The Budget is Through the Roof

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  • Frist? 2012-12-03 08:03
    My roof collapsed frist.
  • TGV 2012-12-03 08:04
    Why do I get the nagging feeling that this is a US-based operation?
  • Geoff 2012-12-03 08:10
    Penny wise pound foolish. I wonder how much money they saved delaying apparently pretty obviously needed repairs to the building. Once you factor in the cost of the water damage, cleanup, and unscheduled loss of use of the facility from the collapse of a snow loaded roof; one of those record bonus earning executives ought to get walked out of the other building.
  • CodeBeater 2012-12-03 08:20
    And on the next day another wave of e-mails arrived

    "We would like to apologize for not being able to pay healthcare for those with neck and head injuries, please contact your supervisor for emotional support"
  • Smug Unix User 2012-12-03 08:22
    Developers could work from home. Offices are kind of last century.
  • dtm 2012-12-03 08:22
    I don't get it - where-tf is the wtf?
  • Cbuttius 2012-12-03 08:22
    Geoff:
    Penny wise pound foolish. I wonder how much money they saved delaying apparently pretty obviously needed repairs to the building. Once you factor in the cost of the water damage, cleanup, and unscheduled loss of use of the facility from the collapse of a snow loaded roof; one of those record bonus earning executives ought to get walked out of the other building.


    The correct idiom here is "a stitch in time saves nine"
  • lanmind 2012-12-03 08:24
    dtm:
    I don't get it - where-tf is the wtf?


    Said an executive while cashing a record setting bonus.
  • MrBester 2012-12-03 08:26
    if your work area was impacted by this condition, let your supervisor know immediately

    Presuming you haven't been crushed by the impact and somehow still have a working system after tons of snow has dumped on it...
  • lanmind 2012-12-03 08:31
    I once working in a poultry slaughter house as network admin. I don't recall why, but for some reason the place had been (thankfully, only for a few weeks) overrun by flies. It sucked ass royally. I made noises about getting it fixed - maybe I'm weird, but I didn't want to have to deal with that crap - which only got commiserative non commitments from management. So I did what any rational person would do - I went down to maintenance, got a bug zapper, and hung it in my office. Actually, I figured that doing so would be so absurd that someone would do something about the frakkin flies, but it backfired on me. It solved my problem, so I quit complaining, and no one else dared complain, so management was happy. The flies eventually went away, but it took weeks. I left the bug zapper hanging as a memorial to common sense, and it hung there for years....
  • Nappy 2012-12-03 08:35
    Please vacate these comments now!
  • Bill Coleman 2012-12-03 08:38
    Indeed. This is the state of our business today, where common sense is thrown out the window in the hope of lowering the budget (and kicking in the bonus incentives for the executives).
  • VB_adict 2012-12-03 08:39
    dtm:
    I don't get it - where-tf is the wtf?


    And where is the tech angle?
  • Gary 2012-12-03 08:40
    An elaborate mechanism to lay the whole R&D team off. The new average R&D expense for the industry is now 4.5%.
  • Xing 2012-12-03 08:40
    As long as the repair is pushed to the next fiscal year, the executives can collect their bonus for hitting cost cutting targets.
  • svenM 2012-12-03 08:41
    Sure they could, now to find a workplace that allows it
  • T.R. 2012-12-03 08:46
    Bill Coleman:
    where common sense is thrown out the window


    It is actually thrown out of the hole in the wall.

  • Gaza Rullz 2012-12-03 08:47
    Executive job : You're doing it right !

    Captcha : iusto (latin of iustus = right) :D
  • Remy Porter 2012-12-03 08:48
    Common sense, like hot air, rises. It goes straight out the roof.
  • biziclop 2012-12-03 09:22
    TGV:
    Why do I get the nagging feeling that this is a US-based operation?


    Because in the UK we have health and safety.

    As soon as the roofs started leaking, the office would've been filled with "Slippery when wet" signs. Then it would've been closed down because the signs were obstructing fire evacuation routes.
  • Kushan 2012-12-03 09:25
    biziclop:
    TGV:
    Why do I get the nagging feeling that this is a US-based operation?


    Because in the UK we have health and safety.

    As soon as the roofs started leaking, the office would've been filled with "Slippery when wet" signs. Then it would've been closed down because the signs were obstructing fire evacuation routes.


    I work in an office in the UK that has a leaky roof. I can confirm at least half of this.
  • Andrew 2012-12-03 09:35
    A building has been structurally compromised and Greg thinks along the lines that people can keep working if they don't have rubble on their desks.

    Flee! Flee from this wretched organization!
  • Ben Jammin 2012-12-03 09:36
    Such a shame. Had she just delayed getting her coffee for a minute, she could have made a killing from workman's comp.
  • Ben Jammin 2012-12-03 09:40
    Call me picky, but I generally will only work for companies that have hot water available.

    (As I write this, I remember that one of the sinks in the bathroom has a broken faucet that won't run hot water.)
  • Steve The Cynic 2012-12-03 09:41
    One weekend back in '94, a building I worked in had its roof fall in. The building had only a single floor, and the roof came down and thoroughly crushed someone's desk. Usefully, it was Sunday, and only one person (the development manager) was in the office, although it wasn't his desk that got crushed.

    The building was, however, shitcanned, because of all the asbestos in the roof. A specialist hazmat cleanup firm was brought in to recover all the salvageable equipment, and the developers were dispatched to a corner of what amounted to a warehouse.
  • ObiWayneKenobi 2012-12-03 09:42
    I love how to cut costs they remove things like taking time to refactor code and fix leaky roofs, but presumably leave in "important" things which are 99% of the time useless crap (pretty new feature for Clueless Client X that doesn't need to be done)

    Sadly yes this is "business as usual" in the USA. As long as the executives get hefty bonuses, that's all that matters. Go capitalism!

    And to the guy who said about developers working from home; good luck finding a place smart enough to allow that. Most places seem to be stuck in the factory mentality. I've noticed that this epidemic is primarily in companies established and owned/operated by the older generation; the ones who remember a time before the advent of the internet and the virtual office. A company started by a younger person ingrained in the digital world is much more likely to allow, if not support entirely, remote work, while your typical 10+ year old established business owned by a 40-something (or older) person is going to treat workers like this was still the 80s, because the last time that person worked at a job (as opposed to being the owner) there was no (or very limited) internet, and nobody even thought of working remotely; that mentality gets carried over by the owner and infects everyone. You get some exceptions of course, but usually middle aged owner of an established company = 1980s worker mentality.
  • ¯\(°_o)/¯ I DUNNO LOL 2012-12-03 10:00
    TGV:
    Why do I get the nagging feeling that this is a US-based operation?

    It isn't my experience that a (white collar, at least) company occupying a building is responsible for building maintenance in the US. At least not in Texas. Leasing office space is the norm.
  • Remy Porter 2012-12-03 10:01
    It's highly variable. I worked for a company that owned all its own buildings, and then eventually sold them to a management company and leased them back.
  • Anon 2012-12-03 10:06
    Ben Jammin:
    Such a shame. Had she just delayed getting her coffee for a minute, she could have made a killing from workman's comp.


    Perhaps literally.
  • trtrwtf 2012-12-03 10:10
    lanmind:
    I once working in a poultry slaughter house as network admin. I don't recall why, but for some reason the place had been (thankfully, only for a few weeks) overrun by flies. It sucked ass royally. I made noises about getting it fixed - maybe I'm weird, but I didn't want to have to deal with that crap - which only got commiserative non commitments from management. So I did what any rational person would do - I went down to maintenance, got a bug zapper, and hung it in my office. Actually, I figured that doing so would be so absurd that someone would do something about the frakkin flies, but it backfired on me. It solved my problem, so I quit complaining, and no one else dared complain, so management was happy. The flies eventually went away, but it took weeks. I left the bug zapper hanging as a memorial to common sense, and it hung there for years....


    I like it. Work it up a little and you've got a good development practices blog post.

    CAPTCHA: pecus, as in "Pecus Bill"
    Did they get a new word for the captchas while I've been away?
  • Gary 2012-12-03 10:13
    biziclop:
    TGV:
    Why do I get the nagging feeling that this is a US-based operation?


    Because in the UK we have health and safety.

    As soon as the roofs started leaking, the office would've been filled with "Slippery when wet" signs. Then it would've been closed down because the signs were obstructing fire evacuation routes.


    In my experience, it's always toilets that leak in the UK, not roofs.
  • NotHere 2012-12-03 10:13
    ObiWayneKenobi:

    And to the guy who said about developers working from home; good luck finding a place smart enough to allow that. Most places seem to be stuck in the factory mentality. I've noticed that this epidemic is primarily in companies established and owned/operated by the older generation; the ones who remember a time before the advent of the internet and the virtual office. A company started by a younger person ingrained in the digital world is much more likely to allow, if not support entirely, remote work, while your typical 10+ year old established business owned by a 40-something (or older) person is going to treat workers like this was still the 80s, because the last time that person worked at a job (as opposed to being the owner) there was no (or very limited) internet, and nobody even thought of working remotely; that mentality gets carried over by the owner and infects everyone. You get some exceptions of course, but usually middle aged owner of an established company = 1980s worker mentality.


    We have a relatively young company, less than 3 years. The owners are less than 40. And we require devs to be at the provided desk during normal working hours.

    There are several reasons for this. Some people will happily put in the requisite hours to get the job done; while others will just as happily stretch out a project while no one is looking. I'd like to say it was only contractors that I've had this experience with but sadly that's not true.

    With them in the office, it's actually pretty easy to tell who is making progress and who is blowing smoke. With them off site, I have no idea if that data load of 100 records is really taking them 8 hours or if they spent 7 hours with their kids at the Zoo and 30 minutes on the job.

    In the past year, I've contracted 4 offsite devs to take care of 4 different tasks. 2 completely disappeared; 1 took a month before coming back with no idea how to compile / deploy the project and another 2 months to turn in absolute crap that had to be thrown out. The 4th? Well, it took 2 weeks before I got an email saying that he was going to do the task the way I asked for it...

    And before you say I need to be on top of them with daily status reports, guess what, when they are in the office I can walk by and see what's happening. When they are out of the office I can call or send an email and easily be put off for a couple hours.

    So, with those results I'll happily require devs to be onsite. At least when they are struggling it's a 30 second conversation instead of waiting for someone to pull their head out of their ass and ask a question via phone/email.


  • ObiWayneKenobi 2012-12-03 10:17
    Or, you know, you could not care if they spend 8 hours or 30 minutes so long as it gets done. That's what salary is supposed to be: a flat rate of pay regardless of the hours you work, even if nobody seems to realize that (see the whole concept of "unpaid time off" for salaried employees)
  • lanmind 2012-12-03 10:18
    trtrwtf:
    lanmind:
    I once working in a poultry slaughter house as network admin. I don't recall why, but for some reason the place had been (thankfully, only for a few weeks) overrun by flies. It sucked ass royally. I made noises about getting it fixed - maybe I'm weird, but I didn't want to have to deal with that crap - which only got commiserative non commitments from management. So I did what any rational person would do - I went down to maintenance, got a bug zapper, and hung it in my office. Actually, I figured that doing so would be so absurd that someone would do something about the frakkin flies, but it backfired on me. It solved my problem, so I quit complaining, and no one else dared complain, so management was happy. The flies eventually went away, but it took weeks. I left the bug zapper hanging as a memorial to common sense, and it hung there for years....


    I like it. Work it up a little and you've got a good development practices blog post.


    The sad thing is it's true story. As for working it up, I'm no Remy or Alex :)
  • trtrwtf 2012-12-03 10:31
    lanmind:
    trtrwtf:
    lanmind:
    ...The flies eventually went away, but it took weeks. I left the bug zapper hanging as a memorial to common sense, and it hung there for years....


    I like it. Work it up a little and you've got a good development practices blog post.


    The sad thing is it's true story. As for working it up, I'm no Remy or Alex :)

    'Course it's a true story. Now just make a theory of software development out of it - do it right and before you know it you'll have a line of writers turning out books on "bugzapper development" under your imprint.

    The nice thing is, it's a methodology, so it doesn't matter what you say, nobody will do it anyway. They'll just hire you to come in and tell them they're doing it right - everyone's a winner!
  • dkf 2012-12-03 10:35
    Average for a company in our industry is 12%.
    Ah yes, industry standard mediocrity care of management straight from central casti... err... business school.

    Do the world a favor. Remind any manager who thinks like this that they are turning themselves into a part of the machine that is easily replaceable by a cheaper one.
  • Brian Bobley 2012-12-03 10:37
    That sounds more like an argument of how you are better suited to managing individuals whom you can watch in person, rather than a critique of working from home.
    People can slack off just as easily in the office or at home, but in most offices the employee is more aware of when, and crucially when they are not, being spied on.
    Where I work, the policy for working at home is that you must be available on Lync for the majority of the time you are supposed to be working. It ensures that people can be consulted on things in the same time frame as in the office. Beyond this, providing they log time and accomplish goals the same, it should not matter.
  • lanmind 2012-12-03 10:41
    trtrwtf:
    lanmind:
    trtrwtf:
    lanmind:
    ...The flies eventually went away, but it took weeks. I left the bug zapper hanging as a memorial to common sense, and it hung there for years....


    I like it. Work it up a little and you've got a good development practices blog post.


    The sad thing is it's true story. As for working it up, I'm no Remy or Alex :)

    'Course it's a true story. Now just make a theory of software development out of it - do it right and before you know it you'll have a line of writers turning out books on "bugzapper development" under your imprint.

    The nice thing is, it's a methodology, so it doesn't matter what you say, nobody will do it anyway. They'll just hire you to come in and tell them they're doing it right - everyone's a winner!


    +1 For the love of God, you're right.
  • CodeNinja 2012-12-03 10:41
    dtm:
    I don't get it - where-tf is the wtf?

    Dunno, this seems like pretty standard business practice, at least in the States. Cut back on everything and give big bonuses to the executives for making piss poor business decisions so that they don't leave. Of course, who authorizes those bonuses? The execs.

    Really should have gotten a business degree instead, now that I think of it. I mean, really, I've only ever seen one get fired and that was because our main customer called the owner and said, "He goes or we go".
  • operagost 2012-12-03 10:44
    TGV:
    Why do I get the nagging feeling that this is a US-based operation?
    I don't know-- why? I'm simply dying to know.
  • Mr X 2012-12-03 10:46
    dtm:
    I don't get it - where-tf is the wtf?


    Staying somewhere where you're working 60 hour weeks? I wouldn't put up with that shit unless the job was very good.
  • operagost 2012-12-03 10:47
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    I love how to cut costs they remove things like taking time to refactor code and fix leaky roofs, but presumably leave in "important" things which are 99% of the time useless crap (pretty new feature for Clueless Client X that doesn't need to be done)

    Sadly yes this is "business as usual" in the USA. As long as the executives get hefty bonuses, that's all that matters. Go capitalism!

    Stalin and Mao killed millions with their policies. Go communism!
  • Peter 2012-12-03 10:47
    My last job was at a crappy, US company with a lot of deadweight management and a hostile HR department. (Though, for me, it was a great place to work until my supervisor quit and all the crap he dealt with rolled down to me.) Nonetheless, when we had a heavy snowfall and heard the slightest creaking, we were all sent out of the building until it could be inspected.

    So, that puts my complaints about that place in perspective.
  • anon 2012-12-03 11:07
    Remy Porter:
    It's highly variable. I worked for a company that owned all its own buildings, and then eventually sold them to a management company and leased them back.
    Sounds like a large Canadian bank I once worked for. It makes sense, because having to worry about chaning light bulbs and unclogging toilets is just a (costly) distraction from your core business.
  • ObiWayneKenobi 2012-12-03 11:09
    Mr X:
    dtm:
    I don't get it - where-tf is the wtf?


    Staying somewhere where you're working 60 hour weeks? I wouldn't put up with that shit unless I was a partner or the owner.


    Fixed that for you. The ONLY reason to ever put in more than 40 hours is if you are either the principal owner of the company or a partner (as in you own some real percentage of it, not "sweat equity" either). Any other time is being a sucker.
  • pkmnfrk 2012-12-03 11:20
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    Or, you know, you could not care if they spend 8 hours or 30 minutes so long as it gets done. That's what salary is supposed to be: a flat rate of pay regardless of the hours you work, even if nobody seems to realize that (see the whole concept of "unpaid time off" for salaried employees)


    I don't know about you, but if I give someone a task that takes them 30 minutes, I don't send them home afterwards. I give them another task!
  • Dave Insurgent 2012-12-03 11:25
    operagost:
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    I love how to cut costs they remove things like taking time to refactor code and fix leaky roofs, but presumably leave in "important" things which are 99% of the time useless crap (pretty new feature for Clueless Client X that doesn't need to be done)

    Sadly yes this is "business as usual" in the USA. As long as the executives get hefty bonuses, that's all that matters. Go capitalism!

