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Why There Should Be A Global Minimum Wage

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The United States Department of Labor stipulates the federal minimum wage and regulates “compliance with labor standards.” Since 1990 economists have debated the benefits and disadvantages of federal minimum wage laws, some of the most heated debate rising from David Card and Alan Krueger’s landmark research on employment and minimum wage standards.

In an article I wrote for International Studies in Philosophy, I argue for the abuses inherent within a system of neoliberal economics and the practice of outsourcing labor. In the article I argue that outsourcing support a “race to the bottom,” wherein First World corporations maximize their profit margins by outsourcing their labor and seeking the lowest international labor costs. I then discuss the practice of slavery and draw the conclusion that outsourcing, in its worst forms, differs from slavery by the slightest degree. Are First World corporations justified in paying Third World laborers .17 cents/hr for a product that is then sold for one hundred U.S. dollars? If so, to what extent does this differ from slavery?

Since outsourcing is a viable economic model wherein First World corporations export their labor to defer cost and maximize profits, should there be an international standard for the minimum amount that laborers, of any country, may legally be employed for?

Though there would certainly need to be an entire field of researchers and statisticians assessing the pros and cons of such a proposition, one can surely agree that efforts to standardize international minimum wage laws would curb corporate greed and increase the pay rate for an international body of employees. How such regulation would influence the international employment rate remains to be seen.

We live in an era of globalization and our respective leaders must acknowledge this fact. Some measures must be employed to safeguard the rights and wages of international laborers. An international consortium of bankers, financiers, auditors and regulators should assume the responsibility for global compliance and where there are violations of the law, embargoes and sanctions should be enacted.

Some may argue that if .17 cents/hour is the highest wage paid to international laborers within a given region, then it is justifiable to pay those laborers .17 cents/hour. The tremendous flaw in this reasoning is that while it speaks to the practicality of market conditions, that is, the market will invariably seek to out the cheapest labor for the highest return in profit, is does not address the moral responsibility corporations have to their laborers and the international market at large. Market conditions will approximate slavery wherever it can. It is not because of the economic viability of slavery why its practice is illegal. Slavery is illegal because of the moral arguments and contradictions inherent within a system of slavery. Thus, despite the fact that .17 cents/hour may be the highest wage paid to international laborers within a given region, the question arises, "should it be?"  Shouldn't we consider the ethical benefits or determinants of enacting global minimum wage laws?

The International Monetary Fund already has measures in place to regulate international exchange rates, which is not to suggest that they should enforce international minimum wage compliance, as there are many criticisms against the IMF. Nevertheless, there are structures in place that could expedite the process of protecting the wages of international laborers.

Without the ability to standardize and enforce international labor laws, it is certain that Third World laborers will continue to be exploited by First World corporations. The attempt to enforce international labor laws will standardize global employee wages and hopefully benefit Third World laborers.

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About Jason J. Campbell

  • Baronius

    Jason, this is your second article asserting a moral position without adequately supporting it (at least to my satisfaction). I would expect a philosopher to be more rigorous. On what basis can nations violate each others’ sovereignty, and forbid individuals from entering into free contracts? You’ve got to answer that before we even discuss the enormous difficulties of implementing this plan, or its inevitably catastrophic consequences.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Baronius,

    For your information, Jason had made it explicit that he will not discuss the content of his articles on these threads. He will provide further references upon request, but that’s all.
    So perhaps if you want to engage him in a discussion, you might want to go to his own website.

    Roger

  • http://jasonjcampbell.org/blog.php Jason J. Campbell

    Baronius:

    It’s a provocative idea and I think the ability to generate conversation is the starting point for rigorous analysis. This’ll be my style of writing for Blogcritic. I want to present a quick easily understood argument and then move on. If it’s too heady too academic it’ll be a bore. I think my argument for the global banishment of slavery (which is not to suggest that it does not exist) is a retort to your unease. Slavery is illegal because we developed the moral sensibility and market conditions conformed. To have ethic conform to the market is a huge problem. I would argue that it is one of the reasons we’re in this global mess now. Safeguarding the lives of Third World laborers would be my main incentive. Someone’s gotta argue their case.

  • http://jasonjcampbell.org/blog.php Jason J. Campbell

    LOL!!! Yeah what Roger said!!! LOL….LOL

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Sorry, Jason, for having spoken out of hand.

    Roger

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Well, you know, Jason. I think I shall adopt a similar stance in the future. My understanding, of course, is that you develop your positions in depth first, and then treat us to a synopsis of sorts – to stimulate the discussion.

    My problem is, I haven’t got many developed positions (as yet), not sufficiently so to my liking. So I sort of use BC, in a manner of speaking, as a forum for doing so. You’re connected of course with a university where you can do that ex cathedra. I’m not any longer, so I’m kind of stuck with BC to work my “papers” out.

    Roger

  • http://jasonjcampbell.org/blog.php Jason J. Campbell

    No sweat at all…that was funny…I’m still laughing…I certainly welcome discussion…but from a distance…Actually, I’m interested to hear arguments against a global minimum wage, however simple or complex. Roger is right though. I’m more of an instigator like Socrates the gadfly…

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Well, I looked at your long paper – Socrates vs. the Delphi Oracle – very interesting because “Know thyself” is attributed by some as a cornerstone of his ethical teachings. I’ll need some time, of course, to get through this. My problem is, I can’t stop doing philosophy on the go – so I’m ALWAYS going through pain.

  • Cindy D

    I am going to argue for more than a minimum wage–a guaranteed minimum income.

  • http://jasonjcampbell.org/blog.php Jason J. Campbell

    Hit me up anytime Roger you have my email…I’m no guru but I’ll read whatever you send my way and give my 2 cents…constructive feedback is critical. BC’s awesome for me because (when the discussion is on task) you see the positions formulate. Baronius may start to develop arguments against and someone else might dev. arguments for and I can watch the discussion unfold. Its easy to say this is a crazy idea, its much harder to argue against it. In one of my posts Cindy was making some really great points and I wanted to jump in but I decided to watch the discussion unfold without any involvement.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Will do! I also find it nerve-racking and too consuming to get up close and personal every time; my teaching instinct, I guess.

    But thanks for the offer. I will avail myself, definitely.

  • Baronius

    Jason & Roger, this is a very public forum. I prefer to phrase my comments in a personal way, but they’re as much for the reader (the “critic”) as the writer (the “blog”). We’ll see where the discussion goes. For my part, I reject the idea that slavery and employment are nearly the same, and I’ll address the article’s other errors as they come up.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Baronius,

    I’m not with Jason on the content. Haven’t read it yet. So let the discussion unfold.

    Roger

  • Bob Burns

    Since we can’t get agreement on a simple positive thing like the Doha round, how we going to get agreement on these other ideas like this? And do you think $15/hr for a Saharan goatherder is realistic?

  • Bob Burns

    More intelligently, all labor laws should be scrapped as market-distorting inefficiencies

  • http://www.fontcraft.com/rod/ Dave Nalle

    I am going to argue for more than a minimum wage–a guaranteed minimum income.

    Where do we send the nice men with the white jackets to pick you up?

    Ok, to the main thesis.

    A worldwide minimum wage makes no sense at all. Living costs, working conditions and myriad other factors make every nation’s economic environment different. A wage which would be more than sufficient in one nation would be totally inadequate in another and it would provide employers with the excuse of saying that they’re paying that minimum wage even when a free market would have set a higher minimum wage.

    Plus it’s utterly unnecessary. As nations become more modern and more industrialized and better educated their wages go up. Just having a western company come in and set up a factory leads to overall increases in wages which accelerate as time goes on.

    But the most serious concern is that a minimum wage would price a lot of countries out of the market. If the minimum wage made wages the same in every country then the best educated and best located countries would get all the business and the rest would get none. Right now the benefit of low wages is that it attracts businesses to places which otherwise would have no ability to attract employers.

    Every reasonable argument runs against this idea.

    Dave

  • Cindy D

    Dave,

    Really, it’s defensible. I’m working on it. It’s better than a global minimum wage or any minimum wage.

  • Cindy D

    More intelligently, all labor laws should be scrapped as market-distorting inefficiencies.

    It’s Mr. Burns from the Simpson’s right?

  • STM

    Great idea … let’s have a global minimum wage (what based on the value of the US dollar), and watch as it fluctuates up and down.

    So we base it, let’s say, on the cost of a basket of goods.

    So in India, you can buy a nice basket of groceries for about $25.

    Head down to Australia (which already has a minimum wage much higher even in US dollar terms than that of the US), where the same basket might cost you $300.

    Even in Europe, the cost of living is different in each country. Spain and Portugal are neighbours, but wages and cost of living are totally different.

    Good idea.

    Let market forces decide on what the mimimum wage should be in each country.

    In the meantime, perhaps you could look closer to home and push for something both viable and achievable – a liveable mimimum wage in the US … I’ll be kind and say much more than $10 an hour, because I know in some states it’s still around $8-plus.

    A federal wage setting system might be the answer in the US, along with a federal system of abitration through a specialised industrial relations court to decide on collective wage bargaining and its spin-offs to smaller companies and small businesses, having consideration also for what productivity gains there might be as a trade-off for better wages and working conditions.

    Mind you, I’m not sure now is the right time to start agitating for anything no matter what country you live in.

  • Franco

    First world corporations do not set the labors rates in third world countries. And if those third world countries do not what those corporations to come in, they can say no.

    Every countries labor rates are an exact refection of the factors that exist in any country and are dictated to based on its leaders to foster over all economic conditions for the people to engage in free market trade for goods and services.

    This opinion piece assumes the premise that a global minimum wage can be set and fixed by an outside controlling force. It can’t be fixed as an outside force, it has to be fixed from the inside of each country based on its economic performance, and the better it performs, the better the wages are. History has proved this since the wheel.

    The biggest factor in determining a better labor wage is the development of a larger middle class. The larger the middle class the better the wages are as people find there way into this growing middle class. The freer (secured in their rights) the market (the people) are to trade (better their life) the faster the people are to prosper.

    An extreme example for clarity. Take Zimbabwe, do you not believe that the Zimbabwe people would not be fully happy right now to work for a first world corporation at the dorp of a hat at any consistent wage better then the current leaders of that country have been able to economically stabilize for them. They couldn’t get there fast enough.

    Now you will say that it is just the kind of people who can be exploited as slaves. Yes that is true, but only if you let in one first world corporation. Letting in as many as the market will bear offers workers more options, the more options for workers means corporations have to compete for workers and wages go up. As wages go up people can come together and start up thier own corporations. This gives the people more power to apply their skills to a better fit and pay.

    Once this cycle starts a middle class has a starting point. That middle class must be free from obstructions so it can grow into a majority.

    Where would this lead over time? – A world full of middle class trading goods, services, and good will. I mean it could be so sickeningly peaceful and maybe nauseous for some. I mean what would all the bitching activists have left to do, as these people would have a problem of their own to solve. Wouldn’t that be nice, just don’t let um fuck with the free market.

  • Bliffle

    There’s no way to enforce it.

  • Mark (Ede)n

    So, when your done with this one, tell me why there should be a wage.

  • Hope and Change?

    Didnt King Barry just proclain that the USA will no longer “dictate” international policy? So lets obey the Master in Chief…the king is too busy dictating what we Americans must be doing and has no time…at least not this week to screw up the world economy too!

    An international minimum wage..lol…”The world is filled with foolish people with foolish ideas.” H&C

  • Baronius

    Excellent work, y’all.

  • Cindy D

    And if those third world countries do not what those corporations to come in, they can say no.

    I wonder if I had held Milton Friedman’s head underwater long enough, if he’d pay me a million bucks, of his own free will of course, to get some air.

  • Hope and Change?

    Fear not…scripture says…

    In Taft-Hartley 13:4:1 it says – “King Barry will make a speech…oceans will part…birds will sing…the sick will be healed…the dead shall rise and the minimum wage throughout the world will immediately rise to $25/hr.”

    ..so it is written and so shall it be.

  • Franco

    Jason J. Campbell sez……

    “I argue for the abuses inherent within a system of neoliberal economics and the practice of outsourcing labor.”

    Jason, kinkly show us any system, now, or since the dawn of man, that does not have inherent abuses. I ask you, is it the systems at fault, or is it man.

    How is it that such controlers with such power to enforce what you propose are made of a finer clay then those they rule over?

    Dose not the truth of the matter come down to individual freedom to purse life, liberty and property, and the goverments job being to protecting that freedom.

  • http://www.fontcraft.com/rod/ Dave Nalle

    I hope it’s not painful when he shows it to you “kinkly”, Franco.

    Dave

  • Franco

    “I wonder if I had held Milton Friedman’s head underwater long enough, if he’d pay me a million bucks, of his own free will of course, to get some air.”

    Ah, there she is, Cindy, the ad hominem queen herself, and denirer that the free market even exists. Now what was that new thing your pushing, oh ya, I am going to argue for more than a minimum wage–a guaranteed minimum income.

    A guaranteed minimum income is something each of us controls based on how hard we are willing to work for it.

    Make your arguement againt Milton Freedman to the people of Zimbabwe and see if they agree with you. However they first might ask you help them arrest and cage Robert Mugabe, his cronies, and his wife Grace Mugabe, the First Lady Shopper of Zimbabwe milking out her guaranteed minimum income on what’s left of what used to be the bread basket of Africa.

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    Not every country has an equal amount of rainfall, which is unfair. We need to have a global minimum monthly precipitation.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Mat — A very good and very fair suggestion, even though you neglect the need for a global maximum monthly precipitation. Floods can be as harmful as droughts.

    However, I think that a global optimum monthly precipitation should be mandated. That would be fairer, more just and certainly more moral.

    Dan(ama)

  • Cindy D

    Franco,

    I’m only offering the basic guaranteed income proposition for you Capitalists. It’s a proposal based on improving a Capitalist society. It’s really not my preference. But, you people need all the help you can get.

    And please explain to me Franco how the “free market” exists outside your imagination.

    …based on how hard we are willing to work for it.

    Okay, try to answer this seriously:

    Does everyone need more musical greeting cards and cheap x-mas ornaments?

    Do we really need all this stuff?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Cindy D,

    Does everyone need more musical greeting cards and cheap x-mas ornaments?

    Do we really need all this stuff?

    No, of course not; however, I suspect that a close reading of the stimulus package would find those and equally unnecessary trinkets included.

    As to the basic guaranteed income, that will be OK provided that everyone’s is above average.

    Dan(Miller)

  • Cindy D

    “Do we really need all this stuff?”

    No, of course not… (my straight man (parenthetical) (Dan) replies)

    It might be said that many people in developed countries are actually overwhelmed with too much stuff, judging by all the shows and articles on how to get rid of it or organize it all.

