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  1. #1
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    The theft of an economy

    People refer to low wages paid by corporations as theft. They're right.

    But I'm not talking about money -- I'm talking about the force that makes a free market the most efficient and powerful type of economy there is: information. The beauty of a free market is that every dollar spent communicates an array of information all at once -- demand and supply foremost among them, wit each containing subsets of information that tell just how much effort should be put out for anything ranging from transport to the size of a local shoe store.

    The United States has fallen into an ongoing crisis, where the economy is sickly. The sickness is ignored, or worse, unnoticed, by those with an abundance of money, because they have so much they can't tell that the whole is suffering. The sickliness is blamed on many things, but one aspect that is absolutely vital has never, that I've seen, been cited: the transfer of information by the exchange of money. Very simply, when there is no money to exchange, information doesn't flow, and the economy ails.

    Right now, there are great demands in the United States that aren't even being addressed by the economy. Supply-siders will deny this, but they're doing the same thing that the scarcity of money is doing -- lying. When someone spends money on a thing, he is indeed communicating a demand for that thing, but when there are another dozen things he had to give up to choose that one, his purchase is a lie by omission: no dollar is telling any manufacturer, "This is wanted!" So manufacturers don't make those things (or at least not as many as are really demanded), which means no one is employed to make them, nor to sell them -- so that a great number of people -- including the owners of factories -- are deprived of wealth, both in goods and in wages.

    The only solution to this is that those paid so little that they must choose among not just wants but needs must be paid more. Those who refuse to do so, but instead shove money into profits, have stolen the economy, by means of lying. Until the lies stop, until the information can flow as dollars, we don't have a free market, we have a distorted, lying market.

    After all, the concept of a free market rests on everyone being able to trade freely -- but when the majority lack anything to trade except for a bare minimum of goods, no one is trading freely, they're trading on the basis of scarcity.

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

  2. #2

    Re: The theft of an economy

    No, you refuse to hear and understand what the market is saying: we have too much labor.

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    Re: The theft of an economy

    ^Are there no workhouses, miss Debbie Downer?

    The view from that ivory tower, must be spectacular!

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    Re: The theft of an economy

    If workers were paid enough that their information would flow, we'd find that we have far less excess labor than most would guess.

    Some fifty million American workers don't get paid enough to buy even everything they need, let alone would like. If the minimum wage were two dollars higher, that would be one hundred million dollars more per hour flowing to enable them to buy things, eight hundred million dollars per day, four billion per week -- roughly another trillion dollars of information on the move every year. And that information would say that many more people needed hiring to handle sales, transport, and all the rest.

    If everything those people wanted were manufactured in this country, we'd end up with a labor shortage.

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

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    Re: The theft of an economy

    We are seeing the greatest kleptocracy in modern history.

    ...and instead of being outraged, most of the delusional right wingers still believe in the wild west myth of anyone being able to work their way from the janitor to the head of a multi-billion dollar ball crushing corporation.

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    Re: The theft of an economy

    Quote Originally Posted by Kulindahr View Post
    People refer to low wages paid by corporations as theft. They're right.
    It isn't even slightly theft. It is a voluntary exchange of money for labour.

    If workers feel underpaid, they need to ask for more. If asking doesn't work, they need to join a union and demand more. If they have no right to join a union because the law is ineffective or stacked against them, they need to form a vast sea of people in front of their legislatures until the law changes to permit a union. The other thing they can do is demand support for training to get trained up for a job that does pay more.

    Until then, they are working for what they agreed to work for. No theft involved.
    Americans need to keep their guns so they can protect themselves from gun violence just like Nancy Lanza did. And like Chris Kyle did. And like Gabby Giffords did. And like Tom Clements did. And like Michael Piemonte. And Joseph Wilcox.

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    Re: The theft of an economy

    Quote Originally Posted by bankside View Post
    It isn't even slightly theft. It is a voluntary exchange of money for labour.

    If workers feel underpaid, they need to ask for more. If asking doesn't work, they need to join a union and demand more. If they have no right to join a union because the law is ineffective or stacked against them, they need to form a vast sea of people in front of their legislatures until the law changes to permit a union. The other thing they can do is demand support for training to get trained up for a job that does pay more.

    Until then, they are working for what they agreed to work for. No theft involved.
    Nice post, but it doesn't in the least address what I wrote.

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

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    Re: The theft of an economy

    Quote Originally Posted by Kulindahr View Post
    Nice post, but it doesn't in the least address what I wrote.
    As usual, you keep to yourself some flaw in another poster's reasoning you consider to be self-evident. On the assumption you are objecting that I wrote primarily about money - I can only guess at my transgression against all logic and reason, after all - I will only note that you equate money with information. Thus, if there is no theft of money as I assert, those labouring for corporations feel that the flow of money (and thus information) is perfectly adequate to safeguard their equitable participation in the market. And thus information, i shall emphasise.
    Americans need to keep their guns so they can protect themselves from gun violence just like Nancy Lanza did. And like Chris Kyle did. And like Gabby Giffords did. And like Tom Clements did. And like Michael Piemonte. And Joseph Wilcox.