    Stalin and Mao killed millions with their policies. Go communism!


    False comparison is false.

    Capitalism inherently promotes the above. There is no "okay, we've accumulated enough wealth, let's focus on something else now." phase. That's what makes it capitalism you dolt. You're not a capitalist just because you go to work and earn money and spend it. You don't own the means of production just because you're the one who does the work. It's more complicated than that. Can you start a war? I mean, honestly put the pieces in motion that could result in some type of conflict between nations? No? You're a nobody, then. You don't gain anything from this system despite what they tell you.

    The "policies" of Stalin and Mao are orthogonal to how wealth and prosperity can be thought of - I'm a voting socialist democrat. You're falsely attributing the behaviors of a tyrant, a dictator. If Socialism is an interface, you're only referring to the DictatorshipSocialism implementation, with a ConstantInterferenceByCapitalistsDecorator.

    If your point was that attributing those behaviors to capitalism was "as wrong as" your comparison, you're still off, because again, those behaviors are the very spirit of capitalism. Take as much as you can, from anyone, from everyone.
  • C-Derb 2012-12-03 11:28
    operagost:
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    I love how to cut costs they remove things like taking time to refactor code and fix leaky roofs, but presumably leave in "important" things which are 99% of the time useless crap (pretty new feature for Clueless Client X that doesn't need to be done)

    Sadly yes this is "business as usual" in the USA. As long as the executives get hefty bonuses, that's all that matters. Go capitalism!

    Stalin and Mao killed millions with their policies. Go communism!
    Oh boy, here we go. Look, Capitalism, Socialism, Communism, etc....they've all got the exact same Achilles heel: Greed. It's just that with Capitalism it takes greed a little bit longer to destroy society. But greed will eventually win. It always does.
  • Anon 2012-12-03 11:33
    C-Derb:
    operagost:
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    I love how to cut costs they remove things like taking time to refactor code and fix leaky roofs, but presumably leave in "important" things which are 99% of the time useless crap (pretty new feature for Clueless Client X that doesn't need to be done)

    Sadly yes this is "business as usual" in the USA. As long as the executives get hefty bonuses, that's all that matters. Go capitalism!

    Stalin and Mao killed millions with their policies. Go communism!
    Oh boy, here we go. Look, Capitalism, Socialism, Communism, etc....they've all got the exact same Achilles heel: Greed. It's just that with Capitalism it takes greed a little bit longer to destroy society. But greed will eventually win. It always does.

    "Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, it's just the opposite."
  • Nexzus 2012-12-03 11:34
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    And to the guy who said about developers working from home; good luck finding a place smart enough to allow that. Most places seem to be stuck in the factory mentality. I've noticed that this epidemic is primarily in companies established and owned/operated by the older generation; the ones who remember a time before the advent of the internet and the virtual office. A company started by a younger person ingrained in the digital world is much more likely to allow, if not support entirely, remote work, while your typical 10+ year old established business owned by a 40-something (or older) person is going to treat workers like this was still the 80s, because the last time that person worked at a job (as opposed to being the owner) there was no (or very limited) internet, and nobody even thought of working remotely; that mentality gets carried over by the owner and infects everyone. You get some exceptions of course, but usually middle aged owner of an established company = 1980s worker mentality.


    I can confirm that here, a regional government in Western Canada (analgeous to county or district). Management is filled with people who are just counting down the clock till their full pension kicks in, so they're stuck in this "must be here" mentality. No telecommunting except in rare cases. The thing is, we're supposed to set the example for air quality, as that's one of our mandates - improving air quality.
  • TGV 2012-12-03 11:37
    operagost:
    TGV:
    Why do I get the nagging feeling that this is a US-based operation?
    I don't know-- why? I'm simply dying to know.
    It might have been the standards for treating employees, which reminded me the Foxconn factories. But then I noticed the names were all weird, and there was talk of bonuses. So there you are.
  • Ralph 2012-12-03 11:53
    I'm pretty sure this large software company was not Microsoft. I mean, they don't spend money on R&D, do they? Just steal others ideas?
  • Randy 2012-12-03 11:59
    Dave Insurgent:
    If Socialism is an interface, you're only referring to the DictatorshipSocialism implementation
    I'm curious what, if any, other implementations exist.
    Dave Insurgent:
    those behaviors are the very spirit of capitalism. Take as much as you can, from anyone, from everyone.
    I think you're referring to theft, which, by the way, is openly advocated by socialism. Take from the productive and hand it out to people who haven't earned it.

    Capitalism is "Take as much as you can, from anyone, from everyone, with their consent." No one forces you to pay $2,000 for a TV. The buyer and seller agree on the price, otherwise no transaction occurs. As soon as a transaction is not voluntary -- when there is some element of force involved -- you are moving toward one of the criminal "isms" such as socialism.
  • Captain Oblivious 2012-12-03 12:02
    [quote user="dkf"][quote]
    Do the world a favor. Remind any manager who thinks like this that they are turning themselves into a part of the machine that is easily replaceable by a cheaper one.[/quote]

    Why? That's called "progress". Costs are supposed to come down as new efficiencies are found.
  • Gaza Rullz 2012-12-03 12:02
    C-Derb:
    operagost:
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    I love how to cut costs they remove things like taking time to refactor code and fix leaky roofs, but presumably leave in "important" things which are 99% of the time useless crap (pretty new feature for Clueless Client X that doesn't need to be done)

    Sadly yes this is "business as usual" in the USA. As long as the executives get hefty bonuses, that's all that matters. Go capitalism!

    Stalin and Mao killed millions with their policies. Go communism!
    Oh boy, here we go. Look, Capitalism, Socialism, Communism, etc....they've all got the exact same Achilles heel: Greed. It's just that with Capitalism it takes greed a little bit longer to destroy society. But greed will eventually win. It always does.




    Who doesn't love money ?
  • snoofle 2012-12-03 12:03
    Randy:
    As soon as a transaction is not voluntary -- when there is some element of force involved -- you are moving toward one of the criminal "isms" such as socialism.

    Hmmm. Here in the US, the IRS doesn't let you choose how much to pay in taxes, or when; it's mandatory. If you don't, they will eventually come after you and make your life miserable.

    We may well be on our way...
  • trtrwtf 2012-12-03 12:04
    Randy:

    As soon as a transaction is not voluntary -- when there is some element of force involved -- you are moving toward one of the criminal "isms" such as socialism.


    Oh, god, another bloody anarchist.
  • PiisAWheeL 2012-12-03 12:07
    Gaza Rullz:
    C-Derb:
    operagost:
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    I love how to cut costs they remove things like taking time to refactor code and fix leaky roofs, but presumably leave in "important" things which are 99% of the time useless crap (pretty new feature for Clueless Client X that doesn't need to be done)

    Sadly yes this is "business as usual" in the USA. As long as the executives get hefty bonuses, that's all that matters. Go capitalism!

    Stalin and Mao killed millions with their policies. Go communism!
    Oh boy, here we go. Look, Capitalism, Socialism, Communism, etc....they've all got the exact same Achilles heel: Greed. It's just that with Capitalism it takes greed a little bit longer to destroy society. But greed will eventually win. It always does.
    Who doesn't love money ?
    I believe Margaret Thatcher said is best: "The problem with socialism is eventually you run out of other peoples money."
  • Randy 2012-12-03 12:07
    snoofle:
    Randy:
    As soon as a transaction is not voluntary -- when there is some element of force involved -- you are moving toward one of the criminal "isms" such as socialism.

    Hmmm. Here in the US, the IRS doesn't let you choose how much to pay in taxes, or when; it's mandatory. If you don't, they will eventually come after you and make your life miserable.

    We may well be on our way...
    May??? I thought that was abundantly clear. We just re-elected someone who openly advocates and implements socialist and marxist ideas.

    Not that his most visible opponent was much better. Politics today seems to be a debate between "should we bankrupt the country at ten thousand miles an hour" or "no we should keep it below nine thousand nine hundred miles an hour".
  • Randy 2012-12-03 12:09
    trtrwtf:
    Randy:

    As soon as a transaction is not voluntary -- when there is some element of force involved -- you are moving toward one of the criminal "isms" such as socialism.

    Oh, god, another bloody anarchist.
    Do you just throw insults around at random? Or do you truly equate "no theft" with "no laws"?

    (Hint: they could hardly be farther apart.)
  • trtrwtf 2012-12-03 12:10
    Randy:
    May??? I thought that was abundantly clear. We just re-elected someone who openly advocates and implements socialist and marxist ideas.




    And may I be the first to say: nyah, nyah!


    Not that his most visible opponent was much better. Politics today seems to be a debate between "should we bankrupt the country at ten thousand miles an hour" or "no we should keep it below nine thousand nine hundred miles an hour".


    So you're an anarchist who wants to go back to the Clinton economy? I'm getting confused.
  • trtrwtf 2012-12-03 12:13
    Randy:
    trtrwtf:
    Randy:

    As soon as a transaction is not voluntary -- when there is some element of force involved -- you are moving toward one of the criminal "isms" such as socialism.

    Oh, god, another bloody anarchist.
    Do you just throw insults around at random? Or do you truly equate "no theft" with "no laws"?

    (Hint: they could hardly be farther apart.)


    Someone who wants to repeal the government is usually aome flavor of anarchist. You're the Norquist flavor, but I see no real difference between you and the spotty twerps in the park with their circle-A tattoos. Parasites, the bunch of you.
  • PiisAWheeL 2012-12-03 12:13
    The roof! The roof! The roof in on fi-... in the basement! We don't need no water it is under lots of snow!
  • Dave Insurgent 2012-12-03 12:24
    Randy:
    I think you're referring to theft, which, by the way, is openly advocated by socialism. Take from the productive and hand it out to people who haven't earned it.

    Capitalism is "Take as much as you can, from anyone, from everyone, with their consent." No one forces you to pay $2,000 for a TV. The buyer and seller agree on the price, otherwise no transaction occurs. As soon as a transaction is not voluntary -- when there is some element of force involved -- you are moving toward one of the criminal "isms" such as socialism.


    What a gloriously naive view.

    You're not nearly the capitalist you think you are, and you've not "earned" nearly as much as you think you have. The truly poor, dying, diseased, desperate have not "earned" that, either. This is the part where you use some guise over Social Darwinism (as though you even understand the concept) and pretend that somehow, one human being is really worth thousands and thousands of "others".

    I'm curious what, if any, other implementations exist.


    Canada has a DemocraticSocialism implementation. It obviously makes concessions to play along with others, but it's there, if you look.

    Also your suggestion that wealth redistribution is theft is laughable. Next you'll say taxes are. It's not a matter of kicking in your door because you made a reasonable living. The amount of money you will make in your lifetime is trivial compared to those that truly oppose wealth redistribution. You cannot start wars. You cannot sway governments. You are no one, yet you live happily conscripted by their rhetoric. The people that truly pull the strings against socialism are the ones that make more in a day than you make in a year. More in a year than you'll obviously make in your life.

    Capitalism "takes" from the productive and hands it to the owners - who do nothing but accumulate more wealth (also known as power). That's no more or less theft than any form of redistribution of an estate once it's owner passes, or taxation.

    Your assertion that this is theft fails to consider that the means that the capitalist acquired ownership was also theft. No one owned the land and the resources that they appointed to themselves, however long ago. So take. As much as you can. More than you could ever need. So much that it deprives others of health and well-being. But no - it's suggesting that every human alive have some sense of a fair shot at a life free of pain and suffering, without despair or fear; at a cost that is immeasurably small to the fewest of our kind, that is criminal.

    Your stupid is showing.
  • Randy 2012-12-03 12:26
    trtrwtf:
    Randy:
    trtrwtf:
    Randy:

    As soon as a transaction is not voluntary -- when there is some element of force involved -- you are moving toward one of the criminal "isms" such as socialism.

    Oh, god, another bloody anarchist.
    Do you just throw insults around at random? Or do you truly equate "no theft" with "no laws"?

    (Hint: they could hardly be farther apart.)


    Someone who wants to repeal the government is usually aome flavor of anarchist. You're the Norquist flavor, but I see no real difference between you and the spotty twerps in the park with their circle-A tattoos. Parasites, the bunch of you.
    I'm opposed to people with guns telling you what you may and may not buy and from whom and at what price.

    I'm not opposed to laws against theft. Rather, I'd like to see prohibitions on theft made much stronger and more comprehensive.

    And a parasite is one who eats what another produces, without compensation. In other words, a thief. Or a socialist. Keep fishing, though, maybe you can eventually come up with an insult that doesn't apply to your ideas more than mine.
  • Publius 2012-12-03 12:27
    Dave Insurgent:

    ... you dolt.

    Why do Marxists think ad-hominem attacks support their credibility, when all it does is destroy it?

    Dave Insurgent:

    You don't own the means of production just because you're the one who does the work.

    "Work" === "Means of production". Marxists are typically self-contradictory, but not always in the same sentence.

    [free-market] Capitalism is sum of voluntary exchanges between pairs of willing participants, without coercion by a third party. Don't confuse this with "Corporatism", which is "businesses" preferentially supported by the state.

    Just because no willing party is interested in a transaction with you does *not* mean there is something inherently wrong with a free market system.
  • ContraCorners 2012-12-03 12:31
    So, I read this as "to get the R&D budget down to 12% of total spending, we'll need to cut $30M from the R&D budget."

    Am I the only one wondering why Building Maintenance was part of the R&D budget?
  • trtrwtf 2012-12-03 12:32
    Randy:
    I'm opposed to people with guns telling you what you may and may not buy and from whom and at what price.

    I'm not opposed to laws against theft. Rather, I'd like to see prohibitions on theft made much stronger and more comprehensive.

    And a parasite is one who eats what another produces, without compensation. In other words, a thief. Or a socialist. Keep fishing, though, maybe you can eventually come up with an insult that doesn't apply to your ideas more than mine.


    So, who pays for the guys with the guns who implement the laws against theft? Or the guys with the big red trucks who come and keep the fire in your neighbor's house from spreading to your house? Or the roads that the guys in the red trucks drive on to get to your neighbor's house to keep your house from burning down?

    You live in a socialist country, and you want to live in a socialist country. Your problem is, you want to have it without paying for it - like any anarchist.
    The shoe fits, punk. Now go join some mosh pit somewhere and leave the economics to the grownups.
  • Randy 2012-12-03 12:34
    Dave Insurgent:
    Capitalism "takes" from the productive and hands it to the owners - who do nothing
    So when a farmer drives a tractor to plow his field, the farmer is productive but all the people who made the tractor are not? Capital -- things that make a worker's life easier and more productive -- has value too. It isn't just "the workers" who produce.

    You'd rather all farms be run by manual labor alone. A man and a hoe. Oops -- the hoe is capital too. Just use your bare fingers then.
    Dave Insurgent:
    Your stupid is showing.
    Why is it that everything you say has to include an insult? Do you think that will persuade me? That I will cower in fear of your scathing disapproval?
  • Svensson 2012-12-03 12:35
    Randy:
    Dave Insurgent:
    If Socialism is an interface, you're only referring to the DictatorshipSocialism implementation
    I'm curious what, if any, other implementations exist.

    For examples of non-dictatorship socialism, look at any prosperous first-world country. UK, Canada, France, Germany...

    Even the US has pretty significant socialist aspects to the government. What is Social Security? What is Unemployment insurance? What is FEMA doing to help people in the areas damaged by Hurricane Sandy? What is a Fire Department?



    Dave Insurgent:
    those behaviors are the very spirit of capitalism. Take as much as you can, from anyone, from everyone.
    I think you're referring to theft, which, by the way, is openly advocated by socialism. Take from the productive and hand it out to people who haven't earned it.

    Capitalism is "Take as much as you can, from anyone, from everyone, with their consent." No one forces you to pay $2,000 for a TV. The buyer and seller agree on the price, otherwise no transaction occurs. As soon as a transaction is not voluntary -- when there is some element of force involved -- you are moving toward one of the criminal "isms" such as socialism.

    Yes, that's right. And nobody "forces" anybody to work as a waiter in a restaurant for less than minimum wage. They made a bad decision to be born to poor parents and to receive a bad education. They could have chosen from many more profitable occupations such as "burglar" and "drug mule".

    b.t.w. Socialism is actually good for rich people. If you don't believe me, ask Louis XVI.
  • Dave Insurgent 2012-12-03 12:35
    Publius:

    "Work" === "Means of production". Marxists are typically self-contradictory, but not always in the same sentence.