    So, one of the ideas that a minimum guaranteed income is based on is that we can likely cut out a lot of the things we make but don’t really need.

    Not only don’t we need kids slaving in sweatshops over there to make other kids over here piles of junk that their parents toss into the trash after 3 uses, but it would be better for the environment not to be making all this unneeded stuff.

  • Cindy D

    …based on how hard we are willing to work for it. (Franco)

    So, why would intelligent life forms continue to use a system where they have to work hard to make things they don’t really need or use?

    We’re only here a few years. Why should we work hard?

  • Cindy D

    A basic income is a proposed system of social security, that periodically provides each citizen with a sum of money that is sufficient to live on.

    The basics are laid out by Philippe Van Parijs, Professor of Economic and Social Ethics at the Université Catholique de Louvain, discusses some of the economic considerations.

    French Economist and Philosopher Andre Gorz explained how the work ethic (no longer needed) creates economic crisis.

    Some supporters of a basic guaranteed income:

    “ I am now convinced that the simplest approach will prove to be the most effective — the solution to poverty is to abolish it directly by a now widely discussed measure: the guaranteed income.”

    Martin Luther King, Jr. in
    Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?

    In 1968, James Tobin, Paul Samuelson, John Kenneth Galbraith and another 1,200 economists signed a document calling for the US Congress to introduce in that year a system of income guarantees and supplements.

  • Franco

    #32 — Cindy D

    “I’m only offering the basic guaranteed income proposition for you Capitalists. It’s a proposal based on improving a Capitalist society. It’s really not my preference. But, you people need all the help you can get.”

    I see, and where dose your income derive from?

    “And please explain to me Franco how the “free market” exists outside your imagination.”

    The “free market” has always existed from the dawn of man, it not only exists and always has, it is bigger then any group, any corporation, any state or nation. No one and nothing is bigger then the free market.

    Groups, corporations, states and nations all try to screw with it all the time which creates interference for their advantage, mostly dishonest advantage sponging on the people conducting trade in it.

    Case in point. A few months back when you asserted that the free market did not exist, oil was at around $140 a barrel, today its around $40 a barrel. This $100 dollar swing is caused by the free market (supply and demand) and noting else.

    All the while it was at $140 and starting to fall, there were groups, corporations, states and nations trying ever trick in the book known to man to keep it up there for their personal advantage. All of their efforts were for not.

    No one and nothing is bigger then the free market. It is the most powerful constant ecconomic force existing between men, whether free or enslaved.

    “. …based on how hard we are willing to work for it.”

    Pure free market exchange: If I have a nice antique wooden box sitting aound my house and you liked it and offer me a basket of whole fresh tomatoes for it, if I don’t like whole tomatoes and don’t cook, it would not matter if you offered two baskets full.

    But it you found out I liked real Italian spaggitie sauce, and you knew how to cook it good, and offered me a sample and I liked it, how many jars of sauce are you willing to offer me for the box. …based on how hard we are willing to work for it.

    If I said 14 jars and you said no 10, then I said a dozen, then you can freely decide how much you want the box …based on how hard we are willing to work for it.

    We can go squabble on about it in the free market exchange, I could say I want twelve jars because that will last me 6 months and then it will be all gone but you will still have the box. You can counter me by saying sure, but this sauce is healthy and will help you stay that way. And so on.

    So we ether make a trade or not, but it’s all depending based on how hard we are willing to work for it.

    “Does everyone need more musical greeting cards and cheap x-mas ornaments?”

    Good point, probably not, but no one is forcing you to buy them in the “free market”. You’re free to say no.

    Let the free market take care of it. If and when people stop buying them, the producer will stop making them – guaranteed!

  • http://unequal-time.blogspot.com Bryan Myrick

    Jason,

    I disagree with the argument you make, but it is a very well-made argument. Congratulations on a very good piece of writing.

    Bryan Myrick

  • Franco

    #35 — Cindy D

    …based on how hard we are willing to work for it. (Franco)

    So, why would intelligent life forms continue to use a system where they have to work hard to make things they don’t really need or use?

    What you think is a needless item, someone else my not. If it is truly needless no one will want it and it will not be produced. Would you spend your time producing something no one wanted? The free market is the great leveler for all products and services.

    We’re only here a few years. Why should we work hard?

    You don’t have to work hard. You’re free to live how you want. Just don’t ask me to pay for it.

  • Cindy D

    Franco,

    I’ll answer each point.

    1) I see, and where dose your income derive from?

    I’m forced to live in a way I don’t like. You know I am talking about proponents of Capitalism.

    2) Markets have always existed. The “free market” is nothing more than a “nicer” word for Laissez-faire Capitalism.

    Groups, corporations, states and nations all try to screw with it all the time which creates interference for their advantage, mostly dishonest advantage sponging on the people conducting trade in it.

    Sounds like you’re saying it doesn’t work.

  • Cindy D

    Franco,

    3) Case in point. A few months back when you asserted that the free market did not exist, oil was at around $140 a barrel, today its around $40 a barrel. This $100 dollar swing is caused by the free market (supply and demand) and noting else.

    I was a day trader for almost 2 years. My suspicion is that the price change had more to do with speculators*. Another problem with “The Free Market” by the way.

    4) No one and nothing is bigger then the free market.

    I always thought it was a religion with you people.

    5) It is the most powerful constant ecconomic force existing between men, whether free [otherwise known as Capitalists] or enslaved [otherwise known as people who work for them].

    *60 Minutes

  • Franco

    ((Groups, corporations, states and nations all try to screw with it all the time which creates interference for their advantage, mostly dishonest advantage sponging on the people conducting trade in it.))

    “Sounds like you’re saying it doesn’t work.”

    Not all all, it always works and nothing and no one is bigger then it, and nothing can stop it, its just all the above makes it hard on all of us.

  • Cindy D

    Franco,

    6) So we ether make a trade or not, but it’s all depending based on how hard we are willing to work for it.

    Good get me that free market and I might be inclined to join in my support. (this is the kind of market Lysander Spooner believed in, not that it’s actually workable)

    “…it’s all based on how many other people are forced to work hard for it us.”

    You can keep this version.

    7) You’re free to say no.

    Are children in sweatshops free to say no?

    8) Let the free market take care of it.

    It looks like “The Free Market” already has!

    You sound like my mother. She says to hand things over to your “higher power.” She can even give me evidence how this works. When I hand things over to my particular higher power, they tend to fall on the ground. “The Free Market” is a superstition.

  • Cindy D

    Franco,

    Last but not least.

    9) The free market is the great leveler for all products and services.

    “The Free Market” is sham cooked up by a bunch of rich people to exploit others. Even the earliest advocates having actually seen in action what they promoted quickly wanted to undo it and their voices were marginalized because the machine was in motion and greed is what it is.

    Contrary to common misconceptions, [Adam] Smith did not assert that all self-interested labour necessarily benefits society, or that all public goods are produced through self-interested labour. His proposal is merely that in a free market, people usually tend to produce goods desired by their neighbours. The tragedy of the commons is an example where self-interest tends to bring an unwanted result.

    The “tragedy of the commons” is where the first real Capitalists helped to get laws passed to rob the people of the right to use the common lands, forcing them to become wage slaves for Capitalists. Now, where did we get the land in America for your “free market” to operate?

    Capitalism always robs common people to benefit a few.

  • Cindy D

    Re #42

    You mean like the collapse of the entire economic system like right now? Yeah, I agree that sure does make things hard–but not you and me Franco. My business is actually growing now. For the first time in years. It’s pretty clear you couldn’t possibly understand anything that didn’t happen to you personally.

  • Cindy D

    correction, that is: but not [for] you and me Franco…

  • Franco

    #41 —Cindy D

    I was a day trader for almost 2 years. My suspicion is that the price change had more to do with speculators*. Another problem with “The Free Market” by the way.

    Day to day speculators and those who make their trade’s only ride on the back of the free market force of supply and demand, they can not control it. If you were consumed with trades on market movements and thought it was secualtors casing it all, you could not see the forest (free market) for the trees (speculators).

    Your correct about speculators getting in the way of the free market only in the senses they can cause it to report a false value based on the volume of trades in either direction. But these infulances are only temporary and are forced to correct by the free market due to the real free market value, because they can not control the free market base price.

    Free market values are a liveing thing. Put them in a box and you will distort its true value, and when it bust out again, and it always busts out, it will reak havic againts all the forces and reasons for trying to keep it boxed up. Then it will settle down again.

    Additionally, no one is forced into making speculative trades. You’re free to choose. Choose wisely.

    I always thought it was a religion with you people.

    True to form, ad hominem, which is only a future admission to a lack of understanding in mans basic human interchange to bettering each others lives.

    5) It is the most powerful constant ecconomic force existing between men, whether free [otherwise known as Capitalists] or enslaved [otherwise known as people who work for them].

    Futher admission to a lack of understanding.

    Slaves are those people in Zimbabwe right now being kept from the free market by a band of greedy exploiters for their own personal wealth and power over the people. This would be an extreemly bad place for forgine investment of the best kind, as it would be pilferd off and raided by the power elite. That government has to go for the sake of all those exploted people.

    But even these exploited people, believer it or not, are only surviving because of a free underground market the government can fuck up if they can keep it hidden. It’s not sufficient, but they world be dead by now otherwise. Lift that government off their backs and set them all free to buy, sell and trade and protect their full right to do that and watch them earn a substantially better living for a healty life.

    This Capitalist/Slave mentality you have implanted in your mind over looks one important point. I will form it as a question.

    Why is it that people who work for a US company (capitalist) can not start their own company and work for themselves doing something they like to do and or are good at? Show me the U.S. laws that say this is illegal. Show me the U.S. governmental departments that will work to hold that man down from freeing himself to form his own company?

  • Cindy D

    Franco,

    The 60 Minutes video I posted is worth watching. You might even discover new information in there that might affect your opinion on the oil speculation.

    “I always thought it was a religion with you people.”

    True to form, ad hominem…[attack].

    Okay, how ’bout this: Every one I speak to about “The Free Market” stops the discussion as soon as they get to any hard questions. It appears they have a faith-based belief in it that defies evidence.

    Why is it that people who work for a US company (capitalist) can not start their own company and work for themselves doing something they like to do and or are good at?

    Can everyone do that? Can everyone have their own business in a Capitalist society? Can everyone even have a job in a Capitalist society?

    Zimbabwe? Here you go see “Regions” for these countries:

    “From 1945 to 2003, the United States attempted to overthrow more than 40 foreign governments, and to crush more than 30 populist-nationalist movements fighting against intolerable regimes. In the process, the US bombed some 25 countries, caused the end of life for several million people, and condemned many millions more to a life of agony and despair.”
    William Blum

    “[The ruling elites] know who their enemies are, and their enemies are the people, the people at home and the people abroad. Their enemies are anybody who wants more social justice, anybody who wants to use the surplus value of society for social needs rather than for individual class greed, that’s their enemy.”
    Michael Parenti

  • Cindy D

    And one more thing Franco:

    I like Ad Hominem attacks. Is that illegal? I thought I was free! Can’t I be free to ignore rules?

    I’m not using them as the basis for my points. My points are explained. They’re sort of nice punctuation to me.

    So quit bleating about them like your some kind of wuss.

  • Cindy D

    RE #22

    Mark,

    So, when your done with this one…

    I might be done with this one.

    …tell me why there should be a wage.

    It’s not necessary, to me. Unless a group of people decide it’s necessary.

    My cousin last night asked me why should anyone do any jobs that would jeopardize them. Jeopardize their life. I said, every community should be free to make their own choice. If you jeopardize your life maybe your community thinks you only have to work 3 months out of 12.

    What do you think?

  • http://www.fontcraft.com/rod/ Dave Nalle

    Capitalism always robs common people to benefit a few.

    Utter nonsense. In a free market capitalist system there are no common people and there are no ‘few’ and robbery is a moralistic judgement which has no place in the system at all. Capitalism is a system in which people work and advance on merit as determined by the natural forces of the market. Wages are determined based on skill and effort, profits are made based on productivity and quality of output. Workers are not exploited, they are employed to their highest capacity and competition for their skills assures that their wages are fair.

    If a system which appears to be capitalist does not conform to this model then there is something structurally wrong with it, most likely resulting from inappropriate interference by the state.

    Dave

  • zingzing

    dave: “Capitalism is a system in which people work and advance on merit as determined by the natural forces of the market. Wages are determined based on skill and effort, profits are made based on productivity and quality of output. Workers are not exploited, they are employed to their highest capacity and competition for their skills assures that their wages are fair.”

    ah, the dream.

    “If a system which appears to be capitalist does not conform to this model then there is something structurally wrong with it, most likely resulting from inappropriate interference by the state.”

    forgetting about greed there, ain’t you?

    come on dave… you can’t be so naive. that’s NOT how capitalism really works, and it’s NOT just because of the government, it’s because of human nature. the system you describe is a ridiculous fantasy that millions of people would scoff at if you tried to present it as reality.

  • http://www.fontcraft.com/rod/ Dave Nalle

    Zing, in a free market capitalist system greed should counteract greed. The success of one business should lead to competitors trying to imitate them, thereby limiting their success. The greed of business owners is countered by the greed of workers who will organize to resist exploitation if it develops.

    I admit that there IS a role for government in this. You need courts so that people can sue if their rights are abused, and you need some basic safety and individual rights regulation to prevent unfair trade practices, cartels and other abuses. What you don’t want from government is favoritism and selective regulation and enforcement.

    Dave

  • Cindy D

    Dave,

    In a free market capitalist system there are no common people…

    Of course not, you have to steal the common land so the Capitalists can use it. What “common” people are left after that? Dave, how many times have you told me that we need dictators to make a free society?

    Don’t put gloss on it Dave. You agreed DICTATORS needed to be installed where people were already trying to install Democracies.

    Dave haven’t you ever read Charles Dickens? What the hell do you think he was writing about?

  • zingzing

    yes, dave, but the “corporation,” whatever that really is, crushes the individual worker as often as not. most workers can’t afford to take on their employers.

    basically, once you get a bunch of people together with a common (or at least similar) goal, their collective intelligence dwindles and they also forget about other individuals, especially when their collective endeavors seem to be (at least for the moment) benefitting themselves.

    worthy people get left behind in the muck, not because they lacked in drive or merit, but because they became food for the machine. you hear countless stories of this sort. look at what happened in LA the other day.

    and people are exploited by the capitalist system every day. this is why we have sweatshops and slavery. capitalism may benefit many, many people, maybe even a majority of people. but it also destroys that which it finds unnecessary.

    maybe you have benefitted nicely from it, and maybe i have to, but to forget that one day very soon you could be on the dirty, shit and bloodstained side of that wheel is very dangerous, and very stupid.

