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Forum Post: Why a Socialist America will not work

Posted 2 years ago on April 26, 2012, 6:31 p.m. EST by Spring12 (25)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

There would be no incentives for people to work harder — or even hard enough to meet their needs — because they would receive only enough to meet their needs regardless of how much they contribute. In addition, many capable workers would refuse to work at all and still expect to have their needs met. Another thing is that the government would determine the needs of the people in order to meet them. Critics say that this would cause problems because different people have different things that they would consider to be needs — as well as different things that they want, such as forms of leisure and entertainment. If a person's own ideas of his or her needs is different from what the government considers his or her needs, this could create unhappy citizens.

228 Comments

228 Comments


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[-] 10 points by francismjenkins (3713) 2 years ago

Some of the best ideas I've ever encountered (speaking of political philosophy) come from socialist and anarchist thinkers. But not the usual suspects, I'm talking about people like Robert Owen, John Stuart Mill, William Godwin, Tucker, Kropotkin, etc. I mean, do conservatives ever come up with ground breaking ideas?

From the enlightenment onward, the best thinkers were always radicals, who always called for far reaching political and social change (some of those ideas don't seem radical today, because we're enjoying the fruits of many of them, but at their inception they were incredibly radical, and back then it was the "conservatives" who were fighting against people we today call hero's).

That's what conservatives do. They aren't visionaries, they're more like a red mean, guns and butter sort of thing. They don't try to look 50 years into the future, or when they do, they don't see a radically different world. They might imagine some refinements on what we have, but that's about it.

All of their proposed solutions just entrench us deeper in exactly the wrong direction (the direction that landed us where we are today). The same old shit. Oil, wars over oil, more police state apparatus, more militarization, more deregulation ... it's insane really.

[-] 5 points by geo (2638) from Concord, NC 2 years ago

Why YOU....YOU....YOU....YOU PROGRESSIVE!!!

I love how PROGRESSIVE is now the dirty word to be used by the conservatives. Progressives get blamed for everything, from long reaching global wars, to misplaced social backstop systems that are bankrupting the country and ruining millions of lives of the hard working, Constitution loving, true patriots.

Keep on keepin' on.....

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

Would you say that the defense of individual freedom is a conservative or a liberal thought? Is it a "radical" thought?

Would you say that those who defended individual freedom, in the face of what was then labeled "tyranny," were liberal progressives? Or were they conservative thinkers?

Because individual freedom is and always has been the essence of all... and your post is entirely partisan.

[-] 1 points by francismjenkins (3713) 2 years ago

The words conservative and thinker are usually oxymorons, and NO, conservatives have NEVER been the defenders of liberty, they've ALWAYS been the enemies of liberty (and this is true almost without exception throughout history).

[-] -1 points by betuadollar (-313) 2 years ago

haha... why do I always get the impression I'm dealing with high high-school students?

[-] 2 points by francismjenkins (3713) 2 years ago

Probably because you have a third grade education, and smarter people always seems like they're at least high school students :)

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

an absoluter

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

"Clearly confused" is an oxymoron; how does one weigh such obscure and vaguely defined political terms as conservative and liberal against published definition, when they can't even open a dictionary to define something as simple and succinct as "oxymoron"?

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[-] -1 points by Grownup2 (-31) 2 years ago

That's a poor reflection on the ideas you've encountered.

[-] 3 points by francismjenkins (3713) 2 years ago

Why?

[-] -1 points by JoeW (109) 2 years ago

I could turn that argument about radical ideas on its head with an even longer perspective, unfortunately it was not in our ancestors to see 13,000 years into the future when they first began cultivating plants and animals.

Not really trying to refute your point, just to give an interesting perspective.

[-] 1 points by francismjenkins (3713) 2 years ago

Well, liberals are the only one's expressing concern about our environment and ecology (so even in this context, I think my point still applies, albeit our prehistoric ancestors lacked the benefit of modern science).

[-] 8 points by Shule (1972) 2 years ago

There seems to be a basic misunderstanding as to what "socialism" is.

Socialism is about "we" instead of "me."

Focus on "we" is the essence of any coherent society, and without some commitment to community, any society will eventually crumble.

Look at what is happening to the U.S.A. right now with all that Milton Friedman economic philosophy spewing around. Need I say more.......

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

The problem is that your version of socialism is focused on funding and not on interdependence; there is a distinct difference.

[-] 1 points by Shule (1972) 2 years ago

I'm not sure how you got the idea I'm talking about funding. I assume your reading handout. No, not at all. I'm talking about we as a collective; and that inherently means interdependence.

Maybe my version of socialism is indeed somewhat different than others. I know some socialists think of socialism as in "where is my handout" , and that is what a lot of "conservatives" hone in on. What I mean is mutual compassion, working together, sharing, and looking out for one another.

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

Human beings are a communal species; our economies are interdependent and they always have been; we already do all of those things you mention, so why the post at all? It's entirely partisan as a defense of those that desire federal funding.

[-] 1 points by Shule (1972) 2 years ago

I see federal funding as a means of collective interdependence. Doing away with the Fed as so many suggest leaves us without a mechanism.

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

The Fed's not going anywhere; in fact, as you can plainly see it is rapidly expanding.

[-] 1 points by Shule (1972) 2 years ago

A larger federal government is not necessarily a bad thing.

The government is the largest employer in the U.S.A., and a key driver of many industries. When the government contracts, so does the rest of our economy. .. along with many of the services it provides.

To my understanding the latest statics show the Federal government workforce actually got smaller.

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

Civil service is a great thing for minorities due to their emphasis on equal opportunity. But it's not good for the tax paying public which views civil service employees primarily as lazy, corrupt, under achievers.

[-] 1 points by Shule (1972) 2 years ago

Now your insulting a lot of hard working civil service employees who are out looking after your welfare.

You've also insulted a lot of minorities. So it come down to that; ye ol' race bigotry.

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

It's a fact.

[-] -2 points by cooperbl (-88) 2 years ago

socialism works for the socialists in charge. it does not work for the people.

[-] 2 points by Shule (1972) 2 years ago

Same thing can be said about capitalism.

Seems like there must be something deeper than either socialism or capitalism to make a society tick.

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

An engaged and motivated public.

And we dont have it.

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

Your understanding of socialism is not accurate.

Socialism would reward people who work hard. Your pay depends on how hard you work. That is what Marx meant by "To each according to their labor." The people who work hard would get paid more than those who do not.

This is what makes socialism fair and capitalism not fair. Capitalism pays people based on their bargaining power, not on how hard they work. The people with bargaining power exploit the people who do not have bargaining power.

Since there is no exploitation and workers get paid the full value of what they produce, you will likely make 4 times more income in socialism than in capitalism.

And production decisions are not made by government. Production decisions are made by consumers based on how they spend their money.

You can learn how socialism works and its benefits here:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/1-replace-capitalism-with-democracy/

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

Socialism also rewards people who fail to work hard. Translate "bargaining power" as talent--talent is often acquired through hard work. People often fail through self-inflicted wounds. I am no Socialist Darwinist but I also want a society where if one puts in time and effort he/she is rewarded. The USA is a lot better than Cuba or any other "Workers Paradise".

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

Your understanding of capitalism and socialism is backwards. If you want a system that rewards hard work, you want socialism not capitalism.

Socialism does not reward people who fail to work hard. Capitalism does. Kids born into wealthy families are wealthy without working at all. In socialism, the only way you can make more money is by working harder.

In socialism, income is allocated based solely on how hard you work. Read my post and get informed.

I do not advocate anything that Cuba does. You need a market and democracy. Cuba has neither.

[-] 1 points by Blank102 (86) from American Canyon, CA 2 years ago

Who determines a hard worker?

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

What I propose is the political process will filter out reasonable, national compensation proposals where differences in income are legally required to be 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 in a national vote.

This is a system that will be more refined over time. Because if a difficult job did not get approved for the additional pay, there may be a shortage in those workers. This will then be the evidence needed to qualify it for difficult pay in the next compensation plan.

[+] -4 points by monetarist (40) 2 years ago

You obviously haven't worked in a job of significance. Limiting incomes is a bad idea. Take sales people who get a percentage of every sale; if you limit their income they would not have an incentive to sell more.

Imagine you are a student and the teacher said, no matter how hard you work and how many answers you get right or how many assigments you do well, i will only grade you between B+ (the highest) and C- (the lowest). Imagine what that would do to the morale of the students who used to get As? And imagine what message it sends to the students who got Fs, Ds, and C-?

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

In performance based jobs, like sales, the better you do, the more you make. The top sales people will earn $460k (or whatever the max is within the pay plan). So they do have an incentive to sell more. They could potentially quadruple their income.

But this misses the larger point that the goal of socialism is freedom - the liberation of workers. In order to be free, we have to minimize the amount of involuntary work you do. In order to that we need to maximize automation. In a socialist economy, people would not have to waste their lives being sales people because sales is a job we can easily automate with existing technology. Nobody has to work as a sales person in order for anyone to buy anything in 2012.

Lowering a person's grade by falsely marking answers wrong that a student actually got correct is not the same as paying everyone equally. Income and grades are not the same thing. Plus, people are motivated by things other than an increase in income.

[-] -2 points by monetarist (40) 2 years ago

Really? You can automate sales? And here companies have been paying huge bonuses to sales guys to wine and dine client, understand their businesses and business processes, their requirements, budgets etc and then providing solutions to those needs. Ah, so all of it can be automated? Whoa... Where is that computer that can do it? Do you even understand what AI can or cannot do?

Sales, the kind i am talking about, is not about standing infront of a Walmart stand and asking people to buy stuff. it's far more nuanced than that and the reason sales people have such variance in bonuses is simply because of their skill in closing a deal. Ever heard of the term 'consultative selling'? Personally, I have not done much sales other than a few one off deals where the client was too big and the company wanted to parade me to talk about the broader aspects of the product(s) and answer questions about where those were heading. I have an immense respect for the tenacity of sales people and the skill with which they deal with clients making them want the product.

I am not talking about falsely marking answers wrong. I am just saying that no matter how many you get correct the max grade you get is B+ and no matter how many u don't answer or get wrong the lowest you get is C-.

For sure, people are motivated by things other than money but you sorely underestimate how important a motivator money is. In Communist USSR people were driven by the desire for perks instead of money. So yes, people want more.

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

In a socialist system, the available goods and services will all be readily available to everyone who needs that information in a format that makes it clear whether the purchaser would benefit. And purchasers of those goods and services will be required to stay on top of what is available.

Although I know it is required in capitalism, using a human being to wine and dine someone in order to inform them on some product is incredibly inefficient. It is a moronic waste of human talent.

[-] -2 points by monetarist (40) 2 years ago

Readily available my ass. In the great socialist system that was the USSR, people had to line up outside stores to get basic everyday stuff. Sometimes they had to stand outside 3 stores to finally get their stuff.

And there is not necessarily a 'format' that makes clear the pros and cons of a product. In most B2B consultative selling, what is an advantage for one firm could be a disadvantage when selling the same stuff to another. Things are far more nuanced and complicated there, you will never get that because you have never been there.

Wining and dining is a matter of social interaction and building relations. I cannot slap you on the face and then ask you to buy my product or hire me. Besides relations matter. If I am hiring say consultants then I cannot just go by the brand name and hire the top rated consulting firm as per industry benchmarks. I am paying that consulting for it's people and therefore I need to be very sure I and the rest of the team in my company who they would be working with are confortable with each other and I am sure of the work ethics of the consultants I am hiring. In that case relationships will matter. If I know the Principal who would represent the firm and I know he delivers, I would be inclined to hire that firm.

[-] -2 points by Adulttime (-5) 2 years ago

Government does, naturally.

My father-in-law left Holland for the United States. He's a very talented surgeon. He has a great quote about Holland. He says it's where, "1/3 of the people work for the government, a third of the people do nothing at all, and a 1/3 of the people pay for it." Being in the last group, he left.

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

Holland is a capitalist country, not a socialist country. And since a socialist system pays workers based on hard work - to each according to their labor - a doctor would get paid much more in a socialist system than in a capitalist system.

A socialist system doesn't have the top 3% unfairly taking the lion's share of the income which leaves the bottom 97% broke. When you don't pay baseball players $25 million or a website programmer billions, there is enough income available to pay people like doctors a much higher income.

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

Are you kidding--Holland is a lot more Socialist than it is capitalist. Look at the tax rate imposed on the population. The fact that a few baseball players 25 million has nothing to do with the salary of a doctor. By the way, Holland has no $25 million athletes.

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

The Netherlands is capitalist, not socialist. The Index of Economic Freedom ranked it as the 13th most free market capitalist economy in the world.

There is only so much income to go around. When a baseball player gets paid $25 million of it, that is $25 million less that everyone else can get paid. Math 101.

[-] 0 points by Gileos (309) 2 years ago

Who is dividing this income up and why is it somehow limited? You do not understand the way this country works your just spouting liberal talking points. Why not go to a socialist country if you want it so bad? Hell i wouldnt mind some of my tax dollars going to sbipping your ass off.

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

Income is not limited. It is based on the size of your economy. As the economy becomes more productive, incomes go up.

Why not you move to Somalia or China if you want to exploit people so bad?

You do not know the way this country works if you think what I spout is part of the liberal talking points.

Since the only economic reason for paying one person more than another is to get them to work hard, the only fair way to allocate income is to pay everyone based on how hard they work, not based on how much bargaining power they have. As the socialist saying goes, income should be allocated to each according to their labor.

Differences in income should be limited by law to only what is necessary to get people to do physically difficult or mentally difficult work and to get people to give their maximum effort in performance based jobs.

In that type of economic system, we would use the political process to filter out reasonable, national compensation proposals that complied with the law and then the worker population would vote directly on its approval in a national vote.

If we allocated income in this way, since you would most likely not be able to provide any evidence that shows we need to pay people any more than 4 times more than others in order for income to be an effective incentive, we would be able to pay the top performers $460k, difficult jobs $230k and everyone else $115k.

You can learn more about this type of economic system here:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/1-replace-capitalism-with-democracy/

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

Everyone who works for the government works for a socialist organization. They all make their own decisions and are all making something out of themselves on their own.

People are owed a job. Everyone has the same right to this planet's resources.

People are unemployed and broke because the capitalist system is forcing them not to work or get paid well. They aren't broke or unemployed by choice.

The internet was built by socialism.

You advocate a cruel, ineffective, medieval worldview.