    From Wikipedia:

    Means of production refers to physical, non-human inputs used in production—the factories, machines, and tools used to produce wealth


    Try to type the words in to the box on the screen before you type them in to the other box on the screen. But it's cool, you know what ad-hominem is. Oh wait, no you don't, because my argument wasn't against his person. I called him a dolt as a result of my argument against him. So that's 0 for 2 on Wikipedia usage.

    [free-market] Capitalism is sum of voluntary exchanges between pairs of willing participants, without coercion by a third party. Don't confuse this with "Corporatism", which is "businesses" preferentially supported by the state.


    This oversimplification fails to consider - probably due to your lack of understanding of the term means of production - that not every entity has a "fair chance" regardless of preferential treatment by the state. The capitalist entity is still bound, by its very existence, to pursue profit at any cost - this can't possibly be in the interest of the greater good. It's about each entity behaving as if it were the only one behaving the way it is (polluting, intellectual property, as an example). It's also about the fact that as power converges (which is an inevitable result of competition: some win, some lose, those that win grow bigger and make it more difficult for anyone to complete) and you end up with oligarchies.

    Just because no willing party is interested in a transaction with you does *not* mean there is something inherently wrong with a free market system.


    It does when the transaction involves something essential to my survival, like say air or water or food. It does when it means that many suffer for the benefit of the few (which again is a consequence of consolidation of wealth: which is the goal of capitalism
  • Publius 2012-12-03 12:36
    trtrwtf:
    the spotty twerps in the park with their circle-A tattoos. Parasites, the bunch of you.

    Oh, please, I beg you, oh champion of socialist policy, Parasites (defined as "a person who receives support, advantage, or the like, from another or others without giving any useful or proper return, as one who lives on the hospitality of others.") in exactly what way?
  • Randy 2012-12-03 12:36
    trtrwtf:
    So, who pays for the guys with the guns who implement the laws against theft? Or the guys with the big red trucks who come and keep the fire in your neighbor's house from spreading to your house? Or the roads that the guys in the red trucks drive on to get to your neighbor's house to keep your house from burning down?
    Who told you the only way to pay for things you want is to steal?
  • C-Derb 2012-12-03 12:38
    Publius:

    [free-market] Capitalism is sum of voluntary exchanges between pairs of willing participants, without coercion by a third party. Don't confuse this with "Corporatism", which is "businesses" preferentially supported by the state.
    I cannot imagine a society where capitalism will not eventually breed corporatism.
  • RFmich 2012-12-03 12:40
    No this could never happen in the U.S. Hey wait what's that creaking so
  • trtrwtf 2012-12-03 12:40
    Svensson:

    Even the US has pretty significant socialist aspects to the government. What is Social Security? What is Unemployment insurance? What is FEMA doing to help people in the areas damaged by Hurricane Sandy? What is a Fire Department?


    It's true, you never heard anyone squawk so loud as the former republicans whose houses took some water in the hurricane. All of a sudden, they're lining up for their suck at the teat.

    Which of course they should have, like anyone - I'd just like to hear them own up to it, join in, and start making this a better country instead of whinging all day about having to put in their bit to make it work.

    But of course these guys will be back on the anti-government bandwagon just as soon as they've got their handout and spent it.
  • trtrwtf 2012-12-03 12:41
    Randy:
    trtrwtf:
    So, who pays for the guys with the guns who implement the laws against theft? Or the guys with the big red trucks who come and keep the fire in your neighbor's house from spreading to your house? Or the roads that the guys in the red trucks drive on to get to your neighbor's house to keep your house from burning down?
    Who told you the only way to pay for things you want is to steal?


    You did, when you compared taxation to theft. I consider it a civic duty, but I guess that's out of fashion with some people.
  • Jeff 2012-12-03 12:41
    C-Derb:
    I cannot imagine a society where capitalism will not eventually breed corporatism.
    Imagine, if you can, a society where capitalists don't buy legislators because legislators don't have the power to screw around with the economy driving benefits to the aforesaid corporatists while making it punishable by violence for anyone else to start up a competing business.
  • Anon 2012-12-03 12:42
    operagost:
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    I love how to cut costs they remove things like taking time to refactor code and fix leaky roofs, but presumably leave in "important" things which are 99% of the time useless crap (pretty new feature for Clueless Client X that doesn't need to be done)

    Sadly yes this is "business as usual" in the USA. As long as the executives get hefty bonuses, that's all that matters. Go capitalism!

    Stalin and Mao killed millions with their policies. Go communism!


    Yes, because that's the only other choice. Go false dichotomies!
  • ObiWayneKenobi 2012-12-03 12:42
    snoofle:
    Randy:
    As soon as a transaction is not voluntary -- when there is some element of force involved -- you are moving toward one of the criminal "isms" such as socialism.

    Hmmm. Here in the US, the IRS doesn't let you choose how much to pay in taxes, or when; it's mandatory. If you don't, they will eventually come after you and make your life miserable.

    We may well be on our way...


    It's worse than that. It's actually voluntary (check the actual income tax law), but they claim it's mandatory and use force to "prove" that it's mandatory.
  • Dave Insurgent 2012-12-03 12:45
    Randy:
    Dave Insurgent:
    Capitalism "takes" from the productive and hands it to the owners - who do nothing
    So when a farmer drives a tractor to plow his field, the farmer is productive but all the people who made the tractor are not? Capital -- things that make a worker's life easier and more productive -- has value too. It isn't just "the workers" who produce.


    Except that you just said it is: the workers produced the machine which enables another worker to produce food. That's no the same thing as "owners" in the context of what I said. The money that the farmer pays for that machine, which is of great utility, doesn't go in to the pockets of the workers at nearly the rate of the businessman who owns the factory. How does he own the factory? Certainly not, in all but a very, very few number of cases, by his own labor. No, he acquired it through investment, likely through money and connections supplied to him by family and friends. He will continue to grow wealthier and wealthier while those that actually do the work in his shop gain very little. They trod along, hoping that they are producing enough profit for him that he wont fire one of them or undertake some other affront to their health and safety in the name of Profit. I would concede this to be a hypothetical, perhaps even hyperbolic argument against capitalism were it not for the fact that it's happening every day all over the country. The only way you can endorse this system is if you are already a holder of wealth, or foolish enough to think that one day you will be. And again - wealth is not a sum you can think of right now. Having a million dollars in the bank does not make you wealthy. Everyone here should expect, in order to enjoy a modest retirement, an easy million in the bank. You don't have nearly as much to fear from socialism as you think. Like it has been said, see Canada, France, UK, etc. for actual non-dictatorial implementations of socialist democracy.
  • Anon 2012-12-03 12:46
    Randy:
    May??? I thought that was abundantly clear. We just re-elected someone who openly advocates and implements socialist and marxist ideas.


    Oh STFU. Your Fox News fantasy of what Obama stood for is completely the opposite to what he actually stands for.
  • trtrwtf 2012-12-03 12:47
    Publius:
    trtrwtf:
    the spotty twerps in the park with their circle-A tattoos. Parasites, the bunch of you.

    Oh, please, I beg you, oh champion of socialist policy, Parasites (defined as "a person who receives support, advantage, or the like, from another or others without giving any useful or proper return, as one who lives on the hospitality of others.") in exactly what way?


    In that they want the favors of government - police, armies, roads, regulation of food and drug purity, that sort of good stuff - without paying for it.
    Parasites by definition - your definition.

    Read a newspaper - a bunch of nimrods running this country off the cliff to save their donors from paying their fair share. (And then they have the godalmighty nerve to call someone else an elitist? Some kind of neck these guys got, I'll tell you what)
  • Anon 2012-12-03 12:48
    TGV:
    Why do I get the nagging feeling that this is a US-based operation?


    Unlikely. The potential liability would send most corporate lawyers into convulsions.
  • trtrwtf 2012-12-03 12:48
    ObiWayneKenobi:

    It's worse than that. It's actually voluntary (check the actual income tax law), but they claim it's mandatory and use force to "prove" that it's mandatory.


    Income tax law is a pretty big book. Can you maybe provide a reference?
  • ObiWayneKenobi 2012-12-03 12:50
    trtrwtf:
    ObiWayneKenobi:

    It's worse than that. It's actually voluntary (check the actual income tax law), but they claim it's mandatory and use force to "prove" that it's mandatory.


    Income tax law is a pretty big book. Can you maybe provide a reference?


    How about you provide a reference saying where it's required to pay it? Because from the documentaries I've seen, nobody in the IRS seems to know the passage that states that... perhaps you could help them find it?
  • Anon 2012-12-03 12:51
    Xing:
    As long as the repair is pushed to the next fiscal year, the executives can collect their bonus for hitting cost cutting targets.


    And even better, since next year is going to see costs sky-rocket because they need to rebuild / or buy a building, the executives will simply quit and get a new job boosting about how they slashed spending at their last job!
  • Dave Insurgent 2012-12-03 12:55
    Jeff:
    C-Derb:
    I cannot imagine a society where capitalism will not eventually breed corporatism.
    Imagine, if you can, a society where capitalists don't buy legislators because legislators don't have the power to screw around with the economy driving benefits to the aforesaid corporatists while making it punishable by violence for anyone else to start up a competing business.


    So let me get this straight: legislation is bad, because it allows capitalists to treat us in ways that are awful. But no legislation is good, because then capitalists would treat us well? This is because a capitalist is only a corporatist when there is a state to be bought? As soon as that state disappears, the same entities that hold the power would no longer be able to hold that power despite their immense wealth and influence over much more than just government? Or what, they'd just play nice all of a sudden?

    From a reset-button point of view, sure, I'd like to see it play out in some kind of simulation. But from where we are? You're basically just completely removing the safety from a gun. It's not like, in the absence of lobbying and money in politics, suddenly Wal-Mart is going to go "oh geez, all this ma' and pa' shops opened up and we have no idea what to do!"

    The consolidation of power by a few people has many outcomes, corporatism being just one of them. None of them are Good For You. The difference is that with a government, and I mean a real democratically elected government that is afraid of its people as they should be, their interest is everyone. In the cast of any form of capitalism, free market or not, the interest is within the entity first. It's incredibly simple. They will kill as many people as it takes, through working conditions or negligence, as long as the net change is profit.
  • trtrwtf 2012-12-03 12:55
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    trtrwtf:
    ObiWayneKenobi:

    It's worse than that. It's actually voluntary (check the actual income tax law), but they claim it's mandatory and use force to "prove" that it's mandatory.


    Income tax law is a pretty big book. Can you maybe provide a reference?


    How about you provide a reference saying where it's required to pay it? Because from the documentaries I've seen, nobody in the IRS seems to know the passage that states that... perhaps you could help them find it?



    I'm at work, earning money and keeping the economy rolling, so I can't really do a lot of research right at the moment. Since you seemed pretty sure, I figured you might have some sort of idea what you were talking about. No such luck though.

    Unfortunately, I don't have time to really read through it and evaluate it right now, but google returned this, seems like it might be relevant.

    http://www.quatloos.com/taxscams/taxprot2.htm
  • citationplease 2012-12-03 12:56
    Is US Code Title 26 Chapter 1 not sufficient?
    http://uscode.house.gov/download/title_26.shtml

    Under authority derived from the Constitution, Article I Section 8 http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_transcript.html

    If you have a citation proving tax is voluntary I'd surely love to see it.
  • C-Derb 2012-12-03 12:57
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    trtrwtf:
    ObiWayneKenobi:

    It's worse than that. It's actually voluntary (check the actual income tax law), but they claim it's mandatory and use force to "prove" that it's mandatory.


    Income tax law is a pretty big book. Can you maybe provide a reference?


    How about you provide a reference saying where it's required to pay it? Because from the documentaries I've seen, nobody in the IRS seems to know the passage that states that... perhaps you could help them find it?
    How about you just don't pay your taxes and let us know how that works out for you? Maybe you could use your saved tax dollars to hire a lawyer who can provide a reference?
  • Mason Wheeler 2012-12-03 12:59
    lanmind:
    I once working in a poultry slaughter house as network admin. I don't recall why, but for some reason the place had been (thankfully, only for a few weeks) overrun by flies.


    ...maybe because you were in a poultry slaughter house?

    Before Pasteur and omne vivum ex ovo, people used to think that raw meat was literally where flies came from.
  • ObiWayneKenobi 2012-12-03 13:00
    C-Derb:
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    trtrwtf:
    ObiWayneKenobi:

    It's worse than that. It's actually voluntary (check the actual income tax law), but they claim it's mandatory and use force to "prove" that it's mandatory.


    Income tax law is a pretty big book. Can you maybe provide a reference?


    How about you provide a reference saying where it's required to pay it? Because from the documentaries I've seen, nobody in the IRS seems to know the passage that states that... perhaps you could help them find it?
    How about you just don't pay your taxes and let us know how that works out for you? Maybe you could use your saved tax dollars to hire a lawyer who can provide a reference?


    That was the point. The income tax law said it was voluntary, but the government says its mandatory and uses force (i.e. police) to enforce it being mandatory. I recall a documentary where they interviewed some IRS guy and asked him to show where it said income tax was mandatory, and he said something ridiculous like "It's mandatory because we have proven it through prosecution in court".

    Incidentally the Supreme Court also ruled at one point that it was unconstitutional to tax labor, yet the income tax does just that. Go figure.
  • trtrwtf 2012-12-03 13:04
    ObiWayneKenobi:

    That was the point. The income tax law said it was voluntary, but the government says its mandatory and uses force (i.e. police) to enforce it being mandatory. I recall a documentary where they interviewed some IRS guy and asked him to show where it said income tax was mandatory, and he said something ridiculous like "It's mandatory because we have proven it through prosecution in court".


    Seriously? You remember in a documentary you saw where someone interviewed "some IRS guy" and asked him to cite chapter and verse of the tax code, and he couldn't do it - and that's why you think it's voluntary?

    What the holy fucking crap are you smoking?
  • Mason Wheeler 2012-12-03 13:04
    operagost:
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    I love how to cut costs they remove things like taking time to refactor code and fix leaky roofs, but presumably leave in "important" things which are 99% of the time useless crap (pretty new feature for Clueless Client X that doesn't need to be done)

    Sadly yes this is "business as usual" in the USA. As long as the executives get hefty bonuses, that's all that matters. Go capitalism!

    Stalin and Mao killed millions with their policies. Go communism!


    I think a big part of the confusion is that what we call "capitalism" these days... isn't. Capitalism was defined by Adam Smith, but if you were to read what he wrote about it, (note: actually read, with some degree of reading comprehension skill required, as opposed to simply cherry-picking a few specific ideas,) what he describes is a shockingly different system than right-wingers today hold as the capitalist ideal.

    The term was hijacked by Ayn Rand and replaced with a system that, highly vocal professions of "freedom" notwithstanding, bear a much closer resemblance to fascism than to capitalism. These days, if you go around advocating the true capitalist ideals that Adam Smith taught, you're likely to get called a socialist.
  • Randy 2012-12-03 13:05
    Dave Insurgent:
    The money that the farmer pays for that machine, which is of great utility, doesn't go in to the pockets of the workers at nearly the rate of the businessman who owns the factory.
    But the factory was also built by laborers, who were paid for their work, which is why the factory costs so much. And so it goes, back layer by layer, every capital tool was made by workers. It isn't just the "front line" visible worker who has merit, and the capital is evil and exploitative.

    BTW I don't often see a factory or other large capital item owned by "a businessman". Most of them are owned by corporations. Think railroads, for example. The corporation, in turn, is owned by millions of shareholders, potentially including you. These shareholders lend their modest resources to the corporation in hopes that the corporation will find a way to make an improvement, also known as a return on investment.

    As an investor, if you know you are going to lose money, you'll probably not loan your money to that corporation. No, you hope to come out ahead. And when two companies are bidding for your money, you'll be likely to choose the one you think will reward you better. This is the "insatiable lust for profits" that statists cannot tolerate.

    As an investor, you may also discover that there aren't many people who can reliably produce a return on your investment. Thus, you may be willing to provide a reward to the few who can. Let's call it a bonus. Someone gives you a hundred dollars return on your investment, and you happily reward that good behavior with a two dollar bonus. So do the other million investors -- gladly, voluntarily. That business leader who knew how to do what few others could earned a two million dollar bonus. Yes, earned it, by virtue of the wealth he produced with his superior abilities.

    I know some people hate to see someone rewarded for achievement, but it was all voluntary. No theft required.