  • Cindy D

    …in a free market capitalist system greed should counteract greed. The success of one business should lead to competitors trying to imitate them, thereby limiting their success. The greed of business owners is countered by the greed of workers who will organize to resist exploitation if it develops.

    You know what they said in my step-dad’s AA meetings? Shoulda, woulda, coulda…

    We don’t have the …success of one business should lead to competitors trying to imitate them, thereby limiting their success…

    Instead we have monopolies.

    We don’t have…The greed of business owners is countered by the greed of workers who will organize to resist exploitation if it develops.

    Instead we have some people who can’t even afford an apartment if they put in 60 hours a week. Let alone support a family. And they certainly can’t afford healthcare.

    Dave, why the hell do you think the middle class woke up at all? It’s not working anymore. Why the fuck would people who are designed to be asleep wake up and start complaining if they were content?

  • Franco

    #43 — Cindy D

    Are children in sweatshops free to say no?

    I do not condone sweatshops, forced labor, explotation or discriminaition, but the people running those countries do, for their own perceived reasons for control and greed, they are the ones you have your argument with.

    Consider some reality these people really face.

    Back in 1992 when I was working in Taiwan/China, I knew families who had members in China needing work and the line of people that went half way around the Niki factory their was for people needing work at that factory because 33 cents an hour was better then anything their ecconomy could offer them anywhere else.

    It would take weeks to get to the front of the line. Whole family’s members would take shifts waiting in line for 24 hours a day just to get one famly member a job. When you got close to the front of the line, local thug extortionists would tell you that if you got work, you had to pay them 10% of it. They paid it.

    The govermnet skims Niki too. It is a rat invefted hand out, kick back snakes game, all at the expence of the workers. Why is the goverment in the shake down of its own citizens. In their minds they think you can not allow free market so they can’t let the people make all that much more then the standare going pay wages or you throw the hole ecconomy into turmorl, as they see it in thier samll communist minds.

    So these workers wait for weeks in line to make 33 cents an hour to make American sports celebrity tennis shoes that sold in the US for well over $100 dollars. Ya, I think it’s sick too, on both ends.

    Yes, that’s heart-rending disparity. But if the governments of those sweatshops where they’re to protect the rights of life, liberty, prosperity and the pursuit of happiness for the people, the goverments wouldn’t be skimming Niki, and the people would find it, and Niki would be paying better wadges.

    As far as the kids in the US who have to have the ego trip of sports celebrty shose, that is the parents call, and your argument is with them.

    Take Japan after WWII, they did not have a pot to piss in and the world around them hated them. The stuff they started making was pure carp as I clearly remember it coming in back in the 50’s.

    I used to go to the auto parts store with my old man and you could buy a decal back then for the window of your car that said “Genuine Japanese Parts” to get a laugh as their quality was a big joke.

    The assistant principle of my junior high school bought the first model Toyota that came into the US in the early 60’s (cheap) and it was pretty much a piece of crap.

    No body’s laughing anymore, and have not for more then 35 years and they have done it all based on the free market. They make high tech everything now. Precisian and excellence at the world’s pinnacle and they set many of those standards. This tiny Island of Japan, while being hated by most of the world around them at the time, has risen to become the world’s second largest economy and their quality rivals the Germans.

    China is on that rise now, and yet still, freedom of the people is still stiffeled by the government and there the biggest enviornmental poluters of all time and that shows no sign of changing any time soon.

    Now I am not suggesting that other developing nations will find the plato of Japan, I can not say, but being free to try and having that freedom protected will get most countries half way there and would make all the difference in the world on a better life for most of those people.

    “Life, faculties, production — in other words, individuality, liberty, property — this is man. And in spite of the cunning of artful political leaders, these three gifts precede all human legislation, and are superior to it. Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place.” — from The Law

    “If the natural tendencies of mankind are so bad that it is not safe to permit people to be free, how is it that the tendencies of these organizers are always good? Do not the legislators and their appointed agents also belong to the human race? Or do they believe that they themselves are made of a finer clay than the rest of mankind?” — from The Law

    “– whether religious, philosophical, political, or economic; whether it concerns prosperity, morality, equality, right, justice, progress, responsibility, cooperation, property, labor, trade, capital, wages, taxes, population, finance, or government — at whatever point on the scientific horizon I begin my researches, I invariably reach this one conclusion: The solution to the problems of human relationships is to be found in liberty.” — from The Law

  • Cindy D

    Franco,

    You know what? You need to go back to the drawing board. So much of what you say is fantasy that you are simply not credible.

    I do not condone sweatshops, forced labor, explotation or discriminaition, but the people running those countries do, for their own perceived reasons for control and greed, they are the ones you have your argument with.

    Good for you. Because the Chicago School does support them. The case has been made. You aren’t even up on the dogma of your own belief system.

    Why don’t you take a lesson from Dave? At least I can respect Dave as believing in individual freedom in a system that he knows does not exist but he believes could.

    You are living in a wonderland of propaganda and unreality. Talk about surreal!

  • Cindy D

    I know, I know “Ad Hominem attack”, he cries as he goes bleating off with the herd…

  • Cindy D

    Try thinking of those people like they were your mother or your daughter or your son. And ask yourself if you would want the circumstances you accept for those people to be inflicted on your people.

    Ever. Under any circumstances.

    And if your people were somehow subjected to such conditions. Would you want someone to speak for them? Would you change anything to stop the pain of people you personally gave a shit about?

    You might get a bit farther in your personal development thinking along those lines.

    And then ask yourself if you would be so critical of me. If I were speaking for people you loved.

  • Cindy D

    “We’re not permanent. We’re temporary.”

  • Ma(rk Ede)n

    Cindy, imo your approach indicated in #50 (communities organized to make decisions about such things as compensation) is what we need to develop. As for life threatening jobs — think robots. All this automation has to be useful for something other than making money for owners.

  • Cindy D

    Mark,

    What about money?

  • http://www.fontcraft.com/rod/ Dave Nalle


    Don’t put gloss on it Dave. You agreed DICTATORS needed to be installed where people were already trying to install Democracies.

    In a society which is still largely tribal or post-colonial if you install direct democracy you end up with tyranny anyway, so you’re better off going through a phase of benevolent dictatorship as the society matures and develops capitalism and an education system which will make it capable of practicing democracy responsibly.

    Dave haven’t you ever read Charles Dickens? What the hell do you think he was writing about?

    You actually want to hold up early industrial age Britain as an example of a pure free market capitalist society? Seriously?

    Dave

  • Ma(rk Ede)n

    Cindy, I think that we will come up with some method of tracking socially necessary labor time that people give to their communities.

  • http://www.fontcraft.com/rod/ Dave Nalle

    Instead we have monopolies.

    We do? Where? And if we do have monopolies on a large scale engaging in unfair trade practices then stopping those activities is a legitimate role of government.

    We don’t have…The greed of business owners is countered by the greed of workers who will organize to resist exploitation if it develops.

    Instead we have some people who can’t even afford an apartment if they put in 60 hours a week. Let alone support a family. And they certainly can’t afford healthcare.

    Bullshit. The HHS says that one third of income should go to housing. Name one part of the country where a person working 60 hours a week (minimum of $2200 a month) cannot find an apartment to rent for $700 within a reasonable commuting distance. What’s more, someone living at a low wage ought to be sharing living space, which should bring housing expenses down well under $500 a month, leaving more than enough money for a car, auto insurance, food and health insurance. I’ve done it, Cindy and I know many others who have as well. In fact, I know a single income family living on about $50K a year with two kids and they have two cars, health insurance and a decent rental house in a decent neighborhood.

    Dave, why the hell do you think the middle class woke up at all? It’s not working anymore. Why the fuck would people who are designed to be asleep wake up and start complaining if they were content?

    People are by nature discontent. If they aren’t happy with their lot right now, then they should change it. The system still allows for it. That’s why the US is 70% small and entrepreneurial businesses, which is definitive proof that despite some aberations, for most people capitalism IS working here.

    Dave

  • Cindy D

    Dave,

    Did you tell your daughter she’s not allowed to watch TMBG anymore yet?

    They are un-indoctrinating her.

  • Ma(rk Ede)n

    Note to aspiring entrepreneurs — you can get your chiclets from Cadbury Adams.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Dave (#66),

    Your stronger argument would be: they’ve accepted bourgeois values.

  • Cindy D

    Dave,

    It’s sort of tricky when you define terms based on a scale that is huge. People aren’t 100 feet tall.

    A defacto monopoly is when WalMart (etc, etc…put any megacorp here) comes to town and no local business can compete. So in the local community you have a defacto monopoly. That is how I see it (for now). Because that is what actually affects real businesses.

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    Is it normal for people in the USA to work 60 hours per week, as in Dave’s extraordinary (to we Europeans) example in #66 above?

  • Baronius

    Cindy, I’ve never seen a Walmart that didn’t have a Target or a Costco within a mile nearby. Also, where does the Chicago School endorse exploitation? They don’t. Maybe things that you consider exploitation, but not exploitation. By your standards, a child purchasing a 25 cent gumball somehow involves exploitation.

    What would I do if one of my children were among the people waiting in line for a job at a Nike factory? I’d do what the other parents do: take a shift in line for him, and thank God that some money from the great American economy has drifted down to our mud hut village.

  • http://marksaleski.com MarkSaleski

    Name one part of the country where a person working 60 hours a week (minimum of $2200 a month) cannot find an apartment to rent for $700 within a reasonable commuting distance.

    metro boston and it’s suburbs, both in terms of cost and commuting distance.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    I work 40 hours a week.

    There was at my workplace, up until a few months ago, the possibility of working up to 63 hours including overtime. Then we got a new boss who decided that a happy and motivated workforce was one that got to spend time with its families, and that if we as an agency couldn’t get done what needed to be done during regular business hours then we weren’t doing our job properly.

    And you know what? She’s right.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Dave, try finding a box under a freeway in San Francisco or San Diego that you can rent for $700.

  • Cindy D

    Baronius,

    How do you get the lead out of their blood*?

    Rather than change things in a way that would be fairer to all you will support the Chicago School in its assertion that sweatshops are good and child labor is good.

    *60 Minutes Report The Wasteland

  • Baronius

    Cindy, China isn’t going to get the lead out of their factories. But Nike will, the day the consumer insists on it. Why? Because of the free market. The corporation has no power over the consumer.

    And what do you think life is like for the Chinese who don’t have Nike factories to work at? Since this all started as a discussion of minimum wage, what do you think the average Chinese farming family is earning? The ones who eat rice and live with a goat. No lead in their blood, but no iron either.

  • Cindy D

    Baronius?

    The lead comes from our e-waste via computers shipped to China.

    The days consumers insist on it.

    You mean the ones that can only afford WalMart? (since the “free market” has been causing them to steadily lose wealth)

    Okay, goodbye and sorry to all you kids who didn’t get to live a life, we’ll have to wait until the “free market” works…who knows maybe one day it will. It sure hasn’t yet.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    The corporation has no power over the consumer.

    Then explain the existence of advertising.

  • zingzing

    dave: “Name one part of the country where a person working 60 hours a week (minimum of $2200 a month) cannot find an apartment to rent for $700 within a reasonable commuting distance.”

    dc, all the way north to boston.

  • Cindy D

    Why is Nike (fill in your favorite giant multinational) there and not here?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    #80,

    $700.00 a month in the Bay Area will get you a shit-hole of a room in a flea-ridden residential hotel, if you ever so lucky. And a sink to piss in, perhaps!

  • Baronius

    So, Cindy, the lead has nothing to do with the Nike factory? Then why’d you bring it up? We all agree that China’s miserable.

  • http://www.fontcraft.com/rod/ Dave Nalle

    A defacto monopoly is when WalMart (etc, etc…put any megacorp here) comes to town and no local business can compete. So in the local community you have a defacto monopoly. That is how I see it (for now). Because that is what actually affects real businesses.

    The problem that this is a myth or perhaps some sort of union-driven propaganda. In fact, WalMart does not destroy communities and businesses if they respond intelligently. It’s not possible for WalMart to sell everything and satisfy ever customer. They do have competitors as someone else pointd out as well. I have personal experience of this. In Ellsworth Maine when WalMart came in everyone went nuts that it would destroy all the local businesses. Since then not one local business closed and new ones have opened. Then when Home Depot came in they all went berserk again. It’s years later now and all the old hardware stores are still open and doing great business.

    All the megastores do is put pressure on the market to which people either respond by shutting down if they are incompetent, which is good for the local market, or by finding ways to compete which usually benefits their business.

    In fact, the reaction to the megastores and the fact that they don’t destroy communities is proof that capitalism works.

    Dave

  • Baronius

    Heh – Dave, I just thought of something. Costco must be the most elite place in the world: it has a membership charge, so that only the richest of the rich can enter and get special deals. It must be all Jewish lobbyists and CFR-types inside those walls!

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    It’s very telling that they sell Hebrew National hot dogs, Baronius.

    BTW, that slogan of theirs: “We answer to a higher authority”. I always thought an apt translation for that would be “God knows what’s in our sausages”.

  • Cindy D

    Baronius?

    lol You brought up the Nike factory. Have a look back.

  • http://www.fontcraft.com/rod/ Dave Nalle

    An omnibus response…

    Is it normal for people in the USA to work 60 hours per week, as in Dave’s extraordinary (to we Europeans) example in #66 above?

    It wasn’t my example. Someone else threw that number out. But yes, it’s not uncommon for Americans to work long hours. With so many of our businesses entrepreneurial even longer hours are not uncommon. People who own their own businesses often work 80 or more hours a week.

    metro boston and it’s suburbs, both in terms of cost and commuting distance.

    Sorry, wrong. I went to a site called boston.com and checked. There are studio apartments in good areas in the city – like Beacon Hill – renting for $600 or so.

    Dave, try finding a box under a freeway in San Francisco or San Diego that you can rent for $700.

    No problem. rentinsanfrancisco.com has studio apartments in Livermore and Union City and Concord and Oakland and elsewhere in the $500-$700 range. Those are all less than 40 miles from the bay bridge. rent.com finds apartments in San Diego, La Mesa, El Cajon and other suburbs at $600-$700. La Mesa and El Cajon are in very short commute range.

    dc, all the way north to boston.

    I’ve already done Boston. I know DC intimately. If you’re willing to live in Anacostia you can get your rent down very low. But for a livable apartment in the $600-$700 range we’ve got Gaithersburg, Hagerstown, Bladensburg, Silver Spring, etc. Silver Spring is quite a nice area and I had no problem finding apartments in that range. Hell, I even lucked onto a studio in a very nice part of downtown DC for $750. I may move there.

