or a cell phone. In fact, we know you don't even have to pay people anything at all when you see all the free open source software and maker faire inventions.

If Mark Zuckerberg was offered the choice to make $115k sweeping floors or $460k programming the world's most popular social networking website or to do nothing because he doesn't get out of bed for anything less than $5 billion, he would choose to build facebook for $460k. And he would be as dedicated as he is now.

The same goes for Steve Jobs.

We also know that studies show the general public wants equality, not inequality. Every dollar you pay to some other person is one less dollar that can be paid to you. So they will never vote to lower their own income in order to give celebrities or Kim Kardashian or athletes or bankers or anyone else the ability to earn, say, 10 times what they make, let alone 500 times or 10,000 times.

The voting public will make sure differences in income remain where they are supposed be: just enough to get people to do difficult work and to give their maximum effort.

When we limit differences in income to just what is necessary to be an effective incentive, there is enough income to make every citizen wealthy. And when you make every citizen wealthy, you put an end to nearly every social problem we have.

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

So..."Who" will be paying these people these amounts? An all powerful centralized government? Because, as it stands now..it's consumers that determine the pay, through their purchases, the amount of money available to use for wages and compensation of a enterprise...

You seem to think you have an understanding of human psychology and behavior, tell me......why has this sort of thing NEVER worked in the past, The various communist states, the Mayflower compact...etc, etc, etc.....

and yes, 115k will become the poverty level, if you pay everyone at that level...But, again, I am confused by this wage control and from what entity it descends, the poverty level NOW isn't based on the ability to survive, its based on nonsense, and 'disparity" our poor aren't "Poor", at all, in many cases, they live relatively comfortable lives, and the effort level they must exert to live at those levels is also very low...

I am not sure what you think you are advocating, but I can tell you, quite surely....it won't work,ever...as it doesn't take into account the forces that motivate and create incentive in human beings...

You and those like you want to create a whole new system, one that throws off thousands of years of evolution and adaptation, one that ignores human tendency and rewards those who haven't earned those rewards...you have failed to achieve in the most fair, easiest, highest opportunity society and culture the world has ever seen....so you want to make it easier for you, those afraid to fail and learn, adjust and try again, fail and learn, adjust and try again...until you succeed at your goal...you want to create a system where you don't really have to try that hard, or work that hard to succeed...It doesn't exist, try setting a goal and sticking with it until you achieve it...then you'll be on the right track...

You are wasting your time, you leave out so much in your assessment that it is pointless to try and list it all here...

Try reading something besides Marx and Engles, Trotsky and Chomsky... Why don't you try a few biographies of the great leaders of industry throughout history, see what "THEY" did to achieve their successes, rather than just assume you know....or perhaps the "law's of success" by Napolean Hill....a book based on interviews with the 500 most successful men of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and what it was that made them successful...you might learn a thing or two..but that's not what your after...your after ease and effortless existence, or as close to that as possible....you bunch are the people Teddy Roosevelt was speaking of when he said "those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat"

Read the full text here...you and many other like you, need these words more than you know, or will accept:

http://www.theodoreroosevelt.org/research/speech%20arena.htm

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

""Who" will be paying these people these amounts?"

The company you work for.

.

"as it stands now..it's consumers that determine the pay"

Consumers do not make any kind of statement about how income should be allocated or what workers should get paid when they make purchases. When they buy a baseball ticket, they do it because they think that a game is worth the ticket price. They are not doing it because they think they should make less income at their job so that A-Rod can make $25 million per year at his.

If consumers had a choice between paying Price A where they earn $33k at their job and A-Rod earns $25 million at his or Price B where they earn at least $115k at their job and A-Rod earns $460k at his, then the market would be valuing workers.

And once consumers do have this power to value workers, our current system comes to an end because nobody is going to voluntarily choose to earn $82k less at their job so that A-Rod can make $25 million at his.

Capitalism is not a system that pays people fairly or based on how consumers value producers.

Like Al Capone said, America is a thug economy. You take all that you can and to hell with everyone else. And the more that you have, the easier it becomes to take.

You are paid based on bargaining power. And the amount of bargaining power you get is based mostly on market luck, genetics and heritage, not hard work.

A-Rod was born with the ability to play baseball better than everyone else. Donald Trump became rich because his father gave him $50 million. And since markets are unpredictable, the difference between winners and losers is merely luck.

After about a century of the most powerful taking as much as they possibly can, despite deliberate intervention from government, income is so concentrated and so unequal that 97% of all workers now make a below average income.

That is not because everyone in society is a below-average worker.

It is because this system is designed to only work for a very, very small percentage of the hard-working, responsible, effective workers.

That is not a fair system.

Income is compensation for work. The only fair way to compensate work is to pay people based on the amount of work they do. The only legitimate, justifiable reason for paying one person more than another is to get them to do more work, to get them to do difficult work and to get them to give their maximum effort.

When we limit differences in income to just what is necessary to be an effective incentive, there is enough income to make every citizen wealthy. We would, for example, be able to pay every worker between $115k and $460k per year. And when you make every citizen wealthy, you put an end to nearly every social problem we have.

We don't need to have a thug capitalist system where society is ruled by small handful of private, privileged, wealthy few who managed to use their unfair position of power take to the most.

.

"why has this sort of thing NEVER worked in the past"

What I propose is already in practice now and is already proven to work.

We already have markets for goods and services. We already have collective bargaining in determining incomes. We already have a decentralized network of independently run banks allocating investment.

.

"115k will become the poverty level"

Poverty is the inability to get the very basics: housing, food and clothing.

Somebody who makes $115k does not struggle to get the basics! They live in the lap of luxury.

.

"it doesn't take into account the forces that motivate and create incentive in human beings"

Workers are motivated when you pay them $26k per year. But when you pay them $115k they will no longer be motivated? lol

You need to put down the kool-aid.

.

"one that ignores human tendency and rewards those who haven't earned those rewards"

So our current system - where Donald Trump is given $50 million to start out in life and where 97% of all workers, most of whom are hard-working and do everything right, get paid a below average wage - is a system that is fair and is a system that rewards those who earned it!?!?

Are you able to keep a straight face when you right those comedy lines?

The only fair system is a system that guarantees you a job and guarantees that you will be paid well if you work hard.

.

"try a few biographies of the great leaders of industry throughout history, see what "THEY" did to achieve their successes"

You advocate a system where people who work hard are given a self help book and a 3% chance at success.

I advocate a system where people who work hard are given a job and a 100% chance at success.

You are gullible and brainwashed by get-rich-quick infomercials. I am not.

http://youtu.be/Hip1HR0BJk4

http://youtu.be/FSoglDcRbAg

.

"the "law's of success" by Napolean Hill"

epic lol

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

Have you read it? until you have.....you're a fool to scoff, and unless you know the stories of the successes of our system you will continue to think, inaccurately, that "luck" is much of a component....

and I don't watch television, so, no infomercials...as you put it,.. and "get rich quick' doesn't happen.....Success leaves clues, and if you follow those clues you can find your own success....no one is promising you'll be "rich", or have millions of dollars, but...hard work and initiative will get you a lot farther than complaint and demand....I run into guys with your attitude everyday....talking about how it's unfair that some have more privileges, or money than others...and in just a few minutes of conversation, it's easy to understand why...their attitudes...and your's, for that matter, are for shit...everything is an obstacle, and a reason to create an excuse...there are no jobs, I don't have healthcare, I don't have a car, blah blah blah.....

There are ways around it all...when I was saving for the downpayment on my house, I couldn't save AND pay rent, so I lived out of my vehicle, got a PO box as a main address, and showered at the gym for a year so I could save enough to make a reasonable down payment....I didn't whine or complain that it was unfair, or someone else's fault..I found a way...that's the difference between the success and failure...the success fails too, but they don't accept it as defeat, they keep trying...and eventually the find a way..or make one. While the failure finds an excuse, or makes one as a reason why they cannot succeed...

You are advocating for man's least common denominator, for the lowest urges, the successful aren't after "money"...money is ancillary and the reward for the success, the success is creating something that helps people, makes life easier, or provides a service to others, or earns them a large sum of money...no person is rewarded more than the service they provide..NO ONE.....A Rod....he brings people joy in excess of the millions he is paid, Trump, he provides luxury and location to people seeking homes, lodging and office space...and apparently entertains millions with his television program, I hear it's very popular...

You miss that...If I owned a small business with 20 employees who I paid and average of 65 thousand dollars and took a salary of 80 thousand dollars for the management of that business, you would say that's fair....at $4000 per person...but, if I was the CEO of a corporation with 100,000 employees and took a salary of 10 Million dollars you would say that is UNFAIR at $100 per person....you don't look at the back story...you just look at the surface results and cast judgement....like a fool always does....

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

"Have you read it? until you have.....you're a fool to scoff"

I'm sure you are not that dumb. But I can't imagine the depths of stupidity that someone has to drop to in order to think that poor people don't need a job and a job that pays well, what they need is a self-help book.

.

"you will continue to think, inaccurately, that "luck" is much of a component"

97% of all workers make a below-average income. Are they all below-average workers that are all unwilling to work hard?

Did Donald Trump work harder than everyone else to get born into a family that would give him $50 million to start out with in life?

The difference between A-Rod and the millions of other aspiring kids who want to be pro baseball players making $20 million per year is not genetics but that A-Rod practices more?

If the results of the market are not luck and are predictable why do successful companies continue to launch product failures? There is no guaranteed formula for success in the market. It is unpredictable.

.

"hard work and initiative will get you a lot farther than complaint and demand"

Being a sheeple, just like being gullible, is not a virtue.

So slavery existed for so long because they didn't work hard enough?

