Why do we let the republicans get away with saying minimum wage earners make too much money?

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Elbridge
Elbridge's picture
tmoney13 wrote: With regards

tmoney13 wrote:

With regards to min wages, I can't emphasize how much I want the progressives to be right on this issue, because if they are I am going to lobby my representatives to increase the hourly wage to $100,000/hr so that everyone can work for a few days and then retire, makes sense right?

Ofcourse than your Papa Murphy's 1 topping pizza going to cost you $100,000. which of course will mean we need to raise the hourly Wage to $200,000. because they would still be poor.

PeeWee Returns
PeeWee Returns's picture
Kerry wrote: I understand

Kerry wrote:

I understand what you're trying to say.   And, I actually agreed with PeeWee from the perspective of production that raising the minimum wage to whatever you think promotes prosperity to everyone doesn't address the limits (in any given space and time) to productive value.

I'm not sure what your point is, so I'm sure I didn't say that.

Quote:
There are limits to productive value in any given space and time.   How that value is shared and/or distributed between all the parties involved does, I believe, address the question at hand--which is really a question of how to determine value and how to distribute it.

In a freely operating market, value is whatever the buyers and sellers agree on.  I don't get this "productive value" concept you're describing.  Maybe you can elaborate.  Markets operate based on the concept of scarcity.  Central planners have failed miserably time and time again by trying to allocate resources based on their imperfect knowledge and imperfect nature as humans.  

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Minimum wage will not direclty address that disparity of incomes because I believe PeeWee is implying with the 'rising prices' response that the corporatists will just raise the prices to keep their incomes in its present proportion to the minimum wage.  

That's one response to the rising cost of labor.  The other response is to hire fewer workers.   If you run a business, and the cost of raw materials goes up, don't you expect the cost of the end product or service to go up too?  Labor is no different, especially in service industries.  Do you expect the owners, or as you like to say "corporatists",  to simply reduce their incomes?  What if the business is barely breaking even, as many business are?  Do you expect the owners to engage in charity and operate at a loss to keep people employed?

Maybe that's why I have such trouble finding common ground with Progressives on this issue.  Maybe their objective is some kind of Robin Hood rob from the rich and give to the poor thing.  

Quote:
And, as long as those corporatists call all the shots, I suspect that is true.  If the CEO is making $7500/hr to his janitors' 7.50/hr and you raise the janitors' to $75/hr., the CEO with his present connections in politics and, implicitly, in law will just arrange it where he gets $75000/hr--and the disparity remains the same--and the ability of what that janitor can purchase with respect to that will remain that same.

Why are you so focused on the CEOs wage?  There are a lot of people who can be a janitor, but not a lot of people who can be CEOs. 

People have different levels of skill, experience and motivation.  Shouldn't that be reflected in what they earn?

Quote:
And, again, with today's globalized economy, if the corporatist doesn't want to pay that janitor $75/hr because that gouges too much into his ability to extract out at the top, he will just go to a country that doesn't have him paying janitors $75/hr through his ability to out-source--even get tax credits to do so (as has been the case in today's economy).   Minimum wage won't answer it.

I believe what polycarp is trying to address is similar.   If the disparity in the wealth distribution remains the same no matter what the minimum wage becomes, the proportional purchasing power will be no better.   And, once again, if the ones creating the production cannot purchase the production on their wages alone, then the production will eventually stop.   It can be temporarily propped up through credit options (again, created by 'those at the top'), but, even that won't sustain it eventually when, at one point in time, the piper has to be payed....when that comes, like it already has done, it will all fall like a house of cards--at some point in time....and the lords can only get the serfs to dish out so much....so, then, better to have the military ready.....

Is that too much blathering to you, PeeWee?

Yes.  I am skeptical of the the whole David Korten anti coporatist bullshit. 

Quote:
And, that's just the production market.   

What the hell is "the production market"?

tmoney13
tmoney13's picture
Kerry: In a feudal system,

Kerry: In a feudal system, the lords with their intricate connection to the political leaders are the ones that get to determine that--from the top down.  And I am asking you how is that any different from the corporatists doing so with their connections in government? – I guess if you believe that the world that we live in is much like the feudal system, then I guess there is no difference for you.    I think that there is a lot of evidence to the contrary.  But I will play along for a minute and pretend that our world is a corporate feudalistic system.  The question then becomes why not sever the links between government and corporations. 

Really though all that has little to do with the minimum wage.  The end result is simple, if the minimum wage is set too low the market will equilibrate to a higher wage anyway.  If the minimum wage is set too high prices will rise unnecessarily, and the least skilled amongst us will be chronically unemployed.  As  PeeWee wrote earlier (most likely referencing Thomas Sowell) young African Americans will be disproportionately affected, by the benevolence of the higher minimum wage.  Or as Sowell said himself, minimum wage laws are the most anti-negro laws ever passed.

PeeWee Returns
PeeWee Returns's picture
tmoney, read this if you

tmoney, read this if you haven't already done so.  Excellent stuff.

tmoney13
tmoney13's picture
PeeWee I will check it out. 

PeeWee I will check it out.  I have heard Sowell reference this book a couple of times on some YouTube videos that I have seen of him. 

Kerry
Kerry's picture
PeeWee wrote: Kerry wrote: I

PeeWee wrote:

Kerry wrote:

I understand what you're trying to say.   And, I actually agreed with PeeWee from the perspective of production that raising the minimum wage to whatever you think promotes prosperity to everyone doesn't address the limits (in any given space and time) to productive value.

I'm not sure what your point is, so I'm sure I didn't say that.

Ah, come on, PeeWee, who's telling you to play ignorant now?   Here's your post #28:

PeeWee wrote:

Kerry wrote:

PeeWee's argument is based on assuming that the money behind the economy is all based on production (money's 'true value')--everyone's response seems to include that there are those who make lots and lots of money that have nothing to do with production (the 'money making money' racketeers).  

No, your blather has nothing to do with my argument. My argument is based on the impossible to ignore fact that when the price of something rises, less of it is consumed. 

With part of my answer in post #41:

Quote:

How did you get from 'raising minimum wage' to 'the price of something rises'?  Oh, that's right, the owners/employers/corporations wanted more than what my 'egalitarian quotient' assumes, don't they? 

You conveniently ignored that, too, PeeWee.   But, your primary claim  to all of this is that, as you say, is an 'impossible to ignore fact' would be that it makes the price of something rise ('every time') along with the raising of minimum wages is that the owners/employer/corporations would want more than my egalitarian quotient assumes coupled at the same time with the limits of production, isn't it?   Otherwise, if the production is unlimited and could be mass produced in any quantity, doesn't that really mean, in 'supply and demand fashion', that the price of it would fall?   So, the only thing that makes it an 'impossible to ignore fact' is that there is a limit to production.   And, the only real reason that the 'price of it would rise' along with 'raising minimum wage' is that the owners/employers/corporations are to keep their incomes up with respect to the workers.   Is that really that hard for you to follow, PeeWee?  How much has to be spelled out for you to follow it, PeeWee?    

Speaking of owners/employers/corporations keeping their disparity in income the same, let's see what an egalitarian quotient can do.  Let's expand a little on the CEO/janitor example that I've already given.   For simplicity, let's say we have one CEO making $4000/hr. to all 500 of his employees making $8.00/hr. (and for many large corporations, a disparity between the highest paid and lowest paid workers can be around 500 to 1--unlike what the ratio was before Reaganomics took over even in the United States of 40 to 1).   So, that one CEO makes as much as 500 workers.  Now, if we mandated an 'egalitarian quotient' of, say, the previous quotient of 40 to 1 (before Reaganomics even in the U.S.--in areas like Japan, that quotient is like 10 to 1),  several manipulations could happen before there is actually an increase in costs to the company.   You are talking about a total cost of the company of $8000/hr. for all these workers.   If that were to be distributed in an egalitarian quotient manner, in a 40 to 1 ratio, that would mean the CEO get paid around $580/hr. as each of the 500 other workers would get paid about $14.75/hr--for a ratio of 10 to 1, the employers could get almost a dollar an hour more as the CEO would get around $157/hr.--and that's without increasing the costs of that facility one bit.  So, why would the price change?  

