Do you have adblock enabled?
 
If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(Guardian)   "The super-rich inhabit a world the rest of society can hardly dream of. It's a parallel universe"   (observer.guardian.co.uk ) divider line
    More: Obvious  
•       •       •

22388 clicks; posted to Main » on 17 Dec 2006 at 2:02 AM (9 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



515 Comments     (+0 »)
 
 
2006-12-17 01:33:06 AM  
When reached for comment, all Paris Hilton replied was "Thats hot".
 
2006-12-17 01:49:00 AM  
Been there, done it, and yes, it's true. However, that parallel universe isn't as fun as the hoi polloi seem to think it is.

I prefer where I am now.
 
2006-12-17 02:05:28 AM  
I live in the Super I don't Care Universe.
 
2006-12-17 02:08:22 AM  
Cerebral Ballsy: I live in the Super I don't Care Universe.

You too?
 
2006-12-17 02:09:26 AM  
I'm still waiting for czarangeles to come in here and explain why the minimum wage should be $30/hr.


There's nothing wrong with the rich. It's when people are poor because other people are rich that it's a problem. That's not the case in our society.
 
2006-12-17 02:09:30 AM  
I live in the GBTW universe... err I will. I'm still young.
 
2006-12-17 02:09:33 AM  
Only the exceptionally wise non-rich people actually believe this, but it's true - becoming rich rarely makes unhappy people happy. The fundamental problems of life are inescapable - mortality, regret, the flaws of your own nature.

Of course if you're actually suffering from poverty I'm sure it helps with that.
 
2006-12-17 02:09:39 AM  
Well, the best things in life are free.

Even Fark's free for Farks sake.
 
2006-12-17 02:11:26 AM  
Dave L

Watch it...they don't want you to know that....
 
2006-12-17 02:13:08 AM  
So how can we collapse the wormhole to this parallel universe so we never have to hear about these super-rich people again?
 
2006-12-17 02:14:19 AM  
No its not a parallel universe.

Even Bill Gates will die like the rest of us. No matter how rich someone is, if they gets the wrong kind of cancer, they will be pumped full of poison and die in pain too.

Accidents happen to the most wealthy, look at how many of the highest class died on Titanic, or how much of the upperclasses died in the World Wars.
 
2006-12-17 02:16:12 AM  
There was a NYT article last week about this exquisite mansion designed from top to bottom by a self made millionare who was so obsessive about the details that he started a new company to make high end doorknobs when he couldn't find the doorknobs he liked.

The article also mentioned that he lived alone, and strongly implied that he didn't have too many friends or likely guests to come to his many-bedroomed home.

I'm not saying all the super rich live sad unfulfilled lives. I am saying however that some of them certainly do, and that the amount of money you have (past a fairly low level) is not necessarily correlated with having meaningful relationships and all the things money can't explicitly buy.
 
2006-12-17 02:17:22 AM  
Apparently, we like it this way.
 
2006-12-17 02:17:59 AM  
is it the World of Warcraft or P3X 949?
 
2006-12-17 02:18:32 AM  
I was so rich that I used to shove my feet up the asses of cashmere goats to use as slippers. Then I was arrested and sobered up and realized that I was merely raping farm animals in a blind PCP rage.

I forgot the question.
 
2006-12-17 02:18:37 AM  
How do I become "a global concierge company so exclusive it limits its membership to 30 families"??? I want to cater to people who "have suddenly and recently come in to money who want to ostentatiously demonstrate their wealth."

And what exactly does a global concierge company do? Park these peoples' cars? Recommend resteraunts?

Seems like these "super-rich" are ripe for the pickin'
 
2006-12-17 02:19:32 AM  
"I live in the Super I don't Care Universe"
Oh yeah?
Well I live in the Parallel Super I don't Care Universe.
 
2006-12-17 02:20:28 AM  
img251.imageshack.us
 
2006-12-17 02:21:34 AM  
In clarification, divide and conquer has been a classic strategy of class warfare in history.
 
2006-12-17 02:21:34 AM  
Dave L

Even Fark's free for Farks sake.


Fark is only free if you don't want to pay $5 a month to read things that aren't good enough for everyone to see... or if you don't want to post in PS contests.
 
2006-12-17 02:22:25 AM  
Imagine your perfect world, how would it be?

I like to think that there would be plenty to eat, little trouble involved with finding a place to live, and a lot of time to do what you want to do.
 
2006-12-17 02:23:15 AM  
clovis69:No its not a parallel universe. Even Bill Gates will die like the rest of us.

But unlike the rest of us, Bill Gates will be cryogenically stored to awaken at some future date to a world where fembots rule and are hungy for primitive 21st century men to fulfil their primal sexual urges. Over. And over. And over again.

/where do I signup?
 
2006-12-17 02:23:59 AM  
Turtle Head

More like:

I'm in your country

sealin ur tax dollars through the schools and hospitals
 
2006-12-17 02:24:04 AM  
Molavian Yeah, ever since I started working for myself. Happy, too. Go figure!
 
2006-12-17 02:25:21 AM  
OTA BENGA

Hooey?
 
2006-12-17 02:27:16 AM  
Churchill2004: I'm still waiting for czarangeles to come in here and explain why the minimum wage should be $30/hr.


Don't forget how its all the Jews' fault that it isn't.

/and then Tatsuma to proclaim different
 
2006-12-17 02:27:36 AM  
Newsflash: Super rich people spend lots of money on things us non-super rich types would consider insane. Just like us middle class types spend lots of money on things that poor people, especially from other countries, would consider insane. It's all perspective.

I live in DC, and there are worlds apart in a 5 mile radius that would make your head spin. Not on the streets per se, but what goes on behind the closed doors of the Georgetown and Dupont mansions is pretty crazy.

The ultimate question is: does it matter? Are these guys any happier? Etc...
 
2006-12-17 02:28:04 AM  
Dave L: Even Fark's free for Farks sake.

I live in the Super Magical TotalFark world. Yes, things are better here.
 
2006-12-17 02:29:01 AM  
grend193 - I'm not saying all the super rich live sad unfulfilled lives. I am saying however that some of them certainly do, and that the amount of money you have (past a fairly low level) is not necessarily correlated with having meaningful relationships and all the things money can't explicitly buy.

Personally, I think meaningful relationships are overrated, so since I haven't tried the super-rich thing yet, it sounds like a real hoot.
 
2006-12-17 02:30:26 AM  
Money is, and will remain, an abstraction representing a person's power to control others. That's all it is.
 
2006-12-17 02:30:41 AM  
Complex Green

img246.imageshack.us
 
2006-12-17 02:32:44 AM  
valkore Newsflash: Super rich people spend lots of money on things us non-super rich types would consider insane. Just like us middle class types spend lots of money on things that poor people, especially from other countries, would consider insane. It's all perspective.

Wait, where does the American Ghetto Rat with $125 sneakers fit into this equation?
 
2006-12-17 02:32:45 AM  
Farkers of the world, please promise me when you become rich you won't spend 7,000 pounds on New Zealand driftwood! I esteem you too much to withstand that sort of shock.

/7,000 pounds?
//that's like a brazillion in real money
 
2006-12-17 02:38:14 AM  
Can one of you super-rich people spare me $400 for my car payment? I'll draw you a cartoon.
 
2006-12-17 02:40:11 AM  
Amazing. This thread is more mature than I was expecting. I guess people do realise afterall just how wasteful we in the middle classes are.
 
2006-12-17 02:41:47 AM  
Churchill2004: There's nothing wrong with the rich. It's when people are poor because other people are rich that it's a problem. That's not the case in our society.

Can I have some of what you're smoking?
 
2006-12-17 02:43:18 AM  
LOL well I personally don't care about the super-rich, because I'm rich enough myself not to care.

I think the super-rich have a reason to be concerned though. As more and more data shows that people in the US tend to live and die in their social strata, and that social strata is ever more strained, they may indeed end up like the former french queen.

Not going to say it's right, but there is a point where people decide that what they're doing isn't going to work anymore. When enough people reach that decision, a critical mass is reached and changes happen.

Everyone here b*tches about their taxes, but I don't see any tax collectors swinging from the trees. I don't see mass protests of the government (violent or not) over taxes. Just as I don't see too many people complaining about taxes in that manner. So righties and lefties, take that to heart.

Lefties, your taxes get too high, bang!
Righties, income get's too unequal (hey you love the slave morality of the christian faith don't you?), bang!

Revolutions come to be slowly and then the mob acts quickly.
 
2006-12-17 02:44:06 AM  
Accidents happen to the most wealthy, look at how many of the highest class died on Titanic

Most of those who died on the Titanic were the third class passengers who never made it to the top deck to access the lifeboats. They were forcibly prevented from doing so.

It's always better to be rich. Anyone who says otherwise is a fool.
 
2006-12-17 02:44:11 AM  
What would I spend that money on... I really don't know. I'm not really interested in spending money for money's sake. Which is sounds like that's what these people do. I'd just want to live comfortably with my family.
 
2006-12-17 02:44:21 AM  
Money can't buy you happiness, it's true. But it can get you into the neighborhood.
 
2006-12-17 02:44:32 AM  
KenB says:

img224.imageshack.us
 
2006-12-17 02:45:39 AM  
ComicBookGuy: Can I have some of what you're smoking?

Dude, in case you haven't noticed, the rest of us are doing pretty damn well. It's only when you compare your life to the super rich that it seems inadequate.

And no, Bill Gates and Oprah aren't making people poor.
 
2006-12-17 02:48:52 AM  
Heh, whats to worry when you're that rich. God is (assuming you believe...) really the only other thing one would worry bout. Although it just seems that if you have that much money you just say "screw going to college or working 40-60 hours a week, I'm gonna enjoy life".
 
2006-12-17 02:49:14 AM  
Bill Gates and Oprah aren't making people poor.

The largest employer in the US, Wal-Mart, is though.
 
2006-12-17 02:51:20 AM  
www.ussubs.com

Obligatory luxury submarine pic. Just $20 mil.
 
2006-12-17 02:52:46 AM  
Befuddled: The largest employer in the US, Wal-Mart, is though.

Right, that's why everytime a new supercenter opens up, they get flooded with job applications.

WalMart's only crime is resisting unionization. Given the current state of American unions, and the fact that the "service" at WalMart is already at union-standards, that might not be an entirely bad thing.

By the way, I don't belive Wal-Mart is the largest employer in the US. Uncle Sam takes that prize, iirc.
 
2006-12-17 02:53:31 AM  
Cerebral Ballsy: Molavian Yeah, ever since I started working for myself. Happy, too. Go figure!

Lucky. I hope to self employed sometime in the future. Must be nice, even if it is hard work.
 
2006-12-17 02:57:09 AM  
Dude, in case you haven't noticed, the rest of us are doing pretty damn well. It's only when you compare your life to the super rich that it seems inadequate.

img204.imageshack.us
 
2006-12-17 02:58:33 AM  
Turtle Head: Dude, in case you haven't noticed, the rest of us are doing pretty damn well. It's only when you compare your life to the super rich that it seems inadequate.


What do you do for a living?
 
2006-12-17 03:00:08 AM  
i think a sick tag would've been more apropiate.
 
2006-12-17 03:01:44 AM  
Churchill2004: What do you do for a living?

He's got a point. America may be the only place in the history of the world where even the poorest among us can eat red meat, drink beer, and watch pay-per-view wrestling on their big-screen TVs.
 
2006-12-17 03:03:58 AM  
I suggest everyone watch the Frontline called, 'Can you afford to retire?'. It is available online.
 
2006-12-17 03:04:46 AM  
Churchill2004: Dude, in case you haven't noticed, the rest of us are doing pretty damn well. It's only when you compare your life to the super rich that it seems inadequate.

And no, Bill Gates and Oprah aren't making people poor.


The world's resources are finite. Therefore, it follows that the wealthy can only exist if others do w/less.
 
2006-12-17 03:05:02 AM  
img226.imageshack.us
 
2006-12-17 03:05:38 AM  
Robo Beat: He's got a point. America may be the only place in the history of the world where even the poorest among us can eat red meat, drink beer, and watch pay-per-view wrestling on their big-screen TVs.

The poorest among us stole the big screen and use an illegal cable descrambler.
 
2006-12-17 03:08:33 AM  
Churchill2004

WalMart's only crime is resisting unionization. Given the current state of American unions, and the fact that the "service" at WalMart is already at union-standards, that might not be an entirely bad thing.

http://www.infowars.com/articles/economy/china_unions_triumph_at_walma​rt.htm

Chinese unions, on the other hand, have taken over their side of Wally-World completely. Granted, they're controlled by the state... but still.
 
2006-12-17 03:08:43 AM  
Befuddled
And if walmart went out of business tomorrow those people would be a lot poorer than they are now.


They say that money can't buy happiness and they are right....but its a lot easier to be happy when you can blow 7,000 euros on driftwood.

And rich friends are the best. Once you fly in a Gulfstream 550 first class becomes a downer.
 
2006-12-17 03:10:08 AM  
And if walmart went out of business tomorrow those people would be a lot poorer than they are now.

Which is why Wal-Mart should be allowed to pay shiat wages and not provide benefits?
 
2006-12-17 03:12:24 AM  
ComicBookGuy: The world's resources are finite. Therefore, it follows that the wealthy can only exist if others do w/less.

Not really. You're assuming that if the wealthy didn't have these resources, then they would be spread out evenly. In reality most of these resources would be wasted or wouldn't exist at all.

If you took all the wealth in the world and spread it out evenly, in ten years the rich would be rich again and the poor would be poor again. There would be exceptions both ways, but that would be the general trend.
 
2006-12-17 03:13:53 AM  
img81.imageshack.us
 
2006-12-17 03:13:57 AM  
Eh. All that money and they'll never experience the satisfaction/hallucinations brought from farming for 48 consecutive hours in WoW.

Losers.
 
2006-12-17 03:14:15 AM  
Had a long discussion about this with a friend. She's bitter about how much some people have just by sheer luck of being born to rich parents, while she's a poor coffee shop girl going to community college. I go to law school [poor myself, and on scholarship], so I see super rich kids daily. I was tellin her that most of them are waaaay more farked up than she could ever be, and worst of all they have no escape.

Yea, they can go to Europe for a weekend on a whim, but the problem is that since all their material, tangible issues are taken care of, they have nothing to do but focus on the shiat in their head that money can't fix. My point to her was that people will always have stuff to complain about, and the sooner you stop being fixated on money as a way of measuring overall quality of life the better for your sanity. It's arguably better to be happy and poor. Objective issues like income are IMO easier to fix.

/you wanna see parallel universe? watch the latest James Bond. The locations in that are just jaw dropping. didn't even think places like that existed on earth.
 
2006-12-17 03:15:20 AM  
as long as i can retain a middle class existence without being overwhelmed by debt, they can do what they want. i'm sure it becomes a problem when you're trying to bag some super-rich hottie but that's not a good idea anyway unless you're a poor and hot woman.
 
2006-12-17 03:15:24 AM  
henry key
The Uber Rich don't post on fark. At best, they pay someone to post on fark.
 
2006-12-17 03:15:25 AM  
As an astute German nobleman once noted, “No matter how rich you are, you can still only drink 16 or 17 liters of beer a day.”
 
2006-12-17 03:16:28 AM  
Robo Beat I'm not sure you've actually met "the poorest among us"...
 
2006-12-17 03:18:05 AM  
nosehat: Robo Beat I'm not sure you've actually met "the poorest among us"...

Yea I was thinking that too...
 
2006-12-17 03:20:03 AM  
Would you rather have 20,000 people getting minimum wage or 10,000 people getting double minimum wage and have 10,000 unemployed people?

And wal-marts profit margins aren't that large at all. At a dollar an hour raise for say 50,000 people you are talking 400,000 dollars per day. That is 146 million dollars a year in lost money for wal-mart if you assume an 8 hour day 365 days per year. And an employee who worked all 365 days per year at 8 hours a day would make an extra 3,000 dollars a year. The net affect overall would be almost nothing compared to the cost.

The jobs don't exist to employ the people at a reasonable level so they are employed at a level that they can survive at. It is quite simple: 20,000 people below the poverty line but not starving or 10,000 people in the middle class and 10,000 people starving to death on the street. Take you pick because you can't have both.
 
2006-12-17 03:20:18 AM  
nosehat: Robo Beat I'm not sure you've actually met "the poorest among us"...

While exaggerating a little bit, he's generally right. Now, granted, there are always the extreme examples of the homeless and such, but with them there's usually some underlying factors at work that have nothing to do with economic reality.
 
2006-12-17 03:20:55 AM  
I'm on the "you've not met 'the poorest among us'" boat. The poorest among us are choosing between rent and food. The poorest among us die of pneumonia. The poorest among us can't afford warm clothing for winter.
 
2006-12-17 03:22:58 AM  
Things are the way the are because...
 
2006-12-17 03:26:22 AM  
In keeping with the "you dont know what you're talking about" theme, allow me it introduce those of us who can't afford food every day.

img227.imageshack.us
 
2006-12-17 03:26:25 AM  
off with their heads!
 
2006-12-17 03:31:36 AM  
I consider myself lucky that so many of the things I value in life have basically been getting cheap at an accelerating pace, thus making my decidedly middle class income relatively tolerable.

For example, I can buy a cheap Core 2 Duo PC that delivers about 75% of the performance of the mega expensive version. I can buy a $7 bottle of wine that (to me, thankfully I am wine ignorant) tastes virtually the same as a $50 bottle. I can buy a domestic manufactured car that has 95% of the bells and whistles, if not the cachet, of a top of the range Mercedes for about 1/3 the cost.

I don't need a 7000 pound sterling piece of driftwood or hire some no talent ho to attend my (non existent) children's birthday party.

On the downside, I am pretty much locked out of the housing market, don't have a lot of insulation against unemployment in the long term and obviously I don't get the thrill of watching people stare and gasp as I alight from my Falcon jet or pull up at a local cafe in a Mercedes S600. And no doubt, I would be able to score a better class of ass if I had those obvious dollars, even though a lot of those friends and lovers would be 'fake'. Not that I'd care.

/Money is great but if you don't have it, do you choose to be happy? I try. Some of it is fooling yourself but if it works, that's gotta be worth something.
 
2006-12-17 03:32:28 AM  
The interesting thing is that really the opposite is true. More than ever before the rich do NOT live in a different world from the rest of us, at least when it comes to what really matters. You go back a few hundred years and it was just a totally different life between rich and poor, and there wasn't any middle to speak of. The rich had access to whole classes of things the poor didn't.

Professional music, would be an example. In the middle ages the rich could (and did) hire professional music groups to entertain them on a regular basis. The poor never even got to experience this kind of music unless they happened to work in the manor of a rich person while said entertainment was going on. Well, while the super rich still could hire their own musicians, if they desired, the rest of us can get pretty close with CDs. You get nice, high quality professional music in the style you like on demand.

Also as a side effect it has changed what the rich do as well. Sure the super rich still could hire their own performers for dinner, but they don't, they buy CDs like the rest of us. They may have $50,000 stereos, but the difference isn't a big deal.

So while the super rich certainly have quirky things they can do to display their wealth, the reality is that the world of today (in a first world nation) has less difference between rich and poor than ever before. Most of it just comes down to magnitude and shows of wealth. A rich person may buy a $27,000 platinum Rolex while a normal person might buy a $50 Timex but both will keep excellent time and last a long time. The only fundamental difference is the Rolex is showy.

Compare this to when only the rich could own watches, and they didn't even keep time all that well.
 
2006-12-17 03:35:57 AM  
never mind, now i remember why i dont post here or anywhere. its pointless. laters

img222.imageshack.us
 
2006-12-17 03:37:19 AM  
Would you rather have 20,000 people getting minimum wage or 10,000 people getting double minimum wage and have 10,000 unemployed people?

I don't know which side of the argument you're on, so I'm not sure what you mean here. I'd personally prefer that all get paid minimum wage with minimum health insurance.

Which would be more than they're currently getting at Wal-Mart.

At a dollar an hour raise for say 50,000 people you are talking 400,000 dollars per day.

U.S. Federal Minimum Wage is 5.15 an hour. Nevada Minimum Wage (a dollar more) is 6.15 per hour.

Using the calculator that comes standard in every PC and Mac computer since Windows 95 arrived in stores, I found out that it would actually cost Wal-Mart $307,500 to give 50,000 workers a dollar raise.

That's assuming Wal-Mart also kicks in for health insurance. If Wal-Mart doesn't, then Nevada law says the required minimum wage goes higher for each worker. Forget what that amount is.

The jobs don't exist to employ the people at a reasonable level so they are employed at a level that they can survive at.

Then what's the point of working them? Without a living wage, the concept of a service-based economy is ruined. America may as well switch back to the agricultural-based economy that we had pre-Industrial Revolution.

It is quite simple: 20,000 people below the poverty line but not starving or 10,000 people in the middle class and 10,000 people starving to death on the street. Take you pick because you can't have both.

Uh, no. We need both a working class and a middle class for our economy to succeed. We don't need starving people because that only increases crime and other strains on our society that tax existing resources in every city affected by it.

The rich feed the poor, as Adam Smith intended it.
 
2006-12-17 03:40:09 AM  
The only unhappy rich people are the ones that have gotten there accounts banned from ultrafar***Carrier Lost***
 
2006-12-17 03:51:51 AM  
"Lady Cosima Somerset, daughter of the Marquess of Londonderry and known as 'Cozzy' - will sack your cook."

I had to do a double-take on that one.
 
2006-12-17 03:56:05 AM  
EmperorTippy

And wal-marts profit margins aren't that large at all. At a dollar an hour raise for say 50,000 people you are talking 400,000 dollars per day. That is 146 million dollars a year in lost money for wal-mart if you assume an 8 hour day 365 days per year. And an employee who worked all 365 days per year at 8 hours a day would make an extra 3,000 dollars a year. The net affect overall would be almost nothing compared to the cost.

If Wal-mart raised every single employee's salary by not $1, but $2 an hour, the company would still show a profit.
 
2006-12-17 04:02:15 AM  
I grew up in California when Ronald Reagan was the governor there. Let me tell you, there ain't nothing like trying to get by and pull yourself up by your bootstraps while some rich bastards who grew up having their asses wiped by nannies decide that what's best for you is to get cut off at the knees over and over again.

I dearly hope that I live to see a lifeboat situation here in this country where the passengers in steerage get to row away from the sinking luxury liner in the lifeboats, leaving the rich behind locked gates below decks.
 
2006-12-17 04:03:02 AM  
Lady Cosima Somerset, daughter of the Marquess of Londonderry and known as 'Cozzy' - will sack your cook.
 
2006-12-17 04:08:29 AM  
sycraft

The interesting thing is that really the opposite is true. More than ever before the rich do NOT live in a different world from the rest of us, at least when it comes to what really matters. You go back a few hundred years and it was just a totally different life between rich and poor, and there wasn't any middle to speak of. The rich had access to whole classes of things the poor didn't.

Professional music, would be an example. In the middle ages the rich could (and did) hire professional music groups to entertain them on a regular basis. The poor never even got to experience this kind of music unless they happened to work in the manor of a rich person while said entertainment was going on. Well, while the super rich still could hire their own musicians, if they desired, the rest of us can get pretty close with CDs. You get nice, high quality professional music in the style you like on demand.

Also as a side effect it has changed what the rich do as well. Sure the super rich still could hire their own performers for dinner, but they don't, they buy CDs like the rest of us. They may have $50,000 stereos, but the difference isn't a big deal.

