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(Jim Henley)   "The government works perfectly well at ensuring the lifestyles of defense contractors and investment bankers. That is its purpose."   (highclearing.com) divider line 143
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1870 clicks; posted to Politics » on 19 Aug 2009 at 5:22 PM (4 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2009-08-19 10:01:42 PM
alostpacket: Isitoveryet: alostpacket: Isitoveryet: alostpacket:


No, I know what you are saying. By all means you are correct. With education you will get various results because people can use it differently. But I argue that the net gain of positives far, far outweighs the negatives.


you are right. I seem to be looking for an absolute solution whereas you have suggested the most appropriate.
it's a crazy farking world we live in.
 
2009-08-19 10:01:50 PM
Kierkegaard's Pseudonym: So at the lowest levels of societal work, every job warrants the same compensation?

Yes.
 
2009-08-19 10:11:25 PM
Zagloba: Yes.

Why is that? The societal contract has been explained in depth, but I'm unsure why a guy who hammers a flag into the ground every five miles should be paid the same as a guy who hammers a flag into the ground every ten miles. Surely the ten mile worker is doing half as much work as the five mile worker.
 
2009-08-19 10:18:34 PM
Zagloba: Kierkegaard's Pseudonym: Are there no full-time jobs that you could think of that would not warrant a living wage?

It has nothing to do with the content of the job. If an employer wants to have someone sitting on their ass reading the paper full-time, that's the employer's right. But s/he's got to pay that person enough to live on.


If an employee's wages cost more than the value his work adds to the business, the employer will simply not hire him. He would be losing money to employ him. So are you saying it's better for some people to be unemployable with zero wages than for them to have a job with poor wages?
 
2009-08-19 10:19:10 PM
MrStarbuck
Wow. And I thought I was the only one who read The Underground History of American Education (new window)

no, but it looks good. The best ones I've read are "Student Life and Other Contradictions" and "On the Poverty of Student Life", which lead pretty directly to the French May Days uprising of 1968.


alostpacket

Read MrStarbuck's link for starters.
 
2009-08-19 10:20:45 PM
Kierkegaard's Pseudonym: Why is that? The societal contract has been explained in depth, but I'm unsure why a guy who hammers a flag into the ground every five miles should be paid the same as a guy who hammers a flag into the ground every ten miles. Surely the ten mile worker is doing half as much work as the five mile worker.

Presumably it's not up to him how often he pounds a pole into the ground. That's above his pay grade (pun intended).

Now, since somebody above him decided that it's worthwhile to have poles pounded into the ground every so often, and it takes him a fulltime amount of worktime to do the pounding, he is compensated by enough money to survive the next week.
 
2009-08-19 10:24:01 PM
MrStarbuck: If an employee's wages cost more than the value his work adds to the business, the employer will simply not hire him. He would be losing money to employ him. So are you saying it's better for some people to be unemployable with zero wages than for them to have a job with poor wages?

If someone is unable to perform even menial tasks, then we as a society have two options: a) take them out back and shoot them, or b) send them a disability check every month and forget about them.

If someone is capable of menial tasks, then they are not unemployable. Menial tasks still need to be done. Profitable businesses would grind to a halt if no one performed the menial tasks. And unless the boss does it for free, no one else should be doing it for free -- indeed, for less than it takes to maintain basic necessities of living..
 
2009-08-19 10:27:12 PM
Zagloba: Now, since somebody above him decided that it's worthwhile to have poles pounded into the ground every so often, and it takes him a fulltime amount of worktime to do the pounding, he is compensated by enough money to survive the next week.

What happen -- as described above -- when the employer decides that it isn't in his company's best interests to hire a 10-mile flag whacker when he can hire a 5-mile flag whacker instead for the same price?
 
2009-08-19 10:29:27 PM
Kierkegaard's Pseudonym: What happen -- as described above -- when the employer decides that it isn't in his company's best interests to hire a 10-mile flag whacker when he can hire a 5-mile flag whacker instead for the same price?

Either the company needs flags every five miles or it doesn't. If it doesn't, it's wasting half of its flags; if it does, then what's the problem?
 