Now, if the CEO wanted to keep that $4000/hr. benefit and a 40 to 1 egalitarian quotient ratio were enacted, that would mean having to pay all the other 500 workers $100/hr.  But, the costs would go up a lot on that--so, unless the production output is unlimited, that would mean the price would increase for whatever is produced.   That is, of course, based on the limits of production.   If production could be increased in similar manner, then the costs could be covered without increasing the price.  Too hard for you to follow, PeeWee?   So, if production isn't increased, the CEO still wants to make 500 times more than the lowest paid worker, whatever increase that the worker gets in salary will of course translate into your 'impossible to ignore fact' of 'rising prices'--but, that doesn't have to be the case unless the CEO wants to keep making the same multiples of income more than the lowest paid worker.   Which, of course, won't make the lowest paid worker's increased income buy any more because the prices have gone up accordingly--all directed by the CEO.   

tmoney13 seems to say that doesn't represent a feudal system--I tend to think it does.....more on that later....

Kerry
Kerry's picture
To continue on with the

To continue on with the PeeWee/tmoney13 charade:

PeeWee wrote:

Kerry wrote:

There are limits to productive value in any given space and time.   How that value is shared and/or distributed between all the parties involved does, I believe, address the question at hand--which is really a question of how to determine value and how to distribute it.

In a freely operating market, value is whatever the buyers and sellers agree on.  I don't get this "productive value" concept you're describing.  Maybe you can elaborate.  Markets operate based on the concept of scarcity.  Central planners have failed miserably time and time again by trying to allocate resources based on their imperfect knowledge and imperfect nature as humans. 

Ah, there's that elusive 'freely operating market' again.  You know, like tmoney13's little example of two plots of land with one laborer improving it.   So quaint--and so inappropriate to today's economy.   What defines a 'free market' to you, PeeWee?   If you want it to be completely free, I say it's two traders trading without any outside influence--what do you say?  I've had this discussion ad nauseum with Sawdust years ago--remember that?   Is 'the free market' to you 'two traders trading around a price tag remotely determined in a office maybe thousands of miles away'?   Is the 'free market' to you 'corporations influencing government to continue limited liability advantages and tax breaks on outsourcing jobs'?   Where are all these pure 'buyers and sellers' freely determining the price of their transaction at the very time that it is being done?   Other than in a barter system and perhaps small rural businesses, there aren't any.....

And, by the way, corporations don't operate with 'central planners'?   Why, I think that they do.....is that a problem, PeeWee?   Or, is it just guvmit central planners that your against?    And, to be sure, I don't like 'central planners', either--but, I KNOW there is more to it than 'just the guvmit' in it.....do you, PeeWee?   Don't try to pull that ignorant bullshit on me.....

 

 

Kerry
Kerry's picture
PeeWee wrote: Kerry

PeeWee wrote:

Kerry wrote:

Minimum wage will not direclty address that disparity of incomes because I believe PeeWee is implying with the 'rising prices' response that the corporatists will just raise the prices to keep their incomes in its present proportion to the minimum wage.

 

That's one response to the rising cost of labor.  The other response is to hire fewer workers.   If you run a business, and the cost of raw materials goes up, don't you expect the cost of the end product or service to go up too?  Labor is no different, especially in service industries.  Do you expect the owners, or as you like to say "corporatists",  to simply reduce their incomes?  What if the business is barely breaking even, as many business are?  Do you expect the owners to engage in charity and operate at a loss to keep people employed?

Read above.   'Engaging in charity' is what I thought the extremely wealthy did--that's why we don't need government social security implementations, right? 

PeeWee wrote:

Maybe that's why I have such trouble finding common ground with Progressives on this issue.  Maybe their objective is some kind of Robin Hood rob from the rich and give to the poor thing. 

Well, remember that Robin Hood operated at a time when the feudal system was the order of the day...8^).....

Kerry
Kerry's picture
PeeWee wrote: Kerry

PeeWee wrote:

Kerry wrote:

And, as long as those corporatists call all the shots, I suspect that is true.  If the CEO is making $7500/hr to his janitors' 7.50/hr and you raise the janitors' to $75/hr., the CEO with his present connections in politics and, implicitly, in law will just arrange it where he gets $75000/hr--and the disparity remains the same--and the ability of what that janitor can purchase with respect to that will remain that same.

Why are you so focused on the CEOs wage?  There are a lot of people who can be a janitor, but not a lot of people who can be CEOs. 

People have different levels of skill, experience and motivation.  Shouldn't that be reflected in what they earn?

Did I say that there are to be paid equally, PeeWee?  I guess the contention here would be how much more do you think CEO's are worth?   A lot of people couldn't do my job--and I get paid about 20 times more than minimum wage.   Do you think a CEO is worth 20 times more than that?   I don't.   What do you think a CEO is worth compared to the lowest paid worker?   As much as he can get?  Is that what you are calling a 'free market'? 

PeeWee wrote:

Yes.  I am skeptical of the the whole David Korten anti coporatist bullshit.

Well, I am skeptical of corporations getting anything like 'rights as an individual' bullshit.   I am skeptical of corporations claiming that right and, then, getting added legal benefits with limited liability.   I am skeptical of corporations having 'free speech rights' using 'money as the message'.....So, I guess I am skeptical about all this corporatist bullshit. 

And, I am very skeptical about con-jobs coming in here, claiming things like pro-individualist/anti-government bullshit and, then, not saying a Goddamned thing against corporations.....I think that is as hypocritical as hell....so much so that I really wonder what your values are....

 

Kerry
Kerry's picture
PeeWee wrote: Kerry

PeeWee wrote:

Kerry wrote:

And, that's just the production market.   

What the hell is "the production market"?

The production market is the market based on what is actually produced.   But, of course, you'd have to follow all my blathering to understand that, right, PeeWee?   Or, is ignorance a strategic tactic for the con-jobs? 

It's in distinction to the 'financial market'--you know, the one that the bankers and Wall Street operate with.   It's not actually the same as the 'production market' because it's not actually based on 'production' directly--it's based on 'money making money' not 'money buying products'....you can see that distinction, can't you, PeeWee?  

PeeWee Returns
PeeWee Returns's picture
I love it when people here in

I love it when people here in Thomland quote themselves as if what they said earlier was deeply profound and the reader just didn't it.  It's like the drunk  who keeps repeating herself over and over louder and louder.   Either you're not communicating very well Kerry, or your thinking is unclear, or probably both.

Kerry wrote:

How did you get from 'raising minimum wage' to 'the price of something rises'?  Oh, that's right, the owners/employers/corporations wanted more than what my 'egalitarian quotient' assumes, don't they? 

I'll try to break this down as simply as possible.  Labor is something that has a price.  The minimum wage sets an artificial value on that price.  It's not that complicated.  Your "egalitarian quotient" fixates on CEO wages which have absolutely nothing to do with the market value of an unskilled laborer.  You've got to get over this fetish you have with what the CEO makes.  

I can see why you might think CEOs are overpaid.  But the point is, the CEO convinced someone that she was worth the wage she is paid and that's all I care about.  The only reason why that might be a cause of concern of yours is if you buy that zero sum crap that Poly peddles all the time, which I completely reject.  If the CEO takes a pay cut - voluntary or involuntary - it has nothing to do with the market value of the janitor.  Shit, I can't believe I even spent this much time discussing such a BFO concept.

