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Date: 08/07/13 07:42 PM

62 Responses to Inequality Is Real [Pic+]

  1. Profile photo of ElectricEye
    ElectricEye Male 50-59
    2729 posts
    August 7, 2013 at 7:39 pm
    Link: Inequality Is Real - Interactive tools tell the story of how we arrived at the state of inequality we find today & how to reverse course.
  2. Profile photo of Andrew155
    Andrew155 Male 18-29
    2579 posts
    August 7, 2013 at 8:09 pm
    There`s a lot of factual errors here and bad recipes to fix the problems.

    The first fallacy is that wages and and productivity must grow in tandem. Just because a supermarket gets automated cash registers and you now only need one worker where you would previously need four doesn`t mean the one worker left should get double, triple, or quadruple the wages.

    And it certainly wouldn`t affect a burger flipper`s salary, as I doubt the productivity of a burger flipper has increased much since the 70`s.

    They also say "Higher tax rates have NEVER been an impediment to growth". Categorically, they say it will never hurt growth. Then they show a chart that shows a time when taxes were 70%. This is another common lie. Nobody ever paid 70% taxes, or even the 90+% during the 40`s. Everything, including business dinners, were deductions. Many studies have concluded that most of the rich of that era paid about 40% or so. Same as today.
  3. Profile photo of Shelworth
    Shelworth Male 50-59
    388 posts
    August 7, 2013 at 8:19 pm
    Really stupid, starts off with the assumption that there is a finite amount of wealth. Commie propaganda!
  4. Profile photo of Andrew155
    Andrew155 Male 18-29
    2579 posts
    August 7, 2013 at 8:20 pm
    They say education is not the answer. Yes, they actually say that even though the average college grad`s wages has grown 20%, a number they call "meager". Everything else they say is pretty much an "us vs. them" argument, that it`s the rich that have done this to society.

    No mention of the Fed. No mention of the government. No mention of the inflationary policies that have become a doctrine of the US government. The fact of the matter is that wages stopped growing in about 1971, the same year that Nixon defaulted on our Bretton Woods obligations and introduced the floating dollar. This created rabid inflation and stagnated the economy.

    Or how about Quantitative Easing? The Fed creates 85 billion in assets from nothing and gives it straight to the 1% every month.
  5. Profile photo of DrProfessor
    DrProfessor Male 18-29
    3894 posts
    August 7, 2013 at 8:20 pm
    I wanted to like it, I did.

    However it`s entirely lacking the "how". It shows a change in productivity and compensation, but it doesn`t show the actual reason for that divide. It just says it happened, and implies that the cause is unjust. I`d like a more in-depth analysis before my sympathies to a political cause are appealed to.

    I`m far too wary of presentational bias for that.
  6. Profile photo of Andrew155
    Andrew155 Male 18-29
    2579 posts
    August 7, 2013 at 8:22 pm
    Or how about Fed`s Serial Bubble policy? .com bubble, Housing bubble, the current bubble. 0% interest rates, guaranteed housing loans, and easy money apparently DO cause asset bubbles that benefit only the 1%. Imagine that.


    Meanwhile, you have the 1950`s where Eisenhower was the last president who believed in the traditional rules of money. He had 2-3 recessions during his presidency and did not attempt to stimulate them. He balanced the budget. He offered true growth, not growth built on debt and faux prosperity. Growth based on savings is better than growth base don debt.
  7. Profile photo of Andrew155
    Andrew155 Male 18-29
    2579 posts
    August 7, 2013 at 8:26 pm
    It turns out that WW2 was not a Keynesian success. Total American debt did not increase during WW2, only the national debt. The debt that matters is all debt, public and private. Consumers had essentially been saving during the entire war. America saved its way out of Depression.