    Baltimore is cheaper than DC, so is Philly. But let’s check New York. My sister commutes to downtown in less than 45 minutes by ferry from Hoboken and lo and behold, nearby East Orange has decent looking apartments in the $500-$700 range, less than 30 miles from Manhattan. That inspired me to look closer in and I found lots of 1-1 apartments in Brooklyn at around $650, and similar prices in Queens which is very close to downtown. Hell, I found a studio on the beach in Far Rockaway for $725, and that’s on the beach and in easy commuting distance.

    As Cartman says, “respect my authoritay.”

    Dave

  • zingzing

    dave: “…less than 30 miles from Manhattan.”

    mhmm. 30 miles. you have no idea what rush hour is like, i guess. it’s hell. even if you were to take a train, that’s at least an hour, probably more.

    “That inspired me to look closer in and I found lots of 1-1 apartments in Brooklyn at around $650…”

    ha! oh my. bushwick, maybe? they may be cheap, but for that price, they’re going to be hovels in dangerous neighborhoods and shitty plumbing. the average brooklyn apt rental (and usually that’s just a room in a place) is about $900, so if you’re looking at your own 1-1 for that price, it’s a total shithole in a terrible location.

    “…and similar prices in Queens which is very close to downtown.”

    that would be midtown, not downtown. anyway, if you went to these places, you would not be so enthusiastic.

    “Hell, I found a studio on the beach in Far Rockaway for $725, and that’s on the beach and in easy commuting distance.”

    easy commuting distance to what? the beach? far rockaway is way out on the a line. if you took a train in, working in midtown, you’d have… oh, an hour and a half commute, before walking time. if you took a car, you’d probably die in it before you got to brooklyn.

  • http://www.fontcraft.com/rod/ Dave Nalle

    $700.00 a month in the Bay Area will get you a shit-hole of a room in a flea-ridden residential hotel, if you ever so lucky. And a sink to piss in, perhaps!

    Ah, a challenge. You don’t like my suburban offerings. How about a nice Studio or 1-1 in Oakland for $725. There are lots on rent.com and from the photos they are neither flea ridden nor are they in residential hotels. They may require you to qualify with an income under $35K a year, but that’s what we’re talking about here, right?

    Dave

  • http://marksaleski.com MarkSaleski

    yes, you can find anecdotal evidence to “support” your argument, but on average, the numbers are way, way higher than that. cheap rents are not plentiful in the northeast.

  • zingzing

    “There are lots on rent.com and from the photos they are neither flea ridden nor are they in residential hotels.”

    ahh, but do you believe the pictures?

  • Baronius

    Cindy, Franco brought up Nike. It was apropos to the conversation about minimum wages. You brought up lead. It was not.

  • http://www.fontcraft.com/rod/ Dave Nalle

    Zing, whatever happened to the idea of sacrifice? If you’re earning just over minimum wage you should expect to be living in a scumpit in a bad area or with a long commute. Where did this delusion that everyone should be living in a palace on the beach come from?

    Mexican immigrants come into our country and live 10 to a room sharing a bed in shifts paying $50 a week for bedspace and communal tacos, but after 5 years they can save enough money working for relatively low wages to send for their family and buy a modest home. They understand the idea that you have to sacrifice to get what you want. When did the rest of us forget it?

    Dave

  • zingzing

    dave: “you should expect to be living in a scumpit in a bad area or with a long commute.”

    ahh, capitalism working for everyone.

    still, true enough. but minimum wage isn’t livable.

  • Cindy D

    Baronius,

    Lead is what people are being poisoned with because they cannot get jobs for the competition of U.S. corporations. (without actually looking it up I believe that was what the Chinese workers were saying).

    Apropos is in the eye of the beholder.

  • Cindy D

    You know what though. The continuation of talking like this sort of makes me queasy. So, unless someone has a question, I think I’ll bow out of the back and forth about sweatshops.

    I’d like to thank god though, for making all this possible.

  • http://www.fontcraft.com/rod/ Dave Nalle

    Let’s not blow the lead thing out of proportion here. There have only been a few incidents of it coming over here to the US, and if the Chinese don’t like lead they should have a revolution and install a nice liberal government which will care about their teeming billions.

    Dave

  • Cindy D

    whatever…

    like i said, some people cannot feel what hot is unless you set them on fire. may all of those be personally set alight.

    that’s my wish.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    David (#90:

    Out of my present range. That’d eat all my monthly income.

  • http://www.fontcraft.com/rod/ Dave Nalle

    Roger, if your monthly income is less than $725 a month I wish you much luck. I had to live on the equivalent of that in graduate school for a couple of years when I didn’t have any outside job beyond my fellowship, and it was somewhat unfun. But I’m still here to reflect on it and the roach-infested hellholes I lived in with my many creepy roomies.

    dave

  • Baronius

    Cindy, I watched the piece you linked to. It’s from CBS News, so it may or may not have been staged. If it did happen as depicted, the story doesn’t shed any light on minimum wage laws, only on the fact that China is lousy. The only way that the report is apropos to this conversation is that it demonstrates the limits of international treaties like that suggested in the original article.

  • Cindy D

    Roger,

    You were right when you said I was angry. There’s no getting over that any time soon.

    Mostly I think people are unredeemable. It’s hard to live in the same universe.

    So, sorry if that makes any difference. But anger isn’t a bitch. It’s more like an armor.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Dave,

    That’s about it. I managed in CA, Bay Area, in fact: room and all utilities for $450/month. It was great until I fell behind on rent and faced the eviction. Now I’m in KY and the apt. is paid for – but guess what. I’ve never had a worse time in my life.

  • Cindy D

    Baronius,

    Okay, I concede to whatever forces motivate people. We have the ability to change things. If you like them the way they are. Who am I to try to change that?

  • Cindy D

    My beliefs are basically this:

    1) We can all live and enjoy life.

    2) We have the resources and the brains and the wherewithal to do that.

    3) If you don’t choose to do that you are a problem for life.

    I’ll entertain anything anyone comes up with who includes all of humanity (not just their own nation) in a solution.

    If you can’t see that far then you are a throwback and you are holding up evolution.

    If you believe in god instead of evolution. Then you are certainly not living a life any god worth anything would want you to live.

  • Baronius

    Cindy, thanks for conceding that I’m evil and/or genetic backwash.

  • Cindy D

    What god wouldn’t love humanity?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    #103,

    Thanks.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    rent.com finds apartments in San Diego, La Mesa, El Cajon and other suburbs at $600-$700. La Mesa and El Cajon are in very short commute range.

    I’ll take your word for it, Dave. I’m not about to give rent.com my e-mail address in order to check it out. Meanwhile, you go ahead and enjoy the occasional e-mails of property listings.

    I know from experience (my sister-in-law lives in San Diego) that those places in the $500-$700 range are not apartments so much as they are cupboards. They are undoubtedly mostly in neighborhoods where landlords require a deposit, a credit check, a criminal background check and proof of ownership of a flak jacket.

    To put things in perspective, my sister-in-law and her husband rent a one-bedroom apartment for around $1300. Granted, it is a block from the beach, but it’s the size of a one-car garage. (I know this not because I’ve measured it but because it actually sits on top of said garage. (It’s not even their garage.))

    El Cajon and La Mesa are indeed within a short commute of downtown: not by car – have you ever tried driving in San Diego rush hour traffic?!? – but they are served by the trolley. However, they are inland and do not enjoy the balmy climate San Diego is renowned for. Let’s just say that if you live there you don’t need to own an oven.

  • Cindy D

    Maybe people are not either evil or a genetic backwash. There is always the simple possibility of blindness.

    Blindness in some amounts to no life worth living or even death for others.

  • Cindy D

    Baronius,

    Can god agree to that?

  • Cindy D

    God has inspired people to give up everything they have and take their place among the poorest.

  • Cindy D

    Re # 109

    Thank you too. I’m not your enemy.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Cindy D,

    God has inspired people to give up everything they have and take their place among the poorest. Perhaps Her love for the poor is what inspired Her to create so many. I think I heard that somewhere.

    Dan(Miller)

  • Cindy D

    Dan(Miller),

    If there was a god I would only believe in one that would do what’s right–male or female. God would love whatever people s/he made.

    And I suppose you would be right. God would love the poor most, having made so many of them. One is almost inclined to think this might be a test for the rich. If you don’t love the poor, how can you love god?

  • Baronius

    Cindy, if those are beliefs in the sense of faith, then you cannot deny my right to disagree with them. If you mean beliefs in the sense of verifiable facts, then please demonstrate them. But don’t assume that you have the high ground because of them.

  • Cindy D

    You know what Baronius. I never assume anything these days. These days I believe god would as soon blow up the entire world or persecute Jews, blacks, Indians, whoever…

    It’s what lead me to my skeptical attitude toward god.

    After that I told god fuck you, repeatedly, in more ways than one. God didn’t seem to care about that any more than anything else.

    So Fuck YOU God–you are an asshole if you make people that don’t stand by their fellow man. (woman)

  • Cindy D

    Baronius,

    You can disagree for sure.

    Tolstoy is a person I really love. He was royalty. He gave that up to be among the poor. That’s what I call putting your money where your mouth is.

    Much more than a nonbeliever like me could ever do.

    Yet. (because give me a situation where it will make a difference and I myself might be different)

  • Cindy D

    Oh dear I am a blasphemer.

    So kill me.

  • Baronius

    Cindy, this looks like another red herring.

    You’re alleging that we have the resources and capability of sustaining everyone on earth, comfortably, indefinitely. I maintain that we couldn’t come close, although I appreciate the appeal of the idea. Since you’re the one who wants to overturn the current flawed order in a way that would be irreversible and (I believe) catastrophic, the ball is in your court.

  • Cindy D

    Baronius,

    I maintain that we couldn’t come close, although I appreciate the appeal of the idea.

    Okay. Then do things that you feel are not catastrophic. Do things (tomorrow, being the first opportunity and every single day thereafter) differently. Things that confirm and acknowledge and embrace the struggling–not just here but everywhere.

    Embrace your connection to your fellow man. And care about his outcome now, not in some future, but right now.

  • Baronius

    Cindy, caring about his outcome doesn’t mean that I can mandate his income. (Sorry – that was just too cute to pass up.)

  • Cindy D

    baronius,

    :-)

    No you can’t mandate his income. But you can refuse to rest until his income is just.

    By whatever means. And you understand that. So do it!

    Refuse to rest.

  • Mark Eden

    How does Lynd sum it up —

    Welcome the stranger.
    Visit the prisoner.
    Succor the widow.
    Feed the hungry.

    I don’t know about god, but these recommendations sound pretty sensible to me.

  • Cindy D

    And do it until all your brothers the whole world over have a fair treatment. Take that to your church. That is what any reasonable god would want.

    And you know it.

  • Cindy D

    Hi Mark :-)

    You’ll forgive me for finding you a touchstone. Maybe Les will too.

    I might need one or two in the wilderness.

  • http://www.fontcraft.com/rod/ Dave Nalle

    To go back to earlier, remember “it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.”

    Dave

  • Cindy D

    Dave,

    You got religion? Or–You really care about your fellow people? I could love you Dave.

  • Cindy D

    It occurs to me some stupid counter doesn’t make sense.

  • Cindy D

    Dave,

    Good thing books on tape will dispel any perceived problem. (sort of like TV for other people) Time for bed and another interesting chapter in the lives of people who don’t actually exist.

  • http://www.fontcraft.com/rod/ Dave Nalle

    You got religion? Or–You really care about your fellow people? I could love you Dave.

    I have philosophy, Cindy. Aurelius mostly for the moral issues.

    Dave

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Cindy (#114),

    I never considered you my enemy – not before or later. It was a stumbling block that only you could remove.

  • Cindy D

    Does a happy dance.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    It made my day.

  • Cindy D

    Hey look what it did for the Navy.

    A better way to occupy their time.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Happy puppies.

  • Franco

    #74 — Dr Dreadful [URL]

    I work 40 hours a week.

    There was at my workplace, up until a few months ago, the possibility of working up to 63 hours including overtime. Then we got a new boss who decided that a happy and motivated workforce was one that got to spend time with its families, and that if we as an agency couldn’t get done what needed to be done during regular business hours then we weren’t doing our job properly.

    And you know what? She’s right.

    It sounds like good business practice and a tightening of the ship. I am also sure that a few employees were milking the overtime systems to one degree or the other.

    And then again she has to be right Doc. In this serious recession rest assured this new boss has been told by those holding the purse strings that they do not have the money to pay anyone for extra hours and overtime. And it would be a good job on her part as acting authority if she could motivate employees to fit as much of the work being done in 60 hours into just 40. And if you workers can do that, who ever the milkers were have been arrested, and those who were not milking the system should consider asking for a raise because your efforts are surly getting someone a lot more bang for the buck. But then again, this is a bad time to be asking for that. Better just be thankful you’ve got work.

    Now an unrelated question regarding redistribution of wealth.

    Employee (A) Is someone who wants to work 60 hours a week for his own personal reasons and he is getting a full 60 hours worth of work done. He is making $12 an hour for the first 40 hours and $18 an hour for 20 overtime hours. This translates to $840 per week or approx $3400 per month for a total $40,000 per year.

    Employee (B) Is someone who wants to work 40 hours a week because that is all the harder he wants to work for his own personal reasons and he too is paid $12 per hour translating to $480 per week or approx $1900 per month for a total of $23,000 per year

    As you can see, the income of employee (A) is almost twice that of the income of employee (B).

    Now lets say employee (B) starts to complain that he can not meet all of his families minimum financial responsibilities on $1900 per month, and because he claims that he is a happy and motivated worker because he has more time to spend with his family, that to work any more then 40 hours per week would cause too much stress on both his family and his ability to work if he worked longer hours.

    Do you think one cent should be taken away from employee (A) to accommodate the choices and claims of employee (B)? Is so why?

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Dr. D., if employee B’s claim about happiness and motivation is true, then he will be more productive on an hourly basis than employee A and a competent supervisor will notice that. This should lead to promotion and merit raises which the overtime booker will not necessarily get, so ultimately employee B should be recognized for his superior motivation and rewarded for it.

    But it’s also possible that the guy working overtime does it because he’s more devoted to the job and is a compulsive worker. In fact, if that’s not the case and he’s booking all that overtime he probably ought to be fired.

    Dave

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Interesting question, Franco, and Dave’s answer raises some good points. I’ll have to give it some thought and get back to you tomorrow, but if we assume your hypothetical employees’ motivations are as stated then the answer is fairly obvious.

    But bear in mind that the agency I work for operates on federal money, so the budgetary constraints are a bit different. But I’ll elaborate on that later as well.

  • Cindy D

    More likely employee A is working two jobs at straight time. You people really have no idea what people actually have to do!