Quote:
, your primary claim  to all of this is that, as you say, is an 'impossible to ignore fact' would be that it makes the price of something rise ('every time') along with the raising of minimum wages is that the owners/employer/corporations would want more than my egalitarian quotient assumes coupled at the same time with the limits of production, isn't it?   Otherwise, if the production is unlimited and could be mass produced in any quantity, doesn't that really mean, in 'supply and demand fashion', that the price of it would fall?   So, the only thing that makes it an 'impossible to ignore fact' is that there is a limit to production.   And, the only real reason that the 'price of it would rise' along with 'raising minimum wage' is that the owners/employers/corporations are to keep their incomes up with respect to the workers.   Is that really that hard for you to follow, PeeWee?  How much has to be spelled out for you to follow it, PeeWee?    

Yes, Kerry, the owners want to maximize profit.  Raising the cost of an input (labor) reduces their profit.  They want to maximize profit.  Is that your earth-shaking revelation?  

There is market value to what the organization produces as well.  If I have to pay $20 an hour the kid behind the counter at my burger joint, a double cheese is gonna cost $15, which may exceed the what burger lovers are willing to pay for a burger.  Is that the "limit to production" you are trying to explain?  By the way, this is exactly what has happened to the US automakers.  They are having trouble competing because the cost of their labor (wages, benefits and most of all retirees) gives them a financial burden that foreign automakers don't have. And you don't even have to give me the speech about foreign automakers are subsidized by their governments and blah blah blah blah.  I get it.

Quote:
Now, if we mandated an 'egalitarian quotient' of, say, the previous quotient of 40 to 1 (before Reaganomics even in the U.S.--in areas like Japan, that quotient is like 10 to 1),  several manipulations could happen before there is actually an increase in costs to the company.   You are talking about a total cost of the company of $8000/hr. for all these workers.   If that were to be distributed in an egalitarian quotient manner, in a 40 to 1 ratio, that would mean the CEO get paid around $580/hr. as each of the 500 other workers would get paid about $14.75/hr--for a ratio of 10 to 1, the employers could get almost a dollar an hour more as the CEO would get around $157/hr.--and that's without increasing the costs of that facility one bit.  So, why would the price change?  

I love how liberals think that the government has no limits to the amount of good it can accomplish.

Here's why the price would change: there are lots of ways to take profits out of an organization.  The CEO (and the owners) have a huge incentive to make their salaries and wages look small and take pay in other ways.  If my company was handcufed by your well-intentioned do-gooder egalitarian quotient, I would reduce my salary to $1 a year and my income would essentially not change because I have an S corp profits are passed thru.  In fact it would could increase because I could cut pay across the board.

Also, if you try to artificially reduce CEO pay, you just encourage organizations to move their businesses to more attractive countries.  

Quote:
Now, if the CEO wanted to keep that $4000/hr. benefit and a 40 to 1 egalitarian quotient ratio were enacted, that would mean having to pay all the other 500 workers $100/hr.  But, the costs would go up a lot on that--so, unless the production output is unlimited, that would mean the price would increase for whatever is produced.   That is, of course, based on the limits of production.   If production could be increased in similar manner, then the costs could be covered without increasing the price.  Too hard for you to follow, PeeWee?  

No, I'm way ahead of you.  You are trying to legislate "fairness".  Good luck with that one.

Like I said, you have a fetish with CEO pay.  Let it go.

 

meljomur
meljomur's picture
I always find these debates

I always find these debates fascinating.  Because the conservatives here seem to have this premise that somehow the "American dream" is a standard of living in which we should base all wage related decisions.

I mean in most of Europe they have much higher minimum wages, and yes goods (and services) cost more.  But people live with less.  Instead of a HD tv in every room and a car for every person in the household, most Europeans have one television and one car.  They don't inundate themselves with needless crap made in China.  They don't live in hideous McMansions (although as the housing market seems to have fallen like a stone in most of suburban America, this seems to have been a bad idea to begin with). 

Yet they have health care for all. Little homelessness.  Better schools.  Better infrastructure.  Fantastic public transport.  I could go on, but you get the point.

So while conservatives seem to have some rather archaic ways of defining standard of living and wealth, the rest of the developed world seems to make do with alot less. 

Why conservatives are so set on destroying the middle class in America is perplexing.  Perhaps they truly don't understand what that kind of country would look like.

Kerry
Kerry's picture
tmoney13 wrote: Kerry: In a

tmoney13 wrote:

Kerry: In a feudal system, the lords with their intricate connection to the political leaders are the ones that get to determine that--from the top down.  And I am asking you how is that any different from the corporatists doing so with their connections in government? – I guess if you believe that the world that we live in is much like the feudal system, then I guess there is no difference for you.    I think that there is a lot of evidence to the contrary.  But I will play along for a minute and pretend that our world is a corporate feudalistic system.  The question then becomes why not sever the links between government and corporations. 

If 'I believe we operate in a feudal system'.   I guess, as Thom Hartmann does in Unequal Protection, comparing corporations' ability to operate in perpetuity (like an aristocratic dynasty), to command 'from the top down' (as lords over serfs), and to unduly influence the political leaders of the day doesn't have you 'believe' that we operate under a feudal system, right, tmoney13?   Are you still stuck on Locke's response to that--laborers improving plots of land.   That was in direct contradistinction to the feudal system of his time.   But, we don't have a lot of laborers improving plots of land nowadays to define 'natural law'.   We do have a lot of similarities of the feudal system in the corporate-government collusion that exists today to have to contend with against 'natural law'--but, most modern 'natural law' proponents seem to ignore that.....

tmoney13 wrote:

Really though all that has little to do with the minimum wage.  The end result is simple, if the minimum wage is set too low the market will equilibrate to a higher wage anyway.  If the minimum wage is set too high prices will rise unnecessarily, and the least skilled amongst us will be chronically unemployed.  As  PeeWee wrote earlier (most likely referencing Thomas Sowell) young African Americans will be disproportionately affected, by the benevolence of the higher minimum wage.  Or as Sowell said himself, minimum wage laws are the most anti-negro laws ever passed.

The value of production and its method of distribution of that value has everything to do with wealth disparity.  And, as I've said all along, I am in agreement with you that in today's globalized economy, top heavy with corporate-government colluded influences in the market, a minimum wage alone will have little impact on such disparity.   And, I am in agreement with polycarp that such wealth disparity is what leads to economic depressions by the very point that if the laborer cannot buy what he produces, then, one, we aren't in the 'natural law' world of Locke anymore, and, two, eventually production will have to stop because there won't be anyone to buy enough of it and there won't be enough credit manipulations to cover up for that....when the piper has to be paid.....

Kerry
Kerry's picture
PeeWee wrote: I love it when

PeeWee wrote:

I love it when people here in Thomland quote themselves as if what they said earlier was deeply profound and the reader just didn't it.  It's like the drunk  who keeps repeating herself over and over louder and louder.   Either you're not communicating very well Kerry, or your thinking is unclear, or probably both.

Of course, THAT statement doesn't address my points, does it, PeeWee?  And, I love how you con-jobs come in here, smell each other's asses and pat each other on the back, claim how much 'better' your position is than the stupid progressives, and, then, play ignorant when the strategy suits you.   And, then, when ignorance doesn't work on its own, just debase the point without addressing it......how much bullshit that is.....

PeeWee wrote:

I'll try to break this down as simply as possible.  Labor is something that has a price.  The minimum wage sets an artificial value on that price.  It's not that complicated.  Your "egalitarian quotient" fixates on CEO wages which have absolutely nothing to do with the market value of an unskilled laborer.  You've got to get over this fetish you have with what the CEO makes. 