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    Re: The theft of an economy

    Quote Originally Posted by bankside View Post
    As usual, you keep to yourself some flaw in another poster's reasoning you consider to be self-evident. On the assumption you are objecting that I wrote primarily about money - I can only guess at my transgression against all logic and reason, after all - I will only note that you equate money with information. Thus, if there is no theft of money as I assert, those labouring for corporations feel that the flow of money (and thus information) is perfectly adequate to safeguard their equitable participation in the market. And thus information, i shall emphasise.
    Do you really think that very many people think of money as information?

    I don't even agree that there is no theft of money: giant corporations employ economic coercion so they can pay what they feel like, without need to consider what their employees may even need. But even if there is no theft of money, there is still theft of information, because there isn't the money flowing to generate it. In your version, the employees are just conspiring with the corporations to deprive the country of prosperity.

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

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    Re: The theft of an economy

    Where you wrote that money communicates information, and then that it is actually equivalent to the flow of information, I assumed you meant they are the same. That is a coherent economic interpretation, whether it stands the test of time or not. But if it is correct, it doesn't matter how many people think of it that way. I'm only pointing out that it seemed to be the premise of your argument.

    But it isn't stolen. If workers want more of it, there is no serious impediment to their getting it. They are working for a rate they find more convenient and better than the hassle of negotiating a higher rate.
    Americans need to keep their guns so they can protect themselves from gun violence just like Nancy Lanza did. And like Chris Kyle did. And like Gabby Giffords did. And like Tom Clements did. And like Michael Piemonte. And Joseph Wilcox.

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    Re: The theft of an economy

    Quote Originally Posted by bankside View Post
    Where you wrote that money communicates information, and then that it is actually equivalent to the flow of information, I assumed you meant they are the same. That is a coherent economic interpretation, whether it stands the test of time or not. But if it is correct, it doesn't matter how many people think of it that way. I'm only pointing out that it seemed to be the premise of your argument.

    But it isn't stolen. If workers want more of it, there is no serious impediment to their getting it. They are working for a rate they find more convenient and better than the hassle of negotiating a higher rate.
    In economic terms the money is the information. That information is not flowing, because the money is being kept from flowing. It's being kept flowing because government has conspired with corporations to keep workers from being able to exert their will.

    That you can even make the claimed I bolded shows incredible naivete about today's economy.

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

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    Re: The theft of an economy

    Quote Originally Posted by Kulindahr View Post
    … I'm not talking about money -- I'm talking about the force that makes a free market the most efficient and powerful type of economy there is: information. The beauty of a free market is that every dollar spent communicates an array of information … when there is no money to exchange, information doesn't flow, and the economy ails.

    … the concept of a free market rests on everyone being able to trade freely -- but when the majority lack anything to trade except for a bare minimum of goods, no one is trading freely, they're trading on the basis of scarcity.
    You seem to be suggesting that consumer demand for goods and services can be viewed as a form of communication that affects production. Given that perspective, it seems reasonable to assume that when consumers possess less money, they will tend to communicate their preference to spend that money more on essentials – rather than non-essential or luxury items.

    Is it therefore reasonable to infer that people are overpaid when the quantity of money they possess reaches a point at which they tend to hoard (save) that money, rather than use it to communicate with manufacturers?

    Would we reach an optimum economy if everyone were required to use his or her money to communicate? – Maybe the slogan could be something like, “Use it or lose it.”

    Is there a point at which using money to communicate becomes an obstacle, rather than a solution?

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    Re: The theft of an economy

    Quote Originally Posted by bankside View Post
    But it isn't stolen. If workers want more of it, there is no serious impediment to their getting it. They are working for a rate they find more convenient and better than the hassle of negotiating a higher rate.
    "If you don't accept what we're paying you, we'll...
    just shut that whole thing down (Todd Akin, candidate for U. S. Senator from Missouri, 2012)
    ...and we'll move all the jobs to China."

    In other words, the corporation does not ALLOW the workers to be paid more. Instead, they'll end up forcing them to be paid NOTHING.

    That's extortion, blackmail, or something worse.

    I anticipate the day when, as the economy keeps growing, the Top 1% are reaping something like 30,000% or 40,000% of the gains. In other words, the wealth of the bottom 99% shrinking hundreds of times faster than the GDP is growing.
    "All legal U. S. residents who are 18 years or older, shall have an unconditional right to vote." - We need a 28th Amendment to the U. S. Constitution which resembles this...NOW!