  • Franco

    Dave, yes, it is possible that the employee A is working overtime because he’s more devoted to the job and is a compulsive worker. And if he owned the company he worked for, 60 hours might not be enough.

    But what ever emplyee A’s personal reasons are, it is his life and it is nobody elses business about what he dose with is liberrty, he has the right to choose to work those extra hours if they are available to him.

    Now if he is proving through his performance that each of his 60 hours are every bit as productive as employee B’s hours are, I want to know what you and Doc think, or anyone else thinks, it even one cent of employee A’s honest earnings should be redistrabuted over to B. to accommodate the hardship on B based on the choices and claims employee B has made.
    ,
    Pound for pound, hour for hour, employee A produces what employee B produce. The only difference is A is willing to work more hours then B, and both have made their chose freely.

  • Cindy D

    Franco,

    I wouldn’t take money away from one worker and give it to the other.

  • Franco

    #143 — Cindy D

    I wouldn’t take money away from one worker and give it to the other.

    OK, why wouldn’t you?

  • Cindy D

    It’s not a reasonable thing to do. They’re both struggling. Why take a little money from one slave and give it to another slave?

  • Mark (Ede)n

    If B is not receiving a living wage at 40 hours/week then he should get more money from his employer’s purse not out of A’s pay. Franco offers a false forced choice.

    Now times is tough. Employer of A and B decides to rif B. Should A demand that his overtime be given to B?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    I knew there was something wrong with that gedanken experiment, just didn’t bother to analyze it. You got it.

  • Cindy D

    Mark,

    I think it depends on who A and B actually are.

    A could be supporting an ill family member. B could be a healthy 20 year old. I have to say it depends.

    B might be able to survive even losing a place to live. A might not.

  • Mark (Ede)n

    true dat, Cindy.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Cindy, wages can’t be determined based on the family situation of the worker. That’s grossly unfair. Wages should be paid fairly and equally based on the volume and quality of work which people do. This is why it’s best to let wages be set by the market, because the market will insure that they are sufficient for the needs of the worker (a living wage) yet fair to the employer as well.

    Dave

  • Mar(k E)den

    …wages can’t be determined based on the family situation of the worker. That’s grossly unfair.

    Not necessarily, Dave. A better world is possible where such considerations can be justly ‘taken into account’ when planning compensation. The ‘human nature’ that you will in the end fall back on to justify your idea of fairness is human nature under capitalism. Things change.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Looks like a lost cause, Dave. It looks like you can’t wiggle out of this one.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Perhaps you can provide us with a model, Les? It would be helpful.

  • Bliffle

    Dave is funny:

    “Wages should be paid fairly and equally based on the volume and quality of work which people do.”

    Really? Was the volume and quality of Bill Gates work a million times greater than yours last year?

    “This is why it’s best to let wages be set by the market, because the market will insure that they are sufficient for the needs of the worker (a living wage) yet fair to the employer as well.”

    What does the market have to do with determining the volume and quality of anyones work?

    As is becoming more obvious every day, all the markets are rigged, anyhow. The markets are a show, an entertainment, a Potemkin Economic Village setup by our rulers.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Bliffle,

    People like Bill Gates are necessarily excluded from these generalizations.. It still is a capitalist system.

  • Cindy D

    People like Bill Gates are necessarily excluded from these generalizations.

    People like Bill Gates are the main reason for necessitating this conversation.

  • Benito Juarez

    Really? Was the volume and quality of Bill Gates work a million times greater than yours last year?

    1. Little, if any, of Bill Gates’ income is in the form of wages. A non sequitur, on that basis.

    2. That question is more properly asked of Microsoft’s stockholders, who are his employers. As an MSFT stockholder for a number of years, I say (as I look at my brokerage statements), emphatically, YES!

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle


    Not necessarily, Dave. A better world is possible where such considerations can be justly ‘taken into account’ when planning compensation.

    IMO that’s morally reprehensible. It’s not the role of employers to assess anything but what employees contribute in the workplace. Matters of personal affairs are best managed by the worker himself. If he needs more income because of a family situation he should work more, work harder or find a better job.

    Dave

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    People like Bill Gates are the main reason for necessitating this conversation.

    As I’ve said before, there’s no relationship between what Bill Gates earns and what the average MS employee earns. You could take all of Gates’ compensation away and it would add not one nickel to the average employees wages. Wages are not set based on the needs of the CEO (which Gates no longer is) or a major stockholder. They are set by the market. A programmer at MS gets paid more or less what someone doing the same job at Dell would get paid. That’s the relationship which matters. Comparing CEO compensation and worker compensation is nonsensical. There’s no basis for comparison.

    Dave

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Don’t get into the trap, Dave. You’re revealing too many cards. I asked Les to provide us with a model. So the onus is on him.

  • Cindy D

    So, we’re limited to what we have? We’re confined to the terms of Capitalism?

    I’m merely saying that making Bill gates off limits, preempts thinking outside of that box.

    I say Bill Gates needs to stay in the conversation.

    The article is about a global minimum wage. Unless you want to say, “hey that’s not reality”, and just walk away. Then other ideas need to be a part of the discussion.

  • Cindy D

    And look:

    In another thread, Dave agrees:

    “Old ideas must be abandoned and thrown by the wayside because they’re defunct.” (Roger)

    Exactly, Roger. (Dave)

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    The problem with capitalism is that you can throw it out and it just comes back because it derives directly from fundamental characteristics of human nature. You can suppress it and deny it and even make it illegal and it comes back anyway.

    Dave

  • Cindy D

    Wow, human nature just developed over the last, what few hundred years?

    What about all the years before there was “human nature”? You know the ones where Kings and Princes owned everything because god ordained it.

    Or even societies like the Inuit, which are basically ones of equality.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    I wouldn’t make THAT statement. You don’t want to argue from human nature, it’d seem to me, because you only open the door to the most radical elements to get back at you. My view (still in flux) is that it’s a kind of necessary evil (forgive me for saying so, Dave). But I don’t want to get into this discussion any deeper right now because I DON’T want to reveal my cards.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Cindy, #164,

    Actually, Cindy, there were sort of historical precedences before. Like some of the Italian city-states (Florence & Venice). The essential difference, I think, is that there were different bases of running the economy – agrarian, commercial, eventual capital-based. But exploitation (loosely speaking) was always there; it has always been about money and power (though there might be some counterexamples by way of small, insular communities). But you know all that, anyway, so I don’t know why I’m saying it.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    OK, back to Franco’s #138:

    First of all, Franco, you may recall that I work for a housing authority administering various HUD programs – including Section 8 and low-income public housing – in a mid-sized California city. Our operating budget comes entirely from federal funds* and is affected only indirectly by economic factors. The size of the budget – and therefore the number of clients we are able to assist – is determined by a series of performance indicators on which we are audited regularly. Basically, the better we perform, the more money we get.

    All overtime has to be approved by senior management: you can’t just decide to stay late or come in on Saturday, so there isn’t the scope to milk the system in that way. What used to happen is that management would set priorities and the majority of our staff and resources (and overtime) would be directed towards the priority project, to the detriment of others. Once that project had reached a satisfactory point, it would then be realized that other projects were falling behind and, because our funding was at stake, everyone would have to drop whatever they were doing and concentrate on those. Then, by the time they’d been brought up to date, the original project would have fallen behind again. It was a vicious cycle.

    So the new boss has tightened the ship in the sense that she’s trying to concentrate more on anticipating the future housing picture in the city; to make us a proactive rather than a reactive agency. She’s assembled dedicated teams to work on each of our programs and streamlined our procedures, so that everyone knows what they’re doing and doesn’t have to keep refamiliarizing themselves with neglected projects. So far it’s working: we’re in compliance with all of the indicators.

    Now on to good old Employee A and Employee B.

    The simple answer to your question is, of course, no. However, Mark in comment #146 correctly notes that you have given us a false dilemma here; and in fact any good employer would know at once that benefitting one employee at the expense of another is going create resentment and impact workplace morale, irrespective of how hard the employees work or how relatively skilled their respective jobs are.

    If B genuinely is a valued employee who works as hard and well (just not as long) as A, then as a boss I would argue the case for both to get a raise. But if whoever was holding the purse-strings told me that there was no way B could get his/her raise unless A worked less overtime, I’d have to go back and tell B that sorry, there’s no money in the budget right now.

    (And if B was in fact lobbying to be paid the same as A for doing less work, then I’d be thinking twice about whether such an unreasonable person was the right sort of employee for the company.)

    * Some of our programs are administered in partnership with private entities, but the monies arising from such arrangements are reserved strictly for operating the programs, not for internal costs.

  • Franco

    #146 — Mark (Ede)n

    “If B is not receiving a living wage at 40 hours/week then he should get more money from his employer’s purse not out of A’s pay. Franco offers a false forced choice.”

    Mark, your premise is false. Because if B in not receiving a livable wage at 40 hours/week then neither is A for those same 40 hours he works that matches B, because both being paid the same hourly wage. So (A) then should be entitled to the same raise as B. You did not account for that.

    Additionally, you are also going off point here by stating “if ” (B) is not receiving a living wage at 40 hours/week. Well, “if” my aunt had balls she’d be my uncle, right!

    Mark, I framed my question based on the premise that B was making enough monthly income. If you disagree you are free to change what you think is a minimum livable wage for B. But bare in mind this time that this applies to A as well.

    So there is no false framing a choice being asserted by me. In fact, that seems to have been clearly done by you.

    Now let me further clarify, I am basing my question on the common practice or relative values to make a simple comparison which means that both A and B would be both relatively healthy males and relatively the same age, with relatively equal skill levels. With the only exception being that A and B choose to exersie their liberties differntly.

    We can throw in all kids of interesting variables as we progress, but I am trying to stimulate discussion/debate input based of the various theories of “redistribution of wealth” because I am sure that are many varied opinions on this.

    So if we can, back to the point.

    Now A is making twice the income the B, which has creating a 100% wealth disparity over B. Giving A many more options for bettering his life that B dose not have, like living in a nicer dwelling in a nicer location, or getting a 52” LCD flat panel high definition TV, or saving for early retierment.(what ever).

    So is there anything unfair to B about this. Keeping in mind that both have made their choices freely for how they want to exercise their liberties.

    “Now times is tough. Employer of A and B decides to rif B. Should A demand that his overtime be given to B?”

    Interesting question, but if tough times caused the employer to even think about letting B go, why would he be allowing A all the costly overtime. I do not think he would so I think he would reel in A’s overtime before firing B.

    But if the emplorer did let B go and allowed A all the overtime he wanted, I think there would clearly have to be just cause for lettling B go. What that could be is a whole other disscussion/debate.

  • Ma(rk Ede)n

    Mark, I framed my question based on the premise that B was making enough monthly income.

    No, you didn’t Franco; you said: Now lets say employee (B) starts to complain that he can not meet all of his families minimum financial responsibilities…

    In other words, B is not getting a living wage at 40 hours. That’s what I responded to. (Also, I agree that A should get the raise as well.)

  • M(ark E)den

    As for the tough times question — lets make the dilemma for A more stark. The employer not only wants to get rid of B but wants to cut back the overtime for A. Should A demand that B get part of his regular hours? (The question is, is A his brother’s keeper?)

  • Mar(k E)den

    Roger, take a look here for one model. I haven’t gone through all of what Albert proposes, but it looks intriguing. He’s offering a course covering the notion of participatory economics starting March 1.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Well, at least you’re coming forward, and that’s encouraging. We’re never too old to learn. But shouldn’t you be on the other thread, Mark. That’s where we discussing the issues of life and death.

  • Mar(k E)den

    Been out working again…most inconvenient some times.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Do it next time! I’d like to hear your perspective.

    Roger

  • Cindy D

    Mark,

    Cool, the classes are up. I gave up looking. Andrej Grubacic has a class. I want to take 3.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Who is Andrej Grubacic? Looks like my compatriot! The Slavic power!

  • Cindy D

    #170

    A and B are equal then in circumstance. Yes. Absolutely.

  • Mar(k E)den

    I intend to take Marie Trigona’s course on what workers are up to in Latin Am. and Grubacic’.

  • Cindy D

    Of course, I am basing that on the a lack of available work elsewhere.

  • Lumpy

    Kill the rich! Eat their corpses!

  • Bliffle

    We should have been systematically reducing the work week for the last 30 years, then things would have worked out better.

  • Cindy D

    Mark,

    Good. Same ones. It ought to be interesting.

  • Cindy D

    Bliffle,

    I think that would have been a good idea. Andre Gorz is interesting on that point.

    THE CRISIS OF WORK
    Neither is it true any longer that the more each individual works, the better off everyone will be. The present crisis has stimulated technological change of an unprecedented scale and speed: `the micro-chip revolution’. The object and indeed the effect of this revolution has been to make rapidly increasing savings in labour, in the industrial, administrative and service sectors. Increasing production is secured in these sectors by decreasing amounts of labour. As a result, the social process of production no longer needs everyone to work in it on a full-time basis. The work ethic ceases to be viable in such a situation and workbased society is thrown into crisis.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Cindy,

    I hope you’re not mad at me!

  • Cindy D

    Moi? Pourquoi?

    :-)

    I’m Italian. Just fiery. Never hold a grudge.

    (except for people who use teargas)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Good for you. Same here. Grudges are for the emotionally immature.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Checking out, Cindy. Close to twelve hours online. Manana!

  • Cindy D

    Speaking of Venezuela Mark. Police shot two Mitsubishi factory occupiers.

  • Cindy D

    Well, Latin America I mean, of course.

  • Benito Juarez

    Well now, that IS an interesting turn of events: Chávez’s people turning against leftist citizens.

    Hmm…

  • Mar(k E)den

    Fuck.

  • Franco

    Mark, please excuse this apparent misunderstanding.

    I asserted what I clearly thought was common knowledge that employee B earring an income of $1900 per month is in fact receiving a living wage, as there is clearly no if-ands-or buts about it. I purposely put that amount in for that reason.

    It is from this common understanding that I based my premise. So again, please excuse my assuming this was clear.

    Now given what I had thought I had made clear, the whole point was the fact that employee B was claiming hard ship while not willing to work more then 40 hours.

    This was the issue I wanted to present to see the response I got in seeking others views on theories in redistribution of wealthy (income).

    Additionally my use of the 40 hour work week was also a key part to my question, as it relates to the much talked about theories of the shoulds or should nots in what constitutes a traditional/sufficient work week.

    I have to say it’s been interesting.

  • Clavos

    Maybe he’ll be switching that presidential sash back to his right shoulder soon…

  • Franco

    #170 — M(ark E)den

    “As for the tough times question — lets make the dilemma for A more stark.

    The employer not only wants to get rid of B but wants to cut back the overtime for A. Should A demand that B get part of his regular hours?
    (The question is, is A his brother’s keeper?)”