[-] 1 points by Gileos (309) 2 years ago

A socialist telling me i support a failed system. Lol belly laugh. A job aint no natural resource. All you say is false and hyperbole. Real life is gonna suck for you.

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[-] 1 points by factsrfun (7031) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

Holland is better off without him.

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[-] -1 points by Blank102 (86) from American Canyon, CA 2 years ago

And that is exactly where the Left wants to take this country.

[-] -2 points by Adulttime (-5) 2 years ago

Yeah, they do. And they expect the producers to just sit there as they put even more people in the wagon for them to haul.

[-] 1 points by geo (2638) from Concord, NC 2 years ago

Who is John Galt????????

[-] 0 points by bigbangbilly (594) 2 years ago

Ask why not who and ask how and don't forget to look.

[-] 2 points by geo (2638) from Concord, NC 2 years ago

Why? I'm not an Ayn Rand fan or a believer in Objectivism.

[-] 1 points by bigbangbilly (594) 2 years ago

I'm not an Ayn Rand fan or a believer in Objectivism either. What I should have replied is " A fictional character" instead of "Ask why not who and ask how and don't forget to look."

[-] 1 points by bigbangbilly (594) 2 years ago

I'm not an Ayn Rand fan or a believer in Objectivism either. This is an example of gibberish: "Ask why not who and ask how and don't forget to look."

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

If it were really this easy - and if this were really the results, then why isn't every country in the world doing this? Why aren't more of the "experts" and academics pushing this? If this were actually possible, you can't make me believe that there is a great conspiracy keeping so many mouths closed about the possibilities.

From your linked post:

If we made the economy democratic, it would enable us to:

Raise the minimum wage to $115,000 per year Raise the minimum wage to $230,000 per year for people who work mentally or physically difficult jobs (science, construction, mining, farming) Cut the work week to 20 hours Guarantee everyone a job Eliminate interest which would cut your mortgage in half Guarantee 100% financing to everyone who wants to own a home without the need for a down payment Pay students an income to go to school Guarantee everyone a pension at retirement Make everyone wealthy And when you make everyone wealthy, you eliminate nearly every social problem we have

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

"why isn't every country in the world doing this?"

Countries are driven by ideology and propaganda, not facts, science or reason. The people who stand to lose in a socialist society are the people who are the most wealthy and the people who own all the most successful companies.

These people have every motivation to make sure socialism is never an option. And they have the money to make sure that is so. They also own all the major media outlets that set the country's agenda and culture. They have effectively turned socialism into a curse word through their propaganda.

They also bank roll politicians who enact laws that further entrench capitalism. Since most socialists believe the way to end capitalism is to organize workers (being that workers have the most to benefit from socialism since they will no longer be exploited by capitalism), they have actually made it illegal for labor unions to organize for political ends. The era of McCarthyism brought congressional hearings trying to weed out people who wanted an alternative to capitalism. And today you cannot become a US citizen if you were a member of the US socialist party.

.

"Why aren't more of the "experts" and academics pushing this?"

They do. The most famous scholarly debate on the subject was the Economic Calculation Debate with Mises, Hayek, Lange and others. The consensus among economists was that a socialist system that adopted modern, Western accounting systems would outperform capitalism.

Since the fall of the USSR and since no country is on the verge of a socialist revolution, scholarly work on the subject came to an end.

.

"you can't make me believe that there is a great conspiracy keeping so many mouths closed about the possibilities."

What motivation does a wealthy business owner have to report on the benefits of socialism? You are being naive if you don't think there is a deliberate effort by the ones who have all the money and all the power and all the media to make sure the public is brainwashed into thinking their is no alternative to the capitalist system that has made them so rich and powerful.

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

You can make me believe. I don't think there is any great conspiracy transpiring here. The winners always get to write their version of history. Austrian economics trumped Socialism and well, the winner did their best to write Socialism out the picture.

I can understand peoples attitudes about Socialism nowadays. It's been ingrained in our heads from birth here in America, or at least in my neck of the woods, that pure socialism can not work. Twenty years ago you could not have made me believe in some crazy Socialism idea for nothing in the world. In fact, I would have cursorily written you off as some crazy dude if I read this stuff back then.

It does take a great change in one's perception of the world to overcome that fixed attitude. For me, that started with 9/11 and culminated with great crash of Wall Street. If that does not open your mind to reevaluate the world you live in, you are most likely not merely naive, but probably hopelessly narrow minded in your views.

Anyway, I googled Economic Calculation Debate. I found plenty of sites where Mises claims to have thumped Socialism over the head with the Austrian model, saying Socialism was impossible because there was no way for a central planning system to set prices, or something along those lines. Mises verdict seemed to be the final nail in the coffin for Socialism. In comparison, I only found a few sources in my limited research that debunked that claim. I attribute that to winner bias. Anyway, how does your model solve Mises' view that Socialism simply can't generate the raw data to operate? Care to elaborate?

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

Just as a point of record, Austrian economics did not trump socialism. Austrian economics is not taken seriously by the economics academic community. And it wasn't the Austrian model that Mises was arguing for in the economic calculation debate. He was simply making the same point any economist would make.

The debate started with Mises claiming that you cannot run an economy without money and markets generating prices. Without money and prices, you cannot measure the expense of anything and you cannot measure demand. You cannot take a survey of consumers to see what they want because if the consumer does not know the price of things and they do not know what budget they are working within, their answers will be meaningless.

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

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

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

The economics community did not accept Hayek's argument.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for the comprehensive reply and setting me straight. I will not pretend to say that I have any great understanding of economics, and you're boiling it down to the fundamental argument against socialism helps me to see the bigger picture of how this system works. With all the technology we have today, setting up an infrastructure to track orders in real time should be a cinch. I can't really see how anyone who would still say we must rely on prices in order to meet changing needs in supply and demand has a very strong argument anymore. Maybe back then, when the technological capacities were vastly different, I could see how it might be hard to implement a labor system, but not now. Much appreciated. Please keep up the effort to educate people.

[-] 2 points by krmlei (103) from New York, NY 2 years ago

Impressive!

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

thanks :)

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

There is plenty of discussion about socialism - but what you are talking about isn't just run-of-the-mill socialism. We aren't seeing these results that you are talking about in any modern socialist countries in the world, or historic ones for that matter. This isn't just about the US. You would think that countries that already have strong support for socialist policies would have adopted this utopian approach already. Even Norway, that is touted as a successful socialist nation, doesn't have 20 hour work weeks.

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

"We aren't seeing these results that you are talking about in any modern socialist countries in the world"

There are no modern socialist countries and there never have been! Every country is capitalist.

.

"or historic ones"

Marx was very clear that in order for socialism to work, it must be in a developed, advanced country like the UK or France or the US.

No developed country with modern productive capacity and strong democratic institutions of law, transparency and accountability ever became socialist. Marx believed a country must go through the capitalist phase before it can become socialist.

Every country that has tried socialism was a backwards, medieval, undeveloped, peasant society. It is not surprising socialism was not a success and fell victim to corrupt dictators.

Even soviet revolutionaries argued this point. Russia was a feudal society and one of the poorest countries in the world when they had their revolution in the early 20th century. It did not matter whether they became capitalist or socialist, they would never be able to accomplish what the US has accomplished since the US had been developing for over 100 years.

Socialism would be completely different in the US (or any other developed country with strong democratic institutions and advanced productive capacity) than in feudal Russia.

Trotsky was the leader of the socialist revolution in Russia. After Stalin got into power, he said the revolution was co-opted and that Russia was no longer a socialist country. It was a dictatorship designed to benefit the communist party.

Here is a letter Trotsky wrote in 1934, called If America Should Go Communist, explaining why socialism in America would be different than socialism in Russia:

http://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/1934/08/ame.htm

Here is a snippet of that letter:

"Should America go communist as a result of the difficulties and problems that your capitalist social order is unable to solve, it will discover that communism, far from being an intolerable bureaucratic tyranny and individual regimentation, will be the means of greater individual liberty and shared abundance.

At present most Americans regard communism solely in the light of the experience of the Soviet Union. They fear lest Sovietism in America would produce the same material result as it has brought for the culturally backward peoples of the Soviet Union...

...They shudder lest Americans be regimented in their habits of dress and diet, be compelled to subsist on famine rations, be forced to read stereotyped official propaganda in the newspapers, be coerced to serve as rubber stamps for decisions arrived at without their active participation or be required to keep their thoughts to themselves and loudly praise their soviet leaders in public, through fear of imprisonment and exile...

Actually American soviets will be as different from the Russian soviets as the United States of President Roosevelt differs from the Russian Empire of Czar Nicholas II..."

.

"You would think that countries that already have strong support for socialist policies would have adopted this utopian approach already"

Many socialists thought so too. But you and many other socialists underestimate the power of capitalists to prevent that from happening. Capitalists have everything to lose and will not give up without a fight.

Most socialists have given up on replacing capitalism with socialism. They now try for compromise and social welfare programs.

I think socialists need a better pitch in order to convert people to socialism. Earning from $115k to $460k for working 20 hours, 100% mortgage with 0% interest rate and getting paid to go to school is a pitch that can convert the masses. And they need a fully organized effort by selling workers on the idea.

.

"Even Norway, that is touted as a successful socialist nation, doesn't have 20 hour work weeks."

Norway is a capitalist country, not a socialist country. Although it has the most socialism, it is still predominantly capitalist. However, Norway is the most productive country in the world which speaks to the success of socialism. Their workers produce $80 per hour on average. So if income was allocated equally in Norway, a full time worker would get paid $166,400 per year:

http://www.bls.gov/ilc/intl_gdp_capita_gdp_hour.htm#chart04

[-] 1 points by geo (2638) from Concord, NC 2 years ago

Most socialists have given up on replacing capitalism with socialism. They now try for compromise and social welfare programs. I think socialists need a better pitch in order to convert people to socialism. Earning from $115k to $460k for working 20 hours, 100% mortgage with 0% interest rate and getting paid to go to school is a pitch that can convert the masses. And they need a fully organized effort by selling workers on the idea.

You had me until here. I was rooting for you and then you came up with this.

I would much rather see a legal change in the charters of corporations that would not have the officers of the corporations primary fiduciary responsibility be to the bottom line.

If corporations were required by charter to be better community citizens, environmentally conscientious, and structured the gap between the top and lowest paid to be a fixed percentage..... no limits or caps, we would be in far better shape.

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

The whole point of socialism is to allocate income that limits inequality in the way you want. If we could just pass a law that limits income inequality, that would be far easier than a socialist revolution. The socialist revolution would not be necessary. The problem is that you can't make that work in capitalism.

If you limit the amount of money I can earn in any meaningful way, there will no longer be any incentive for me to invest. If investment dries up, the economy stops working.

In order to make limited income inequality work, you need to use public funds for investment. You need socialism. Otherwise, there will be no investment.

[-] 1 points by geo (2638) from Concord, NC 2 years ago

I don't agree, obviously. Corporations are nothing but legal entities. Over time their charters have been changed with the times. Take the most powerful corporation that ever existed - The British East India Co. They had the power in their charter to raise armies and navies and to conquer continents.

Since then, the corporate charters have been restructured to fit the times better. This process has to continue and can happen... it is a legal issue. Putting in a clause about an income gap, again not capping incomes but the spread is not earth shaking and far better than revolution. This won't stop investments.

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

What would the maximum multiple be? What are you suggesting?

[-] 1 points by geo (2638) from Concord, NC 2 years ago

Thats open for debate, and should be debated.... lets start with 15x

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

If you can get something like that to work, count me on board.

But I don't think you can.

It is hard to determine how that would compute, but if the top 2.5% of workers earned 15 times more than the bottom workers and you had roughly 15% who made somewhere in between, on average, the bottom would get paid $90k and the top would get paid $1.4 million.

More profitable companies may be able to increase those amounts, but not by much.

If the max you can earn from a company is $1.4 million, nobody would ever invest any significant amount of money. If you made a $25 million investment, your maximum return would be 5%. Nobody would ever make that investment.

[-] 1 points by geo (2638) from Concord, NC 2 years ago

So maybe 20 or 40x would be more amenable to business, it has to be hacked out. A compromise can be achieved that would benefit more people than our current system is doing.

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

If you made it 100 times, it would be roughly $30k to $3 million. Even that won't be good enough for large investments.

Socialists have thought this through.

If you want any meaningful reduction in income inequality, investment must come from public funds.

Workers must unite in a single union and use their bargaining power to demand that we put an end to worker exploitation and have an economic system with a 4:1 or even a 10:1 ratio and a public central bank that provides public funds to our investment banks for investing. That would enable us to raise the minimum wage to $115k or $100k respectively and eliminate interest on mortgages which would cut your monthly payment in half.

[-] 1 points by geo (2638) from Concord, NC 2 years ago

And the only way I see that happening is through violent revolution. Capitalists in the US have the most efficient high tech military in the world... they will not give up easy street without bloodshed.

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

It certainly would get ugly. But I don't think the military would wage a war on striking workers in the US. The military is part of the working class. And whatever they try to do, it won't be effective. We have justice, right and greater numbers on our side.

An alternative idea to converting the entire economy socialist is to offer competing economic systems. The capitalists can have their system and make it as far Right as they want and the socialists can have theirs. You would not need a revolution. Choosing an economic arrangement can be made as simple as choosing a retirement plan or cell phone plan. People should have freedom of choice.

The federal government would get out of the economy entirely. It would just provide a common set of political rights (like free speech, equal treatment under the law and protection from force or fraud). And then people can voluntarily choose whether they want to participate in a minimally regulated, zero-tax, high inequality capitalist system or a socialist system.

Not only would the Left get their dream economic system, the Right would be able to get their dream system too. There is really no point trying to convince the Right to adopt Left policies or vice versa when each can get their own system. Here is how that could work:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/how-to-make-america-socialist-and-get-100-to-go-al/

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

Poor Norway. They keep getting jerked around. Some tout them as a socialist success, others as hardly socialist. By the way, I've read the cost of living in Norway is among the highest in the world...

But anyway - if this idea could possibly work, someone would using it, or at the very least working towards implementing it. I just don't see it anywhere in action. I've also read your other threads on the topic, and I'm not alone in my skepticism. It reaches "across the aisle" so to speak.

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

There are people who are working towards it. Most progressives are.

But adopting socialism requires a revolution. So it is quite a bit different than just advocating political positions.