2009-08-19 10:30:16 PM
RanDomino: MrStarbuck
Wow. And I thought I was the only one who read The Underground History of American Education (new window)

no, but it looks good. The best ones I've read are "Student Life and Other Contradictions" and "On the Poverty of Student Life", which lead pretty directly to the French May Days uprising of 1968.


alostpacket

Read MrStarbuck's link for starters.


Sorry, not to be flippant or dismissive but that looks like a lot of conspiracy theory to me. If you have a response I'd be interested to hear it but I'll check out those links another time. Bookmarked though.
 
2009-08-19 10:30:26 PM
Zagloba
survive the next week.

And that's what's important!
In a world where what's most important is surviving by as little as is necessary to do as much work as physically possible, maybe the work shouldn't be done.
 
2009-08-19 10:31:44 PM
Zagloba: Either the company needs flags every five miles or it doesn't. If it doesn't, it's wasting half of its flags; if it does, then what's the problem?

Different businesses require different sorts of flag-laying.

It all depends on a cost-benefit analysis of advertising vs. revenue.
 
2009-08-19 10:32:45 PM
RanDomino: Zagloba
survive the next week.

And that's what's important!
In a world where what's most important is surviving by as little as is necessary to do as much work as physically possible, maybe the work shouldn't be done.


Ah! But that would require a far more radical reorganization of the social structure! Which is why I haven't proposed it.

/Not saying it ain't a good idea.
//Somebody snarked on here the other day: "Productivity figures are way up since the Stimulus Bill beefed up unemployment benefits. Maybe what we really need to do is just keep as many mouth-breathers out of the workplace so the rest of us can keep getting shiat done."
 
2009-08-19 10:35:28 PM
Zagloba: MrStarbuck: If an employee's wages cost more than the value his work adds to the business, the employer will simply not hire him. He would be losing money to employ him. So are you saying it's better for some people to be unemployable with zero wages than for them to have a job with poor wages?

If someone is unable to perform even menial tasks, then we as a society have two options: a) take them out back and shoot them, or b) send them a disability check every month and forget about them.

If someone is capable of menial tasks, then they are not unemployable. Menial tasks still need to be done. Profitable businesses would grind to a halt if no one performed the menial tasks. And unless the boss does it for free, no one else should be doing it for free -- indeed, for less than it takes to maintain basic necessities of living..


Well what does your "living wage" consist of? Enough to buy the minimum food, clothing, and shelter needed to survive? Suppose (for argument's sake) the minimum mandated amount is $10/hour for 40 hours/week. Suppose most businesses (small ones most likely) decide that a janitor's services are only worth $5/hour to them, otherwise they'll do the job themselves. Now all those jobs that would have existed at $5/hour are gone and those people that would have done them are now unemployed. Now what? Those people have the skills for menial labor, but now there isn't enough demand to pay them to do the work.
 
2009-08-19 10:37:34 PM
MrStarbuck: Well what does your "living wage" consist of? Enough to buy the minimum food, clothing, and shelter needed to survive? Suppose (for argument's sake) the minimum mandated amount is $10/hour for 40 hours/week. Suppose most businesses (small ones most likely) decide that a janitor's services are only worth $5/hour to them, otherwise they'll do the job themselves. Now all those jobs that would have existed at $5/hour are gone and those people that would have done them are now unemployed. Now what? Those people have the skills for menial labor, but now there isn't enough demand to pay them to do the work.

Forgive me for finding it bloody unlikely that executives everywhere are just going to up and start scrubbing the floor themselves because cleaning crew cost more than they're worth.
 
2009-08-19 10:38:35 PM
MrStarbuck: Zagloba: MrStarbuck: If an employee's wages cost more than the value his work adds to the business, the employer will simply not hire him. He would be losing money to employ him. So are you saying it's better for some people to be unemployable with zero wages than for them to have a job with poor wages?

If someone is unable to perform even menial tasks, then we as a society have two options: a) take them out back and shoot them, or b) send them a disability check every month and forget about them.

If someone is capable of menial tasks, then they are not unemployable. Menial tasks still need to be done. Profitable businesses would grind to a halt if no one performed the menial tasks. And unless the boss does it for free, no one else should be doing it for free -- indeed, for less than it takes to maintain basic necessities of living..