    I question your use of the word “demand” in that I do not see it fits harmoniously into your equation of brotherly love. I also see it as a confusing threat to individual right to private property.

    1.) Why dose A have to “demand” of his employer that B gets part of his hours? The value of those hours are the property of A not the property of his employer. If A has the extra funds to spare, he can give them himself to B because they are his property to control.

    2,) As far as A being his brother’s keeper, yes I believe that he is. But I can not demand that A fulfills this act of love, A either has this love to give to one degree or the other or he dose not, and if he dose not, at least to the degree I think he should, my demanding him to do so is not going to go down well, because I can not demand how A using his property (hourly wages) because it is not my property, it is the property of A.

    3.) I also believer the employer is his brothers keeper and should carry B as long as he possibly can before having to let him go. But I can not demand how long the employer must carry B as his brother’s keeper. Nor can I demand how much of the employers property he must use to carry B, because it is not my property, it is the employers.

    4.) I also believer B is his brothers keeper and he should do everything he can with every minute his has to find work so he too can be his brothers keeper by respecting his brothers keeper. But I can not demand that B shows this respect.

    All three then are responsible to and for each other. But anyone one of them can cop out. And so goes the world of good and evil.

    Thankfully the world has many people who do lovingly give, especially in the United States. But to think that men can demand other men to true brotherly love is a fallacy. Men give it of their own free will or they don’t.

    Question: Do you think that enacting laws demanding that the citizens brotherly love be carried out by state mandate confiscation of individual private property for redistribution is the way to go?

  • Cindy D

    Clav,

    Here is a transcript of a news video where Chavez discusses the shooting.

    12. SOUNDBITE: (Spanish) Hugo Chavez, Venezuelan president: ++contains cutaways++

    “So the judge ordered to evacuate the workers, and he ordered the police to do that, well the result: two workers dead, it hurts my heart, it’s a reason for mourning for us. Now the minister (of Interior) Tareck (el Aissami), told me that the governor (of Anzoategui) has fired and detained the police who were there to be investigated. Those responsible must be imprisoned but only if it’s true that the police or some police officers were responsible. Why do the police have to carry guns to evacuate workers? And we also have to tell the workers to be wise, to calm down.”

  • Franco

    #167 — Dr Dreadful

    Doc, thank you for such elaboration. Your new boss sounds like she is on it by how you describe her maximizing the true benefits of coordinating working systems that make happier and more productive employees, which all translates into increased outreach to the community you serve. She sounds like she my have run a free market corporation before.

    I am happy for you and I am please that our tax dollars are being so well managed. So if you will, please tell your boss kudos from Franco. I’m serious.

    A and B

    Thank you for providing a simple answers to my question. I agree.

    Concerning your support of Mark’s claim that I have proposed a false dilemma, clarification of that has been posted in 168, 169, and 192 respectively.

    The rest of your response covers other interesting variables and I conquer with you in your logic on all of them.

  • Mark (Ede)n

    Do you think that enacting laws demanding that the citizens brotherly love be carried out by state mandate confiscation of individual private property for redistribution is the way to go?

    No. I’m not much in to States and laws and private property.

  • Hope and Change?

    “I work for a housing authority administering various HUD”

    Translation: ” I am on the tax payers dole and work less than 20 hours per week but get paid for 40. My success is based on other peoples hardships and pain. My goal in life is to work as little as possible and retire soaking the poor tax payers to pay my retirement and healthcare”

    How does the GREAT DR. Dreadful post all day long while working for the government!!!!! Another reason to lay off 30% of ALL government employees!

    Hope and Change…..another joke on tax payers!!

  • Clavos

    H & C:

    You’re really barking up the wrong tree in your #198 (the analogy is deliberate, and IMO, apt). You’re a dog for that attack on Doc, who is one of the most honorable and least partisan participants on these threads, whether as a commenter or a writer, and especially when he’s wearing his editorial hat.

    That was a no-class comment. Shame on you.

  • Cindy D

    As Jet would say, what a [expletive deleted] raving [expletive deleted]. Why don’t you go [personal attack deleted].

    And by the way. Save your breath, you’ll need it to blow up your date.

  • Hope and Change?

    How can someone command the high ground when they are getting paid by the PEOPLE while wasting tax payers dollars blogging all day…

    As an employer if one of my employees was wasting MY MONEY — (PEOPLE PAID BY TAXES ARE BEING PAID WITH MY MONEY) — they would be fired!!

    Is stealing tax payers dollars “most honorable”?

    Wheres da hope? wheres da change?

  • Hope and Change?

    Clavos….Cindy?????

  • Franco

    #197 — Mark (Ede)n

    “No. I’m not much in to States and laws and private property.”

    You used the word “demand” so who is it that carries that out.

    Are you talking mid 19th Century classical liberalism (Libertarianism), or one of the many hues of Anarchism theory.

  • Hope and Change?

    The solution is less spending by the federal, state and local government NOT MORE!

    There is so much waste in government that we dont need to “borrow and bail” we need to lay off and take those monies and give them to small business owners!!!

  • Cindy D

    As an employer if one of my employees was wasting MY MONEY…

    I think you are a perfect example of a slave owner H&C. I dare anyone who really imagines working for you to remain a Capitalist.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Just sounds like he’d be a responsible business manager to me, Cindy. Waste in business or in government harms everyone involved.

    Now, on to your “work crisis” an idea which runs squarely contrary to what appears to be the REAL situation here in the US, a serious, imminent labor shortage crisis. It’s ironic, but at the same time that jobs are being cut in the midwest in heavy industry, there’s an increasingly critical shortage of workers in a variety of well paid industries nationwide, including IT and nursing as a couple of the leaders. There’s a similar shortage in certain low=wage jobs as well, in the service industries and in farming. These shortages are just going to get worse, despite our temporary unemployment problems, because the demographic forces causing them are inescapable.

    The danger of the labor shortage is that it’s going to force wages up dramatically and businesses compete for the limited supply of qualified workers, and this is going to happen in combination with the inflation which will inevitably result from all the massive deficit spending which is going on. The two together are going to lead to inflation, maybe even hyperinflation, so as we come out of the current economic crisis we’re going to face a second, different type of crisis. It’s going to be a wild ride.

    Dave

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    I love you too, H&C.

    Although I do question the amount of time you’re spending blogging when you supposedly should be running your own business…

  • Mark Ed(en)

    Franco, I chose ‘demand’ to emphasize the ‘right’ (imo, enforceable by A and his fellow workers) of A to participate in workplace decisions. (Also, I admit, to irk you; I know how owners dislike the idea of labor demands. I promise to try to be good.)

    (from dictionary dot com

    de⋅mand
    1. to ask for with proper authority; claim as a right
    2. to ask for peremptorily or urgently
    3. to call for or require as just, proper, or necessary)

    Are you talking mid 19th Century classical liberalism (Libertarianism), or one of the many hues of Anarchism theory.

    The latter.

  • Cindy D

    Dave,

    I’m coming to visit you so you can teach me how to use a gun.

  • Cindy D

    And Dave,

    H&C sounds like he would presume his employees were lazy idiots and treat them accordingly. (I wonder where I got the idea he might do that?)

    The weird thing is if you treat employees well something unexpected happens. I don’t think people should be at work if there is no work. I tell the employees to get out and go home. Don’t come in it’s snowing (or it might).

    They sneak in when I’m not looking. Stop in on vacation, “just to make sure everything is okay.” I can’t get rid of them.

  • Hope and Change?

    I do not treat employees like idiots! In fact I am pretty much a hands off manager. However, I will not tolerate people who lie or steal…yes surfing the net, posting on blogs, chatting all day long ON MY DIME is stealing.

    Cindy you sound like you have never managed people or held a senior management role…so you wouldnt understand.

    With employees its “Trust but verify”

    Hope and change – one tax cheat at a time!

  • Cindy D

    H&C,

    I’m happy to hear you aren’t a tyrant. I have always found people are capable of managing themselves and do a better job of it than I can.

    Here’s a true story: My husband was the night plant manager at Carter Wallace when he was young. He told his shift that if they could beat the day shift production every time, then they could quit working and spend the rest of the shift in the cafeteria playing cards or socializing. He also would punch the time card of anyone who had to go home early for a sick child or whatever.

    Every night they beat the day shift. They got to where they could do this and have 2 hours in the cafeteria.

    One night, my husband’s boss shows up and tells him that he should make them work the whole shift. If they can do that much, they can do that much more. He told his boss, you’ll never get the same amount of work. The boss never wrote up a memo and never talked about it again.

    It’s how he managed the whole time he was there. And people were happier. Not so many breakdowns in the line.

    (I worked at a factory, sometimes breakdowns can be arranged.)

  • Hope and Change?

    They should have changed the compensation to piece work rather than salary…production would have increased.

    In other words the stockholders were getting ripped off by hubbys cute management tricks!

  • Cindy D

    (H&C reveals the whip that he holds behind his back.)

  • Brunelleschi

    #206- “Waste in business or in government harms everyone involved…”

    Does a system where CEOs make 500 or 1,000 times the average employee harm everyone too?

  • Clavos

    Does a system where CEOs make 500 or 1,000 times the average employee harm everyone too?

    If the CEO is doing his/her job properly, i.e., the company is profitable, fiscally sound, the stockholders are getting a reasonable ROI, and the company is operating within the law, no — it harms no one.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    I’m coming to visit you so you can teach me how to use a gun.

    Give me a few weeks advance notice so I can finish plumbing the bathroom in the guest house.

    The weird thing is if you treat employees well something unexpected happens. I don’t think people should be at work if there is no work. I tell the employees to get out and go home. Don’t come in it’s snowing (or it might).

    They sneak in when I’m not looking. Stop in on vacation, “just to make sure everything is okay.” I can’t get rid of them.

    Dead on, Cindy. Make them feel needed and well used and they will rise to the challenges and feel positive about the employers. This is the environment you find in a lot of small companies and which innovative large employers like Google are trying all sorts of clever methods to simulate.

    With employees its “Trust but verify”

    H&C – smart employers try to give workers time in the workday to take a little entertainment or make the occasional blog post just to break the day up and help them relax.

    Dave

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Does a system where CEOs make 500 or 1,000 times the average employee harm everyone too?

    Do the math. Those high salaries are generally only in very large companies. If a CEO at a company with 100,000 employees earns $500 times what the average employee earns, if he were to give up that salary it would increase the average employee’s salary by only 1/2 of 1%. Except that it wouldn’t even do that, because wages aren’t set by company profits, they’re set by the market, so there is no actual relationship between CEO compensation and what workers are paid.

    Dave

  • Brunelleschi

    What about a time like right now when everyone in the economy faces real problems?

    When does the ethics of distribution start to break down?

    It is moral for enough money to restore an economy in serious crisis to remain put away and controlled by a very small minority?

    (This is another version of a point in philosophy that speaks of bread riots. If all of a population is starving, or under siege or whatever, what use are laws when people break down the walls of a warehouse and take bread because they need it to survive? At some point “that is MY bread” becomes meaningless.)

  • Cindy D

    Dave,

    Happier slaves aren’t what I aim for. I’d share the business with them if I could. But we don’t have a system that would support that move. My husband’s fragile health could be at risk. I can’t give away something that he created where the employees are young and healthy and he could suffer.

  • Cindy D

    So, I have to be satisfied with trying to make things the best I can. And I am now able to give them full insurance as of last Wednesday.

  • Brunelleschi

    Since this is a philosophy thread and its superbowl philosophy sunday-

    What if you are Group Cap. Mandrake in the movie Dr Strangelove, and you have an urgent need to call the president of the US and give him some information (that only you have) in order to prevent the outbreak of a nuclear war…..The only phone that works is a payphone and you don’t have a dime…… The only place to get a dime is a Coke machine……You are being watched by an armed guard, and you tell him to shoot the lock off the machine…?

    “I can’t do that?”

    “Why not!!!??”

    “That is private property.”

    Is it OK to shoot the lock off the machine and take a dime owned by the Coca-Cola company to save millions of lives?

    If so, why?

    That’s vandalism.

  • Franco

    #147 — Roger Nowosielski

    “I knew there was something wrong with that gedanken experiment, just didn’t bother to analyze it. You got it.”

    Roger, concerning your support of Mark’s claim that I have proposed a false dilemma, clarification of that has been posted in 168, 169, and 192 respectively.

    What you thought was in there was the very trigger I had set. The fact that both you and Mark tripped over it is telling. A re-read of the above noted post numbers will make it clear.

    My reasons for this gedanken experiment was to test it in the cauldron of theories on redistribution of wealth coupled with the theories on appropriate/constructive/healthy hours for a work week, and how they infuance each other as both seem to be bubble up together around the top of the pot more then not.

    I wanted to see what carelessly boiled over, where, and why.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    What about a time like right now when everyone in the economy faces real problems?

    I think that how real the problems are for the population in general is debatable. The problems are real, but how much they translate into daily hardship for most of the population remains unproven.

    It is moral for enough money to restore an economy in serious crisis to remain put away and controlled by a very small minority?

    What is the “morality” of which you speak?

    What is immoral is to use force (like the force of government authority) to take away the fruits of peoples labors.

    And again, does the math support your argument? If you took all the compensation away from the small number of CEOs in the country who earn hundreds of times what their workers are paid, and distributed it to the people, how much do you think it would help them out?

    I don’t have all the figures at hand, but let’s say we take the total compensation of the top 10 highest paid CEOs in the country and total it up. That’s about $600 million. Divided between the people that would be $2 each. Woohoo, chicken nuggets and a coke!

    CEOs below the top 10 earn a good bit less. The top 100 CEOs earn a ballpark of about $2 billion between them. That would be about $7 per person if divided among all the people in the nation.

    Below that top 100 CEOs are earning less than $10 million a year, which takes them well out of the 500 times the average worker’s salary category.

    Happier slaves aren’t what I aim for.

    Cindy, they’re workers not slaves. If they don’t like the way you run the business they can leave. Very important distinction.

    So, I have to be satisfied with trying to make things the best I can. And I am now able to give them full insurance as of last Wednesday.

    Good news. Did you ask them if they’d rather have insurance or take the cost of the insurance in cash?

    Dave

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Franco,

    I must admit that I haven’t scrutinize it that closely – my first impression (and I may be wrong) was that it what somewhat contrived. So when Doc responded to it, I thought he may have hit the mark. I’ll look at it later (possibly), but it’s a very long thread. My real question is: What’s really at stake here?

  • Brunelleschi

    #224 Dave-

    Don’t try too hard. I’m just getting started.

    There HAS to be a point when things break down so much, that defending the “fruits of labors” doesn’t make sense.