The inequality in pay between blacks and whites is that blacks don't work hard enough?

The reason why my landscapers who work a grueling job in the punishing heat only make $100 per day is because they don't work hard enough?

The inequality between women and men is because women didn't work hard enough?

You should never demand a better system, you should never demand a fairer system? You should always accept society unquestionably?

Only sheeple don't question and don't demand better.

.

"I run into guys with your attitude everyday....talking about how it's unfair that some have more privileges"

Yes, people like Martin Luther King Jr, Albert Einstein, Adam Smith, Thomas Paine, John Stuart Mill, George Orwell. Leaders, not sheeple.

.

"I lived out of my vehicle"

What sick, twisted, sadistic benefit do you think you or anyone else can obtain by living in their car!?!?!

.

"Trump, he provides luxury and location to people seeking homes, lodging and office space"

Do you really think we won't have hotels, homes and office space if we didn't pay people a billion dollar salary to develop it!?! Your logic is ridiculous.

All poverty and struggle is caused by Trump and A-Rod who are allowed under this system to use their leverage to take as much money as they can, leaving too little money for everyone else. It is simple math. When 20% of the people take 80% of the income, you are going to have a society with a lot of poverty.

.

You advocate a system where people who work hard are given a self help book and a 3% chance at success.

I advocate a system where people who work hard are given a job and a 100% chance at success.

You are gullible and brainwashed by get-rich-quick infomercials. I am not.

http://youtu.be/Hip1HR0BJk4

http://youtu.be/FSoglDcRbAg

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

No...you are a liberal drone who has been spoon fed this collectivist, equalized outcome crap, and refuse to see the evidence of history that verifies its failure as a philosophy.

It's not a "Self-Help" book that these people need, it's the clear and historically accurate philosophies contained within the pages of many of those books, you don't "get" a job that pays well...you earn a job that pays well, through your efforts, attitude and demeanor...it's not a "right".

97% of workers earn below average income? are you fucking high...that is just nonsense, and you are demonstrating your stupidity in asserting such idiocy....

You like to use Trump as your example, but how about John Paul DeJoria (homeless vet..Paul Mitchell co-founder), Roman Abramovich (Orpan...Russia's richest man), J.K. Rowling (single mother on welfare...Harry Potter), Steve Jobs (college drop-out due to financial lack, adopted...Apple CEO), Oprah Winfrey (born in poverty....Oprah TV and magazine), Ingvar Kamprad (dyslexic, was a peddler to earn money as a child...Ikea), Leonardo Del Vecchio (sent to an orphanage at age 7 because his mother couldn't afford to raise him...Luxottica Eyewear)...I could go on, but...it wouldn't get through your thick impenetrable liberal head...see...the difference in the vast majority and the successful minority ISN'T their origin, or their parents, or their: race, sex, sexual orientation...it IS the effort they put in, not just at WORK, but also in self-improvement and self-education, they learn to work more efficiently and intelligently, why does a landscaper earn only a $100 a day for backbreaking labor....because that is all it is worth, cause/effect wise...they only have a small impact for that labor, whereas someone who puts in a less strenuous workday, but uses that time to organize the efforts of others into a streamlined application and produces a greater result is paid more, because the effect is greater...I know this is getting complicated for you, but try to keep up...your effort, plus your talents/skills/education/etc....combined... are what produce your results...and the effect of those results on the system, or groups within the system is what determines your compensation....not merely if you "work hard", digging a hole and then filling it back in is hard work, but not very highly paid, or in-demand...

and, yes...there is a genetic component to an athlete like Alex Rodrigues, but...without the practice and dedication, there is no great payday...the sports world is filled with stories of those "gifted" with talent who went nowhere, but also with those who used what they had efficiently and "became" household names with less talent and more obstacles....Bo Jackson, Larry Bird, even Michael Jordan was told early on he would never play, and was cut from his HS team.....

IF you were to actually study the stories of the successful, you would find it's not so cut and dry as you make it out to be...it is a struggle, for everyone, and some work harder, smarter, and longer than the rest, and become successful...the rest, they make excuses and settle for failure...and guy's like you make them out to be the equal of those who have proven themselves better men and women...

Economics isn't strictly "math" and there isn't the dichotomy of zero-sum game..the amount of available wealth expands, and while those at the top earn more, because they create more, so does everyone else.....the analysis by the CBO shows that everyones income increased between 1980 and 2007, but the top (the ones who created the wealth) increased substantially more, they didn't "take" it from the lower income levels, they just kept more of what they created...everyone increased..so there was no "leaving too little money for everyone else"...wealth expands, it doesn't remain a constant amount that one group earning more takes from another group...don't be so misleading, or stupid...whatever the case may be... There is no 100% chance of success, you cannot equalize triumph...only misery

You liberal socialists don't seek to raise people, you seek to bring down those who demonstrate the disparity of effort...you are fools, and you destroy people by telling them they have no chance, because...too many believe you..

You advocate a system that can never exist without enslaving people...

You are a fool, and evil fool at that....one who uses "fairness" as the shield to veil your tyranny and oppression...

[-] 1 points by deviantmuse (13) 2 years ago

hey slammer, i dont know why you bother with demand. he will never understand the super powers you get from reading a michael jordan book.

starvation and poverty would end in africa if everyone there read that book.

in the latest department of labor press release, they said construction workers are out of work because construction workers have poor attitudes. it is not because there is no construction.

construction would boom again if they just went to a tony robbins seminar.

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

"97% of workers earn below average income? are you fucking high...that is just nonsense, and you are demonstrating your stupidity in asserting such idiocy...."

They don't teach you facts at AmWay meetings. So here are some facts about average income:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/solution-raise-the-minimum-wage-to-110000-per-year/#comment-335999

.

"the difference in the vast majority and the successful minority ISN'T their origin, or their parents, or their: race, sex, sexual orientation...it IS the effort they put in"

I know you are brainwashed by your AmWay meetings, but read an American history book so you can learn about what goes on in the real world.

Discrimination is real. So was the moon landing.

Only a small percentage of hard working people earn an above average income.

.

"You liberal socialists don't seek to raise people, you seek to bring down those who demonstrate the disparity of effort"

You want a society where people sleep in cars and only 3% of hard workers do well. Socialists want a society that works well for everyone. Guaranteeing someone a job that pays well helps people, it doesn't bring them down.

Put down the Tony Robbins self help books. They are just scamming you out of money. You are living in a fantasy.

.

"You advocate a system that can never exist without enslaving people..."

Yes, I want to enslave people in voluntary, well-paying jobs so they can live a wealthy life as slaves.

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

no, you want to enslave people to the boundaries of your contrived system, instead of the just compensation of the marketplace,

You can't guarantee someone a job, a job is a task that must be performed, the task must come before the "job" is created...you cannot just arbitrarily assign "jobs", and pay..that is a fantasy.

and using your own posting as a reference...cute!

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

the bottom line to all your nonsense is simply you want a society where the successful enfeeble themselves for the sake of the unsuccessful, and you think that will somehow improve their condition, that somehow your contrived system will improve man's life...you're fine with a system that will have to be enforced at the muzzle of a rifle, by fear

You place the incompetent at greater value than the competent, the man who runs a machine over the man who designed and built it...

Without the industrious we would still be living in caves...it isn't the "worker" or consumer that propels society forward, it's the dreamer and creator, and his reward is justly MUCH higher than the "operator" of his plans and organizations.....

Again...you think that all we have now in the way of technological advancement would still be available with your system...you are delusional....it's capital and reward that creates those things that we have...not control and equal distribution.

You are simply a fool, trained by fools, in the art of foolishness....you may claim to be educated...but education isn't the belief in foolish idea's it's the educing of idea's from the world of reality...something you are surely missing the ability to do.

I don't have to show you proof of your negatives, results are the proof against them...those with drive, with initiative are not willing to settle for your contrived reality...they aren't bound by your false morality that places the failure as the master of the success by the "need" created in this failure...NEED is not a value that can be exchanged, need is not a value at all, it's the absence of value, yet you expect men to trade their created value for another man's need, which is of no value...a clearly inequitable exchange, and you hope that they will do so by subscribing to your faulty value system....here's a question for you....what happens when they no longer choose to participate, or contribute? then what will you and your whining masses demanding more and more of the lives and blood of those who succeed? what will you do when they stop succeeding?

You are simply a man living a fantasy, a fantasy that is created in the academic mind searching for the "why's" of life, as if some contrived "why" will change all the what's and how's and every man of worth will prostrate himself for lesser men, until they suck the life out of him...

Capitalism doesn't kill people...it doesn't starve people...it's lack of effort and participation in tasks of life that do that....life is not a guarantee, to anyone

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

"it's created by those who risk all to create demand in products and services that make peoples live better"

People who are creative and inventive would rather spend their day working to build their own idea instead of someone else's just like in today's system.

These people will go to investors for funding just like in today's system. They will need to provide a proposal that demonstrates the viability of their plan just like in today's system.

They will be ultimately responsible for the success of that company just like in today's system. And they will be rewarded well if it is successful just like in today's system.

.

"you are suggesting a halt to future innovation and initiative"

I am suggesting a continuation of the same process of innovation and initiative.

.

"those who create will not suffer the sacrifice for 'average" wages..or those within your parameters"

Show me proof that Mark Zuckerberg is only willing to build a social networking website if he can get paid billions and would not want to do it for $460k. Show me proof that every other inventor is just like him.

Not only are people willing to build their own creations and ideas for $460k, they are willing to do it for free. Look at all the open source and maker faire inventions that people develop for free.

The entire internet runs on inventions people developed for free: linux operating system, apache servers, python and php programming language, MySql database, firefox browser and wikipedia encyclopedia.