    Besides, the 40`s were wholly anti-Keynesian anyways. With all of the controls and consumption suppression of the war effort, along with the 90% tax policy, it`s idiotic to suggest it was stimulating "aggregate demand" for anything other than the warfare state.
  8. Profile photo of Draculya
    Draculya Male 40-49
    14653 posts
    August 7, 2013 at 8:43 pm
    Why do we want income equality? We simply want to be the individual beneficiaries of unequal wealth. Without the poor, who would do our dishes? There aren`t enough filipinas to go around.
  9. Profile photo of OldOllie
    OldOllie Male 60-69
    15841 posts
    August 7, 2013 at 10:04 pm
    We have inequality because some people are smarter and/or more ambitious than others. It`s always been that way, and it always will be. If you want more, quit whining and get to work.
  10. Profile photo of ferdyfred
    ferdyfred Male 40-49
    13631 posts
    August 8, 2013 at 1:33 am
    OldOllie

    We have inequality because some people are smarter and/or more ambitious than others. It`s always been that way, and it always will be. If you want more, quit whining and get to work.
    ---
    Pretty much covers this
    got the spirit to make things happen they will
    if you havent they wont end of really
  11. Profile photo of Bakcagain21
    Bakcagain21 Male 18-29
    560 posts
    August 8, 2013 at 2:27 am
    Productivity has increased because of technological increases not because people are working harder... Karl Marx was right about some things. Workers would have less to do as machines get better. Even traditional intellectual services are starting to get competition from computer algorithms.

    Once you allow inequality in a system, which most people would as it allows for people to make their own choices of what`s important in life it`s very hard to stop some amassing more wealth. But the problem is we don`t have a equality of chance. I vote of equal chances not equal end result which all this redistribution calls for.
  12. Profile photo of cuthere2
    cuthere2 Male 30-39
    317 posts
    August 8, 2013 at 3:32 am
    Whoever wrote this presentation is being disingenous, or is simply an idiot... Example:

    Question 1: "How should the income of the country be distributed?"

    Uh, hey moron, no one "distributes" income, it is EARNED... Straw man argument, and another moron who thinks socialism works despite all of human history telling us otherwise... Wow...
  13. Profile photo of Nickel2
    Nickel2 Male 50-59
    5879 posts
    August 8, 2013 at 3:52 am
    >
  14. Profile photo of PirateWillis
    PirateWillis Male 18-29
    143 posts
    August 8, 2013 at 4:13 am
    It fills my heart with joy to see IAB agree, and on the failings of socialism, nonetheless.
  15. Profile photo of tommy2X4
    tommy2X4 Male 50-59
    3447 posts
    August 8, 2013 at 5:19 am
    Capitalism works like this: in order for someone to gain, someone must lose. Simple, just look at the basis of the stock market.
  16. Profile photo of normalfreak2
    normalfreak2 Male 18-29
    4081 posts
    August 8, 2013 at 5:36 am
    You know I think some of you "oldollie" need to realize something. Why does it matter if the guy at Mcdonalds makes 15 an hour to flip burgers? What`s "wrong" with that. If someone wants to make that a career I don`t see why that`s a problem? WHy can`t we change the perception of paying someone a livable wage? The incentive is if you want stuff faster you get a better job, that incentive would still be there even if minimum wage was 15 an hour. Having something to fall back to in case you lose your job due to circumstances beyond your control isn`t a bad thing. I don`t get some of you. You think people would just be happy with flipping burgers their whole live if they earned double what they make now?
  17. Profile photo of normalfreak2
    normalfreak2 Male 18-29
    4081 posts
    August 8, 2013 at 5:41 am
    Capitalism works like this: in order for someone to gain, someone must lose. Simple, just look at the basis of the stock market.

    Captialism in "theory" works as well as pure Socialism does. Look at what it`s driving us towards? The super rich have all the power/influence. That shouldn`t be the way things are. What`s great about America is we can sprinkle in other ideas. We are a Republic with Socialist and Fascists ideas, as well as using Capitalism. We shouldn`t just take the bad from capitalism/socialism/Fascism and be happy with it. Our government can mold it and has molded it since 1776, with "regulations". We can take ideas that work in those other economic policies and use them in a Capitalism system. I hate people that think we have to settle of the "lesser of two evils".
  18. Profile photo of richanddead
    richanddead Male 18-29
    3519 posts
    August 8, 2013 at 5:51 am
    We can prosper unequally, or equally suffer.
  19. Profile photo of Grendel
    Grendel Male 40-49
    6267 posts
    August 8, 2013 at 6:08 am
    tommy2X4-"Capitalism works like this: in order for someone to gain, someone must lose."