Well what does your "living wage" consist of? Enough to buy the minimum food, clothing, and shelter needed to survive? Suppose (for argument's sake) the minimum mandated amount is $10/hour for 40 hours/week. Suppose most businesses (small ones most likely) decide that a janitor's services are only worth $5/hour to them, otherwise they'll do the job themselves. Now all those jobs that would have existed at $5/hour are gone and those people that would have done them are now unemployed. Now what? Those people have the skills for menial labor, but now there isn't enough demand to pay them to do the work.


Well, by that same token, why can't you hire someone every other week at $10?
 
2009-08-19 10:40:24 PM
Zagloba: MrStarbuck: Well what does your "living wage" consist of? Enough to buy the minimum food, clothing, and shelter needed to survive? Suppose (for argument's sake) the minimum mandated amount is $10/hour for 40 hours/week. Suppose most businesses (small ones most likely) decide that a janitor's services are only worth $5/hour to them, otherwise they'll do the job themselves. Now all those jobs that would have existed at $5/hour are gone and those people that would have done them are now unemployed. Now what? Those people have the skills for menial labor, but now there isn't enough demand to pay them to do the work.

Forgive me for finding it bloody unlikely that executives everywhere are just going to up and start scrubbing the floor themselves because cleaning crew cost more than they're worth.


I said most likely small businesses. Large companies with deeper pockets will be able to absorb the higher cost, but smaller businesses that are on the margin will not. Which is one reason why big business often lobbies FOR industry regulation, because they know they can afford to comply with the new rules, while their smaller competitors cannot.
 
2009-08-19 10:42:37 PM
MrStarbuck: I said most likely small businesses. Large companies with deeper pockets will be able to absorb the higher cost, but smaller businesses that are on the margin will not. Which is one reason why big business often lobbies FOR industry regulation, because they know they can afford to comply with the new rules, while their smaller competitors cannot.

Historically small and medium businesses do well when wages are high relative to cost of living. The cost of employing people is more than offset by the increase in sales they see from lots of people having disposable income.
 
2009-08-19 10:43:10 PM
alostpacket
Sorry, not to be flippant or dismissive but that looks like a lot of conspiracy theory to me. If you have a response I'd be interested to hear it but I'll check out those links another time. Bookmarked though.

The author's conclusions might bend conspiratorial (which I don't know, and they probably don't), but the state of Western education is the result of economic forces, just like most things.


Zagloba
Ah! But that would require a far more radical reorganization of the social structure! Which is why I haven't proposed it.

You wouldn't be the first, and a good time would be right... 10 years ago. Oh, wait, we did when when we pwnd the WTO.
 
2009-08-19 10:45:12 PM
RanDomino: You wouldn't be the first, and a good time would be right... 10 years ago. Oh, wait, we did when when we pwnd the WTO.

Heh. I believe it was St. Zombie Rapist Lincoln who proposed the maxim, "Fight one flamewar at a time."
 
2009-08-19 10:49:04 PM
alostpacket: MrStarbuck: Zagloba: MrStarbuck: If an employee's wages cost more than the value his work adds to the business, the employer will simply not hire him. He would be losing money to employ him. So are you saying it's better for some people to be unemployable with zero wages than for them to have a job with poor wages?

If someone is unable to perform even menial tasks, then we as a society have two options: a) take them out back and shoot them, or b) send them a disability check every month and forget about them.

If someone is capable of menial tasks, then they are not unemployable. Menial tasks still need to be done. Profitable businesses would grind to a halt if no one performed the menial tasks. And unless the boss does it for free, no one else should be doing it for free -- indeed, for less than it takes to maintain basic necessities of living..

Well what does your "living wage" consist of? Enough to buy the minimum food, clothing, and shelter needed to survive? Suppose (for argument's sake) the minimum mandated amount is $10/hour for 40 hours/week. Suppose most businesses (small ones most likely) decide that a janitor's services are only worth $5/hour to them, otherwise they'll do the job themselves. Now all those jobs that would have existed at $5/hour are gone and those people that would have done them are now unemployed. Now what? Those people have the skills for menial labor, but now there isn't enough demand to pay them to do the work.