So while the super rich certainly have quirky things they can do to display their wealth, the reality is that the world of today (in a first world nation) has less difference between rich and poor than ever before. Most of it just comes down to magnitude and shows of wealth. A rich person may buy a $27,000 platinum Rolex while a normal person might buy a $50 Timex but both will keep excellent time and last a long time. The only fundamental difference is the Rolex is showy.

Compare this to when only the rich could own watches, and they didn't even keep time all that well.


Compared to people who are long dead is pointless.

Yeah, we get music and all that stuff but there are more important things that the rich have ... freedom to do what they want.

We can't even do something we want for one week at the risk of getting fired, screwing this or that up. We can so constrained in what's possible - either by this or that.
 
2006-12-17 04:11:14 AM  
men.style.com

OBSCURE?????//??11?

 
2006-12-17 04:11:28 AM  
I don't know which side of the argument you're on, so I'm not sure what you mean here. I'd personally prefer that all get paid minimum wage with minimum health insurance.

I feel the same.

Which would be more than they're currently getting at Wal-Mart.
Sources?

U.S. Federal Minimum Wage is 5.15 an hour. Nevada Minimum Wage (a dollar more) is 6.15 per hour.
Ok. Your point?

Using the calculator that comes standard in every PC and Mac computer since Windows 95 arrived in stores, I found out that it would actually cost Wal-Mart $307,500 to give 50,000 workers a dollar raise.

8 hours a day times fifty thousand employees is four hundred thousand dollars. Over the course of a year that works out to one hundred and forty six million dollars.

And that doesn't include health insurance.

That's assuming Wal-Mart also kicks in for health insurance. If Wal-Mart doesn't, then Nevada law says the required minimum wage goes higher for each worker. Forget what that amount is.
So it costs wal-mart more money. My point stays the same. Every dollar more that wal-mart pays out for each employee costs them 146 million dollars a year.


Then what's the point of working them? Without a living wage, the concept of a service-based economy is ruined.
Agreed. The whole economic model will come crashing down within 50 years without some massive changes (which probably won't happen). It is an unsustainable economy.

America may as well switch back to the agricultural-based economy that we had pre-Industrial Revolution.
1% of our population can now feed 20% or the worlds population. We can't support an agricultural economy with todays farming technology. Hell the government already subsidizes the farmers we have because their are to many of them.


Uh, no. We need both a working class and a middle class for our economy to succeed.
And the jobs don't exist at this point in time for it to occur. The middle class is very large and the working class is also very large. Neither has enough jobs to support the lower class.

We don't need starving people because that only increases crime and other strains on our society that tax existing resources in every city affected by it.
Agreed whole heartedly but if you want to raise the people who make walmart salaries now to a higher economic class you will end up putting about half of walmarts employees out of work. So would you rather walmart employ all of the people it does and pay them enough so that they don't starve or freeze to death or would you rather walmart employs even 3/4ths as many people at a level approaching the middle class and the other 25% starve or freeze to death?

It really can't be both ways. And lets not even get started on what is better for the country as a whole. 50,000 people make the minimum wage and 100 people at the top of the company each make 10 million dollars each yeah that they have no need or real use for. Right now those 5,000 people invest it in to other companies that have good products and in the process they create new jobs and speed the development of new technologies. Lets say for arguments sake that the 100 million dollars that those 100 people control is invested and creates 500 thousand new jobs that pay the same as the walmart jobs. Now if they ad given that 100 million dollars back to their employees in the form of raises it would have amounted to 2,000 dollars per employee. Those people would not have invested it and while it is true taht the money would have made it back into the market through purchases, it would not have the same impact job wise. Those 50,000 people shop at 10,000 different stores to spend that extra 2K each at. That is 10K per company. That doesn't create a single job. But 10 million dollars to a small company with a good product that is in need of capital can spawn a whole industry.

true, the above is a gross simplification but the idea behind it is sound and solid.

The rich feed the poor, as Adam Smith intended it.
This is already the case. Where else in the world do most of the people living below the national poverty line have cable television?
 
2006-12-17 04:14:00 AM  
Wake me when the guillotines start again.

Maybe we'll get to see Paris Hilton get the chop.

Now that would be worth shelling out for Pay-per-View.
 
2006-12-17 04:16:53 AM  
troyh1976

I consider myself lucky that so many of the things I value in life have basically been getting cheap at an accelerating pace, thus making my decidedly middle class income relatively tolerable.

For example, I can buy a cheap Core 2 Duo PC that delivers about 75% of the performance of the mega expensive version. I can buy a $7 bottle of wine that (to me, thankfully I am wine ignorant) tastes virtually the same as a $50 bottle. I can buy a domestic manufactured car that has 95% of the bells and whistles, if not the cachet, of a top of the range Mercedes for about 1/3 the cost.

I don't need a 7000 pound sterling piece of driftwood or hire some no talent ho to attend my (non existent) children's birthday party.

On the downside, I am pretty much locked out of the housing market, don't have a lot of insulation against unemployment in the long term and obviously I don't get the thrill of watching people stare and gasp as I alight from my Falcon jet or pull up at a local cafe in a Mercedes S600. And no doubt, I would be able to score a better class of ass if I had those obvious dollars, even though a lot of those friends and lovers would be 'fake'. Not that I'd care.

/Money is great but if you don't have it, do you choose to be happy? I try. Some of it is fooling yourself but if it works, that's gotta be worth something.


You exemplify the living in two worlds.

You are so out of the rich world that you don't even know what good is.

You think living in that tiny, paper-walled apartment eating what was on sale at your local grocery clicking around in your sub-par computer through a mediocre screen in a small desk with crappy lighting is good life.

You think you have 95% in you car but when you could be hit by a drunk rich guy's tank SUV who walks away with a headache and you'd have to be picked up a bucket it might make you think otherwise.

Friends and lovers could be fake anywhere. Being rich is not bling-bling, it's about the little things like freedom to do what you'd like, where to go etc.
 
2006-12-17 04:19:01 AM  
If Wal-mart raised every single employee's salary by not $1, but $2 an hour, the company would still show a profit.
I agree.

The point is it is better for the economy and nation as a whole to have a vast amount of money concentrated in a few hands then it is to have a sufficient amount of wealth spread out over many many hands.

In a few hands it will be invested in to new industries and into the development of new technologies that will have whole industries based around them in 20 years.

In many hands it will be spread over so many companies that none will have the resources to expand or start these new industries.

The first situation creates more jobs and continues the cycle.

The second situation leads to stagnation and eventual collapse.

The third situation is what we are in now. That is a vast amount of money concentrated into a few hands and what would be considered a sufficient amount of money into the rest of the hands were it not for rampant inflation. This will lead to the same collapse as the second situation but the stagnation part won't happen and the whole process goes much faster.
 
2006-12-17 04:23:25 AM  
'Our members are beyond rich,' said Somerset. 'They want the sort of access and experiences that money alone can't buy. Gone is the time when they were only interested in finding the right luxury villas, the best yacht, or entrance to the Guards Polo Club and the Automobile Club of Monaco.'

The truth is, really wealthy people hardly ever talk about money. Only the nouveau riche are the ones flaunting it like rappers drunk on Crystal. Yet, it is also surprising that Despite the lack of distinctive class boundaries and the vast majority of Americans seem to think that they are members of the middle class.
 
2006-12-17 04:24:20 AM  
Daddy, we're missing the fantasmapotomus! She only sings twice a day!
 
2006-12-17 04:32:50 AM  
EmperorTippy

If Wal-mart raised every single employee's salary by not $1, but $2 an hour, the company would still show a profit.
I agree.

The point is it is better for the economy and nation as a whole to have a vast amount of money concentrated in a few hands then it is to have a sufficient amount of wealth spread out over many many hands.

In a few hands it will be invested in to new industries and into the development of new technologies that will have whole industries based around them in 20 years.

In many hands it will be spread over so many companies that none will have the resources to expand or start these new industries.

The first situation creates more jobs and continues the cycle.

The second situation leads to stagnation and eventual collapse.

The third situation is what we are in now. That is a vast amount of money concentrated into a few hands and what would be considered a sufficient amount of money into the rest of the hands were it not for rampant inflation. This will lead to the same collapse as the second situation but the stagnation part won't happen and the whole process goes much faster.


You're thinking something like Bell labs I presume?

I think it's the government's job to fund research into 20 years down the road stuff - like universities and the energy dept. labs like Sandia, NASA etc.

I don't think Walmart spends money on R&D. Then, putting money in the bank by normal people or by a big corporation is the same thing.

I think an uneven distribution of wealth is the first thing to an economic collapse since most people won't bother doing anything since they can stuck in their income level and can never graduate above. The rich protect their income heavily and no matter how hard you work you're totally stuck where you are.
 
2006-12-17 04:34:29 AM  
Anti_Freak_Machine

I was so rich that I used to shove my feet up the asses of cashmere goats to use as slippers. Then I was arrested and sobered up and realized that I was merely raping farm animals in a blind PCP rage.

I forgot the question.


I think I might *heart* you.
 
2006-12-17 04:34:45 AM  
Once more through the park, Bitterman! God, I love the park...
 
2006-12-17 04:35:12 AM  
Do they get to do two chicks at the same time?
 
2006-12-17 04:45:28 AM  
Die fetten jahre sind vorbei!
 
2006-12-17 04:50:38 AM  
A large gap between the rich and the poor is a sign of a HEALTHY economy

http://www.paulgraham.com/gap.html (pops)
 
2006-12-17 04:54:28 AM  
AppleDane

"Lady Cosima Somerset, daughter of the Marquess of Londonderry and known as 'Cozzy' - will sack your cook."

I had to do a double-take on that one.


I thought I was the only one.
 
2006-12-17 04:54:31 AM  
Damn I hate rich farks. The one lesson from history that gives me comfort is knowing that they'll be the first up against the wall when the revolution comes.

How you can let people starve while you live in such excess defies understanding.
 
2006-12-17 05:00:08 AM  
ChopsMIDI

A large gap between the rich and the poor is a sign of a HEALTHY economy


Mexico is the perfect example, right?
 
2006-12-17 05:00:22 AM  
does that mean like 2 years from now everyone will live in their own parallel universe... you know... when its cheaper
 
2006-12-17 05:05:53 AM  
ChopsMIDI: A large gap between the rich and the poor is a sign of a HEALTHY economy


Pre revolutionary France and Russia must of had the greatest enconomies evar.
 
2006-12-17 05:08:46 AM  
So you want to close off their universe...CLOSE THE DAMN IRIS!!!!
 
2006-12-17 05:11:11 AM  
My white-trash neighbor was just bragging about getting a job making 'almost 9 bucks an hour'. Talk like that make me feel super-rich, even though I'm not.
 
2006-12-17 05:13:19 AM  
Dialectic

"The truth is, really wealthy people hardly ever talk about money. Only the nouveau riche are the ones flaunting it like rappers drunk on Crystal."


You got this old saw half right.

It is true that old money does not brag about it, but it's not true that "the really wealthy people" are the old rich.

In an economy that grows relatively steadily the new rich are almost by definition wealthier than the old rich. These days it's the hedge fund managers who become multibillionaires while still quite young.

I didn't RTFA but I would think it tells you this.

Also as an aside, only a peasant would pride himself on the fact that he is does not brag about his non-existent riches in the manner of those trashy nouveaux riches.

The fact is whatever the merits of the old rich versus the new rich, if you are not rich yourself you can rest assured that both classes would rank you below them.

That reminds me of the snobbery of the country club maitre'd who sneers at the visiting dot.com millionaire for wearing blue jeans.
 
2006-12-17 05:25:10 AM  
NedwinHLongfellow
Damn I hate rich farks. The one lesson from history that gives me comfort is knowing that they'll be the first up against the wall when the revolution comes.

How you can let people starve while you live in such excess defies understanding.


You display some fine compassion yourself.

It's not as easy as just sending money over to poor areas of the world. If it were, the massive world aid to, say, Malawi would have eliminated hunger by now. Instead, they're currently starving. Their political system is dysfunctional, their economy is unsophisticated, and they are undeducated. That's not a simple problem to solve. Indeed, simply providing charity to such countries may help to prop up corrupt governments and to keep the population at unsustainable sizes and growth rates.

So in the absence of obvious solutions, people, including rich people, do things that they know does good. They make themselves happy. They make their family and friends happy. They work like dogs to provide goods and services that other people value highly enough to buy with their own hard-earned money.

So take your bitterness, jealousy, class warfare, and self-righteousness elsewhere. It's harmful and ignorant.
 
2006-12-17 05:43:35 AM  
'I am the happiest man alive. I have that in me that can convert poverty into riches, adversity into prosperity, and I am more invulnerable than Achilles; fortune hath not one place to hit me.'
 
2006-12-17 05:47:38 AM  
2006-12-17 02:09:26 AM Churchill2004

There's nothing wrong with the rich. It's when people are poor because other people are rich that it's a problem. That's not the case in our society.


Many of the rich have received 8 figure bonuses for laying off 10s of thousands of workers. You see no causality here?

2006-12-17 04:19:01 AM EmperorTippy

The point is it is better for the economy and nation as a whole to have a vast amount of money concentrated in a few hands then it is to have a sufficient amount of wealth spread out over many many hands.


2/3 of the US economy is consumer spending. More wealth in the hands of consumers is VASTLY more important to the US economy as a whole than concentrations of billions in the hands of a few. Further, more wealth in the hands of consumers leads to more wealth in the hands of those who sell, increasing the wealth of the moderately to very rich considerably.
Policies which encouraged a larger middle class and a greater percentage of wealth in the middle class would be beneficial to everyone except for the few thousand people in the stratospherically rich category. The benefit of a strong middle class to a nation's economy has been demonstrated empirically over the last three hundred years and no practical maximum to the size of that middle class has ever been observed.
Vast wealth in the hands of the few, however, has been observed quite readily in collapsing economies throughout the same time period, and is the current hallmark of countries such as Russia and Mexico.
 
zz9
2006-12-17 06:03:59 AM  
The world's resources are finite. Therefore, it follows that the wealthy can only exist if others do w/less.

Resources do not equal wealth. Resources exist naturaly. Wealth is created. Oil has been around fo the entire human existance but not until a hundred years ago did anyone use it. It had no value at all.
And what resources has Bill Gates used to create his wealth? No oil, coal, diamonds or land were needed, apart from a few trees for MS instruction manuals and packaging and the oil for CD ROMs but these amounts are minimal. A major newspaper would use more paper in a day and AOL have manufactured a hundred times more CDs.

Bill Gates (love him or hate him) created his wealth. He didn't find it in the ground and dig it up. That wealth didn't exist naturally.
And in creating it he has created employment for thousands of people and paid vast amounts of taxes.

If you complain about rich people owning thousand acre plots for their home then you could argue that leaves less land, a finite resource, for the rest of us. But wealth is not finite, it's not a resource and it doesn't exist naturally.
 
2006-12-17 06:07:06 AM  
Resources do not equal wealth. Resources exist naturaly. Wealth is created.

If resources exist naturally, just tell that to your water company as why you aren't paying that bill anymore. They need a good laugh now and again.
 
2006-12-17 06:09:29 AM  
zz9
ComicBookGuy: "The world's resources are finite. Therefore, it follows that the wealthy can only exist if others do w/less."

Resources do not equal wealth. Resources exist naturaly. Wealth is created.


QFT.
 
2006-12-17 06:11:37 AM  
Befuddled
zz9: "Resources do not equal wealth. Resources exist naturaly. Wealth is created."

If resources exist naturally, just tell that to your water company as why you aren't paying that bill anymore. They need a good laugh now and again.


Water does exist naturally. Clean water pumped to your home does not.
 
2006-12-17 06:14:42 AM  
Water does exist naturally. Clean water pumped to your home does not.

So go out and try to tap some of that natural water, see how long you get away with that until you are arrested.
 
2006-12-17 06:21:30 AM  
Befuddled
So go out and try to tap some of that natural water, see how long you get away with that until you are arrested.

Obviously, private individuals and goverments have water rights, just like they have land rights, mineral rights, airspace rights, etc.

I don't see what this has to do with wealth being by and large an output of things like natural resources, time, labor, capital, etc.
 
2006-12-17 06:23:14 AM  
MacGabhain

Glad to share a state with you. I'd like to add that unfortunately, the stratospherically rich also have the money to fund think tanks that come to different conclusions.
 
2006-12-17 06:26:18 AM  
troyh1976: /Money is great but if you don't have it, do you choose to be happy? I try. Some of it is fooling yourself but if it works, that's gotta be worth something.

Great post. A reality injection. Only dissent - "better class of ass" women don't fark guys who are rich, they fark guys who display value.
 
2006-12-17 06:38:52 AM  
EmperorTippy: The point is it is better for the economy and nation as a whole to have a vast amount of money concentrated in a few hands then it is to have a sufficient amount of wealth spread out over many many hands.

octo: Also as an aside, only a peasant would pride himself on the fact that he is does not brag about his non-existent riches in the manner of those trashy nouveaux riches.

unbelievable
 
2006-12-17 06:45:31 AM  
Money, aside from its buying power is essentially useless.
 
2006-12-17 06:51:03 AM  
mr0x

You exemplify the living in two worlds.

You are so out of the rich world that you don't even know what good is.


And you do? Cool. I live in a better world, friend. Ignorant but kind of happy, obviously.

You think living in that tiny, paper-walled apartment eating what was on sale at your local grocery clicking around in your sub-par computer through a mediocre screen in a small desk with crappy lighting is good life.

Dude, I said I was on a middle class income, not poverty stricken. I don't get why you are being so aggressive. There is so much projection in your above scenario that it's funny.

You think you have 95% in you car but when you could be hit by a drunk rich guy's tank SUV who walks away with a headache and you'd have to be picked up a bucket it might make you think otherwise.

SUVs are dangerous to *anyone* they hit because they impact higher than sedans do. Ask the late Princess Diana about how being rich allows you to escape the laws of physics. Or not, as the case may be.

Friends and lovers could be fake anywhere. Being rich is not bling-bling, it's about the little things like freedom to do what you'd like, where to go etc.

And this is after your lecture on my paper thin walls, my crap monitor and how my car will be squashed by a rich man in an SUV?
 
2006-12-17 06:51:27 AM  
mr0x
Compared to people who are long dead is pointless.
If you only compare how well you do in relative terms, then you're just talking about the very base emotion of envy.

Thinking about your situation in absolute terms- ie, how far beyond your basic needs you are- gives you a decent perspective.

Yeah, we get music and all that stuff but there are more important things that the rich have ... freedom to do what they want.

We can't even do something we want for one week at the risk of getting fired, screwing this or that up. We can so constrained in what's possible - either by this or that.


You don't have to be rich to be able to do this, you just have to be financially responsible. Eliminate debt- especially consumer & automobile debt- and have some savings and you too can live your life as you see fit. Having some savings and no debt gives you the exact kind of freedom you want. Sure, you may not be able to take a jaunt to europe but you won't worry about next month's bills either. Go to www.daveramsey.com to find out how you can do it, even if you're not 'rich.'

NedwinHLongfellow

Damn I hate rich farks. The one lesson from history that gives me comfort is knowing that they'll be the first up against the wall when the revolution comes.

How you can let people starve while you live in such excess defies understanding.


One, the starving people you're so worried about are an abstraction to you. You've never met them. I grew up poor and still know some people at the bottom rung of society. Their basic needs are met. When you can buy a warm coat at the much maligned walmart for $20, the bar for being absolutely destitute is much lower than ever before.

Two, there will never be a revolution in the United States.

The skills required to successfully organize one are worth money to businesses. Lots of money, actually.

Anyone capable of organizing a revolution will be gainfully employed and be 'the man' instead.
 
2006-12-17 06:52:57 AM  
EmperorTippy: The point is it is better for the economy and nation as a whole to have a vast amount of money concentrated in a few hands then it is to have a sufficient amount of wealth spread out over many many hands.

If no one has volunteered yet, let me be the first to volunteer to better our nation by unburdening you of all your wealth. If you can manage it, get your friends and family to do the same for the good of our country. Me being newly rich will make your newfound lives in poverty all that much more rewarding.
 
2006-12-17 06:55:44 AM  
Befuddled
People do everyday. Look in the phonebook for a well drillers. Usually in the plumbing section. It might be impossible to get clean, free water in the city but ask someone in the sticks what their waterbill is and you'll get a chuckle.
After you get the permits and environmental assessment you're good as gold for that well. Legal too.
 
2006-12-17 06:57:39 AM  
It's easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle...
 
2006-12-17 07:01:59 AM  
rrtt22

It's easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle...


The 'eye of the needle' was a man-sized gate in a bible-era city wall. It was the only way to get in at night, IIRC.

In order to get a camel through this 'eye', you had to remove all of the load it was carrying, and then it would have to kind of bow it's head and duck through the man-sized gate.

So the analogy is this- the rich can't take it with them and must be humble, as this is how camels got through the eye of the needle.
 
2006-12-17 07:10:04 AM  
just before the revolution.

bear that in mind
 
2006-12-17 07:14:01 AM  
Why I want to be super-rich: Endless hookers and blow!

/will never be rich
 
2006-12-17 07:34:45 AM  
I wouldn't hate the super-rich nearly so much if the farking news media and tabloids would quit fawning over these bastards.

No CNN I do NOT want an exclusive first look at Richie McRiches summer home and $30 million yacht. DIAF.
 
2006-12-17 07:37:14 AM  
I bet they stiff the pizza delivery driver and complain about the tip jars in Starbucks.
 
2006-12-17 07:43:20 AM  
2006-12-17 03:01:44 AM Robo Beat

He's got a point. America may be the only place in the history of the world where even the poorest among us can eat red meat, drink beer, and watch pay-per-view wrestling on their big-screen TVs.

As a member of the non-American parts of the world, exactly what are they teaching in your schools that makes you think that the rest of us live in poverty?
 
2006-12-17 07:43:58 AM  
dfenstrate

The skills required to successfully organize one are worth money to businesses. Lots of money, actually.

Anyone capable of organizing a revolution will be gainfully employed and be 'the man' instead.


You forgot about one thing: ethics

Believe it or not, there are some people who would rather die than be bought out by the devil. I'm not saying we're at that point, but if we should ever get there, I'm sure someone would try.
 
2006-12-17 07:48:13 AM  
Mitch J

As a member of the non-American parts of the world, exactly what are they teaching in your schools that makes you think that the rest of us live in poverty?

Nothing, but all a lot of Americans ever hear from the outside world is about how arrogant we are (which is partially true) and how good we have it. Plus the blind assumption that "If america isn't the best of the best and a shining beacon of govenrment for the world to you, you're unpatriotic" is running amuck.
 
2006-12-17 07:58:54 AM  
Opiate of the Lasses: It's arguably better to be happy and poor.


Agreed. Once you stop struggling and striving for success it gets pretty boring. Then you start comparing, and it all goes to hell.

Or, to be even more succinct, as my Mother used to tell me: 'Worry about yourself, don't worry about them.'
 
2006-12-17 08:04:12 AM  
Money can't buy you happiness, but you can rent it, one $10 lapdance at a time.
 
2006-12-17 08:09:02 AM  

Befuddled

Water does exist naturally. Clean water pumped to your home does not.

So go out and try to tap some of that natural water, see how long you get away with that until you are arrested.


Every time I turn on the tap, clean water comes out of the ground via the well on my property.

Does that count?

Wealth and Resources are not synonyms, developing wealth requires resources (human and natural) and some wealth developing means have unequal distribution of inputs.