    That would only be true if it were a zero sum game.

    It`s not, so your remark is incorrect.

    If I can buy a widjet from Acme for $100 that will allow me to improve my workflow so that I make $10,000 more a year, who has lost? Did I lose so that Acme could gain? (Hmmm...seing as I`m ahead $9,900, I don`t think I lost.)

    The `Rich` did not get rich by taking from the poor. Please change your thinking on that.
  20. Profile photo of AntEconomist
    AntEconomist Male 40-49
    356 posts
    August 8, 2013 at 6:10 am
    > Capitalism works like this: in order for someone to gain, someone must lose.

    You are incorrect. Your fallacy lies in equating dollars with gains. Yes, the exchange of dollars is a zero sum game. But the exchange of dollars isn`t what`s important. What`s important is the exchange of goods and services the dollars facilitate.

    When I exchange my labor for dollars and then exchange the dollars for an iPhone, I have really exchanged my labor for an iPhone. The reason I do this is because I value the iPhone more than I value my labor. Hence, I walk away better off even though I have no more dollars than I did at the start.
  21. Profile photo of AntEconomist
    AntEconomist Male 40-49
    356 posts
    August 8, 2013 at 6:14 am
    The right question is, "equality of what?"

    If you want equality of opportunity, by definition, you must give up equality of outcomes. If you want equality of outcomes, by definition, you must give up equality of opportunity.

    So the question isn`t whether we should have equality or inequality. The question is, which combination of equality/inequality do you want?
  22. Profile photo of Magentab0b
    Magentab0b Female 30-39
    1467 posts
    August 8, 2013 at 6:17 am
    Stop deregulating freaking crooks damnit.
  23. Profile photo of richanddead
    richanddead Male 18-29
    3519 posts
    August 8, 2013 at 6:58 am
    @AntEconomist: Yes! Finally someone gets it! Economics is based on mathematics, utility of goods, and years of market study, not a generalized emotional feelings of quality like "fairness" or "equal outcomes".


    Excellent demonstration of the utilitarianism between goods and services and use of it to dismantle "weak Pareto optimum" argument.


  24. Profile photo of HumanAction
    HumanAction Male 18-29
    2357 posts
    August 8, 2013 at 6:59 am
    Capitalism works like this: in order for someone to gain, someone must lose.
    That`s not really how it works. Capitalism is defined as a system of voluntary exchanges. A voluntary exchange occurs when both parties perceive that they will gain more from the exchange than they give. Thus, capitalism is a system of win-wins.

    For example, let`s say that I make shirts and you make pants. I have many shirts but no pants, and you have many pants but no shirts. We decide to trade some of my shirts for your pants. Who has lost in this arrangement?

    Stop deregulating freaking crooks damnit.
    The more reasonable action would be to stop letting crooks regulate industry. Seriously, one single business can only do so much harm if it is headed by a crook. An industry regulated by crooks, on the other hand, can destroy an economy. (See: Housing Bubble)
  25. Profile photo of richanddead
    richanddead Male 18-29
    3519 posts
    August 8, 2013 at 7:12 am
    Capitalism can also function in any environment and/or time and this gives it a resilience, dependability, and ubiquitous nature that socialist economic strategies simply do not possess.
  26. Profile photo of McTabbin
    McTabbin Male 18-29
    88 posts
    August 8, 2013 at 7:59 am
    For as long as monetary system will exist, there will always be exploitation of opportunities; because the system rewards on basis of divide and conquer. If our ancestors had wanted a world of equality, they would have made it so - but they didn`t & the fact we still have a system in place that is akin to darwinism.

    That those who are more resourceful, adaptable and open to more opportunities in gaining wealth shall be rewarded like man of beasts, who shall be rewarded for being the strongest. After all, it is they who sees opportunity to adjust laws into their favor at the expense of the uneducated.

