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Forum Post: Workers of the World

Posted 2 years ago on June 28, 2012, 4:23 p.m. EST by docgee (11)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

My take on the current crisis is different from any others I've seen, but it's certainly relevant to the goals of OWS and imo deserves serious consideration. I invite anyone reading here to check out my blog, Mole in the Ground, for the details.

My latest post (as of 6-28-12), concludes with a call for action by the remarkable people who organized OWS and I'm hoping some of them will read what I have to say, and think about organizing along the lines I've proposed. I can't think of anyone else capable of initiating the sort of action. I have in mind. Here's the link: http://amoleintheground.blogspot.com/

Thank you.

14 Comments

14 Comments


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[-] 2 points by docgee (11) 2 years ago

Thanks for the supportive feedback, folks. I've taken your advice to heart and placed an extended post on this forum, under the title "Acting from a Position of Strength." Check it out, I think you'll enjoy it.

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (21056) 2 years ago

I agree with Shadz and PK that you have a good blog. Many of our problems stem from the degradation of workers' rights over the past 30/40 years. We need a new labor movement in this country and not necessarily one that includes unions, which have obviously failed American workers miserably.

Corporate profits need to be shared with the workers more fairly or workers need more control/ownership over the factors of production.

Take Apple for example. Apple earns revenue of $473,000 per year per worker, yet most Apple employees only earn around $25,000 per year.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/24/business/apple-store-workers-loyal-but-short-on-pay.html?pagewanted=all

[-] 2 points by docgee (11) 2 years ago

Exactly. What we keep hearing is that there's no money no money no money, so "in order to be 'competitive' we are forced to pay workers the absolute minimum." The truth is that the world is awash with money. Apple for sure, but many other businesses as well and certainly we are awash with billionaires and multi-millionaires. If the workers of the world organized, i.e., worked together for a common cause and refused to compete with one another we could force them to pay living wages across the board, to everyone. And don't forget: a living wage in China or India is not the same as a living wage in Italy or France or the USA. We need to pay attention to resources, not just money, the money and values based on money are a huge mirage, smoke and mirrors.

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (21056) 2 years ago

All well said. This is the truth American workers must start facing. There is plenty of money, they are simply being exploited. These corporations and capitalists are motivated by unbridled greed. No amount of profit is ever enough for these people.

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

I think your viewpoint is actually shared by a lot of people here.

The reason why 97% of workers make a below average income and 50% live in or close to poverty is because we have an economic system that allocates income based on bargaining power. When you want to make $25 per hour and someone from a developing country is willing to do your job for $1 an hour or someone from your country who is unemployed is willing to do it for $17 per hour, you can kiss your job goodbye. You have lost all your bargaining power.

Globalization and unemployment drive down wages and help capitalists.

The solution is for labor to regain the bargaining power. You can only do that by organizing into a union.

I believe the only way to have a fair society is for labor to form a single union that demands (through a general strike if necessary) 100% of the income (since they are responsible for 100% of the production) and to allocate that income among workers fairly. The only fair way to allocate income is to pay people based on how hard you work. The way to do that is to limit differences in income to only what is necessary to get people to do mentally or physically difficult work and get people to give their maximum effort.

Allocating income in that way would enable us to raise the minimum wage to $115,000 per year and also reduce the work week to 20 hours.

You can read this post to see how all of that would work.

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

A person like Elvis Presly deserves greater pay not because of how hard he works, but by the greater benefit he provides. You or I could sing twice as hard as Elvis. Should we deserve to be paid twice as much?

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

If you were a singer and worked twice as many hours because you did twice as many shows then yes you should get paid twice the amount. That is only fair.

Elvis shouldn't get paid more simply because he was lucky enough to draw 30,000 people at his shows and you drew 5000 at yours. It doesn't take any more effort to sing to 30k than it does to 5k, so he doesn't deserve more pay.

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

So both Elvis and I would receive the same pay for identical work, even though his quality is literally100,000 times better than mine? Elvis' vocal work benefits millions, mine benefits less than a dozen.

There is one variable that needs to be added and another removed to your pay scale equation. How hard a person woks does not matter. Results matter. Benefit provided per hour of work.

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

So both Elvis and I would receive the same pay for identical work, even though his quality is literally100,000 times better than mine? Elvis' vocal work benefits millions, mine benefits less than a dozen.

There is another variable that needs to be added and another removed to your pay scale equation. How hard a person woks does not matter. Results matter. Benefit provided per hour of work.

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

If you have an audience of 12, you are not going to be paid as a professional singer. Results do matter. I advocate using the market to allocate goods and services. You must produce what consumers are willing to buy. If you produce a show that generates 12 customers, your business is going to be shut down as unprofitable just like any other business.

Just because you want to be a singer or baseball player, doesn't mean you can get a job doing that.

Everyone is guaranteed a job at the national rate. But that doesn't mean you are guaranteed a specific job (like movie actor). And anyone is also free to voluntarily choose to work for less than the amount.

So if you had 12 fans who were willing to pay you $10 each and you were willing to work for $120 per show, you could do that if you want.

How a democratic market socialist economy would work in detail is explained in this post.

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

You're entitled to your touch of hubris - that's a great blog. I echo 'PK' in exhorting you to 'forum post' your words rather than just your exhortation above ! Many folk won't / don't open links !! You have much of worth to say ... be a "mole" here too !!!

fiat lux ...

[-] 2 points by PeterKropotkin (1050) from Oakland, CA 2 years ago

Hey thats an interesting blog you have there. You should post the text on here.

[-] 0 points by TheMisfit (48) 2 years ago

American workers will continue to be exploited as long as we have a government that welcomes illegal aliens, signs "free" trade acts rather than "fair" trade acts and continues to regulate and tax corporations right out of the country. We have given away our ability to be competitive in order to feel good about helping others. We are now a nation of weaklings, always bending over for special interests at the cost of our own future.

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

Hey, Misfit, you've got it wrong. American workers, like workers all over the world, are being exploited by the very corporations you're so concerned about. They aren't much worried about regulations and taxes (though they make a lot of noise over that), what they want is a cheap labor force. In many states they are given a free ride in any case, but that still hasn't prevented them from going overseas for the bulk of their "human resources."

Very sadly, the "big government" you fear actually has very little power over these corporations (and the people who run them -- we should never forget that behind every corporation are real people, who must be held personally responsible for their actions). The only power stronger they they are the workers themselves, the very workers they have managed to set against one another and exploit -- relentlessly. When these workers rise up, the power of the 1% will be broken. And if they don't rise up it will be broken anyhow, because their out of control greed is currently destroying the same "free market" they've been exploiting all these years.