You are a member of the sheeple who are totally misinformed, brainwashed, and gullible. You are the wealthy's useful idiot.

.

"the willingness to live out of a car, or sleep at your office because you have to choose between that and a home, or those who heap up all they have and risk it against their own idea's and talents, all contain the seed of what it takes to succeed"

Do you beat your wife just to see if she is an "extraordinary person" who has the willingness to do whatever it takes to make your marriage work? You have the logic of a moron.

.

"it's funny, because your claimed "average" wage is higher than that of the top 10% of wage earners...hardly "average" by any measure except the foolish one you chose to create"

That is because, not surprisingly, you do not understand what an average is. When the average income is higher than what 97% earn, it shows just how unequally income is distributed.

I do not want a society where a small group of wealthy people consume and control almost everything and to hell with everyone else.

The only reason why you want that society is because you have been conned by the wealthy who don't want to lose their wealth and power that you will benefit from a society where they own and run everything.

Just like the kings had their gullible sheeple and the slaveholders had their gullible sheeple, the wealthy have you.

.

"Paying people more than they earn doesn't help them, it creates a false sense of entitlement that eventually destroys them"

So it is not the low wage and subsequent inability to get the basics that destroys poor people, it would be the $115k per year so that they can have a high standard of living that would destroy them?

Like I said, you have the logic of a moron.

In a fair society, if you work full-time for a year, you earn at least $115,000.

.

"which have never...in the history of mankind, produced one positive result"

Look around. The entire modern world is built on science, people getting paid to work, markets allocating goods and services and workers unionizing for better pay.

You are advocating that system pay most workers low, unfair wages so that the wealthy can maintain their life of privilege. I am advocating that system pay workers high, fair wages.

.

"have led to the death, imprisonment and torture of tens of millions"

Democracy has never killed, tortured and imprisoned tens of millions.

Capitalism kills 30,000 kids per day alone. They die from lack of food and clean water. We have more than enough resources to provide for all of them. But capitalism shuts them out, not because they are unwilling to work, but because they do not have money. It is a cruel, barbaric, uncivilized system.

That would never happen in a democratic system where you were guaranteed a job and a fair wage that is as high as everyone else who works as hard as you as a basic human right.

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

Workers don't create the system, they don't create the edifices, they don't create the method, they don't create the process or procedure....the Operate the structures organized by others....

That "work to do" is not created by workers, or consumers....it's created by those who risk all to create demand in products and services that make peoples live better, they do this before there is demand, and "create" the demand for their services.....you are suggesting a halt to future innovation and initiative.....whether you know it, or not....

In your world the consumer doesn't get a choice as to where they spend their money, as the choices will diminish, those who create will not suffer the sacrifice for 'average" wages..or those within your parameters....

See, the willingness to live out of a car, or sleep at your office because you have to choose between that and a home, or those who heap up all they have and risk it against their own idea's and talents, all contain the seed of what it takes to succeed....the willingness to put it all on the line, without a promise of return...something the "average" person is unwilling to do...that is the difference that makes an extraordinary person, that willingness to do whatever it takes to succeed...you obviously have no clue what that means....

You call those who earn less the "average" wage (based only on the disparity between zero and the highest income earner, not based on what most people earn) of $135,000.00 "below average" in a statistical manipulation that eludes to the fact that they are somehow unfairly treated...it's funny, because your claimed "average" wage is higher than that of the top 10% of wage earners...hardly "average" by any measure except the foolish one you chose to create...

contrived systems are not, by nature, voluntary....you cannot volunteer to limitations, they can only be imposed by force...

Paying people more than they earn doesn't help them, it creates a false sense of entitlement that eventually destroys them, and their ability to survive when the contrived system fails....as it always does...in every example.

You are a fool, as I have said, again and again...you have been sold, and bought into with craven desire, a system that cannot exist without force, and can only be brought about, and maintained through inorganic force of tyrannical government......it cannot exist in a free society where individuals are allowed to succeed or fail on their own efforts.....it is a fantasy utopia, and can never be....but, every generation of fool thinks they are the ones who can make the unworkable work, and achieve the unachievable....and every attempt fails again, as the contrived system is contrary to natural order.....plain and simple...

as for sheeple and gullibility...you are the one who has gone line and sinker for the academic construct of inorganic, incompatible with reality, collectivist notions...which have never...in the history of mankind, produced one positive result, and have led to the death, imprisonment and torture of tens of millions toward the ends of peace and fairness....

It's a fools mate, only attempted by those unschooled in the intricacies of human history and recorded endeavor...

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

Yes, I want to enslave people in a voluntary job within the boundaries of $115k and $460k, or whatever the dictatorship of the workers democratically decide through the cruel process of collective bargaining, a boundary which unfairly pays you based on work instead of the more fair system of luck, genetics and heritage, a boundary which forces everyone to be wealthy whether they want to be or not, a boundary which increases the income of 97% of workers, and a boundary which mandates the brutal indignity of increasing the pay of half of all workers by at least 500%.

Since we will never, ever run out of work to do, we can guarantee everyone a job. We will always invest enough money to productively and profitably employ everyone. The consumers assign all the jobs based on how they spend their money. They are the ones in charge. They decide what gets produced and what does not, and so they decide what jobs are available and what jobs are not.

I did not use my own post as a reference. If you click on that link, you will see the data from the BEA and BLS which shows the average income is $135,000 per year and 97% of workers make below that amount.

After you are done reading actual facts from government agencies instead of fantasy from your self-help books, read these 2 articles:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gullibility

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheeple

[-] 1 points by friendlyopposition (574) 2 years ago

What if you and I both own software companies, and we both want to hire Mark Zuckerburg because he is the best at what he does. How am I going to get him to come work for my company if the government has capped his salary at $460k?

The compensation plan is voted on by what workers? All workers or just the workers in that particular field? What if I am unemployed, do I still get a vote?

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

If you are the best at what you do, you will have the power to work anywhere you want. That is yet another incentive to excel at your profession. It gives you the ability to better dictate where and for whom you work for.

The people who are currently part of the workforce, including those who happen to be unemployed, vote. It is done nationally. Just like everyone votes nationally for a president, all workers will vote nationally for a labor agreement.

The labor agreement would spell out benefits like vacation time, how many hours are full time, sick days, etc. As far as compensation, it would determine what the minimum incomes are for different professions based on difficulty and what the maximum amount you can earn is in performance based jobs and what percentage of the workforce can get paid the maximum.

[-] 1 points by friendlyopposition (574) 2 years ago

I can't imagine trying to get the entire nation to agree on a compensation package. Would you also adjust it for the cost of living for each region? It would hardly be fair to pay an electrician in NYC the same thing you would pay one to work in Richmond Va. Who would set the cost of living multiplier? I guess everyone would vote on it...

What about the sales force? Salespeople normally work on commission. If you set the salary for a salesperson and a minimum set of expectations, then that is all that you will get. Actually, this is the same for any profession - you set the pay and minimum expectations and that is what a majority of the workforce will shoot for.

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

You can't get the entire country to agree on a compensation package just like you can't get them all to agree on a president. The one that wins out will be the one with the most votes.

Since differences in pay are limited and everyone is getting the same pay for the same work, you won't have different costs of living like you do today. You will no longer be competing with billionaires for an apartment in Manhattan. So a Manhattan apartment will cost the same as a similar apartment in Duluth.

The vast majority of workers will be salaried just like they are today. But some, like salespeople, will be performance based. The managers of companies that hire sales people will design their jobs so that the top performers earn $460k or whatever the top pay is.

[-] 1 points by friendlyopposition (574) 2 years ago

I'll give you credit. You seem to have answers to all my questions. However, the answers still don't fit together into an economy that would work. The idea of incentive is still looming. I agree that a person doesn't need to make a billion dollars to be innovative, but they will want to be rewarded for their new idea or their hard work. If you put an income ceiling on them - especially one as low as $400k - people will be less inclined to put in 70 weeks trying to make a better product, cure disease, or whatever. And if the owner of the company is capped at $400k, that puts his top performers still below him. Once a person is at the top of the pay scale, what would drive them to be innovative?

I agree that there is great disparity in corporate salaries, but I don't see how you can divide up the GDP among all citizens in way that is equitable and still drives people to produce. I've heard other theories that put a percentage cap on the difference between top and bottom pay in a company - while still unlikely, at least it makes sense. The more money the company makes, the more money ALL the employees will make.

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

Money is an incentive, especially in performance based jobs. And so long as you want to continue earning the top pay, you have to continue being a top performer. So the incentive to continue making the best products is the chance to continue earning the top pay.

It is not like as soon as you reach the top, you get appointed a permanent position there for life, so you can just mail it in for the rest of your career. You have to continue to perform if you want to stay at the top.

But money is not the only incentive. We also need to provide intrinsic motivators at the work place. Workers must be able to work autonomously so they take ownership in their job, be able to master whatever they do so they care about their performance and work on things that are actually important so they care about their job. When you provide these intrinsic rewards, workers will take pride in their work which is a far bigger motivator than money.

And for the most important work we do, the creative stuff, performance based pay is a counter motivator. For creative, problem-solving, left-brain type work, the best compensation is actually to just pay them a flat salary so that the issue of money is off the table and they can just focus on doing their best work.

Not surprisingly, the Mayo Clinic, one of the world's best hospitals adopted this policy for their doctors. Doctors are paid a flat salary, they are not paid per patient or per procedure. And they have become a top performing hospital in both costs and outcomes.

For more information on incentives and intrinsic rewards, see this Ted Talk:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrkrvAUbU9Y

The point is that we can use evidence-based science to design the best incentives that get people to do difficult work and continually perform at their maximum without needing to pay people any more than $460k.