M$ = Way more human than natural
Exxon = Way more natural than human
 
2006-12-17 08:12:32 AM  
"Every man a King, but no one wears a crown."

No one person, I don't care who you are or what you do, should have a fortune of over $50,000,000. No one, should make a salary of over a $1,000,000 a year. There is enough wealth in this country for everyone to live a comfortable middle class life.

Ole' Huey had some pretty good ideas. Too bad he was gunned down.

I do disagree with Huey on one point however. I believe that everyone should work, no exceptions. No work = no food.
 
2006-12-17 08:21:23 AM  
Maddogjew: No one person, I don't care who you are or what you do, should have a fortune of over $50,000,000. No one, should make a salary of over a $1,000,000 a year.

You're shiatting me, right?
 
2006-12-17 08:24:40 AM  
The vacuous, pedigreed trust-fund babies can afford to have an electrode wired to their pleasure centers for non-stop stimulation. It would save daddy's fortune from being spent on albino peacocks, as well.
 
2006-12-17 08:37:31 AM  
He's got a point. America may be the only place in the history of the world where even the poorest among us can eat red meat, drink beer, and watch pay-per-view wrestling on their big-screen TVs.

As a member of the non-American parts of the world, exactly what are they teaching in your schools that makes you think that the rest of us live in poverty?


That there are two types of people in this world. Those who wave tiny American flags, and those who stand hip-deep in mud while eating spiders for breakfast. Why, you saying that's not true?
 
2006-12-17 08:46:22 AM  
Would any of the super-rich here tonight care to donate between $100,000-1,000,000 of the money that doesn't make them happy to my research grant?

I would like to prove, scientifically, once and for all, that money will not make me happy, and I need your support. Everything will be well-documented, you will get your name on the final report, and I will wear a white labcoat.

The more of you that care to contribute the better. With a large enough grant I can expand the testing to other subjects, like family and friends, to prove that money will not make them happy either.

Cash, check, money orders, old $100 bills with coke still smashed into the rolled end... whatever you've got. Hell I'll even accept Paypal. Just fire off a payment to the email in the profile.
 
2006-12-17 08:47:21 AM  
Been there, done it, and yes, it's true. However, that parallel universe isn't as fun as the hoi polloi seem to think it is.

I prefer where I am now.



I prefer not using an extraneous "the" when dropping "hoi polloi" bomb.

lollerskates!
 
2006-12-17 09:20:38 AM  
The super rich need an ethic among themselves to spend money not just on extravagance, but wildly creative endeavors. Projects of genius and difficulty that cannot get funding elsewhere.

A single billionaire could change the world many times over by giving a grant to 100 unusual people, then to follow-up with funding the best 10 ideas. I say "unusual" because "brilliance" is sometimes compromised, and is often far better at executing ideas than creating them.

For example, think of 10 unusual web sites. Then try and guess what would happen if each one got a grant of $500k.

Now the billionaire might be more pragmatic, wanting something that will produce tangible, lasting results. Or just some lasting memorial, if kooky.

How about a home for unwed mothers, in which they and their children would live comfortably for years, and the children get a good education? Except they must legally change their names to those of the billionaire and his wife. So a mansion full of Bill and Melinda Gates.

Some billionaires are already doing some things like this, such as the rocketeers investing in space travel.

The bottom line is that giving money to their charities just often results in wasted resources, and nothing tangible or lasting in the world. But giving money to the unusual could still be a good tax write-off, but also make the billionaires' names live beyond their years.
 
2006-12-17 09:26:13 AM  
YoungSwedishBlonde: You're shiatting me, right?

The system that I propose is a lot cleaner than just lining the rich against the wall, shooting them, and then just taking the money. Who the hell needs more than $50 mil? That's just being greedy.
 
2006-12-17 09:31:05 AM  
Making a list for the wall, when the revolution comes
 
2006-12-17 09:31:15 AM  
clovis69: Even Bill Gates will die like the rest of us. No matter how rich someone is, if they gets the wrong kind of cancer, they will be pumped full of poison and die in pain too.

Well, the very rich will have access to much better hospitals and cutting-edge treatments than the poor. I worked in one of the best cancer treatment hospitals in the world, and wealthy people come from many other countries to get treatment there. Then, ironically, my not-rich dad got lung cancer and died in a little rural hospital where all they did was call his relatives to tell them he was dying, and give him morphine while waiting for him to die. Ya rly.
 
2006-12-17 09:32:31 AM  
you guys are forgettng the real happiness in life being attractive

who cares if your rich if your ugly as sin then you know every realationship is based on the dollar

but...

if your attractive

a) its easier to aquire wealth
b) even if you don't make alot of money you still get to have fun

at least that's something we can all agree on that ugly people suck and if you try to defend that then you must be ugly, sux to be you
 
2006-12-17 09:33:03 AM  
RTFA. Underwhelmed. none of what was described was particularly desirable.

We have been asked to create a cat pen for a family in south Kensington for £30,000. Their two Bengali cats were not allowed to mix with other animals, so we created their own universe.

BFD. When I set up my hobby farm, I'll create a universe for my chickens!
 
2006-12-17 09:44:38 AM  
wellknownassh0le: a) its easier to aquire wealth
b) even if you don't make alot of money you still get to have fun

at least that's something we can all agree on that ugly people suck and if you try to defend that then you must be ugly, sux to be you


Maybe that "good looking gets you places" thing works for women, but it hasn't done a whole lot for me. When I take care of my appearance, strangers (women especially) are more likely to be cordial to me, than when I put on weight and get a five oclock shadow and dress sloppy. I get hit on a bit more. But it doesn't go far enough to add up to much.

Maybe it's a grass-is-greener illusion; I've long believed that the key to having more fun and aquiring wealth more easily is having good social/networking skills (combined with decent self-confidence), because it's my biggest deficit--I'm well below average in those areas. Being reasonably bright and decent looking has helped me get my foot in the door in some areas, but that's absolutely as far as it's ever gotten me. Once the potential GF/buddy/employer finds out I'm socially awkward and insecure, the rest just doesn't seem to help much. (I've tried faking confidence many times, I don't seem to pull it off well.)
 
2006-12-17 09:46:32 AM  
"2006-12-17 03:35:57 AM Turtle Head"


Is it because you are getting no reaction to your extremely unfunny pictures?
 
2006-12-17 10:09:36 AM  
Sad thing is that the middle class has eroded away in the united states. A larger middle is set i surpass us in china. The days are gone that a person with a high school diploma can work in a factory for 40+ years retire with benfits and make as much as paper pusher. Income inequality is exploding and the GINI proves this. Unless you are making between 250,000 to 5,000,000 you are no longer middle class. Anything below 250,000 you are just working class. The poverty line in reality in the united states is 30,000 grand. It seems to me, and this my opinion mind you, that if your you are a consumer in this country then you are not a citizen. This seems very true at this time of year. I don't how much more this country economy can take, it seems like 2007 might be 1929.
 
2006-12-17 10:10:05 AM  
Historically, Americans (and, to a somewhat lesser extent, the British) have tended to be much more tolerant than people in most other countries of large socioeconomic inequality. Underlying this tolerance is the belief -- held, by some, with an almost religious intensity -- that we live in a fully meritocratic society in which anyone with sufficient abilty, drive, and self-discipline can become wealthy, no matter what his or her circumstances at birth. The corollary is that if someone is impoverished in later life, it is due to his or her own personal failings, and not to broader structural factors that might require legal or constitutional remedies such progressive taxation, much stronger protections for labor unions, nationalized health care, etc.

And indeed, the US was fairly meritocratic in this sense for much of its history, especially as compared with the aristocratic, class-conscious societies of pre-WWII Europe. But increasingly, this is no longer the case. Economic mobility across generations is now, at best, stagnant, and quite possibly in decline (cite),
and indeed mobility is now smaller in the US and Britain than in Canada and continental Western Europe (cite).

In other word, the "American Dream" is on its way to becoming little more than a dream -- America, by contrast, is on its way to becoming a class-based society of the sort that people originally emigrated to America to escape from. When the American people start to perceive this -- and I believe they already have -- then you will see more left-wing and populist economic legislation to reign these inequalities in.
 
2006-12-17 10:14:30 AM  
NedwinHLongfellow: Damn I hate rich farks. The one lesson from history that gives me comfort is knowing that they'll be the first up against the wall when the revolution comes.

How you can let people starve while you live in such excess defies understanding.


...says the man selfishly spending money on a computer and internet access while other people starve. Excess is all relative, Skippy.
 
2006-12-17 10:18:46 AM  
Skeptos: In other word, the "American Dream" is on its way to becoming little more than a dream -- America, by contrast, is on its way to becoming a class-based society of the sort that people originally emigrated to America to escape from. When the American people start to perceive this -- and I believe they already have -- then you will see more left-wing and populist economic legislation to reign these inequalities in.

As long as money controls the real power in Washington, such measures will be blocked. I'd love a peaceful resolution, but I'm pretty sure the redistribution will happen in the way it historically always has. I just hope society can keep itself together long enough for me to die of old age, I don't want to end up living in some bad movie from the 70's.
 
2006-12-17 10:20:54 AM  
2006-12-17 08:12:32 AM Maddogjew


"Every man a King, but no one wears a crown."

No one person, I don't care who you are or what you do, should have a fortune of over $50,000,000. No one, should make a salary of over a $1,000,000 a year. There is enough wealth in this country for everyone to live a comfortable middle class life.

Ole' Huey had some pretty good ideas. Too bad he was gunned down.

I do disagree with Huey on one point however. I believe that everyone should work, no exceptions. No work = no food.


Are the above numbers adjusted for inflation? What about a Bill Gates type? What would be his motivation for creating the next piece of crap? What about Henry Ford? Why would he bother with the next Model?

If you want socialist programs go to a socialist society and observe the vast waste of energy that was once a workforce.
 
2006-12-17 10:28:53 AM  
Maddogjew

As long as money controls the real power in Washington, such measures will be blocked. I'd love a peaceful resolution, but I'm pretty sure the redistribution will happen in the way it historically always has.

I guess I'm a little more optimistic (or maybe just more naive). The fact that a candid, unrepentant, dyed-in-the-wool populist like James Webb could get elected to the Senate -- and from Virginia, of all places -- has made me feel like there's good reason to hope that the inequality issue will be dealt with in a legal and peaceful manner.

But one thing's for sure, IMO: one way or another, it will be dealt with.
 
2006-12-17 10:37:29 AM  
FarkLark: Are the above numbers adjusted for inflation? What about a Bill Gates type?

No, they are not.

What about Henry Ford? Why would he bother with the next Model?

Somebody else would want more than the minimum, they would design the next car if ole' hank didn't want to do anything anymore. Why must success be based on money? Happiness isn't, despite what you are bombarded with on tv daily. I'm not saying have a whole bunch of people sitting around getting handouts. Everyone must do something productive to society as a whole, if you don't work, you don't get squat. Think of it as capitalism with a huge middle class and very few at either end of the spectrum.
 
2006-12-17 10:50:52 AM  
Maddogjew
Somebody else would want more than the minimum, they would design the next car if ole' hank didn't want to do anything anymore. Why must success be based on money?

Money is power to change the world. The most valuable rich realize this - witness the Gate foundation (does Buffet get second billing now too?). The least valuable rich don't, distribute their money through buying stupid crap, and if they don't contribute enough to society end up not rich (how's MC Hammer living now?).

I'm fine with having super rich, but we should have one hell of an inheritance tax to make sure the rich earn it. Invent Google, upgrade your VW to a couple custom 747s. Get adopted by the guy who developed a reliably good chain of hotels? Not so valuable.
 
2006-12-17 10:59:21 AM  
Eidolon: NedwinHLongfellow: "How you can let people starve while you live in such excess defies understanding."

Eidolon: "...says the man selfishly spending money on a computer and internet access while other people starve. Excess is all relative, Skippy."

So priceless and right on the mark. I think these exceeding rich people are rather silly and somewhat insane for spending 2000 pounds on a curtain tie, but some couple living in a hut in Central America with two hungry kids and a leaky roof would think I'm equally silly and insane for throwing out the moldy cheese.

The "redistribute the wealth" people kinda get on my nerves. What right does anyone have to other people's money even if they have excess? Not yours.

You help the less fortunate when you can or give your 10% if you belive in tithing, but no one has the right to someone else's stuff.

/Probably just above the poverty line in So. Cal.
 
2006-12-17 11:09:03 AM  
Bears repeating Wealth!= Natural Resources and the Earth itself is not a closed system.

As for the trust fund kiddies (inherited wealth) arguments;
those who never had to work a day in their life have-

have written many fine award winning literary works
obtained hundereds of useful patents
been actually entertaning performers (paris does not count!)
adopted and promoted many causes to fight social injustice.
fought and died for thier country in times of war

/But the media only reports the obnoxious ones.
//It's always interesting to see where a person came from and where they hope to go. Perspective is good.
 
2006-12-17 11:10:10 AM  
To everyone slagging the rich:

I never met a poor man who would give me a job.


That is all.
 
2006-12-17 11:17:20 AM  
dfenstrate: The 'eye of the needle' was a man-sized gate in a bible-era city wall. It was the only way to get in at night, IIRC.

In order to get a camel through this 'eye', you had to remove all of the load it was carrying, and then it would have to kind of bow it's head and duck through the man-sized gate.

So the analogy is this- the rich can't take it with them and must be humble, as this is how camels got through the eye of the needle.


No, that's just a legend. The "eye of a needle" most likely refers to an actual needle. Read this.
 
2006-12-17 11:17:37 AM  
NedwinHLongfellow
How you can let people starve while you live in such excess defies understanding.
Starvation in the modern world is a symptom of broken governement. The majority of first world nations, where the super rich under discussion are developed, only have starvation-by-stupidity (even in the thin-safety-net US, you have to be stupid to the point of chosing it to starve). Historically, attempts to achieve a flat wealth distribution, running from Mao to that bastard killing Zimbabwe, have resulted in far more massive death by starvation than any wealth imbalances.

The knee-jerk "we just need to give every Ethiopian $5 to elimate starvation!" meme is as ignorant of reality, and potentially tragic, as "we just need to get rid of Sadaam to usher in a democratic utopia!" It also clearly shows that you have never actually been successfully involved in trying to address real issues of disfunctional societies.
 
2006-12-17 11:18:43 AM  
If money can't buy happiness, I guess I'll have to rent it.
 
2006-12-17 11:18:44 AM  
84Charlie: To everyone slagging the rich:

I never met a poor man who would give me a job.


Yeah, well I've never met a poor man who lowers employee benefits and salaries while dumping unearthly sums of money into his bank account to live the life of an ancient Greek tyrant.
 
2006-12-17 11:18:53 AM  
People would feel a lot better about the divide if there was evidence that it was at all meritocratic.

Some of the most staggeringly idiotic people I went to school with are making median income now because they hopped in on some gig as a desk clerk for some company that moves imaginary money around without creating actual products or value. People who blather on about "core competencies" and "leveraging synergies to achieve results-based solutions" - these are the first people in their families to even graduate high school, and barely acheived that.

One of the only brilliant people I know to walk away with a stack of cash was a waitress at a restaraunt for the rich. Her actual talents have earned very little.

Another was studying organic chemistry but went on to major in business because she realized she could join this grand illusion that gives a six-figure salary for being an event planner, not part of the science and engineering fields we supposedly need to compete globally.

I'm a journalist, I put in regular overtime, I work hard AND smart, I make great content, and I'm broke as a joke. I made more as a typist.

I'm pro-free trade and everything, and I'm not advocating all out self-destructive class war. But the more people start to notice the bullshiat in daily life, the more they're going to see wisdom in taking that cash any way they can.
 
2006-12-17 11:19:09 AM  
Franco

The poverty line in reality in the united states is 30,000 grand.

So, below $30,000,000 per year = poverty?

What, so poor today just means you can't afford to rewallpaper the bathroom with $100,000 bills?
 
2006-12-17 11:19:32 AM  
Waaaa! Don't complain about the rich! Waaa!
 
2006-12-17 11:24:28 AM  
84Charlie:
I never met a poor man who would give me a job.

So you've never had the pleasure of having a company go bankrupt on you, leaving you without your pay. Lucky you.
 
2006-12-17 11:24:40 AM  
If this parallel universe is a deserted island with nothing but coconut creme pie and sand for floors, no thanks.

tvland.classictvhits.com
 
2006-12-17 11:26:32 AM  
Catracks
The "redistribute the wealth" people kinda get on my nerves. What right does anyone have to other people's money even if they have excess? Not yours.

That attitude can be taken a bit too far. Wealth is not created in a vacuum, it is highly dependent on a stable society. The very wealthy owe their wealth to the majority of their society signing onto the social contract. Bill Gates would not have happened in Togo - he directly owes much of his wealth to everyone else playing by the rules. He directly benefits from billions of dollars of investiment in everything from police to universal power service. In return, he pays society back through taxes and job opportunity. His wealth is granted to him by society, it is not a right, and the contract is perfectly open to renogiation (typically through tax bills). Smart societies with 'rules of the game' in their economy realize that people who amass vast amount of wealth are the best able to deploy that wealth to improve society (imagine an iPod designed by the Pentagon...). They also recognize that wealth is a very important deal, but not a right (like life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness).
 
2006-12-17 11:28:09 AM  
KentuckyBob: If this parallel universe is a deserted island with nothing but coconut creme pie and sand for floors, no thanks.

What's funny is that these super-rich are just as enslaved to the Order of Things as the poor. What good is all this wealth if it doesn't really buy freedom?
 
2006-12-17 11:29:54 AM  
people who "have suddenly and recently" come in to wealth.

How exactly does that happen? Are the British winning lotteries at an abnormally high rate?
 
2006-12-17 11:30:34 AM  
I've got no problem with the super rich, so long as they earned it all themselves by their own hardwork.

Its the bratty little rich kids born with a silver spoon in their mouth that piss me off. Especially when those types try to stand on a high horse and say "i'm rich because i'm rightous in the eyes of God" or try to spout off to me about hard work, when they did absolutely nothing to get to where they are.
 
2006-12-17 11:30:55 AM  
When the super-rich spend these enormous amounts of money on these supposedly ridiculous items, where does the money end up? In some merchant's or tradesman's pocket, that's where. So spending thousands on a particular curtain tie is a great idea. The curtain tie merchant now has a bunch of money he/she can spend on food, drink, friends, jobs. Money doesn't just lay around collecting dust in the rich folks' mattresses. Every dollar spent on what you may consider frivolous means that dollar is going into some working person's hand and will make their life better. So the "idle rich" should spend more money! Or they could invest it in things like companies that provide more jobs. When you figure out how that is evil, let me know. Do they need all that money? No. But it's good for all of us when they spend it.
 
2006-12-17 11:33:17 AM  
"The super-POOR inhabit a world the rest of society can hardly dream of. It's a parallel universe"

works either way
 
2006-12-17 11:34:42 AM  
fifth_of_november: I've got no problem with the super rich, so long as they earned it all themselves by their own hardwork.

Why does no one see a problem with some people busting their asses day in, day out at multiple jobs while others sit on their gigantic pile of stolen sweat? No one at the top ever earns this kind of money. This sum should rightfully belong to the people who do the actual work and don't just serve as figureheads suffering from mild retardation.

Mr. Right: So the "idle rich" should spend more money! Or they could invest it in things like companies that provide more jobs.

All the rich really care about is getting more rich, and by any means necessary. Wealth becomes nothing but a numbers game to them, and the only way to win is to have more of it than everybody else. So they're willing to cut any benefit and slit any throat that would make them just a tiny bit more wealthy than their closest competitor.
 
2006-12-17 11:38:53 AM  
www.corporateartists.com

Agrees
 
2006-12-17 11:39:51 AM  
SURPHEON . . . couldn't have put it better myself.

When the 1% of America's top wage-earners realize they are rich because
a) NORMAL PEOPLE buy their stuff
b) NORMAL PEOPLE work at low wages to create their product

then maybe they'll start giving back more and more. Now, some rich people do that already, and God bless em. When I went to film school, I had a class with a fairly famous director who gave away about 80% of whatever he made on his films. He had a nice house, nice car, didn't feel the need for ten others.

But the real problem with capitalism is that the whole process of "starting a business" and "being competitive" and "making good business decisions" means paying low wages to those who make the product.

Has the CEO of McDonald's flipped a burger lately?

I'd like to return to the 1950s, when capitalism meant OWNER-OPERATED businesses. That's the ideal, in my opinion.
 
2006-12-17 11:40:35 AM  
I like how czarangelus breaks it down: The world economy is like WoW - the object? Make your numbers bigger.
 
2006-12-17 11:43:12 AM  
Surpheon:
"That attitude can be taken a bit too far. Wealth is not created in a vacuum, it is highly dependent on a stable society. The very wealthy owe their wealth to the majority of their society signing onto the social contract."

Agreed. Very good point.
 
2006-12-17 11:43:48 AM  
EmperorTippy: Would you rather have 20,000 people getting minimum wage or 10,000 people getting double minimum wage and have 10,000 unemployed people?

I love the false dichotomies. How about 20,000 working for a living wage (where they can have a little disposable income) and full benefits and maybe a few CEOs eeking by without a 40 million dollar bonus?
 
2006-12-17 11:46:16 AM  
Whammer: But giving money to the unusual could still be a good tax write-off...


Nope. If they're not a 501(c)(3), more likely than not it's a gift & subject to gift tax.

//studying for estate & gift exam right now
 
2006-12-17 11:50:09 AM  
Catracks

Don't tell me that you're naive enough to think that property right can exist without a strong government and police force to enforce them. The mansions of the super rich would be raided and plundered by bandits in a matter of days if the government collapsed tomorrow. In other words, your tax dollars go to pay to protect the private property of others, including the super rich.

Simply put, a person is only rich so long as society allows them to be (in both earning and holding their wealth). To believe that private property exists in some sacred or divine sense is dead wrong; they are an arbitrary creation of man.

Because society is just as responsible for a super rich person's wealth as the person themselves, society has a stake in said wealth.

Now, I'm not advocating communism or the wholesale redistribution of ALL wealth in society. That would be disasterous for the economy and society in general.

However, there is nothing wrong with estate taxes, inheritance taxes, etc. to pay for necessary societal services.

The best society is one with a capitalist base economy, but with modest taxation and wealth sharing to smooth out the rough edges and market failures of a pure capitalist society.
 
2006-12-17 11:52:28 AM  
All I have to say to these ultra-rich people who waste their money doing such crap as wallpapering their houses with hand-gilded leather wallpaper... DIAF.

At some point, the middle class that faces eroding wages won't put up with it and things will change not necessarily for the better. Nothing wrong with wealth and being productive, but reading this article made this middle class guy sick.
 
2006-12-17 11:53:46 AM  
inkdrinker: People would feel a lot better about the divide if there was evidence that it was at all meritocratic.

I don't think that is a big part of it. I think when CEO's and wallstreet gain huge profits while companies send jobs overseas and cut benefits its natural to be less than thrilled when these people spend $10,000 on socks.

In other words I think there is a perception that the rich generate a lot of their wealth at the expense of the middle class. Look at the uproar caused by the enormous payout to the guy who left Exxon while gas was at $3 a gallon. If the same thing happened while gas prices where going down I don't think it would have caused the same reaction.
 
2006-12-17 11:54:32 AM  
Maddogjew

Somebody else would want more than the minimum, they would design the next car if ole' hank didn't want to do anything anymore.

You are making the classic assumption that all people have the same ambition and ability.

All people are NOT equal. You cannot make a dullard into a genius, or a slacker into an overachiever, by legislating it.