    VOTING: Just remember: "Be careful of what you DON'T wish for. You might just get it." GET OUT AND VOTE for what you DO wish for.

    "I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires" - Susan B. Anthony

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    Re: The theft of an economy

    Quote Originally Posted by opinterph View Post
    You seem to be suggesting that consumer demand for goods and services can be viewed as a form of communication that affects production. Given that perspective, it seems reasonable to assume that when consumers possess less money, they will tend to communicate their preference to spend that money more on essentials – rather than non-essential or luxury items.

    Is it therefore reasonable to infer that people are overpaid when the quantity of money they possess reaches a point at which they tend to hoard (save) that money, rather than use it to communicate with manufacturers?

    Would we reach an optimum economy if everyone were required to use his or her money to communicate? – Maybe the slogan could be something like, “Use it or lose it.”

    Is there a point at which using money to communicate becomes an obstacle, rather than a solution?
    Now there's an interesting proposition!

    Right off the top of my head, I don't think money ever stops communicating information; the question is whether what it's communicating actually benefits the economy. Moving money from one stock to another, or from a certificate of deposit to a money-market fund, don't communicate much of anything at all of use to the economy, for example, other than where people are betting others are going to be buying or selling.

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

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    Re: The theft of an economy

    Quote Originally Posted by Kulindahr View Post
    In economic terms the money is the information. That information is not flowing, because the money is being kept from flowing. It's being kept flowing because government has conspired with corporations to keep workers from being able to exert their will.

    That you can even make the claimed I bolded shows incredible naivete about today's economy.
    I'll make the claim again; it was no mistake. There is no serious impediment to workers negotiating for higher salaries. No tanks will roll through the streets. No spies will intercept calls and "disappear" people. If they want more money, they should get organised and ask for it.
    Americans need to keep their guns so they can protect themselves from gun violence just like Nancy Lanza did. And like Chris Kyle did. And like Gabby Giffords did. And like Tom Clements did. And like Michael Piemonte. And Joseph Wilcox.

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    Re: The theft of an economy

    Quote Originally Posted by Kulindahr View Post
    Moving money from one stock to another, or from a certificate of deposit to a money-market fund, don't communicate much of anything at all of use to the economy, for example, other than where people are betting others are going to be buying or selling.
    Speculation is part of investment strategy. And investments represent something that can be bought or sold, just like widgets. I should also note that some people purchase stocks, certificates of deposit, etc. in order to participate in the earnings that derive from those assets. Those individuals may tend to be less interested in comparing how they use their own money with what other people are doing with their money.

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    Re: The theft of an economy

    Quote Originally Posted by opinterph View Post
    Is there a point at which using money to communicate becomes an obstacle, rather than a solution?
    It isn't a matter of using money to communicate, that's just something money does -- though the less free the market, the more inaccurate the information. One example of a market being less than free is when the only store in a town decides to carry only one size of a certain product, say coffee: information is lost when people buy that because it no longer communicates what amount of coffee people want at a time.

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

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    Re: The theft of an economy

    Quote Originally Posted by bankside View Post
    I'll make the claim again; it was no mistake. There is no serious impediment to workers negotiating for higher salaries. No tanks will roll through the streets. No spies will intercept calls and "disappear" people. If they want more money, they should get organised and ask for it.
    And then they'll have nothing. This is the juncture at which benvolio has a point: when there are so many laborers, employers don't have to negotiate, they just fire people and hire different ones -- or as frank pointed out, they just move the jobs overseas.

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

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    Re: The theft of an economy

    Quote Originally Posted by bankside View Post
    If workers feel underpaid, they need to ask for more.
    You seem to be suggesting that employers are responsive to the wants, needs, and demands of their workers. To what degree does that situation involve the employers' own self-interest?

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    Re: The theft of an economy

    Quote Originally Posted by opinterph View Post
    Speculation is part of investment strategy. And investments represent something that can be bought or sold, just like widgets. I should also note that some people purchase stocks, certificates of deposit, etc. in order to participate in the earnings that derive from those assets. Those individuals may tend to be less interested in comparing how they use their own money with what other people are doing with their money.
    But that provides little information of any use to the economy, unless you have a situation where everyone has an income sufficiently high that there aren't any other things they're interested in buying.

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

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    Re: The theft of an economy

    Quote Originally Posted by opinterph View Post
    You seem to be suggesting that employers are responsive to the wants, needs, and demands of their workers. To what degree does that situation involve the employers' own self-interest?
    It involves the employer's self-interest in the same way that any essential input to their business model is....essential.