    Go back up the the Dr Strangelove scene. That is why I posted that.

    Is it OK to break a lock and take a dime that belongs to the Coca Cola company to use it to make a phone call to stop a nuclear war?

    It’s private property. Its the fruit of the company’s labor.

  • Franco

    #216 — Clavos

    Brunelleschi sez…..Does a system where CEOs make 500 or 1,000 times the average employee harm everyone too?

    Clavos sez…..If the CEO is doing his/her job properly, i.e., the company is profitable, fiscally sound, the stockholders are getting a reasonable ROI, and the company is operating within the law, no — it harms no one.

    Clavos, excellent comment in support of individual rights under the law.

    Brunelleschi, That is not “waste in business” as you assert, and it is remarkable how you have had your wires cross on that fact. Whether you make 10 cents or $50 million dollars by doing legally under the law, it is your legal tender, and it is yours to decide on how it is used after taxes.

    But in your support I will say this. If any of those CEO’s are in fact breaking the law for there own personal and selfish ‘greedy” conscripts through monopolies, extortion, or oppressing and curshing free market competition, creating “waste in business” then they should go to jail and have to personally pay out record fines to be disbursed to those it victimized starting with the those left weakest and in need most.

  • Cindy D

    …they’re workers not slaves. If they don’t like the way you run the business they can leave…

    They sure can. They can go get another boss. They could even end up with Hope & Change. Then they’d need insurance for sure to pay for their prozac.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Franco,

    It’s not wrong in any sense you mention. But in the sixties, if you go back that far, the ratio of the highest paid employee (CEO) and those on the lowest rung was quite reasonable, socially acceptable, and sensible. When I started working on Wall Street for BofA (it was an agency then, before interstate banking legislation), my starting pay was $100.00 a week – roughly $5,000 a year. The top honcho – The Chief Agent from BofA, SF – was making 20 grand a year. That’s only 4 to 1. Everybody could live with that and probably he was being underpaid. But compare this now with present salaries and perks paid to the top management of successful companies, and it’s staggers the mind. Today’s CEOs don’t do that much of a better job then their predecessors of 50 years back – not in terms of being responsible for better products, only in terms of the bottom line. So the point in effect is – it does create at least an image of some gross injustice (because the workers’ pay certainly have not kept pace.

    Personally, I would be embarrassed to draw such astronomical salaries – no matter how hard I worked and contributed to the profitability of the company. Don’t you think that something is out of whack here, especially since the general prosperity (so believable in the sixties) has definitely failed to materialize for the most of the workforce? In fact, in real terms, they’re much worse off today than they were then.

  • Cindy D

    Despite spreading recession, US CEOs rake in huge pay raises

    April 2008

    CEOs in larger firms typically rake in far larger salaries, even when they have presided over financial catastrophes for their firms. Equilar’s report found that the CEOs of the 10 largest financial firms in the survey were collectively paid $320 million, while their firms reported mortgage-related losses of $55 billion and the market price of their stock fell by over $200 billion.

    (snip)

    From 2002 to 2006, Bear Stearns Chairman James Cayne, CEO Alan Schwartz, and former Co-President Warren Spector received total compensation—in salary, bonuses, restricted stock, and stock options—of $156 million, $141 million, and $168 million, respectively. Their bonuses between 2002 and 2005 ranged between $9 million and $12 million.

  • Hope and Change?

    Another “fake left wing hero” of the working class is busted as nothing but a fraud!!

    Gee…another liberal fake and fraud! Srpinsteen pretends to be a blue collar left loon and does a deal with Walmart for the Big Bucks…when confronted by the NYT…he uses the popular liberal excuse -(aka Obamas team)–“it was a mistake”, “I didnt know” blah blah blah

    NEW YORK – The Boss is owning up to a mistake. In an interview with Sunday’s New York Times, Bruce Springsteen says he shouldn’t have made a deal with Wal-Mart. This month, the store started exclusively selling a Springsteen greatest hits CD.

    Some fans were critical because Springsteen has been a longtime supporter of worker’s rights, and Wal-Mart has faced criticism for its labor practices.

    Springsteen told the Times that his team didn’t vet the issue as closely as he should have, and that he “dropped the ball on it.”

    Springsteen went on to say: “It was a mistake. Our batting average is usually very good, but we missed that one. Fans will call you on that stuff, as it should be.”

    Springsteen released his new CD “Working on a Dream” this week and is performing the halftime show at the Super Bowl

    Hope ang change – “only fools believe”

  • Clavos

    The Chief Agent from BofA, SF – was making 20 grand a year.

    Banks have always been notorious for their poor salary scales, but that’s ridiculous.

    In the latter part of the same decade, as a lowly sales representative in Atlanta, working for a Latin American airline, I was making $15K a year, plus company paid retirement and health insurance, and free travel privileges worldwide.

    And that was an entry level management job.

  • Cindy D

    Remember Billionaires for Bush or Gore? Well, this isn’t quite about that. It’s about all of them.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Right, Clavos. Wasn’t the best example, only one I am personally aware of. I’m certain the ratio was higher – more like 10, perhaps 20 to 1. Hundred grand was a great salary in those days.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Well, I quit in 69 for the graduate school, supervisory level at $10,000 a year – double the starting salary – paid vacations, health insurance of course, too. But in 65, on the clerk’s pay and a $5,000 loan from my employer, we were able to buy a triplex in Queens, NY for $51,000; seventeen thousand was the down payment.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle


    Personally, I would be embarrassed to draw such astronomical salaries – no matter how hard I worked and contributed to the profitability of the company.

    It’s important to remember that in most cases these amounts are NOT their salaries. Their actual salaries are likely to be under $1 million. What is being counted here is their total compensation including stock options, bonuses, dividends and other sources of highly variable income.

    Dave

  • Clavos

    In 1960, my parents bought a brand new 3 bedroom, 2 bath house with pool in Ft. Lauderdale for $17,500.

    Before buying, they looked in the Las Olas Islands area (very nice part of Ft. Lauderdale — all waterfront houses, but modest in size back then), but the houses then were selling for $50K, way out of their budget.

    The other day, I was in that neighborhood showing a boat, and noticed an empty lot (which clearly had had a house on it at one time) for sale, with one of those little tubes for fliers at curbside. Out of curiosity, I stopped and took a flier. Asking price for the lot, no house?

    $3 Million!

  • Group Cap. Mandrake

    I’m anxiously waiting for an answer to the Coca-Cola’s dime question so I can use it to call the president to prevent a nuclear war.. But the machine is locked and it’s private property.

    Help!

    What’s the answer?

    :)

  • Cindy D

    ROFLOL!!!!

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    The answer is that phonecalls don’t cost a dime and haven’t for years, plus pay phones are virtually non existent now. Wake up and get a cell phone.

    Dave

  • Cindy D

    haha!!! lol

  • Clavos

    What’s the answer?

    The answer is:

    Bend over, grab your ankles, and kiss your ass goodbye.

    But keep yer cotton-pickin’ hands offa my Cocola machine!

  • Cindy D

    lol, poor Bru. no one is gonna answer.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    The question is moot because Mandrake would just shoot the thing up

  • Brunelleschi

    Cindy-

    Exactly. Funny huh? Its just a very exaggerated moral/philosophical point to test the limits of the logic of what one is basing their beliefs on, and it was Jordan’s intent with this article in the beginning. This has been common since Socrates. Einstein worked through physics the same way.

    It requires a will to think.

    I am particularly interested in Dave’s stubborn liplock on the private property=morality stance. Apparently the exaggerated example I just used is too much for him. For most people breaking a lock on a machine to save millions of lives is a no-brainer. For Dave, I’m waiting.

    Some more realistic problems with Dave’s dogma-Was the Emancipation Proclamation immoral? It took property (slaves) and made them free (Thats an open issue). Dave would have to say that this was immoral, because the slave holders lost property due to the power of the state.

    Never mind the morality of the situation itself!

    Everything is relative.

    Let’s go to just 5 days after the slaves were freed. Now you have plantations that were obtained by an immoral system, and a lot of people with no property, education, or capital. Moral? At what point in time, exactly, is this no longer an issue- a week? a year? a generation? or many generations?

    How do we access this? Is it ok to look at the results of this system now and think about this?

    The other example I had was the more practical issue of scarcity. Philosophers kick this around all the time.

    Laws/morals that define our ideas on ownership and entitlement only work in times of moderate scarcity.

    If there is no scarcity and food is free, ownership is moot. If you take my pizza, I go get another one.

    If there is extreme scarcity, the needs of the many eventually outweigh the “morality” of ownership by the one. If a town is under siege and the economy shut down, and food is in a locked warehouse, while people starve “Bread riots” are expected and that’s just the way it is.

    I wonder how our current banking breakdown and skewed distribution of wealth looks next to the bread riot example. For decades, money has been rushing to the top and hoarded by fewer and fewer people, who stay away from public scrutiny. Now the economy needs money and the government is taking it from the people and giving it to the banks, continuing more of the same.

    What is more moral, taking money from the people to feed the banks, or finding where it went in the last 20 years or so and asking the right questions?

    What if everyone just decided at once to not pay their mortgage anymore? What are the banks going to do? It would take years to evict everyone. Who would really be hurt? A few banks? Big deal.

    They hoarded “the bread” already, but we are experiencing a “bread riot” in reverse.

  • Brunelleschi

    Oops, Jason not Jordan-sorry.

  • Cindy D

    Bru,

    Now you have plantations that were obtained by an immoral system, and a lot of people with no property, education, or capital. Moral? At what point in time, exactly, is this no longer an issue- a week? a year? a generation? or many generations?

    They’ll say, “It was the past.” “Liberal guilt.” etc. But what they don’t admit is that it made the game rigged. They refuse to see that when you set up a game that is rigged from the start, it can’t result in a “free” game.

    The game itself needs to be scrutinized. Not brushed off with claims of “liberal guilt”. Which, I find, is just a way to turn away from that scrutiny–thus preserving one’s conscience and allowing one to continue believing in what they see as “the only game that works.”

    Second: If there is no scarcity and food is free, ownership is moot.

    Yes, and the answer, I believe, is in that. If everyone can use everything then ???

    No one listened when mom and dad told the kids to share the toys. There’s enough for everyone.

  • Cindy D

    I’m putting this video here.

    Dave would probably say, that makes me naive. But, I think maybe people need to use their emotions. Not just their gray cells.

  • STM

    Cindy: “The game itself needs to be scrutinized.”

    It was a great game, especially the comeback by the Cardinals and their last touchdown, where the guy opened up a nice gap for a runaway score that we all hoped would give them the game.

    However, the Steelers’ winning touchdown looked out to me – just, and it certainly should be scrutinised in the days to come.

    Also, the game of American football in general is far too long, with way too many stoppages (how many beers does one man need to drink during a game of footy??) and not enough running of the ball – and those pads and helmets need to be done away with.

    Come on, America, we know you’re not really nancy boys – but all the bright-yellow lycra and the pads and what have you, well, it just makes it look that way.

    Toughen up, America, before it’s too late!

  • Cindy DiGeso

    Stan that’s boring…(snore)

    (I think I’ll use my own name. If they don’t want people like me teaching in a public school, that’ll be their problem.)

  • Mark Eden

    What kind of world do you want
    Think anything
    Let’s start at the start
    Build a masterpiece
    Be careful what you wish for
    History starts now

    nice — let’s take it beyond thought into words and action

  • Cindy DiGeso

    Hiya Mark :-). Here’s one for you.

    …let’s take it beyond thought into words and action

    This guy inspires that.

  • STM

    Oh, sorry, did I stray off topic. Isn’t this the Superbowl thread?

    I digress. So, you’re a teacher. Good on you Cindy. Teaching kids to think outside the square.

    That never goes astray. I’ve had some interesting school teachers too in my time – one of whom thought envelopes should always be opened, rather than closed.

    My son starts a BA in teaching in a couple of weeks’ time.

    He’s always said he’s wanted to do it, and now he is after pissing about for a few years.

    He asked if I was proud of him. I said: “Yes, you bet … and I’ll be even prouder when you graduate”.

  • Mark Eden

    Cindy, check out this guy’s take on it. Seed saver and friend. He’s been ‘working the problem’ from his pov for many years.

  • Clavos

    No one listened when mom and dad told the kids to share the toys.

    I did.

    And I thought, “Fine, but I’ll choose with whom I share — and how much.”

  • Cindy DiGeso

    Mark,

    Look on Zcom. I hope I sent the right video. If you got the old guy again I’ll have to resend it. lol

  • Mark Eden

    (still the old smart guy)

  • Cindy DiGeso

    Clav,

    A fellow went to Tahiti. He was surprised because people left their gardening tools for anyone just to come and take and use. When they needed a shovel they just went and got it from the other person’s house.

    He couldn’t understand this.

    If you won’t share with everyone then everyone needs to get her own shovel. When a few could be used among many.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Jason,

    The most potent idea I’ve heard on BC yet – not only with respect to your particular and concrete example (you’re aware, you can generate a myriad) but more importantly, because of the theoretical underpinnings. We can reinstate the subject matter of political economy to its rightful place.

    Not only is your piece futuristic – in that it’s the most likely direction we’ll be going; it also dissolves a great many of presently hotly-debated issues as pseudo problems. But the beauty of course is the proper response on the part of the polity – theoretically and practically – to usurpation of power without any need to recourse to violence or upheavals, while effectively containing the usurper from afar by leveling the playing field.

    Another great plus: the program can be instituted piecemeal, on a touch-and-go-basis, until it can be done so universally; so there’s a built-in experimental, trial and error phase, to allow one of wrinkle it out until put in full operation.

    The only problem I’m envisaging: how to ensure the justness of the Federation given more or less global framework, but I think that leveling the playing field will go a long way to eliminate the need for abuses (such as collusion and fraud).

    I think you should seriously consider developing the full argument, first from the theoretical point of view, laying out the groundwork, and then bring in specific examples (such as the issue you’re raising in your paper) as proof specific and a blueprint for putting the theory into practice. A position paper would be my idea. Of course the next step – and the hardest one – is to publicize it in all the right places.

    A working subtitle: “Preparing ourselves for the 21st Century,” a sort of sequel to Reich’s “The Work of Nations,” but on a positive note.

    I think we should discuss this further.

    Roger

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    My son starts a BA in teaching in a couple of weeks’ time.

    Stop him, Stan. Get him to take his BA in an actual subject field so he KNOWS something to teach not just how to teach. The great bane of our educational system here in the US is teachers who know all the jargon and educational psychology and have no actual knowledge to impart to the students.

    Dave

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Dave,

    In perfect agreement here. Board of Education and teaching credentials – the greatest farce. In the sixties, only the intellectually-challenged would opt out for a BA in Education. Couldn’t make the cut otherwise.