Well, by that same token, why can't you hire someone every other week at $10?


True, paying someone $10/hour for 40 hours of work costs the same as paying someone $5/hour for 80 hours of work. But you're only getting half as much work done for the same price. Which has essentially the same value to you as paying someone twice as much for the same amount of work.
 
2009-08-19 10:55:58 PM
MrStarbuck: True, paying someone $10/hour for 40 hours of work costs the same as paying someone $5/hour for 80 hours of work. But you're only getting half as much work done for the same price. Which has essentially the same value to you as paying someone twice as much for the same amount of work.

Either way you're asking someone to sacrifice.

However these are very abstract conceptions of reality.
 
2009-08-19 11:00:43 PM
RanDomino: The author's conclusions might bend conspiratorial (which I don't know, and they probably don't), but the state of Western education is the result of economic forces, just like most things.

That's far more reasonable a statement than saying education is a means to create docile tools of industry, though.
 
2009-08-19 11:01:09 PM
alostpacket
Sorry, not to be flippant or dismissive but that looks like a lot of conspiracy theory to me. If you have a response I'd be interested to hear it but I'll check out those links another time. Bookmarked though.

heh, I'm switching back between that book and this thread, and chapter 16 is summarized:

A Conspiracy Against Ourselves

Spare yourself the anxiety of thinking of this school thing as a conspiracy, even though the project is indeed riddled with petty conspirators. It was and is a fully rational transaction in which all of us play a part. We trade the liberty of our kids and our free will for a secure social order and a very prosperous economy. It's a bargain in which most of us agree to become as children ourselves, under the same tutelage which holds the young, in exchange for food, entertainment, and safety. The difficulty is that the contract fixes the goal of human life so low that students go mad trying to escape it.
 
2009-08-19 11:01:51 PM
Zagloba: MrStarbuck: I said most likely small businesses. Large companies with deeper pockets will be able to absorb the higher cost, but smaller businesses that are on the margin will not. Which is one reason why big business often lobbies FOR industry regulation, because they know they can afford to comply with the new rules, while their smaller competitors cannot.

Historically small and medium businesses do well when wages are high relative to cost of living. The cost of employing people is more than offset by the increase in sales they see from lots of people having disposable income.


Regardless of how well businesses are doing overall, there are always some businesses that are on the margin, i.e. just getting by. If you increase their labor costs, by mandating a minimum living wage for example, then some people are gonna get fired or the place goes out of business, period. Either way, the net effect is that there are now more people unemployed than there were before.
 
2009-08-19 11:04:14 PM
RanDomino: alostpacket
Sorry, not to be flippant or dismissive but that looks like a lot of conspiracy theory to me. If you have a response I'd be interested to hear it but I'll check out those links another time. Bookmarked though.

heh, I'm switching back between that book and this thread, and chapter 16 is summarized:

A Conspiracy Against Ourselves

Spare yourself the anxiety of thinking of this school thing as a conspiracy, even though the project is indeed riddled with petty conspirators. It was and is a fully rational transaction in which all of us play a part. We trade the liberty of our kids and our free will for a secure social order and a very prosperous economy. It's a bargain in which most of us agree to become as children ourselves, under the same tutelage which holds the young, in exchange for food, entertainment, and safety. The difficulty is that the contract fixes the goal of human life so low that students go mad trying to escape it.


Sounds reasonable enough to be an entertaining read at least. I gotta catch some zzzs though will definitely try and check it out when I have time.
 
2009-08-19 11:05:42 PM
So again, the question is, is it better for all people that can do work to be employed, even at a lower wage, or is it better for all people to make at least a minimum wage, even though this will cause some people who are able to work to be unemployed?
 
2009-08-19 11:06:58 PM
alostpacket
That's far more reasonable a statement than saying education is a means to create docile tools of industry, though.

You think about your experience in school and swish that idea around in your mouth.
 
2009-08-19 11:11:09 PM
MrStarbuck: So again, the question is, is it better for all people that can do work to be employed, even at a lower wage, or is it better for all people to make at least a minimum wage, even though this will cause some people who are able to work to be unemployed?

This assumes a zero-sum game.