    If you can't make aeroplanes without aluminum or welders, then you will be very interested in securing aluminum and welders. The price won't matter as much as actually having them.

    They are not responsive to the wants or needs of employees, they are responsive to their own need FOR employees.
    Americans need to keep their guns so they can protect themselves from gun violence just like Nancy Lanza did. And like Chris Kyle did. And like Gabby Giffords did. And like Tom Clements did. And like Michael Piemonte. And Joseph Wilcox.

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    Re: The theft of an economy

    Quote Originally Posted by Kulindahr View Post
    One example of a market being less than free is when the only store in a town decides to carry only one size of a certain product, say coffee: information is lost when people buy that because it no longer communicates what amount of coffee people want at a time.
    Why is there only one store in the town?

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    Re: The theft of an economy

    Quote Originally Posted by Kulindahr View Post
    And then they'll have nothing. This is the juncture at which benvolio has a point: when there are so many laborers, employers don't have to negotiate, they just fire people and hire different ones -- or as frank pointed out, they just move the jobs overseas.
    Okay, then that's the market setting the price accurately and sending a signal (information) to a set of workers that they need to pick some other career.
    Americans need to keep their guns so they can protect themselves from gun violence just like Nancy Lanza did. And like Chris Kyle did. And like Gabby Giffords did. And like Tom Clements did. And like Michael Piemonte. And Joseph Wilcox.

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    Re: The theft of an economy

    Quote Originally Posted by opinterph View Post
    Why is there only one store in the town?
    LOL

    Not big enough a town to support two. Of course the reason for that may be less than obvious; here we used to have two different lumber companies with building supply stores, but despite the size not changing much the town can no longer support two: the sources of supply of lumber changed due to government meddling, which changed the economics of having a lumber inventory enough that only one store was going to make it, and that the one with the least dislocated source(s) of lumber.
    Last edited by Kulindahr; December 20th, 2013 at 06:52 PM. Reason: m

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

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    Re: The theft of an economy

    Quote Originally Posted by bankside View Post
    Okay, then that's the market setting the price accurately and sending a signal (information) to a set of workers that they need to pick some other career.
    Unemployment is hardly a career.

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

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    Re: The theft of an economy

    Quote Originally Posted by bankside View Post
    If you can't make aeroplanes without aluminum or welders, then you will be very interested in securing aluminum and welders. The price won't matter as much as actually having them.

    They are not responsive to the wants or needs of employees, they are responsive to their own need FOR employees.
    So if those welders are likely to be lured away by another employer, offering more satisfaction of employee wants, needs, and demands; employers may be more likely to consider employee wants, needs and demands. On the other hand, if the pool of available welders exceeds the total need for their labor services, maybe employee satisfaction is not so much an issue for the aeroplane manufacturer.

    That seems a lot like a free market economy. <scratches head>

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    Re: The theft of an economy

    Quote Originally Posted by Kulindahr View Post
    Unemployment is hardly a career.
    Of course not; that's what retraining is for.
    Americans need to keep their guns so they can protect themselves from gun violence just like Nancy Lanza did. And like Chris Kyle did. And like Gabby Giffords did. And like Tom Clements did. And like Michael Piemonte. And Joseph Wilcox.

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    Re: The theft of an economy

    Quote Originally Posted by opinterph View Post
    So if those welders are likely to be lured away by another employer, offering more satisfaction of employee wants, needs, and demands; employers may be more likely to consider employee wants, needs and demands. On the other hand, if the pool of available welders exceeds the total need for their labor services, maybe employee satisfaction is not so much an issue for the aeroplane manufacturer.

    That seems a lot like a free market economy. <scratches head>
    That is a free market economy. I approve of free market economies. The point of this scenario is to let welders know there are too many welders. Young people will think "gee, I don't want to go into welding," and people in mid-career will think "I've always wanted to be a machinist and now I'm going to do it."

    I know people who have made both of those choices in their career, and it is an example of the free market working.

    I've also known people who say "I just don't have the stomach for a career of ups and downs. I'd rather earn less at a steady office job, than more at some easy-come-easy-go project work."

    And I've also known people who do construction project work in Fort Mac who say, yeah, we earn a lot, because the work is easy-come-easy-go. That's the only way they're going to get good staff is to pay for it, because I can't pay my mortgage on easy-come-easy-go unless the salary is worth it.
    Americans need to keep their guns so they can protect themselves from gun violence just like Nancy Lanza did. And like Chris Kyle did. And like Gabby Giffords did. And like Tom Clements did. And like Michael Piemonte. And Joseph Wilcox.

  29. #29

    Re: The theft of an economy

    Colin Hay and Tony Payne from SPERI have a useful series of papers on a possible way forward.