There was a time when it was impossible for anyone to earn $460k. And society didn't collapse. We continued to progress and grow.

.

"I've heard other theories that put a percentage cap on the difference between top and bottom pay in a company"

That is exactly what I am proposing! Nobody can make any more than 4 times more than the lowest paid worker.

.

"The more money the company makes, the more money ALL the employees will make."

The $460k number is not some arbitrary number. It is based on GDP. So as GDP grows, the $460k income will grow with it. If we increase GDP productivity by 10%, all incomes will grow by 10%.

So as companies become more productive, GDP grows and incomes subsequently grow too.

However, it is unfair to tie all worker pay to the performance of the company they work for. Some jobs like salespeople, managers and executives have a direct effect on the performance of their company. So their incomes should be naturally tied to the performance of their company.

But the accountant doesn't have a direct effect on how well the company does. Neither does the cashier or stock boy or welder or line worker, etc. So it is unfair for their pay to be tied to the performance of their company.

That is why incomes should be tied to overall GDP instead of company sales or profitability.

[-] 1 points by friendlyopposition (574) 2 years ago

All of this is great in theory - but I don't see anything in this that would work in the real world. Not to be a downer - because I think it is important that these theoretical approaches are examined thoroughly. We may find something in them that can be applied to our situation. I also apologize if I start to sound a little harsh...

What it sounds like to me is that you want to turn the country into one big company, with all of the profits equally divided among the "employees." The idea that we could make a list of EVERY job in the country, and then vote on the compensation package for all of these jobs is ludicrous. If everyone is going to vote on a compensation package - then wouldn't everyone vote for the best package for their particular occupation? With labor agreements, concessions are made on each side between the company and the union - who will be making concessions during a vote?

And your theories about incentive packages sound great in management books and on youtube - but it isn't that simple. I've been in middle management for more than 10 years now and I've even taught courses on "intrinsic" motivation. I've used all the buzz words about getting "buy-in" and making people feel part of the process. I currently supervise about 140 employees - and I can tell you, keeping people motivated is difficult and ever changing process. I dare say it is much more of an art than it is a science.

The only way to improve my position financially would be to increase the GDP. I am one employee in 250 million at this point - how much of an impact do you think my actions will have.

Finally - what about self-employment? Am I allowed to start my own company as a ukulele tuner and be guaranteed $115k? Who determines what businesses are in and which ones are out? What if I don't work at all - do I still get minimum wage?

Each of your answers brings up more questions. This is such pie-in-the-sky thinking that I don't understand how someone like yourself, who appears to be fairly intelligent, can look at the big picture and think that this is actually feasible in the real world.

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

"I don't see anything in this that would work in the real world"

Every part is already proven in the real world. Consumers will decide what is produced based on how they spend their money. Entrepreneurs with new ideas will go to banks for funding. Companies will be individually run and managed. Companies must generate enough revenue to cover expenses in order to stay in business. Managers will be responsible for hiring, firing and company performance. And companies will still compete for your business.

When you hire an employee, just like when you hire a union employee, you have to pay their union wage.

.

"The idea that we could make a list of EVERY job in the country, and then vote on the compensation package for all of these jobs is ludicrous"

When we look back on all of humanity's greatest achievements from computers to quantum physics to medicine to space travel, coming up with a fair compensation package for people who work, where the maximum difference in pay is whatever is necessary for income to be an effective incentive, will rank at the bottom of that list.

The federal government has managed to come up with a compensation plan for more than 5 million employees. Wal Mart has done it for more than 2 million employees. Unions do it for millions of employees.

But just like the steamfitters union doesn't negotiate and approve the individual incomes of their hundreds of thousands of members, we won't in this system either. We won't determine unique incomes for 150 million different people. The entire national compensation plan can be described on a single page.

We will determine what jobs are mentally or physically difficult. I think most will agree should be science, computers, engineering, medicine, construction, mining, and farming. We will determine how much more they will get paid. I believe double is what people would consider fair and enough to get people to do difficult work. And we will determine what the maximum in performance based jobs can pay in order to get people to give their maximum effort. I think most will agree on roughly 4 times more than the lowest.

That would pay everyone $115k, difficult jobs $230k and top pay $460k.

We might determine that the top pay should be 10 times more. That would make the top pay $1,000,000 per year and the lowest pay $100,000 and difficult would stay at $230k.

We might want to pay everyone under age 25 50% pay and everyone age 25-30 75% pay and pay people who do difficult jobs 4 times more. That means 30 and over get paid $100k, difficult jobs pay $400k and top pay is $1 million.

This is not rocket science.

.

"wouldn't everyone vote for the best package for their particular occupation?"

Yes. That would make sure income inequality always remains low. The people at the bottom of the pay scale will have the most votes. They will benefit most with incomes completely equal. But I think most people believe people who do difficult work should get paid more. So I don't think equal pay would ever be approved. But they probably would also not approve bankers earning 500 times more than them.

.

"keeping people motivated is difficult and ever changing"

I have owned several businesses. So I understand employee motivation. But I never had to micromanage their pay. If I was able to pay them all the incomes being talked about here, knowing that all my competitors have to pay the same wages, employee motivation would be a lot easier.

.

"The only way to improve my position financially would be to increase the GDP"

No. You will have an opportunity to increase your pay 400% (or whatever the maximum is). If you want to consistently earn top pay, you must consistently deliver the best results.

.

"Am I allowed to start my own company as a ukulele tuner"

No because we have devices to do that. But if you had a good idea you will go to an independently run bank and apply for funding, just like you would now. The banks will be responsible for investing their funds in what they think are the most profitable ideas, just like they do now. The investment bankers will be paid based on how well they invest that money, just like they do now. You will then be responsible for the profitability of that company, just like now. And your pay will be based on that company's performance, just like now.

.

"What if I don't work at all - do I still get minimum wage?"

Just like your current employer is unlikely to pay you not to work, you will probably not find an employer in this system to pay you not to work.

Obviously, you have to work to get paid.

.

"I don't understand how someone like yourself, who appears to be fairly intelligent, can look at the big picture and think that this is actually feasible in the real world."

And I don't understand how someone can think it won't. Every aspect of it is already proven in practice.

It is not a perfect system. But it is infinitely better than what we have now.

I didn't even get into the incredible inefficiencies in our current system. We pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to borrow a digital number when you buy a home (interest). Loans should be free. We employ 55% of our entire workforce in pointless jobs that can be automated with existing technology. We make hundreds of different toothpastes. I could go on and on.

If you were brought up in the system that I propose and someone advocated we replace it with capitalism, they would rightly be considered a moron.

[-] 0 points by gforz (-43) 2 years ago

You'll never convince this guy. He's attempting to create an artificial marketplace that is tightly controlled. What about Kobe Bryant and the rest of the NBA? They can go to Europe, Russia, or the Middle East and play for whatever they can get paid, and it will be a lot more than whatever the "top" pay bracket is. So I guess other "workers" will step in to take their place, and we'll never notice the difference. If there is a maximum pay, what is to make people strive to make their company more profitable. I mean, they've already sold x amount of widgets last year, and that was the max, so why try to sell more? If wages are set, what about foreign competition for the product? Free loans? What is the time value of money? I can just borrow money from you forever for free, take your money and promise to pay par value in 50 years? 10 years, 20? Are there going to be personal guarantees on business loans? Why take the chance to put your life savings at risk in a business when you can just utilize your considerable talent working for someone else for the max salary or close to it and not take any risk of the business failing (and you losing your savings)? Can one sit at home in pajamas and lick stamps and get paid $115k? That's work. Think about the prices for products, they will adjust to the new minimum salaries. Milk producers can demand $7 or $8 a gallon, Wendy's will sell $10 hamburgers because the new minimum is $115k, so the buying power of the $115k will be just like the buying power of $26k today. The only people getting ahead will be the ones making more than the minimum.

[-] 0 points by FriendlyObserverA (610) 2 years ago

We replaced monarchies with democracy.

Now it is time to finish what the Enlightenment Era started and replace capitalism with democracy. The end of history is government democracy and economic democracy.

We agree on many things. We need to finish the revolution . Capitalism is a monarchy. we need to get rid of it.

[-] 2 points by frontierteg (137) from Kalamazoo Township, MI 2 years ago

Conservatism is a way of thinking in which freedom is extended to business and responsibility falls on people.

Liberalism is a way of thinking in which freedom is extended to people and and responsibility falls on business.

Totalitarianism is a way of thinking in which both business and people are stripped of freedom and both have responsibility.

Anarchy is a way of thinking in which freedom is extended to both people and business, but neither is responsible.

Libertarianism is a way of thinking in which freedom and responsibility is extended to both people and business.

The makers of these posts have to realize that businesses are made of people. Rich or poor, we all have rights and responsibilities.

You can apply all the aforementioned categories to capitalism, socialism, communism, etc... The base premise remains the same. Who gets freedom and who has responsibility? It should be both and both.

[-] 1 points by metapolitik (1110) 2 years ago

This is a very well worded and concise response.

While my post was totally (and admittedly) biased against "conservatism", your response was incredibly balanced.

Hats off!

And while plutocrats are busy redefining words to suit their own interests, there are those out there (like yourself) who can cut trough the BS and see these underlying concepts in their unvarnished, untarnished state.

And I absolutely agree with your assessment. Especially this last paragraph:

"You can apply all the aforementioned categories to capitalism, socialism, communism, etc... The base premise remains the same. Who gets freedom and who has responsibility? It should be both and both."

...Until we are capable of creating a society in which we all share the burdens and the rewards, we are going to continue to have these drastic problems.