Today most socialists publicly advocate for the reform of capitalism since they are far more likely to get that than an actual socialist revolution.

In the past, socialists were more enthusiastic about a socialist revolution. People like Albert Einstein, George Orwell, Martin Luther King Jr. were vocal advocates of socialism. Today, people like Noam Chomsky, Senator Bernie Sanders, Naomi Klein, Michael Moore are vocal advocates of socialism.

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

Someone is using it, right here in good old USA and most other places where big business is being done, by those persons the Republicon front-running-phony, Mitt, calls "people, my friend," corporations. They like socialism soooooo much they keep it all to there selfish, greed-addled selves. Corp-world socializes all the costs and all the losses to doing business. But they privatize all the gains and all the profits.

We don't have a socialist economy because a very greedy wealthy elite in the 1% strongly wish to maintain the standard of living for which they have become accustomed to. Even if it kills the entire rest of the world.

What about a social capitalism hybrid?

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

I don't know what a social capitalism hybrid means.

We already have a mixed economy with both socialism and capitalism.

The main problem in the world is lack of income. And people don't lack income because there isn't enough income to go around, they lack income because a few at the top take the lion's share of the available income and leave everyone else broke.

The only solution to the world's problems is to allocate income fairly.

However, you can only allocate income fairly in a socialist system because if the few at the top are not getting paid an inordinate percentage of the income, they won't invest. The economy cannot function if there is no incentive to invest.

My solution is to use public funds as our investment money and to allocate income based on hard work.

Since the only economic reason for paying one person more than another is to get them to work hard, the only fair way to allocate income is to pay everyone based on how hard they work, not based on how much bargaining power they have. As the socialist saying goes, income should be allocated to each according to their labor.

Differences in income should be limited by law to only what is necessary to get people to do physically difficult or mentally difficult work and to get people to give their maximum effort in performance based jobs.

In that type of economic system, we would use the political process to filter out reasonable, national compensation proposals that complied with the law and then the worker population would vote directly on its approval in a national vote.

If we allocated income in this way, since you would most likely not be able to provide any evidence that shows we need to pay people any more than 4 times more than others in order for income to be an effective incentive, we would be able to pay the top performers $460k, difficult jobs $230k and everyone else $115k.

We would also be able to guarantee everyone a job, reduce the work week to 20 hours, offer everyone a 100% mortgage with 0% interest which will cut your monthly house payment in half, and pay people to go to school just as much as we pay workers.

You can learn more about this type of economic system here:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/1-replace-capitalism-with-democracy/

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

OK.

Luv the left brain gymnastics.

I would disagree around the humanitarian edges.

Social-Democratic [controlled] capitalism!

And Dem marriage equality!

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

I've never heard any of the people you mention talk about a 20 hour work week, $115k minimum wage, eliminating loan interest or even "making everyone wealthy." In fact, I've never heard any socialist talk about 'making everyone wealthy.' Wealth is a relative term - if everyone makes the same wage, then poor or rich does not exist. I understand most of socialism, though I don't profess to be an expert. My beef isn't with socialism in general, as much as it is your particular breed of socialism. The things you say are possible, are not - not under any plan.

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

You never heard them say that only because you probably never heard them talk about specific income allocation in socialism. I do.

Some people think the best way to sell people on socialism is to talk about the elimination of class and the solidarity. I disagree. I think the best way to sell people on socialism is to show them the very specific financial benefits they will get. Like Carville said, in politics, it is the economy stupid. In politics, what matters more than anything else, is how people will benefit economically.

The whole point of socialism is to reach communism. In communism, our production capability is so advanced, that we no longer need money to ration goods. You can take as much as you want. Communism is the end of scarcity. It is a society of super abundance. We are so wealthy that there is no longer any point to rationing goods.

And our automation is so advanced, the work week is dropped to zero hours, not 20. Work would be completely voluntary. Communism is a fully-automated, advanced society of super abundance.

If you never heard of any socialist talk about making everyone wealthy and reducing the work week, they did a poor job of explaining the whole point of socialism.

The $115k income and 20 hour work week are mathematical facts.

If income was allocated to each according to their labor, that is what the income amounts come out to in the US economy in 2010. You can verify the incomes here:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/1-replace-capitalism-with-democracy/#comment-662000

Reducing the work week to 20 hours will not be immediate, but you can see how I arrived at that here:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/1-replace-capitalism-with-democracy/#comment-662013

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

I appreciate your dedication to this plan. It is very obvious to me that you are a bright guy (or girl), and that you have put a lot of time and effort and thought into the proposal. Unfortunately, there is no real world support for it. The premise of the whole system is that everyone agrees on something. That alone is an insurmountable obstacle. I'm speaking for a very pragmatic point of view. No theories, no assumptions, only what I have observed in the world. And communism has never resulted in super abundance. How you can propose that to be a reality? And don't throw out theories and if/thens. So many governments and so many constituents in so many different countries and no one has been able to produce these results. There are a lot of really smart people out there - and no one has been able to pull this off.

I'm not trying to get you to change your views, I know that won't happen. I would be satisfied to just understand how you are getting to these conclusion. What, beyond a theory or an equation, have you seen or experienced that inclines you to think this is even possible? I would be satisfied with some small victories that are stepping stones to reach these results.

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

"It is very obvious to me that you are a bright guy (or girl)"

Thanks (guy).

.

"Unfortunately, there is no real world support for it."

30% of Americans view socialism positively despite the fact that it is thoroughly demonized in all the mainstream media and despite the fact that there is absolutely nobody in the mainstream media that advocates on behalf of socialism.

Imagine what that number would be if the mainstream media was flooded with stories constantly making the rational, logical, empirically supported case for socialism just like they do for republican and democratic policies.

Socialism is never given the same weight as other ideas and never will because socialism is the abolition of capitalism and all the mainstream media outlets are capitalist organizations. They are not going to promote their own demise.

So the fact that there is such significant support for socialism despite its deliberate suppression by nearly every social institution speaks volumes about the potential real world support it would get if people were more informed about it.

But even if there was no support for it, it is the job of the activist to generate that support.

I believe my arguments for socialism are persuasive. Socialism is a superior alternative to capitalism. It will provide a much higher standard of living and a much better quality of life. And I can prove it using very simple, indisputable economic facts.

But my arguments are not powerful. I am just some random guy on the internet. These arguments need to be made regularly in the mainstream media by respected, eloquent people. It needs to go mainstream. That is how we will reach the critical mass necessary for a radical change of society.

.

"The premise of the whole system is that everyone agrees on something. That alone is an insurmountable obstacle."

We don't all agree on how our economy should run and we never will. The Right wants the opposite of what the Left wants.

But there is absolutely no reason why we can't have multiple competing economic systems within the same country, even within the same geographic location.

We can have a country where you choose your economic system just like you choose a cell phone plan. We can have a country where socialists choose the socialist system and capitalists choose the capitalist system.

So instead of having a country where nobody ever gets their ideal system, we can actually have a country where everyone gets their ideal system. If you are Left, instead of trying to convince the Right to go along with your worldview and adopt your Left policies - a task that is impossible - the Left will just simply choose to participate in the Left system and the Right will simply choose to participate in the Right system.

We can put an end to political fighting and just give everyone what they want. You wouldn't have to ever convince anyone to change their worldview in order to live in the system you want.

I wrote a post on how to do that here:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/how-to-make-america-socialist-and-get-100-to-go-al/

.

"communism has never resulted in super abundance"

Communism does not produce super abundance. Communism is the result of a society that has developed super abundance.

Super abundance comes from us continuing to use science to develop our productive capacity. Marx theorized that once society achieved super abundance, it would organize itself as a communist society where there was no need for money or mandatory work or a vast government strictly regulating people's behavior because we eliminated scarcity - we eliminated the thing that requires us to manage society in the first place.

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

"Imagine what that number would be if the mainstream media was flooded with stories constantly making the rational, logical, empirically supported case for socialism just like they do for republican and democratic policies."

That's the problem, though, there are no stories. There are no examples of where this is working. I checked online for "worker managed factories" and there is some talk about efforts in Argentina that I was already aware of. But the articles are all fluff - personal interest stories. I couldn't find any that talk real world success.

And I read your other post on having separate economies - and I'm sorry, but that makes even less sense that this proposal. I decide to be a capitalist, so I receive different services than my socialist neighbor and I can only shop at capitalist establishments but they can import/export between them. I don't even know how to start an argument against it because the whole concept sits on such little footing.

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

"There are no examples of where this is working"

There are no examples of socialist economies working because there are no socialist economies that exist.

But there are plenty of examples of socialist companies that are working. Just in the US we have NASA, NIH (which does the majority of medical research), military, DARPA, police, schools, hospitals, universities, fire, garbage collection, etc.

And just like we can produce successful socialist hospitals or universities, we can also produce successful socialist versions of any other company.

And when you have an economy of all socialist companies, you have full control over how the income they produce is allocated which enables you to allocate that income based on hard work - to each according their labor - as the socialist saying goes. And when you are allocating income in that way and are not paying some people hundreds of millions or billions of dollars, there is enough income to pay everyone from $115k to $460k per year which will make everyone wealthy and ensure that the economy works very well for everyone.

A worker owned factory is not socialism. It is not owned by the public, it is owned by the factory workers. So it is just an example of a capitalist partnership.

.

"I decide to be a capitalist, so I receive different services than my socialist neighbor and I can only shop at capitalist establishments but they can import/export between them."

Why is it difficult for you to join a capitalist system and then primarily shop, work and dine at capitalist companies? Why is that difficult to do?

McDonald's may be part of the socialist system, Burger King part of the capitalist system and Wendy's part of the mixed system. If you joined the capitalist system, you would buy your fast food from Burger King.

You would do the same for everything else you bought: your clothes, computers, phone, tv, house, car, furniture, etc. What is difficult about that?

The capitalist system would perhaps have no limits on how much you can earn, would charge you no taxes and would give you full control over your purchase of insurance and how you plan for retirement.

The socialist system would guarantee you a higher income but would put a limit on the top income. It would also require you to participate in the universal insurance system and pension plan.

If you lived in a city with a mix of systems, the capitalist plan would have some mandatory purchases to pay for common economic infrastructure like roads, fire and police and some common rules like no drugs or prostitution.

But if you moved to an all capitalist city, those rules would not exist and there would perhaps be no mandatory purchases. There might be private roads, police and fire.

In the all socialist city, they might build it like Masdar where it was entirely centrally planned to make full use of automation and green technologies.

You choose which one you think would work best for you. You would probably have to commit to a minimum number of years. But you would be free to change when your contract expired. If the socialist system was really like the oppressive, totalitarian, bureaucratic tyranny that lacked innovation and progress the Right claims socialism really is, you would simply choose the capitalist or mixed system.

What is not workable about that?

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

(can't reply below) "Yes they do. Nobody earns a profit at NASA or any other company I gave. They all get paid according to the same federal pay grade system."

All of the examples you provided are government entities, with the exception of hospitals - and they are certainly not socialist organizations. Just because there is a set pay grade inside an individual organization, does not mean that they are democratically run. Besides, pay grades between police officers, university professors, garbage collectors around the country get paid drastically different amounts. Those amounts are set based on tax revenue or other income streams - and not a share of profits, so it doesn't really translate over well.

And I'm not being closed minded - I'm being realistic. If there were one shred of evidence, one shining example of how any of this could work in the real world, I would be very interested in exploring more. It just doesn't pass the taste-test. It is like someone trying to convince me that I can fly - all I have to do is jump at the ground and miss. If my hesitation of giving that a go infers to you that I am closed minded - then I guess that is just what you'll have to believe.

Thanks...its been...umm... interesting.

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

A government organization is socialism. Socialism means public ownership instead of private ownership. All government organizations are publicly owned. They are not privately owned.

Police are state run organizations, not federal. That is why their pay grades are different.

The point is that they are examples of publicly owned, non-profit organizations that do well. They are successful examples of socialism. If we can successfully run NASA or a hospital or the police as a socialist enterprise, we can successfully run a computer company or a social networking website as a socialist enterprise.

If we can successfully run 30% of the economy as socialist, we can run 100% as socialist.

Socialism works.

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

"There are no examples of socialist economies working because there are no socialist economies that exist." I don't to say any more about this point.

As far as the examples you gave, none of these companies that you mentioned are socialist. I know what you are trying to say - that they are socialist because of how they are funded, but they are not socialist in how they are tun. Your plan calls for people to work for democratically controlled companies, where the employees agree to share the profits equitably. None of the entities that you provide as an example do that.

I simply don't have the energy to engage you regarding this argument about 3 different economic systems. There is nothing about it that is doable, unless you break the country into three different countries. You can't separate the political from the economic.

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

"Your plan calls for people to work for democratically controlled companies, where the employees agree to share the profits equitably. None of the entities that you provide as an example do that. "

Yes they do. Nobody earns a profit at NASA or any other company I gave. They all get paid according to the same federal pay grade system.

In a socialist system, every worker will get paid according to the same "federal" pay grade system, regardless of what company they work for or how much surplus revenue that company produces, just like if you work a civil service job.

.

"You can't separate the political from the economic."

Yes you can. It already is. We can have different cell phone providers without different political systems. And if a cell phone company decides to join a group of companies in order to provide common schooling, health care and retirement plans, why do we now all of a sudden need different political systems?

We will still have 1 country with common political rights (like freedom of speech and equal protection under the law). But the government will just completely get out of providing economic services (like education, social security, health care, etc.).

I don't think this idea is unworkable. I just think you are being close-minded. But I understand. We are all guilty of that sometimes. :)

[-] 0 points by Craiggiedangit (99) 2 years ago

"Every country is capitalist."

That's because human nature is capitalist. Since the dawn of time, it has been a part of human nature to hoard and protect the things you own. People mutually trade things they have for things they want. The means of production is naturally in the hands of the producer.

[-] 1 points by geo (2638) from Concord, NC 2 years ago

You never lived on a commune.... not so. Or for that matter in a poor ethnic community where you did share with neighbors who didn't have, and they with you, from meals to clothes, transportation and otherwise... people who will literally give you the shirt off of their back.

[-] -1 points by Craiggiedangit (99) 2 years ago

I've lived very near to a commune, and I know many of the people who do live there. I have been there, it is a nice place. I don't know why you want to assume so many things about me, but it is seeming very hateful.

I think all people who want to collectively own the means of production should try communing with others. It is more profitable than trying to convert this entire country to socialism, why would you try to change others when you can have real, lasting and effective change for yourself?