    For the crisis, we argue, is as much a product of an unacknowledged ideology as anything else. Indeed, it was only in the context of such an ideology that the laissez-faire policies of market liberalisation favoured in the Anglo-liberal world could be seen as the very condition of good economic management. It is the crisis that reveals this as an illusion; and it is the crisis, and the lessons we draw from it, that requires us never to so mislead ourselves again.
    http://speri.dept.shef.ac.uk/2013/11...ic-governance/

    http://speri.dept.shef.ac.uk/comment/

  30. #30

    Re: The theft of an economy

    Quote Originally Posted by EastMed View Post
    Colin Hay and Tony Payne from SPERI have a useful series of papers on a possible way forward.



    http://speri.dept.shef.ac.uk/2013/11...ic-governance/

    http://speri.dept.shef.ac.uk/comment/
    If the supply of labor were smaller, employers would have to pay more. Economics 101, page 1.

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    Re: The theft of an economy

    Quote Originally Posted by Benvolio View Post
    If the supply of labor were smaller, employers would have to pay more. Economics 101, page 1.
    In a closed national economy this might be so. But the reality is that we live in a global market, dominated by free trade agreements signed by our illustrious leaders. If a company can't get cheap enough labour in Country A, it will move production to Country B or C.

    If there's a logistical reason why production is confined to one country, labour costs will only rise to the point that they can't be overtaken by technology - then, technology will supersede labor. This can be seen in an industry like US cotton. The US farms more cotton than any other nation, but the majority of the entire process is now performed by machines, from growing to picking to baling to milling. Tens of thousands of acres of cotton can be managed by a tiny workforce. Much of that cotton is then put on a boat to a country like Bangladesh where it is died, printed and sewn into things like T-shirts, then returned to your local Walmart and sold for a few dollars. Despite the fact that the cotton is American grown, few if any American hands touched it before it reached a retail store.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/20/bu...anted=all&_r=0

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    Re: The theft of an economy

    Quote Originally Posted by EastMed View Post
    Colin Hay and Tony Payne from SPERI have a useful series of papers on a possible way forward.

    http://speri.dept.shef.ac.uk/2013/11...ic-governance/

    http://speri.dept.shef.ac.uk/comment/
    Biggest point in the whole thing:

    Regulators need to be trained in disequilibrium thinking.
    A free market in goods and services will indeed regulate itself rather well. But the moment that "financial instruments" are introduced, an element of disequlibrium comes in. The further those instruments are removed from the actual doings of business -- the making and moving of goods, the providing services -- the greater the element of disequlibrium.


    Milton Friedman made a great argument for the power of free markets. His error came in expecting that capitalism promotes free markets -- it doesn't. Capitalism does not inherently bring in coercion, but when mixed with human beings it inevitably will. At this point in history, the means we have for opposing institutional coercion is government -- not the best option, but what we're accustomed to. Free markets will regulate themselves, but for a capitalist market to remain free, it needs regulation.

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

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    Re: The theft of an economy

    Quote Originally Posted by Benvolio View Post
    If the supply of labor were smaller, employers would have to pay more. Economics 101, page 1.
    In order for that proposition to be Econ 101, you must be proposing a one-world government.

    Is that your position?

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

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    Re: The theft of an economy

    Quote Originally Posted by andysayshi View Post
    In a closed national economy this might be so. But the reality is that we live in a global market, dominated by free trade agreements signed by our illustrious leaders. If a company can't get cheap enough labour in Country A, it will move production to Country B or C.

    If there's a logistical reason why production is confined to one country, labour costs will only rise to the point that they can't be overtaken by technology - then, technology will supersede labor. This can be seen in an industry like US cotton. The US farms more cotton than any other nation, but the majority of the entire process is now performed by machines, from growing to picking to baling to milling. Tens of thousands of acres of cotton can be managed by a tiny workforce. Much of that cotton is then put on a boat to a country like Bangladesh where it is died, printed and sewn into things like T-shirts, then returned to your local Walmart and sold for a few dollars. Despite the fact that the cotton is American grown, few if any American hands touched it before it reached a retail store.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/20/bu...anted=all&_r=0
    There's an interesting exception to this: there's a gal in Arizona (IIRC) who started investigating naturally-colored cotton fibers and started a company called Natural Cotton Colors. She's done well enough she now has serious competitors. The colors range from something close to red to a decent green, with a variety of earth tones -- no dyes necessary, and the color doesn't fade.

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

  35. #35

    Re: The theft of an economy

    Quote Originally Posted by andysayshi View Post
    In a closed national economy this might be so. But the reality is that we live in a global market, dominated by free trade agreements signed by our illustrious leaders. If a company can't get cheap enough labour in Country A, it will move production to Country B or C.