    By the way, thanks for finally curtailing your habit of hurling insults.
  • C-Derb 2012-12-03 13:05
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    C-Derb:
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    trtrwtf:
    ObiWayneKenobi:

    It's worse than that. It's actually voluntary (check the actual income tax law), but they claim it's mandatory and use force to "prove" that it's mandatory.


    Income tax law is a pretty big book. Can you maybe provide a reference?


    How about you provide a reference saying where it's required to pay it? Because from the documentaries I've seen, nobody in the IRS seems to know the passage that states that... perhaps you could help them find it?
    How about you just don't pay your taxes and let us know how that works out for you? Maybe you could use your saved tax dollars to hire a lawyer who can provide a reference?


    That was the point. The income tax law said it was voluntary, but the government says its mandatory and uses force (i.e. police) to enforce it being mandatory. I recall a documentary where they interviewed some IRS guy and asked him to show where it said income tax was mandatory, and he said something ridiculous like "It's mandatory because we have proven it through prosecution in court".
    So your problem is with the court. That's part of how this country works: Laws get written, courts interpret them. Apparently the court has said that the law states you must pay taxes. Disagreeing and regurgitating circular logic doesn't change anything.

    In the meantime, fill out another 1040-EZ and be on your way.
  • ObiWayneKenobi 2012-12-03 13:06
    America isn't capitalist anyways, it's corporatist, and that's a big part why things are so fucked up. Everything revolves around big business and the inevitable lobbying that they do.
  • trtrwtf 2012-12-03 13:08
    Mason Wheeler:

    I think a big part of the confusion is that what we call "capitalism" these days... isn't. Capitalism was defined by Adam Smith, but if you were to read what he wrote about it, (note: actually read, with some degree of reading comprehension skill required, as opposed to simply cherry-picking a few specific ideas,) what he describes is a shockingly different system than right-wingers today hold as the capitalist ideal.

    The term was hijacked by Ayn Rand and replaced with a system that, highly vocal professions of "freedom" notwithstanding, bear a much closer resemblance to fascism than to capitalism. These days, if you go around advocating the true capitalist ideals that Adam Smith taught, you're likely to get called a socialist.


    This.
    /thread - everyone go do your homework now!
  • Bub 2012-12-03 13:15
    Randy:
    trtrwtf:
    Randy:

    As soon as a transaction is not voluntary -- when there is some element of force involved -- you are moving toward one of the criminal "isms" such as socialism.

    Oh, god, another bloody anarchist.
    Do you just throw insults around at random? Or do you truly equate "no theft" with "no laws"?

    (Hint: they could hardly be farther apart.)


    Anarchism != no laws

    Anarchism == no arbitrary authority hierarchy

    Regardless, I agree with you that the comparison was utterly incorrect
  • Mason Wheeler 2012-12-03 13:17
    Dave Insurgent:
    Jeff:
    C-Derb:
    I cannot imagine a society where capitalism will not eventually breed corporatism.
    Imagine, if you can, a society where capitalists don't buy legislators because legislators don't have the power to screw around with the economy driving benefits to the aforesaid corporatists while making it punishable by violence for anyone else to start up a competing business.


    So let me get this straight: legislation is bad, because it allows capitalists to treat us in ways that are awful. But no legislation is good, because then capitalists would treat us well? This is because a capitalist is only a corporatist when there is a state to be bought? As soon as that state disappears, the same entities that hold the power would no longer be able to hold that power despite their immense wealth and influence over much more than just government? Or what, they'd just play nice all of a sudden?

    From a reset-button point of view, sure, I'd like to see it play out in some kind of simulation. But from where we are? You're basically just completely removing the safety from a gun. It's not like, in the absence of lobbying and money in politics, suddenly Wal-Mart is going to go "oh geez, all this ma' and pa' shops opened up and we have no idea what to do!"

    The consolidation of power by a few people has many outcomes, corporatism being just one of them. None of them are Good For You. The difference is that with a government, and I mean a real democratically elected government that is afraid of its people as they should be, their interest is everyone. In the cast of any form of capitalism, free market or not, the interest is within the entity first. It's incredibly simple. They will kill as many people as it takes, through working conditions or negligence, as long as the net change is profit.


    Exactly. If you look at the history of the world, and of social organizations (of any type) throughout history, you'll find that all social organization that remains stable for any non-trivial amount of time share the same essential organization pattern, which is basically the pattern of a family tree. This pattern is pyramid shaped, with a patriarch (or a very small number of rulers) at the top, and multiple layers beneath, each larger and less powerful than the last.

    Families, tribes, governments, churches, businesses, social clubs--any serious organization has this structure, the pattern of human nature. There are plenty of differences in how the different layers are organized and what their rights and duties are, but the basic structure is always there. Organizations that attempt to subvert this basic pattern, if they become notable at all, generally do so due to being a monumental waste of potential--the most recent example being Occupy Wall Street.

    Understanding this simple fact makes it easy to understand why Libertarian philosophy is ridiculously, unworkably naive. History shows us, again and again, that where the basic power structure of human nature does not exist, the social organization finds a way to produce it, or it falls apart. (Or it falls apart until it produces it.) On a national scale, this is called a power vacuum, and it tends to produce hideous conditions of warfare and oppression beyond the darkest dreams of the most tyrannical dictators. (Just look at Somalia!)

    The power of the government, if the government were to relinquish it, would not, as Libertarians seem to think, simply vanish into a magical puff of rainbows and sparkles and more freedom for everyone. It would create a power vacuum, until someone with the will to power showed up to take that power, as it always has throughout human history.

    So, given the choice between having that power in the hands of democratically elected representatives that I can vote out if they do a bad job, or having that power in the hands of a conqueror, I'll choose the former every time.
  • Pita 2012-12-03 13:20
    T.R.:
    Bill Coleman:
    where common sense is thrown out the window


    It is actually thrown out of the hole in the wall.

    What wall?
  • trtrwtf 2012-12-03 13:22
    Bub:


    Anarchism != no laws

    Anarchism == no arbitrary authority hierarchy

    Regardless, I agree with you that the comparison was utterly incorrect


    Perfectly correct. Not all corporatist goons are anarchists, and not all anarchists are corporatist goons, but anyone who wants to revoke the government is at least in the ordinary usage, an anarchist.

    Yes, I am aware that, to an anarchist, anarchism is much more involved and debated political philosophy, but in the ordinary usage an anarchist is someone who wants to kick it over for the sake of kicking it over. If he means what he says, which I doubt, Randy fits the bill.
  • foxyshadis 2012-12-03 13:23
    Andrew:
    A building has been structurally compromised and Greg thinks along the lines that people can keep working if they don't have rubble on their desks.

    Flee! Flee from this wretched organization!

    It's Stockholm Syndrome. I currently have a rather nice manager, but he's obsessed with cost-cutting (and rather ADD), so he doesn't authorize any expenses anymore, no matter how small, until the problem blows up and costs a hundred times as much in productivity. Maybe he's passive-aggressively sabotaging the department's reputation to get back at the asshole President (who remembers a time when there was no IT and the company got along fine), but he's been browbeaten and bullied so much in the last ~8 years he's been here about IT being a wasteful cost center that he's just afraid to do anything to set them off.
  • C-Derb 2012-12-03 13:23
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    America isn't capitalist anyways, it's corporatist, and that's a big part why things are so fucked up. Everything revolves around big business and the inevitable lobbying that they do.
    +1

    It is also a big part of why things are so hard to change. Show me a common sense solution to a widely acknowledged problem, and I will show you someone who will lobby against it because change will impact their bottom line.
  • C-Derb 2012-12-03 13:29
    C-Derb:
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    America isn't capitalist anyways, it's corporatist, and that's a big part why things are so fucked up. Everything revolves around big business and the inevitable lobbying that they do.
    +1

    It is also a big part of why things are so hard to change. Show me a common sense solution to a widely acknowledged problem, and I will show you a corporation who will lobby against it because change will impact their bottom line.
    FTFM
  • Dave Insurgent 2012-12-03 13:29
    Randy:
    But the factory was also built by laborers, who were paid for their work, which is why the factory costs so much.


    It is unfair to say the factory "cost" so much - as it implies a loss - when, if it were truly because of the workers, that money would be spent as quickly as it came. Not all of it, but certainly much more of it than what would be accumulated by the wealthy owners. So sure, it costs, but again that goes back to my point that these entities only think of themselves. How can the whole improve? You hopefully don't think it's reductionist to be suspect of many independent pieces not considering their interactions beyond a few parameters?

    And so it goes, back layer by layer, every capital tool was made by workers. It isn't just the "front line" visible worker who has merit, and the capital is evil and exploitative.


    Yes but the difference is the ownership! You've completely sidestepped my point that in fact, the workers are not the means of production nor do they own it. You've a fetish for "voluntary" yet you seem to think there's no difference between voluntary participation, and say, choosing your means of execution.

    BTW I don't often see a factory or other large capital item owned by "a businessman". Most of them are owned by corporations. Think railroads, for example. The corporation, in turn, is owned by millions of shareholders, potentially including you. These shareholders lend their modest resources


    I'll stop you there. If you've only moderate resources, then once again I'll say it: you're not a real capitalist. Yes you're participating in the charade, but as it has been very well said a few posts ago: the current meaning of capitalist is corporatist. You're not a corporation. You're a small shareholder. You're plenty likely to have all your wealth wiped out by some manipulation of the markets by the real capitalists (which are the mega entities: either individuals of obscene wealth or corporations).

    ... to the corporation in hopes that the corporation will find a way to make an improvement, also known as a return on investment.


    Yeah, yeah, we get it. There's a difference between the philosophy and the perversion of the implementation. Return on investment is fine and dandy when it pays mind to the effect on those that aren't participating on the investment, on the environment, on the people producing the return. It does not, these days.

    As an investor, if you know you are going to lose money, you'll probably not loan your money to that corporation. No, you hope to come out ahead. And when two companies are bidding for your money, you'll be likely to choose the one you think will reward you better. This is the "insatiable lust for profits" that statists cannot tolerate.


    It's really not. A logical, rational choice so as to avoid self-harm is nothing intolerable. The lust for profits goes so far beyond that, I cannot believe you honestly don't see it. I can't even begin to attempt to convince you, because I don't know which part of you is so broken that you can't see what is right in front of you.

    As an investor, you may also discover that there aren't many people who can reliably produce a return on your investment. Thus, you may be willing to provide a reward to the few who can. Let's call it a bonus. Someone gives you a hundred dollars return on your investment, and you happily reward that good behavior with a two dollar bonus. So do the other million investors -- gladly, voluntarily. That business leader who knew how to do what few others could earned a two million dollar bonus. Yes, earned it, by virtue of the wealth he produced with his superior abilities.


    Oh he certainly did - and the entire equation pays no mind to the cost at which he produced it. This is the insatiable lust for profits. It's the fact that who cares if children make the clothes? As long as I receive a larger return on investment!

    I know some people hate to see someone rewarded for achievement, but it was all voluntary. No theft required.


    You speak in binary. As though there is only "multi-million dollar bonus as a reward for putting thousands of people out of work and destroying families" and "theft". It is troublesome that you can only think in terms of such extremes, that you cannot even begin to fathom a world where people don't pursue things as much as humanly possible with no regard for consequence or scarcity. When I think of "capitalist" I don't think of the owner of a small shop. It may be true that would be the original definition, but that's not where we are. I do think capitalist to be synonymous with corporatist, but I also have to suspect that the later is merely the second phase of the former. When competition, win-or-lose, live-or-die, is the spirit of your essence, I can't see how that can be good for most of the inhabitants of our planet. A few? Surely. Not most.
  • lanmind 2012-12-03 13:30
    Mason Wheeler:
    lanmind:
    I once working in a poultry slaughter house as network admin. I don't recall why, but for some reason the place had been (thankfully, only for a few weeks) overrun by flies.


    ...maybe because you were in a poultry slaughter house?

    Before Pasteur and omne vivum ex ovo, people used to think that raw meat was literally where flies came from.

    Not as much as you might think. I worked there for about seven long years, and it was only overrun with flies that one time for six to eight weeks.

    The story also reminded me that, at the same place, I had to cover my gigantic APC Symetra racks with plastic to keep the roof from leaking onto them. Thank God it's only 220 triple phase, right? Oh, they did "try" to fix it, but we're evidently incapable of producing the sort of technology needed to keep offices dry...
  • Bub 2012-12-03 13:35
    trtrwtf:
    Bub:


    Anarchism != no laws

    Anarchism == no arbitrary authority hierarchy

    Regardless, I agree with you that the comparison was utterly incorrect


    Perfectly correct. Not all corporatist goons are anarchists, and not all anarchists are corporatist goons, but anyone who wants to revoke the government is at least in the ordinary usage, an anarchist.

    Yes, I am aware that, to an anarchist, anarchism is much more involved and debated political philosophy, but in the ordinary usage an anarchist is someone who wants to kick it over for the sake of kicking it over. If he means what he says, which I doubt, Randy fits the bill.


    Yes, the vernacular use of "anarchism" is pretty mindless.

    Somewhat ironically, if those same wretched punks were burning, smashing & crapping on stuff in an actual anarchistic society, they would likely be staring down the business end of a lot of privately-owned firearms.

  • lanmind 2012-12-03 13:38
    The political discourse on this thread reminds me of a GTA radio station. All we need is Maurice Chavez narrating.
  • ObiWayneKenobi 2012-12-03 13:43
    Human greed is what leads to rubbish like charging $500 for something that costs you $100 to make/purchase, or the average CEO "needing" to make 3000% more than his workers for no reason other than to fuel his own ego and make him feel important. That's the root of what corporatism is, it's not about "return on investment" it's about squeezing as much as humanly (and legally) possible due to one's own greedy nature.

    In an ideal world these people would be entitled to a profit, of course, but not the crazy extent which we have now. This is more like feudalism: A handful of lords in their castles living like kings while the rest of us toil in the fields to fund their extravagance for the meager scraps they throw to us.

    Most corporations are run like plantations or feudal fiefdoms.
  • Bub 2012-12-03 13:44
    "When competition, win-or-lose, live-or-die, is the spirit of your essence, I can't see how that can be good for most of the inhabitants of our planet."

    You may not be aware of this, but you have just described the operating ruleset of all life on this planet. Seems to have been working out OK for millions of years.

    Your "greater good" philosophy is a quasi-religious luxury afforded to the intellectually idle, cosseted by their astonishing - and unappreciated - wealth.

  • ObiWayneKenobi 2012-12-03 13:45
    lanmind:
    The political discourse on this thread reminds me of a GTA radio station. All we need is Maurice Chavez narrating.


    This is Pressing Issues, only on Vice City Public Radio!
  • Bub 2012-12-03 13:47
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    lanmind:
    The political discourse on this thread reminds me of a GTA radio station. All we need is Maurice Chavez narrating.


    This is Pressing Issues!


    But, but, but...we're only one political rant away from changing the world!

    ;)

    Do it for the children!
  • CFO Idiot 2012-12-03 13:47
    This could easily be Montreal in the beautiful province of Quebec, Canada.
    They have lots of snow, they have lots of poorly constructed buildings (the mayor just quit recently because he was being paid bribes by construction companies to ignore safety), and there are many bureaucratic idiots running the shops.
  • Meneth 2012-12-03 13:48
  • trtrwtf 2012-12-03 13:49
    Bub:

    Somewhat ironically, if those same wretched punks were burning, smashing & crapping on stuff in an actual anarchistic society, they would likely be staring down the business end of a lot of privately-owned firearms.


    Yep. To quote one of the more honorable anarchists I've known: "In the war of all against all, you ain't nothin' but a light snack".
  • Dave Insurgent 2012-12-03 13:53
    I'd also like to add that some unidentified group have been called parasites, repeatedly in this thread.

    It can't be further from the truth. Go tell someone who works at Foxconn that they are only in their situation because they are dumb or lazy. Go tell someone who works three jobs and has no health insurance that it's their fault and they're a parasite looking for handouts. They likely work harder than you have ever known.

    The real parasites, the ones that don't want to do anything, will always find ways to leech. When you oppose socialist initiatives because you think it means that you're endorsing laziness, you're only hurting the former. The later will beg, cheat and steal in ways you can't imagine and they will persevere. They're also the obscenely wealthy, who's money makes more money through mere inevitability, who don't have to do anything for themselves. In the middle, the people who actually stand to win or lose from any system, are the people who don't have it all, but just want a chance. And if you have to give health care to a few people who don't "deserve" it (because being alive is not enough of a reason to be free from pain and suffering, a separate issue), in order to ensure that a few who do get it? So be it.