P.S., my neighbors do come from an extremely diverse background, but I pay little attention to this in my attempts to become colorblind. I don't see races when I look at them, I see fellow human beings. I don't know what race or ethnicity has to do with this, unless this is just another baseless accusation of your's.

[-] 1 points by geo (2638) from Concord, NC 2 years ago

Nice turn around. My examples were of people who do share and not hoard, in reply to your "That's because human nature is capitalist. Since the dawn of time, it has been a part of human nature to hoard and protect the things you own."

Nothing racist, no baseless accusations. You lost the script.

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

"That's because human nature is capitalist"

It is also human nature to plan and work together. So should we have a centrally planned socialist economy?

.

"it has been a part of human nature to hoard and protect the things you own. People mutually trade things they have for things they want."

You can hoard and protect the things you own in a socialist economy and you can trade the things you own in a socialist economy too.

Do you know how a socialist economy works?

.

"The means of production is naturally in the hands of the producer"

All production requires resources from the planet. And nowhere did mother nature say it is alright for a strong person to use force and violence to prevent others from using the resources in the land that person conquered.

What gives you the right to exclusive control over any part of the planet in your production?

You have no more of a right to work the land than anyone else. And you have the same right to compensation for your labor as anyone else. That is why socialism is the only fair system. The means of production should be publicly owned and income should be allocated to each according to their labor.

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

"You can't separate the political from the economic."

Yes you can. It already is. We can have different cell phone providers without different political systems. And if a cell phone company decides to join a group of companies in order to provide common schooling, health care and retirement plans, why do we now all of a sudden need different political systems?

I was waiting for this. People confuse economic and government systems. We have socialism all over government and, subsequently, all over our lives. Social services, public services, the VA...

But corporations are hoarding socialism in the business world for themselves.

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

Check out my post on how to have a country where people can choose between competing economic systems:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/how-to-make-america-socialist-and-get-100-to-go-al/

Instead of trying to get everyone to agree on a single system, the Left can choose the Left system, the Right can choose the Right system, the socialists can choose the socialist system, the libertarians can choose the libertarian system.

[-] 0 points by Craiggiedangit (99) 2 years ago

Kind of like state's rights, the federal government handles the constitutional essentials, and the state economies handle the rest and tax accordingly. Sounds good to me.

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

It is even better than state's rights since you don't even have to move to another state to try a different economic system. The federal government would get out of the economy completely and just provide common political rights like freedom of speech, equal treatment under the law and protection from force or fraud. The people can then choose between different, competing economic systems, each run differently and with different benefits.

[-] 1 points by Craiggiedangit (99) 2 years ago

Okay. That doesn't sound that bad, either. One note, though, the Federal government doesn't really even now stop force, and only limited fraud enforcement.

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

And I am not necessarily proposing that they would be the ones who stop force. Protection can be considered an economic service. All I am saying is that they would give you a legal right to it.

[-] 1 points by Craiggiedangit (99) 2 years ago

"It is also human nature to plan and work together. So should we have a centrally planned socialist economy?"

Hold up- I never said capitalism is a good thing. I said it is human nature. So are a lot of bad things.

The point I was trying to make, is that capitalism will never be defeated or taken away from society. I have heard people, including the forum administrator, refer to "finally getting rid of capitalism". It's not going to happen, but it is technically plausible to create more socialism, which has a dampening effect on capitalism.

It is part of human nature to work together-voluntarily. Have you seen "Alone in The Wilderness"? Proenneke had very little help from the outside, and this is his right, just as it is his right to not help anyone on the outside.

For some people, it is human nature to work together. For others, it is their nature to be alone. What's wrong with letting them decide what things to do together and what to do alone? The proverbial children in the back-seat of the car fighting are generally happier when their parents don't make them sit beside each other. So, to answer your question about a centrally planned economy, it does not follow that people should be forced into this sort of association merely because others might want them to.

I suppose you could say it is human nature to be heterosexual. It does not follow that all humans should be this way, or that we should use the power of the state to force them to be. Let people do what they want, as long as they are not hurting each other.

*"You can hoard and protect the things you own in a socialist economy and you can trade the things you own in a socialist economy too.

Do you know how a socialist economy works?"*

Yes. In a socialist economy, people don't actually own much if anything, all property is said to be collectively owned. If one person accrues too much of it, it becomes the right of the others to own it.

To say socialism is fair is not really a true statement. It may be true to say socialism is fairer than other systems, but no system is truly "fair". We cannot eliminate acts of God, such as disease and natural disasters. We are not all born with the same abilities and capacities. Some people, through birth defects, are born with a hundred times as much production capacity as others, therefore their labor cannot ever equal someone born with more strength. This is not fair, and neither is life.

We are actually nearing that point in a debate where every philosophy is broken down into distinct and unresolvable basic differences. Two people can have the exact same capacity to intellectually debate and reason with one another, and arrive at completely different conclusions. Neither of us is wrong, I guess, we just think differently at our core. Some things, at the heart of every philosophy, stem from undebatable points. Can you prove to me an unborn child is a human? No. Can I prove to you it is not? No. We could argue all day long and never get anything done, or even come any closer to finding truth. I guess for these reasons humanity will never be completely united behind any specific set of truths.

At any rate, I did enjoy debating with you (assuming you are through, if not, that's cool, too), and I find it remarkable (especially on this site) that neither of us has devolved into angry name calling. I think you are a decent person and I hope we both find the truth we seek.

[-] 1 points by Craiggiedangit (99) 2 years ago

"The people who stand to lose in a socialist society are the people who are the most wealthy and the people who own all the most successful companies."

Nah. The people who stand to lose the most from socialism are the people who run the second, third, fourth, and fifth most successful companies in the country. The people who run the most successful companies in the country would do just fine under socialism, where they would stay on top running the show just like they do now. More control means more money.

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

You are describing capitalism, not socialism.

In socialism, you are paid based on how hard you work, not based on how much power and control you have. In socialism, income is allocated to each according to their labor.

The law would limit differences in income to just what our best scientific evidence says is necessary to get people to do difficult work and to get people to give their maximum effort. And the worker population votes directly on the compensation plan's approval in a national vote.

Paying someone 50 to 50,000 times more than others will never pass a legal test or get approved by the worker population.

[-] 0 points by Craiggiedangit (99) 2 years ago

They're not getting paid that money by some unseen hand, they are creating it. The same as anyone else is able to do.

So, if I pay 10,000 workers $10 each unit to weave baskets, and I turn around and sell the baskets for 10 cents profit each after my expenses are paid, are the workers abusing me because they are making 100 times more than I am?

[-] -1 points by Adulttime (-5) 2 years ago

I see why the slugs would love it, but why would any real producer? Unless you plan to look them in, you lose. They'll never stick around for the shackles you have planned.

[-] 0 points by American12 (1) 2 years ago

I just looked at the list of stuff and it astonishes me that anyone could actually think that is possible. Do you really think that someone deserves to make $115,000 for flipping burgers for 20 hours a week? There would not be enough money! Companies could to afford that. Not one single company! This is just so horribly unrealistic.

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

"someone deserves to make $115,000 for flipping burgers for 20 hours a week?"

If people want hamburgers and we need people to spend their lives flipping them, then yes those people deserve the same standard of living as everyone else who works.

But we can only reduce our work week to 20 hours by automating pointless jobs that nobody wants to do. That would include flipping hamburgers. In a rational economic system, people would not have to waste their life flipping burgers, machines would do that.

.

"There would not be enough money! Companies could to afford that"

Yes they can when you reduce the top incomes from hundreds of millions of dollars to just $460k, there is enough income available to raise the minimum income to $115k. I go through the math using verifiable government numbers. It is irrefutably true.

Worker productivity in this country is $65 per hour. That means each full-time worker produces $135k per year in income. But 97% of workers make less than that amount. Workers are getting robbed in our current capitalist system. Socialists call it exploitation.

You can verify the numbers here:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/1-replace-capitalism-with-democracy/#comment-662000

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

Your argument falls apart--almost anyone can flip burgers therefore the wage scale is low. Jobs that few people can do have the highest salaries. Thank goodness for capitalism!

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

Most jobs are jobs that almost anyone can do. that is why most workers are exploited in a capitalist system. And that is why we need to change the system from paying people based on bargaining power to paying people based on how hard you work.

You are getting exploited too. So you are cheerleading for the wrong team. People are taking advantage of your gullibility.

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[-] 0 points by American12 (1) 2 years ago

I just read the stuff and I'm not gonna lie it is horribly unrealistic. Do you actually believe that someone deserves to make $115,000 a year for flipping burgers 20 hours a week. There would simply not be enough money for company's to pay people that. It just totally blows my mind at anyone can possibly think that. Where would all the money come from?

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

Try not to look at the number, but the equality. Whether flipping burgers or anything else, it is a human being doing the job.. and human beings should be rewarded equally , not based on the job they do but on the fact they are equal human beings..

[-] 0 points by American12 (1) 2 years ago

Doctors deserve to make more than that person. Because they went through the years of college for it. Or a Chemical Engineer, they deserve to make more because they are doing jobs that benefit everyone. If you choose not to try to go to college and are just lazy and don't want to try to better themselves don't deserve to make that much.

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

But while the doctors and chemists are going to school, who is feeding them .. ?

In a system where schooling will be paid for ..[ as long as you get the grades], than students are supported by the mass majority while they learn .. they are both debted and indebted by society..

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

see my response to this comment above

[-] -1 points by chatman (-478) 2 years ago

"That is what Marx meant by "To each according to their labor."

That is an incorrect quote - Marx doctrine is "From each according to his ability TO each according to his needs" . Meaning he is disregarding ability and people are awarded as to their needs. It helps to know what you are talking about when trying to change the world lol!

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

It is not a quote since Marx didn't write in English.

To each according to his needs would happen only when society reached communism. Communism is the stage society reaches when their productive capacity is so advanced, they eliminate scarcity and produce super-abundance. So you no longer need money to ration goods and services. People can freely take as much as they want. And automation is so advanced, all the undesirable jobs are automated, so you no longer need to pay people to work.

To each according to their labor is how income is allocated in socialism before you reach communism.

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[-] -1 points by chatman (-478) 2 years ago

"It is not a quote since Marx didn't write in English." That's your argument lol! Geez you are desperate. Where did you get the "each according to his labor" quote? You said that was Marx but again like you said - he didnt write in english - so where is that quote from?

[-] -1 points by chatman (-478) 2 years ago

read the exact text - not some interpretation from wiki. remember - Marx didn't write in english like you said.

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

What kind of sad life do you lead that you would spend your time thinking of the dumbest things to write in the hopes of getting as many dislikes as possible?

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[-] -1 points by monetarist (40) 2 years ago

I sit in a nice office at work while the janitor sits on a wooden chair. The janitor uses his arms to clean the floors etc and all I do is lift my fingers to press buttons on the keyboard and type stuff or call people or answer mails or read reports or make ppt and excel sheets. The janitor does often break into a sweat but I, in my climate controlled cabin, never. However, I often work 12 hours, sometimes even 18 and when product launches arrive I even shower in the office.

So who works 'harder'? And whose work is more important? If I screw up the company loses a hunderds of millions of dollars but if the janitor screws up there is a dirty floor or a unusable washroom.

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

In socialism, workers are paid to each according to their labor, not to each according to the impact of their screw-ups. Since the only economic reason for paying one person more than another is to get them to work difficult jobs or give their maximum effort, that is the only fair way to allocate income.

So people who do physically difficult or mentally difficult jobs get paid more than those who do not. And people who perform better in performance based jobs get paid more than those who perform worse.

Most office work is neither physically or mentally difficult, so they would get paid less per hour than janitors if being a janitor is physically difficult (my guess is that being a janitor is not physically difficult in the way that being a construction worker is).

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

We could also apply a maximum wage and a minimum living wage.

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

If you limited differences in income by law to only what can be scientifically demonstrated to be necessary to get people to do physically difficult or mentally difficult work and to get people to give their maximum effort in performance based jobs, you will only need to pay top earners roughly 4 times more than bottom earners.

That would work out to paying everyone from $115k to $460k.

So you don't need to set an explicit max or minimum. You can read more about how that would work here:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/1-replace-capitalism-with-democracy/

[-] -1 points by monetarist (40) 2 years ago

Most office work is actually mentally difficult than janitorial duties, which is why you usually need some kind of a degree to do office work but not to become a janitor. As for my office work, I daresay it is a wee bit tougher than cleaning floors or laying walls considering that they required someone (i.e me) with a MS (in CS) and MBA to do it.

Besides, society already values the average office employee more than the average janitor or construction worker. And since society is unanimous on that, I don't see how it matters what you think. You have the right to think but the thought does not need to be correct.

Btw, are you a construction worker?

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

When I said office work, I meant the 21 million who work in office and administrative support jobs. You do not need a degree or an MS in computer science or an MBA to do that job.

Computer programming is a mentally difficult job and deserves a higher pay.

Your claim that office workers are valued more than construction workers is bogus. Your average person does not own a company and does want to live in a house. So they would value construction workers more than office workers.

There is no such thing as an absolute measure of one person's value over another. People get paid based on their bargaining power, not value.

[-] -2 points by monetarist (40) 2 years ago

Without many of those dreary office jobs that you so look down upon, the economy and society will come to a standstill. Any idiot can become a construction worker, does not take much intelligence to lay foundation, brick work or drive nails. If we were cavemen, work that involved bodily strength would be valued higher. But he have long moved past that. It's intelligence that's valued more now. I have nothing against physical labor, it is necessary and that is how the foundation of countries including USA were laid. But that time is long gone.

And people do not get paid on the basis of their bargaining power. Even the top sales guy in my company, and sales people are known to have good bargaining power, cannot get himself the salary of the CEO however much he bargains. Each person has a certain value to the company and they get a paid that is commensurate to their value. Bargaining power is only useful provided you bring something to the table. Absense of bargaining power may sure lead to you selling yourself short but the presence of good bargaining power does not mean you get whatever you want.

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

You are not following along.

Hopefully my last comment to you here or my post on how a socialist system works will clear things up.

I don't look down on office jobs. I think they should get paid $115k per year. However, I think people who do physically or mentally difficult work, like construction, should get paid twice that amount.

If the pay between an easy office job was exactly the same as the pay of the physically difficult and intense labor of construction work, which job would you choose? Nearly everyone would choose the easy office job since it is much easier.