    If there's a logistical reason why production is confined to one country, labour costs will only rise to the point that they can't be overtaken by technology - then, technology will supersede labor. This can be seen in an industry like US cotton. The US farms more cotton than any other nation, but the majority of the entire process is now performed by machines, from growing to picking to baling to milling. Tens of thousands of acres of cotton can be managed by a tiny workforce. Much of that cotton is then put on a boat to a country like Bangladesh where it is died, printed and sewn into things like T-shirts, then returned to your local Walmart and sold for a few dollars. Despite the fact that the cotton is American grown, few if any American hands touched it before it reached a retail store.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/20/bu...anted=all&_r=0
    All the schemes to force employers to pay more do not solve the problems of poverty and unemployment. With excess labor, many will continue be unemployed and unemployable. The more successful your schemes are in forcing high wages, the more destructive of jobs they will be, as employers move, mechanize, scale down, or lose to competition.
    We need to wonder why excess unemployed labor is considered desirable, why is it our number one priority, trumping all other considerations.

  36. #36
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    Re: The theft of an economy

    Quote Originally Posted by Benvolio View Post
    If the supply of labor were smaller, employers would have to pay more. Economics 101, page 1.
    How simplistic.

    As has been noted, this is only true in a completely closed economy and then only to a fixed degree.

    Economics 101.1

  37. #37

    Re: The theft of an economy

    Quote Originally Posted by rareboy View Post
    How simplistic.

    As has been noted, this is only true in a completely closed economy and then only to a fixed degree.

    Economics 101.1
    No, it does not have to be a "completely" closed economy. Many jobs cannot be exported, or mechanized, or destroyed by foreign competition. Those jobs will pay more if the labor force is smaller. More importantly, the jobs will pay at less if the available labor is excessive.

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    Re: The theft of an economy

    Quote Originally Posted by opinterph View Post
    Why is there only one store in the town?
    Because the big box stores with vast wealth control and run both small retailers and wholesalers out of business. They have strict demands on their vendors and what inventory they will or will not carry, thus eliminating competition.

    A good example would be Home Depot or Lowes to the ornamental nursery business. They automatically by nature shutter many smaller retail landscaping, nursery operations in the first place who just can't keep up with the price structure. Both of these Home Box stores can afford to loose tons of live nursery stock because of their buying power and take back/refund/buy back/exchange demands placed on wholesalers of spoiled material. They don't have to hire and pay labor to properly take care of living plant stock as a smaller operation does in its invested inventory.

    Unlike TV's or Jeans if labor doesn't manually take care of living plants daily and know the product they are caring for it will perish. Unrealistic demands placed on the small grower to take back all dead plant material are incredible and even more absurd when that guarantee moves on to the consumer bringing back dead plants up to a yr later after purchase.

    In this situation it creates a few large scale massive corporate backed wholesalers that have a symbiotic relationship with the box retailer . So local jobs are also lost in wholesale operations that are allied to the regional horticulture/nursery dealers, offering less choice for the struggling or minority stand alone smaller retailers surviving.

    Home depot may sell some azaleas, roses, or common orchids but because the wholesale grower must focus on easy hardy species the type and variety of inventory is always decreasing and very limited. The local consumer of nursery stock choices are reduced to all but the most common of stock. The small specialty horticulture grower has lost the local ability to offer retail stock outside of their own location.
    Even if superior product and offerings are available they are doomed if they don't change their business plan to exclude the local market.

    In the end the consumer loses. The box store decides what is available and what not as every other store nearby is shuttered with empty parking lots and trashy closed building. This is not unique to small towns and suburban/urban center is littered with once thriving business until Sams Club, Home Depot and Walmart show up. Most of these stores get sweet deals with tax reductions or generous exemptions before they break ground. These gift entitlements are not given to smaller specialty or other retail stores

  39. #39

    Re: The theft of an economy

    To the OP
    I can't reconcile your free markets views with your will for minimum wage.
    Let me see if i roughly understood: money = information, and that if it does not it is because something is impeding the market to be free. How is the minimum wage not an obstacle to the free market? In theory, when you have unemployment and a minimum wage, you are preventing people who would accept a lower wage to work, and the firms who would hire that worker at that wage. It is a distortion in that way.

    Having that said, I believe there are reasons for a minimum wage, but for me it is precisely because I believe that even in a "free market" there are market failures that need to be adressed, that it, the need rises because there is no such thing as a purely free market (even in an anarchist society).

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    Re: The theft of an economy

    Quote Originally Posted by ruivinho View Post
    To the OP
    I can't reconcile your free markets views with your will for minimum wage.
    Let me see if i roughly understood: money = information, and that if it does not it is because something is impeding the market to be free. How is the minimum wage not an obstacle to the free market? In theory, when you have unemployment and a minimum wage, you are preventing people who would accept a lower wage to work, and the firms who would hire that worker at that wage. It is a distortion in that way.