[-] 1 points by tomcat68 (298) 2 years ago

conservatism is packing a lunch instead of going out to a restaurant. whether or not you get the company to pay for it.

that simple really, so. I think you've confused yourself.

[-] 1 points by JesseHeffran (3903) 2 years ago

it is too infatuated with the past and has not enough intensity for the multiple futures.

[-] 1 points by metapolitik (1110) 2 years ago

What is?

Conservatism?

I can go along with that.

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

While in general I do agree with you more -Demandthegoodlife-, I also think that -friendlyopposition- brought up some good points. I think that moderate socialism is the answer, accompanied by political reform as well (i.e. the removal of campaign contributions, and the instatement of a equal public funding policy). Anyone who contributes to the betterment of society deserves the right to free health care, and the use of the latest medical technology to live as healthy and fullfilling life as possible. Everyone also deserves the right to success, free access to education to better one-self and acheive to the most of ones abilities should be available. Education should be available on account of merit not financial circumstances. Furthermore I do not think the wage gap should be tightened quite as much as was suggested -demand- as the result would inevitably be $115,000 earners becoming the new poor. Initially it may work, but inevitably this would become the reality. If people have more to spend, they spend more frivilously, and thus prices rise. A wage gap of sorts is necessary, If someone can simply finish high school, go to work as a retail clerk, and live an overlly comfortable life; then why would they want to go to school, further their education, and further their skills for a fractionally better life. I do however think that everyone no matter what you do for a living, deserves to make enough to keep a roof over their head, food in the cupboards, and a little extra to enjoy themselves with, while having to work no more than a standard 40 hours a week. I believe all of this can be achieved by increasing government regulation on business; while also handing more control and power of government to the people. There are other issues to be addressed obviously: our governements militarism, global hunger, global access to health care and education, diminishing natural reasources etc.; but I think the first step is to progress here towards a more peaceful and harmonious economic and political system. If we can put into practise true humanism here, and set an real example for the rest of the world, then we can reduce the gaping wounds capitalism has wrought both in society and our world to scars left for our history books. I can only speak for myself, but I want to live in a country I can truly be proud of; one that takes care of all it's citizens and helps to further global progress towards peacefull harmony in the pursuit of the betterment of the human condition.

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

I should have written this in a word document first. My appologies for the grammatical errors. They're staring me in the face, and are quite irritating haha. I hope that my general message was portrayed well though.

[-] 1 points by ramous (765) from Wabash, IN 2 years ago

lol. Seriously? a college grad student writes a blog on an edu site and throws out any academic definitions and its supposed to be important? This is the kind of reason people take us in Occupy as a joke. Lets speak from an educated point of view, not spin our own propaganda.

[-] 1 points by DoctorX (11) 2 years ago

Phil Agre's article is good overall, but needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Be on the lookout for some minor inconsistencies that mar the argument. The loooong paragraph about how some liberals see themselves as Marxists lite is ridiculous and betokens an axe to grind rather than identifying a real problem. And the criticism of Michael Moore's "violence in language" (I forget the exact expression) is straight-forward, values-dictating, mind-controlling authoritarianism, more suited for religious leadership that political tactics or strategy.

[-] 1 points by metapolitik (1110) 2 years ago

The article is admittedly and apologetically biased.

Phil makes no illusions about that.

[-] 1 points by smallRrepublican (11) 2 years ago

"Conservatism is the domination of society by an aristocracy."

I'll play the conservatives' advocate (because I am nominally one), but I think that in any democracy, a sober second thought needs to be considered before we implement any radical change to society.

There are good things that are provided by the established order.

The Soviet Union was a chamber of horrors. Karl Marx may have described many of the problems well, but his solution was terrible.

I am with OWS when it comes to the righteous anger that is directed at our corrupt public officials who bailed out the "too big to fail".

I agree that the repeal of Glass-Steagall (a reasonable regulation) was a terrible mistake. But it was inevitable that it would be repealed--those who remembered the Great Depression were dying off.

[-] 1 points by metapolitik (1110) 2 years ago

Welcome to the Great Depression 2.0

[-] 1 points by smallRrepublican (11) 2 years ago

I think that the concerns of OWS needs to be taken seriously because alienation and the anger is quite real. Hate doesn't exist in a vacuum.

Are we in a Depression? If so, and we're headed in a downward death spiral then political radicalism will continue to fester and grow.

Wall Street panicked and asked for a bailout, and our political class complied after some arm twisting. The system is rotten.

[-] 1 points by metapolitik (1110) 2 years ago

Wow!

You give me hope for Republicans.

Sounds like you are an authentic conservative in the traditional sense of the word.

Not like these radical anarchocapitalist NeoCons using the mantle of faux conservatism to serve their own ends.

Hats off and thanks for your excellent feedback.

While I don't think that the word "Hate" accurately characterizes the movement (anger and frustration perhaps), you are absolutely right that it is not unwarranted or without precedent.

[-] 1 points by smallRrepublican (11) 2 years ago

Well thank you. We might probably disagree on economics, I'm not here to try to make people see things my way. I think that if the system were working as it should, people would be less frustrated. There is something in the air for sure, I'm surprised that the OWS movement hadn't occurred years before now actually.

A lot of people made fun of the Tea Party, calling them "baggers" and dismissing their more extreme spokespeople (those "Obama=Hitler" placards). But the resentment they felt was real, and I warned some of my leftist friends that they shouldn't so snidely dismiss them. Just look at the results of the 2010 elections.

Unfortunately, the Tea Party was coddled and coopted to become useful idiots of 'crony capitalism' when in fact it was anger at the bailouts for Wall Street that was a primary mover of it. Fox News and AM talk radio presents a distorted view of OWS (images of scraggly hippies), and then the conservative electorate take up the side of Wall Street by default because they think that punching hippies is a fun thing to do. It's a Pavlovian trick.

I don't know where OWS will go--being the cynic that I am, it seems to me that it will turn into a reelect Obama movement.

My foremost political ideology is fairness: you make bad bets (like credit default loan swaps), then don't expect the government to bail you out and then preach "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" for the lowly peasants. Yes, I agree that continued lifetime welfare benefits is not sustainable and an unhealthy thing to do. But the elites should be forced to live by the same rules that they advocate for everybody else.

I remember when Congress voted against the Wall Street bailouts in 2008. It was a rare moment of democracy in action.. But then, a few days later, their corporate overlords slapped and whipped the congresscritters into voting the right away.

Yes, when Congress voted against bailing out the "too big to fail", the so-called experts (the ones who caused the problem in the first place) were telling us that we shouldn't be throwing a temper tantrum. Calm down--we know better than you, you little pissant.

If I were to state my true feelings about the corruption of Goldman Sachs, Wall Street, and how our elected officials are being BRIBED and what needs to be done to them, I'd be locked away forever as a terrorist.

So I find it harder to defend capitalism, sometimes it's difficult to argue against it's critics when the excesses are so obvious. To me, the image of the honest business man is Jimmy Stewart in "It's a Wonderful Life", a civic leader who cares about his community.

I know you probably get annoyed by his supporters and spammers here, but I like Ron Lawl as well. While I find his economic remedies untenable (I don't subscribe to pure economic libertarianism), I think his prescriptions for a more sane foreign policy and his stance on civil liberties to be good. We need more like him, and we can agree to disagree about how best to implement economic policies.

[-] 1 points by BraddDavis (10) 2 years ago

Yea, let's give Stalinism and Marxism just one more try. It worked so well the last time bringing freedom and prosperity to the masses....

[-] 1 points by metapolitik (1110) 2 years ago

Screw Stalin!

We need Trotsky!

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

Please Occupy the 92.5 radio station in Sacramento. They're converting it to Rush Limbaugh! Seriously no progressive radio in Sac.

[-] 1 points by Denofearth (41) 2 years ago

An additional frightening thought, for me anyways, is that this very unnatural situation allows for the intellectually and perhaps even genetically inferior members of the human species to usurp position from those who are truly superior people simply because they come from a more financially stable family. Take Dick Cheney for example. His life long medical problems are indicative of faulty genetics. Had he been a construction worker, taxi driver, or cook he most likely would have never had sex much less children. Meanwhile, how many Einsteins, Edisons, or Teslas have lived lives that tapped none of their akills or abilities just because they had the misfortune of having been born in the ghetto?

[-] 1 points by metapolitik (1110) 2 years ago

Wow!

This is so true.

This is the scariest thing to me about capitalism.

It allows the sneaky, the ruthless, the conniving and the unethical to achieve enormous success doing deplorable things to the environment, to workers, to teachers and to students - whilst simultaneously punishing anyone who works for social change or the betterment of the community, or who takes a job in teaching or the public sector.

It's as though in a capitalist economy the scum always rises to the top.

Greed and avarice are then biologically and culturally 'chosen-for' and we get rampant abuse and excess. What's even scarier is that these people tend to be strong advocates of large families.

Thank god for rebelliousness and teen angst.

At least these stand a chance of breaking the cycle.

[-] 0 points by gforz (-43) 2 years ago

We have lots of laws in place for the sneaky, ruthless, conniving. You see the Madoff's of the world, the Enron guys, the Tyke CEO, going to prison. You are talking about human nature. There is a certain segment of society, a certain type of individual, who will, no matter the economic or political structure, attempt to take advantage of others. It is not inherent in capitalism itself. You had the guys in the Politburo in the Soviet Union with their dachas on the Black Sea, living large while the people starved. Same with the Chinese, the Saudis, the warlords in Africa. We have laws on the books, they need to be enforced. Incentives and punishment structured so that people have incentive to stay within the law and are not able to crash the system.

[-] 1 points by metapolitik (1110) 2 years ago

Yes but unfortunately, the Madoffs and Tykes are the proverbial tip of the iceberg and for every one of them that gets caught, another 100 of them scurry under the kitchen cabinets as soon as you turn the lights on.