A Henry Ford is not the same round peg as everyone else.
 
2006-12-17 11:58:58 AM  
I am more the master of the wealth I spurn
than if, still poor amid my riches, I had
in my barns the produce of all that the busy
Apulians plough.

--Horace, Odes, (III.16)
 
2006-12-17 12:00:53 PM  
thefutureisours: All I have to say to these ultra-rich people who waste their money doing such crap as wallpapering their houses with hand-gilded leather wallpaper... DIAF.

Damn them for creating jobs with their wealth!! They should just give it away to people who will piss it away on useless crap!
 
2006-12-17 12:02:10 PM  
mmm... pancake: Damn them for creating jobs with their wealth!! They should just give it away to people who will piss it away on useless crap!

Yeah! fark giving it to people who will spend it on food, healthcare, and to afford to spend time with their families. What we really need is more hand-gilded leather wallpaper.
 
2006-12-17 12:04:35 PM  
mmm...pancake,

That's stupid. The jobs they create don't pay well, especially for the employees dealing with the bread and butter of the product.

Back to McD's: the CEOs make millions and you say "oh god bless them they create jobs!"

Okay, you go get that job you love them so much for creating.
 
2006-12-17 12:04:54 PM  
Mr. Right

When the super-rich spend these enormous amounts of money on these supposedly ridiculous items, where does the money end up? In some merchant's or tradesman's pocket, that's where. So spending thousands on a particular curtain tie is a great idea. The curtain tie merchant now has a bunch of money he/she can spend on food, drink, friends, jobs. Money doesn't just lay around collecting dust in the rich folks' mattresses. Every dollar spent on what you may consider frivolous means that dollar is going into some working person's hand and will make their life better. So the "idle rich" should spend more money! Or they could invest it in things like companies that provide more jobs. When you figure out how that is evil, let me know. Do they need all that money? No. But it's good for all of us when they spend it.

THANK YOU.

I am an auto tech by trade, working in a general repair shop that also does custom work. What puts the most food in my pocket is NOT other middle class people who want their cars fixed/maintained. It's the rich people who see no problem with spending $40k on an old Pontiac (or whathaveyou) that they only drive maybe 500 miles a year.

By spending their money in seemingly frivolous ways, they're still dumping it into the economy, so that I can eat and buy stuff, and the people I buy food and stuff from can do the same, and so on.
 
2006-12-17 12:05:01 PM  
Mister Peejay: All people are NOT equal. You cannot make a dullard into a genius, or a slacker into an overachiever, by legislating it.

I am not advocating everybody making the same wage. I am advocating putting a ceiling on personal wealth. There is a helluva difference between $30k an year and $1 mil a year. How smart do you have to be to work in the service industry?

Now if we could just regulate breeding, that system would work even better.
 
2006-12-17 12:06:38 PM  
"all for ourselves, and nothing for other people, seems, in every age of the world, to have been the vile maxim of the masters of mankind."

-Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations
 
2006-12-17 12:06:44 PM  
fifth_of_november: Because society is just as responsible for a super rich person's wealth as the person themselves, society has a stake in said wealth.

"Society" is nothing but the sum of all individual interactions. It doesn't provide anything. Individuals provide. The sum of those contributions is what we call a "society".

I see this non-sequitur coming up a lot more recently. Physics are just as responsible for a super-rich person's wealth as the person themselves. Rich people use physics to their advantage!!!
 
2006-12-17 12:06:59 PM  
I found someone who gives a shiat about the super-rich:

www.jjjasper.com
 
2006-12-17 12:08:29 PM  
Maddogjew: I am advocating putting a ceiling on personal wealth.


That sucking sound you hear is a massive increase in unemployment as wealth is moved outside of our borders. Tell me, when was the last time you got a job from a poor person?
 
2006-12-17 12:09:12 PM  
EmperorTippy

The point is it is better for the economy and nation as a whole to have a vast amount of money concentrated in a few hands then it is to have a sufficient amount of wealth spread out over many many hands.


right, that's why gerald ford was stupid to give his workers a decent salary and get them off the company store, oh wait, giving his people a decent salary meant they were able to afford his cars, which in turn made him a very wealthy man.

if you think it's better for wealth to be concentrated in a few hands you should go live in places like africa, or the stans' between russia and china, then come back to be and tell us how great things are when few have the most while the rest rot.
 
2006-12-17 12:11:01 PM  
czarangelus: Yeah! fark giving it to people who will spend it on food, healthcare, and to afford to spend time with their families. What we really need is more hand-gilded leather wallpaper.

That is a utopian pipedream. You could give every person $100,000 in cash right now and you would find 99% of them in the same situation as before after blowing it on stupid crap.
 
2006-12-17 12:11:55 PM  

"Society" is nothing but the sum of all individual interactions. It doesn't provide anything. Individuals provide. The sum of those contributions is what we call a "society".

and the above is what we call "pedantry"
 
2006-12-17 12:12:10 PM  
2006-12-17 07:43:58 AM Rethorn

Thank you for making a valid point that has been completely overlooked by all the armchair economists in this thread.

While they *are* becoming less important, so it would seem, ethics are a HUGE part of why the US exists at all. People who argue that the founding fathers were only in it for their own good make my head hurt. Why would you go through the trouble of orchestrating a rebellion, turning it into a revolution, then designing a representative democracy afterward if you were only in it for your own self interest? Yes, the early government was made up primarily of the aristocracy of the 13 colonies; however it must be noted that at the time, this was REVOLUTIONARY in and of itself. The aristocracy pledged loyalty only to the government, not the aristocracy itself.

In any case, since that was just a brief history lesson for the people out there reading this thread who were asleep during US history in high school/college, let me get to my real point. Economic theories are just great, but they should NEVER bee treated the same way a scientific theory is treated. I hate to say this, but most modern economist are simply the modern equivalent of the tea and bone reading soothsayers of antiquity.

Economies are incredibly dynamic. By their very nature they MUST change as the world progresses. If they do not, you end up with something akin to medieval feudalism, which only stays a viable system as long as the lower class is kept in the dark about progress due to a system of indoctrination, like the church.

That is why ethics are so important in a modern economy. People are no longer subject to forced indoctrination. As soon as an educated person gets a chance to think about and understand ethics outside a religious point of view, is quickly becomes apparent that things are never "just the way they are" but are rather creations and manifestations of the work of mankind. Therefore it should be obvious that if society on a global scale is simply borne on the backs of men doing work for pay, who drive the economy by spending that pay, that a disproportionate distribution of that wealth will cause an economy to eventually become unbalance, and collapse; not on its own, but again due to the actions of men, in this case ethical men.

This is why the wealthy should fear any coming revolution. Not because they would be subject to the treatment of the aristocracy in post-revolution France, but because they have an opportunity NOW to be the better, more ethical person, and prevent the revolution from EVER occurring by wisely investing their wealth in societal infrastructure; schools, the needy, infrastructure, research, the government, the arts, the list goes on.

Many of the wealthy of the US have already figured this out; whether due to ethics or public pressure can be debated. Bill Gates has been brought up in a few posts, and is a prime example of someone who works to ethically leverage their wealth in a socially responsible manner. I would not be surprised to read that the foundation founded in he and his wife's name contribute more to global disease prevention and treatment research than any other institution, public or private. He also pays for, by proxy, a large sum of the research sponsored by the US gov't, due to taxes.

This is how the system should function. It is not that Mr. Gates wealth that is at issue. What is at issue are those in his 'club' of the super rich who do not understand, or refuse to believe, that using their excessive wealth for the good of all mankind is what keeps out society alive who should be singled out. If you have more wealth, you have MUCH more responsibility to use it wisely to continue to support the system by which you acquired that wealth.

Because, no matter what pundits and the TV tell you, there are those of us out the who are still willing to defend the common good with out lives. Some of us have even decided that it is important to continue to educate ourselves in an objective manner, so as to not become ideologues. Perhaps it is this desire to grow and progress that makes us 'dangerous' to society more than anyone else.

Just remember that it was people with the 'dangerous' desire to work for the common good that created this modern economic system. If you don't believe that, then you can die hugging your TV and Britney Spears album.

Freedom is a responsibility; do not assume that your freedom will be defended by anyone else.
 
2006-12-17 12:12:11 PM  
Someone my parents know once offered my dad this card that only the richest and most influential people in NYC get. -Probably after you've donated/spent a certain amount of money, a la the Black Amex. Basically it gets you into every public event, such as sports games that are sold out. My dad wanted to take me to the US Open one year and mentioned it to this guy, who offered him the card in case it was sold out. It was, but my dad got the tickets prior to the sell-out.

I bet most people don't know about this sorta thing, and it blew me away when my dad told me about it.
 
2006-12-17 12:13:53 PM  
rockman55: That's stupid. The jobs they create don't pay well, especially for the employees dealing with the bread and butter of the product.

Back to McD's: the CEOs make millions and you say "oh god bless them they create jobs!"

Okay, you go get that job you love them so much for creating.


You're incredibly shortsighted in your thinking. Let me list off just a few jobs created by McDonalds...

Construction (actual stores)
Agriculture (ingredients)
Service (workers)
Mechanical (equipment)
Security Systems
Tile work
Wallpaper
Paint
Paper Products (packaging)

What have you done for "society"?
 
2006-12-17 12:14:54 PM  
Maddogjew

I am not advocating everybody making the same wage. I am advocating putting a ceiling on personal wealth. There is a helluva difference between $30k an year and $1 mil a year.

Yes there is a helluva difference. A salary cap would be bad - why should ambition be stifled? It's a poor argument that if industrialist A starts slacking off after he hits his salary cap, then another one will step right up to the plate. For starters, there aren't that many people who CAN step up to the plate. More importantly, using the auto industry as a convenient example, look what happened in the 70's when the automakers generally slacked off. Ass got handed to them by German and Japanese makes.
 
2006-12-17 12:15:00 PM  
mmm... pancake: I see this non-sequitur coming up a lot more recently. Physics are just as responsible for a super-rich person's wealth as the person themselves. Rich people use physics to their advantage!!!

What the fark, you really don't see how the entire concept of wealth is predicated on the context of society? A dude with a metric ton of gold bars stranded on a desert island isn't very rich is he?

Conservatives want to say there's no limit to wealth. Well, there's certainly a limited number of man hours that can be worked at any given time. Is the work people do enriching a few at the top, or everybody? I'd much rather see a civic works project completed than a new mansion built.
 
2006-12-17 12:15:11 PM  
mmm... pancake

czarangelus: Yeah! fark giving it to people who will spend it on food, healthcare, and to afford to spend time with their families. What we really need is more hand-gilded leather wallpaper.

That is a utopian pipedream. You could give every person $100,000 in cash right now and you would find 99% of them in the same situation as before after blowing it on stupid crap.

Ah yes, yet another variant of the bankrupt "rich people are rich because they're better and smarter and wiser than the rest of us" claim.
 
2006-12-17 12:15:31 PM  
clovis69: No its not a parallel universe. Even Bill Gates will die like the rest of us.

If Bill Gates had any imagination he would devote a couple billion a year to extending his own life.
 
2006-12-17 12:15:45 PM  
mmm... pancake: That is a utopian pipedream. You could give every person $100,000 in cash right now and you would find 99% of them in the same situation as before after blowing it on stupid crap.

This is because we don't teach people how to spend their money. Knowing how to make and spend money intelligently is a useful life skill that they never teach you in school. Instead, you learn how to reduce a sentence to its component parts.
 
2006-12-17 12:15:54 PM  
www.kevinworthington.com:8181
 
2006-12-17 12:16:08 PM  
moerty: right, that's why gerald ford was stupid to give his workers a decent salary and get them off the company store, oh wait, giving his people a decent salary meant they were able to afford his cars, which in turn made him a very wealthy man.

FTW!!!

Gerald Ford makes awesome cars!!!

/shiatty president though
 
2006-12-17 12:16:45 PM  
I read an interesting book the other day called "The Progress Paradox". One of the interesting things it pointed out was that the differences in the fundemental aspects of life for the poorest poor and the richest rich are getting surprisingly close to each other relative to where they were even as recently as 50 years ago. 100 years ago, your average person would toil in back breaking labor, never get anything but a primary education, not be able to afford (and therefore not recieve) basic healthcare, and were engaged in a constant struggle to make sure they were fed. The rich would have non-labor intensive jobs, be educated at Universities, afford the best healthcare, and were able to eat plentifully. Now, it's not uncommon to hear of the poor working a non-manuel labor based job, attending a University, recieving the best healthcare that is available, and being overweight. To compare examples from the article, maybe the poor can't get a top flight soccer play to coach their sons for a day, but it's certainly not uncommon to hear of any and all sorts of athletic teams from desperately poor neighborhoods. Maybe the poor can't fly off to an iceberg to see penguins (or whatever they were flying there for), but it's certainly not uncommon to see a very working class family take a weekend to fly off on some sort of vacation, or to visit relatives. Maybe the super rich still do inhabit a different universe, but the poor's universe is alot closer to the rich one then it has been at any other point in history.

//Commence your revolutions.
 
2006-12-17 12:20:08 PM  
Skeptos: Ah yes, yet another variant of the bankrupt "rich people are rich because they're better and smarter and wiser than the rest of us" claim.

You're right. It's all "luck".

It has nothing to do with better wealth management and investments. The difference between the rich and the not-so-rich is that the rich tend to invest in things that appreciate where the not-so-rich tend to "invest" in things that depreciate.
 
2006-12-17 12:20:12 PM  
PostUno: Maybe the poor can't fly off to an iceberg to see penguins (or whatever they were flying there for), but it's certainly not uncommon to see a very working class family take a weekend to fly off on some sort of vacation, or to visit relatives.

When was the last time you worked on the bottom rungs of the ladder? The poor aren't flying off places for weekend trips. They're living with ex-boyfriends because neither can afford rent on their own. They're waiting to take their children in for medical attention until they require ER treatment, because they can't afford a basic checkup. They're working and on welfare, because 40 hours a week of minimum wage doesn't cut it.
 
2006-12-17 12:21:58 PM  
oops, meant to say henry ford.
 
2006-12-17 12:21:58 PM  
mmm... pancake

Skeptos: Ah yes, yet another variant of the bankrupt "rich people are rich because they're better and smarter and wiser than the rest of us" claim.

You're right. It's all "luck".

It has nothing to do with better wealth management and investments. The difference between the rich and the not-so-rich is that the rich tend to invest in things that appreciate where the not-so-rich tend to "invest" in things that depreciate.

I guess we should all be looking to Paris Hilton for investment advice, eh?
 
2006-12-17 12:23:02 PM  
mmm... pancake: Tell me, when was the last time you got a job from a poor person?

I've never gotten a job from a rich person. If I was doing private work, it was for middle and upper middle class. If I was working for a company, then I would normally get my job from HR.

Listen, don't listen, I don't care. I'm just trying to come up with a peaceful solution that would work. The poor always have 2 advantages on the rich: much less to lose, and sheer numbers. Ask Marie Antoinette how well the rich fair when the poor have had enough. No matter how many police you have, no matter who protects you, it will not be enough to save you and your family's skins.
 
2006-12-17 12:23:57 PM  
Mr. Right

When the super-rich spend these enormous amounts of money on these supposedly ridiculous items, where does the money end up? In some merchant's or tradesman's pocket, that's where. So spending thousands on a particular curtain tie is a great idea. The curtain tie merchant now has a bunch of money he/she can spend on food, drink, friends, jobs. Money doesn't just lay around collecting dust in the rich folks' mattresses. Every dollar spent on what you may consider frivolous means that dollar is going into some working person's hand and will make their life better. So the "idle rich" should spend more money! Or they could invest it in things like companies that provide more jobs. When you figure out how that is evil, let me know. Do they need all that money? No. But it's good for all of us when they spend it.

Otherwise known as trickle-down economics.
 
2006-12-17 12:24:00 PM  
No "Ric Romero" reporting? For shame.
 
2006-12-17 12:27:59 PM  
Skeptos: I guess we should all be looking to Paris Hilton for investment advice, eh?

Paris Hilton was like a gift from God for couch riding class-warfare revolutionaries.

Are you suggesting that the wealth she inherited is not the result of proper investments?
 
2006-12-17 12:30:30 PM  
mmm... pancake

Yes, society is the sum of individual actions. But that doesn't change the fact that everything we do is interconnected. No individual exists in a vacuum. My choice to shop or not shop at your store could make or break your business, regardless of how hard you actually worked to make said business successful.
 
2006-12-17 12:30:37 PM  
mmm... pancake

Skeptos: I guess we should all be looking to Paris Hilton for investment advice, eh?

Paris Hilton was like a gift from God for couch riding class-warfare revolutionaries.

She's been a damn fine argument for inheritance taxes. I'll give you that.

Are you suggesting that the wealth she inherited is not the result of proper investments?

I'm saying that it's not the result of good investments by her. She has done absolutely nothing to deserve her great wealth.
 
2006-12-17 12:32:53 PM  
czarangelus

"When was the last time you worked on the bottom rungs of the ladder?"

Within the last 3.5 years.

"The poor aren't flying off places for weekend trips."

When I had a good friend pass away, I bought a plane ticket with a credit card and picked up a second job for about a month when I got back to pay it off.

"They're waiting to take their children in for medical attention until they require ER treatment, because they can't afford a basic checkup."

But when they require treatment, it's never unavailable, which it would have been as recently as 50 years ago.
 
2006-12-17 12:34:06 PM  
If I was doing private work, it was for middle and upper middle class. If I was working for a company, then I would normally get my job from HR.

Globally speaking, that would be from the richest 3%.

The poor always have 2 advantages on the rich: much less to lose, and sheer numbers. Ask Marie Antoinette how well the rich fair when the poor have had enough. No matter how many police you have, no matter who protects you, it will not be enough to save you and your family's skins.

But they lack the same motivation that, if applied, would lead them out of poverty. I'm not worried that someone who can't put forth enough effort to work their minimum wage job is going to put forth the necessary effort to rise up. These people aren't being oppressed by anyone other than themselves.
 
2006-12-17 12:35:29 PM  
fifth_of_november: Yes, society is the sum of individual actions. But that doesn't change the fact that everything we do is interconnected. No individual exists in a vacuum. My choice to shop or not shop at your store could make or break your business, regardless of how hard you actually worked to make said business successful.

And that is wrong?
 
2006-12-17 12:35:31 PM  
mmm... pancake: Are you suggesting that the wealth she inherited is not the result of proper investments?

By her? No. But hey, Paris is rich, I'm just sure that if she had been born in some small town she would have just as much money. Rich people have more because they are better than us right?

Uh, no. She would probably work at the hair salon and would have gotten pregnant at 17. The rich are rich, until the people decide differently.
 
2006-12-17 12:38:37 PM  
Maddogjew: By her? No. But hey, Paris is rich, I'm just sure that if she had been born in some small town she would have just as much money. Rich people have more because they are better than us right?

For the last time... YES. They are better at financial management. Paris can spend her way to poverty if she so chooses. Flo, in the local hair salon, can also go to business school and franchise her own hair salon and create wealth for herself. It happens every single day.

There are very few people who are born into such extreme wealth that they never have to work again.
 
2006-12-17 12:39:13 PM  
Well, which one is it, a world or a parallel universe? If it's both, then that's one freaky small universe, and I laugh at the superrich for inhabiting it compared to ours which is like 500 hilliongajillion times bigger than a single world.
 
2006-12-17 12:39:39 PM  
Skeptos: She's been a damn fine argument for inheritance taxes. I'll give you that.

Why? Because you don't like her and what she does? So much for "live and let live", eh?
 
2006-12-17 12:40:43 PM  
a book for some of you:
images.bestwebbuys.com

a book for others:
 
2006-12-17 12:41:10 PM  
mmm... pancake: I'm not worried that someone who can't put forth enough effort to work their minimum wage job is going to put forth the necessary effort to rise up.

Ok, history never repeats itself. Those kinds of things can never happen here. The police are always in control, ask anyone who was in LA during the riots. I can hear them now "Tsk, tsk, those silly weak poor, they can never threaten me. Cody and Tyler will defend my family with my golf clubs and my skeet gun."

Gated communities will just make rounding them up easier.
 
2006-12-17 12:41:33 PM  
sorry, here's the one for the rest of you:
www.albany.edu
 
2006-12-17 12:41:53 PM  
That article was weak. You'll know a rich person when you build his/her house.
 
2006-12-17 12:42:18 PM  
Skeptos: I'm saying that it's not the result of good investments by her. She has done absolutely nothing to deserve her great wealth.

I won't argue with this one bit. But I don't find it morally wrong to pass wealth on to your heirs. I don't like her either but I'm not about to sick the wealth gestapo on her for it.
 
2006-12-17 12:43:18 PM  
The point is, many people in this country still have the ability to make unreal amounts of money by being frugal and earning a decent wage. The problem is, many other people in this country will never have the opportunity to make that decent wage and they do live in real, grinding poverty where simply staying alive for one more day is a struggle.

You can't build wealth when you're climbing hurdles every moment of your life. It is absolutely impossible.
 
2006-12-17 12:45:00 PM  
www.dvmx.com
 
2006-12-17 12:46:10 PM  
If I was working for a company, then I would normally get my job from HR.

HR doesn't hire people, they just try to filter out retards so that the hiring manager (who doesn't work in HR) doesn't have to read through as many resumes. HR's function is basically to limit company liability.

/just sayin'
 
2006-12-17 12:46:54 PM  
Maddogjew: Ok, history never repeats itself. Those kinds of things can never happen here. The police are always in control, ask anyone who was in LA during the riots. I can hear them now "Tsk, tsk, those silly weak poor, they can never threaten me. Cody and Tyler will defend my family with my golf clubs and my skeet gun."

You're right. Mugabe's revolution was a sure success!!!
 
2006-12-17 12:47:30 PM  
mmm... pancake

Skeptos: She's been a damn fine argument for inheritance taxes. I'll give you that.

Why?

Because extreme, hereditary socioeconomic inequality a) is manifestly unjust -- which I admit is a subjective opinion, albeit one shared by the vast majority of people with functioning consciences; and b) has historically tended to lead to unpleasant things like class warfare, violent revolutions, and socialism -- which is a fact.

And if you think that the kind of shiat that happened in Paris in 1789 and St. Petersburg in 1917 couldn't happen in, say, LA and New York City in 2015, then you are, put simply, an idiot.
 
2006-12-17 12:48:09 PM  
Now, here's another little suggestion:

If the mega rich were to invest in their societies, they would find a burgeoning middle class with great disposable income better suited to purchasing the things upon which the rich depend for their income.

If we're all broke, we buy nothing, and so no wealth is generated. The concept of trickle down economics only works when there is an existing social structure in which all people have the opportunity to make money. This only happens when people can be well educated and healthy. You don't buy consumer good when you barely have the cash for raman and your teeth are falling out.
 
2006-12-17 12:49:27 PM  
mmm... pancake

I'm just pointing out that other individuals in society are just as responsible (probably more so, actually) than you are for your own success. The investers who decide whether or not to sponsor your business, the customers who choose whether or not to patronize your business, the government police forces that protect your rights to your property and enforce the contracts that you sign off on.

Its pretty obvious that an individual can't take all the credit for their success. And for this reason, I believe that society as a whole has some stake in the fortunes of the super rich, which makes estate taxes, inheritance taxes, and some progressive taxation morally just.
 
2006-12-17 12:49:53 PM  
Hey Pancake,

All those jobs McDonald's creates that you listed . . .

Agriculture, Construction, Paper, etc. . . .