    Having that said, I believe there are reasons for a minimum wage, but for me it is precisely because I believe that even in a "free market" there are market failures that need to be addressed, that it, the need rises because there is no such thing as a purely free market (even in an anarchist society).
    Money is always information -- that's just an economics basic.

    When the flow of information in an economy is impaired, that market is not free to the extent that the information does not flow.

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

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    Re: The theft of an economy

    Quote Originally Posted by andysayshi View Post
    In a closed national economy this might be so. But the reality is that we live in a global market, dominated by free trade agreements signed by our illustrious leaders. If a company can't get cheap enough labour in Country A, it will move production to Country B or C.

    If there's a logistical reason why production is confined to one country, labour costs will only rise to the point that they can't be overtaken by technology - then, technology will supersede labor. This can be seen in an industry like US cotton. The US farms more cotton than any other nation, but the majority of the entire process is now performed by machines, from growing to picking to baling to milling. Tens of thousands of acres of cotton can be managed by a tiny workforce. Much of that cotton is then put on a boat to a country like Bangladesh where it is died, printed and sewn into things like T-shirts, then returned to your local Walmart and sold for a few dollars. Despite the fact that the cotton is American grown, few if any American hands touched it before it reached a retail store.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/20/bu...anted=all&_r=0
    The WORLD is a closed international economy. The free trade agreements are important to allow everyone to have a crack at that work. It makes our economies more efficient and productive. And higher productivity means more of the stuff we need to be prosperous.
    Americans need to keep their guns so they can protect themselves from gun violence just like Nancy Lanza did. And like Chris Kyle did. And like Gabby Giffords did. And like Tom Clements did. And like Michael Piemonte. And Joseph Wilcox.

  42. #42

    Re: The theft of an economy

    Quote Originally Posted by Kulindahr View Post
    Money is always information -- that's just an economics basic.

    When the flow of information in an economy is impaired, that market is not free to the extent that the information does not flow.
    I understood that, what i didn't was how does setting a minumum wage not impair that? As I said "you are preventing people who would accept a lower wage to work, and the firms who would hire that worker at that wage", isn't that preventing information to flow?

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    Re: The theft of an economy

    Quote Originally Posted by bankside View Post
    I'll make the claim again; it was no mistake. There is no serious impediment to workers negotiating for higher salaries. No tanks will roll through the streets. No spies will intercept calls and "disappear" people. If they want more money, they should get organised and ask for it.
    I think you do not understand the degree to which the reality for many Americans today is: you are easily and utterly replaceable, 20 other people within half a mile would jump for your job, at-will termination policies legal in many states (reason not even required) and that you will never even get to step 2 of "well, if you don't like your pay, and your bosses won't give you a raise, just form a union." And how many Americans today could not get by for even a few weeks of being unemployed in the present economic climate.

    It's all fine and good to say "if you want more pay, unionize." But someone who presents that as an easy, no-brainer solution and that anyone not doing it is just lazy shows a profound ignorance of how rough things are for a typical working American right now.

    It also doesn't help that many strikes by organized labor in some of the very last vestiges of it left in the U.S., such as grocery chain workers, have almost overwhelmingly met with a lack of any widespread or public support due to how demonized both unions and union workers have become here.

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    Re: The theft of an economy

    Quote Originally Posted by ruivinho View Post
    I understood that, what i didn't was how does setting a minumum wage not impair that? As I said "you are preventing people who would accept a lower wage to work, and the firms who would hire that worker at that wage", isn't that preventing information to flow?
    Okay, I see what you mean now. I'd say it's a trade-off: you're losing a lot less information there as opposed to the information lost because people don't have money to spend.

    If there's a way to allow working for, say, $5/hour for something like sweeping the sidewalk in front of a business while having a minimum wage that keeps information flow high, I sure haven't figured it out yet -- and I've worked at it, having known high school guys frustrated from knowing that there are store owners who would pay to have the sidewalk swept, if only at a lower rate. The closest is for those kids to act as independent contractors and negotiate their payment, but if they're going to be honest and file taxes on such earnings, that is a pain (and just one more reason to raise the individual exemption for federal income tax to the poverty level).

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

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    Re: The theft of an economy

    Quote Originally Posted by xbuzzerx View Post
    It also doesn't help that many strikes by organized labor in some of the very last vestiges of it left in the U.S., such as grocery chain workers, have almost overwhelmingly met with a lack of any widespread or public support due to how demonized both unions and union workers have become here.
    And much of the disdain is rightfully tossed at the unions too, especially the public ones. When was the last time you heard praise towards your local DPW? The joke around here is "15 minutes of work for a 45 minute break". Hell I have a friend that manages a hospital maintenance union and they are just as lazy and pathetic. Ever wonder why it takes so long for Charter to come to your house to look at your cable? They're union too. Don't even get me started on the LIFO bullshit that unions use to protect the useless foggies hanging around.