    Globalization didn't unite the world. All it did was make people realize that they can royally screw over a few million people for the benefit of a few thousand and it wouldn't be so noticeable. Even when it does get discovered, only enough is done, a token, to appeal to whatever disapproval comes up. But nobody actually stands up - we don't throw out our computers because of it - because our survival is just as hopelessly tied to feeding off the refuse of this kind of human waste, that we dare not actually make a stand.

    I'm generally pretty cynical about people. They are lazy. I'm lazy. They're greedy. I'm greedy. But one thing I don't believe is that people are only motivated by profit. Many things have been done - and many things are worth doing - that were not done - or would not be done - for the sake of "profit".

    I've said this before elsewhere: if, in another 200 years, we're still working 40-60 hours a week trying to pay off mortgages and credit cards and people still have to choose between pain-reliving (or even life-providing) medication and nutritious food and clean water, I'd say we've failed to advance as a species. Failed miserably.
  • Bub 2012-12-03 13:57
    trtrwtf:
    Bub:

    Somewhat ironically, if those same wretched punks were burning, smashing & crapping on stuff in an actual anarchistic society, they would likely be staring down the business end of a lot of privately-owned firearms.


    Yep. To quote one of the more honorable anarchists I've known: "In the war of all against all, you ain't nothin' but a light snack".


    Brilliant. I'm shamelessly stealing that one :)
  • Dave Insurgent 2012-12-03 13:59
    Bub:
    "When competition, win-or-lose, live-or-die, is the spirit of your essence, I can't see how that can be good for most of the inhabitants of our planet."

    You may not be aware of this, but you have just described the operating ruleset of all life on this planet. Seems to have been working out OK for millions of years.

    Your "greater good" philosophy is a quasi-religious luxury afforded to the intellectually idle, cosseted by their astonishing - and unappreciated - wealth.



    You may not be aware of this, but most other forms of life on this planet go through an awful lot of suffering in order to get by with very low odds of survival. It's quantity over quality.

    My "greater good" philosophy has nothing to do with religion (which was really just your attempt at suggesting I am not well reasoned). Morality is separate, and our being a higher form of life (insofar as intelligence, or at least, the potential for it) is that we look at life as more than just something to replicate. Quality over quantity. If this were untrue, if I were to play by the "OK" laws of nature as you cite, then I should breed as much as possible and act in any way I see fit towards my own survival.
  • ObiWayneKenobi 2012-12-03 14:01
    We've already failed miserably as a species. All the advancement we've made and the power is still held by a very tiny minority of people, who often don't deserve a fraction of that power and were born into it without having to work for it. Look at the wreck that is the how medicine works; it's all controlled by big faceless pharmaceutical corps that don't give a shit about actually helping people, they're more concerned about how to make a profit off of things that should be provided for the betterment of humankind. The people who really need the meds can't afford it because big pharma wants to mark up the cost to ludicrous amounts to pad their own pockets, and the people with tons of money to throw around get treatment while the poor are left to die (it was satirical but there was I believe a South Park episode that joked the cure for AIDS was having millions of dollars).

    Same with many doctors; one used to become a doctor because of a desire to help people and treat the sick, now it's a reason to make a six figure salary and become wealthy, morals be damned, helping those who need it be damned.

    That's the great evil of corporatism: Everything must revolve around "How do I profit from this?" instead of "How does this benefit society?" and the thought of helping others or providing goods/services to the needy takes a back seat to greed.
  • Mason Wheeler 2012-12-03 14:07
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    That's the great evil of corporatism: Everything must revolve around "How do I profit from this?" instead of "How does this benefit society?" and the thought of helping others or providing goods/services to the needy takes a back seat to greed.


    Exactly. And this goes back to what I was saying earlier about how the term "capitalism" itself has been corrupted by Ayn Rand.

    If you look at Adam Smith's writings, he was much more a moralist than an economist. His work was an attempt to answer the question, "how can a morally good society be successfully established along capitalist principles?" Many of his arguments boil down to the idea that, when done right, working for your own good also ends up benefiting the greater good of society in general, which shows that the system works.

    This is in sharp contrast to Rand, who denies the very concept of the greater good of society as an evil socialist plot designed to enslave us all.
  • lanmind 2012-12-03 14:08
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    lanmind:
    The political discourse on this thread reminds me of a GTA radio station. All we need is Maurice Chavez narrating.


    This is Pressing Issues, only on Vice City Public Radio!


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U09N7LOyOq0

    Also, akismet sucks.
  • ObiWayneKenobi 2012-12-03 14:12
    I should add that I don't condone a true Communist society where everything is free, but use common sense. Medical attention and medication SHOULD be made freely available or extremely cheap. Living facilities should be the same way. Even basic foodstuffs I feel should fall under that category.

    Making some profit for your work is acceptable and understandable. Making a 500% profit just because you're a greedy immoral scumbag and can get away with charging that much, however, is not.
  • Bub 2012-12-03 14:13
    "...then I should breed as much as possible and act in any way I see fit towards my own survival."

    And you may likely fail were to behave so. Real life is far more complex than your reduction.

    Your obsession with how much profit people should be allowed to make, or how 'greedy' they are, or how they 'screw' others over, is a sign that you have too much time spent in idle comfort. Perhaps you _should_ spend more time in the harder environs of nature - it may improve your perspective.

    Me? I'll step over the corpses of a million grandmothers to get to my gilded armchair, then whip legions of immigrant orphan children until they bring me my pipe and slippers - made from clubbed kittens, natch - as I laugh at the filthy disease-ridden peasants begging at my door for a drop of penicillin.
  • Dave Insurgent 2012-12-03 14:14
    I agree that it is ugly, but I don't think we've failed just yet.

    More and more people are starting to realize that, for previous generations, the simple prosperity afforded to them (which initially appeared to just be "progress") involved a tremendous amount of suffering in other parts of the globe - it involved attitudes towards economic policy that were (and continue to be) unsustainable.

    As I said above, our effort, through what I can only summarize as civilization, to prioritize quality of life over quantity of life, involve things like population growth control - which conflicts with our growth-based economic model. There has to be a change. I think the change is inevitable, I think the only uncertainty is whether it's going to be gradual or spontaneous, whether it's due to paradigm shifts through reform, or through collapse and violence. I suspect, though not with any academic credibility, that a lot of people are going to die until the elite relinquish their control and thus it will be the later, but I hope for the former.
  • Bub 2012-12-03 14:16
    "This is in sharp contrast to Rand, who denies the very concept of the greater good of society as an evil socialist plot designed to enslave us all."

    Not really. I think she was objecting to the way such "greater good" morality was forced upon people. I do not see that she objected to a genuine desire to personally help others.
  • Bub 2012-12-03 14:19
    "Making some profit for your work is acceptable and understandable. Making a 500% profit just because you're a greedy immoral scumbag and can get away with charging that much, however, is not."

    I'm curious - can you describe your calculus for determining what is 'acceptable' levels of profit?
  • Dave Insurgent 2012-12-03 14:20
    Bub:
    "...then I should breed as much as possible and act in any way I see fit towards my own survival."

    And you may likely fail were to behave so. Real life is far more complex than your reduction.


    It's not a reduction. It is the behavior of every other form of life we've encountered to date. As I said, it does terrible for the individual: it's about quantity over quality. I would likely fail, but that's not what this is about and you're proving my point. With intelligence, we understand that as individuals we are likely to fail and we see the benefit of working together. Other forms of life will over-consume their environment and though it still "works" (as you say, "OK for millions of years") - it sucks for most of them. Show me an animal that will refrain from procreation because it understands resource scarcity.

    Your obsession with how much profit people should be allowed to make, or how 'greedy' they are, or how they 'screw' others over, is a sign that you have too much time spent in idle comfort. Perhaps you _should_ spend more time in the harder environs of nature - it may improve your perspective.


    This is a stupid argument. I mean no offense, but it is stupid. We're arguing on an internet forum. You can't use "you have too much free time" as an argument. Your obsession with how much free time people have suggests you don't make very good use of your time. Neener-neener?
  • Dave Insurgent 2012-12-03 14:22
    Bub:
    "Making some profit for your work is acceptable and understandable. Making a 500% profit just because you're a greedy immoral scumbag and can get away with charging that much, however, is not."

    I'm curious - can you describe your calculus for determining what is 'acceptable' levels of profit?


    An amount inversely related to the overall well-being of the society that produced said wealth. It's not finite and it changes as the situation changes. (We're being invaded by aliens! What about the profits!?)

    But, for a start, I mean a real basic start, we could say no more than 100 times the minimum wage.
  • snoofle 2012-12-03 14:28
    Randy:
    snoofle:
    Randy:
    As soon as a transaction is not voluntary -- when there is some element of force involved -- you are moving toward one of the criminal "isms" such as socialism.

    Hmmm. Here in the US, the IRS doesn't let you choose how much to pay in taxes, or when; it's mandatory. If you don't, they will eventually come after you and make your life miserable.

    We may well be on our way...
    May??? I thought that was abundantly clear.

    It was; I was being coy.
  • ObiWayneKenobi 2012-12-03 14:30
    Bub:
    "Making some profit for your work is acceptable and understandable. Making a 500% profit just because you're a greedy immoral scumbag and can get away with charging that much, however, is not."

    I'm curious - can you describe your calculus for determining what is 'acceptable' levels of profit?


    Honestly I'd say when you get more than 100% profit, you start to cross the line from "I should make a profit" into "I want to rip people off." Maybe as much as 200% for things that fall squarely into the "nice to have" category (e.g. entertainment) as opposed to the "This is necessary for living" category (e.g. medication).

    But that doesn't happen. Things get marked up to hundreds of percent, just because they can be, to pad the pockets of self-entitled individuals who have deluded themselves into thinking they "deserve" such ludicrously high profits.
  • Bub 2012-12-03 14:30
    "An amount inversely related to the overall well-being of the society that produced said wealth"

    How is this 'well-being' objectively measured, and why is it related to profit levels?

    "no more than 100 times the minimum wage."

    Why 100? Why should there be _any_ arbitrary limit? If someone is willing to voluntarily pay X for something, is it relevant that X represents a profit margin of 1%, 10%, 100% or 1000%?

    Why do you and your ilk believe you have _any authority whatsoever_ to dictate profit levels for others' property?
  • urza9814 2012-12-03 14:32
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    I recall a documentary where they interviewed some IRS guy and asked him to show where it said income tax was mandatory, and he said something ridiculous like "It's mandatory because we have proven it through prosecution in court".


    Which is a completely valid argument. It's called case law. Try to understand at least the most fundamental legal concepts before you start claiming to be an expert.
  • The Big Picture Thinker 2012-12-03 14:33
    VB_adict:
    dtm:
    I don't get it - where-tf is the wtf?


    And where is the tech angle?


    Give them a break! There aren't enough bad coders left in the world from which to get tech-related WTFery on a weekly basis.
  • snoofle 2012-12-03 14:34
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    snoofle:
    Randy:
    As soon as a transaction is not voluntary -- when there is some element of force involved -- you are moving toward one of the criminal "isms" such as socialism.

    Hmmm. Here in the US, the IRS doesn't let you choose how much to pay in taxes, or when; it's mandatory. If you don't, they will eventually come after you and make your life miserable.

    We may well be on our way...


    It's worse than that. It's actually voluntary (check the actual income tax law), but they claim it's mandatory and use force to "prove" that it's mandatory.

    I believe you, but I'd love to be a fly on the wall at that tax audit..
  • PedanticCurmudgeon 2012-12-03 14:35
    Mason Wheeler:
    So, given the choice between having that power in the hands of democratically elected representatives that I can vote out if they do a bad job, or having that power in the hands of a conqueror, I'll choose the former every time.
    You were doing OK up to this point, (except remember that history is written by the winners). Here's the thing: if a group of powerful people ever managed to take over the major political parties, your vote would be as useless as it would be living under a conqueror.

    On a side note, why is it that whenever one of these threads gets sidetracked into economics or politics, the trolls always come out on both sides?
  • Coyne 2012-12-03 14:37
    Gary:
    An elaborate mechanism to lay the whole R&D team off. The new average R&D expense for the industry is now 4.5%.


    Just watch: In ten years, the industry management will be expressing puzzlement because its information technology is so out of date.

    But, hey, bonuses now!
  • joeb 2012-12-03 14:38
    No that will come from workers comp or maybe even a law suit
  • urza9814 2012-12-03 14:38
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    Bub:
    "Making some profit for your work is acceptable and understandable. Making a 500% profit just because you're a greedy immoral scumbag and can get away with charging that much, however, is not."

    I'm curious - can you describe your calculus for determining what is 'acceptable' levels of profit?


    Honestly I'd say when you get more than 100% profit, you start to cross the line from "I should make a profit" into "I want to rip people off." Maybe as much as 200% for things that fall squarely into the "nice to have" category (e.g. entertainment) as opposed to the "This is necessary for living" category (e.g. medication).

    But that doesn't happen. Things get marked up to hundreds of percent, just because they can be, to pad the pockets of self-entitled individuals who have deluded themselves into thinking they "deserve" such ludicrously high profits.


    When I do work as a freelance web developer, how the hell should I calculate what my margin is? Do I take the cost of my computer and any books and training on the courses and divide it by how long I plan to own them and consider that my expenses? Can I add in my college education? Or is it living expenses? But then when I'm earning an extra 100% above what I need to live, I'm going to buy a bigger apartment, pay more rent, have higher expenses, and therefore raise my rate again.

    Eventually _everything_ comes down to some guy saying 'well, this seems fair to me...'


    Hate arguing against you -- I'm an anarcho-syndicalist, so I tend to agree with you -- but that argument is meaningless.
  • ObiWayneKenobi 2012-12-03 14:38
    snoofle:
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    snoofle:
    Randy:
    As soon as a transaction is not voluntary -- when there is some element of force involved -- you are moving toward one of the criminal "isms" such as socialism.

    Hmmm. Here in the US, the IRS doesn't let you choose how much to pay in taxes, or when; it's mandatory. If you don't, they will eventually come after you and make your life miserable.

    We may well be on our way...


    It's worse than that. It's actually voluntary (check the actual income tax law), but they claim it's mandatory and use force to "prove" that it's mandatory.

    I believe you, but I'd love to be a fly on the wall at that tax audit..


    I've read that some people have actually had a jury rule in their favor during trials because nobody was able to provide an actual law (although I wouldn't take that bet) to the contrary. Again this is from a documentary so I'm not claiming to have intimate knowledge of the subject.
  • Bub 2012-12-03 14:39
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    Bub:
    "Making some profit for your work is acceptable and understandable. Making a 500% profit just because you're a greedy immoral scumbag and can get away with charging that much, however, is not."

    I'm curious - can you describe your calculus for determining what is 'acceptable' levels of profit?


    Honestly I'd say when you get more than 100% profit, you start to cross the line from "I should make a profit" into "I want to rip people off." Maybe as much as 200% for things that fall squarely into the "nice to have" category (e.g. entertainment) as opposed to the "This is necessary for living" category (e.g. medication).

    But that doesn't happen. Things get marked up to hundreds of percent, just because they can be, to pad the pockets of self-entitled individuals who have deluded themselves into thinking they "deserve" such ludicrously high profits.


    I think a great deal of this disagreement revolves around how you view 'profit'

    I view profit as an analog for value. The greater the perceived value, the greater the profit that can be derived from it.

    If I make something that costs me $1 (some wooden widget maybe), but sell it for $10, and people willingly buy it because of how useful they find it, why is my 1000% profit immoral, greedy or ludicrous?

    Some people earn millions of dollars for playing make-believe, others for running about a field chasing a ball, others for writing a book about how evil democrats are, others for inventing lifesaving devices. What calculus differentiates the good from the bad? And why are the good and the bad, considered as being good or bad?
  • [Your Name] 2012-12-03 14:46
    Dave Insurgent:
    No, he acquired it through investment, likely through money and connections supplied to him by family and friends. He will continue to grow wealthier and wealthier while those that actually do the work in his shop gain very little.
    Umm what? When did investment become a bad thing? What is preventing these poor down-trodden from investing on their own? Could it be that there is real risk to investment? No, because if one is to admit there is risk involved, than one must concede that return on investment is earned.

    Don't try to play at this. In my life, I've gone from earning 7.25USD/hr while supporting a wife and child -- without family or government assistance (No foodstamps, medicaid, housing, etc.). What I have managed to accumulate in the 12 years since I left home should be mine. Fair share would, to me, indicate that everyone else should be paying the same 28% I pay, or in reverse I should be paying the same rate everyone else is.