So the only fair system is to pay difficult jobs more.

And you do not understand bargaining power. If a top sales person cannot get more pay than the CEO, that means that sales person does not have more bargaining power.

[-] -2 points by monetarist (40) 2 years ago

How did you arrive at the $115k/yr figure? And why should everyone doing a office job get paid the same. Why should the boss and her secretary get paid the same?

I don't agree at all to your definition of a 'difficult job'. Any office goer who is of moderately good health can take up a construction job any day but a construction worker, with barely little education, cannot just waltz into a office job.

Oh the sales person does have bargaining power but a sales guy gets a cut from selling some of the products while the CEO is responsible for sales of every product and functioning of every other dept and then some. It is mathematically impossible for the sales guy to earn more than the CEO. If in a company a sales guy was earning more than the CEO, there is something wrong in it.

I don't know how much more lucid I need to be but frankly I am at my wits end here. I don't have the patience or the inclination to argue on this anymore.

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

"How did you arrive at the $115k/yr figure?"

See the calculation in paying everyone from $115k to $460k here:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/1-replace-capitalism-with-democracy/#comment-662000

.

"why should everyone doing a office job get paid the same"

By office job, I meant administrative support. They should all get paid the same because they are working the same hours and doing a job of similar difficulty.

Engineers, who also work in an office, should get paid more than administrative support since they are doing a mentally difficult job and people who do administrative support are not.

I believe the people who work in science, computers, engineering, medicine, construction, mining, and farming would qualify for the difficult pay.

.

"Any office goer who is of moderately good health can take up a construction job any day but a construction worker, with barely little education, cannot just waltz into a office job."

That is a ridiculous claim. Both require some training. Someone who never worked in construction would have no clue how to build something.

But if both jobs paid the same, people would choose the office job over the construction job because it is easy. Construction is physically difficult work. So we should pay that job more in order to provide an incentive to do that kind of work.

[-] 1 points by monetarist (40) 2 years ago

Not all administrative jobs are of the same difficulty or even the same work hours. Managing a entire business unit is far more difficult than managing one team or managing the factory floor. Seems like you never did any job which explains why you have no clue how things work in real life.

As for construction jobs, those require some training but certainly don't require one to get a degree which any office job would.

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

If what you are saying is true and we were unable to fill the more difficult management jobs, then they would qualify for difficult pay.

I am merely proposing that people who work difficult jobs get paid more than those who work easy jobs.

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

A person gifted in skill easily produces twice as much as another ungifted in skill working as hard as possible. The person who produced half as much receives twice as much in pay because of his effort, not his output?

[-] 3 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

Your presence on this forum contradicts your argument. Clearly unskilled people get paid in our current society, regardless of the quality of their output.

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

Effort is measured by output. A dentist who sees twice as many patients and works twice as many hours should get twice the pay.

However, keep in mind that very few jobs get paid based on output. And there is a big study by the federal reserve on incentives (see my video link below) that shows it is best to pay people a flat salary who do problem-solving type work like executives, doctors and engineers. Pay based on output is only effective with mindless, menial work like order picking and most of these jobs can and should be automated.

Here is the TedTalk on incentives that I mentioned:

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

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

Very good video.

[-] 0 points by penguento (362) 2 years ago

The notion of output and value of labor you're using is inherently invalid. It may work fine on an assembly line for low-tech widgets where you can count the piecework and anyone can do the work, but it's a non-starter when you're talking about goods or services that require significant creative, planning, engineering or any similar intellectual inputs. The time of a guy on the assembly line simply isn't as valuable as the time of the guy who designed or engineered the product. In terms of who added more to the wealth of the group, the person providing the intellectual or high-skill input clearly did, and valuing the time of these two people equally makes no sense. If you are incentivizing people to increase the collective wealth, you differentially reward those tasks that create the greatest wealth. Those are the tasks add the greatest value to the output or product, and those are usually the skilled and intellectual tasks. Who sweats more in the process is likewise invalid. The degree of physical effort has nothing to do with the value of a task or the value of the person performing it. If that were so, the time of a man who mined coal with a pick and shovel would be much more valuable than that of a man in the same mine who used sophisticated machinery and was a thousand times more productive in terms of tonnage produced. The incentive would thus be for everyone to mine coal with a pick so as to get the greatest pay, and production would drop by orders of magnitude, and the group would be that much poorer as a result.

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

"The notion of output and value of labor you're using is inherently invalid. It may work fine on an assembly line for low-tech widgets where you can count the piecework and anyone can do the work, but it's a non-starter when you're talking about goods or services that require significant creative, planning, engineering or any similar intellectual inputs."

I agree with you. I am not saying that everyone should be paid based on output. If you look at the video I linked to, it makes the case that creative work should be paid a flat salary.

Very few jobs should be paid based on performance.

What I say is people who do physically difficult or mentally difficult work should get paid more than those who do not. And people in performance based jobs should get paid based on output, but there are few jobs that should be paid that way.

.

"The time of a guy on the assembly line simply isn't as valuable as the time of the guy who designed or engineered the product. In terms of who added more to the wealth of the group, the person providing the intellectual or high-skill input clearly did, and valuing the time of these two people equally makes no sense"

Your claim is bogus. You cannot measure how much wealth each worker is responsible for in a company with a division of labor. If your factory workers quit, you would have zero wealth. They are as valuable as everyone else.

However, I do think it is fair to pay the engineers more because they are doing difficult work and the factory workers are not.

.

"If you are incentivizing people to increase the collective wealth, you differentially reward those tasks that create the greatest wealth."

Science and entrepreneurship are the biggest contributors to increasing our wealth. Science is a mentally difficult job, so they are paid more. And entrepreneurship is a performance based job that enables you the opportunity to earn the highest pay. So that is rewarded. We should do everything we can to make everyone a scientist and encourage entrepreneurship.

.

"If that were so, the time of a man who mined coal with a pick and shovel would be much more valuable than that of a man in the same mine who used sophisticated machinery and was a thousand times more productive in terms of tonnage produced."

That is why we have managers. Managers who are responsible for the financial performance of their company will do everything possible to eliminate the need to pay people for hard work who produce little output.

Machines should do all our hard work. This provides an incentive to automate as much as possible. We should make a deliberate effort to build a fully automated economy and make that goal a priority. We should be creating automation, not creating jobs. Most jobs suck. We should be freeing people from jobs, not finding more jobs for them to do.

[-] 0 points by penguento (362) 2 years ago

"That is why we have managers. Managers who are responsible for the financial performance of their company will do everything possible to eliminate the need to pay people for hard work who produce little output."

In your scenario, however, the workers would resist any attempt at automation, since it would result in a reduction in pay, since they're not working as hard physically. Your compensation scheme forces them to view automation as impoverishing them. So the workers would go on strike and maybe destroy the machines like the Luddites did did back in 19th century England and you're back to picks and shovels. It all seems a bit counter-productive.

Another thing: if you're valuing products based on labor input, how do you factor in people like janitors and admins, or the lawyers who write the contracts, or all of the other people (in fact, most of the people at a large company) who don't work directly in manufacturing the product? Their labor can't be correlated in any way to the production metrics on the line. Or what about the mechanics that are there to repair breakdowns on the production line? Your goal -- and the best possible situation -- is for them to have as little to do as possible, since if they're working hard it means the production line is broken down and nothing's getting made. In the ideal situation, these guys sit around all day reading a book because nothing has broken down. But in your compensation scheme, they get paid nothing, since they haven't done anything all day.

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

In a socialist system, you are guaranteed a job and you get paid to go to school since training is just like any other work being done. So there is no reason to strike in order to keep a job nobody wants to do.

Automation frees us. It liberates the workforce. And since all workers share in all our economic progress, automation would be properly seen as progress and an increase in wealth for less work.

I do not advocate a system where people are paid based on how much direct production you contributed. This will probably clear up how socialism works:

Since the only economic reason for paying one person more than another is to get them to work hard, the only fair way to allocate income is to pay everyone based on how hard they work, not based on how much bargaining power they have. As the socialist saying goes, income should be allocated to each according to their labor.

In a socialist system, differences in income would be limited by law to only what is necessary to get people to do physically difficult or mentally difficult work and to get people to give their maximum effort in performance based jobs.

We would use the political process to filter out reasonable, national compensation proposals which determine what jobs qualify as difficult and 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 would vote directly on its approval in a national vote.

If we allocated income in this way, since you would not be able to provide any evidence that shows we need to pay people any more than 4 times more than others, we would be able to pay the top performers $460k, difficult jobs $230k and everyone else $115k.

You can learn more about this type of economic system here:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/1-replace-capitalism-with-democracy/

[-] 0 points by penguento (362) 2 years ago

"Your claim is bogus. You cannot measure how much wealth each worker is responsible for in a company with a division of labor. If your factory workers quit, you would have zero wealth. They are as valuable as everyone else."

Not true. One factory worker quits, you barely notice it if at all. Steve Jobs quits, you got a problem. The difference in wealth reduction between the two if it were to occur would be several orders of magnitude. Not to devalue the factory worker, but the Steve Jobs-like person is simply more valuable to the collective than the other guy. Who do you think is more valuable to the Rolling Stones -- Mick Jagger, or one of the roadies? Whose loss would cause more problems and and income loss for the band?

Try this thought experiment: You're working in some collective enterprise. It's immensly profitable for all of you, due to the genius of a guy who designs brilliant products and markets them cleverly for you, with vast success; so you're all -- thousands of you -- doing really, really well, due in large part to his genius and efforts-with of course, the help of all of you to manufacture, sell and ship the things he comes up with. A situation come up where you have to get rid of one and only one person, and it comes down to either him or one of your fellow factory workers. The other guy's a hard worker, but nothing special, no creative talents, no great thoughts -- he just works the line, putting a lug nut on a bolt with an air wrench all day, and his value to the collective is limited to whatever value is added by this. And if you get rid of the Jobs-like guy, you know he'll go over to your competitor and create and market wonderful things in direct competition to you. So you all vote on who has to go. How would you vote? How do you think your fellow workers would vote?

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

You are paid based on your bargaining power. Try this thought experiment:

Who is more valuable, a heart surgeon or a cleaning lady?

To a young, healthy person who has no time to clean his home, the cleaning lady is more valuable than the heart surgeon.

If you are having a heart attack, the heart surgeon may be worth all the money you have.

But if heart surgeons are a dime a dozen and there are even doctors who love it so much they are willing to work for free, that heart surgeon may now only be worth the same as the cleaning lady to someone having a heart attack.

If that one, single factory worker is part of a union that says if you fire that worker, every factory worker will quit, now that one, single factory worker is just as valuable as Steve Jobs.

[-] 1 points by penguento (362) 2 years ago

I get the sense you're young and haven't been around too much. I've worked in a lot of factories and in a lot of other hard and physically demanding jobs, and later in life, in desk jobs where my output is entirely talking and written words. I speak about these things based on three decades of working for others in factories, construction sites, laboratories, warehouses and many other places, and 15 years owning and managing businesses.

First, your notion of automating everything is pretty unrealistic. Show me how to automate doing hot tar roofing, for example, or pouring concrete, or building a large building. You can't even automate a lot of factory work -- it requires somebody with good dexterity and hand-eye coordination to do some very repetitive and dull tasks. That's why they have all of those gigantic factories in China.

Second, you're assuming that people don't like hard work. Maybe you don't, but lots of people do. I used to be a railroad track laborer, and I swung a sledge hammer and spike maul 12 or 14 hours a day in the summer. I liked it a lot. I'm not doing it anymore, but not because I disliked the labor. In many ways, I prefer it to my current desk-type job. Lots of other folks doing hard jobs do it because they like it too.

Third, you're assuming that every every step in the creation of a product or service is equally valuable, and that thereby, every input of labor is equally valuable. Simply not so. Try it yourself. Open a business, use your own valuation structure and pay your employees accordingly. Pay the janitor the same or a bit more than your top creative guy. Watch what happens. Your most valuable and creative employees will rapidly leave. I can assure you with great confidence that this will happen.

Fourth, you seriously discount the value of money as a motivator. Your top creative people will expect and demand a lot, and if they don't get it, they'll go someplace where they can. If that means moving to a foreign country, they'll do it. Countries that place a serious limit on top income always suffer a brain drain as a result. The best folks don't like the constraints and they leave. People don't work for the sort of theoretical common good postulated by socialist theory. They work for themselves and their family, and they'll get as much money as their skill set and motivation permit. Socialist and communist theory is always based on a so-called "re-education" of workers to change this mindset. Lots of luck with that one -- they've been trying that re-education for a hundred years now, with no measurable success.

Fifth, your notion that automation will produce such vast abundance of everything that everyone will have as much of everything as they care to take is naive. You fail to recognize resource limitations, technological limitations, pollution, and a hundred other things that add cost to goods and services, limit their availability, and otherwise serve to impose practical restraints on what you can do. An ipsi dixit on your part that simply ignores all of these things isn't a solution or a path to a solution.

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

Your sense of my experience is wrong.

First, I don't list construction or factory jobs in the list of jobs we can automate. However, since you brought it up, according to the homebuilders association, we should build homes in factories instead of onsite so that we can see the automation gains in construction that we saw in automobiles. We now have the ability to factory build any style house and assemble it onsite in just a few days. If we did that for all homes, we could eliminate a substantial portion of construction jobs.

China is on that kind of path. That is how they were able to build a 50 story hotel in just 30 days. Here is a 30 story hotel they built in 15 days.

We also can automate most of the jobs in the gigantic Chinese factories. And now that Chinese worker pay is increasing, it is profitable to do that. That is why FoxConn is buying 1 million robots for their factory.

We can also fully automate the laying of concrete as demonstrated by a research project at the University of Southern California. It can be used to fully automate the construction of the shell and walls of an entire home, including piping, electric and other utilities.

Second, I agree some people enjoy hard work more. And if our best evidence says we don't need to pay people more in order to get them to do difficult work, everyone would get paid the same. Everyone would get paid $135,000 per year.

Third, the creative guy would leave because we live in a system which pays you based on bargaining power and he will use his bargaining power to get paid more than the janitor at some other job. That is the way bargaining power works!

A socialist pay system can only work in a socialist economy.

Fourth, socialist theory is not based on re-education of workers to change their mindset!! lol 97% of workers will get paid more in a socialist system than in a capitalist system because they no longer have the top 3% exploiting them and taking all the income. Getting paid $115k or $230k is a better deal than you will get in capitalism.