We need strong - dare I say - heavy handed regulations when in comes to the financial sector and we need to start questioning the whole time = work = money paradigm. It does not make sense when so many at the top do so little of the real work and when so many jobs are being replaced by machines and outsourcing.

[-] 0 points by gforz (-43) 2 years ago

"Work" is a relative term. I see many who equate going to a 9-5 job, or digging ditches as "equal" to the "work" that, say, a small business owner with 100 employees does. The comparisons are a frozen-in-time snapshot, not a look at the total work and risk taken by each. Time is only one variable in the "work" equation. Another is value, and another is risk. The worker digging ditches or checking out people at the supermarket is adding a relatively small amount of value to the system. A business owner's product adds significant value to his customer's lives or businesses or they wouldn't buy it. He adds value to his employees by hiring and paying them. In most cases, the business owner has risked his capital and time. For every successful, highly paid entrepreneur, there are hundreds who tried and failed. We need people to try. If the reward is not great enough to risk it, and pay relatively equal, why would anyone risk it. It's all about supply and demand. It's the reason why Kobe Bryant makes the millions he makes, because there are few people in the world that can do what he does and entertain millions doing so. It's why engineers are well paid, not that they do physically hard work, but that they have spent years acquiring the knowledge and skills to add value to their respective companies. It's why some salespeople are extremely well paid, because they have the drive, the work ethic, and ability to sell things that some don't, not that they have to get on their hands and knees and scrub floors, anyone can do that. It's about value, and people are generally paid according to the value that they create for others and the availability of others or a machine that can do the same job. I think people like the advances that technology has brought us. I would suggest the Amish community if you'd like to return to the 19th century.

[-] 1 points by metapolitik (1110) 2 years ago

The idea that Kobe Bryant deserves obscene wealth because he somehow "adds more value" than someone who does actual work like a fireman or an engineer is absurd.

The market is a blind, psychotic moron and the invisible hand is a compulsive masturbator and thief.

[-] 0 points by gforz (-43) 2 years ago

Here is where you get it wrong. You just refuse to acknowledge the lifelong work that someone like Kobe has put into his particular craft. He isn't magically able to make 92% of his free throws. Work? A fireman does absolutely no training when he is 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 years old to become a fireman. They typically start after high school or volunteer. They spend a good deal of their time sitting in a firehouse waiting on a fire. Now, when they're working, they work hard. Not dissing fire fighters. But anyone at the top of their field didn't just magically get there without putting in years of work with absolutely no guarantee that they would ultimately succeed to the level they did. The market may be unfair, but as to adding value, Kobe puts people in seats, people who pay money that support the jobs that surround the industry, everyone from ticket takers, to concessionaires, video and audio techs, announcers, camera crews, to guys changing out the floor from hockey to basketball. He can do things that fire fighters and engineers cannot. He is a revenue producer, not just a revenue taker. That revenue is used to do a variety of things, from job support and creation to giving to children's hospitals. Insofar as he is instrumental in creating that revenue, he "deserves" to be paid well for it, unless you can find other guys with his skills who will do it for less.

[-] 1 points by Febs (824) from Plymouth Meeting, PA 2 years ago

That is Classical Conservatism which doesn't really exist in modern American politics today. The inheritors of the Classical Liberal ideology would be modern American Conservative (of the Taft variety) and libertarianism.

[-] 1 points by metapolitik (1110) 2 years ago

Completely Agree.

The self-proclaimed "conservatives" these days are often simply radical anarcho-capitalists.

[-] 1 points by Febs (824) from Plymouth Meeting, PA 2 years ago

I find the self-proclaimed conservatives are more neo-progressives who want to copy FDR and "make the world safe for democracy" with bombs and guns and on people who don't want it. Neo-Conservatives are not conservative in either the Modern American or the Classical sense.

[-] 1 points by metapolitik (1110) 2 years ago

I've never encountered anyone claiming to be a "conservative" and supporting FDR-era progressive policies.

Seems more often than not, it's a 'Neo-Con' in sheep's clothing.

[-] 1 points by Febs (824) from Plymouth Meeting, PA 2 years ago

Exactly. Spot on. Neo-Cons are neo-progressives who believe themselves to be Conservative.

[-] 1 points by metapolitik (1110) 2 years ago

WRONG!

Anarcho-Capitalists spouting psychotic economic policies that favor the rich are NOT progressives!

Progressives are Populist!

FDR was a progressive.

Neo-Cons are sociopaths.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progressivism

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neocon

[-] 1 points by Febs (824) from Plymouth Meeting, PA 2 years ago

Anarcho capitalists spout policies that favor the able. Rich or poor.

Neo-Cons are best labeled neo-progressives. Sorry but its true. They aren't conservative which in Modern American lingo means they are more individualist minded - they are steeped in collectivism and military adventurism and the spread through force of their ideals - progressive to the bone albeit with a different group of ideals they want to force on people.

[-] 1 points by metapolitik (1110) 2 years ago

I just schooled you (with citations, even) and that's your best response?!

At least TRY to sound intelligent.

[-] 1 points by Febs (824) from Plymouth Meeting, PA 2 years ago

Frankly it is all the response that is needed. I am talking larger political philosophy not the particular planks of either of them.

Can you show me how neo-cons do not embrace collectivism in all their actions - the same as progressives?

[-] 1 points by metapolitik (1110) 2 years ago

Wow!

You are really good at "The Big Lie"...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Lie

But guess what?

The Second Age of Enlightenment shall not be so easily tricked into your Orwellian, "right is left" word games.

Nice try though.

[-] 1 points by Febs (824) from Plymouth Meeting, PA 2 years ago

I don't think you understand what I am saying in as much as you are projecting what you want to believe I am saying. I don't agree at all with the existing left or right paradigm as it was falsely constructed. There is only individualism versus collectivism and I don't really care what end one places what on so long as one is an individualist.

[-] 1 points by metapolitik (1110) 2 years ago

I agree with you that the current framing of the left/right political debate is a false dichotomy.

I have devised (what I think) is a better model here:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/approaching-a-metapolitical-discourse/

http://metapolitik.org/article/approaching-metapolitical-discourse

[-] 1 points by Febs (824) from Plymouth Meeting, PA 2 years ago

Thanks, I'll check it out!

[-] 1 points by Permanushka (24) from Elk Creek, CA 2 years ago

Don't mistake Elitism for Conservatism. They sometimes co-incide, but often don't. Although Ron Lawl is a Libertarian, most of his platform is conservative in nature.....commonsense conservative.

A few dictionary definitions of Conservative and Conservatism.

 A political philosophy based on tradition and social stability, stressing established institutions, and preferring gradual development to abrupt change.

 A philosophy calling for lower taxes, limited government regulation of business and investing, a strong national defense, non-involvement in foreign wars without provocation.

 Financial responsibility and Balanced Budget for government and individuals

 Marked by moderation or caution.

 To avoid wasteful or destructive use of natural resources.

         To maintain (a quantity) constant during a process of chemical, physical, or evolutionary change <conserved DNA sequences>

        To preserve fruit with sugar( Take that as you may)
[-] 1 points by metapolitik (1110) 2 years ago

Yes, but the political machinery calling itself "conservative" these days is none of the things that you just described.

[-] 1 points by Permanushka (24) from Elk Creek, CA 2 years ago

Don't mistake Elitism for Conservatism. They sometimes co-incide, but often don't. Although Ron Lawl is a Libertarian, most of his platform is conservative in nature.....commonsense conservative.

A few dictionary definitions of Conservative and Conservatism.

      A political philosophy based on tradition and social stability, stressing established institutions, and preferring gradual development to abrupt change.

        A philosophy calling for lower taxes, limited government regulation of business and investing, a strong national defense, non-involvement in foreign wars without provocation.

Financial responsibility and Balanced Budget for government and personal .

Marked by moderation or caution.

To avoid wasteful or destructive use of natural resources.

To maintain (a quantity) constant during a process of chemical, physical, or evolutionary change <conserved DNA sequences>

[-] 1 points by metapolitik (1110) 2 years ago

Ah, but the political machinery calling itself "conservative" these days is none of the things that you just described.

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

Conservatism is a political ideology that doesn't seem to know what it is any more.

Bush claimed to be conservative, yet his policies were extreme.

At least most liberals are still a liberal

[-] 1 points by metapolitik (1110) 2 years ago

Except for those of us in the "radical center".

[-] 1 points by debndan (1145) 2 years ago

Conservatism (Latin: conservare, "to preserve")[1] is a political and social philosophy that promotes the maintenance of traditional institutions and supports, at the most, minimal and gradual change in society. Some conservatives seek to preserve things as they are, emphasizing stability and continuity, while others oppose modernism and seek a return to the way things were.

What you are describing is actually libertarianism, which has passed itself off as conservatism, also brings in neoconservatism. these are not conservatism, but are the nemesis of conservatism.

The neocons and libertarians wish to bring society to it's knees, and have done a good job doing so. They got away with it by rebranding(lying) themselves as conservatives.

[-] 1 points by metapolitik (1110) 2 years ago

And from a historical perspective - "maintain[ing] traditional institutions" and "support[ing] at the most, minimal and gradual change in society"... Means: (in practice) keeping society trapped in the Feudal / Aristocratic / Fascist / Hierarchical / Patriarchal / Dictatorial / Top-Down / Supply-Side / For-The-Rich patterns of yester-year.

Just like the article says.

[-] 1 points by Brandon37 (372) 2 years ago

Totally false. It's reeks of personal bias. Not to mention, it's not your thinking. It's someone else's.