    Business and government corruption may abound, however: Living within ones means, managing ones finances, saving and investing are not only available to the super wealthy. Expecting the government to be as responsible with the money they take from me as I have been to acquire the money to be taken is not an unrealistic expectation.
  • chubertdev 2012-12-03 14:47

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  • PiisAWheeL 2012-12-03 14:54
    Ok i have 1 thing to say about the whole capitalist-socialist argument going on right now.

    Life is not fair. Nobody is born equal. That is just the breaks.
    Capitalism tries to encourage iniative by allowing people to work for their own income in any legal way they see fit. As a result, it tends to amplify these inequalities.
    Socialism tries to make everybody equal, when they are not. This is the typical result:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3h8O7V-WxWQ
  • C-Derb 2012-12-03 14:59
    PedanticCurmudgeon:

    On a side note, why is it that whenever one of these threads gets sidetracked into economics or politics, the trolls always come out on both sides?
    Maybe because there are no easy answers? Both sides tend to make some valid points.
  • PedanticCurmudgeon 2012-12-03 15:06
    C-Derb:
    PedanticCurmudgeon:

    On a side note, why is it that whenever one of these threads gets sidetracked into economics or politics, the trolls always come out on both sides?
    Maybe because there are no easy answers? Both sides tend to make the same valid points over and over again.
    FTFY
  • Dave Insurgent 2012-12-03 15:10
    Bub:
    "An amount inversely related to the overall well-being of the society that produced said wealth"

    How is this 'well-being' objectively measured, and why is it related to profit levels?


    You could start with lifespan. Some smarter folks than us might be able to drive other metrics such as disease incidence that represent overall public health.

    "no more than 100 times the minimum wage."

    Why 100? Why should there be _any_ arbitrary limit? If someone is willing to voluntarily pay X for something, is it relevant that X represents a profit margin of 1%, 10%, 100% or 1000%?


    I chose an arbitrary number both to represent a reasonable distance between the lowest and the highest: assuming minimum wage actually pays a livable wage (which admittedly is a separate argument - let's assume for this argument that we agree that people should be paid something they can live off of based on modern views of poverty: so no car, but public transport and food and clean water and an apartment building that isn't hazardous to live in) - then the maximum means that someone can live 100 times over what someone needs to survive without real pain or hunger or suffering. Why is that so outrageous?

    Why do you and your ilk believe you have _any authority whatsoever_ to dictate profit levels for others' property?


    Well, if you want to take it that way, why do you and your ilk think you have any authority whatsoever to earn profit?

    [Your Name]:
    Umm what? When did investment become a bad thing? What is preventing these poor down-trodden from investing on their own? Could it be that there is real risk to investment? No, because if one is to admit there is risk involved, than one must concede that return on investment is earned.


    My point wasn't that it was investment per se, but that the wealth required to invest in such a thing is usually handed down between families. You're playing the bootstrappy self-made millionaire card, but the evidence doesn't support those kind of tales. I grew up in a single-mom welfare home and now I make about 90K a year. Some of that was my effort. A lot of it was luck and the fact that the state was willing to spend money on me.

    Don't try to play at this. In my life, I've gone from earning 7.25USD/hr while supporting a wife and child -- without family or government assistance (No foodstamps, medicaid, housing, etc.).


    So, first and foremost: I'm very skeptical about your claim. Unless you're attempting to be deceptive with inflation (and you seem to say 12 years, so no), that's 319 a week with no tax withheld, assuming a 44 hour week. (If you worked overtime then you're manipulating facts, because few employers will pay overtime and instead will hire many part-time employees). $650/month (which is the lowest rent I've ever seen for a one bedroom in my life - feel free to correct) represents $150/week. That leaves you with $169 a week. With $10/week for public transport, you would have had $159 weekly for food, clothing and everything else. That's $22/day - which hardly covers food for our family (and we don't eat organic or anything like that), certainly doesn't cover anything else like medical or dental. When you said "I provided for my family on $7.25 an hour", what you actually meant to say was "I rolled the dice every day, giving them sub-par food and health care and was horribly fortunate that no one in my family was ill or born with a disease while I struggled with poverty and eventually found a way out."

    What I have managed to accumulate in the 12 years since I left home should be mine. Fair share would, to me, indicate that everyone else should be paying the same 28% I pay, or in reverse I should be paying the same rate everyone else is.


    No. You're just wrong, I mean - no, you don't get to pay "as much as everyone else". Someone who makes a hundred million a year enjoys comforts and securities that someone who makes 10k a year can never dream of. Their wealth is not the product of only their own work: it is built by many others. Your system doesn't scale. Not everyone can be wealthy "job creators". Some actually have to do the jobs. You also enjoyed so many other benefits: when you say you "only" made $7.25 an hour, you enjoyed protection and care, infrastructure, that enabled you to make it possible to get out of poverty. Good for you. I did the same, except I don't look back with contempt for those that are still stuck. I think, oh, I was lucky. You're the embodiment of the "Fuck you, I've got mine" side of the struggle.

    Business and government corruption may abound, however: Living within ones means, managing ones finances, saving and investing are not only available to the super wealthy. Expecting the government to be as responsible with the money they take from me as I have been to acquire the money to be taken is not an unrealistic expectation.


    Saving and investing is a very generic term. If you're saving and investing as a guy who works for a living, it's not very much. You're putting a bit away every pay to save up for retirement. You don't expect to become the next multi-millionaire - and you won't. There's nothing wrong with that.
  • Bub 2012-12-03 15:22
    "Well, if you want to take it that way, why do you and your ilk think you have any authority whatsoever to earn profit?"

    Never go full retard.

    Are you seriously challenging my individual sovereign authority over my own life?

    I make something. I have sole authority over it. It is mine. I decide to offer it for sale at a profit of 1000%. Somebody freely decides that the price is worth it. We both profit from our transaction. No coercion.

    or

    I make something. I do not have sole authority over it. Therefore, it is not truly mine. You decide I can only offer it at a certain arbitrary maximum price, dictated by your quasi-religious mantra of 'fairness' and 'greater good'. I get screwed, by you, out of optimally profiting from my work. You use force and coercion to accomplish this.

    One is not the inverse of the other. The former respects my individual liberty, the latter insults it.
  • ObiWayneKenobi 2012-12-03 15:22
    Most of the elite and powermongers didn't earn wealth anyways, they were born into it. Most business owners either had wealthy family to finance their endeavor, inherited it from a family member, or had some kind of outside connections that gave them a stepping stone that others don't have.

    Again, nobody is stating there shouldn't be profit, but to use the example saying you deserve $1M/year in payment while you pay the people who do the real work, and enable you to get that million, $10k/year is garbage. That was kind of the crux of this whole discussion. In the original article, the executives demanded budgets be cut for everyone else BUT they still gave themselves big fat bonuses, while at the same time saying how they need to cut. That's the root of the problem.
  • Dave Insurgent 2012-12-03 15:27
    Bub:
    What calculus differentiates the good from the bad? And why are the good and the bad, considered as being good or bad?


    I see your point, but I still view an actor or an athlete and being somewhat different than a corporation. Yes, they provide a service, and people are willing to pay for it. The odds are great that if the amount of their compensation was reduced, say through taxation, that they would still do what they do. Perhaps not some of the worst ones of our time - but that wouldn't be so bad would it? To have the people performing and creating because they actually love it? You might be able to notice more substance without the noise... anyway that's not really relevant.

    They are behaving rationally: they can ask for more money, and they can get it. I don't think anyone here is suggesting that capitalism isn't rational - at least to the self. It's perfectly rational given the frame in which it lives. The argument has always been, I thought, that what is rational for the self is not necessarily the best for everyone.
  • Dave Insurgent 2012-12-03 15:34
    Bub:
    "Well, if you want to take it that way, why do you and your ilk think you have any authority whatsoever to earn profit?"

    Never go full retard.


    You should heed your own advice. Really.

    Are you seriously challenging my individual sovereign authority over my own life?


    I am "seriously challenging" your implication that your "sovereign authority" over your own life does not or can not be interfering with that of others around you:

    I make something.


    How? What right did you have to the materials used to make it? You purchased them? With what? The money you earned? Doing what? What right did you have to do that? What effect did it have to those that live nearby? Who did you purchase it from? What right did they have to sell it? How did they happen up on it?

    If you continue this line of questioning, you will always, always arrive at some (quaintly dressed up) version of: "I took it." and this is why your natural law libertarian argument is considered full retard.

    The rest of your post deriving from the above statements, I've not replied to, since it has become void.

    Your participation in society is more than just an individuals path carrying whatever "rights" they have bestowed upon them (self-appointed or otherwise), it is more than just "me and mine" - you affect people, you affect many people, and when you claim to have made something, you're failing, miserably, to understand everything involved in doing so.
  • Bub 2012-12-03 15:37
    "The argument has always been, I thought, that what is rational for the self is not necessarily the best for everyone."

    So a rational capitalistic decision is only 'good' if it takes into consideration what is best for everyone?

    Does that sound like it could possibly be an efficient process? How much knowledge would every single decision have to involve? How long would it take to acquire such knowledge? How would it be updated over time? How much would it cost? How much would that impact prices?

    Perhaps what is best for everyone is if we ditch the hubristic notion that we can dictate what is good for all, and instead enforce the more axiomatic/atomic laws against force and fraud.
  • [Your Name] 2012-12-03 15:39
    Dave Insurgent:
    Well, if you want to take it that way, why do you and your ilk think you have any authority whatsoever to earn profit?
    Maybe because there are some who feel that I offer a wanted service at a fair price. I believe they would be granting me that authority.
    I grew up in a single-mom welfare home and now I make about 90K a year. Some of that was my effort. A lot of it was luck and the fact that the state was willing to spend money on me.
    And I left home at 17 because of similar conditions. Somehow, I don't seem to have the same "rich people owe me" attitude because of this.
    So, first and foremost: I'm very skeptical about your claim. Unless you're attempting to be deceptive with inflation (and you seem to say 12 years, so no) <snip content="Back of the envelope calculations"/>
    Yes, it was very little. I did have insurance through two of my jobs which handled the co-pay and deductible sides of the equation. An average week was about 96 hours working. We lived in a 15' travel trailer in a campground for the first few years, which cost $250/month rent. The trailer was provided by a private (as in not government) charity. It was to the best of my knowledge the only charity I accepted. We ate mostly "beans and rice". We had no television, basic local phone service for $10/mo and minimal other expenses. I rode with a nearby co-worker to one job and walked to and from the other. In scraping by on as little as possible I was able to save enough to afford a few supplies and the risk of leaving one job for three months to start my own cleaning service.

    If I can do it, anybody can. It wasn't easy and it certainly wasn't handed to me, nor need it have been.
    No. You're just wrong, <snip content="Typical millionaires didn't earn it argument"/>
    Let's agree to disagree. 88% of millionares+ today are first-generation money.
    Saving and investing is a very generic term. If you're saving and investing as a guy who works for a living, it's not very much. You're putting a bit away every pay to save up for retirement. You don't expect to become the next multi-millionaire - and you won't. There's nothing wrong with that.
    Saving and investing is as much or as little as one commits to. I am not and will not be a multi-millionaire. There are more important things to me. I won't begrudge those who have nothing more important.

    Finally, before you waste your time replying to the charity which I accepted: There is a big difference in choosing to help others and being forced to help others.
  • Mason Wheeler 2012-12-03 15:45
    Bub:
    I make something. I have sole authority over it. It is mine. I decide to offer it for sale at a profit of 1000%. Somebody freely decides that the price is worth it. We both profit from our transaction. No coercion.

    or

    I make something. I do not have sole authority over it. Therefore, it is not truly mine. You decide I can only offer it at a certain arbitrary maximum price, dictated by your quasi-religious mantra of 'fairness' and 'greater good'. I get screwed, by you, out of optimally profiting from my work. You use force and coercion to accomplish this.


    Interesting how you use the term "force and coercion" as if it were two words for the same thing. The truth is, there are many other forms of coercion besides (the threat of) physical violence.

    One is the interaction of simple necessity and Hobson's Choice. "Pay what I ask or do without" sounds like a fair proposition, until the thing being requested is necessary to sustain life and physical well-being. Things like food, shelter, access to medical care, and clean water. When "choosing to do without" is not a viable option, the statement "pay what I ask or do without" is itself a form of coercion.
  • Elron the Fantastic 2012-12-03 15:46
    "Most of the elite and powermongers didn't earn wealth anyways, they were born into it. Most business owners either had wealthy family to finance their endeavor, inherited it from a family member, or had some kind of outside connections that gave them a stepping stone that others don't have." - Bob

    You say that most of the "elite" didn't earn wealth, and this may be true to an extent; such people born in wealth have great access to various benefits which was gotten from their family. Where did their family get it from? Do you believe that the elite were simply in that position from the beginning of time? Before the elite existed, how would one acquire the "outside connections" that would give them a unique advantage.

    Of course not. The elite exist, because some ancestor of their's ran a business and turned a profit. This profit allowed them to accumulate wealth, and pass it down to their children, who in turn grew that wealth and passed it down. If the generations down the line reap the rewards for that, that is the result of the collective efforts of their forefathers.

    Not everyone requires a "special advantage" to advance, and there is nothing wrong with having said advantage. Should we blind everyone in the world, because they have an unfair advantage over people who are born blind?
  • s73v3r 2012-12-03 15:47
    operagost:
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    I love how to cut costs they remove things like taking time to refactor code and fix leaky roofs, but presumably leave in "important" things which are 99% of the time useless crap (pretty new feature for Clueless Client X that doesn't need to be done)

    Sadly yes this is "business as usual" in the USA. As long as the executives get hefty bonuses, that's all that matters. Go capitalism!

    Stalin and Mao killed millions with their policies. Go communism!


    Capitalism enslaved and killed millions of Africans. Go Capitalism!
  • Bub 2012-12-03 15:50
    "I am "seriously challenging" your implication that your "sovereign authority" over your own life does not or can not be interfering with that of others around you: "

    That is not my implication at all. My sovereign authority over my life is an entirely different consideration from whether or not I 'interfere' with anyone else.

    "If you continue this line of questioning, you will always, always arrive at some (quaintly dressed up) version of: "I took it.""

    Actually, I more-or-less agree with you here. You ultimately do recurse all the way down to this kind of realization. How can it possibly be otherwise? The author Lee Harris had a wonderful example of the genesis of property rights using nothing more that a big man and a little man with a rabbit.

    "your natural law libertarian argument"

    Not my bag, baby. If it is such a thing, it is coincidental.

    "The rest of your post deriving from the above statements, I've not replied to, since it has become void."

    Void in your mind, it would seem.

    "when you claim to have made something, you're failing, miserably, to understand everything involved in doing so."

    Au contrair - I am profoundly aware (in the abstract, of course) of the miraculous wonder of our economy. See http://ipencilmovie.org/ for a wild ride.
  • s73v3r 2012-12-03 15:50
    Randy:
    Dave Insurgent:
    If Socialism is an interface, you're only referring to the DictatorshipSocialism implementation
    I'm curious what, if any, other implementations exist.
    Dave Insurgent:
    those behaviors are the very spirit of capitalism. Take as much as you can, from anyone, from everyone.
    I think you're referring to theft, which, by the way, is openly advocated by socialism. Take from the productive and hand it out to people who haven't earned it.

    Capitalism is "Take as much as you can, from anyone, from everyone, with their consent." No one forces you to pay $2,000 for a TV. The buyer and seller agree on the price, otherwise no transaction occurs. As soon as a transaction is not voluntary -- when there is some element of force involved -- you are moving toward one of the criminal "isms" such as socialism.


    When you are required to work for a living in order to support yourself, buy food and pay rent, then there is an element of force involved in any working relationship. So I guess Capitalism is just another criminal "ism"
  • Elron the Fantastic 2012-12-03 15:52
    Well, capitalism didn't start the slave trade; actually, the black slave trade was started by the Africans when European traders (From Portugal, I believe) came to make trade in Africa. Part of the tribal warfare at the time involved taking the defeated tribes as slaves, and these slaves were offered up as barter.

    So... go Tribalism?
  • Bub 2012-12-03 15:52
    s73v3r:
    operagost:
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    I love how to cut costs they remove things like taking time to refactor code and fix leaky roofs, but presumably leave in "important" things which are 99% of the time useless crap (pretty new feature for Clueless Client X that doesn't need to be done)

    Sadly yes this is "business as usual" in the USA. As long as the executives get hefty bonuses, that's all that matters. Go capitalism!

    Stalin and Mao killed millions with their policies. Go communism!