Fifth, I never claimed "that automation will produce such vast abundance of everything that everyone will have as much of everything as they care to take". I don't know where you got that. I claim that we can automate half our jobs so we can produce our current GDP by working half the time.

[-] 0 points by penguento (362) 2 years ago

And have you every seen the inside of one of those factories where they build modular buildings? I have. The modules are assembled by hand, by a crew of construction workers. Hardly automated. They build ships in modular fashion too these days. And the modules are built by a very large crew of welders and pipe fitters and others who labor very hard indeed to build the modules and then assemble them. In all of the cases you cited, the process isn't automated at all in the sense of being done by robots. Rather, the process has been reengineered in order to make it more of an assembly line process. Quicker and cheaper, but still very labor intensive. Show me a fully automated process for assembling the rebar in concrete and I'll be impressed.

Bargaining power is precisely the point. The people with the most valuable inputs have more of it, and its naive to think they won't use it. If you try to make them, they'll simply opt out of your system and go someplace else. More generally, you may think its a great idea to have everyone vote on all wages (leaving aside the complete impossibility of this in an economy where there are tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of different jobs), but a lot of people wouldn't. They'd much prefer to deal with the matter themselves, particularly highly skilled people or highly creative people who stand to lose in your scheme; but also, frankly a lot of regular folks who'd just think its none of your business what they make. The folks around here in rural PA certainly wouldn't go along with it, I can assure you. The assumption that everyone will go in on this is part of that socialist re-education thing, which is as yet an entirely theoretical proposition. I know a lot of old communists who have been waiting around since the 60's for everyone to get re-educated and it hasn't happened yet.

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

I never said home building can be fully automated.

Building in factories requires less workers. And if they are not using the same kind of robotics found in car factories, they are not taking full advantage of our existing robotic technology.

But the point is that we can automate 55% of our jobs even if we don't automate a single construction job or factory job.

Workers don't need to be re-educated in order to want a higher pay. If you want a higher pay, they will opt-in to socialism, not opt-out. People in rural PA will go along with it because it will pay them at least 4 times what they make now. 97% of workers will get paid MORE than what they do now.

[-] 0 points by penguento (362) 2 years ago

You've obviously never talked to anybody in rural PA. But you're back to worker re-education here. Your position is basically, once they understand the real value of socialism, they'll buy in. That's your classic communist worker re-education mantra. But it just isn't so. Lots of folks, probably a strong majority of the people in this country, just aren't interested. They'd rather make their own decisions, and do their own bargaining and create their own economic opportunities, and they're not interested in a centrally planned scheme, regardless of its purported merits. It's not that they don't get it, it's that they aren't interested. They'd rather have the autonomy and freedom to chose for themselves. Even the most hard-core, collectivist union workers are this way -- they bargain collectively, but the goal is to get as much as they possibly can for themselves out of the employer. If you tried to impose this on them, they'd go on strike, because you'd be limiting their ability to get more for themselves. The Marxist notion of everyone being a happy cog in the well-oiled machine of a planned state economy simply doesn't recognize what really motivates people or how they want to live their lives.

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

I have not spoken to someone in rural PA. But I am confident they enjoy wealth just as much as everyone else. And if they were given the choice between a job that paid $30k for working 40 hours in a capitalist system or $115k or $230k for working 20 hours in a socialist system, they would choose the latter.

I don't know where you get this idea that offering people a better paying job is re-education.

I do not advocate a centrally planned economy. I do not advocate eliminating opportunity or autonomy. You will have far more freedom, autonomy and opportunity in a system that pays you to go to school so you can pursue any field you want and pays you 4 times more on average while working half the time. And socialism offers unions the best deal they can possibly get since they are now getting 100% of the income paid to workers.

It sounds like you got your understanding of socialism from Rush Limbaugh. Here is a post on how socialism works:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/1-replace-capitalism-with-democracy/

[-] 0 points by penguento (362) 2 years ago

It most certainly is is a planned economy. You're talking about a centrally devised wage control scheme that apparently no one is allowed to depart from. The government sets up a plenary job classification scheme that everyone must adhere to, the government decides what everybody ought to be paid, the government presumably punishes people who break the rules by, for example, bargaining over wages. And of course, every workplace must be structured in a way that meets the requirements of these rules. People may get to vote, but they've voting on what the government has already decided on letting them vote on. That's not centrally planned?

The re-education comes from the fact that right the moment, they don't believe your scheme will work, and even if it did, they're not interested because they'd rather do things their own way, without some government-imposed wage scheme and everything that goes along with it. To change peoples' minds and get them to go along, you'd have to get into that commie workers' re-education thing.

Try this: go on out to central PA to some little rural town sometime. Pretty much any one will do as long as there are pickup trucks in front of the bar and the guys in the bar are wearing dirty baseball caps. Go on into the bar, belly on up, order a beer and pitch this whole thing to the other guys at the bar, just like you're pitching it to me. See how many converts you get. Take notice of how enthusiastic your reception is. Come back and give us a full report. I think then, you'll have a better sense of the point I'm making.

And BTW, I was a leftist before you were a twinkle in your daddy's eye. And I still am.

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

You throw out terms like commie, re-reducation and central planning as curse words. You don't even understand what they mean. It is laughable.

Central planning is a central bureaucracy deciding what the entire economy produces instead of consumers in the market deciding what to produce. It is not allocating income based on hard work.

If you think people in rural PA who "do things their own way" means their way is to turn down a job that pays them $115k or $230k because that job is working for a publicly owned company so that they can work at a privately owned company that pays them $30k, you don't know how people work either.

[-] -1 points by monetarist (40) 2 years ago

Finally a sensible post. These OWS guys seem to live in a different reality

[-] 0 points by penguento (362) 2 years ago

You never answered the question. If you had to vote on letting one go, which one would you pick? Which one do you think your co-workers would pick? Remember, the premise of the problem is that one has to go, so you have to pick one or the other. Both can't stay around. By your measure, the factory worker works harder, so he's more valuable. So, would you vote to let the Steve Jobs guy go? Is that your position? Do you assert that it would be the position of all or most of your fellow workers? Your answer above simply avoids the question, and with it the hard choice.

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

By my premise, the CEO works harder than the factory worker, so should get paid more. The CEO is mentally difficult work. Factory jobs are not mentally or physically difficult work.

I would vote to let Jobs go. Because we can always find another CEO. However we cannot do without all our factory workers.

[-] 0 points by penguento (362) 2 years ago

Really? You're going to find another Jobs? Another guy that's going to make everyone in the company rich because he's workaholic, visionary genius? I didn't realize guys with that level of talent were that easy to come by. But no matter. He'd use his bargaining power with your competitor to get well-compensated there, so he'd be fine. The question then becomes, what do you do when your competitor starts producing the things he creates, and they're now better than yours, and all of a sudden your company isn't doing so well? All the doughty factory workers in the word aren't going to solve that one. You'd have to replace him with someone who was his equal, which would prove problematic, since he'd (or she'd) want to bargain with you over compensation and you'd refuse. So how do you attract another one of that caliber when they can all go to work for your competitor in the next state or the next country and make a jillion times more than you're willing to pay them? Do you appeal to their sense of socialist justice? Do you point out that regardless of what they think, yours is a more theoretically optimal solution? I doubt that sort of argument would get you very far -- most of those guys seem to prefer a lot of money. Everyone might in the long run have been better off if you had given that factory guy a big ol' fat severance package and some job retraining.

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

Steve Jobs is dead and Apple is still around. So I am correct.

But if Apple lost their ability to hire factory workers, Apple would not still be around. You can't sell a product you cannot produce.

Steve Jobs was not a programmer or an engineer or a product designer. He was a guy with a lot of money and the ability to boss people around.

You can have Steve Jobs, and I will take the actual programmers, engineers and product designers that made all the Apple products.

People will join socialist companies because they can make more, not less. They don't join out of a sense of social justice. 97% of workers would make more in socialism since the top 3% would no longer be running off with all their money.

We can replace the top 3% if they all moved to China to become jazillionaires. We cannot replace the bottom 97%. The bottom 97% are the ones who do all the real work, so we would get by just fine.

[-] 1 points by penguento (362) 2 years ago

Jobs started as a college dropout in his garage with zero money. He built the company because he was an obsessive visionary, and very, very talented. The money came much, much later, as a direct result of the foregoing. You're right, he's dead, but not for very long just yet, and the products they are selling are still the result of his vision and leadership. And you can bet the people at Apple are seriously concerned about finding someone to replace him that can fill his shoes. If they can't, Apple will go the way of Atari and a lot of other companies that were on top for a while but faltered when the creative juice ran out. All the dedicated factory workers in the world can't replace that, and the people who have it demand top dollar for it. You'll observe that guys like that seem to have a fondness for 50,000 square foot houses and private jets. You may not like it that they are that way, but they are, and showing them a study that says they ought to be satisfied with making 4x the janitor is not likely to impress them. People want what they want, and if they have the bargaining power to get it they will. Take those highly talented or skilled people out of the equation, and your business and economy will muddle along at best, fail at worst. Many businesses have done so.

Jobs aside, the same thing would happen with your engineers and programmers and product designers and anybody else who was highly skilled. They would also use their more modest bargaining power to try to squeeze more money out of you. And if they didn't get what they thought they were worth, they'd try to find someplace else where they could. And if they found it, they'd go there. It's unrealistic to think they wouldn't.

Schemes like the one you propose are very attractive for people who don't have much bargaining power -- it gets them a bigger piece of the action than they could otherwise get. But for people who have bargaining power, it falls apart -- once they figure out they've got it, they're not satisfied with your scheme, because, rightly or wrongly, the talented engineer figures he's worth a hell of a lot more to somebody than the janitor is, and he'll sell his services to the highest bidder. And the fact of the matter is that most people have at least bit of bargaining power, and everybody wants more of it, not less. Even people in set pay schemes, like government workers, want and get more bargaining power and a bigger piece of the action by forming unions that then bargain, and strike if need be, to obtain a bigger piece to the pie than their democratically elected representative are otherwise prepared to give them.

You can't stop it, either. If they can't do that in your jurisdiction because it's illegal, they'll just go someplace else. So slowly, over time, you get a talent drain as your best people leave, and your demographic shifts toward a less-skilled, less-motivated workforce. Educate and train some replacements, and as soon as they figure out they've got the same choices they'll do the same thing.

This occurs right now, in the real world, all the time. Countries that have have excellent free education systems, but tax schemes or economies that effectively limit incomes to some moderate limit, suffer a brain drain. People take advantage of that excellent education, and then go elsewhere to exploit it. That may be ungrateful, but it's what people do. That's why there are so many Indian Engineers working in the high tech biz in the US. India has an excellent education system. But, those guys can make a hell of a lot more money working in the US, so they jump at the chance. There are many, many other examples of this. The only way you could avoid this is to make it illegal to move, or to impose the income limitation scheme worldwide, which I think you will agree is unrealistic.

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

If Apple was unable to replace Jobs, their stock would have plummeted. It hasn't.

We don't need Jobs in order to figure out that media should be easily accessible on all our digital devices. That ridiculous problem exists because capitalism prevents it, not because people who aren't billionaires can't figure out people want convenient access to all media.

A child can solve problems better than capitalism can.

Jobs, Trump and the rest of them can go to China and exploit those workers. America will do just fine.

We don't need Trump in order to build nice hotels. And we don't need Jobs in order to build cell phones.

Steve Jobs needs socialism. Socialism does not need Steve Jobs.

GPS was developed by NASA, a socialist organization. Touch screen technology was developed by the University of Kentucky, a socialist organization. The integrated circuit, which makes computers and their shrinking possible, was developed by NASA, a socialist organization. In fact Silicon Valley exists in Silicon Valley because that is where NASA moved to develop the technology for their Apollo program. So socialism founded Silicon Valley.

So without socialism, there would be no Steve Jobs and there would be no Apple.

And despite your unfounded claim that people need to get paid billions in order to develop today's useful things, people not only don't, they don't even need to get paid at all.

One of the internet's most popular and useful site, wikipedia, was produced by volunteers and out-competed Microsoft's encyclopedia. The internet runs mostly on the Linux operating system, is powered mostly by the Apache server, is programmed mostly in the PHP and Python languages and is viewd in the Firefox browser, all open-source products developed by people who did not get paid which have outperformed their capitalist competitors.

Your worldview is flawed. Socialism works. We don't need Trump and Jobs running off with all our money in order to be productive.

[-] 1 points by penguento (362) 2 years ago

"Football coaches get paid the income they do because they are part of the NCAA which is not part of the state."

I don't know where you got this idea, but you're just plain wrong. The NCAA is an association of colleges, but they don't employ the coaches. The colleges do. It is the chancellor and board of directors of a university who decide on the salaries of football coaches and star academics. No outside body has anything to do with it. And many, many public institutions belong to the NCAA.

[-] 1 points by penguento (362) 2 years ago

"And it is even easier to do them when you are getting paid a six-figure income which proves my point that you don't need to pay people billions in order for people to be productive."

Not so. It's much harder. Something like Wikipedia requires that has two things: a vision, and a bankroll big enough to make that vision a reality. Wales was able to simply define his vision and then cut a great big check to make it happen. A few hundred thousand a year in salary isn't anywhere enough for a project like that. An income distribution scheme that does that would have made Wikipedia impossible. Wales could never have accumulated the capital.

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

How do you think socialism works? How do you think new companies get formed in a socialist system? After decades of being a socialist, do you really think socialism works by never launching any new companies!?!?

If you have an idea for a new business, you will apply for investment funds at an investment bank.

Everything works just like it does in capitalism. The only difference is that we use public money for investment, not private money. It comes from whatever the natural savings rate is in the economy. And can be added to with a gross sales tax. And we allocate income differently.

Wikipedia would not cost anything to develop. The cost is only in hosting once it became highly trafficked. So you could have launched it without having to secure funding and once the site became popular, it would have guaranteed you funding.

[-] 1 points by penguento (362) 2 years ago

I feel compelled to point out that a university is not a well-taken example of a socialist enterprise. To the contrary, a large research university with an extensive athletic program is probably the worst example institutionalized class distinction and worker exploitation that you could find in this country. To wit:

At the top are athletic coaches in major sports and star researchers. Both make very high 6 or 7 figure salaries, and have lavish facilities and budgets within which to ply their trade. Of the two, the star researchers probably even have it better. The coach makes a lot of money, but he lives in an Orwellian jungle. He's only around as long as he keeps winning. If the team starts losing, he's gone pretty rapidly. For the researchers however it's different: once you reach that star status, with a Nobel Prize or Lasker prize, you're pretty much set for life.