    It wouldn`t be a stretch to say if we came across a new continent right now, which is home or hosts to uneducated tribes. Most of us would draw up a contract that would allow us to purchase a trade deal for vast acres of land for less than it is actually worth - because uneducated tribes would have no knowledge of relative value. They could say no, or sign that paper.
  27. Profile photo of patchgrabber
    patchgrabber Male 30-39
    5812 posts
    August 8, 2013 at 8:53 am
    For example, let`s say that I make shirts and you make pants. I have many shirts but no pants, and you have many pants but no shirts. We decide to trade some of my shirts for your pants. Who has lost in this arrangement?
    The workers being exploited to make the shirts and pants.

    An industry regulated by crooks, on the other hand, can destroy an economy. (See: Housing Bubble)
    In Canada, the way we avoided most of this recession was by having more regulations on our bankers than in the US, so either your government officials are much more corrupt, or this point is moot.
  28. Profile photo of papajon0s1
    papajon0s1 Male 40-49
    579 posts
    August 8, 2013 at 8:55 am
    If it`s on the Internet, it must be true. Now I`m off to date the French supermodel I met. On the Internet.
  29. Profile photo of patchgrabber
    patchgrabber Male 30-39
    5812 posts
    August 8, 2013 at 9:08 am
    Hence, I walk away better off even though I have no more dollars than I did at the start.
    Not necessarily. The concept of commodity fetishism is one that shows how the meaning of value is claimed to be objective when it is actually subjective. People conflate price with value, and as such obscure the social relationships between the people making the products, the people selling the products, and the consumer.

    Now you could say, "I earned my own money and will buy something if I deem it of equal or lesser value than the labor needed to earn the money."

    But this reinforces the subjective nature of commodity value. The reason you feel "better off" after is because you are attempting to replace the value of your labor with the value of someone else`s, and that 1) might not be the same actual value, and 2) you have no meaningful connection to this product, because you didn`t make it and don`t know who did.
  30. Profile photo of Grendel
    Grendel Male 40-49
    6267 posts
    August 8, 2013 at 9:20 am
    patchgrabber-"The workers being exploited to make the shirts and pants."

    He didn`t mention workers. He mentioned `I` and `You`. Two individuals who have bartered a mutually beneficial arrangement.

    IF there were workers, they have bartered a mutually beneficial arrangement in which they manufacture shirts, or pants, in exchange for script/socks/chickens..., with which they can buy shirts, pants, socks or even a widjit.

    The workers are not forced to manufacture either, they agree to in exchange for something else.
  31. Profile photo of HumanAction
    HumanAction Male 18-29
    2357 posts
    August 8, 2013 at 9:23 am
    The workers being exploited to make the shirts and pants.
    How exactly are the workers being exploited? If these workers accept a job for $7/hr., does it not stand to reason that they believe that the $7 will benefit them more than their 1 hour?

    Put aside all emotion and feelings and just think about it logically. If I agree to dig holes for 1 hour for $5, then I MUST believe that the $5 is, at very least, as valuable to me as the 1 hour I spend digging holes. Barring mental defect, there is no other possibility.

    Therefore, this voluntary exchange is a win-win, and therefore nobody loses. If you disagree, where in my logic do you find fault?
  32. Profile photo of patchgrabber
    patchgrabber Male 30-39
    5812 posts
    August 8, 2013 at 9:28 am
    He didn`t mention workers. He mentioned `I` and `You`. Two individuals who have bartered a mutually beneficial arrangement.
    If he wasn`t talking about owning a shirt/pants business, then no one has necessarily lost out. But this is rarely the case in a country like the US. The vast majority of businesses have employees making products for employers, otherwise you cannot expand.