[-] 1 points by metapolitik (1110) 2 years ago

I will concede:

It may be biased... But it's also pretty damned accurate.

As for it being "someone else's thoughts"...

So what?

Lots of people - from all walks of the political spectrum - post links, articles and excerpts on this forum.

[-] 1 points by Brandon37 (372) 2 years ago

OK, but for people to grasp your argument, you need to entertain both sides. Then let people make their own choice on your argument.

Here is something I found that is opposite of your argument. What are your thoughts?

http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=56494

[-] 1 points by metapolitik (1110) 2 years ago

I think the article you just sent me to was paid for by some Republican think tank and that it's all complete bullshit.

Whereas the article that I posted (while admittedly biased) is a pretty accurate description of the modern, self-proclaimed "conservative".

[-] 1 points by Brandon37 (372) 2 years ago

What makes you think that? It was an actual study. I could say the same about your paper written by a UCLA liberal arts professor.

[-] 1 points by metapolitik (1110) 2 years ago

Except that the paper I linked to was an independent piece posted on the website of a reputable learning institution - by a tenured professor...

Whereas the paper that you sent me to was posted on 'World Net Daily' - a known right-wing propaganda mill and was written by a guy named Lyle Rossiter who (as far as I can tell) has built his entire career around propagating the right-wing narrative of "liberals are crazy" (which is bullshit) and who has (apparently) never written anything else, on any other subject.

[-] 1 points by Brandon37 (372) 2 years ago

Ward Churchill was tenured. They sent that tenured tonto packing.

It may have been posted there, but it was written at the Washington Examiner.

http://washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/op-eds/2011/11/occupy-wall-street-has-vindicated-tea-party

[-] 1 points by metapolitik (1110) 2 years ago

The Washington Examiner: Another known right-wing propaganda mill.

"When Anschutz started the Examiner in its current format, he envisioned creating a conservative competitor to The Washington Post. According to Politico.com, "When it came to the editorial page, Anschutz’s instructions were explicit — he 'wanted nothing but conservative columns and conservative op-ed writers,' said one former employee." The Examiner's conservative writers include Byron York (National Review), Michael Barone (American Enterprise Institute, Fox News), and David Freddoso (National Review, author of The Case Against Barack Obama)."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Washington_Examiner

[-] 1 points by Brandon37 (372) 2 years ago

Pal, the piece is an opinion. Did you not see the op-ed section? However, it did appear front page google when I did a news search. Don't shoot the messenger. I just posted it to generate discussion.

[-] 1 points by metapolitik (1110) 2 years ago

No, you posted it to support your argument.

Which you failed to do.

[-] 1 points by Brandon37 (372) 2 years ago

What argument are you referring to? I didn't present an argument when I posted it. Any argument I made was after the fact.

[-] 1 points by metapolitik (1110) 2 years ago

You act as though we can't simply scroll up the page and read what you wrote.

[-] 1 points by Brandon37 (372) 2 years ago

The argument is: This is not what OWS wanted to see in the media. You can take it from there.

[-] 1 points by metapolitik (1110) 2 years ago

Who are you to tell us what OWS wants?

[-] 1 points by metapolitik (1110) 2 years ago

VVV Not if they're our opponents - who are trying to make us look bad by painting a negative portrait of the movement. VVV

[-] 1 points by Brandon37 (372) 2 years ago

Everyone and no one is authorized to claim what OWS wants.

[-] 1 points by aries (463) from Nutley, NJ 2 years ago

Conservatism (Latin: conservare, "to preserve")[1] is a political and social philosophy that promotes the maintenance of traditional institutions and supports, at the most, minimal and gradual change in society. Some conservatives seek to preserve things as they are, emphasizing stability and continuity, while others oppose modernism and seek a return to the way things were.[2][3] The first established use of the term in a political context was by François-René de Chateaubriand in 1819, following the French Revolution.[4] The term has since been used to describe a wide range of views.

[-] 1 points by metapolitik (1110) 2 years ago

Precisely.

And from a historical perspective - "maintain[ing] traditional institutions" and "support[ing] at the most, minimal and gradual change in society"... Means: (in practice) keeping society trapped in the Feudal / Aristocratic / Fascist / Hierarchical / Patriarchal / Dictatorial / Top-Down / Supply-Side / For-The-Rich patterns of yester-year.

Just like the article says.

[-] 1 points by aries (463) from Nutley, NJ 2 years ago

gradual change - so you can see the effects. Not radical change like the USSR

[-] 2 points by metapolitik (1110) 2 years ago

Conservatives say they want "gradual change", but the truth is they want to take us back to 16th Century feudalism.

Regressive.

People who call themselves conservatives want a radical experiment in unrestrained capitalism that has never existed before in human history. There's nothing "conservative" about that! That's radical change, not conservativism. Getting rid of taxes and regulations and imposing a new unethical model based on corporate consumerism and a "me first" approach to the doctrine of "rational self interest" is not conservative. It's radical change!

There's nothing traditional about the modern "conservative" platform. They simply want to be the new aristocrats. This policy always results in economic and social collapse.

But they don't care, they just keep going.

[-] 1 points by aries (463) from Nutley, NJ 2 years ago

conservative meaning minimal government intervention in the marketplace. Not Crony Capitalism but free market capitalism. You say it doesn't work, look at Hong Kong & Singapore or look at all the most free economies around the world. The more free the country is the more prosperity. The more government control the less prosperity. Irrefutable

[-] 1 points by metapolitik (1110) 2 years ago
  • Enron

  • Exxon

  • BP

  • Goldman Sachs

  • Dow (Bopahl)

  • West VA Coal Mines

The list goes on and on and on and on. Untold suffering, destruction, ruin and catastrophe... All in the name of the "free market".

It has to stop.

[-] 1 points by aries (463) from Nutley, NJ 2 years ago

those are the most heavily regulated industries on the planet. far from the free market.

[-] 1 points by metapolitik (1110) 2 years ago

The only regulations that are in place have been put there as a direct result of the greed, cronyism and environmental destruction caused by capitalists and their unyielding pursuit of profit at all costs.

[-] 1 points by LSN45 (535) 2 years ago

There are a lot of improvements that need to be made. The list reforms people Americans want to see is long and varied depending on who you talk to. That said, I believe there is one reform that would provide the American people the best chances of seeing other meaningful reforms actually happen - that is real, loop-hope free CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM! I have seen others on this site calling this the "fulcrum" or pivotal issue. Right now the current legalized bribery, pay-to-play system of campaign donations and paid lobbyists has disenfranchised the American voter. Until this is fixed, any other reform the politicians may try to placate us with (be it a change to healthcare, clamping down predatory school loans, new financial regulations, etc.) will be about as effective as a farmer putting a new roof on his CHICKEN COOP, but still letting the FOX guard it.

We need to go back to the original political currency. Instead of the current system of who can collect the most money from corporations and special interests it should be who has the BEST IDEAS to EFFECTIVELY RUN THE COUNTRY (we don't need "Wealth Redistribution," what we need is "Political Influence Redistribution")!

For the sake our our children and future generations of Americans, we need to take back our democracy from the rich and powerful who are using their vast sums of money to "speak" as if they represent millions of Americans. They are twisting our laws and manipulating our policies in their favor at the expense of the average American. The $50 or $100 a normal American may give to a political campaign becomes meaningless when corporations or other special interests are handing our millions to buy political access to the decision making process.

For decades now the corporations and special interests have had our "representatives" bought and paid for (both on the right and the left). Concentrating our efforts on getting the money out of our politics is the best way we can create an environment in which further reforms can be realized. Until we end the current system of legalized bribery (campaign donations) and paid lobbying our politicians will continue to be the LAP DOGS of the corporations and special interests. What we need first and foremost is real, loop-hole free CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM!!!! If the corruption is not dealt with first, the chance of any other meaningful reforms becoming a reality is almost zero - the special interests will just use their money to buy votes and put forward bills that create loop-holes or otherwise twist the law in their favor. If we want our children to live in a country where there vote matters, we need to get the money out of our politics, otherwise they will increasingly become the 21st century version of the "landless peasant." Spread the word - End the LEGALIZED BRIBERY!!! CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM needs to be THE main goal of the protests!!!

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

Please don't redefine words to win arguments, it just pisses people off. Conservatism is commonly defined as holding to traditional attitudes and values while being cautious about change and innovation.

[-] 2 points by Edgewaters (912) 2 years ago

Yeah but people who call themselves conservatives have nothing to do with any of that. They want a radical experiment in unrestrained capitalism that has never existed before, many of them. What's "conservative" about that? That's radical change, not conservativism. Getting rid of taxes and regulations and imposing a new ethical model based on corporate consumerism and "me first" isn't conservative, either, that's radical change too, there's nothing traditional about it unless you were born recently. Cautious? No way, it's full steam ahead on all of these things, results, economic and social collapse, who cares, keep going, we just haven't gone far enough with it. It'll work, you'll see, once we get to the libertarian paradise the world will be all puppy dogs and rainbows, the magical invisible hand will fix everything all by itself, just like Marx ... erm, I mean Ayn Rand ... said.

Conservatives changed the meaning of the word themselves, you have a problem with it, go bug them. I do.

[-] -2 points by metapolitik (1110) 2 years ago

No one is "redefining" anything.

I simply posted an excerpt from an article by Philip E. Agre at UCLA from August of 2004.

Besides:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/what-is-conservatism-and-what-is-wrong-with-it/#comment-431819

[-] 0 points by NonParticipant (151) 2 years ago

Yawn,

[Removed]

[-] 0 points by betuadollar (-313) 2 years ago

One cannot be successful in life and be "liberal" unless employed in industry where the sensational is valued (education and Hollywood come to mind). The real question is not what is conservative because we all know what it means: to be conservative is to be "prudent." The real question is how we define "liberal" in America.