Right up there with them are the highest–level administrators. They too get a very large salary and a lavish entertainment budget and a free mansion to live in and lots of perks to go with it all.

Right beneath them are the tenured faculty. They don't make anywhere near the money that the stars do, but it's a comfortable salary, lots of perks, excellent benefits, summers off, a guaranteed lifetime job and you don't have to work that hard -- tenured professors don’t teach a whole lot of classes most universities, and get to spend their time on the academic subjects that interest them. Sort of like a well-paid hobby with a few interruptions from annoying undergraduates. All in all, a very agreeable berth, one that I aspire to myself.

Beneath them are the lower-level admin staff -- secretaries, janitors and so. Their salaries are likely to be modest, but again the benefits and perks are pretty good, and the workload reasonable. One again, not a bad berth if you can land it.

At the bottom are the indentured servants, the ones that pay for all of this. Most undergraduate classes at the universities are taught by either graduate assistants or adjunct staff. Both are paid pitifully small amounts of money, and have no job security whatsoever. Adjunct staff often don't have any benefits at all either. At least graduate assistants can enroll in the universe health program if they've got the money. Along with them go the athletes. Football players and basketball players make the university millions in profits from gate receipts and television revenue. They get paid nothing at all except a scholarship and a very tiny stipend for living. But, the demands being an athlete at a major university are such that, for all but the most disciplined of individuals, they can't really pursue a serious academic major. And, they can't accept money from other people on the side. That's illegal.

All of these folks are putting up with this because they too are reaching for the brass ring. Graduate assistants and adjunct staff are generally hoping against hope that they will be among the lucky few who managed to land a tenured job. Athletes are hoping against hope that they will be amongst the lucky few who can turn pro. Almost all of these people will be bitterly disappointed, and they’ll be be used up by the University for as long as they'll take it. Only the tiniest fraction of the graduate assistants and adjunct staff will ever get a tenured job anywhere. Most will spend 10 or 20 years teaching evenings and weekends for a couple of thousand dollars a semester before they tire of it and quit; and only a tiny handful of athletes have what it takes to make in the pros, so when their scholarship runs out, they drop out of school. And when these people are gone, the University will have people lined up around the block to be their replacements. They too want an opportunity at the brass ring. At least the graduate assistants a free education out of this. Most of the athletes don't even graduate, a lot of them can't even read when they get out.

All of this is completely institutionalized. There is strong resistance to any notion of paying student-athletes some reasonable wage for their services. It is said to devalue the “purity” of collegiate sport, notwithstanding the many millions of dollars made by everybody else. Talk to any adjunct professor at a big university, and they'll confirm everything I’ve just said. They’ll also tell you that it's quite common for the tenured faculty to have quite the arrogant attitude when it comes to adjunct faculty, particularly those who debase themselves by working in the real world during the day. Don't kid yourself, class distinction is very much alive and in force at large universities and manifests itself in the most extreme form of inequality and compensation variations. Socialist, it ain’t. Not by a long shot.

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

Football coaches get paid the income they do because they are part of the NCAA which is not part of the state.

And nobody at a public university is getting paid more than $460k which proves my point that people are willing to produce for a non-profit, public, socialist organization without getting paid billions.

[-] 1 points by penguento (362) 2 years ago

Sure, its easy to do things for free when you'e already got a billion dollars. Bill Bates and Warren Buffett do the same thing. I would too. So would you.

The football coach is employed by and paid by the University. They hire him, they fire him, they negotiate his compensation package with him, they cut his paycheck out of their bank account. The NCAA has nothing to do with it whatsoever.

As for socialist companies using public funds, it's no different. Governments that don't happen to have a bucket of cash on hand borrow money all the time. They issue bonds and other financial instruments as IOU's, and they have to pay interest just like anybody else. That' what a saving bond or T-bill is. You're loaning money to the government, and they're promising to pay it back with interest. And if they can't, there are problems, as there are in Greece right now. And in the case of Greece, people got very nervous about Greece's ability to pay them back, so they wanted quite a lot of interest. If the government doesn't want to borrow money, it has to raise it through taxes, which has its own set of issues. It's never free, or anything close to it.

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

"its easy to do things for free when you'e already got a billion dollars"

And it is even easier to do them when you are getting paid a six-figure income which proves my point that you don't need to pay people billions in order for people to be productive.

Football coaches get paid the income they do because they are part of the NCAA which is not part of the state.

Governments that borrow money here and in greece pay interest on loans because they exist within a capitalist economic system.

In a socialist economic system, you do not have to pay interest because investment comes from public funds. To learn how that works, read this post:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/1-replace-capitalism-with-democracy/

[-] 1 points by penguento (362) 2 years ago

Jimmie Wales didn't do it for money because he didn't need money. He was already filth rich -- very much one of the despised 1%. The football coach is an employee of the University, and paid by them out of University funds. In the case of a public university, he is paid with public funds. And many of them make a great deal more than the president, or any other politician. Eric Dickerson, at Arizona Sate, made $1.5 million in 2010.

Re capitalists and compensation, you'd have the same problem. Start a socialist enterprise, and you have to get money from someplace to start it up. People don't lend you large sums of money for free -- they want interest. So you'd have investors, and you'd have to pay them some reasonable return on their investment, even if they were employees. But if your employees couldn't come up with a few million or billion in startup capital, you'd have to go elsewhere.

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

But if your claim that people only build things for billions of dollars were true, Wales would not have built wikipedia because he was not paid to do it. And in all the rest of the examples I gave, none of them were former billionaires.

The fact is that people are willing to build great products and services for much less than billions of dollars. And only 3% of the population would make less in socialism. So socialism requires people to build great products for MORE money, not less. And people are willing to work for more money.

Football coaches are part of the NCAA. The court ruled they are not state actors.

Socialism is not borrowing money at interest from private investors to start a company in a capitalist system. I find it hard to believe you are a socialist if that is what you think socialism is!

All companies in socialism are public, not private. So they use public funds, not private funds.

Here is how the kind of socialism I advocate would work:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/1-replace-capitalism-with-democracy/

[-] 1 points by penguento (362) 2 years ago

BTW, I'm not saying that nobody does anything out of a sense of altruism or a desire to do good work. But the reality is that all of those people who have developed open source projects like Firefox are making good money otherwise as commercial developers, or in cases like Jimmie Wales, they already made their money and they can afford to indulge in what amounts to a socially valuable hobby. Can it outcompete a commercial product? Sure, but it's not happening for free, and it's not paying it's own way. Either a rich guy is bankrolling it, or lots of other people who make their money some other way are doing it, again as a kind of socially useful hobby. I myself am part of an NGO that does educational work in Africa, and we do things like set up computer classrooms. But it's certainly not my job -- I have to work elsewhere, because there's no money in it, regardless of its other value. And it's the same with the Firefox guys. However much they like Firefox, it's not paying the rent; and I'd bet that at that other job, they have no problem taking as much money as they can get.

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

You are missing the point of the argument.

You claim socialism can't work because some people need to get paid billions.

I gave you examples of people who created the entire high-tech industry without getting paid billions.

Socialism does not require people to work for free. In socialism, you will get paid 4 times more than in capitalism on average. You can't earn billions. And the people who only want to work for billions can move to China. The people who will stay and build the economy are the same people who built the entire high-tech industry in the examples I listed.

The claim that all the competent people will move to another country and leave the US as a failed economy is just not true. Not everyone has delusions of grandeur. Very, very few people can make more than $460k in capitalism. Socialism works because it pays MOST workers more.

[-] 1 points by penguento (362) 2 years ago

Jimmie Wales, the guy that founded wikipedia, was able to do so because he had a lot of money because he made a killing in finance industry. Look behind the curtain at most foundations, and you'll find that they're bankrolled by a handful of very wealthy people. I'm not saying that's good or bad, its just a fact.

Universities are hardly socialist. Tuition at a private university can exceed $25,000 a year, and if you look at the salary differentials, it's breathtaking. To take your example, the head football coach at Kentucky made $1.7 million dollars in 2010. I doubt that any English professors did quite so well. And, to the extent that University staff invent useful things, the University takes out a patent and proceeds to cash in as much as possible. That's not socialism at all. He gets that kind of money because the football team makes a lot of money, and because he is successful, he can bargain for it. As for NASA, it's government, not socialist. They don't get their money from the labor of their staff, they get it from other people, by coercion, in the form of taxes. Again, not socialist. And, if you look around, you'll discover that there's quite a brain drain from both universities and government agencies like NASA. Lots of those smart folks figure out that they can make a lot more than their institutional salary if they find some investors and go commercial.

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

Wales built wikipedia for no money. He didn't require billions in payment. And the millions who write articles do not get paid either.

Universities are socialist. They are publicly owned, not privately owned. Government organizations are all socialist since they are publicly owned, not privately owned.

The coach is part of the NCAA which is not part of the state. That is why he gets paid $1.7 million. I don't think any government workers make more than the president.

If we were in a fully socialized economy, and publicly owned companies were not funded by taxes, there would be enough income to pay socialist workers far more than what they earn at the government. And it would be more than what they would likely earn in a capitalist company.

If we paid the top workers 4 times more and difficult jobs 2 times more, we would be able to pay the top performers $460k, difficult jobs $230k and everyone else $115k. Capitalists can't pay that much because they need to get compensated for their investment.

[-] -1 points by Craiggiedangit (99) 2 years ago

I thought you said production decisions are not made when consumers decide where to spend money.... Oh, wait, that's only what you said under CAPITALISM, under socialism everything would be fine.

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

right, production happens before consumption

[-] 2 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

Demand precedes both production and consumption, and drives both. Demand for food drives agriculture. The products of agriculture are consumed.

Sometimes (like in the case of iPods and other consumer electronics, etc,) production - and marketing - creates both demand and consumption. Those products can arguably be viewed as responses to latent demand.

At least that's my understanding of the cycle.

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

I think agriculture is more rooted than to be depended on demand

self perpetuating

[-] 2 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

Demand is self perpetuating, too, don't you think? But perhaps it wasn't the best example. I was using agriculture only to demonstrate that demand is the underlying driver, and that both production and consumption rested on a foundation of demand. In fact, when economists talk about the main driver of the economy, it is demand they always refer to, specifically consumer demand.

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

growth is the under lying driver of agriculture

what concerns more with this thought is

a breakdown of supply and demand economic theory

or more so the question whether capitalism can be created for human success over the ages

[-] 2 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

Fair enough. I am convinced that capitalism, by itself, cannot create broad human success. Its very structure weighs it toward concentration of wealth and inequality, as well as the political abuses that go along with that. But it does still have wealth-creating value. It is the distribution issues that are so problematic.

Socialism appears to have less robustness in terms of wealth creation. It is, however, a far more just and democratic distribution system.

I don't believe either alone can serve broad human needs. I don't believe any one system can as an absolute. People are not, after all, exactly alike. We have different needs, different abilities, and not to be dismissed, different motivations. We are not absolute beings, but relative ones, so no absolute system can apply to all of us. What we need, I believe, are relative economic systems, hybrids of capitalism and socialism, if all, or at least most, of our needs are to be met.

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

I don't understand your comment.

In both capitalism and socialism, consumers decide what is produced based on how they spend their money.

[-] -3 points by takim (23) 2 years ago

there are no benefits to socialism,...........................well actually there is one equalizer,.....................everyone is equally miserable.

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

The depth of your argument is made all the more poignant with your extensive use of periods.

I used to think a system that guarantees you a job that pays you $115k to $460k for working 20 hours would not make you miserable. I was convinced it would make you happy.

But now that you made your point with all those periods, I am convinced. Being wealthy with the time, money and freedom to pursue whatever leisure activities you want will make you miserable.

[-] 0 points by takim (23) 2 years ago

the "periods" are pauses. What system guarantees you $115 - $460 for 20 hours of work? Money doesn't guarantee you happiness, but does pay the bills.

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

A system that allocates income based on hard work instead of based on bargaining power pays those incomes which is explained here:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/1-replace-capitalism-with-democracy/

[-] 3 points by shadz66 (19985) 2 years ago

I'm a human-person living in a "society" ; I accept, admire and embrace the precepts of 'socialism and democracy' and I have a degree of suspicion and more than a little disdain for avowed 'antisocial-ists'.

"Socialist" to some atrophied hearts and sclerotic brains in The USA, somehow darkly equates to : Free at the point of use Universal Healthcare ; Good social provision of Education ; Welfare for the sick, disabled and unemployed ; An Old Age Free of Want ; A Minimum Wage - but this is considered so outrageous, frightening and undesirable to The Randian Psychopaths and (Pseudo)Free-Market Fanatics with their "atrophied hearts and sclerotic brains" as to generate forum-posts just like this one !

Please reflect that the regular and ritualised expansion and contraction of credit euphemistically termed 'The Business Cycle' is NOT some 'Law of Nature' like Gravity being responsible for the tides etc. but is an utterly artificial construct 'designed' by a relatively small group of people, purely for their own benefit !!

The 'collective imaginary' of heavily propagandised Western (& Eastern) Populations both in The USA and beyond, needs to awake from its anaesthetised slumber and ..... slowly but surely it is happening !!!

damnant quod non intelligunt ...

[-] 2 points by acanadianman (13) 2 years ago

Bang on logic. capitilism is not the problem, it's that all the capital or money is despensed to the system through a privitized entity (Federal Reserve) rather then the peoples reresenitives who are accountable to their constituants.

[-] 2 points by GirlFriday (17435) 2 years ago

This country has always been a mixed economy. It will remain so. Every little scaredy cat post of the *socialist America is a bunch of mental masturbation.

[-] 2 points by Middleaged (5140) 2 years ago

We have a mixed economy: both Capitalism and Socialism. But most people don't work and never will. Kids, Elderly, Infirm, and stay at home Spouses don't work. Criminals who have been to prison can't work since no one will hire the bulk of them...and they can't get apartments often times. So no matter what your tax dollars will support the Elderly, Infirm, and the Criminals.

Of course populations have to rise at a steady rate so that we have taxes to pay for welfare and infrastructure. unfortunately the fertility rate in Germany, Japan and the US is not increasing at a high enough rate. Looks like we have 307 Million people as of 2009. Immigration is the only thing that is keeping our population growing at near the required rate.