    The main reason I'm anti-union is that I believe in meritocracy and I'd rather reward people who do a good job. Unions reward seniority and mediocrity.

  46. #46

    Re: The theft of an economy

    At best, unions are price fixing conspiracies, intended like all price fixing to force the consumers to pay more than the product or labor the would be worth in a competitive market. They do not work when the employer is faced with competition from outside, cheaper labor.Much of our heavy industry and best jobs have been unionized out of existence, losing to foreign competition.

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    Re: The theft of an economy

    Quote Originally Posted by Benvolio View Post
    Much of our heavy industry and best jobs have been unionized out of existence, losing to foreign competition.
    In retrospect, what do you consider to be heavy industry’s most-major mistake(s)?

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    Re: The theft of an economy

    Quote Originally Posted by maxpowr9 View Post
    And much of the disdain is rightfully tossed at the unions too, especially the public ones. When was the last time you heard praise towards your local DPW? The joke around here is "15 minutes of work for a 45 minute break". Hell I have a friend that manages a hospital maintenance union and they are just as lazy and pathetic. Ever wonder why it takes so long for Charter to come to your house to look at your cable? They're union too. Don't even get me started on the LIFO bullshit that unions use to protect the useless foggies hanging around.

    The main reason I'm anti-union is that I believe in meritocracy and I'd rather reward people who do a good job. Unions reward seniority and mediocrity.
    That's a completely different discussion at this point. The contempt for unions right or wrong is part of the equation if someone wants to just lazily wave a hand and say all domestic income inequality or low-income problems would be solved by cutting off immigration and forcing low end wages to rise. The concept that sans laws and sans regulation this has ever substantially happened outside of organized labor forcing it to happen is so far as I know largely myth.

    Or put more simply, anyone who in any other situation would denounce unions as bad things has no business saying that the solution to wages being too low for too many Americans is to simply seal the borders.
    Last edited by xbuzzerx; January 1st, 2014 at 09:08 PM.

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    Re: The theft of an economy

    Quote Originally Posted by maxpowr9 View Post
    And much of the disdain is rightfully tossed at the unions too, especially the public ones. When was the last time you heard praise towards your local DPW? The joke around here is "15 minutes of work for a 45 minute break". Hell I have a friend that manages a hospital maintenance union and they are just as lazy and pathetic. Ever wonder why it takes so long for Charter to come to your house to look at your cable? They're union too. Don't even get me started on the LIFO bullshit that unions use to protect the useless foggies hanging around.

    The main reason I'm anti-union is that I believe in meritocracy and I'd rather reward people who do a good job. Unions reward seniority and mediocrity.
    The powerful trade unions got a lot for their members, but also drive up prices to the point that a lot of people couldn't afford basic things like plumbing and electrical repair.

    But unions don't have to reward mediocrity. They ought to accomplish two things: getting a liveable wage for all their members, and working with industry so excellence is rewarded.

    Quote Originally Posted by Benvolio View Post
    At best, unions are price fixing conspiracies, intended like all price fixing to force the consumers to pay more than the product or labor the would be worth in a competitive market. They do not work when the employer is faced with competition from outside, cheaper labor.Much of our heavy industry and best jobs have been unionized out of existence, losing to foreign competition.
    Your fantasy world isn't terribly relevant to the discussion -- it would really be beneficial if you'd address reality.

    At best, unions do what I said above, plus fight for safety at work when needed. The country would be better off if at least three times as many wage-earners were unionized -- we need unions at Walmart and similar stores, just for starters. Why? Because basically, corporations are price-fixing conspiracies, intended to force workers to accept less than their labor would be worth in a competitive market.

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

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    Re: The theft of an economy

    Quote Originally Posted by xbuzzerx View Post
    That's a completely different discussion at this point. The contempt for unions right or wrong is part of the equation if someone wants to just lazily wave a hand and say all domestic income inequality or low-income problems would be solved by cutting off immigration and forcing low end wages to rise. The concept that sans laws and sans regulation this has ever substantially happened outside of organized labor forcing it to happen is so far as I know largely myth.
    The invisible hand of the market is only effective when the market is free. When giant corporations dominate certain sectors of the economy, the market ceases to be free, just as when self-serving government bureaucracies dominate certain sectors of the economy.

    Perhaps the greatest weakness in trying to apply Adam Smith to today's situation is that Smith never envisioned corporations more powerful than many nations. That sort of concentration of power can't help but warp economic reality.

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

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