    But this does not apply to college faculty, or does it?

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Thankfully it doesn’t apply to college faculty.

    But get this. A few years ago I briefly considered teaching high school. With two masters degrees in popular fields I couldn’t get a job in a public high school because I couldn’t be certified, while a recent graduate in education with just a BA was fast-tracked for a teaching job. Even though I had taken a graduate course in teaching history, I would have needed to go back and get 9 more hours of undergraduate education courses to get certified.

    The good news is that the TEA was prevailed on since then to ease those restrictions and put more emphasis on area studies rather than education degrees, but the teachers unions fought them every step of the way and it took bullying from powerful state legislators to get the rules changed.

    Dave

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Dave,

    The only thing I can say for the TU is that mediocrity took over. I wouldn’t apply for teaching credentials (what is it, six months at most) even if I had to starve – on the principle of it. I was in three PhD programs, not completed; a near masters from NYU (stupid me, I didn’t turn in the thesis) – probably over 350 graduate credits and over ten years of graduate work in total – while nincompoops are running the show. Pathetic!

    Probably these restrictions don’t apply so much for private or privately-accredited institutions of higher learning (even Catholic schools, I presume).

    Roger

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    In my experience private schools are more flexible, but they all have to meet the standards of accreditng groups, and most of those follow protocols similar to those used by public schools. The big plus about teaching at a private school is that there’s much less paperwork. Our local public school teachers currently have to fill out an average of three forms per student per day.

    Dave

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Well, there is a community college here in Hopkinsville, KY. I’ll give them a try.

  • Franco

    #229 — Roger Nowosielski

    Roger, I concede all of that to you – (for as fare as you have taken it.)

    You have also asked me an important question concering an image of injustice. Seeing that you are a discerning critical thinker from what I have read of your work here on BC and your web/blog sight, you deserve the efforts of a well thought out response in kind on injustice (as you have framed it) because it is in fact a critial question. This is your question.

    “Don’t you think that something is out of whack here, especially since the general prosperity (so believable in the sixties) has definitely failed to materialize for the most of the workforce?”

    Yes.

    But, (and I do not use that word to disagree on anything you said) I use it to connote what you did not say.

    When you refer to this out of whack “something” you speak of, I assert it has permeated far more into our sociality then just this minority of CEO’s. Cases in point…

    Take today’s professional athletes making as much as the CEO’s in question, don’t do that much of a better job then their predecessors of 50 years back – not in terms of being responsible for better performance, only in terms of their own personal bottom line. So the point in effect is – it does create at least an image of some gross injustice (because the workers’ pay certainly has not kept pace).

    How much dose it cost to buy tickets to take a kid to the game for working men and women? And when you get there, are some hotdogs and cokes really worth $25 bucks?

    Take today’s actors making much more then most all CEO’s and they don’t do that much of a better job then their predecessors of 50 years back – not in terms of being responsible for better performance, only in terms of their own personal bottom line. So the point in effect is – it does create at least an image of some gross injustice (because the workers’ pay certainly has not kept pace).

    And how much dose it cost to take the family to the movies. Are boxes of popcorns and cokes really worth $30 bucks?

    Now you might say that this is entertainment and different then CEO’s. You might say that these are the arts and they touch our lives emotionally and we identify with them deeply. Yes that is true, and that is the seen and emotially felt hand.

    But is it not also true that the CEO touchs our lives with the products or services he deals in, on the practical need of life, yet by and unseen and unfelt hand? Has the common man not be touched by Home Depot, for his wants, needs, and services?

    Are the emotional aspects of the arts worth respecting so much more as to excuse their salaries that staggers the mind, and the CEO’s found quilty of injust for this very same thing.

    Are not the practical aspects of life equally as valuable as the emotional? I think so.

    Why are today’s mega millionaire actors and rock stars welcomed into political messaging as saints, and CEO as devils? Why is this hypocrisy escaping us? Have we all surcomed to idal worship of the emotional, and slayers of the practical?

    Roger, I see all of the above being examples as being with in the exact same framing that you have singled out only one.

    And I say that all of them do in fact (to use your words) create at least an image of some gross injustice (because the workers’ pay certainly have not kept pace.)”

    Should you disagree, I wait your rebuttal.

    Now lastly and to the most crucial part of your entire post. You’re using the words “image of some gross injustice.” For now you are speaking about the persection of law.

    ————————————————–

    What, then, is law?

    Each of us has a natural right to defend his person, his liberty, and his property. These are the three basic requirements of life, and the preservation of any one of them is completely dependent upon the preservation of the other two. For what are our faculties but the extension of our individuality? And what is property but an extension of our faculties?

    If every person has the right to defend — even by force — his person, his liberty, and his property, then it follows that a group of men have the right to organize and support a common force to protect these rights constantly. Thus the principle of collective right — its reason for existing, its lawfulness — is based on individual right.

    And the common force that protects this collective right cannot logically have any other purpose or any other mission than that for which it acts as a substitute. And this common force is to do only what the individual forces have a natural and lawful right to do: to protect persons, liberties, and properties; to maintain the right of each, and to cause justice to reign over us all. Is this not what are founding documents “We the people” proclaim?

    When law and force keep a person within the bounds of justice, they impose nothing but a mere negation. They oblige him only to abstain from harming others. They violate neither his personality, his liberty, nor his property. They safeguard all of these. They are defensive; they defend equally the rights of all.

    When the law exceeds its proper functions, it has not done so merely in some inconsequential and debatable matters. The law has gone further than this; it has acted in direct opposition to its own purpose.

    When a portion of wealth is transferred from the person who owns it — without his consent and without compensation, and whether by force or by fraud — to anyone who does not own it, then an act of plunder is committed. This act is exactly what the law is supposed to suppress, always and everywhere.

    How to Identify Legal Plunder: See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime.

    In this case of legal plunder, however, the person who receives the benefits is not responsible for the act of plundering. The responsibility for this legal plunder rests with the law, the legislator, and society itself. Therein lies the political danger.

    As long as it is admitted that the law may be diverted from its true purpose — that it may violate property instead of protecting it — then everyone will want to participate in making the law, either to protect himself against plunder or to use it for plunder. Political questions will always be prejudicial, dominant, and all-absorbing. There will be fighting at the door of the Legislative Palace, and the struggle within will be no less furious. To know this, it is hardly necessary to examine what is transpiring in our legislatures today; merely to understand the issue is to know the answer.

    The Law – by Frederick Bastiat

    ————————————————–
    Roger, you haven’t said it outright, buy I sense (I may be mistatken) that you are swimming around in seeing plunder some how being justified.

    If so, do we pervert the law to create plunder to force virtue on athelets actores and CEO’s?

    If that is the case, then here is the precipice we are standing at, a precipice of which you have written about is some of your own work.

    For me, I resolve to remove my tent from the place where this precipice stands. And that is the reasons I based my comments on in post #227 – that drew your comments to me.

    I look forwared to hearing everthing you choose to say.

  • Cindy DiGeso

    But is it not also true that the CEO touchs our lives…yet by and unseen and unfelt hand?

    Yes, they do that using the invisible hand of the market. It reaches into your pocket and removes your wallet.

  • Franco

    “Yes, they do that using the invisible hand of the market. It reaches into your pocket and removes your wallet.”

    Ain’t having to pay for stuff a bitch?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Franco, #266:

    Please give me till tomorrow to respond. I just checked the thread and saw your comment.

    Thank you.

    Roger

  • Franco

    “#245 — Brunelleschi

    If you take my pizza, I go get another one.”

    Yea, that won’t start any problems.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Franco, #266:

    It’s a subject on which one could write a book. So let me instead pose a number of questions:

    1)Are we, Americans, fair-minded people?
    2)Do we believe in fair play, and to what extent?
    3) Do we usually begrudge other people’s success?
    4)Are there excesses that come with our kind of liberty and freedoms?
    5) Are we tolerant of those excesses?
    6) Can we make legitimate distinctions as to the kinds of excesses which have little or no impact from those which may have wide ranging implications?
    7)If corporations can list such qualities as “good will” as part of their evaluation, what other qualities are also attributable to them?
    8) Do corporations have any responsibility to the community and/or the consumer?
    9) Can corporations be accused of being unethical, and what’s the range?
    10) What are your ideas about “sharing wealth”?
    11) What are we to make of the growing disparity between the wealth of corporations and the impoverishment of the communities, employees, and the consumers?
    12) Are we likely or unlikely to connect the dots?
    13) What are we to make of failing corporations, in terms of the quality of the product, their downsizing and outsourcing, while their CEOs get richer and richer?

    Anyway, just food for thought. We can discuss this further if you like.

    Roger

    7)

  • Franco

    #271 — Roger Nowosielski

    Roger, that is not a answer on the issues I raised to the very specifics of your first question. In fact, all of your new questions are already fully answered by my first response, which you have not answered.

    If you are not willing to address the issues in my answer, how is it then logical to ask more of the same questions?

    This tells me you do not really have a logical response to those issues that I have raised, and while you and I my agree on the ‘image of some gross injustice”, I am clear on how I think it should be dealt with, and you are not.

    Yet decisions can be made on masterpieces.

    And in my asserting my non-theoretical approach to justice as outlined in my post, I have done nothing more then excepting the follow proposal.

    “I have a proposal to make to my colleagues on the Right. Let’s face it, we need each other. The Left needs you in order to stay honest and not to overextend its reach. Further gains might lead to statism or worse yet, to a totalitarian government, with the undesirable effect that the Left’s position would become the “official” position (which would effectively terminate its present role and function as an ideology and a movement).”

    IMO, the precipice you still have your tent pitched on is “there is no way to bring self-creation together with justice at the level of theory” as the above proposal clearly confirms.

    “But you need the Left, too, if only to keep you on your toes and allow you to refine your positions and reasoned arguments.”

    I have faithfully done that for my colleague on the Left.

    “More importantly, however, the country needs you, for I think we can all agree that the institutions and freedoms which come with our liberal democracy are worth preserving at all cost. That ought to be foremost on our mind.”

    It will never leave my heart or mind. This is way I am not letting my colleague of the Left out of answering my “positions and reasoned arguments.”

    I ask you, do I deed to make an official proposal to my colleagues on the Left?

    If so, consider this Official. :-)

    Preface: When a reviewer wishes to give special recognition to a book, he predicts that it will still be read “a hundred years from now.”

    The Law, first published as a pamphlet in June, 1850, is already more than a hundred years old. And because its truths are eternal, it will still be read when another century has passed.

    If I might be allowed to suggest reading this pamphlet all the way through to the end (30 minutes) It will allow both of us a more develop frame for discussion/debate on this issue of justice.

    Furthermore it will allow you to see all my cards as I have nothing to hide. For it is “the freedoms which come with our liberal democracy that are worth preserving at all cost” that I play all of them.

    - The Law -

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Yes, I do, Franco.

    You seem to equate athletes and movie stars with CEOs. The former are an anomaly; the latter, anything but. We can excuse the first as an aberration of sorts, as something that strikes our fancy; the second we definitely cannot. There’s a responsibility that comes with being a CEO.

    And I wasn’t being glib concerning my first response by posing a series of questions – just that far too many people on this or any other side don’t even bother to ask them; they proceed straight to the challenge.

    So what is your point, exactly?

  • Brunelleschi

    Hey Franco-

    I wasn’t following the above tit for tat, but I was curious what Law/eternal truths you get your cards from.

    I could not read past this bullshit-

    “Life Is a Gift from God

    We hold from God the gift which includes all others. This gift is life — physical, intellectual, and moral life.

    But life cannot maintain itself alone. The Creator of life has entrusted us with the responsibility of preserving, developing, and perfecting it. In order that we may accomplish this, He has provided us with a collection of marvelous faculties. And He has put us in the midst of a variety of natural resources. …”

    That’s LAW?

    I’ll pass!

  • Maurice

    What a bizarre article and comment thread!

    Jason I do appreciate your sincerity. I can tell your motivations are pure.

    We are a long way off from a one world government/currency/workforce/culture. In my mind it is undesirable.

  • http://jasonjcampbell.org/blog.php Jason J. Campbell

    Maurice,

    You may be surprised that I’d agree with you, especially after publishing an article like this. I’m not a conspiracy theorist, though it makes for interesting reading. I do, however, have a fairly good understanding of globalization and at times the 2 overlap. One world currency, government etc…doesn’t interest me at all. I specialize in evil, oppression, subjugation etc…Whenever possible I just want to call attention to making an unfair system as fair as possible. The fact is that neoliberalism and outsourcing is a necessary feature of free market economics, the market will seek out the lowest wages possible. That’s just a fact of market conditions, there’s no conspiracy in it at all. Since this is a fact, all I’m arguing for is to make it fairer for those most likely to be exploited. If that’s conspiracy, then maybe I am. But I actually agree with you. My intention is to offer alternatives to manipulations within the system. Usually, contemporary theorists wanna bash globalization. While I agree there are potential problems, like the one world gov/currency I’m an academic and conspiracy theories have no place in rigorous analysis. I’m more concerned with articulating theories that may actually benefit people’s lives, that _anticipate_ the logical conclusions of our current economic/social/cultural systems. That’s all.

  • marc

    Have a global minimum wage is not possible without first having Global labor standards.

  • Tommy G

    I think you can make this argument if your an American businessman or politician as well…The reason why the number of middle class people in America is declining is because global corporations have the resources to seek out cheap labor..but it there was a minimum wage everywhere, the job wouldnt go to the most desperate and most easily exploited, it would go to the most qualified…And if the price of Nikes went up, people would still by em..

  • KC

    i appreciate how unconvinced you are as to establishing the moral basis. But, please do not give such high standards to the establishment of moral claims where you defend the concept of soveignty and the entering of free contracts without adequate attention to the basis of domination that such a system is established on.

  • KC

    wow… refer to comment one… as to why i said what i said.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/POWLIHERE22?feature=mhee Stephen

    I would like to understand better your notions of moral responsibility and how its metric is defined. As I understand you discussion, the notion of an International Minimum wage presupposes a global standard or metric for the valuation of such a wage. How do you account for the inhomogeneousness of the local economic conditions?

  • http://considerReconsider.com Ken JP Stuczynski

    Sorry, but the author of the article is seeing the whole thing backwards.

    He blames outsourcing and what he calls “near-slavery” conditions in the developing world on THEM not having a minimum wage. No, it’s because we DO.

    If we had no minimum wage, there’s be no need for outsourcing to compete, and people could actually afford goods made wherever they are.

    The only potential drawback to eliminating artificial wage controls is that the developing world perhaps wouldn’t have the opportunities for growth by taking advantage of our inflated wages and undercutting us.

    So at this point in time, who is really taking advantage of whom?