/ok really need sleep, night guys. interesting debate, thanks.
 
2009-08-19 11:12:02 PM
MrStarbuck: So again, the question is, is it better for all people that can do work to be employed, even at a lower wage, or is it better for all people to make at least a minimum wage, even though this will cause some people who are able to work to be unemployed?

I still maintain that this is a false dilemma. An employer who has more to be done than s/he has labor force to do it will, with almost absolute certainty, do better in an environment where more capital is available to be spent on hir products.
 
2009-08-19 11:18:40 PM
General Zang: Ok. So, basically, you're admiting complicity in the wiping out of most of North America's largest land animals in approximately 12,000 BC ?

It was a great BBQ, didn't you get the invitation?
 
2009-08-19 11:29:22 PM
MrStarbuck
So again, the question is, is it better for all people that can do work to be employed, even at a lower wage, or is it better for all people to make at least a minimum wage, even though this will cause some people who are able to work to be unemployed?

Or, we could eliminate our weird contract-based system of economic and political relations.
Contracts are for people who hate each other. Why do we have that kind of system?
Answer: It's the only way to keep people enslaved while claiming free will is respected. But if a relationship really is voluntary, it should be possible to voluntarily end it, too.

When you can't refuse to work for someone without being imprisoned or having your other possessions taken, that's slavery.
 
2009-08-19 11:47:53 PM
RanDomino: MrStarbuck
So again, the question is, is it better for all people that can do work to be employed, even at a lower wage, or is it better for all people to make at least a minimum wage, even though this will cause some people who are able to work to be unemployed?

Or, we could eliminate our weird contract-based system of economic and political relations.
Contracts are for people who hate each other. Why do we have that kind of system?
Answer: It's the only way to keep people enslaved while claiming free will is respected. But if a relationship really is voluntary, it should be possible to voluntarily end it, too.

When you can't refuse to work for someone without being imprisoned or having your other possessions taken, that's slavery.


I'm not sure what you are talking about? My employment contract has an "at-will" clause stating that either I or my employer can terminate our relationship at any time for no reason. Where do you live that you are forced to work for someone under threat of imprisonment???

And assuming contracts are entered into freely without coercion or fraud, what's wrong with them? How else are you going to have any sort of market economy without enforcible contracts? They're not for people who hate each other, they're for people who don't trust each other. Without them, I guess everyone would be limited to working only for family and close friends, because how could you be sure the stranger you're working for will actually pay you once the job is done?
 
2009-08-19 11:57:24 PM
Zagloba: MrStarbuck: So again, the question is, is it better for all people that can do work to be employed, even at a lower wage, or is it better for all people to make at least a minimum wage, even though this will cause some people who are able to work to be unemployed?

I still maintain that this is a false dilemma. An employer who has more to be done than s/he has labor force to do it will, with almost absolute certainty, do better in an environment where more capital is available to be spent on hir products.


There's a difference between wages that are high because of actual economic factors and wages that are high because of government mandate. In the first case the wages are backed by actual products or services they are providing that are in high demand. In the second case the wages aren't backed by corresponding production and thus are unaffordable to be paid.

Think of it from this angle, why stop at a living wage? If putting more money in employee's pockets helps businesses, why not mandate a $50/hr minimum wage? Then everyone could be living large instead of merely surviving.
 
2009-08-20 12:03:38 AM
ProdigalSigh: So you're admittedly "unqualified" and have a "sideways" perspective on what you consider to be my world? How more clearly can you state that your opinion shouldn't be considered?

Because I'd say the "qualified" people have pretty much farked up in political analysis in recent years.
 
2009-08-20 12:06:04 AM
MrStarbuck: Think of it from this angle, why stop at a living wage? If putting more money in employee's pockets helps businesses, why not mandate a $50/hr minimum wage? Then everyone could be living large instead of merely surviving.

It's a dynamical systems (multivariate differential equations) problem. Raising the minimum wage affects a number of other variables, which in turn affect each other. As one simple example, the shape of the demand curve for each product would change if the minimum wage were changed; that in turn would change the profit curve; which would lead a(n economically omniscient) merchant to change his/her price to maximize profit. Of course, that merchant's cost curve is also dependent on the wages that he/she has to pay, etc.