    Capitalism enslaved and killed millions of Africans. Go Capitalism!


    Africans captured and enslaved other Africans and sold them to whitey. Go racial solidarity!
  • s73v3r 2012-12-03 15:52
    Randy:
    snoofle:
    Randy:
    As soon as a transaction is not voluntary -- when there is some element of force involved -- you are moving toward one of the criminal "isms" such as socialism.

    Hmmm. Here in the US, the IRS doesn't let you choose how much to pay in taxes, or when; it's mandatory. If you don't, they will eventually come after you and make your life miserable.

    We may well be on our way...
    May??? I thought that was abundantly clear. We just re-elected someone who openly advocates and implements socialist and marxist ideas.


    Really? Who? Because even though I voted for Obama, I would have loved to elect someone with Socialist tendencies. Social Democracy has done wonders for most of Scandinavia.
  • Bub 2012-12-03 15:53
    Bub:
    s73v3r:
    operagost:
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    I love how to cut costs they remove things like taking time to refactor code and fix leaky roofs, but presumably leave in "important" things which are 99% of the time useless crap (pretty new feature for Clueless Client X that doesn't need to be done)

    Sadly yes this is "business as usual" in the USA. As long as the executives get hefty bonuses, that's all that matters. Go capitalism!

    Stalin and Mao killed millions with their policies. Go communism!


    Capitalism enslaved and killed millions of Africans. Go Capitalism!


    Africans captured and enslaved other Africans and sold them to whitey. Go racial solidarity!


    People around the globe captured and enslaved other people to Get Shit Done. Go humanity!
  • s73v3r 2012-12-03 15:57
    Randy:
    Dave Insurgent:
    Capitalism "takes" from the productive and hands it to the owners - who do nothing
    So when a farmer drives a tractor to plow his field, the farmer is productive but all the people who made the tractor are not? Capital -- things that make a worker's life easier and more productive -- has value too. It isn't just "the workers" who produce.


    No, it is just the workers who produce. Those with Capital are simply leeching off of their work, and have the idiotic idea that their contribution of Capital was somehow more valuable than the actual work that was done.

    You'd rather all farms be run by manual labor alone.


    Where the fuck did he say that? Oh wait, he didn't, you made something up to try and save face.

    Dave Insurgent:
    Your stupid is showing.
    Why is it that everything you say has to include an insult? Do you think that will persuade me? That I will cower in fear of your scathing disapproval?


    Probably because you started it. Not a thing you have said has not been insulting to everyone else.
  • Bub 2012-12-03 15:59
    "When you are required to work for a living in order to support yourself"

    Welcome to reality. Every living thing on this planet has to deal with it. So can you. No free rides.

    Or you could incoherently attempt to argue the injustice of your existence forcing you to actually do something to continue your existence. But that might require some actual work, thus revealing the violence inherent in the system. Or something.
  • s73v3r 2012-12-03 16:01
    Randy:
    trtrwtf:
    So, who pays for the guys with the guns who implement the laws against theft? Or the guys with the big red trucks who come and keep the fire in your neighbor's house from spreading to your house? Or the roads that the guys in the red trucks drive on to get to your neighbor's house to keep your house from burning down?
    Who told you the only way to pay for things you want is to steal?


    I'm guessing it comes down to the fact that we found we were all much, much, much better off distributing the costs of things like Police and Fire protection amongst everyone, instead of only letting those who could afford it have it. Clearly you believe this too, otherwise you would have moved to a country that doesn't have these things a long time ago.

    Also, only a complete idiot believes that taxes are "theft".
  • trtrwtf 2012-12-03 16:01
    Bub:

    If I make something that costs me $1 (some wooden widget maybe), but sell it for $10, and people willingly buy it because of how useful they find it, why is my 1000% profit immoral, greedy or ludicrous?


    Two points on that.
    One, I used to be in the business of selling $1 widgets for $16, they were called CDs. There's a reason that CD cast you $16 in the record store: there's at least four layers of handling needed to get the CD from the press to your hot little hands, and each layer has to pay expenses. Assuming something like a doubling at each layer, it's not hard to see how you end up with $16 CDs.

    Two, if you actually make and pocket a 1000% profit (that would be selling for $11, not $10, by the way :) ) someone else will come in and be happy with a 900% profit, and they'll eat your lunch. So if you manage to make and keep a 1000% profit, it implies a huge market failure - this is basic markets.
  • Bub 2012-12-03 16:01
    Elron the Fantastic:
    Well, capitalism didn't start the slave trade; actually, the black slave trade was started by the Africans when European traders (From Portugal, I believe) came to make trade in Africa. Part of the tribal warfare at the time involved taking the defeated tribes as slaves, and these slaves were offered up as barter.

    So... go Tribalism?


    At least slavery got the unemployment numbers down pretty low. So there's that.
  • s73v3r 2012-12-03 16:02
    Jeff:
    C-Derb:
    I cannot imagine a society where capitalism will not eventually breed corporatism.
    Imagine, if you can, a society where capitalists don't buy legislators because legislators don't have the power to screw around with the economy driving benefits to the aforesaid corporatists while making it punishable by violence for anyone else to start up a competing business.


    Doesn't exist. Capitalism will cause that to happen, because it is far more beneficial to those with "capital" to do so.
  • s73v3r 2012-12-03 16:04
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    trtrwtf:
    ObiWayneKenobi:

    It's worse than that. It's actually voluntary (check the actual income tax law), but they claim it's mandatory and use force to "prove" that it's mandatory.


    Income tax law is a pretty big book. Can you maybe provide a reference?


    How about you provide a reference saying where it's required to pay it? Because from the documentaries I've seen, nobody in the IRS seems to know the passage that states that... perhaps you could help them find it?


    No, this is a fucking retarded argument. YOU made the claim it is voluntary, YOU must back it up.
  • Dave Insurgent 2012-12-03 16:05
    Bub:
    "When you are required to work for a living in order to support yourself"

    Welcome to reality. Every living thing on this planet has to deal with it. So can you. No free rides.

    Or you could incoherently attempt to argue the injustice of your existence forcing you to actually do something to continue your existence. But that might require some actual work, thus revealing the violence inherent in the system. Or something.


    Failure to differentiate between "do what you need to survive" and "do what I want you to in order to survive". Typical mistake.

    The fact you think you can differentuate the actions you take within your soverignity and the consequences of said actions says a lot.
  • s73v3r 2012-12-03 16:06
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    C-Derb:
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    trtrwtf:
    ObiWayneKenobi:

    It's worse than that. It's actually voluntary (check the actual income tax law), but they claim it's mandatory and use force to "prove" that it's mandatory.


    Income tax law is a pretty big book. Can you maybe provide a reference?


    How about you provide a reference saying where it's required to pay it? Because from the documentaries I've seen, nobody in the IRS seems to know the passage that states that... perhaps you could help them find it?
    How about you just don't pay your taxes and let us know how that works out for you? Maybe you could use your saved tax dollars to hire a lawyer who can provide a reference?


    That was the point. The income tax law said it was voluntary, but the government says its mandatory and uses force (i.e. police) to enforce it being mandatory.


    No. You still have not actually provided any kind of citation proving this assertion. And it's no different than the "force" they use to keep companies from polluting your water or to keep you from robbing a bank.
  • Elron the Fantastic 2012-12-03 16:07
    The reason governments are formed is for the purpose of protecting property. This this end, things such as militaries, police and firemen are formed, and these things are payed for by everyone for the good of society. There is nothing wrong with this, and it makes a good deal of sense to do so.

    The problem only occurs when the government acts outside of this one role; taxes for the basic funding of necessary services is not theft, but punitive taxes (like for smoking) and redistributive taxes (like food stamps) are theft.
  • ObiWayneKenobi 2012-12-03 16:07
    The thing to remember is the "old rich" made their fortune in the days when it was easier to get started on that path, while now it's much harder, so those born into wealthy families have more than just a leg up on the average person it's more like exclusive entry to the club that isn't accepting new members anymore.

    Before the days of megacorps it was easier to start a business and easier to turn a profit, so if John Q. Pennybags' great great grandfather managed to amass a fortune in the 1900s, he had an easier time getting invested in it than if Jimmy Average from a regular middle-class family decided he wants to go into business for himself today; there's going to be more competition, more regulations, more capital required, so John Q. Pennybags IV has it worlds easier.
  • Bub 2012-12-03 16:08
    (that would be selling for $11, not $10, by the way :) )

    Ha ha ha I just _knew_ some smartass would kick my balls over my lazy math! ;)

    "someone else will come in and be happy with a 900% profit, and they'll eat your lunch"

    Exactly. Isn't self-regulation a wonderful thing? Of course, I'm going to take my early profits and lobby government to pass a law requiring expensive regulation of such widgets to keep such competitors from entering the marketplace. Maybe a nice splash of licensing requirements too.

    "So if you manage to make and keep a 1000% profit, it implies a huge market failure - this is basic markets."

    Perhaps, but not necessarily. I may have invented something so revolutionary that I leave others behind. of course, over time, things tend to level out. Apple is an interesting object study in this.
  • trtrwtf 2012-12-03 16:08
    Bub:

    At least slavery got the unemployment numbers down pretty low. So there's that.


    I don't know if I could really go with that, actually. It just gave employers a choice of whether to rent or buy their employees.
  • Dave Insurgent 2012-12-03 16:10
    Elron the Fantastic:
    The reason governments are formed is for the purpose of protecting property. This this end, things such as militaries, police and firemen are formed, and these things are payed for by everyone for the good of society. There is nothing wrong with this, and it makes a good deal of sense to do so.

    The problem only occurs when the government acts outside of this one role; taxes for the basic funding of necessary services is not theft, but punitive taxes (like for smoking) and redistributive taxes (like food stamps) are theft.


    You could think of redistributive taxes as insurance rather than theft. Its insurance against desperate maginalized people attacking you and taking your life over a loaf of bread. Do you feel better using one word instead of another? I ask because you're not actually interested in thinking about the subject. You just want to equivocate something with theft because it reaffirms your selfishness and narrow mindedness.
  • ObiWayneKenobi 2012-12-03 16:11
    trtrwtf:
    Bub:

    At least slavery got the unemployment numbers down pretty low. So there's that.


    I don't know if I could really go with that, actually. It just gave employers a choice of whether to rent or buy their employees.


    And nowadays they just use the H1 and L1 visa do to the same thing!
  • Elron the Fantastic 2012-12-03 16:12
    s73v3r:
    Jeff:
    C-Derb:
    I cannot imagine a society where capitalism will not eventually breed corporatism.
    Imagine, if you can, a society where capitalists don't buy legislators because legislators don't have the power to screw around with the economy driving benefits to the aforesaid corporatists while making it punishable by violence for anyone else to start up a competing business.


    Doesn't exist. Capitalism will cause that to happen, because it is far more beneficial to those with "capital" to do so.


    Actually it did exist and it can. Corporations can only bribe the legislators and use them to screw everyone else if the legislators actually have the power for that screwing, so to speak. If the government acts within its intended role, then corporations can not use them to create unfair regulations which squash small business competition.

    Southwest Airlines was started up as a result of reduced regulation in the airline industry, and they were able to function by kicking the competition in the nuts with reduced flight costs.
  • Bub 2012-12-03 16:14
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    The thing to remember is the "old rich" made their fortune in the days when it was easier to get started on that path, while now it's much harder, so those born into wealthy families have more than just a leg up on the average person it's more like exclusive entry to the club that isn't accepting new members anymore.

    Before the days of megacorps it was easier to start a business and easier to turn a profit, so if John Q. Pennybags' great great grandfather managed to amass a fortune in the 1900s, he had an easier time getting invested in it than if Jimmy Average from a regular middle-class family decided he wants to go into business for himself today; there's going to be more competition, more regulations, more capital required, so John Q. Pennybags IV has it worlds easier.


    Despite your perceived obstacles, the IRS data show that we still enjoy enormous levels of mobility upward through the quintiles.

    Plenty of John Q. Pennybags end up penniless too.....nobody is immune from failure.
  • s73v3r 2012-12-03 16:16
    Bub:
    "An amount inversely related to the overall well-being of the society that produced said wealth"

    How is this 'well-being' objectively measured, and why is it related to profit levels?

    "no more than 100 times the minimum wage."

    Why 100? Why should there be _any_ arbitrary limit? If someone is willing to voluntarily pay X for something, is it relevant that X represents a profit margin of 1%, 10%, 100% or 1000%?

    Why do you and your ilk believe you have _any authority whatsoever_ to dictate profit levels for others' property?


    Who is the one "voluntarilly paying" for the executive's salaries? I know I'm not the one who's allowed to have any say in it, yet it definitely affects every company I've worked at.

    When you actually look into it, the ones who set the pay levels for CEOs are other CEOs. People who have a VESTED INTEREST in keeping executive level salaries high. There is no way you can say that is a purely voluntary exchange in that situation.
  • Bub 2012-12-03 16:16
    trtrwtf:
    Bub:

    At least slavery got the unemployment numbers down pretty low. So there's that.


    I don't know if I could really go with that, actually. It just gave employers a choice of whether to rent or buy their employees.


    You forget all the leisure time spent in fine linen suits drinking juleps. Having to work the fields really cramps your style.
  • s73v3r 2012-12-03 16:18
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    snoofle:
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    snoofle:
    Randy:
    As soon as a transaction is not voluntary -- when there is some element of force involved -- you are moving toward one of the criminal "isms" such as socialism.

    Hmmm. Here in the US, the IRS doesn't let you choose how much to pay in taxes, or when; it's mandatory. If you don't, they will eventually come after you and make your life miserable.

    We may well be on our way...


    It's worse than that. It's actually voluntary (check the actual income tax law), but they claim it's mandatory and use force to "prove" that it's mandatory.

    I believe you, but I'd love to be a fly on the wall at that tax audit..


    I've read that some people have actually had a jury rule in their favor during trials because nobody was able to provide an actual law (although I wouldn't take that bet) to the contrary. Again this is from a documentary so I'm not claiming to have intimate knowledge of the subject.


    You really, really, really should knock it off with that "I've heard X" stuff. It's not helping you at all, and is just making it seem like you're some anti-government nut.
  • Elron the Fantastic 2012-12-03 16:19
    Dave Insurgent:
    Elron the Fantastic:
    The reason governments are formed is for the purpose of protecting property. This this end, things such as militaries, police and firemen are formed, and these things are payed for by everyone for the good of society. There is nothing wrong with this, and it makes a good deal of sense to do so.

    The problem only occurs when the government acts outside of this one role; taxes for the basic funding of necessary services is not theft, but punitive taxes (like for smoking) and redistributive taxes (like food stamps) are theft.


    You could think of redistributive taxes as insurance rather than theft. Its insurance against desperate maginalized people attacking you and taking your life over a loaf of bread. Do you feel better using one word instead of another? I ask because you're not actually interested in thinking about the subject. You just want to equivocate something with theft because it reaffirms your selfishness and narrow mindedness.


    While you can make that case, there are 2 key differences between insurance and redistribution.

    1. I choose to buy insurance, and I choose what I wish to insure. This means that, for instance, as a man, I might not want an insurance policy that covers mammograms (unless I put on a good deal of weight). I cannot choose not to pay redistributive taxes (well, not without armed men storming my house).

    2. I can expect that an insurance I provide will provide that service. If they do not, I can take them to court. If the government fails to provide my service, or does a lousy job of it, to whom can I turn? I can sue the government, but most (granted, not all) such cases get smacked down.

    Although the two seem similar, they cannot be more different. One is a personal choice, and the other is mandatory.
  • trtrwtf 2012-12-03 16:19
    Bub:

    You forget all the leisure time spent in fine linen suits drinking juleps. Having to work the fields really cramps your style.


    I never forgot a single moment spent in fine linen suits drinking juleps. They were wonderful, I remember each of them as a shining jewel.
    I intend to spend next summer the same way, too.
  • PiisAWheeL 2012-12-03 16:22
    Mason Wheeler:
    Bub:
    I make something. I have sole authority over it. It is mine. I decide to offer it for sale at a profit of 1000%. Somebody freely decides that the price is worth it. We both profit from our transaction. No coercion.

    or

    I make something. I do not have sole authority over it. Therefore, it is not truly mine. You decide I can only offer it at a certain arbitrary maximum price, dictated by your quasi-religious mantra of 'fairness' and 'greater good'. I get screwed, by you, out of optimally profiting from my work. You use force and coercion to accomplish this.


    Interesting how you use the term "force and coercion" as if it were two words for the same thing. The truth is, there are many other forms of coercion besides (the threat of) physical violence.