What's really sad is that even the educated here fail to articulate... AND one must certainly question the impetus.

[-] 1 points by metapolitik (1110) 2 years ago

That's an absurd statement.

Almost anyone working for a City/Municipality, School, Library, Fire Department or State Agency that I have ever met or come into contact with, has been a Liberal Democrat.

As well as most restauranteurs, accountants, chefs, park rangers, artists and artisans, gallery owners, antique dealers, urban farmers, non-profit organizers and fundraisers, marine biologists, museum employees and administrators, archivists, attorneys, writers, editors, columnists, bloggers, web developers and IT professionals.

[-] 0 points by betuadollar (-313) 2 years ago

If we were to define conservatism succinctly it would be with these words: a path of prudence.

Anyone who owns a successful business is a fiscal conservative. To be otherwise would be to court failure.

To say that the Democrat today is viewed as the kinder gentler sort might be plausible. And that the GOP as oriented towards the upper echelons of big business is generally seen as an oppressor, well, that might also be plausible.

But... the problem is that "liberal" in America has never been defined as a plausible solution, only as an antagonist.

[-] 0 points by beamerbikeclub (414) 2 years ago

I'm an OWS supporter and I don't share your view of Conservatism or capitalism. The "neo-conservatives" are a new bunch and I despise them. But I think there is plenty of room (and even a need) for Conservatives in America.

I think Conservatism is simply the perspective that change is Not always for the better, and it is more often best to leave "well-enough" alone. Also the perspective that government causes problems as easily as it fixes them, and a desire generally not to rock boats. It is perhaps more cynical where liberalism or progressive-ism is more idealistic.

Lots of details for devils to hide in, but my point is that there is nothing sinister or even alien in this widespread and rather natural human perspective. When pushed to extremes, of course things turn ugly... but the same is true for liberal extremes.

As for capitalism... again, as an ardent OWS supporter, I want the U.S. economy to be capitalist. I do believe in the spur of innovation, the creativity of human beings in the "free-market" and even in the idea that capital and capitalism can serve as a "rising tide that lifts all boats".

I just want it regulated and watchdogged! So let's have a Strong EPA and strong labor rights, and let's insist that those who are most successful in OUR marketplace give back to OUR society in the form of creating and providing opportunities for the next generation (in the form of education and employment opportunities, as well as decent wages and benefits) and also taking care of the aging generations in the form of health care and retirement pensions/ SSI.

voila.

[-] 1 points by metapolitik (1110) 2 years ago

I'm really glad that you (say) you support OWS.

But your attitudes on capitalism, conservatism, innovation, incentive and regulation make you sound pretty "business as usual".

[-] 1 points by beamerbikeclub (414) 2 years ago

care to be more specific?

just pick an example or a statement

[-] 1 points by metapolitik (1110) 2 years ago

Without getting into detailed analysis of all 5 paragraphs.

I'll just say this:

Rising tides tend to drown people as well.

[-] 0 points by beamerbikeclub (414) 2 years ago

I admit it... I'm NOT a Communist or a Socialist. I think Capitalism is the best way to organize/ set free economic activity. But (as I say in the following paragraph) I want a strongly regulated capitalism with EPA watchdogs, strong unions, and regulations... et cetera et cetera.

let's not make the same mistake as those on the Right, failing to have any understanding of what is valuable in our opposition.

[-] 1 points by metapolitik (1110) 2 years ago

This religious devotion to capitalism is what is destroying our planet and what is going to spell the extinction of our species if we don't stop it.

Capitalism is founded on the ideal of "rational self interest". The problem with this is that "self interest" is not remotely rational on a shrinking planet with finite resources.

Also: In a society who's primary economic philosophy consists of stating flatly: "self interest is rational", any form of altruism or desire to help others becomes ipso-facto: "irrational".

We now know that this somewhat bizarre line of reasoning (known as: 'social-Darwinism') is a deeply flawed relic from some former, harsher, more patriarchal period of history that we have thankfully stepped out of.

It should be obvious to anyone who watches the news that, markets do not, cannot and will not regulate themselves effectively. Enron, Exxon, BP, Goldman Sachs, Savings and Loans, the list goes on and on and on and on... Capitalism is greed and corruption and it must end.

On a small planet with finite resources - where we all breathe the same air, drink the same water and eat the same food from the same oceans and farms - there is simply no logic in competitive behavior.

Thus, the cultural meme of so-called 'rational self-interest' will be inoculated - as ignorance always is, eventually - by a deep, shared understanding of "enlightened self interest" or: "sustainable altruism".

We need to stop worrying about bean-counting and the metering of everything and to start worrying about whether we can feed everyone.

We need to stop putting a damned price tag on anything and everything that exists.

We need to stop the comodification of meaning.

We need to stop trying to "own" everything.

Community.

[-] 1 points by beamerbikeclub (414) 2 years ago

I think I'm in 99% agreement with you.

I hate that all discussion is about the sacred cow of the economy and I'm not unaware of how deep this ideology has penetrated. It has frozen our imaginations. I am counting on OWS to lead the way and provide a vision of something else. But I hope OWS doesn't start by trying to convince Americans to abandon free-enterprise. That's just not going to work.

Instead, I hope they start by creating these little mico-communities and making them fun places for "tourists" to visit. For example, "Christmas" parties at Zuccotti Park? FREE screenings of the Charlie Brown Christmas special and bongo-caroling?

We are all desperate for something besides shopping and buying and selling and consuming. Allez!

[-] 1 points by metapolitik (1110) 2 years ago

Don't get me wrong, I believe in small enterprise.

But in a world run by giant, super-wealthy corporations with monopolies and duopolies on everything from transportation to energy - innovators and green entrepreneurs tend to get crushed before they ever even make it out of the gate.

In a lot of ways, capitalism (as it stands) is actually anti-market and "free-enterprise" is not remotely free. People (the market) want clean energy and sustainable agriculture. This upsets too many apple carts and established industries for the capitalists to deliver. Thus, corporations have silenced the market while calling it "free".

The market's not free.

Unless of course, you're a billionaire.

[-] 0 points by cmt (1195) from Tolland, CT 2 years ago

I'm old enough to remember when conservatives were for conservation - of the environment.

[-] 2 points by Edgewaters (912) 2 years ago

Yeah I remember that too. They didn't have this rabid opposition to the government doing anything at all either. Some of them actually got shit done (way before my time, to be sure, but classic example is Eisenhower and the Interstate system. These days its almost impossible to build a new road in a straight line for any distance, because "the evil socialists are stealing private land! Its a communist invasion!").

And conservation too. Reagan was the first of the new breed, but it was just in its infancy and still bore the hallmarks of true conservativism at the time. So it didn't seem ironic at all at the time when he brought in really strong environmental legislation, and established the EPA. Any conservative today who tried to advance anything like that, would be booed and hissed out of the GOP as some sort of communist.

Everything's all fruity-tooty these days.

[-] 0 points by metapolitik (1110) 2 years ago

Wow!

[-] 0 points by fuzzyp (302) 2 years ago

The definition of conservatism has evolved over the past 200 years so it depends on what you mean.

[-] 2 points by metapolitik (1110) 2 years ago

This is very true.

[-] 1 points by aries (463) from Nutley, NJ 2 years ago

yes - that is why I gave my definition. Conservative "limited" government intervention in the market. Let them stick to what they were intended to do. national defense, courts of law to protect property and prosecute criminality, protect individual rights.

[-] 0 points by Phanya2011 (908) from Tucson, AZ 2 years ago

The Ferengi.

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

WE stand for whatever the people want- all of the people- they decide what kind of system they are governed by.

[-] -1 points by metapolitik (1110) 2 years ago

Yes, but unfortunately the U.S. seems utterly divided into camps and factions that seem simply incapable of coming to any kind of consensus on anything.

Some of these camps are directly opposed to democracy. They prefer a "republic" where "representatives" run the show. They want it this way so that they can continue to buy these representatives. These camps call themselves "conservative". They are more accurately referred-to as "neo-cons".

These beliefs are not democratic.

[-] 0 points by OccupyNews (1183) 2 years ago

I think conservatism was created by people that start a marathon at the front of the starting line, then demand that the 100,000 people behind them don't get the time taken off that it takes them to reach the starting line.

(I get zero points for this? sheesh)

[-] 0 points by metapolitik (1110) 2 years ago

Interesting way of putting it.

One could make the same indictment of wealthy capitalists who don't want to pay taxes.

[-] 1 points by OccupyNews (1183) 2 years ago

yes, but that is a form and function of hiring a deft corporate accounting lawyer to find all the loopholes, and lobby for the loopholes that don't exist.

In essence, that is how that person earns their income, by helping the wealthy not pay their fair share. If poorer people don't employ anybody, then need assistance as well, that can annoy the wealthy person as well.

So nobody really gets exactly what they want. I advocate stripping away interest rate profits that are used to keep the 99% perpetually indebted.

[-] 0 points by metapolitik (1110) 2 years ago

Good call.

This one definitely goes on the list.

[-] 1 points by OccupyNews (1183) 2 years ago

thanks for the positive response, much appreciated.

[-] 1 points by metapolitik (1110) 2 years ago

Thanks for adding a much needed voice-of-sanity in a sea of paid trolls and operatives.

This place is full of 'em.

[-] 0 points by OccupyNews (1183) 2 years ago

and...according to conservatism, if those who are in the back of the marathon race had been serious about getting to the marathon sooner so they would have gotten a more favorable position, they would not have stopped to help the injured squirrel that the conservative either ran over or ignored on the way to the start of the marathon.