    The workers are not forced to manufacture either, they agree to in exchange for something else.
    Absence of force does not indicate absence of exploitation. Exploitation is inherent in capitalism, the workers are forced to sell their labour power, rather than a set quantity of labour, in order to receive a wage in order to survive, while the capitalist exploits the work performed by the worker by accumulating the surplus value of their labour as profit. As such capitalism functions by paying workers less than the full value product of their labour.
  33. Profile photo of HumanAction
    HumanAction Male 18-29
    2357 posts
    August 8, 2013 at 9:29 am
    In Canada, the way we avoided most of this recession was by having more regulations on our bankers than in the US
    The notion that individual bankers were responsible is obviously incorrect. If you believe so, then you must believe that the overwhelming majority of bankers were corrupt; how else could individuals responsible for individual companies ruin an entire economy?

    The deregulation statement here is complete nonsense. The regulations were forcibly lessened - against the will of most bankers - by government policy.

    Why would a bank WANT to issue a subprime loan? By definition, this is a loan that has a high risk. On the other hand, what happens when you tell the banks to issue loans and then buy the loans from them as securities? Meanwhile, you imply that you will protect the banks from failing? You get a massive, artificial supply of bad loans.

  34. Profile photo of patchgrabber
    patchgrabber Male 30-39
    5812 posts
    August 8, 2013 at 9:31 am
    How exactly are the workers being exploited? If these workers accept a job for $7/hr., does it not stand to reason that they believe that the $7 will benefit them more than their 1 hour?
    There is nothing emotional about what I`m saying. Just because someone "accepts" this wage doesn`t mean they want the job, because they must have a job to survive, and they are always threatened by the "reserve army of the unemployed". Do not mistake acceptance for agreement.
  35. Profile photo of patchgrabber
    patchgrabber Male 30-39
    5812 posts
    August 8, 2013 at 9:35 am
    The notion that individual bankers were responsible is obviously incorrect.
    I was referring to banks, not bankers, mistake on my part. That we did not allow our banks to sell crummy securities along with stricter regulations on investment and banking practices helped us avoid most of it.
  36. Profile photo of HumanAction
    HumanAction Male 18-29
    2357 posts
    August 8, 2013 at 9:37 am
    Just because someone "accepts" this wage doesn`t mean they want the job
    I never said otherwise. I may hate programming, but I do the job because I value the income from it more than the time spent on it; it is a win-win.

    because they must have a job to survive
    This is not true in any Western country I am aware of. In the US, we have a plethora of programs that support individuals in absence of work.

    and they are always threatened by the "reserve army of the unemployed"
    Why don`t they start their own business if they are good at what they do? From my experience, the greatest barrier for many would-be`s is regulation.

    For example, a bakery - of any size - is often required to hold flour in explosion-proof containers. Yes, flour is fine enough that it can explode if airborne. How likely is it though?
  37. Profile photo of patchgrabber
    patchgrabber Male 30-39
    5812 posts
    August 8, 2013 at 9:42 am
    "In the US, we have a plethora of programs that support individuals in absence of work."

    Discounting disabled people and other obvious cases, those programs aren`t in place to provide for them indefinitely, they eventually must find some form of work.

    As for the Canadian banking practices, this page explains it fairly well.
  38. Profile photo of Grendel
    Grendel Male 40-49
    6267 posts
    August 8, 2013 at 9:42 am
    patchgrabber-"vast majority of businesses have employees making products for employers, otherwise you cannot expand."

    Okay, show me the ones that are pressed into slave labor. Oh? You can`t?

    patchgrabber-"Exploitation is inherent in capitalism,"

    Sorry, incorrect premise.

    patchgrabber-"the workers are forced to sell their labour power,"

    No one is forced to do anything.

    patchgrabber-"rather than a set quantity of labour, in order to receive a wage in order to survive,"

    You have to work to live. Be it for a wage, or for hunting and forraging.
  39. Profile photo of HumanAction
    HumanAction Male 18-29
    2357 posts
    August 8, 2013 at 9:43 am
    That we did not allow our banks to sell crummy securities along with stricter regulations on investment and banking practices helped us avoid most of it.
    Who would have bought the securities though? In the US, the GSE`s were mandated to buy huge quantities of them.

    In the US, regulators posted public assessments of banks based on their "friendliness" to low-income consumers. "Friendliness" was based almost entirely on the number of subprime loans given relative to standard loans.