A small change in the minimum wage would be unlikely to change the overall shape/behavior of any of these curves -- merely move optima slightly. A very large change, however, would be very likely to have "weird" effects on these optima. The result is not linear in the minimum wage, and expecting it to be is silly.
 
2009-08-20 12:50:07 AM
And the rich pay all the taxes! How can you call it fair that the people making 80% of the money would be paying 80% of the taxes!

// dur
 
2009-08-20 12:58:16 AM
Semi-Sane: There are always and will always be inequalities in every system. People are greedy and easily corrupted. It is a part of human nature. You have to learn to accept it.

Though there isn't a single person in the US with a good work ethic who is living in poverty. All it takes to climb the ranks of the system is a good work ethic, persistence, optimism, and a love of God. No one in the US is being oppressed or denied ample opportunity to improve their life.


That shiat your smoking much be the Kronic! Pass that spliff my way!

Oh wait that's crack mixed with crazy. I'll pass, thanks.
 
2009-08-20 01:01:18 AM
georgenet.net
 
2009-08-20 01:03:24 AM
Zagloba: skullkrusher: remember the good old days when janitors were mostly white dudes and were paid accordingly and how they'd sit around drinking scotch and smoking cigars with the titans of industry?

You try running a Fortune 500 company with no janitors. See how long that lasts.

Ha! I've just proved that the value differential on a janitorial staff is BEELLIONS OF DOLLARS!


you missed the point a bit
 
2009-08-20 01:16:14 AM
MrStarbuck
I'm not sure what you are talking about?

yeah, I'm not sure why I went in that direction... I realized after I hit "add comment" the second time that it didn't really have anything to do with what you said... except than that you presented a false choice. We could have a system where "work", "employment", and "wages" are anachronisms.

My employment contract has an "at-will" clause stating that either I or my employer can terminate our relationship at any time for no reason. Where do you live that you are forced to work for someone under threat of imprisonment???

When everything is owned by someone else and leased by the user, the only way a person can make a livelihood is by selling their labor, whether they want to or not, and the conditions of their work environment are totally out of their control. Many people are given the power to manage others, but that just leads to trickle-down abuse.

And assuming contracts are entered into freely without coercion or fraud, what's wrong with them? How else are you going to have any sort of market economy without enforcible contracts?

If both people agree to the terms, and a contract is not violated, then what need is there for enforcement?

They're not for people who hate each other, they're for people who don't trust each other.

Why are you dealing with people you don't trust?

Without them, I guess everyone would be limited to working only for family and close friends, because how could you be sure the stranger you're working for will actually pay you once the job is done?

Exactly.

actually, not just your family and close friends, but your 'network' and 'community'
 
2009-08-20 02:20:08 AM
It would be easy to fall into pessimism if you were unrealistic enough to think that Obama would have the perfect Presidency. No President in history has had everything go their way.

Obama was not expected to beat Hillary, and if tradition were as reliable as it often seems to be, Obama should not have beaten McCain.

A more reliable example would rely upon using histories lessons which suggest that change is brought about by need.

If the current arrangement of the economy becomes unsuitable to modern needs, it will be rearranged. If this were not true, we'd see no example of change in history. Kind of circular really. Failure seems to be our impetus for change.

Given the times, and the current situation. Historical precedent would require that change, whether now or later, is coming.

The author seems to ignore that current spending trends may not be supportable in the future. Unless people are willing to accept that there is an imminent threat of invasion and occupation.

The cost of invasion and suppression of America, considering its geographic size and population, is economically prohibitive for any nation. Especially considering how important we are to the basic economic foundation of the world.

Not to mention the problems we're having in much smaller and relatively undeveloped nations like Afghanistan.

It just seems unlikely that great enough need will not bring about change. Whether it all happens with Obama, or not.
 
2009-08-20 05:17:00 PM
Education can be twisted, manipulated.

The only true "silver bullet" is to allow unfettered communication amongst all humans.

Why is it that when a society becomes more open, communicates more it begins to prosper and progress generally in the same direction and when it becomes closed, is closed by conspiracy the society falls and dies?
 
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