Yeah, address it as if it's a problem with me, PeeWee.   That's a good tactic.  Did you and tmoney13 come up with that--or is playing the ignorant accuser just your method?  

Do you want me to repeat it?   I have a problem with how much a CEO makes with respect to minimum wage.   And, what does the 'price of the CEO' have to do with the 'costs of the product'?   How much more do you think a CEO is worth than the lowest paid worker?   Geez...is ignorance all you can display, PeeWee?  As you spout off the same fucking platitudes....

PeeWee wrote:

I can see why you might think CEOs are overpaid.  But the point is, the CEO convinced someone that she was worth the wage she is paid and that's all I care about.  The only reason why that might be a cause of concern of yours is if you buy that zero sum crap that Poly peddles all the time, which I completely reject.  If the CEO takes a pay cut - voluntary or involuntary - it has nothing to do with the market value of the janitor.  Shit, I can't believe I even spent this much time discussing such a BFO concept.

Zero sum crap.   Are you saying that there are no limits to production at any given point and time?   Lets see if we can really make some meaningful distinctions here.   It doesn't seem likely since con-jobs do love to play ignorant when it suits them.   Do you think 'corporations' and 'individuals' are the same thing too, PeeWee? 

And, you are Goddamned right, I think the CEO's are getting paid too much.   While I believe I can even base that on just a sense of fairness, I also base that on the idea that, as the CEO gives himself more and the others less, the products that CEO's income is based on will eventually have no one to buy them because no one has enough money to pay for them.   tmoney13 thinks, somehow, this 'directed from the top down' market (just like a feudal system) will somehow 'correct itself' in that manner--but, I do doubt that when the CEO calls all the shots.   Do you think otherwise, PeeWee?    Con-jobs speak always against the organization of government but never against the organization of corporations even as they fein a belief in 'individualism'--why's that, PeeWee? 

PeeWee wrote:

Yes, Kerry, the owners want to maximize profit.  Raising the cost of an input (labor) reduces their profit.  They want to maximize profit.  Is that your earth-shaking revelation?

Maximize profits to whom, PeeWee?   The CEO?   Isn't the CEO just another cost to the corporation, PeeWee?   Why is that cost not counted in the price?   Did you ignore my whole statement on egalitarian quotients, PeeWee?   I know ignorance is one of your tactics but, come on, that can only go so far when all the words are written and can be checked any time....

This is like how taxes are supposedly an 'increased cost to the company that is to be passed on to the consumer'--but lobbying costs aren't.   It's money being passed to government either way--both 'increasing the costs'--but, never is lobbying costs claimed as being 'just an increased cost to the company that is passed off to the consumer'.  Why not?   Because the con-jobs like to play ignorant--and play you as ignorant--that way, as they pat each other on the back and smell each other's asses, they think that they are smart...and out-smarting all those 'stupid progressives'.....

PeeWee wrote:

There is market value to what the organization produces as well.  If I have to pay $20 an hour the kid behind the counter at my burger joint, a double cheese is gonna cost $15, which may exceed the what burger lovers are willing to pay for a burger.  Is that the "limit to production" you are trying to explain?

How many hamburgers can be produced at any given point and time, PeeWee?  THAT'S the 'limit to production' that I am talking about.   And, how is the value of that production to be determined, one, and distributed to the ones involved in producing it, two.   That's why I would rather discuss this in terms of egalitarian quotients than minimum wage.   How much more do you think that a CEO is worth? 

PeeWee wrote:

 They are having trouble competing because the cost of their labor (wages, benefits and most of all retirees) gives them a financial burden that foreign automakers don't have. And you don't even have to give me the speech about foreign automakers are subsidized by their governments and blah blah blah blah.  I get it.

But, you have nothing to say about the fact that in all those 'foreign countries', the disparity between how much their lowest paid worker with respect to their highest paid worker IS LESS (Japan's is around 10 to 1--Germany is still around 40 to 1, I believe--NONE OF THEM are anywhere near the 500 to 1 ratios American corporations have allowed).  But, go ahead and ignorantly claim this 'has nothing to do with what CEO's are making' and 'everything to do with what the lowest paid worker is making'--I don't buy it.....

PeeWee wrote:

Quote:

Now, if we mandated an 'egalitarian quotient' of, say, the previous quotient of 40 to 1 (before Reaganomics even in the U.S.--in areas like Japan, that quotient is like 10 to 1),  several manipulations could happen before there is actually an increase in costs to the company.   You are talking about a total cost of the company of $8000/hr. for all these workers.   If that were to be distributed in an egalitarian quotient manner, in a 40 to 1 ratio, that would mean the CEO get paid around $580/hr. as each of the 500 other workers would get paid about $14.75/hr--for a ratio of 10 to 1, the employers could get almost a dollar an hour more as the CEO would get around $157/hr.--and that's without increasing the costs of that facility one bit.  So, why would the price change?  

I love how liberals think that the government has no limits to the amount of good it can accomplish.

How does that statement answer that question?   Are you going to ignore that point that, with respect to the costs to the company in salaries, NOTHING has changed?   Is that really what you are going to do as, once again, like the con-job that you are, you're going to blame this 'all on the guvmit'....Let's see what you have to say.....

PeeWee wrote:

Here's why the price would change: there are lots of ways to take profits out of an organization.  The CEO (and the owners) have a huge incentive to make their salaries and wages look small and take pay in other ways.  If my company was handcufed by your well-intentioned do-gooder egalitarian quotient, I would reduce my salary to $1 a year and my income would essentially not change because I have an S corp profits are passed thru.  In fact it would could increase because I could cut pay across the board.

So, what you are saying is what I've already pointed out that you love to ignore and, then, claim that I am blathering.  The CEO's want to keep their incomes with respect to all the others as much as they possibly can, right?   And, they can do that if they are calling all the shots, right?   And, they get to call all the shots as long as this is how their 'free market' works, right?   And, on top of that, along with those other legal maneuvers allowed by government, they get to go around the 'spirit of the law' when it comes to egalitarian quotients, right?   What a bullshitter you are, PeeWee....

PeeWee wrote:

Also, if you try to artificially reduce CEO pay, you just encourage organizations to move their businesses to more attractive countries. 

Not if it's an international egalitarian quotient.   And, since most other countries DON'T pay their CEO's the exorbitant multiples in pay scale compared to American CEO's, I suspect that really wouldn't be that hard to implement across the line.    And, really, in the long run, it would be better for the company so outsourcing.   I mean, if there's a reason with regards to the cost of labor to go to a country that pays their workers only $2/hr., then, in an egalitarian quotient manner as implemented as 40 to 1, say, there would be the same reason to lower the CEO's pay to $80/hr--both are to reduce the costs to the company.  Correct?   So, in the long run, if the prices could be kept up, that would be more profits, correct?   Any problems with that, PeeWee?   Or, explain to me why it is a problem....

PeeWee wrote:

No, I'm way ahead of you.  You are trying to legislate "fairness".  Good luck with that one.

Like I said, you have a fetish with CEO pay.  Let it go.

What do you think 'minimum wage' is trying to do?   And, since you don't think that will work in this supposed 'free market' that CEO's command, are you saying that this 'free market' that they operate with is NOT fair?   If so, why should 'we' in our government support their 'un-fairness'?   Why don't we get rid of corporate personhood, get rid of limited liability advantages, get rid of unlimited charters?   What good is it for us to continue the collusion corporations have with government, PeeWee?  

Got to go for now.   Have a good day....

meljomur
meljomur's picture
Hey Kerry, calm down a bit. 

Hey Kerry, calm down a bit.  Its not worth getting your blood pressure up to debate these fellows, and their rather backward way of looking at how an economy should operate.