    The incentive for the bank is clear: push subprime loans. In doing so, you get great ratings and recognition, and are able to sell off the securities. Better yet, you have an implicit agreement with Congress that they will protect you if the whole scam goes South.

    Obviously the implicit agreement was true; the banks got bailed out.
  40. Profile photo of Grendel
    Grendel Male 40-49
    6267 posts
    August 8, 2013 at 9:43 am
    patchgrabber-"while the capitalist exploits the work performed by the worker"

    incorrecte premise. The worker agress to the wage. He can easilly demand more, but if he porformance does not warrent it he is not worth paying that much."

    patchgrabber-"by accumulating the surplus value of their labour as profit."

    A burger flipper has not `surplus value of labour`.
  41. Profile photo of patchgrabber
    patchgrabber Male 30-39
    5812 posts
    August 8, 2013 at 9:43 am
    Why don`t they start their own business if they are good at what they do?
    Businesses need capital to start. How do you suggest someone get this capital when they cannot get a business loan?
  42. Profile photo of patchgrabber
    patchgrabber Male 30-39
    5812 posts
    August 8, 2013 at 9:48 am
    incorrecte premise. The worker agress to the wage. He can easilly demand more, but if he porformance does not warrent it he is not worth paying that much."
    Is this actually MeGrendel? Usually you don`t make so many spelling errors...

    Anyway, read what I said about "agreement" being confused with acceptance. If I`m selling a car because I`m moving, and the best offer I get is 10% less than I want, just because I accept it doesn`t mean I think I got a fair deal, I`m a victim of circumstance.

    A burger flipper has not `surplus value of labour`.
    In point of fact they do, otherwise McDonald`s wouldn`t make any money. McDonald`s could pay them $55.00 to make 200 burgers, or they can pay them a wage where they could potentially make 300 burgers in the same time. There`s your surplus, and it all goes to McDonald`s.
  43. Profile photo of patchgrabber
    patchgrabber Male 30-39
    5812 posts
    August 8, 2013 at 9:51 am
    Sorry, incorrect premise.
    You keep saying that but provide no justification.
  44. Profile photo of HumanAction
    HumanAction Male 18-29
    2357 posts
    August 8, 2013 at 9:51 am
    As for the Canadian banking practices, this page explains it fairly well.
    I`m not denying that Canada`s practices worked relative to those in the US.

    I`m merely saying that your understanding of the factors that caused the bubble in the first place are suspect. Can we technically say that deregulation caused the bubble to burst? Sure.

    The real question should be: what caused the bubble to form?

    1. The Fed held interest rates well below market value. ARM`s, the primary vector of subprime loans, are tied closely to the Federal Funds Rate.
    2. The 1989 FIRREA forced regulators to issue public ratings based on low-income "friendliness." Another change in 1995 allowed regulators to base ratings on outcomes rather than lending processes.
    3. The GSE`s pioneered the Mortgage-Backed Security market.

    These are regulation changes - not deregulation.
  45. Profile photo of patchgrabber
    patchgrabber Male 30-39
    5812 posts
    August 8, 2013 at 9:53 am
    I`m merely saying that your understanding of the factors that caused the bubble in the first place are suspect.
    Ah, I see your point now. Your understanding of what led up to the crisis is likely better than mine.
  46. Profile photo of patchgrabber
    patchgrabber Male 30-39
    5812 posts
    August 8, 2013 at 9:57 am
    I think some of you may be offended by my use of the word "exploitation." I`m not necessarily using it in a pejorative connotation, I`m just stating what is. Do the workers agree to be exploited? Sure. Some of them are downright happy to. My point is simply that in any economic system, someone is exploited, it`s inevitable. Socialism may exploit business, communism exploits those who produce more, and capitalism exploits workers.
  47. Profile photo of HumanAction
    HumanAction Male 18-29
    2357 posts
    August 8, 2013 at 9:58 am
    Businesses need capital to start. How do you suggest someone get this capital when they cannot get a business loan?
    Some businesses require capital to start, not all businesses; for example, mine didn`t.