One report shows that 65 Million people have criminal records. Clearly whatever the number of US citizens with Prison records is those people will be in prison, criminals, or on Welfare.

Also there are like 139.3 Million working in the US and we need like 25 Million more employed with full time jobs with good wages. See link below that states that we have lost 29 Million Jobs in 19 years from exporting them overseas.

Open Society Institute, the Public Welfare Foundation, and the Rosenberg Foundation. NELP is a non-profit research and advocacy organization that partners with local communities to secure the promise of economic opportunity for today’s workers.

http://nelp.3cdn.net/e9231d3aee1d058c9e_55im6wopc.pdf

http://econintersect.com/wordpress/?p=5769

http://yubanet.com/usa/65-Million-Americans-With-Criminal-Records-Face-Unprecedented-Barriers-to-Employment.php

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

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2011-12-21/usa-population-sluggish/52138024/1

http://www.census.gov/population/www/pop-profile/natproj.html

[-] 1 points by ogoj11 (263) 2 years ago

Please, Spring, you're confused. What is the difference between socialism and capitalism? Government ownership vs. private ownership. Correct?

But almost everyone nowadays works in giant organizations, corporate, government, whatever. Carrots and sticks related to raises, honors, awards, prestige, promotions, assignments control almost everyone.

Incentives have nothing to do with socialism vs. capitalism. Making a profit is only 1 kind of incentive, a very unimportant one in our society since there are fewer and fewer business owners. The notion that without private ownership no one would work hard is ridiculous. Look around you and you'll see millions of people working hard for reasons completely unrelated to private ownership.

[-] 1 points by zoom6000 (430) from St Petersburg, FL 2 years ago

If it`s perfect for Europe and It will be perfect for America

[-] 1 points by agkaiser (1248) from Fredericksburg, TX 2 years ago

Is twelve your age, Spring12?

[-] 1 points by zoom6000 (430) from St Petersburg, FL 2 years ago

What do you think Europe is Rep? Europe is socialist democracy

[-] 1 points by luparb (290) 2 years ago

socialism is when the means of production are socialized.

Government handouts, welfare, social spending - these are not examples of socialism.

Socialism is a democratized economy - with the means of production controlled by the workers - not by government bureaucracies, not by the capitalists, but by the people involved in production.

All the decisions to be made, about the nature of the work, the product, and the surplus would be made by the community of stakeholders through a process of democracy INSTEAD of individual capitalists at the top.

Production would be undertaken to meet social needs, instead of business needs and profit.

It's funny that you think people should work harder, when capitalists don't do any work whatsoever. They just sit in their mansions collecting rent.

[-] 1 points by WageSlave (117) 2 years ago

Spring12, you misunderstand motivation. Hit the books. Look up studies in psychology regarding human motivation. It is extremely conclusive at this point -- Money doesn't work, in fact, it is a DETRIMENT.

Extrinsic motivators (like money) work ONLY for manual labor tasks, which are largely being automated at an ever accelerating pace. When it comes to tasks requiring CREATIVITY and CRITICAL THINKING extrinsic motivators actually HINDER performance because it narrows your focus. Competition does much the same. Thus, innovation (contrary to years of pro-capitalist propaganda) does not come from monetary influence (aside from providing access to necessary resources).

Here is a very slimmed down 10 minute summary of just some of the studies, in RSA Animate style: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6XAPnuFjJc

[-] 1 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 2 years ago

Firemen work pretty damn hard

[-] 1 points by ChrisLightfoot1986 (21) from Fort Myers, FL 2 years ago

http://coalitionforsocialchange.wordpress.com/ I have a Blog that discusses this same topic with a bit more depth...

[-] 1 points by weissblitz (5) 2 years ago

Pure Capitalism is as bad as pure Communism or Socialism, they are the opposite sides of the coin. But instead of going to either extreme there is a happy medium. I believe that healthcare and education should be socialized and available to everybody based on merits. Why our students have to start their careers and life being 40 or 80 or 100+ thousand dollars in the hole thanks to student loans they will not be able to repay. Just watch some of the stories they have posted at http://wearethe99pct.com/. That is a very bad way to start. But they system is designed to build debt and be a slave to the bankers. Just my 2 cents!

[-] 1 points by jph (2652) 2 years ago

What you are talking about is some extreme form of centraly-controlled state communism. Socialism is by definition a democratically run collective ownership of some element of the community,. a natural resource, some land, a water treatment facility, etc. Having some elements of the community run by, and for the interests of the people is socialism, not some top down communist state. This is in opposition to the private/corporate ownership and control of these elements of the community for the personal profits of the owners,. this is capitalism. what we have too much of now.

[-] 1 points by Shule (1972) 2 years ago

"We the People....in order to form a more perfect Union, ...for the general Welfare." Socialism was written into the U.S. Constitution. What are those Conservatives now going to do?

[-] 1 points by JadedGem (895) 2 years ago

Who cares if works or not, I think it would be a refreshing change of pace. Its not like the current system is actually working or anything. Why couldn't everyone do what they want to for awhile and lets see how it goes?

[-] 1 points by ThunderclapNewman (1083) from Nanty Glo, PA 2 years ago

Sorry to be so negative, but incentive to make a purely socialist society work would very likely peter out in a few decades. Children/young adults rebelling against the socialist authority and all that sort of thing, you know? The focus on what is to be accomplished would become lost.

[-] 1 points by alexrai (851) 2 years ago

Just throwin' it out there, but it does not have to be an either/or proposition.

We can conclude that socialism sucks, but capitalism also sucks; and the end result of global profiteering and technological evolution means there will be no jobs here even for those who do want to work harder.

People are intelligent creatures, if we truly wanted to work together we could have this problem licked pretty quickly; devise a more egalitarian system which provides for everyone, but still allows those who want to excel to work harder.

[-] 1 points by freewriterguy (882) 2 years ago

A socialist america could work if we the people help we the people, currently we have a "governmetn" that takes a hefty amount of our money in taxes, fees, and fines, and doesnt help anyone with it, but rather they just consume it. (Wastefully) Our government treats the taxes they collect as if their primary goal is to exist, when it is not. They need only protect us from harm and protect our freedom, instead they are enslaving us in debts, and taking away our freedoms, by changing the law saying we are only free if we pay them for the right. There are many examples of this in society, for example, our right to bear arms,( if we pay for a permit) Our right to drive a car,( if we pay hundreds of dollars a year for a license) Our right to own a business, (if we pay for a business license) our right to build a home (if we pay for a permit) our right to camp on public land (if we pay a camping fee) a fee for this and a fee for that, its time our government quits fining we the people to exist. Why I even got two bills in the mail, one from the city school saying i need to pay a hundred dollars for books, and one from the police department saying i need to pay 200 to pay for police! We dont have the right to live anywhere on the earth that doesnt have four walls attached to a concrete foundation I looked it up its called zoning ordinace that says, if i cant live in a nice home or apartment, I sure as hell cant live in a camping trailer unless its in a designated area, but the designated area for parking a camping trailer is almost as much as a house payment now, 500-600 a month space rent It is also our right to abolish a governmetn that doesnt work for us! There I said, it, now let the truth sink in.

[-] 1 points by 4TheHumanSocietyProject (504) 2 years ago

Why don't we just let the machines do the hard work? The cost of vehicles has went up but the labor to make them has went down. How that make sense? Automate the jobs and educate the people. Instead of prisons and jails why not make educational facility's that bridge the gap between differences and teach humans sociology, mathematics, emotional control and the effects of actions in a society. I say we make a entirely new system... I mean all the isms where made before there was even a light bulb.

[-] 1 points by Craiggiedangit (99) 2 years ago

Socialism can and does work. It happens all the time with phenomenal success at worker owned collectives, like the one near where I live. You can control the means of production all you want to, just leave mine alone if I am not hurting anyone else.

[-] 1 points by TheEvilFuckaire (208) 2 years ago

ALL participation in social and economic systems should be voluntary. If a lazy individual does not want to participate he does not have to, at the same time if he wants to use a hospital funded by a socialist state they get to say no, if they choose to not treat him because he opted out of the system. At the same time the police in this socialist state should have no authority over a non participant for any offenses. No government should automatically have control over you based on the location of your birth, if it does you are born a slave to the state. Agreement to participate in a system should be needed before that system has authority over you. This is one facet of true Anarchy

[-] 1 points by JoeW (109) 2 years ago

That is why we use peer pressure and ostracize those who will not help other people. They are egoistic pigs and must be taught that. The rest of humanity though, is glad to help another and that is motivation enough to work.

[-] 1 points by gestopomillyy (1695) 2 years ago

in other words.. just like now.. the way the middle class and the rich view the poor.(non conformers). ostracize , abandon, secretly wish for the elimination of , so your world would not be any different than this one. do as we say, believe as we believe, behave as your told, follow our rules.

give it up

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

helping each other and conform to specific roles are different things

[-] 1 points by gestopomillyy (1695) 2 years ago

not really, if you need help,, but i dont like you,, and i dont want to help you.. i dont really care actually.. then im ostracized for my feelings and actions. fair? my feelings are of no account, my views are of no account. if they do not toe the line with the majority. if i disagree about what 'help' is needed or deserved,, im out, if that does not agree with the majority. you see how it works just the same as this system.

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

help someone else

help the public in general

there are many choices as to how to help

[-] 1 points by JoeW (109) 2 years ago

If you need help and I refuse because I do not like you, that makes me the egoizing pig. If say we live in a communal village, and you refuse to work, my and everyone else's interests there are served by maybe roughing you up a bit, maybe casting you out, but most times just by pointing out your self serving attitude. Conformity is normal, and I do approve of some coercion (ranging from mild violence to psychological), so long as it is not institutionalized.

Life will always be a struggle and we cannot get rid of human instincts (domination, non-conformity, egoism, etc), but we can damn sure do a better job of caring about each other and refuse to allow these instincts to shape a cruel and unjust political economy.

[-] 2 points by gestopomillyy (1695) 2 years ago

like i said.. that world is no different than this. human nature will always prevail. what you can do.. get money out of politics using the means available to you. support unions to gain some bargaining power over your fate. and stop trying to pretend that communal socialism is any different than capitalism or that people who think that way are any different than the ones running things now.

[-] 0 points by Spring12 (25) 2 years ago

Occupy a job

[-] 1 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

Oh.. are you mad because you're losing control of the conversation? :D sucks to be you.

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[-] 0 points by toonces (-117) 2 years ago

In America we seem to be a creative lot. We are either creative at earning money or creative at gaming government to support us. I think if we do turn the corner and become a socialist system where doers support non-doers, there will be alot of creative doers who will do yet not contribute their gains to the non-doers.

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[-] 0 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago
[-] 0 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 2 years ago

Taxing the top 1% @ 90% wouldn't come close to balancing the budget, especially if there are still 76k pages of loopholes.

When the average middle class person gives 1/3 of their income, Im not sure if they can afford anymore. Thats not even counting all the other hidden taxes in our economy.

Socialism, capitalism, communism, etc....None of it works when the people dont pay attention to the what the leaders are doing.

We are currently an unsolvent nation with incredible amounts of entitlements coming down the pipe. And they wont stop the wars.

There isnt a system to fix this nation. Until it hits rock bottom, expect more of the same.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (7031) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

The top 1.4 million taxpayers could actually balance the budget, but we could extent tax increases a bit father.

Decent job defending the 1% though.

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

You are confusing wealth with income. Its a global world we live in, hence these guys keep most of their money in global accounts. .

Im not supportive of all this globalist legislation that the Dems and Reps have passed, but thats what happens when you fall asleep.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (7031) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

wealth passes at death, could step in then at say 99% above a reasonable amount

[-] 0 points by sato (148) 2 years ago

The argument that there are no incentives to work harder is moot. There is very little incentive for people to work harder in corporate America. You are either at the top, paying a modest tax, at the bottom being hand feed by the government or where the majority of the country fits, at the middle shafted by medium to low wage jobs to make ends meet. The rich live a lax life moving their money to make more money. The poor live a worse life doing nothing. And the middle class only dreams of better days but social mobility in America is only a dream. The rich stay rich, the poor stay poor and the guys at the middle occasionally get a little better after a lot of struggle.

[-] 4 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

"The poor live a worse life doing nothing."

The poor don't do nothing. The overwhelming majority of the poor are incredibly hard working.

50% of the entire American population is living at or near the poverty line. Is that because 50% of them are doing nothing? Nope. It is because as hard as they work, the good paying jobs have vanished and been replaced with poor paying ones, unions have been busted, and the wealthy have siphoned off to themselves virtually all of the profits from the 80% productivity gains American workers have made since 1980.

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

50%?!? According to the Census Bureau:

The report said the percentage of Americans living below the poverty line last year, 15.1 percent, was the highest level since 1993. (The poverty line in 2010 for a family of four was $22,314.)

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/14/us/14census.html?pagewanted=all

[-] 2 points by factsrfun (7031) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

live on $35,000 a year for a while and tell me how high on the hog you feel

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (28279) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Those were good days for me. I was single and living alone and actually had a bit of loose change to play with. You are right though that is a starter income.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (7031) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

that might of just been "youth" you know, might of been just as happy making 90, you never know though that whole who "owns" who, me or my things, ect....

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (28279) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

It is here - now - today - MAY DAY - Have A GREAT Day Everyone!!!

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

Like epa1nter said, 50% of Americans are in or near poverty:

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/census-shows-1-2-people-103940568.html

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

"The poor live a worse life doing nothing." Completely false. Next time you go into a fast food place, watch how hard they do nothing.

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

I take offence to that. I have been at the bottom busting my hump since I was sixteen. For you to make that gross generalization about the working class is bigoted of you at best; ignorant at worst. I don't think you uppities could last a year in my shoes.

[-] 1 points by sato (148) 2 years ago

I didnt mean to offend you but one day you may wake up to the reality that the majority of the lower classes in America is waking up in fear of being laid off every day. However deluded you may be, you have to face reality one day. You won't become rich in 10 years and your chances of success depend more or chance than on hard work these days.

[+] -4 points by whatthefffff (8) 2 years ago

You Want Someone Telling You When To Wipe Your Nose? go to Cuba they love socialism and communism Americans are not stupid try pissing down an Americans back and see what happens!!

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

Boy are you one blind bat.

Corporations have been pissing down your back for years and they still are./