I mean all one has to do is look at the present state of the American economy, which has been following the path these cons. are supporting for decades.  Its pretty much in the toilet.  So really their argument is wrong anyway, because the ideology they purport doesn't work.

Take a deep breath... ;)

polycarp2
Pee Wee  I don't hardly

Pee Wee  I don't hardly consider Freidman a credible source for anything. From time to time, he got something right. He suggested a guaranteed annual wage as a substitute for a min. wage. I agree with that.

It's more efficient than a bureaucracy to maintain Food Stamps, Section 8 Housing, and the like. Such things keep social discord from exploding. It's also much cheaper than detention centers and riot control. Replaying the summer of burning cities during the Johnson era probably should be avoided.

When Friedman stated, "For one to have more money another had to have less, he was just stating an economic fact...not pushing for any dramatic change in the distribution of wealth..

Probably since most nations seem to find successful CEO's at 25-30 times their lowest paid workers, we should be outsourcing CEO jobs rather than those of the middle class.The idea that qualified CEO's have to be paid the incomes of potentates is pretty much discredited when you leave the shores of the U.S.

An economic recovery for Main Street may happen in your dreams...and certainly not in the real world. The trickle down nonsense is bringing Main Street to its knees. In some quarters, that's celebrated. From one perspective, the meltdown is a solution rather than a problem, all of the rhetoric to the contrary..

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

 

Kerry
Kerry's picture
meljomur wrote: Hey Kerry,

meljomur wrote:

Hey Kerry, calm down a bit.  Its not worth getting your blood pressure up to debate these fellows, and their rather backward way of looking at how an economy should operate.

Sorry, meljomur, it's just a little bit exasperating when it's always claimed that 'I'm' the problem--and, then, nothing that I have stated gets addressed.   It's in the same line that they allow themselves to play ignorant when it comes to something they don't want to address--and, then, gloat over how much they 'know more' than the progressives about business, profits, and government......

Also, I really don't see myself as a 'liberal' in the perjorative manner that they seem to mean it--besides that, as I've stated all along, many of my positions that I hold 'liberals' wouldn't like (such as right to bear arms).   I do like to see myself as a believer in 'liberalism' in the classic political sense of the term--ie. 'priority of the individual' form of government.....to secure individual rights....which is the most exasperating aspect of all this, those con-jobs who claim to be for 'individual rights' are really just for the 'rights of corporations' as if individuals....that I believe is hypocritical and absolutely wrong.....and I think we've gone over why (including Thom Hartmann's points in Unequal Protection).....

meljomur
meljomur's picture
Well Kerry, when someone

Well Kerry, when someone can't address your statements directly, it usually means they have NO counter fact for it.

These guys seem to live in the past.   Defending an archaic system which doesn't work.  They can't accept it, so they attack the messenger instead.  Its a classic ploy of the right, and unfortunately it works well in America. 

Kerry
Kerry's picture
Well, mel, as you may

Well, mel, as you may remember, I've had a lot of practice arguing similar points with immediate members of my family--like my brother.  When you do that, emotions do come into play.  Don't worry about any of such 'emotional outbreaks' on my account (even though I will acknowledge you have right to do so for others)--it is a part of who I am.   On several occasions, I have reported here that my brother (and sister) and I 'have yelled at each other about these issues' on many occasions.   It took a 'rude awakening' perspective for my brother (and realizing just how much certain medical interventions in the United States actually are exorbitantly priced) to understand just a little bit of what I had been saying to him for years.  And, recently, my brother has also noted to me after going to a libertarian board for a while (after being banned here) that such 'libertarians' never speak against corporations even as they espouse their 'faith' in 'individualism'. 

I've come to understand that the manner in which we approach the world has a lot of basis in it on how we were 'raised to approach it'--and, being from an alcoholic family (and in a rural environment that commonly spoke 'against the government'), we dealt with a lot of 'raw emotions' (and 'anti-government sentiment').  I am more comfortable with emotional exchanges that than, say, genteel discussions than most people--but, on my own account, when things in my own profession get pretty 'riled up', many of my fellow workers have noted that I'm also more able to decipher things rationally in the midst of that.  It's probably what attracted me to ER medicine.  Many aren't accustomed to such interludes--and I acknowledge that. 

But, as my brother and I have noted on many occasions, it's like seeing the lemmings jumping over the cliff and trying to relay our disdain in that occurence.  Can you sheepishly counter that with an emotion-less 'hold on there people and lets consider our options here'--or is it better to shout 'HEY, EVERYONE, STOP!'   Maybe you see some of that point, eh?   I don't know....I'll try to contain myself (and I do say that a lot in my real life encounters with marginal success, I must admit).....

Keep the faith....

polycarp2
Kerry wrote: it's like seeing

Kerry wrote: it's like seeing the lemmings jumping over the cliff and trying to relay our disdain in that occurence

poly repies:  At least in the U.S. we have people removing barriers to the cliff so we can reach it faster....and frantically waving us onward down the crowded road. Would like some Tea for the trip?

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

.

makuck
makuck's picture
You guys are making economics

You guys are making economics way too complicated.

PeeWee: I'll try to break this down as simply as possible. Labor is something that has a price. The minimum wage sets an artificial value on that price.

In economics there is no such thing as an artificial price. Change is a factor in economics and is tied to physical, economic, social, and governmental factors. Governmental factors are not considered artifical, but rather an element of change.

If price has a set point, then supply and demand will attempt to reach equilibruim with that price. Price increasing could potentially diminish demand (for labor). But if capital increases (higher minimum wage) as a result of price then demand could easily remain stabalized, because capital is a fundamental factor of demand. Another option would be to reduce the supply of labor (which is another thing easily done by governmental factors).

Have you heard of the principle of diminishing marginal utility? The more you consume of one good, relative to any other good, the less you will desire additional units of that good. Reducing costs of labor will only increase demand to a certain point. Eventually it bottoms out, and we are at that point. Places aren't hiring new people. 5 people are looking for every one job... that is a result of diminishing marginal utility. After 3 burger flippers at one McD's, how much good is another minimum wage earner really going to do? There is a break point where all demand for labor is met.. and it's probably around $10 per hour at this current point in time.

Have you heard of shifts in demand? They occur when the relationship between price and quantity changes. The change in demand depends upon the elements of demand changing and the price of the good staying the same. If an element of demand changes, the demand schedule (or line) will move regardless of the price for the good. If peoples incomes increase, they will usually buy more of a good at any price. This will cause the demand curve to shift to the right, reflecting an increase in demand. If income decreases, people will usually buy less of a good at any price, causing a shift to the left, or a decrease in demand.

PeeWee Returns
PeeWee Returns's picture
Kerry wrote: Sorry, meljomur,

Kerry wrote:

Sorry, meljomur, it's just a little bit exasperating when it's always claimed that 'I'm' the problem--and, then, nothing that I have stated gets addressed.  

I don't think I've ever called you the problem or blamed you for anything, so stop the martyr stuff.  And I'm also sorry the discussion doesn't go according to your guidelines.  It's a discussion board. I comment when I think I have something provocative to say.  And just because you're fixated on an issue (like pay disparity) doesn't mean I am.  

Quote:
It's in the same line that they allow themselves to play ignorant when it comes to something they don't want to address--and, then, gloat over how much they 'know more' than the progressives about business, profits, and government......

All I have to go on is my own experience.  Sorry if it's contrary to your vision of the world.  I am a partner in several corporations.  When I hear this anti-corporatist stuff from people with seemingly little experience risking their own capital to build something I may get a little curt.  You can listen to what I have to say or you can ignore it.  You won't hurt my feelings.  

 

PeeWee Returns
PeeWee Returns's picture
I didn't spend much time at

I didn't spend much time at Thomland yesterday, because I spent most of the day in airports.  I spotted a new book in the airport newstand that reminded me of this discussion about minimum wage and pay disparity and all of the swell well-intentioned ways Progressives want to "improve" things.  