    Many businesses require less capital and investment than one might think. For example, a caterer or a carpenter often need not invest in the tools of their trade; they already have them. They have these tools because, without them, they would never have been able to acquire the skills and experience necessary to start a business.

    Unless, of course, they don`t have an explosion-proof container for their flour or a HEPA filtration system for their workshop.
  48. Profile photo of patchgrabber
    patchgrabber Male 30-39
    5812 posts
    August 8, 2013 at 10:02 am
    for their workshop.
    While some businesses may not need lots of capital, your implication that there is a workshop being owned/rented could be enough of a barrier to someone supporting two kids on one wage without any extra money to spend on a workshop.
  49. Profile photo of HumanAction
    HumanAction Male 18-29
    2357 posts
    August 8, 2013 at 10:10 am
    Socialism may exploit business, communism exploits those who produce more, and capitalism exploits workers.
    OK - I guess.

    Logically, the reason any of us agree to exchange any service or good for another is because we believe that what we get will be more valuable that what we give.

    The only difference I can see then is who is being forced. In socialism, businesses are forced into exchanges (taxes, worker benefits, higher wages). In communism, everyone is forced into exchanges.

    In capitalism, though, I don`t think anyone is truly forced into an exchange. We can probably pervert the word "force" and suggest that workers are forced to get jobs by some intangible presence. If you refuse to accept a job though, the intangible presence isn`t going to kick in your door and arrest you.

    If you fail to pay your taxes though, someone sure will.
  50. Profile photo of patchgrabber
    patchgrabber Male 30-39
    5812 posts
    August 8, 2013 at 10:15 am
    Logically, the reason any of us agree to exchange any service or good for another is because we believe that what we get will be more valuable that what we give.
    Yes, but take a wooden table. It is just wood that human labor has turned into a table and taken to market. Wood + Labor = Table. When it gets to the market, the table finds itself in the company of the stool and the chair. All three have use values, are made of the same wood and may be in equal supply and equal demand — yet each has its own different price.

    Why these different prices? Same wood, same demand, same supply. They are all the products of human labour. What is the difference among them that justifies different prices? The prices are reflections of the underlying values of the products. Could the values be different? It is the different quantities of socially necessary labour time embodied in the commodities.
  51. Profile photo of HumanAction
    HumanAction Male 18-29
    2357 posts
    August 8, 2013 at 10:17 am
    your implication that there is a workshop being owned/rented could be enough of a barrier to someone supporting two kids on one wage without any extra money to spend on a workshop
    Absolutely. My point isn`t that anyone and everyone can just magically start their own business. Some people lack the assets, the skills, or even the social capacity to start a business.

    However, not all start-ups require vast injections of capital to get going. If you`re going to start a national laboratory, then yea, you`ll need some cash. If you`re an experienced carpenter though, you probably have the tools necessary to get going.

    A startup can be as simple as a garage operation at first. You don`t need to have a huge warehouse with an in-house mill; those things will come.

    In these cases though, from my experience, the turn-off is regulation.
  52. Profile photo of HumanAction
    HumanAction Male 18-29
    2357 posts
    August 8, 2013 at 10:21 am
    The prices are reflections of the underlying values of the products.
    I agree. Does an iPhone really cost $600 to produce? I doubt it. However, many people are willing to pay that much for it; thus, it costs $600.

    I`m not sure what your point is here.
  53. Profile photo of patchgrabber
    patchgrabber Male 30-39
    5812 posts
    August 8, 2013 at 10:24 am
    The table, the stool and the chair are three "things" that are related to each other as the embodiment of the social relations and necessary labour of human beings that created them. Human social relations have been objectified as the relations between non human things. The chair may be more valuable than the table, but the reason is now hidden away from the perception of people.

    This is because we are so used to how the market operates under capitalism, how prices fluctuate, commodities rise and fall in prices, working people, as consumers, naturally just think the values (which we usually don`t differentiate from prices) are products of the natural world, that is, are functions of the things for sale or barter themselves. This is why "supply and demand" seems to be the basis of the value of things. We often fail to see it`s all really the result of the socially necessary labour time expended in the labour process that is the determining factor in value.
  54. Profile photo of HumanAction
    HumanAction Male 18-29
    2357 posts
    August 8, 2013 at 10:25 am
    The prices are reflections of the underlying values of the products.
    Oh, I think I get what you`re saying.