You can make the same argument there. In each of those fields, a very few people get paid a lot while the ones who do the hardest work get paid beans.

Unless migrant workers are getting paid a lot up in Central Cali, or the immigrant workers who pound the nails and lay the tile and paint the walls . . . . no, I think you're the one who is shortsighted.
 
2006-12-17 12:49:58 PM  
I've had folding money and I've had pocket change. Every morning I open my eyes I'm looking foreward to what I will see and do.
I guess in some peoples eyes I'm a sad case but I have never cared much what other people thought or what they were making payments on.
 
2006-12-17 12:52:34 PM  
Skeptos: And if you think that the kind of shiat that happened in Paris in 1789 and St. Petersburg in 1917 couldn't happen in, say, LA and New York City in 2015, then you are, put simply, an idiot.

Those were revolts against oppressive governments, which I support wholeheartedly. They weren't going after the "rich" because they were "rich".
 
2006-12-17 12:53:23 PM  
I like tying my own shoes. Really.
 
2006-12-17 12:53:39 PM  
But is the cat alive or dead?
 
2006-12-17 12:54:09 PM  
Oh, and pancake . . .

Just to show I have some personal experience to back up what I'm saying, I volunteer as a tutor here in L.A., and most of these kids whose parents are completely absent from their lives because they work ungodly hours to pay for the little they have . . . most of these parents work for big companies.

One kid I know, his dad is a butcher at a meat-packing plant that boats McDonald's as a client. This kid's dad makes barely enough to pay for a rundown apartment and a single rundown car.
 
2006-12-17 12:54:34 PM  
mmm... pancake

although I agree that there is nothing wrong with passing wealth on to your heirs. (Isn't that the point of making money in the longrun anyway - providing for the security of your progeny and thus the success of your genes?) I don't think there's anything wrong with the society that helped to foster that wealth taking its cut. Provided that cut is reasonable, of course. As for what is reasonable, I don't know, I'm not a tax lawywer or economist.
 
2006-12-17 12:56:54 PM  
"Those were revolts against oppressive governments, which I support wholeheartedly. They weren't going after the "rich" because they were "rich". "

pancake, open a history book please. Or go rent "October." Those revolutionaries were fed up with BOTH the government AND the upper-middle-class. But mostly the latter.
 
2006-12-17 12:56:59 PM  
fifth_of_november: Its pretty obvious that an individual can't take all the credit for their success. And for this reason, I believe that society as a whole has some stake in the fortunes of the super rich, which makes estate taxes, inheritance taxes, and some progressive taxation morally just.

It is the individual who fronts the capital and, most importantly, who takes the risk. In a free country it is she and she alone who should reap the most benefit. Most of the wealth created from her business will be reinvested in the business via jobs and expansion. Increases in taxation have a negative impact on the economy as a whole.
 
2006-12-17 12:58:11 PM  
rockman55: One kid I know, his dad is a butcher at a meat-packing plant that boats McDonald's as a client. This kid's dad makes barely enough to pay for a rundown apartment and a single rundown car.

So he'd be better off if McDonalds didn't exist and he didn't have a job at all?
 
2006-12-17 12:58:12 PM  
It is called capitalism biatches. Get used to it.
/Adam Smith was a smooth pimp who loved the pussy!
//Get a job, do the job the best of your ability, and maybe someone will take notice. If they don't: well you are fucqed. But hey, at least we aren't communist hippies!
 
2006-12-17 12:59:58 PM  
It is the individual who fronts the capital, takes the risk, then hires Day Laborers to avoid paying high wages.

Or have you not seen a Home Depot and 5am when all the "Small Business Owners" show up with their company vans?
 
2006-12-17 01:00:43 PM  
mmm... pancake

Skeptos: And if you think that the kind of shiat that happened in Paris in 1789 and St. Petersburg in 1917 couldn't happen in, say, LA and New York City in 2015, then you are, put simply, an idiot.

Those were revolts against oppressive governments, which I support wholeheartedly. They weren't going after the "rich" because they were "rich".

Uh, hello? Lenin? Robespierre?
 
2006-12-17 01:01:02 PM  
mmm... pancake
I can already tell you and I would get along famously.
/hard-working, non-biatching, self-made-man, FTW!
 
2006-12-17 01:01:30 PM  
there is a diff between if you are the king/ruler of a country and you are super rich but your people are starving and you have earned the money on your own or even thru your parents or whatever, they earned it thru business, work, stocks, etc..

stop being jealous
 
2006-12-17 01:02:01 PM  
Churchill2004:
There's nothing wrong with the rich. It's when people are poor because
other people are rich that it's a problem. That's not the case in our society.


I disagree. When corporate and government leaders "outsource" jobs
to dirt-poor Third World countries, they are creating poor people in
their own nation while doing little to benefit the already poor people in
the nations getting those jobs.

And the jobs ain't going overseas so that consumers can get "better and
cheaper products" but so that the already obscenely rich corporate and
government leaders can get a solid gold toilet for their yacht....

This short-term-profits-at-any-cost business philosophy can only result in
consumers becoming so poor, that they won't be able to buy the products
that are being offered and at that point, (like Marie Antoinette) the modern
day nobility are going to find themselves a head shorter then they were.
 
2006-12-17 01:02:07 PM  
Pancake,

It'd be better if McDonald's and the companies it does business with paid better wages to ALL employees, not just ones with MBAs.
 
2006-12-17 01:03:22 PM  
PostUno: Now, it's not uncommon to hear of the poor working a non-manuel labor based job, attending a University, recieving the best healthcare that is available, and being overweight.

You've got a farked up definition of "poor" if you think this is poor.
 
2006-12-17 01:03:27 PM  
Our members are beyond rich,' said Somerset. 'They want the sort of access and experiences that money alone can't buy.

So how come you nide a metric f**kton of money to afford these things?

Bloody city boys, damn people couldn't do a real job to save their arses.

And yet, most of the people I know, who have degrees and some even PHDs and work bloody hard get paid in the region 11,500 to 16,000 pounds a year.

Why should some arsebandit get paid millions for wearing a striped shirt and red braces when scientists, engineers and (just because I'm one)journalists be on the bread line?

Time for a middleclass revolution.
 
2006-12-17 01:08:27 PM  
Yeah, well... we outnumber them !
 
2006-12-17 01:08:37 PM  
mmm... pancake: So he'd be better off if McDonalds didn't exist and he didn't have a job at all?

Yes, all these conglomerates undercut the prices for everything, making wages lower. How many dedicated butchers are there now, as compared to say, 50 or 60 years ago? Nowadays it's all like an assembly line and it's a dying art. Read "Fast Food Nation," it explains how companies like McDonalds ruined American agriculture.

This is a sorta related story: Dairy Industry Crushed Innovator Who Bested Price-Control System (pops)
 
2006-12-17 01:09:31 PM  
To me, to be poor, you can only fall into one of two categories, or both:
Either: A) You are physically disabled and cannot work.
B) You are mentally disabled and cannot work.
Or: C) You are both mentally and physically disabled and cannot work.

To me, if you can work, then you can be rich.

If you are poor, and you do work, then you are not working hard enough, or you are not taking enough risk, or you are not working the right job. It is not going to work out perfectly, I know, we have shiathead bosses in this world, favoritism, etc. But for the most part, at least in the USA, if you want to be rich, you can be. You just need to try extremely hard and take enourmous risks.
 
2006-12-17 01:09:44 PM  
Wow, definitely a lot of communist/marxist people in here. Wealth should be capped, no one should earn as much as anyone else...man...no wonder you stay poor ;)
 
2006-12-17 01:10:09 PM  
Harimwakairi

Obligatory luxury submarine pic. Just $20 mil.

Well, according to the website, the Phoenix 1000 costs $78 million... (!)
 
2006-12-17 01:10:23 PM  
In what has been termed the 'Marie Antoinette' syndrome, this breed of the mega-wealthy inhabit a world of riches reminiscent of the French royal court just before the revolution.

Uh,yup. People are getting fed up with the growing disparity.
Not to mention people in shait-hole countries where they can't even obtain food for various reasons. You also have middle class and working poor in industrialized countries who can't make enough to obtain proper healthcare, education and housing . The problem isn't really wages as much as it is the distorted inflation of needed things. Decent food costs way too much compared to wages. College is needed anymore to get most decent jobs. Healthcare even with insurance is frequently out of reach or puts people into massive debt. In many ways we are no better off than those in the Victorian era before they started social reforms. Were just a bit more blind to it due to some minor niceities like cable and computers. Cable is cheap. College educations and proper healthcare are not.
 
2006-12-17 01:11:00 PM  
I'm not saying this is you at all, GoSurfing, because I don't know you. But most "self-made men" I know make lots of money on their small businesses by paying day laborers under the table and employing their teenage kids to do the paperwork for twenty bucks a week.
 
2006-12-17 01:11:03 PM  
Dialectic

Despite the lack of distinctive class boundaries and the vast majority of Americans seem to think that they are members of the middle class.

The vast majority of Americans are members of the middle class. Oh, our politicians and sociologists can set the poverty line where they like. But the fact is, most Americans live in the following situation: we must work for a living, but so long as we work, we can meet our basic needs and even have certain luxuries. This makes us middle class. One day I hope to become rich and replace my beer with Kristal... no wait, I'll still drink beer. I'll just drink more of it.
 
2006-12-17 01:12:51 PM  
GoSurfing

To me, to be poor, you can only fall into one of two categories, or both:
Either: A) You are physically disabled and cannot work.
B) You are mentally disabled and cannot work.
Or: C) You are both mentally and physically disabled and cannot work.

To me, if you can work, then you can be rich.

If you are poor, and you do work, then you are not working hard enough, or you are not taking enough risk, or you are not working the right job. It is not going to work out perfectly, I know, we have shiathead bosses in this world, favoritism, etc. But for the most part, at least in the USA, if you want to be rich, you can be. You just need to try extremely hard and take enourmous risks.

So do you still believe in the Tooth Fairy too?
 
2006-12-17 01:13:28 PM  
Well this is actually good. I would rather the really rich spend their money then sit on it. By spending it like crazy...it just makes someone else have more money...
 
2006-12-17 01:13:34 PM  
BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES
 
2006-12-17 01:14:11 PM  
"To me, if you can work, then you can be rich."

Wow. Wow. Wow.

Someone needs to join the Peace Corps. Or maybe just go volunteer somewhere in the inner city, or even in the boondocks. Do you have idea how many people work 70 hour work weeks their entire lives? You know what, forget the volunteer thing.

Just GIS "migrant workers."
 
2006-12-17 01:15:23 PM  
Obviously most people are fairly happy, rich or not. When enough people get unhappy enough for some other group to use them as tools (see middle east) then there will be a lot of pissed off people, getting their directions from a small group of pissed off people, and there will be change.

Probably not for the better for a while.

Then after time there will be mostly happy people.

People will float to the top again. They will get richer and richer. People will start getting pissed again, more and more people getting pissed. Then a small group of pissed off people... etc...

Rinse, lather , repeat.
 
2006-12-17 01:16:55 PM  
rockman55
To begin, I am not rich. In fact, I make 20,000 a year. That's right motherfarker. Secondly, I bust my farking ass. I work 10 hours overtime many weeks, and don't take lunches. But don't think for a farking second I consider myself poor. Why don't I consider myself poor? Because I have a job, and I am not mentally or physically disabled, therfore I can work and better myself. Thirdly, you better be happy businessmen hire illegals to work for them, because children would starve if their illegal Mexican dad didn't have a job throwing sod. Communists make me so farking sick. Communists are the greediest and laziest people on earth. It is a fact. Not until you called me out would I ever mention I make 20K a year. But I don't biatch about it because I know I can do better, and I will. That's the beautiful thing about capitalism.
 
2006-12-17 01:17:37 PM  
From teh Articles: We have been asked to create a cat pen for a family in south Kensington for £30,000. Their two Bengali cats were not allowed to mix with other animals, so we created their own universe.

So now these cats have their own pen "universe" too. Does universe have a different, parallel, definition in England than it does in my parent's basement universe.
 
2006-12-17 01:19:08 PM  
That's the thing about you communists, you are so farking lazy you are always whining about being poor, and you are never doing anything about it
 
2006-12-17 01:20:04 PM  
Instead of paying illegals beans to scrape by on, wouldn't you rather have them paying a good wage, even if it means the Bussinessman can't afford that third Hummer?

But I must hand it to you, I've never heard someone so excited about capitalism making twenty grand a year. Here in L.A., if you make less than thirty grand you're either living with your parents or in an apartment with three other people. So . . . I'll stop yelling at you. You win.
 
2006-12-17 01:21:20 PM  
rockman555
I only wish I was lying. I'll photocopy my paystub if you wish. Again, what is beautiful about capitalism is the ability to better yourself.
 
2006-12-17 01:22:05 PM  
mmm... pancake

In a free country ...

So you freely admit that it takes a "free country"?

Thanks for proving my point that the society around you has the most impact on your success.
 
2006-12-17 01:23:04 PM  
GoSurfing

To begin, I am not rich. In fact, I make 20,000 a year. That's right motherfarker. Secondly, I bust my farking ass. I work 10 hours overtime many weeks, and don't take lunches.

Main Entry: tool
Pronunciation: 'tül
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Old English tOl; akin to Old English tawian to prepare for use -- more at TAW
1 a : a handheld device that aids in accomplishing a task b (1) : the cutting or shaping part in a machine or machine tool (2) : a machine for shaping metal : MACHINE TOOL
2 a : something (as an instrument or apparatus) used in performing an operation or necessary in the practice of a vocation or profession (a scholar's books are his tools) b : an element of a computer program (as a graphics application) that activates and controls a particular function (a drawing tool) c : a means to an end (a book's cover can be a marketing tool>) d often vulgar : PENIS
3 : one that is used or manipulated by another
4 plural : natural ability (has all the tools to be a great pitcher)
synonym see IMPLEMENT
 
2006-12-17 01:23:53 PM  
GoSurfing
I am a communist and I make twice what you do. I even more hours than you(some weeks, salary). I do consider myself poor. I am also working on getting a better job.

/you are poor
 
2006-12-17 01:26:28 PM  
GoSurfing That's the thing about you communists, you are so farking lazy you are always whining about being poor, and you are never doing anything about it

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

ORLY?
 
2006-12-17 01:26:50 PM  
Skeptos
Who am I being used or manipulated by? Myself I guess, because I control my own destiny. I dictate what job I want in this world. Don't think for a second that I have to work 10 hours overtime and not take lunches, because I can go get another job where I don't have to do that.
You are the tool. I happen to actually like my 20K a year job. That'll really make your farking headspin you lazy communist.
 
2006-12-17 01:29:00 PM  
GoSurfing
You like being poor?
Since you dictate what job you get in this world, Couldn't you get the same job but more money? You being so powerful and all.

Who is he being used by?
 
2006-12-17 01:29:15 PM  
GoSurfing: To begin, I am not rich. In fact, I make 20,000 a year. That's right motherfarker. Secondly, I bust my farking ass. I work 10 hours overtime many weeks, and don't take lunches.

Then you are being taken advantage of. It is people just like you, who bust their ass, who should be the most pissed off. Why the hell are you working that hard for so little? Is it to make your boss richer? Why shouldn't you get a little more in reward for your hard service?

That's the thing about you communists, you are so farking lazy you are always whining about being poor, and you are never doing anything about it

Hey buddy, I am a leftist, and I still make more than you. Does that make you lazier than me? I'm been pushing 25 hour weeks lately, how about you? Do you enjoy being a wage slave? It is people like you that I'm fighting for, not Billy Ray and his 4 children on welfare.
 
2006-12-17 01:29:32 PM  
Uncle Karl
no no, moron, you are a capitalist. I work greater than 10 hours overtime a week, just 10 is average. You were just boasting to me of how much more you make than me, and how much harder you work, you must be a capitalist. If you were a communist, you'd ask me for a hug.
 
2006-12-17 01:29:35 PM  
GoSurfing: That's the thing about you communists, you are so farking lazy you are always whining about being poor, and you are never doing anything about it


www.coas.uncc.edu
 
2006-12-17 01:30:47 PM  
GoSurfing: I control my own destiny.

Well, that got a lol outta me....

well done, hope you do OK.
 
2006-12-17 01:31:22 PM  
GoSurfing
No, I detest capitalism. I am forced to participate in it to survive. I also donate quite a bit of my money.

I was not boasting, I was pointing out that for such a supporter of capitalism you must really suck at it.
 
2006-12-17 01:31:27 PM  
GoSurfing

Skeptos
Who am I being used or manipulated by? Myself I guess, because I control my own destiny.

Aww, that's so cute.
 
2006-12-17 01:31:52 PM  
Go ahead and bring out all the pictures of the variuos communist revolutions. Wow, the great uprising of the peasants. Funny thing is, the ones who fought for the revolution are the ones who got farked in the end.
 
2006-12-17 01:33:08 PM  
That's another thing about you communists...why don't you move to Cuba, China, etc. If that is the society that you want to be a part of, and it is capitalist here, why don't you move to a communist country?
 
2006-12-17 01:34:12 PM  
GoSurfing is a perfect example of what the US public schools system will do to a person. He has no class consciousness at all.

In a sick way, it is rather amazing that such a feat can be accomplished so effectively with so little effort.
 
2006-12-17 01:34:31 PM  
GoSurfing: Wow, the great uprising of the peasants. Funny thing is, the ones who fought for the revolution are the ones who got farked in the end.

Yea, but the rich really got farked. I would have much rather been a dirt poor farmer than a plantation owner in such circumstances.
 
2006-12-17 01:34:43 PM  
GoSurfing: Funny thing is, the ones who fought for the revolution are the ones who got farked in the end


Thats true, the donkeys will always be donkeys, the pigs pigs, whatever the system. The trick is to have a system that prevents the abuse of donkeys....mixed, social gov's like most of Europe.
 
2006-12-17 01:35:20 PM  
GoSurfing
Read some Marx and you will see why not. China is a state capitalist nation not a communist one, Cuba is the same.
 
2006-12-17 01:35:50 PM  
Uncle Karl: accomplished so effectively with so little effort.


Hes a product of the greatest, most unrelenting poraganda campaign ever.
 
2006-12-17 01:35:53 PM  
GoSurfing

That's another thing about you communists...why don't you move to Cuba, China, etc. If that is the society that you want to be a part of, and it is capitalist here, why don't you move to a communist country?

Well, I'm not a communist, but I'll respond anyway: we don't want to move to Cuba or China because, by and large, we are not Cuban or Chinese.
 
2006-12-17 01:36:35 PM  
Uncle Karl: In a sick way, it is rather amazing that such a feat can be accomplished so effectively with so little effort.

It's not an accident, the school system is designed that way. There was a ton of effort made to give him those ideological underpinnings.
 
2006-12-17 01:37:53 PM  
Lard_Baron
Allow me to clarify. I meant little direct effort was spent on him. Since it started so long ago, it perpetuates itself with little maintenance.
 
2006-12-17 01:38:52 PM  
Maddogjew

GoSurfing: Wow, the great uprising of the peasants. Funny thing is, the ones who fought for the revolution are the ones who got farked in the end.

Yea, but the rich really got farked. I would have much rather been a dirt poor farmer than a plantation owner in such circumstances.


So you're saying that Communism is for people who are ok being farked just so long as the people they envy get farked harder? I think that's about right...
 
2006-12-17 01:39:04 PM  
Maddogjew
Please read my response to Lard Baron it should clarify what I meant.
 
2006-12-17 01:39:09 PM  
Maddogjew: There was a ton of effort made to give him those ideological underpinnings.


Yup. It takes independant reading, a curious mind, and some world travel to break out of that mindset....

/least it did with me.
 
2006-12-17 01:39:15 PM  
Uncle Karl
STFU you stupid douche. You know nothing of my level of education. Nothing about me. I am not a farking Marxist idiot is the problem with you. Because I agree with Adam Smith, you say I am a product of the US public school system. You are the tool. You are the one who was manipulated by the professor you thought to be so brilliant and introspective. You are the one who was sold on communism. You probably are the type of person who believes in it because you think you will be cool. You probably listen to Rage against the machine and think you are cool. You probably own a Che Guevara t-shirt to try to be cool. Well fark you, you can't even think for yourself.
 
2006-12-17 01:40:11 PM  
Riffington
So you're saying that Capitalism is for people who are ok being farked just so long as the people they envy get farked less?
 
2006-12-17 01:41:55 PM  
Uncle Karl No, I'm pretty sure I'm saying it's for people who don't envy, and want to be farked as little as possible.

It may not work so well for the poorest 1%, but for most people it's great.
 
2006-12-17 01:42:25 PM  
GoSurfing
Read Adam Smith I assure you, you do not agree with him.

I dislike rage against the machine and I would not purchase a che shirt. I discovered communism long before college.

I think for myself quite a bit.

You are what you were designed to be, a complicit little worker.
 
2006-12-17 01:42:51 PM  
hey y'all...

if super rich people wont hang out with you its becuase of your social problems not the money gap. you believe whatever you want...
 
2006-12-17 01:43:11 PM  
GoSurfing

Uncle Karl
STFU you stupid douche. You know nothing of my level of education. Nothing about me. I am not a farking Marxist idiot is the problem with you. Because I agree with Adam Smith, you say I am a product of the US public school system. You are the tool. You are the one who was manipulated by the professor you thought to be so brilliant and introspective. You are the one who was sold on communism. You probably are the type of person who believes in it because you think you will be cool. You probably listen to Rage against the machine and think you are cool. You probably own a Che Guevara t-shirt to try to be cool. Well fark you, you can't even think for yourself.

And yet, he makes twice what you do.

Odd, that.
 
2006-12-17 01:44:39 PM  
Capitalism is great because anyone can get rich, provided you have a great idea, work hard, or some such.

If you're a communist, you're automatically screwed into your lot in life no matter what you do. That's a sad, hopeless despair I hope I never find myself in.
 
2006-12-17 01:44:50 PM  
Riffington: So you're saying that Communism is for people who are ok being farked just so long as the people they envy get farked harder? I think that's about right...

Where there are huge social injustices communism will take root.
The thing is to avoid the social injustice.
If I was a dirt poor farmer being farked over for rent, with starving children, I'd be all for hangin' the land owners from lamposts.
What have I to loose?
It's dangerious to allow a huge gap between rich and poor.
 
2006-12-17 01:44:53 PM  
Riffington
Limited capitalism as seen in Europe and some extent the USA is not too bad, but it is not very nice for the poor. Also it leads to violence when the gap between the haves and the have nots becomes to large.

Personally I believe in anarchocommunism so very little farking that way.
 
2006-12-17 01:45:58 PM  
Robo Beat

He's got a point. America may be the only place in the history of the world where even the poorest among us can eat red meat, drink beer, and watch pay-per-view wrestling on their big-screen TVs.

The "poorest among us" don't even have homes, let alone big-screen TV's to put in them.

Also, unlike in the U.S., in most wealthy nations the poorest people at least have health care.
 
2006-12-17 01:46:29 PM  
bakatare
Wow, you swallowed that hook line and sinker. Very few will get rich in any system. Read about the studies done about upward mobility recently in england. Odds are you will stay at about the same level as your parents.
 
2006-12-17 01:47:55 PM  
Skeptos: And yet, he makes twice what you do.

Odd, that.


It seems that GoSurfing has been
i66.photobucket.com
 
2006-12-17 01:48:19 PM  
GoSurfing: Well fark you, you can't even think for yourself.

Yeah, being a communist is swimming with the tide in the USA. Uncle karl just going with the herd......
 