The book is "Don't Vote - It Just Encourages The Bastards" by PJ O'Rourke.  The back cover had this little excerpt that reminded me of our discussion about minimum wage laws:

PJ O'Rourke wrote:

"The free market is simply a measurement. The free market tells us whatpeople are willing to pay for a given thing at a given moment. That’s all the free market does. The free market is a bathroom scale. We may not like what we see when we step on the bathroom scale, but we can’t pass a law making ourselves weigh 165. Liberals and leftists think we can. "

From Don't Vote - It Just Encourages The Bastards

PeeWee Returns
PeeWee Returns's picture
meljomur wrote: I mean all

meljomur wrote:

I mean all one has to do is look at the present state of the American economy, which has been following the path these cons. are supporting for decades.  Its pretty much in the toilet.  So really their argument is wrong anyway, because the ideology they purport doesn't work.

It must be difficult for you, living in an imperfect world, surrounded by lesser beings.

Choco
Choco's picture
PeeWee Returns wrote:The book

PeeWee Returns wrote:
The book is "Don't Vote - It Just Encourages The Bastards" by PJ O'Rourke.  The back cover had this little excerpt that reminded me of our discussion about minimum wage laws:

PJ O'Rourke wrote:

"The free market is simply a measurement. The free market tells us whatpeople are willing to pay for a given thing at a given moment. That’s all the free market does. The free market is a bathroom scale. We may not like what we see when we step on the bathroom scale, but we can’t pass a law making ourselves weigh 165. Liberals and leftists think we can. "

From Don't Vote - It Just Encourages The Bastards

PJ needs to be put to bed as he was sleepwalking on the Bill Maher show on Friday. He's not only not funny he's not an economist. If you don't believe me watch him on the Bill Maher show from Friday. I was embarrassed for him; I think he might have been drunk. Bill has him on occasionally for whatever reasons I can't imagine. Bill had a conservative woman on the show as well and she was quite sane and was much better able to articulate conservative positions.

Really, don't take my word for it, I'm sure you can find the show on the web.

 

PeeWee Returns
PeeWee Returns's picture
Choco wrote:PJ needs to be

Choco wrote:
PJ needs to be put to bed as he was sleepwalking on the Bill Maher show on Friday. He's not only not funny he's not an economist. If you don't believe me watch him on the Bill Maher show from Friday. I was embarrassed for him; I think he might have been drunk. 

I don't get HBO so I don't watch Maher.  I've read a couple of O'Rourke's books and I like his sense of humor and libertarian viewpoint.  His National Lampoon High School Yearbook Parody is a comedy classic - unfortunately it's out of print.  

 

Choco wrote:
 not only not funny he's not an economist.

Well I guess if Kerry can reference Thom Hartmann (who buy the way is also not funny and not an economist), then I can share a PJ O'Rourke quote.  

norske
norske's picture
"And, I love how you con-jobs

"And, I love how you con-jobs come in here, smell each other's asses and pat each other on the back, claim how much 'better' your position is than the stupid progressives, and, then, play ignorant when the strategy suits you.   And, then, when ignorance doesn't work on its own, just debase the point without addressing it......how much bullshit that is....." Kerry

Unfortunately spot on.

"PJ needs to be put to bed as he was sleepwalking on the Bill Maher show on Friday." Choco

I felt bad for him as well. When paired with Mahr's intellectual incuriosity it makes for a boring show. You know something is wrong when S.E. Cupp gets laughs.

Mel makes a great point. In Norway the minimum wage is around $25.00 an hour. Taxes are higher but you actually receive things for your taxes. That, and the "one upping the Jones's" has not entered the collective consciousness as of yet.

meljomur
meljomur's picture
PeeWee, once again you did

PeeWee, once again you did NOT address anyone elses issues here.  Only resorted to personal attacks against liberals, because you don't like how they perceive the world.

I think what this whole thread highlights, is that conservatives just want a system in which there are NO rules on what they have to pay people so that they can accumulate more and more stuff with their wealth.  They want to continue to live a life in which they feel entitled, and if it is at the expense of other people's labor, well then too bad for them.

I mean you live in frickin Michigan.  Don't you ever stumble outside your little enclave?  Your state has some of the worst poverty in the nation?  Doesn't that bother you?  Don't you care?  Are you really not able to understand how NOT every place in the developed world is like that because they do have STRONG social practices?

PeeWee, I believe you are smarter than you give yourself credit for.

meljomur
meljomur's picture
Hi norske.  I knew you would

Hi norske.  I knew you would understand what I was saying.

When I flew to the States last month I watched this film on the plane.  Didn't think I would like it, but it had a very good message in the end.

makuck
makuck's picture
Well usually increased

Well usually increased capital leads to increased demand even if price of labor goes up. But...and it's a big but..

If the price of labor in China is 1/20th of what it is here, even for minimum wage in the U.S., it won't make much difference how much capital in America goes up, the economic principle of substitution is the underlying principle of all sources of value. If they can substitute China for America and it produces close to the same result that's what they'll do.

The only hope is higher transportation costs due to fuel shortage, we put tariffs on imports, or China gets elevated to industrialized nation status, but then industry would just go to the next 3rd world country. Coming back to America only after price of labor is the equivalent to that of a third world country.

What I see happening is transportation costs will increase to a point where even if they have complete slaves producing their goods, it will still be cheaper to do it at home. And hopefully when that happens we (or our children) won't all already be slaves, which I'd say half of us already are we just don't quite realize it... conservatives too... everyone is feeding the beast... is it China, capitalism, consumerism, apathy, or a complete disconnection from our environment.

When's the last time any of you picked a piece of fruit from a tree? Seems like a natural enough thing for someone to do..
But we're more likely to stuff a bunch of petrol-plastic into a plastic container, so a petrol powered vehicle can drive on a petrol road.. petrol that was gored out from hundreds of feet through the mantle of earth with diamond tipped drills the size of a man.. that's the new natural.

And then we complain about corporations screwing us while we shop at those very corporations and do next to nothing to curb their impact besides token moves like buying cloth bags or driving a hybrid to feel slightly better about ourselves. I'm guilty of it too (I sure as heck can't afford a hybrid though, or even a diesel for bio-fuel). There's only so much one person can do, and legislation helps, but it's a far cry from a change in societies mind state of what should be considered normal. And that concludes the reason I think many of us are slaves.

We want to change how we live, we want to escape this system, but we don't know how.. we are slaves.. at least to a degree. There are civilizations that had it figured out a thousand years ago though.. most of which we destroyed.

meljomur
meljomur's picture
makuck, you are only a slave

makuck, you are only a slave to the system, if you allow yourself to be.  Everyone has a choice.  Now granted your choices are bit more limited in places like the States, but you still have a choice. 

And actually one person can make a difference.  Change has to begin somewhere...

PeeWee Returns
PeeWee Returns's picture
meljomur wrote: I mean you

meljomur wrote:

I mean you live in frickin Michigan.  Don't you ever stumble outside your little enclave?  Your state has some of the worst poverty in the nation?  Doesn't that bother you?  Don't you care?  Are you really not able to understand how NOT every place in the developed world is like that because they do have STRONG social practices?

Michigan is a blue state, especially the East side.  Detroit is a wasteland - it is a glaring example of the failure of liberalism.  

meljomur
meljomur's picture
PeeWee, I don't care if its a

PeeWee, I don't care if its a BLUE state.  California is a blue state as well and has some equally distressing issues.  This isn't about Dem. or Repub., its about the rapid growth of poverty in America (which is only getting worse).