    I said that people enter exchanges because they think they will get something more valuable from the trade than what they give. I should have said that people enter exchanges because they want (think is more valuable) the thing they get more than they want the thing they give.

    Someone without water for 3 days may be willing to pay $50,000 for a gallon of water. Clearly, the water is not that valuable. However, the water is more valuable to that person that his/her $50,000 at that time.

    That being said, except in very extreme situations, I have to imagine that some entrepreneur is going to come in an undercut the water salesman.
  55. Profile photo of patchgrabber
    patchgrabber Male 30-39
    5812 posts
    August 8, 2013 at 10:26 am
    My point is just that we often undervalue and underappreciate the value of human labour. As the system progresses, workers feel they are losing their identity and value and not getting enough in return. Business and industry and even government have exploited the workers too much, and it`s only getting worse.
  56. Profile photo of patchgrabber
    patchgrabber Male 30-39
    5812 posts
    August 8, 2013 at 10:34 am
    Maybe the best solution is to get robots to make everything. XD
  57. Profile photo of HumanAction
    HumanAction Male 18-29
    2357 posts
    August 8, 2013 at 10:41 am
    Gotcha - I agree with that entirely.

    That being said, the two questions that need to be addressed before anything can be done are: how did we get here; and, what is the alternative?

    To be honest, in my opinion, we would need to give up consumerism to stop the trend. The reason that most of society is paid poorly is because most of society expects to pay poorly.
  58. Profile photo of patchgrabber
    patchgrabber Male 30-39
    5812 posts
    August 8, 2013 at 10:45 am
    Agreed. I saw a stat a few days ago showing how, adjusting for inflation, the minimum wage has actually decreased. Imho I think it is horrible to not keep wages consistent with inflation.
  59. Profile photo of Grendel
    Grendel Male 40-49
    6267 posts
    August 8, 2013 at 11:20 am
    patchgrabber-"Usually you don`t make so many spelling errors... "

    Sorry, different keyboard and I`m in a rush.

    patchgrabber-"Businesses need capital to start."

    Not always. Me & my wife have started a business. So far it`s taken us less than $200 investment, and we`ve made it up already. What it took was our knowledge and our initiative.

    patchgrabber-"Why these different prices? Same wood, same demand, same supply."

    Compare these two:




    Same wood, same demand, same supply? Why would one be worth more? There is always more at work than just material, labor, demand and supply.
  60. Profile photo of Quackor
    Quackor Male 18-29
    2856 posts
    August 8, 2013 at 2:54 pm
    yes that would work *rolls eyes*
  61. Profile photo of OldOllie
    OldOllie Male 60-69
    15841 posts
    August 9, 2013 at 10:17 pm
    Maybe the best solution is to get robots to make everything.
    Be careful what you wish for.

    "The Midas Plague" by Frederik Pohl (originally published in Galaxy in 1954). In this new world of cheap energy, robots are overproducing the commodities enjoyed by mankind. So now the "poor" are forced to spend their lives in frantic consumption, trying to keep up with the robots` extravagant production, so that the "rich" can live lives of simplicity. This story deals with the life of a man named Morey Fry, who marries a girl from a higher class. She is unused to a life of consumption and it wears at their marriage. Morey eventually hits on the idea of having the robots help him to consume his quotas. At first he fears punishment when he is discovered, but instead the Ration Board quickly implements his idea across the world.
  62. Profile photo of cuthere2
    cuthere2 Male 30-39
    317 posts
    August 23, 2013 at 8:45 pm
    Whoever wrote this presentation is being disingenous, or is simply an idiot... Example:

    Question 1: "How should the income of the country be distributed?"

    Uh, hey moron, no one "distributes" income, it is EARNED... Straw man argument, and another moron who thinks socialism works despite all of human history telling us otherwise... Wow...

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