2006-12-17 01:50:03 PM  
Uncle Karl: Wow, you swallowed that hook line and sinker. Very few will get rich in any system. Read about the studies done about upward mobility recently in england. Odds are you will stay at about the same level as your parents.

Yes, but at least I have a chance. One in a million is better than zero in a million.
 
2006-12-17 01:51:11 PM  
Lard_Baron
Yeah, being a communist is swimming with the tide in the USA. Uncle karl just going with the herd......
Wait, I thought I was doing it to be cool?
Are you saying there is a reason I will not discuss politics but with my closest friends(in real life)? and that I will not say anything about that at work for fear of losing my job?


damn, I thought it would make me cool.
/end sarcasm
//nothing will make this pencil necked 150lb linux sysadmin cool
 
2006-12-17 01:51:17 PM  
Uncle Karl
Firstly, I would like to retract my anger toward you, and talk to you like a sensible human being, like I should have the whole time. I don't think you understand the implications of having a world of people all making the same amount of money, to do the same thing. Society will always have classes with or without communism. Consider Lenin, don't you think he was the most powerful/richest man in his country in his era? Hello? Is this mike on? Well WTF is up with that? Don't you think Fidel Castro is the most powerful/richest man in his country? (well not right now he is practically a vegetable, but you get my point). My point is it cannot work, it simply goes against human nature. If you could tell me, how it would work, I would listen, but I still don't think you get the bigger picture. Say if we were a communist society, and I worked as a peasant on a farm: I am worker A, to my right is worker B. If I harvest grain from 30 acres, and worker B harvests grain from 5 acres, and there is no incentive for me to work harder, than I am going to learn the first day not to work harder. I am going to now harvest grain from 5 acres, because why the hell should I work harder than worker B?
 
2006-12-17 01:51:51 PM  
bakatare

Uncle Karl: Wow, you swallowed that hook line and sinker. Very few will get rich in any system. Read about the studies done about upward mobility recently in england. Odds are you will stay at about the same level as your parents.

Yes, but at least I have a chance. One in a million is better than zero in a million.

And since two in a million is better than one in a million, you might want to consider seeking your fortune in Canada or Norway.
 
2006-12-17 01:51:53 PM  
"Middle class" is just a word that the middle class uses to distance themselves from people they perceive as "poor" where, in reality, the middle class is just as poor. Poor is not a dollar amount. Poor is not a yearly salary. Poor is a measure of dependence--dependence on your ability to work for a living. If you have to work for a living, you're poor. If not, you're rich. There is no middle.

It doesn't matter if you're making $20,000 a year or $150,000 a year. If your income producing assets do not support your standard of living, in other words, if you can't quit your job today and live at the same standard of living until you die, you're poor.
 
2006-12-17 01:54:04 PM  
bakatare
You know that even I have the same chance right?

I would rather have a world of all $200,000 dollar a year incomes than some at 0 and some making brazilians of dollars.

/oh yeah, still I am smart enough to know it will not happen
//but I will continue to hope for a little more socialism
///maybe I will move to Denmark or something
 
2006-12-17 01:55:35 PM  
8 hours a day times fifty thousand employees is four hundred thousand dollars. Over the course of a year that works out to one hundred and forty six million dollars.

Wal-Mart's PROFIT for Q3 2006 was $2.3 BILLION. That's for the third quarter alone. Annualized, that's $9.2B. $146M is 1.5 percent of that. So, it's probably not gonna be a crushing blow to Wal-Mart's fiscal health to pony up another buck an hour.
 
2006-12-17 01:57:05 PM  
Churchill2004: Dude, in case you haven't noticed, the rest of us are doing pretty damn well. It's only when you compare your life to the super rich that it seems inadequate.

I agree. I've got more worthless toys in my house than either of my parents did. Including a computer. Anyone over 40 I think is still a little freaked out by that.

The toys are just so much better!
 
2006-12-17 01:57:07 PM  
/Obligitory Heinlein quote.
//Woo! Pre-post slashies!
///Slashies!

Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded- here and there, now and then- are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty. This is known as "bad luck." - Robert A. Heinlein
 
2006-12-17 01:57:28 PM  
bakatare: Capitalism is great because anyone can get rich, provided you have a great idea, work hard, or some such.

I agree with the idea, but I think lately the chances are getting slimmer.
There is very little social mobility, 99% of those born poor will die poor and those born rich die rich.

Socialism is all about equality of opportunity.
That all people from all backgrounds have the education that will allow all to compete,
All have excess to healthcare,
All are equal in the eyes of the law.

rampant capitalism destroys that. It uncuts public health, education and has a rich mans/poor mans legal system.
the USA is headed that way.
 
2006-12-17 01:57:35 PM  
GoSurfing
Please read Marx before debating communism. None of the people you mentioned were Marxist communists.

Also the real point of it is that the workers own the means of production. The reason you would work harder is so that your life and every one else's as well would be better.

/Please educate yourself before attempting this sort of debate
 
2006-12-17 01:57:38 PM  
Bakatare gets it. He understands that having a chance at being rich is better than no chance at all. Skeptos do you know how much you are taxed in Norway? It is about 60% of your income. HAHAHAHHAHAHAH.
 
2006-12-17 01:58:11 PM  
Capitalism is great because anyone can get rich...

this statement is untrue. You have to start with at least a little something to get the ball rolling. Some people are so poor they will never get that opportunity.

however, for many of us, you are correct. I would amend it to read Capitalism is great because a lot more people than at any time in human history can get rich
 
2006-12-17 01:59:00 PM  
GoSurfing
But you would be taxed nothing. Because you are poor. As a bonus you would get health care.
 
2006-12-17 01:59:47 PM  
stiletto_the_wise"Middle class" is just a word that the middle class uses to distance themselves from people they perceive as "poor" where, in reality, the middle class is just as poor. Poor is not a dollar amount. Poor is not a yearly salary. Poor is a measure of dependence--dependence on your ability to work for a living. If you have to work for a living, you're poor. If not, you're rich. There is no middle.

It doesn't matter if you're making $20,000 a year or $150,000 a year. If your income producing assets do not support your standard of living, in other words, if you can't quit your job today and live at the same standard of living until you die, you're poor.


yup, that's about the size of it right there, except the rich don't just maintain an arbitrary standard of living, they run the show and make sure that they, and their descendants keep it that way.
 
2006-12-17 02:00:22 PM  
Uncle Karl
No actually please answer my question, why should I harvest 30 acres when worker B is harvesting 5 acres? You cannot answer that question because you know that is where I got you. There is no incentive to work harder in a communist country Therefore any farking human with an IQ about 80 would only harvest 5 acres. To tell me the opposite would be to go against human nature. So please, explain instead of pussing out. Also explain why Lenin, Stalin, and Castro are the wealthiest most powerful people in their countries. I'll give you a hint (they took advantage of stupid communists like yourself).
 
2006-12-17 02:00:30 PM  
GoSurfing:

If I harvest grain from 30 acres, and worker B harvests grain from 5 acres, and there is no incentive for me to work harder

In a purely communist state that would be true. What I propose is a marriage of sorts between communism and capitalism. I'm not saying do away with monetary incentives altogether. I'm saying that the guy who is the attorney for the farm you work for, shouldn't be making 30 times what you make. If you work harder than the next guy, you get a little more than the next guy, but not enough to buy his sister.
 
2006-12-17 02:01:44 PM  
sorry when they were alive and in power.....
 
2006-12-17 02:01:52 PM  
I think the moral of the story is this: You either get farked, or you fark others. Either way, not everyone is gonna be on top.

/Working on being on top.
 
2006-12-17 02:03:12 PM  
maddogjew
I call bullshiat. I should make 6 times as much. That is how it is. Communism looks great on paper, I'll give you that. But you communists just don't admit it doesn't work out in real life.
 
2006-12-17 02:03:18 PM  
Lard_Baron: ACTUALLY, MORE OFTEN THAN NOT, IT IS FASCISM UNDER THE GUISE OF POPULISM THAT ARISES IN AREAS WHERE SOCIAL INJUSTICE AND ECONOMIC DISPARITY ARE PREVALENT.
 
2006-12-17 02:03:57 PM  
GoSurfingBakatare gets it. He understands that having a chance at being rich is better than no chance at all. Skeptos do you know how much you are taxed in Norway? It is about 60% of your income. HAHAHAHHAHAHAH.

Yeah, the joke is on him alright. All those healthcare and social welfare programs available to those who need em, what a bunch of suckers!!
 
2006-12-17 02:04:45 PM  
ThatsTremendous: I think the moral of the story is this: You either get farked, or you fark others. Either way, not everyone is gonna be on top.

Great, now you've gone and won the thread. Now what the hell am I going to do all day?

I think I'll smoke my back out.
 
2006-12-17 02:04:54 PM  
GoSurfing
They were not communists.

Also I did answer, to improve your life and everyone else's.


I tire of debating this with someone who refuses to even educate themselves. Also your grammar sucks. Perhaps if you could effectively communicate you would make more than 20k per year.
 
2006-12-17 02:05:12 PM  
EAT THE RICH
 
2006-12-17 02:05:29 PM  
GuyMontag
Again, as I have pointed out before, why don't you move to Norway/Canada/Cuba, etc?
Exactly, you are a poser communist...you just say you are to be cool!
 
2006-12-17 02:06:01 PM  
GoSurfing

Bakatare gets it. He understands that having a chance at being rich is better than no chance at all. Skeptos do you know how much you are taxed in Norway? It is about 60% of your income. HAHAHAHHAHAHAH.

And how many Norwegians declare bankruptcy each year because of unexpected medical costs? How many Norwegians are unable to attend college because of the cost of tuition? How many Norwegians are forced to take jobs as Wal-Mart greeters at age 72 because they don't have a decent retirement income?

Even taking the relative population size into account, the answer in each case is pretty damn close to "zero."
 
2006-12-17 02:06:37 PM  
Admins can you guys do something about Badassador? WTF is that?
 
2006-12-17 02:07:16 PM  
looks like Badassador and Lard_Baron have actually opened a book in their lives instead of spouting the usual talking points.

There is no place for that here you nerds, go back to your communist hovels and eat dirt.
 
hh
2006-12-17 02:07:54 PM  
"The rich are different from you and me."
F. Scott Fitzgerald

"Yes, they have more money."
Ernest Hemingway
 
2006-12-17 02:07:56 PM  
Money doesn't buy happieness. Obvioisly a quote from a poor person. Research shows that it certainly can.

The rich can sicken and die just like anyone else. Certainly, but they'll do it in a lot more comfort with physicians who have no problem upping their pain medications to ease whatever pain they have.

After reading many of the posts here and actually thinking about some of them, I figured I'm ready to post.

The very wealthy don't think like you or I. Most are not real concerned with global or local poverty and many just give to charities in order to get the tax deductions. The majority do not create businesses in an effort to help the average worker but to get as much profit as possible out of whatever enterprise they undertake.

Folks like Bill Gates have an almost unimaginable amount of wealth. With a worth of 40 billion +, he could almost pull the staggering Social Security fund out of debt by donating 1 billion -- but doesn't. The interest alone on 1 billion for a year could help out some of those hospitals which are staggering under tons of debt and having to cut services.

Historically, when any country starts getting top heavy with the mega-rich, the rift between rich and poor gets vast and eventually, problems start.

In the past, this rift was responsible for creating monopoly laws, Unions, Labor Laws, OSHA, a whole bunch of business and banking regulations and a dramatic increase on income tax for those earning over a million a year. The 'poor' managed to get Congress or their local governing bodies to pay attention by reacting as a violent mob.

Pretty much because of their extravagant ways and their lack of empathy for anyone not of their station, the rich of the past managed to hamstring themselves.

In the distant past, they tended to get slaughtered during revolutions.

People who are struggling to keep food on the table while working a couple of krappy jobs and living in over priced, shiat homes in ratty neighborhoods tend to view the mega-rich with hostility. Especially when their bosses cut them to 39 hours a week to deny them benefits because the company wants greater profits and the owners are fussing about which gold fixtures to fit their private ocean liners with.

I worked for a couple of very rich folks and one used to get a Social Security check, which he didn't need -- but was required by law to take. That check was used to tip his club waiters.

Several posters have mentioned that if you give the average person several grand that, basically, within a year they'd be broke again with nothing to show for it. The various lottery stories shore up that argument. However, the chronically poor tend to get locked into a narrow mind set and some will spend such a windfall fast before 'it's taken away from them'.

Then, society crams the poor in specific sections to live and they basically feed off each other and develop the culture we see today. That's hard to break out of.

Unfortunately, we need the rich. Their efforts to get rich have created pretty much every luxury we have. Edison was a good example of that. A great inventor, he was also a pretty ruthless businessman, willing to slander rivals and take folks to court. The railroads, which built the country, were initiated by the wealthy seeking ways to get even wealthier.

Personally, I'd like to see a greater division of the wealth. Maybe higher taxes and less loopholes for the very rich. The cessation of Social Security for those who are so rich that they'll never possibly need it. The clamping down on lobbyists who influence Congress in favor of things for the very rich. Bigger tax breaks for the wealthy who donate major funds to various hospitals which are staggering because they treat so many poor people.

It's a bit hard to have nice thoughts about the very rich when they're looking for new ways to spend their millions while the workers in their businesses are working 39 hour weeks, loosing benefits, facing smaller pay raises and often get to 'work off the clock' to curry favor and keep their jobs. Resentment builds when some people can't get medical care that they need to live reasonably well and some rich guy blows the cost of the treatment getting his dog house wallpapered.

It doesn't help to watch TV cooking shows where chefs prepare a magnificent and tasty dish, probably worth a weeks salary for a minimum wager worker, for those who can afford it and you're making just enough money to keep hamburger in your fridge. You're living in a two room dump, with burglar bars and 27 locks on the door, with noisy neighbors and that urine smell in the halls while TV shows you this couple agonizing about which faux finish to apply to the walls of their 4th crapper in their 10 room house with a few acres of law.

Then they show you the decorator, carefully applying by hand, the several sponged on layers. (You're lucky if you can buy a gallon of flat white latex paint to slap on the peeling walls of your tiny bathroom.)

However, at this time, I don't have a solution.
 
2006-12-17 02:08:34 PM  
Uncle Karl
I love how you dance around the question I continue to ask, because you cannot admit it, it doesn't work. It goes against human nature. Please tell me why I should harvest 30 acres of grain while worker B harvests 5, for no incentive and don't give me a bullshiat answer like "to improve your life and everyone else's. ". I have news for you: that is not how the real world works
 
2006-12-17 02:08:46 PM  
GoSurfing
Please explain how communism would make someone cool?
Is it the fear of losing your job if someone finds out?
Or the inability to get government jobs?
Or maybe the fact that the uneducated like you hassle us online?
 
2006-12-17 02:09:57 PM  
Badassador: Lard_Baron:

Pardon?
 
2006-12-17 02:10:23 PM  
GoSurfing: But you communists just don't admit it doesn't work out in real life.

But modified, it can work. Let's say that minimum salary for all workers is $25,000 a year and the maximum is $1,000,000 a year. The maximum wealth could be $50,000,000. Is $50 mil not incentive enough for anybody to succeed?

We can walk through this step by step if you like. You seem to be intelligent, if not a little prone to anger.
 
2006-12-17 02:11:23 PM  
GoSurfing
Read my posts all of them. I have already said it would not work, because some people are lazy. For communism to work one would have to eliminate the lazy element of society.

/Now either be civil or get a cold and die from a lack of health care
 
2006-12-17 02:11:24 PM  
Well, this is obviously a sign that the end is near!
 
2006-12-17 02:12:20 PM  
Badassador:

Russia, China, most of South America?
 
2006-12-17 02:12:36 PM  
GoSurfingGuyMontag
Again, as I have pointed out before, why don't you move to Norway/Canada/Cuba, etc?
Exactly, you are a poser communist...you just say you are to be cool!


oh my, this is fun! I never said I was a communist or capitalist or anything, nice assumptions though. Last time I looked, giving my opinion on something was allowable in this country. 'Cept when I is talkin' bout Murica of course, how dare I! Love it er leev it!
 
2006-12-17 02:16:28 PM  
Maddogjew: But modified, it can work. Let's say that minimum salary for all workers is $25,000 a year and the maximum is $1,000,000 a year. The maximum wealth could be $50,000,000. Is $50 mil not incentive enough for anybody to succeed?


I'd be happy enough with no ceiling, but, there has to be equal education, health, access to the law.
As soon as the wealthly have power over the budgets of public education and health sevices that their own children or themselves do not attend, then we get the huge inequalities
 
2006-12-17 02:16:28 PM  
Uncle Karl
Don't for a second call me uneducated. I told you that previously. I told you not to assume about my past. You do not know me. I don't want to prove my knowledge to you. I don't have to. You continue to dodge the question, because you know communism looks good on paper but has failed in real life. What I mean by "cool" is all the undergrad college kids these days who hear socialism in a positive light for the first time in their life and feel oppressed by "the Man" etc., do I really have to explain it, you've seen it yourself. If anything, you are hassling me, calling me uneducated and you know nothing about me. Dear god I would really hate to shame you in this thread with what I know. Just because you read Marx doesn't make you smart. Just because I am a capitalist doesn't make me dumb. Understand?
 
2006-12-17 02:17:18 PM  
forget it Uncle Karl, GoSurfing needs to believe that he is right or the pointlessness of the rat-race will crush his dreams. The more someones faith is attacked, the stronger they hold onto it.
 
hh
2006-12-17 02:20:15 PM  
Read my posts all of them. I have already said it would not work, because some people are lazy. For communism to work one would have to eliminate the lazy element of society.

Any other elements of society your utopia would care to eliminate? Thanks for jumping to the inevitable conclusion of your dogma so the rest of us didn't have to.
 
2006-12-17 02:20:35 PM  
moerty

right, that's why gerald ford was stupid to give his workers a decent salary and get them off the company store, oh wait, giving his people a decent salary meant they were able to afford his cars, which in turn made him a very wealthy man.
Walmart pays its employees enough for them to buy walmarts products. And ford did not pay more out of any sense of kindness, it was a purely business decision.


if you think it's better for wealth to be concentrated in a few hands you should go live in places like africa, or the stans' between russia and china, then come back to be and tell us how great things are when few have the most while the rest rot.
And none of them are america. Not to mention that a lot of that money comes from illegal activities.

1 million dollars spread out over 10,000 companies does nothing for those individual companies ($100 more each). But 1 million dollars invested in 1 company with a good idea can start an entire market. 1 creates jobs and the other doesn't.

I agree that we need a strong and large middle class but you also don't want a starving lower class. Take you pick, a smaller middle class with no starving in that lower class or a larger middle class with half of the current lower class starving to death.

As for a revolution, only the rich could lead one. A revolution requires vast amounts of personal wealth or vast numbers of people. You will never get the vast numbers of people because they never starve. And none of this is to mention that the rich would higher any potential revolutionary leaders in a heart beat and give them 10's of million of dollars. Its largely the same skill set used for both business and revolution. Intelligence, organized, charismatic, willing to go that extra step, willing to work yourself.

And lets have a little thought experiment. Take one hundred people born below the poverty line. Out of this 100 people, 10 will probably raise them selves up to the middle class. One out of those hundred will raise themselves into the upper class. One it a thousand will raise them self into the upper class legally and can be assumed to have a child and pass on his wealth.

So out of 100 people you have 11 who will raise themselves out of poverty and 1 in 10 of those who raise themselves to the rich level will have children born into the upper class. Assume that each person has a child with someone from their own class. You now have 178 people below the poverty line, 20 people above the poverty line, and potentially 2 people in the upper class.

For the vast majority of people now, where you are born is where you stay. And statistically those who can least afford it have the most children. This causes other problems.

Take a single mother who has 4 kids and lives below the poverty line (a very common occurrence). She makes 15,000 dollars per year. That is 3K per person that she has to support per year. Now take the same person with only 2 kids. All of the sudden she has 5K per person per year to use to support her family. Or she could still support the family on 3K per person per year and save the other 6K per year and make sure that her kids go to school and spend more time with each of them to make sure that they do good in school. Fast forward 18 years. The kids have done ok in school and want to go to collage. The mom has 108,000 dollars before interest saved to help them. She can't afford the best colleges but she and afford to send them to the small local school and the kids can get a few scholarships and it can work. The kids graduate college and become productive members of the middle class. Mom still works in the same job for the next 12 years and since she doesn't have to support her kids any more she is now saving 12K per year. 12 years down the road she is 50 and wants to retire. She has 144 thousand saved in the bank to help her with this. One of her kids takes her in and she takes care of the grandkids while her child is at work. This child also takes moms 144K and invests it in some low risk stocks and gets a 5% annual return which he reinvests. After 10 years grandma is now 60 and she wants to go live somewhere nice and warm and have a good retirement. Her child helps set her up in a little place that she likes and gives her the 234,560 from her investments. Assume that grandma lives to 80. She can spend 11,728 per year. Remember that this is a women who lived on 3K per year for most of her life.


What does the above show you? With 4 kids the mom could never have afforded to send them to college and should wouldn't have had the time to help them with their homework and keep them doing good in school. But with 2 kids the mom could raise all 3 of them out of poverty and into the middle class.

My moms brother never went to college and barely graduated high school. He made 15K a year for 20 years and never had kids. But while he was working he was studying up on the market and investments. At the age of 23 he had 60,000 saved and was starting to invest. He spent the next 10 years slowly building his money looking for a good investment. Then he found one. He put almost 250,000 dollars into a company and it gave him a 100% return over 2 years. He sold it and moved on. 5 years later he found another company that looked like it was a good investment and he put 650K into it. A year later he was a millionaire. At the age of 41 he had a million dollars in liquid wealth and no debts. He retired at 50 with 10 million dollars in investments and a 5 million dollar boat that he live on in the Bahamas.


Wealth is easy to get. Give me 10 thousand dollars today and I will give you 100,000 dollars in 5 years. Give me 10 million dollars today and I will give you 100 million dollars in 5 years. It is the same percentage increase.
 
2006-12-17 02:21:45 PM  
Capitalism is great because anyone can get rich...

It's a system where anyone could get rich.
Not where everyone can get rich.

Capitalism is the worst economic system in the world except for all the others.
 
2006-12-17 02:21:48 PM  
GoSurfingDon't for a second call me uneducated. I told you that previously. I told you not to assume about my past. You do not know me. I don't want to prove my knowledge to you. I don't have to. You continue to dodge the question, because you know communism looks good on paper but has failed in real life. What I mean by "cool" is all the undergrad college kids these days who hear socialism in a positive light for the first time in their life and feel oppressed by "the Man" etc., do I really have to explain it, you've seen it yourself. If anything, you are hassling me, calling me uneducated and you know nothing about me. Dear god I would really hate to shame you in this thread with what I know. Just because you read Marx doesn't make you smart. Just because I am a capitalist doesn't make me dumb. Understand?

wow, let me re-post my favorite parts Dear god I would really hate to shame you in this thread with what I know.

Just savor that for a minute....mmmm. Tastes like undergrad college kid!
 
2006-12-17 02:23:53 PM  
hahahah good troll GuyMontag. To be honest, I waltzed into this thread knowing it was breeding with Marxism, and I wanted to have some fun. I could be wrong, everything I said could be wrong. If someone could tell me how it would work in real life, as I said earlier, I am all ears. The fact of the matter is it doesn't work in the real world, and that is what all of you are dodging. To say, however, I am uneducated, because of what I believe, wow that is some brutal irony. That's the thing guymontag . it might be a rat-race for me right now, but I can still better myself and become rich. Now that I know Uncle Karl is a communist hitler, wanting to breed the best peasants who are subservient and will do whatever their master tells them, I understand his point of view.
/Godwin'd?
 