There is nothing progressive about what is happening in Michigan.  What happened is that the government basically outsourced your manufacturing base to such an extent that they have created Third World conditions in your own back yard.  I know Detroit is a s***hole, I have seen it with my own eyes.  I am sure its even worse now.

But what you are proposing by supporting an eradication of minimum wage, won't help the situation.  It will just allow more and more people to fall into poverty.  What part of that scenario don't you understand?

There is a reason why the social democracies of Europe don't have that type of devastating poverty and homelessness.  Its because they have laws which protect people from private enterprise exploiting labor.  They have high min. wage.  They have strong social safety nets.  They have (shock- horror) socialized medicine.

So you obviously cannot counter that argument. So you just make some noises that it doesn't hurt anyone if the CEO earns 500x than the average worker in an American.  Which is NOT true.  You see when someone has billions it is at the expense of those at the bottom having nothing.  There is only a finite of wealth, and when its concentrated at the top it means there is far less every where else.

You can ignore it if you choose, but it doesn't mean the problem is going to go away.

Perhaps I gave you too much credit...

PeeWee Returns
PeeWee Returns's picture
meljomur wrote: Perhaps I

meljomur wrote:

Perhaps I gave you too much credit...

Perhaps.  But you surely give yourself way too much credit.

Choco
Choco's picture
Seems to me that if we have a

Seems to me that if we have a high minimum wage and that encourages our corporations to move to China in order to exploit low wages and re-import their goods back here, then we could discourage that with tarrifs. Oops, dirty words to globalists: tarrifs and national sovereignty.

 

meljomur
meljomur's picture
Yes Choco, tariffs distort

Yes Choco, tariffs distort the "free" market.  Of course as China becomes much wealthier than America the trend may just automatically reverse itself. 

 

DRC
DRC's picture
PeeWee, after Johnson,

PeeWee, after Johnson, "benign neglect" became the rule for "blue" demographics as the Corporate Coalition saw its interests in "urban removal" and the "new Johannesburg" strategy where White Flight made the adjoining suburbs where the good schools, etc. could be found.  No President who cared was able to get Congress to try another War on Poverty.  The first one was way too effective.

The concentration of money serves an anti-democratic end.  Our current politics has become infused with this Neocon Reagan "government is the problem" nonsense and actually can be described as those who believe that democracy is possible and those who have given up on governing ourselves.

Among the latter, we have real anarchists and others who just bemoan the fact that individuals cannot be "responsible" enough to hold a society together on their own.  What they don't get is that it is government that allows us to govern ourselves instead of having others rule over us.  Our civic duty is to control our government, not to sell it off or rent it.  If we let predators use our government against us, it is our fault for not telling them to go to hell.

Great gaps between rich and poor harm our society and there is no moral reason to accept the claim that the redistribution of wealth upwards has reflected the creation of value or other merit.  Those who have worked hard in the real economy to produce real value have been ripped off by financial duplicities and by the crony capitalism of the MIC.  The money has gone to con men more than to honest brokers.  Any pipe-dream a government hater has about "freedom" being "free" has been exposed by the "get government off our backs" crowd.  Of course, they have also gotten government into our pants, etc.  

Progressives would like to reverse this pattern.  We want government out of the bedroom, but there in the boardroom.  We want government out of our underpants, but we want a friend protecting our pockets from being picked by financial thugs.  Contrary to the ideological opponents of "socialism," what Progressives want in a modern economy focuses on "indigenous" and "artisanal" instead of "command and control" and "industrial."  Government "control" as umpire and regulator of the economy, and as insurer of citizen rights is how "We, the People," hold power accountable to our interests.  

On the other hand, if we own our government, we prevent "the powers that be" from intruding upon our privacy and secure in our private papers, etc. . .  Government can only be Big  Brother when we let Big Daddy rule over us.

The relationship of micro and macro structures in governing, as in other areas of human life, needs to reflect how things work.  We can agree that decisions made on high rarely work on the ground.  We can agree that even the most well-meaning charity dropped from above onto the victims is unlikely to meet their needs or help them change their situation.  I hope we can agree that local/regional focus, "indigenous" ownership and a more artisanal approach to structures and human involvement than "industrial" will do better than top/down has done.  

But the big point is that top/down is the way the Right wants to have the world work.  It's support for the individual is to divide and conquer, not to establish "freedom," and certainly not "for all."  It is the Progressive Left that has embraced the bottom-up, human scale approach to reform or paradigm change, not the Right.

jeffbiss
jeffbiss's picture
Quote: My thought in more

Quote:
My thought in more general terms was that productive activites increase the overall economic pie, and do so disproportionately for those who produce the best/most efficient results.  Therefore the idea of a stagnant pie, and an individuals "portion" thereof, is a fallacy unless you are analizing data across a time slice.  There is no way to tell what tomorrow will bring or how big/little the pie will be, and how much any individual will have.

There's another point that gets lost in the economic theory nonsense and that is the fact that every society has costs associated with all members. Because most Americans buy into the Calvinistic bullshit that is the foundation of American capitalism. the minimum wage is merely an alternative or adjunct to "welfare" in relation to the costs of the more unskilled and less well educated members of our society.

makuck
makuck's picture
Choco: Oops, dirty words to

Choco: Oops, dirty words to globalists: tarrifs and national sovereignty.

Yea, those are awesome words that need to be freely thrown around a lot more often. Free trade isn't free when entire nations aren't playing by the same rules via currency manipulation and human rights violations.

DRC: Our civic duty is to control our government, not to sell it off or rent it.

Government "control" as umpire and regulator of the economy, and as insurer of citizen rights is how "We, the People," hold power accountable to our interests.

Exactly, government, which has the framework to be controlled by the people (if the people actually vote) can create the rules that everyone plays by to make sure it's a FAIR game and not a RIGGED game, like it is right now largely due to corporations wrapping their tentacles around the spines of congressmen. It's no surprise that republicans voted against disclosure of campaign financing sources! How do we hold power accountable if the power votes to make their special interests invisible to our own? All of us here know, but what about the ill informed masses?

norske
norske's picture
 "Because most Americans buy

 "Because most Americans buy into the Calvinistic bullshit that is the foundation of American capitalism. the minimum wage is merely an alternative or adjunct to "welfare" in relation to the costs of the more unskilled and less well educated members of our society..." Jeff

Bingo.  By their actions/behavior/beliefs the rich deserve to be rich and the poor deserve to be poor/poorer. Like C street on steroids.

DRC
DRC's picture
While I agree that the

While I agree that the Capitalist Dogma of "earned wealth" does have a powerful ideological grip on our political culture, I resent the attack on "Calvinism" as if poor old John would have approved any of this crap.  It is like Adam Smith's "free market" taken over by libertines.  It is like Ricardo being used to justify the impoverishment of the nation so a few can accumulate fortunes.  

Calvin was a theologian of grace, not works salvation.  His point about wealth was that it should inspire gratitude and generosity, not pride and stinginess.  His doctrine of "predestination" was not about fatalism, it was about not being able to "save" others with your own biography.

The vaunted Protestant Work Ethic did come out of Calvin and the Reformation taking the secular world seriously as a place to do things of faith.  Work was vocation instead of a curse.  Civil community was a place where God was present, not the fallen world or lesser ground compared to religious retreat and piety.  But Calvin's "work ethic" was not the rationalist/mechanical moralism put together by those who claimed his authority.  

Disciples are a curse and burden.  Building temples to honor revolutionary thinkers is a strange tribute.  The "schools" developed to propagate the thoughts of the masters become partisans to established powers.  I only hope to sharpen the critical eye of those who blame "Calvinism" for the American work psychosis to those who had their own reasons to misquote and mischaracterize Calvin like they did to Smith and Ricardo.  I think the rationalism and utilitarianism of the Enlightenment and secularism had more to do with stripping down the vision of vocation to job and career.

norske
norske's picture
 Personally though I disagree

 Personally though I disagree with Calvin on just about everything, I don't put the onus on him for others who use/misuse his writings for justifying their greed and ill gotten gains. Randian's use Atlas Shrugged, Christian Reconstructionists use the Bible, radical Muslims use the Qur'an,...it's not difficult to manipulate any book/writings/personality to buttress and legitimize ones goal...whatever it may be.

jeffbiss
jeffbiss's picture
Quote:...I resent the attack

Quote:
...I resent the attack on "Calvinism" as if poor old John would have approved any of this crap.

DRC, we've been around this a number of times, but Calvinism is at the root of it. Sure, perhaps Calvinism isn't what John himself was talking about but it certainly what was developed from his theology. So, I don't blame Calvin, I blame those who evolved his theology into one that celebrates wealth and materialism that America has accepted; A religion, or in this case theology, is as petty as its adherents. It's like what happened to fire departments in "Farhenheit 451".

DRC
DRC's picture
Jeffbiss, the problem with

Jeffbiss, the problem with that approach is that you ignore the real factors that led the "diciples" and "Calvinists" to distort his theology as they did.  When it is put to the fault of a religious value, the socio-economic and cultural factors are allowed to pass because it is about religious belief, not how economic power is using ideas to its own purpose without intellectual integrity.

I will not argue that "sobriety" and fiscal responsibility did not become Presbyterian virtues, but the Industrial Revolution had a lot more to do with the Work Ethic than Calvin's theology of grace and vocation.  

jeffbiss
jeffbiss's picture
Quote:Jeffbiss, the problem

Quote:
Jeffbiss, the problem with that approach is that you ignore the real factors that led the "diciples" and "Calvinists" to distort his theology as they did.  When it is put to the fault of a religious value, the socio-economic and cultural factors are allowed to pass because it is about religious belief, not how economic power is using ideas to its own purpose without intellectual integrity.

Oh well. The fact is that religions are belief systems and incorporate an individual's personality and basic nature into their structure. Calvinism as developed in the U.S. is what it is as its proponents celebrated wealth and materialism as evidence of god's grace.

polycarp2
Probably Christianity

Probably Christianity adopting the hierarchal structures of Rome had a lot to do with it.

Basic Christianity is communal. Read the book of Acts. Everything was held in common.

tmoney wrote:  I guess if you believe that the world that we live in is much like the feudal system, then I guess there is no difference for you.    I think that there is a lot of evidence to the contrary.  But I will play along for a minute and pretend that our world is a corporate feudalistic system.  The question then becomes why not sever the links between government and corporations. 

Poly replies: QUOTE  "The genius of our inverted totalitarian system "lies in wielding total power without appearing to, without establishing concentration camps, or enforcing ideological uniformity, or forcibly suppressing dissident elements so long as they remain ineffectual. A demotion in the status and stature of the 'sovereign people' to patient subjects is symptomatic of systemic change, from democracy as a method of 'popularizing' power to democracy as a brand name for a product marketable at home and marketable abroad. The new system, inverted totalitarianism, is one that professes the opposite of what, in fact, it is. The United States has become the showcase of how democracy can be managed without appearing to be suppressed."

http://dialogic.blogspot.com/2008/05/chalmers-johnson-review-of-sheldon.html

"Democracy, Inc. - The Spector of Inverted Totalitarianism," by Prof.Sheldon Wolin, Princeton Univ. Press. Perhaps you should read it.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

makuck
makuck's picture
Polycarp: Basic Christianity

Polycarp: Basic Christianity is communal. Read the book of Acts. Everything was held in common.

Yea, in the Bible Jesus is always talking about the meek inheriting the earth, a rich man having as much chance to get into heaven as a camel through the eye of a needle, the hero's of his stories being people like a Samaritan (The Good Samaritan) a "low class" of people, the examples go on and on like that. Jesus was definitely going against the status quo of his day, definitely always for the poor and disadvantaged.

Any religion that has Christianity at its root will have an extremely hard time arguing against Jesus' actual day to day practice. But they do it all the time, all it takes to corrupt the message is some money...

FreeMarketeer
FreeMarketeer's picture
DRC wrote: We want government

DRC wrote:

We want government out of the bedroom, but there in the boardroom.  We want government out of our underpants, but we want a friend protecting our pockets from being picked by financial thugs.  Contrary to the ideological opponents of "socialism," what Progressives want in a modern economy focuses on "indigenous" and "artisanal" instead of "command and control" and "industrial."  Government "control" as umpire and regulator of the economy, and as insurer of citizen rights is how "We, the People," hold power accountable to our interests. 

I can't speak for everybody here, but every conservative I know feels the same way.

The disagreement is over how far should we allow government from reaching in. Seems that "progressives" desire the government to "progress" further into our private affairs that most conservatives want.

So, the strawman argument about conservatives wishing for a lawless economy can stop, now.

DRC
DRC's picture
OK, if the issue is how far

OK, if the issue is how far the government is to "reach in," let's talk about how big a State we need to do real democracy and stop whining about "big government" as if it were a disease.

The "strawman" argument about cons wanting a "lawless economy" is not what I have invented.  I keep hearing about economies running free and in some utopian eden where individual personal responsibility becomes universal and "law" is not needed.  Dream on.  

Government is the frame for the economy.  Corporations are chartered by the State, and are its creature, not its master.  "The economy" is designed to have a social function, not just to maximize production or give "fiduciary responsibility" the right to trump any real social or human moral responsibility.  Utopian romanticism about unfettered economies is what I hear propounded by the Austrian/Libertarians.  The Magic of Capitalism and Corporations is what I hear from the cult of the American Empire.

So let's go to the Korten AGENDA FOR A NEW ECONOMY and talk about real economic functions v. "phantom wealth."  Let's listen to those who have tried the standard approach and learned from its failures.  Let's put away the old stereotypes and grapple with the issues of an economy to serve a democratic society, something like the vision of the Pledge of Allegiance just to keep it familiar.

We will own the Commons collectively and invest our tax resources wisely in the infrastructure of prosperity and security.  We will encourage initiative in business and commerce by avoiding large concentrations of wealth and power in private hands; preferring instead to have a shared prosperity where the wealth is not concentrated in private.  Where we need large capital formation, we should use a National Bank or taxes.  Private investment ought not be allowed to manipulate the market in speculation for false profits.

The goal is both fiscal efficiency and smart investment.  Private monopolies do not serve the public interest.  Period.  They need to be broken up or nationalized.  Commerce must operate within the social authority of the State.  "Private property" can only be associated with personal freedom and security to the extent that it is private and personal rather than leveraging others.  Corporations are public institutions privately owned.  They are not "private property" whose owners can do what they want no matter what damage they do to society or neighbors.

If we focus on the practical issues of the State and Commerce, the size of government is determined by the size of the commercial institutions.  If we believe in democracy, government is how we govern ourselves, and we need enough of it to do the job.  What the cons have advocated is not nearly enough State to keep Commerce from running amok.  Criticism of government as the tool of the banksters and war criminals is about captive government, not the government we need.  Let's talk democracy and see if the cons have a place for it.

jeffbiss
jeffbiss's picture
Quote:I can't speak for

Quote:
I can't speak for everybody here, but every conservative I know feels the same way.

The disagreement is over how far should we allow government from reaching in. Seems that "progressives" desire the government to "progress" further into our private affairs that most conservatives want.

So, the strawman argument about conservatives wishing for a lawless economy can stop, now.

From talking to many conservatives, most want to do what they want to do without any ramifications, including limiting regulation on business. You can listen to the radio for those uschamber.com commercials and that's precisely what comes through. So, the very valid argument about conservatives wishing for a lawless economy can continue, now.