2006-12-17 02:24:11 PM  
GoSurfing
You do not understand Marx, you do not understand Adam Smith, what exactly are you educated in? It surely is not the English language.

You told me not to question your education? So what. You make poverty level wages, how educated could you possibly be?

Please feel free to shame me with your wealth of education. I can only assume it too will come in the form of run on sentences and mixed tenses.

/English is not even my first language.
//Communism would not work in real life because of the lazy like you.
///You must agree you are lazy ,mister super educated capitalist, as you make so little money it could only possibly be your fault.
 
2006-12-17 02:24:37 PM  
Lard_Baron: Soviet Russia and Neo-Dynastic China were/are merely fascist regimes under a populist guise.
 
hh
2006-12-17 02:25:32 PM  
Marx's wife had to borrow money for their daughter's burial because he refused to find work while he toiled on his "manifesto."

I wonder whom he dedicated it to?
 
2006-12-17 02:25:32 PM  
GuyMontag
Seriously, I could shame you with what I do know, and what you do not.
 
2006-12-17 02:26:59 PM  
GoSurfing
If calling you uneducated is impolite, then what is calling me Hitler? Who was a fascist not a socialist, of course being so educated I am sure you already knew that.

I do not desire to breed anyone. I do not treat people as cattle, capitalism does that.
 
2006-12-17 02:26:59 PM  
hahahah good troll GuyMontag.

Me glad you likee!! It's good to nudge peoples beliefs a little. Can't change somebody's mind, but it's good exercise nonetheless.
 
2006-12-17 02:27:12 PM  
Uncle Karl
keep dodging it, your doing just fine. good, now I'm lazy. I'm loving where this is going.
 
2006-12-17 02:27:30 PM  
Maddogjew

img.photobucket.com

This king wears a crown
 
2006-12-17 02:28:41 PM  
LAWLS @ the fight.
 
2006-12-17 02:28:49 PM  
hh
So taking a loan is now immoral? I sure hope you do not have a mortgage. That would make you the devil wouldn't it?

/lots of writers have taken loans
 
2006-12-17 02:28:58 PM  
Maybe if all these rich people would take some personal responsibility they wouldn't be so not super-rich.
 
2006-12-17 02:29:26 PM  
Uncle Karl I called you communist Hitler because you said "For communism to work one would have to eliminate the lazy element of society."

AHAHAHAHAHHAAH PWN3D!!!!!
 
2006-12-17 02:29:31 PM  
okey dokey GoSurfing/b] enlighten me with your rapist wit. Why do you think you know soo much more than me? Soc major? Econ? Double major of both?? Give with the details.
 
2006-12-17 02:30:06 PM  
er, close that off and you get the idea ]]]]]
 
2006-12-17 02:30:20 PM  
GoSurfing
I grow tired of this.

Please shame us with your knowledge.

/I used your own logic to find you lazy. In the capitalist mindset what else could it be?
 
2006-12-17 02:31:53 PM  
GoSurfing

Seriously, I could shame you with what I do know, and what you do not.

Now might be a good time to start sharing this knowledge you claim to have, because you're really getting your ass handed to you on this thread.
 
2006-12-17 02:33:22 PM  
That's 2 requests for verification of yer superior intelligence there GoSurfing. Let's see if you're bluffing.

\preview before post is fer chumps heh heh
 
2006-12-17 02:33:51 PM  
Badassador: Soviet Russia and Neo-Dynastic China

Yeah but the revolutions where communist right? The downtrod were fired up with communist rhetoric. the seed planted was communist if the flower was some sort of fascist regime

I know they communist revolutions rarely survive, I've read Animal farm you know!
 
2006-12-17 02:34:23 PM  
GoSurfing
OK so now saying that we would have to do something about the lazy make a person Hitler?

There are ways to eliminate problems without killing people. For example the problem of you gaining class consciousness was eliminated by years of indoctrination.

Stop dancing and shame us with your knowlegde.

/taking bets on what it is. For $20k a year he is either a student or a janitor.
 
2006-12-17 02:34:31 PM  
make that 3 calls for proof now.
 
2006-12-17 02:37:52 PM  
GoSurfing

hahahah good troll GuyMontag. To be honest, I waltzed into this thread knowing it was breeding with Marxism, and I wanted to have some fun. I could be wrong, everything I said could be wrong. If someone could tell me how it would work in real life, as I said earlier, I am all ears. The fact of the matter is it doesn't work in the real world, and that is what all of you are dodging. To say, however, I am uneducated, because of what I believe, wow that is some brutal irony.

I think the natural assumption is that someone who works 50+ hrs/wk and pulls in $20k/yr probably doesn't have a Ph.D. from Harvard. But fine, your level of formal education is irrelevant to this discussion. What belies your lack of knowledge on the topics under discussion here is language like

If someone could tell me how it would work in real life, as I said earlier, I am all ears.

What, exactly, is "it"? You seem to think that the only alternative to American-style corporate capitalism is Soviet-style totalitarian communism. In reality, there is a vast variety of gradations and hybrids of captialism and socialism, some of which -- such as the Scandinavian countries' systems -- work quite well.

There is nothing particularly natural or inevitable about the particular socioeconomic system America has at this particular point in its history. It is propped up by laws on, for example, corporate governance and personhood, which could easily be altered in the interests of greater social justice without ushering in Stalinism. It is eminently possible to retain many if not most of the benefits of capitalism while modifying some of its harsher aspects. And in many respects, Western Europe points the way.
 
2006-12-17 02:38:05 PM  
Railing against Communism and Capitalism is too easy. Neither are generally good for the populace over a long period of time. It takes a hybrid of the two, and that includes some income redistribution.
 
2006-12-17 02:38:08 PM  
Uncle Karl
I know, I'm growing tired of it too. You win. Literally, I am not going to sit here and have to prove myself. I am not a master of English like you, o great spewer of truth and reason. You win. You get the gold medal. You and GuyMontag . I give up. I am not going to argue with you because we have such vastly different ideologies. That and I have to go to work. It is like trying to prove god doesn't exist to a true believer. It is futile. I am sorry I even wasted your time as well as mine. Cue the picture "arguing on the internets is like running in the special olympics".
 
2006-12-17 02:38:24 PM  
Uncle Karltaking bets on what it is. For $20k a year he is either a student or a janitor.

tough call, could be a student; the smarmy reference to undergrads either marks him as a student himself or someone jealous of those kids since he never went to college himself.

A janitor at a college perhaps?? That's my bet.
 
2006-12-17 02:38:31 PM  
GoSurfing: Seriously, I could shame you with what I do know, and what you do not

You really are setting yourself up there, for if we dont know you, you equally dont know us, and there are some awlfully well educated farkers here abouts, Atho' some you might consider educated well beyond usefulness for capitalistic purposes.

/Not me. I is a ingineer.
 
2006-12-17 02:40:53 PM  
All I want GoSurfing is some sort of acknowledgment of your supposed awe inspiring intelligence. Credentials, MENSA membership etc.
 
2006-12-17 02:42:07 PM  
GoSurfing
At least tell us what your job is? And what is your immense knowledge in?

GuyMontag
I thought so, but for the hours he works at a decent college a janitor would make 30some grand a year.

/I nominate Lil' Miguel for winner of the thread.
 
2006-12-17 02:45:35 PM  
"Assume that grandma lives to 80. She can spend 11,728 per year. Remember that this is a women who lived on 3K per year for most of her life."


Assume that she ate cold oats and Government cheese for that amount. 8 dollars a day will not cut it, because she needs to pay rent and utilities, clothes, etc....not buying it.
 
hh
2006-12-17 02:47:02 PM  
Uncle Karl So taking a loan is now immoral?

No. But using an ideology as an excuse to mooch while malnutrition contributes to your child's death is. Plenty of struggling writers/artists have also held jobs. And therein lies my judgment of your hero's worth to society.

For the first part of the 1850s Marx, Jenny, and their four children lived in an impoverished state in a three room flat in London's Soho. The couple would have two more children, but only three in all would survive. The family survived primarily on gifts from Engels whose own income came from the family business in Manchester.
[from: http://www.egs.edu/resources/marx.html]
 
2006-12-17 02:47:21 PM  
too bad you can't mention income redistribution without being slammed as a dirty commie Lil' Miguel. At least in this country... Just call it "taxes" and everybody here will grumble, but they will pay anyhow.
 
2006-12-17 02:49:02 PM  
GoSurfing: I know more than the rest of you!

Everyone: Oh really? Care to share your knowledge with us?

GoSurfing: I don't have to prove myself to you!
 
2006-12-17 02:50:22 PM  
Lard_Baron
That is why I am not saying what I am skilled in, I couldn't agree more. It is a matter of scale. Whatever I know, there is a farker out there who knows 10 times that. It was a terrible response to "you are uneducated". After being called uneducated multiple times, I felt compelled to say something. I don't know why you guys care so much: but If I am skilled in anything, it is math. Now that's why I am reluctant to say, because again, compared to most high school students, someone who takes Calculus in high school would be considered somewhat intelligent because most high school students only reach Algebra 2...yet on fark damn there are some brilliant people out there. That's all I am revealing. Uncle Karl I may disagree with you ideologically, but if you can in some way make the world a better place, than by all means do so.
 
2006-12-17 02:50:56 PM  
Uncle Karl

I am a communist and I make twice what you do. I even more hours than you(some weeks, salary). I do consider myself poor. I am also working on getting a better job.

/you are poor


If you were a communist, you'd give him $10k a year.

Heck, I make what he makes. Give us both $6.6k per year.

Oh, wait. I don't want it. Being ultimately lazy, I work a job that I enjoy yet still pays enough for me to get by, as opposed to one that I hate yet pays a lot. (Proof: I used to have such a job, and I quit it so that I could work this one)

I am perfectly content with this.
 
2006-12-17 02:51:39 PM  
StillH20
Actually it started out as:
You are uneducated!
Me: you don't know me.
You are uneducated you are a janitor!
I know Calculus.
 
2006-12-17 02:52:08 PM  
hh
He also was not a very good historian.

Also Poe was a coke addict. Now the question is what does what you said or I said have to do with the price of tea in china?

/why bring it up?
//he was also a Jew!
//his dad converted to protestantism when he was a kid
 
2006-12-17 02:55:12 PM  
GoSurfing
Calculus is taught in high school, most people who went to college took it.Math does not make you educated. READ A DAMN BOOK. You are uneducated on this topic.

Mister Peejay
If we lived in such a society I would, but as we do not I do not.

I love my job, and I make good money is that crime?
 
2006-12-17 02:56:34 PM  
Sooo, I would have to say Calculus TA is my final answer. Do I win the prize GoSurfing?
 
2006-12-17 02:58:26 PM  
Ok, this is my last comment, I really have to go to work but:
You are right, knowing math doesn't make you educated. Using math however, to apply to the real world and accomplish something, is educated. You so shouldn't have just said that. The world would not work without math. Capitalist or communist, somebody better back me up on this!
 
2006-12-17 02:58:30 PM  
Well, GoSurfing, while you're right that they don't know you, it wasn't too much of a stretch to say you are uneducated, at least on this topic, from reading your posts. You then made a dumb statement about knowing more than other people without being willing/able to back it up.
 
2006-12-17 02:59:20 PM  
GuyMontag
20k for a TA would be serious money. Maybe if he had that plus another job.

I bet you are close though.
 
2006-12-17 03:00:07 PM  
also, WTF does calculus have to do with Soc or Econ? I know Sociology and I don't jump all over Calc guys when they argue about statics or whatnot GoSurfing. Apples and oranges.
 
2006-12-17 03:00:21 PM  
I wonder if you all a familiar with the term "social wage"
I recently came across it.
It is the wage we all get, rich and poor, from living in a society in which you are aware that all have a minimum standard of living, healthcare, no poverty, etc..all the parks are clean, all the museams arts galleries are free and such...
The Nordic countries have a vey high social wage...I'll try and find a league table. ..
 
2006-12-17 03:02:05 PM  
GoSurfing
Ok Einstein, I am a Linux Sysadmin. I use math for a farking living.
You are uneducated on this topic. If you are a college student please take a class in political science. An English class would not hurt you either.

/The world would not work without ditch diggers either, that does not make ditch diggers educated.
 
2006-12-17 03:02:38 PM  
It has everything to do with economics. You just owned yourself. Maximization of profits, minimization of cost. I have to go, your ignorance is showing.
 
2006-12-17 03:03:32 PM  
grend123: There was a NYT article last week about this exquisite mansion designed from top to bottom by a self made millionare who was so obsessive about the details that he started a new company to make high end doorknobs when he couldn't find the doorknobs he liked.

The article also mentioned that he lived alone, and strongly implied that he didn't have too many friends or likely guests to come to his many-bedroomed home.

I'm not saying all the super rich live sad unfulfilled lives. I am saying however that some of them certainly do, and that the amount of money you have (past a fairly low level) is not necessarily correlated with having meaningful relationships and all the things money can't explicitly buy.


k well the sad ones can just loan me some money and ill put your theory to the test.

/id do farkin backflips even just to get rid of my student loans, let alone be fabulously wealthy
//yes id be happier
///money is the key
 
hh
2006-12-17 03:04:25 PM  
Uncle Karl
Also Poe was a coke addict. Now the question is what does what you said or I said have to do with the price of tea in china?

Sorry it has taken three posts to hammer the point home. To answer your question: anyone preaching economic equality for the masses who brings more children into the world than he can or (and here's his true evil) chooses to take care of...isn't worth the the air he breathes and no one should espouse his ideas.

Poe's wasn't preaching temperance in his writings.
 
2006-12-17 03:05:11 PM  
GoSurfing
This was a discussion about sociology and political science, while math is used it is not the point of it. Math is a tool of educated person, knowing it does not make you educated. A hammer is a tool of a carpenter, having one does not make you a carpenter.
 
2006-12-17 03:05:13 PM  
bbbbbut the TAXES Lard_Baron, what about the TAXES?? That finger thing means taxes... You can't raise taxes! We hates-es taxes don't we precious?? Yes, we hates them.


\even though the cost is less for those amenities overall since it is averaged out amongst the entirety of the nations population.
 
2006-12-17 03:07:55 PM  
hh
You fail to explain why not?
Mad men have often come up with great ideas, even Hitler did a few good things(started maternal leave laws).

Futher more how much contraception was available at the time?
 
2006-12-17 03:09:01 PM  
Lard_Baron: Yeah but the revolutions where communist right? The downtrod were fired up with communist rhetoric. the seed planted was communist if the flower was some sort of fascist regime

That of course depends on whether or not you consider these agents of revolution sincere in their "populist" ideals; if perhaps they were, why then would their subsequent actions and policies appear entirely contradictory?
 
2006-12-17 03:10:13 PM  
GoSurfing, an understanding of Calc does not an economist make. Just because you can do the stat problems in your homework, doesn't give you an understanding of Soc or Econ.
And I understand the tenets of capitalism just fine, thanks.
 
2006-12-17 03:10:29 PM  
Uncle Karl you made a good logical argument. And, in that sense, I will actually have to agree that I am uneducated. On this topic, and in the respect you just described. Now I really have to go.
 
2006-12-17 03:12:10 PM  
Uncle Karl

If we lived in such a society I would, but as we do not I do not.

I love my job, and I make good money is that crime?


Not at all. That's my point.
 
2006-12-17 03:12:26 PM  
fifth_of_november, Surpheon, etc.

Explain how a stable society, social contract, ad nauseum contributes to the wealth generated by crime (drug dealer, arms runners, etc.)? You seem to imply that without society, a person is unable to engage in trade (i.e. wealth accumulation) with another. This is patently false.

While I tend to agree with mmm... pancake at least by degree, I think even he/she would have to admit that the idea of self betterment only applies if there is less corruption in the system than what can be gained from it (it makes no sense to acquire wealth if it can be taken from you by gun or decree). Capitalism fails to address this (if fact, breeds corruption), and the criticisms of the Marxist tend to be spot on with how capitalism degenerates (and usually resets through revolution).

czarangelus

You are aware that wealth usually isn't obtained over a single lifetime, and by instituting a severe inheritance tax, you basically make a society more stratified, and less mobile with regards to class? Way to insure that the poor will stay that way 'cause no plans can ever exceed a generation. Why not just destroy all knowledge while you're at it? Everyone gets to reinvent the wheel.

It seems the big test of the last 300 years or so has been to make governments more accountable to the people (decentralize power). This has obviously failed to a certain extent. Inasmuch as government and money are joined at the hip, we will continue to make the same damn mistakes and face an increasing degree of corruption. Regardless of what form of government you favor, consider that it is the corruption moreso than capitalism vs. socialism that is the problem. No single form of government can address all the unique circumstances of a people. And people will continue on regardless.
 
2006-12-17 03:12:30 PM  
GoSurfing
As part of my victory, please let us know, what is your occupation?

We have a bet going as you know.
 
2006-12-17 03:13:53 PM  
Because Badassador, in their heart of hearts they just wanted a piece of the pie. They were just smart enough to dress it up in an appealing package for the proles.
They weren't contradictory, they were just showing their true colors. The closest things to real communist societies are/were hippy communes and ethnic clusters like the Amish.
 
2006-12-17 03:16:38 PM  
GuyMontag
Absolutely, hippy communes and the Amish are the only true communist societies around today(well and maybe some tribe somewhere).

Did you know they are cracking down on the big one in Copenhagen?
I always want to move there. I am to scrawny to be Amish.
 
2006-12-17 03:17:42 PM  
Quis custodiet custodes ipsos? eh quintessencesluglord?
 
2006-12-17 03:20:36 PM  
GuyMontag: The closest things to real communist societies are/were hippy communes and ethnic clusters like the Amish.

It was intended as a rhetorical question of sorts; also don't confuse proto-communism with tribalism.
 
2006-12-17 03:21:22 PM  
Badassador

Lard_Baron: Yeah but the revolutions where communist right? The downtrod were fired up with communist rhetoric. the seed planted was communist if the flower was some sort of fascist regime

That of course depends on whether or not you consider these agents of revolution sincere in their "populist" ideals; if perhaps they were, why then would their subsequent actions and policies appear entirely contradictory?

One thing that often seems to happen in such situations is that the more idealistic people among the revolutionaries, whose goal is a more just society, wind up getting purged or displaced by the more power-hungry people, whose goal is the increase of their own power.

For example, after Lenin died, Stalin quickly maneuvered Trotsky out of the picture. Mao, after taking power, soon got rid of his more democratic and liberal colleagues. Even the Nazi movement originally had a strong socialist component. After Hitler became Chancellor, though, he purged the more economically left-leaning Nazis like Ernst Röhm and Otto Strasser.

Also, this pattern has mostly tended to occur in countries without deep-seated traditions of democracy (in some form) and limited government. So even if there were another revolution in America (and everyone should certainly hope there isn't), I doubt it would result in the rise of a Stalin- or Hitler-style dictator.
 
2006-12-17 03:21:26 PM  
Meh, the Amish have a lot of genetic...problems...since they have a limited gene pool. Not the best thing to get involved with Uncle Karl.

BTW, I would bet that GoSurfing was a student. Not many older folks proclaim their superior intellect so blithely.
 
2006-12-17 03:22:48 PM  
Badassador
How are hippy communes not the closest thing to true communism available today?

/I am not trying to argue that they are merely interested in your point of view here.
 
2006-12-17 03:24:28 PM  
GuyMontag

Isn't that what all theories of government and economics boil down to in the end?
 
2006-12-17 03:24:57 PM  
GuyMontag
Yes, but I think a sophomore or so not a grad student.

Like I said no worries about the Amish thing, I am way to scrawny for that life style.
 
2006-12-17 03:25:54 PM  
It was intended as a rhetorical question of sorts; also don't confuse proto-communism with tribalism.
You make me happy Badassador, you are correct. I should have used a more appropriate couple of groups as examples.
 
2006-12-17 03:28:58 PM  
quintessencesluglordIsn't that what all theories of government and economics boil down to in the end?

that's the reason for our supposed checks and balances, too bad it still doesn't work! Hence the "democracy is the worst form of government..." quote that was mentioned earlier.
 
2006-12-17 03:30:06 PM  
Skeptos: You really think Lenin and Trotsky were sincere idealists? Why then did they seek to "accelerate" Russia's "Marxist" development, invalidating the entire electoral process with the Bolshevik coup and the overthrow of the (somewhat popular) Provisional Government, bringing Russia to the brink of Civil War? Even though desperate times often call for desperate measures, why would Lenin adopt Trotsky's atrocious (and seemingly traitorous) policy of "War Communism," that is, if they truly had the people's best interests at heart?
 
2006-12-17 03:30:29 PM  
That's why I say we let the machines make all the decisions for us! Us dumb meats can't seem to get it right, why not let something else have a try?
 
hh
2006-12-17 03:30:31 PM  
Uncle Karl
hh
You fail to explain why not?
Mad men have often come up with great ideas, even Hitler did a few good things(started maternal leave laws).

Futher more how much contraception was available at the time?


Every post I've made about him (Marx) has been an explanation unto itself. If it is too nuanced for some, so be it. I do not care to spell it out further for those whose morality is too forgiving (or absent).

As far as examples go, it is also very telling your choice of a historical madman with beneficial ideas.

I don't care about the few sane ideas these chappies came up with. It's their grand visions for everyone else that have done the most harm.

Anyway, good luck with how you want things to be. Curse the status quo every time you cash your paycheck at the bank.
 
2006-12-17 03:31:48 PM  
Skeptos: One thing that often seems to happen in such situations is that the more idealistic people among the revolutionaries, whose goal is a more just society, wind up getting purged or displaced by the more power-hungry people, whose goal is the increase of their own power.


Badassador: Theres your answer. Nice one Skeptos:


Uncle Karl:
How are hippy communes not the closest thing to true communism available today?

I've lived on a socialist commune, a Kibbutz in Israel.
All are paid the same, all those who join are of a similar mindset, and, If you want to leave, there is the nasty old capitalist society just outside the gate. Its there I first began to think, "Bloody hell, maybe we are being a bit harsh on the Palestinians"

I'v recommend it to anyone.

take a look here
 
hh
2006-12-17 03:35:57 PM  
This sentence fragment wins the thread:

While I tend to agree with mmm... pancake at least by degree,...

/Only on FARK
 
2006-12-17 03:37:27 PM  
Oooh Lard_Baron, you lived in a Kibbutz? I bet that was interesting, I have only read about them in textbooks/online.
They are a fascinating way to pool risks and resources that would be easily applicable in Murica without being labeled as a cult.
 
2006-12-17 03:37:59 PM  
Uncle Karl: GoSurfing is a perfect example of what the US public schools system will do to a person. He has no class consciousness at all.

Lard Baron Hes a product of the greatest, most unrelenting poraganda campaign ever.

Maddogjew It's not an accident, the school system is designed that way. There was a ton of effort made to give him those ideological underpinnings.

I think I love you all.
 
2006-12-17 03:40:46 PM  
Lard_Baron and Skeptos: I was merely attempting to make light of the fact that none of these prominent revolutionary figures were sincere ideologues, but rather self absorbed egotists.
 
2006-12-17 03:41:22 PM  
I lived in a Kibbutz. It rocked. The only shame is that they are massive money losers and without constant support from the Israeli government they can't survive.

/socialism does not work
//sorry to ruin everyone's daydream with fact
 
2006-12-17 03:42:02 PM  
GuyMontag

img.photobucket.com


O NOES the machines are coming!!!!
 
2006-12-17 03:42:17 PM  
I agree with Badassador in the fact that anytime there is a revolution, the figure that comes to power is a corrupt megalomaniac.
 
2006-12-17 03:43:44 PM  
Lard_Baron
Interesting, but me not being Jew would be a problem wouldn't it?
 
2006-12-17 03:46:17 PM  
Oh, sorry Uncle Karl forgot...to settle the bet, I am neither a student or a janitor. But as soon as I have some money, I plan on going back to school.
 
2006-12-17 03:46:28 PM  
Andrael: The only shame is that they are massive money losers and without constant support from the Israeli government they can't survive.


Mine wasnt, ran a successful bakery.
How do they lose money, the labor costs are almost free?

from wiki
"Most kibbutzim are at the economic break-even point, a dozen or so are very wealthy, and several score lose money."
 
2006-12-17 03:49:20 PM  
Badassador

Skeptos: You really think Lenin and Trotsky were sincere idealists?

I'm not absolving them of their numerous crimes, but I do think that they were sincere Bolsheviks -- at least, much more so than Stalin. And in the context of Bolshevik ideology -- which, remember, explicitly called for a socialist vanguard to seize power and govern in the name of the proletariat -- a lot of what they did, such as overthrowing Kerensky, made perfect sense.

Stalin, by contrast, was all about Stalin. Communism was merely the means to an end for him, and he was willing to flagrantly bend or abandon central tenets of his alleged ideology when it was convenient. I really can't see Trotsky, for example, signing the Non-Agression Pact with Nazi Germany.
 
2006-12-17 03:49:32 PM  
Runs_With_Scissors
Sorry but I am spoken for. Going to be marrying a monarchist of all things. Probably the only supporter of monarchy still left in the USA.

/to be fair she more a believer in the whole "philosopher kings" thing Plato went on and on about. She has a BA in history, what do you expect?
 
2006-12-17 03:50:23 PM  
As a small business owner myself, it never ceases to amaze me when people seem to think that it is businesses' responsibility to provide a "living wage", benefits, etc. to their employees.

I'm a caring, giving person. My family and I are not wealthy, but we're getting by and at least paying our bills each month. However, when we decided to go into business for ourselves, we didn't do so so that we could hire as many employees as we could find and/or make their dreams come true--we did it so that we could hire as few employees as possible so that we could make our own dreams come true.

Labor is--by far--the single biggest expense a company will typically ever have. As a business owner who is in business to make a profit (ooh, terror), my goal is to hire the minimum amount of labor that is needed to make a successful business so that I can keep the profits I make. That's why anyone is in business in the first place! So the debate seems to come down to how much of those profits a business owner chooses to share with their employees. There is simply no way to come up with a "fair" amount of compensation, other than what has been agreed upon from the get-go: How much I'm willing to pay employee X, with skills XYZ, per hour or year.

Some employers will feel better if they profit-share every dime they make (leaving them with little-to-no profit, the whole reason they went into business in the first place), some will choose to share none (leaving them with all the profits). But in the end, employees are living solely at the whim of their employers--unless they choose to quit to find something better for themselves, of course. It's a rare employee who truly achieves significant wealth solely through employment income, saving, and investing. While it does happen, the vast majority of those who really achieve significant wealth in their lives do so when they take the financial risks of starting and running a business of their own.

I love other people, but when I hire them, I'm hiring them to meet the needs of my business, not because I'm looking to better their lives. To do that, they need to get themselves through school, learn some hard knocks, and make their own dreams come true.

/here endeth the lesson
//but the slashies never end!
 
2006-12-17 03:50:48 PM  
The gap between the rich and the super-rich is getting ever larger

sounds like an Onion article.
 
2006-12-17 03:51:32 PM  
Uncle Karl: Interesting, but me not being Jew would be a problem wouldn't it?


Not at all, I'm not Jewish, You gotta be a socialist tho'
Take a look here

worth taking 6 months out of your life and living in another culture. You'll see the world differently after.
 
2006-12-17 03:55:35 PM  
hh

Can I have your lunch money then?

/Never wins the good prizes
 
2006-12-17 03:55:59 PM  
MacSlacker
While I agree with the gist of your post. I do believe you have the moral obligation to pay a livable wage. To do anything else and you move from the realm of business owner to slave driver(hyperbole).

Also there is a lot more to life than money.

While I do not own the business I work at and we do use temporary employees. We do attempt to pay them as best as possible and give bonuses based on how well the company as a whole is doing.

/Even call center employees make between $9 and $13 per hour. Which is not a huge amount but far more than most call centers in Western NY.
 
2006-12-17 03:57:10 PM  
Quick someone post the picture of the oil guy with 90 chins. He's fat so he must be evil!!!! EEEVIILLL!!!!

[looks back]

welp, already did. fark never disappoints.
 
2006-12-17 04:00:01 PM  
On another note, why don't you ever see Farkettes participating in this kind of thread?

/just randomly popped into my mind
//chicks who like to argue about politics and history are awesome
 
2006-12-17 04:02:43 PM  
Lard_Baron
I think I got that one fairly well covered. Can it be longer than 6 months I was sort of thinking of something more permanent.

/Doubts the fiancee would go with it, what being a monarchist and all
 
2006-12-17 04:04:18 PM  
SkeptosOn another note, why don't you ever see Farkettes participating in this kind of thread?

chicks know these break down into a big c*ck measuring contest, that's why.

\btw, I WIN!!
 
2006-12-17 04:04:52 PM  
Uncle Karl: Doubts the fiancee would go with it


Why not? a cheap, long, holiday in another world. Plenty of people doing that too.
 
2006-12-17 04:06:00 PM  
I have always said a benevolent monarchy is the way to go Uncle Karl.

\cue pic of impotent British royalty
 
2006-12-17 04:06:04 PM  
Uncle Karl:

Mac Slacker does not have moral obligation to pay livable wage. This is America, he can pay minimum wage, and the employee can accept the job, or the employee can go look for a better job. As Mac Slacker beautifully stated, he created his business for his best interests, not his employees'. Basically, I'm saying that to you he has a moral obligation. Not everyone has the same morals as you in this world.
 
2006-12-17 04:06:16 PM  
GuyMoontag Dear god I would really hate to shame you in this thread with what I know.

Why don't you wow me with your laser-like knowledge, and explain the difference between Communism, Marxism and Socialism. You use these words as if they are interchangable, when they are not.
 
2006-12-17 04:13:05 PM  
I think it was directed to me scissors, but I will explain the best I can.
For one, we are already a semi-socialist country with Social Security. Socialism is like a redistribution of wealth.
In communism there are no classes. You got me on the marxism, I don't directly know how it influenced the two. I know A Christmas Carol has Marxist themes in it. I can't remember how or why it was so long ago. I just remember proletariat are the peasant revolutionaries and the bourgeouisie are the rich that get killed in the revolution.
 
2006-12-17 04:16:11 PM  
I think you wanted GoSurfing for that one Runs_With_Scissors
 
2006-12-17 04:18:06 PM  
GuyMontag: I have always said a benevolent monarchy is the way to go Uncle Karl.

You should look up Plato's Republic sometime and his idea of the perfect state. I think you'd like it.
 
2006-12-17 04:29:06 PM  
NedwinHLongfellow: Damn I hate rich farks. The one lesson from history that gives me comfort is knowing that they'll be the first up against the wall when the revolution comes.

How you can let people starve while you live in such excess defies understanding.


Hi. Have a computer with an internet connection?

You ARE the rich fark you are complaining about.
 
2006-12-17 04:30:01 PM  
yeah Zorks, I know. Too bad Plato was a pretentious twat.
 
2006-12-17 04:37:00 PM  
GoSurfing
We are no where near semi-socialist. For an easy place to start check wikipedia. Or your local library that way when you go back to school you will already be able to pass those classes with ease.

By me saying he had a moral obligation I meant as a decent human being. I realize people have different morals than me. I cannot believe that a decent person could think it ok to pay a nonliveable wage to another human. Therefore to me to pay minimum wage automatically adds that person to the not decent person list in my mind.
 
2006-12-17 04:38:06 PM  
feepness
bzzt! wrong.
Read the thread for the working definition of rich he is using here.
 
2006-12-17 04:38:23 PM  
Thanks for the comments, GoSurfing and Uncle Karl.

And the rebuttal to Karl's argument is a simple one: It's the very freedom this country affords its citizens (noted by GoSurfing) that is what keeps the system honest. If I were to try to enslave my employees, financially or literally, they have the freedom to find a better job wherever (and law enforcement would deal with me if chains were involved, of course!). It's the employees who hold the power over their own lives--be it through education, training, or even going to the trouble and expense of starting their own businesses.

/Huzzah, it's another excuse for more slashies!
 
2006-12-17 04:38:37 PM  
rush22
If Wal-mart raised every single employee's salary by not $1, but $2 an hour, the company would still show a profit.

Not a profit that they're "comfortable" with. Any crumbs that fall is money lost and they can't stand that. Reminds me of the casino and landlord mentality.
 
2006-12-17 04:39:10 PM  
GuyMontag:
Uncle Karl:
Skeptos:
Badassador:
GoSurfing:

excellent thread,
I'm off...cya.
 
2006-12-17 04:39:56 PM  
Runs With Scissors GuyMoontag: Dear god I would really hate to shame you in this thread with what I know.

Why don't you wow me with your laser-like knowledge, and explain the difference between Communism, Marxism and Socialism. You use these words as if they are interchangable, when they are not.



Damn it all. I was so busy trying to wow you all with my lazer-like wit that I for preview is my friend!

Sorry, Guy Moontag
 
2006-12-17 04:40:01 PM  
I love other people, but when I hire them, I'm hiring them to meet the needs of my business, not because I'm looking to better their lives.

Good thing I'm really not looking to work at your business, then.
 
2006-12-17 04:40:39 PM  
GuyMontag: yeah Zorks, I know. Too bad Plato was a pretentious twat.

Well, given the nature of what he was philosophizing about, I think pretentious twat comes with the territory.
 
2006-12-17 04:43:13 PM  
MacSlacker
While certainly true that it is legal, it still would add you to the list of douchebags in my mind. A Fair days work for a fair days pay and all that jazz.

/A lot of people on that list. The only reason it really exists is to remind me to never become one of them.
 
2006-12-17 04:44:12 PM  
fifth_of_november:
Catracks: Don't tell me that you're naive enough to think that property right can exist without a strong government and police force to enforce them. The mansions of the super rich would be raided and plundered by bandits in a matter of days if the government collapsed tomorrow. In other words, your tax dollars go to pay to protect the private property of others, including the super rich.


Sorry I'm late.

No, I'm not. That's just what was being said. A very rich class and especially a middle class are dependent on a strong government and society with good morals as a whole.

Simply put, a person is only rich so long as society allows them to be (in both earning and holding their wealth). To believe that private property exists in some sacred or divine sense is dead wrong; they are an arbitrary creation of man.

I suppose so, but something about that statement bothers me. I confess that I can't work it out though.

I only think it's wrong to take away just because others are poor and because they don't think it's fair. You could go the other ways and say that extreme poorness is an arbitrary creation of man but I don't completely buy that either.

Actually I thing the accumulation of wealth and property is the natural state of man. I don't think it's divine intervention. People throughout time have fought to have the best land and the best watering hole and the most goats. Communal living doesn't seem to work for us. It's been tried. There is always an elite that seems to spring up.

We do better with competition. We work harder to gain and produce a better product to compete.

However, there is nothing wrong with estate taxes, inheritance taxes, etc. to pay for necessary societal services.

No problem with that. I just don't like to see an unfair levying of taxes. In California, Rob Reiner wanted to start manditory preschool in California -- to be funded by only the top 2%. I really think everybody should have been paying for that.

The best society is one with a capitalist base economy, but with modest taxation and wealth sharing to smooth out the rough edges and market failures of a pure capitalist society.

But that is what we have, isn't it?
 
2006-12-17 04:44:26 PM  
true Zorks, true. That's what happens when you can sit around an philosophize when slaves do all the work.

\was trying to troll you
\\hell, it made me laugh after I typed it.
 
2006-12-17 04:45:25 PM  
Uncle Karl: Read the thread for the working definition of rich he is using here.

Don't care what his definition is. By my definition if he has a computer then he is loaded beyond imagination.

The people living 5 to a room and sharing a single textbook would agree.

I always find it amusing the people on the internet complaining about the "rich".
 
2006-12-17 04:46:02 PM  
MacSlacker
Also one pet peeve the government does not afford us rights. We afford it the right to exist. We voluntarily give up rights to be able to have a society.

/For the people by the people, blah, blah, blah
 
2006-12-17 04:46:44 PM  
Go Surfing Mac Slacker does not have moral obligation to pay livable wage. This is America, he can pay minimum wage

Ding, ding!! And Go Surfing inadvertently cedes the thread!!

The whole point to this has been: When minimum wage is not a livable wage, and the select few who make obscene profits from their employees labor have solid gold toilet seats, there's something wrong!!
 
2006-12-17 04:47:44 PM  
feepness
Good for you then.

Divide and conquer has always been a tool of class warfare glad to see you carrying on that tradition.
 
2006-12-17 04:50:10 PM  
Uncle Karl: Good for you then.

Divide and conquer has always been a tool of class warfare glad to see you carrying on that tradition.


Your words... I understand them individually but as a group they aren't making any sense.
 
2006-12-17 04:51:12 PM  
Runs_With_Scissors_: The whole point to this has been: When minimum wage is not a livable wage, and the select few who make obscene profits from their employees labor have solid gold toilet seats, there's something wrong!!

Because we should divide the toilet seat up so everyone has a little gold in their toilet seat whether they are making a living wage or not!

Wait, what?
 
2006-12-17 04:56:46 PM  
feepness
Good for you then Here I am replying to the fact that you have your own definition for rich. I think it is good that you can think for yourself.

Divide and conquer has always been a tool of class warfare glad to see you carrying on that tradition.

"Divide and conquer"
is a technique of dividing your enemy into smaller groups that will hopefully fight each other instead of you. In this particular case fight each other instead of the system that keeps them all poor.

"It has been a tactic of class warfare from the beginnig" is rather self explanatory.

"glad to see you carrying on that tradition" is a sarcastic remark about you being a tool and perpetuating class warfare.

/I hope this helps you
 
2006-12-17 04:57:15 PM  
Runs_With_Scissors_
Ding, ding!!! This is America, he doesn't have to work the job, he can go look for a better one. It is very convenient how you edited that out, as that is what followed the cut quotation of yours. Minimum wage is not livable, I agree. What I am saying, is the employee can get educated and look for a better job, start their own business, etc. This country is full of opportunities for people who are looking . for them and are determined to take hugh risks.
 
2006-12-17 05:00:06 PM  
GoSurfing
By setting a minimum wage we as a society are saying "this is an OK minimum amount to pay someone for their time and labor". In fact it is not an OK amount to pay as it would result in someone not being able to meet their own basic needs.

While they could get food stamps and such, as a working person they should be able to relay on their wages instead of handouts.
 
2006-12-17 05:00:44 PM  
Uncle Karl: "Divide and conquer"is a technique of dividing your enemy into smaller groups that will hopefully fight each other instead of you. In this particular case fight each other instead of the system that keeps them all poor.

I wouldn't say I was dividing him into a separate class as moving him from one class to another.

I simply don't think anyone who has an internet connection and a computer to use it is poor, sorry.

If that means I am "divisive", so be it.
 
2006-12-17 05:04:15 PM  
I thought it was the socialists who created the minimum wage in the first place. I think you need to do some reading this time. You know there wasn't always a minimum wage. Minimum wage came about during FDR, our first Socialist president. Since he created so many government departments, our government has miles of red tape making it near impossible to get a permit for anything, etc.
 
2006-12-17 05:08:04 PM  
GoSurfing This is America, he doesn't have to work the job, he can go look for a better one. It is very convenient how you edited that out, as that is what followed the cut quotation of yours.

Certainly, they may. In fact, they can go from WalMart to McDonald's to Home Depot, to the local gas station and find that they are all paying minimum wage.

Minimum wage is not livable, I agree.

Thank you for ceding this point.

What I am saying, is the employee can get educated and look for a better job, start their own business, etc.

Pray tell, how does one afford college or gather the start-up funds for a business when you are paid minimum wage?
 
2006-12-17 05:13:46 PM  
Runs_With_Scissors_: Pray tell, how does one afford college or gather the start-up funds for a business when you are paid minimum wage?

Scholarships. Night-school. Living with friends/family.

People do it. All the time.

Minimum wage is intended for teenagers. Minimum wage of $15/hr means NO after-school/summer jobs.
 
2006-12-17 05:15:26 PM  
Runs_With_Scissors_
I am so laissez-faire and libertarian that I don't think there should be a minimum wage. The fact of the matter is, there will always be people starving to death, and there will always be people lighting their ciggarettes with money. That's the way it will always be. Even if their is a revolution, people will still starve. I don't know a more practical, logical, and fair way to live other than capitalism. So what is the grand idea you propose that is going to end all starvation? Redistribution of wealth will not work because someone is going to still fight for power. Human beings will continue to subdivide themselves and differentiate themselves from one another. It's like the South Park episode where there are the two Atheist tribes and they are at war with each other.
 
2006-12-17 05:17:05 PM  
Dude, this sucks. The one time a HUGE 600-strong or whatever the count is at now thread on Fark stays *on topic* the WHOLE time--


and I made a most awesome grammar police arrest. Man. I pulled a biatch over.
 
2006-12-17 05:23:56 PM  
GoSurfing:

You didn't stay very long at work today.
 
2006-12-17 05:26:52 PM  
No, it was a good excuse. I lied, ahhaa and I was actually waiting for someone to call me out!
+1 bonus points.
 
2006-12-17 05:27:32 PM  
On that note, though, see ya
 
2006-12-17 05:28:36 PM  
GoSurfing
The problem is not with the minimum wage just that it needs to be raised. I think it is a fine program, that just needs to be updated.

When it started it was too low "$.25 per hour ($3.22 in 2005 dollars" but they had to start somewhere.

We did better in the sixties.
"In 1968, when it was $1.60/hour ($9.12 in 2005 dollars.)"

/all info shamelessly ripped from the wiki.
 
2006-12-17 05:31:10 PM  
Thanks for the insight everyone. Seeing things from someone else's perspective doesn't hurt. I can't go on. Good thread everyone. See ya around sometime.
 
2006-12-17 05:31:23 PM  
feepness Scholarships.

Any government scholarship is paid for with taxes, and is, by definition a redistribution of wealth.

Minimum wage is intended for teenagers.

I had no idea WalMart, McD's, et al, employs only teenagers.


Minimum wage of $15/hr means NO after-school/summer jobs.

I never advocated a $15/hr minimum wage.
 
2006-12-17 05:32:09 PM  
GoSurfing
laissez-faire capitalism is what caused the great depression.
 
2006-12-17 05:33:36 PM  
OK, well my eyes hurt, my fingers are sore...and you win. I give up.
 
2006-12-17 05:34:34 PM  
One of my life goals is now to piss upon a wall upholstered in $28/sqrcm hand-gilded kid skin leather wallpaper.
 
2006-12-17 05:35:04 PM  
feepness
There were after school jobs in 1968, minimum wage was $1.60/hour ($9.12 in 2005 dollars.). So why would it be bad to have a $9/hour minimum wage?
 
2006-12-17 05:36:22 PM  
GoSurfingI am so laissez-faire and libertarian that I don't think there should be a minimum wage.

So, then, you approve of a system that exploits you, on the off chance you'll have the opportunity to exploit someone else?

Niiiiiice.
 
2006-12-17 05:37:20 PM  
Runs_With_Scissors_: Any government scholarship is paid for with taxes, and is, by definition a redistribution of wealth.

I never said I was against government scholarships, but they aren't the only ones giving out scholarships either.

Minimum wage is intended for teenagers.

I had no idea WalMart, McD's, et al, employs only teenagers.


I had no idea WalMart, McD's et al, only paid minimum wage.

Too can play at that game.

Minimum wage of $15/hr means NO after-school/summer jobs.

I never advocated a $15/hr minimum wage.


I never stated you did.
 
2006-12-17 05:38:51 PM  
Uncle Karl: There were after school jobs in 1968, minimum wage was $1.60/hour ($9.12 in 2005 dollars.). So why would it be bad to have a $9/hour minimum wage?

Is $9.12 a livable wage? Because you were all about the livable wage earlier.

What is this livable wage that we should be forced to pay all employees?
 
2006-12-17 05:51:36 PM  
mcflizzy- You owe me a new keyboard!
 
2006-12-17 05:52:19 PM  
feepness
In my part of the country it would be.

$9* 40hrs/week * 4weeks in a month = $1440

$1254 take home pay (based on 2005 tax code)
-$450 1 bedroom apartment
-50 electric
-50 heat
-80 car insurance
-50 gas
-150 food
-25 phone
-100 health/dental insurance(based on my employer)
-58 car repair (national average)
_________
would leave $241 per month discretionary spending.

So I think in Western NY it would be, in NYC or California maybe not.
-
 
2006-12-17 06:05:12 PM  
Uncle Karl: So I think in Western NY it would be, in NYC or California maybe not.

But the minimum wage is Federal (though some states are higher) and I think $241 discretionary is too little. It should be $500.

Though months average 4.3 weeks and you aren't accounting for any vacation in there either.
 
2006-12-17 06:21:42 PM  
feepness
Yes, I am. 4 weeks paid. It is there. It just does not change the equation.(I think that should be a Federal thing for everybody)

I am glad you think the minimum wage should be higher.

But the minimum wage is Federal (though some states are higher)
Yes, I think the federal government should set a base rate, States can add more on top of that and then cities could make it even higher if the cost of living was very high in their area.
 
2006-12-17 06:26:15 PM  
Uncle Karl,

You seem not to be listening to (or understanding) those of us that have said several times in this thread that "minimum wage" is (and never has been) meant to be a "living wage". If I'm a small business owner who decides that I want someone to vacuum my 500 sq foot shop once per day, sure, I may find some kid in school who is willing to accept a wage of $6.00/hour to do that work--$30 for a week's worth of vacuuming might be worth it to me, so that I don't have to do it.

But raise that wage to your $9.00/hour, and now it costs me $45 for a week's worth of vacuuming--it may simply not be worth that to me, and so I won't hire the kid at all (meaning he makes nothing). And none of that includes all of the extra costs businesses have to pay for maintaining employees, such as worker's compensation, FICA, Social Security, health benefits, etc.

If someone approached me and said he wanted to support himself/herself and their family on vacuuming my floors once per day, I'd tell them to go away as there's simply no way I would be able or willing to pay them a "living wage" for such work. I'd vacuum the floor myself first! That's not cruel, it's just sensible--if someone's socioeconomic status is such that that's the only type of work they can get, then they need to train up and find a more gainful method of employment. They'll never get anywhere in life otherwise, regardless of whether or not they'll be aware of this when I kindly show them the door.

I agree with you 100% that a person should be able to make their own ends meet from whatever source of income they choose to pursue. Someone of sound mind and body who is 30 years old and working a minimum wage job has screwed up badly along the way--but they still have options for training, certification, college, etc. that will allow them to take better, higher-paying jobs. I'm all about furthering one's education, to the point where I'd rather see the government divert at least 50% of all tax dollars currently allocated to food stamp programs to Pell grants.

"Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll eat for a lifetime."

I came from a no-money, single-parent family.