    One is the interaction of simple necessity and Hobson's Choice. "Pay what I ask or do without" sounds like a fair proposition, until the thing being requested is necessary to sustain life and physical well-being. Things like food, shelter, access to medical care, and clean water. When "choosing to do without" is not a viable option, the statement "pay what I ask or do without" is itself a form of coercion.
    The beauty of capitalism is that when these things start to become in demand, there is usually someone nearby seeking to compete which increases the supply. Thus the price tends to drop.

    The problem with trying to treat everyone equally is that not everyone is equal. Even if you got a shitty start (ahem... unequal start) in life, you have to make due with what you are given. If you refuse to work at mcdonalds so that you can eat, I fail to see how that is my problem. I have my own family to feed. I don't want to spend my extra money on other people, but i tend to be more socially conservative than most. I like the few social programs that make sense. Police, Fire, Ambulance, Military, I can get on board with that. Thats all I really want. I believe the post office should be sold off and privatized.

    The government doesn't need to get involved when the private sector can do it better, faster, and cheaper. That is a capatilist advantage, is chisling the production process into a finely tuned machine. Government just says "this is what we are going to spend on this" and they just write giant checks.

    The less the government gets involved and the less it spends on entitlement, the better off the economy, and by proxy, the better off the people are.

    If you disagree with me, thats ok. Find me an example where government spending leads to a better environment for the people.

    The governments job is not to take care of it's people; The gonernments job is to create an environment in which it's people can take care of themselves.

    Addendum (2012-12-03 16:29):
    And fml for my shitty typos.
  • s73v3r 2012-12-03 16:22
    [quote user="[Your Name]"][quote user="Dave Insurgent"]No, he acquired it through investment, likely through money and connections supplied to him by family and friends. He will continue to grow wealthier and wealthier while those that actually do the work in his shop gain very little.[/quote]

    Umm what? When did investment become a bad thing?[/quote]

    When it was decided that rewarding people simply for already having money was more important than rewarding the people who actually do the fucking work.

    [quote]What is preventing these poor down-trodden from investing on their own?[/quote]

    Having to spend all their money on rent and food? Having to work multiple jobs, leaving them no time to actually do the research needed to be a competent investor?

    [quote]Could it be that there is real risk to investment? No, because if one is to admit there is risk involved, than one must concede that return on investment is earned.[/quote]

    Wrong again. Just because there is risk does NOT mean that a return is earned. Further, it also does NOT mean that one should be rewarded more for "taking a risk" than they should be for actually doing work and being productive.

    [qoute]Don't try to play at this. In my life, I've gone from earning 7.25USD/hr while supporting a wife and child -- without family or government assistance (No foodstamps, medicaid, housing, etc.). What I have managed to accumulate in the 12 years since I left home should be mine. Fair share would, to me, indicate that everyone else should be paying the same 28% I pay, or in reverse I should be paying the same rate everyone else is.[/quote]

    This entire story is completely full of shit. You did NOT make it without any "government assistance". Your entire life you had lots of government assistance, you just didn't recognize it.
  • operagost 2012-12-03 16:23
    Dave Insurgent:
    operagost:
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    I love how to cut costs they remove things like taking time to refactor code and fix leaky roofs, but presumably leave in "important" things which are 99% of the time useless crap (pretty new feature for Clueless Client X that doesn't need to be done)

    Sadly yes this is "business as usual" in the USA. As long as the executives get hefty bonuses, that's all that matters. Go capitalism!

    Stalin and Mao killed millions with their policies. Go communism!


    False comparison is false.

    Capitalism inherently promotes the above. There is no "okay, we've accumulated enough wealth, let's focus on something else now." phase. That's what makes it capitalism you dolt. You're not a capitalist just because you go to work and earn money and spend it. You don't own the means of production just because you're the one who does the work. It's more complicated than that. Can you start a war? I mean, honestly put the pieces in motion that could result in some type of conflict between nations? No? You're a nobody, then. You don't gain anything from this system despite what they tell you.

    The "policies" of Stalin and Mao are orthogonal to how wealth and prosperity can be thought of - I'm a voting socialist democrat. You're falsely attributing the behaviors of a tyrant, a dictator. If Socialism is an interface, you're only referring to the DictatorshipSocialism implementation, with a ConstantInterferenceByCapitalistsDecorator.

    If your point was that attributing those behaviors to capitalism was "as wrong as" your comparison, you're still off, because again, those behaviors are the very spirit of capitalism. Take as much as you can, from anyone, from everyone.

    Thanks for your long-winded, eminently boring rant, but you just proved my point that the original post was a red herring. Corporations have stockholders, and stockholders don't want to hear about how big the CxO's bonuses were-- they want to know how much the price is going up and how big of a dividend they will make. Big fat payrolls on any level dip into that growth. The driving force of capitalism may be greed, but you don't get to be greedy when no one is investing.
  • Bub 2012-12-03 16:24
    "Who is the one "voluntarilly paying" for the executive's salaries?"

    The ones that have the legal right to do so.

    "I know I'm not the one who's allowed to have any say in it"

    Why should you have a say in it? Are you a CEO/CFO?

    Sure it's voluntary...does anyone have a gun to their head?
  • s73v3r 2012-12-03 16:27
    Mason Wheeler:
    Bub:
    I make something. I have sole authority over it. It is mine. I decide to offer it for sale at a profit of 1000%. Somebody freely decides that the price is worth it. We both profit from our transaction. No coercion.

    or

    I make something. I do not have sole authority over it. Therefore, it is not truly mine. You decide I can only offer it at a certain arbitrary maximum price, dictated by your quasi-religious mantra of 'fairness' and 'greater good'. I get screwed, by you, out of optimally profiting from my work. You use force and coercion to accomplish this.


    Interesting how you use the term "force and coercion" as if it were two words for the same thing. The truth is, there are many other forms of coercion besides (the threat of) physical violence.


    That's the thing these people never, ever get. They think that the only way to get someone to do something against their will is to threaten to hit them. They don't think that economic coercion exists, because if you didn't want to do it, you just wouldn't.
  • operagost 2012-12-03 16:28
    Anon:
    operagost:
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    I love how to cut costs they remove things like taking time to refactor code and fix leaky roofs, but presumably leave in "important" things which are 99% of the time useless crap (pretty new feature for Clueless Client X that doesn't need to be done)

    Sadly yes this is "business as usual" in the USA. As long as the executives get hefty bonuses, that's all that matters. Go capitalism!

    Stalin and Mao killed millions with their policies. Go communism!


    Yes, because that's the only other choice. Go false dichotomies!

    You, too, proved my point. Thanks for helping me turn my little post into a three-page rantfest. At last I'm on my way to infamy here at tdwtf.
  • Bub 2012-12-03 16:28
    "rewarding people simply for already having money"

    No. 'Simply having money' is of great value to somebody that does not have money, and wishes to get something off the ground, or expand etc. Making that money available for them to use is itself valuable, therefore worthy of profit. Hence, "it takes money to make money"
  • s73v3r 2012-12-03 16:29
    Bub:
    s73v3r:
    operagost:
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    I love how to cut costs they remove things like taking time to refactor code and fix leaky roofs, but presumably leave in "important" things which are 99% of the time useless crap (pretty new feature for Clueless Client X that doesn't need to be done)

    Sadly yes this is "business as usual" in the USA. As long as the executives get hefty bonuses, that's all that matters. Go capitalism!

    Stalin and Mao killed millions with their policies. Go communism!


    Capitalism enslaved and killed millions of Africans. Go Capitalism!


    Africans captured and enslaved other Africans and sold them to whitey. Go racial solidarity!


    Yes, I've seen that this is true. Doesn't change anything with my argument. But thanks for trying to turn it into something it wasn't, and thereby admitting you don't have a rebuttal to the actual argument.
  • Dave Insurgent 2012-12-03 16:30
    Bub:
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    The thing to remember is the "old rich" made their fortune in the days when it was easier to get started on that path, while now it's much harder, so those born into wealthy families have more than just a leg up on the average person it's more like exclusive entry to the club that isn't accepting new members anymore.

    Before the days of megacorps it was easier to start a business and easier to turn a profit, so if John Q. Pennybags' great great grandfather managed to amass a fortune in the 1900s, he had an easier time getting invested in it than if Jimmy Average from a regular middle-class family decided he wants to go into business for himself today; there's going to be more competition, more regulations, more capital required, so John Q. Pennybags IV has it worlds easier.


    Despite your perceived obstacles, the IRS data show that we still enjoy enormous levels of mobility upward through the quintiles.

    Plenty of John Q. Pennybags end up penniless too.....nobody is immune from failure.


    As I've said repeatedly: those people aren't the ones who are actually the "wealthy". Yes, they have wealth, yes they have more money than you and I, but we're not talking about them. In my "100x" example, the minimum wage would be say, $10 for simplicity, meaning you can make $1000 an hour. That's still $2 million a year.

    There are 392 people on Forbes list who are worth 1000x my 100x the "minimum wage" (here in Canada). Yes, some of them are self-made, but are they really worth 100000x what someone else is?
  • s73v3r 2012-12-03 16:31
    Bub:
    "When you are required to work for a living in order to support yourself"

    Welcome to reality. Every living thing on this planet has to deal with it. So can you. No free rides.

    Or you could incoherently attempt to argue the injustice of your existence forcing you to actually do something to continue your existence. But that might require some actual work, thus revealing the violence inherent in the system. Or something.


    I'm not saying I can't "deal with it". I am, however, pointing out that your idea of everything being completely "voluntary" is wrong, and thus most of your arguments are faulty.

    Oh, and FUCK YOU for implying that people who are for more equality are against work.
  • Elron the Fantastic 2012-12-03 16:31
    Elron the Fantastic:
    Dave Insurgent:
    Elron the Fantastic:
    The reason governments are formed is for the purpose of protecting property. This this end, things such as militaries, police and firemen are formed, and these things are payed for by everyone for the good of society. There is nothing wrong with this, and it makes a good deal of sense to do so.

    The problem only occurs when the government acts outside of this one role; taxes for the basic funding of necessary services is not theft, but punitive taxes (like for smoking) and redistributive taxes (like food stamps) are theft.


    You could think of redistributive taxes as insurance rather than theft. Its insurance against desperate maginalized people attacking you and taking your life over a loaf of bread. Do you feel better using one word instead of another? I ask because you're not actually interested in thinking about the subject. You just want to equivocate something with theft because it reaffirms your selfishness and narrow mindedness.


    While you can make that case, there are 2 key differences between insurance and redistribution.

    1. I choose to buy insurance, and I choose what I wish to insure. This means that, for instance, as a man, I might not want an insurance policy that covers mammograms (unless I put on a good deal of weight). I cannot choose not to pay redistributive taxes (well, not without armed men storming my house).

    2. I can expect that an insurance I provide will provide that service. If they do not, I can take them to court. If the government fails to provide my service, or does a lousy job of it, to whom can I turn? I can sue the government, but most (granted, not all) such cases get smacked down.

    Although the two seem similar, they cannot be more different. One is a personal choice, and the other is mandatory.


    And I am a moron who completely missed your point.

    "Insurance against marginalized people..."

    However, do you really feel it's an acceptable option to keep the poor pacified by doling out free stuff? Would not the better solution be to allow them to lift themselves from poverty by providing the environment that allows for personal advancement?
  • trtrwtf 2012-12-03 16:33
    Bub:
    "rewarding people simply for already having money"

    No. 'Simply having money' is of great value to somebody that does not have money, and wishes to get something off the ground, or expand etc. Making that money available for them to use is itself valuable, therefore worthy of profit. Hence, "it takes money to make money"


    Right, but you can see how that amounts to a positive feedback loop, can't you? Positive feedback loops tend to go gangbusters until they fail catastrophically.
  • s73v3r 2012-12-03 16:35
    Elron the Fantastic:
    Dave Insurgent:
    Elron the Fantastic:
    The reason governments are formed is for the purpose of protecting property. This this end, things such as militaries, police and firemen are formed, and these things are payed for by everyone for the good of society. There is nothing wrong with this, and it makes a good deal of sense to do so.

    The problem only occurs when the government acts outside of this one role; taxes for the basic funding of necessary services is not theft, but punitive taxes (like for smoking) and redistributive taxes (like food stamps) are theft.


    You could think of redistributive taxes as insurance rather than theft. Its insurance against desperate maginalized people attacking you and taking your life over a loaf of bread. Do you feel better using one word instead of another? I ask because you're not actually interested in thinking about the subject. You just want to equivocate something with theft because it reaffirms your selfishness and narrow mindedness.


    While you can make that case, there are 2 key differences between insurance and redistribution.

    1. I choose to buy insurance, and I choose what I wish to insure. This means that, for instance, as a man, I might not want an insurance policy that covers mammograms (unless I put on a good deal of weight). I cannot choose not to pay redistributive taxes (well, not without armed men storming my house).


    You chose to continue living in this country.

    2. I can expect that an insurance I provide will provide that service. If they do not, I can take them to court. If the government fails to provide my service, or does a lousy job of it, to whom can I turn? I can sue the government, but most (granted, not all) such cases get smacked down.


    This statement smacks of smug idealism. Reality is far, far different, otherwise we wouldn't be constantly hearing about health insurance companies trying to weasel out of paying claims.

    And if your government isn't doing the job, you either vote for different people, or you leave the country.

    Although the two seem similar, they cannot be more different. One is a personal choice, and the other is mandatory.


    No, not really.
  • s73v3r 2012-12-03 16:39
    The government doesn't need to get involved when the private sector can do it better, faster, and cheaper.


    There really isn't a whole lot of data to back up this assertion that the private sector is always better than government. For one, take most of the municipal fiber optic services started by local governments. Just about every one of them has done something that the private sector has not wanted to do, and has done it faster and cheaper than the private sector was going to do it, if they were going to do it at all.

    The less the government gets involved and the less it spends on entitlement, the better off the economy, and by proxy, the better off the people are.


    Again, there really is not any data to support this.

    If you disagree with me, thats ok. Find me an example where government spending leads to a better environment for the people.


    Chattanooga, TN and their 100MB fiber service. Superior to any private sector company that was in the area before it got started, and superior to just about all of the private sector companies in other areas.

    The governments job is not to take care of it's people; The gonernments job is to create an environment in which it's people can take care of themselves.


    Entirely wrong.
  • Dave Insurgent 2012-12-03 16:39
    Elron the Fantastic:
    And I am a moron who completely missed your point.

    "Insurance against marginalized people..."

    However, do you really feel it's an acceptable option to keep the poor pacified by doling out free stuff? Would not the better solution be to allow them to lift themselves from poverty by providing the environment that allows for personal advancement?


    Without doubt. The "free stuff" is the rhetoric of the capitalists, it's used to demonize the poor and the sick. Most people don't want "free stuff" (I mean, sure, we all want free beer, but my point is that most people want to feel sufficient and self-reliant). The people who actually want the 'free ride' are the ones who will find one no matter what you do (even if it culminates in their becoming of a professional criminal).

    Free, universal, health care and education. That's your environment for personal advancement. A strong social safety net allows people to bounce back in the most metaphoric way.
  • operagost 2012-12-03 16:41
    s73v3r:

    you didn't build that
  • operagost 2012-12-03 16:42
    Dave Insurgent:
    Elron the Fantastic:
    And I am a moron who completely missed your point.

    "Insurance against marginalized people..."

    However, do you really feel it's an acceptable option to keep the poor pacified by doling out free stuff? Would not the better solution be to allow them to lift themselves from poverty by providing the environment that allows for personal advancement?


    Without doubt. The "free stuff" is the rhetoric of the capitalists, it's used to demonize the poor and the sick. Most people don't want "free stuff" (I mean, sure, we all want free beer, but my point is that most people want to feel sufficient and self-reliant). The people who actually want the 'free ride' are the ones who will find one no matter what you do (even if it culminates in their becoming of a professional criminal).

    Free, universal, health care and education. That's your environment for personal advancement. A strong social safety net allows people to bounce back in the most metaphoric way.

    Excuse me a moment, but do you believe that any one impoverished person EVER "bounces back" out of poverty?
  • Bub 2012-12-03 16:44
    "Interesting how you use the term "force and coercion" as if it were two words for the same thing. The truth is, there are many other forms of coercion besides (the threat of) physical violence."

    Interesting how you think my use of the term force is synonymous with physical violence. It isn't. Perhaps I should have written "forceful coercion" to be clearer. Coercion is but one manifestation of force. There are many others.

    "That's the thing these people never, ever get."

    Hmmm...it would seem that I do, indeed, 'get' it.

    "They don't think that economic coercion exists..."

    Sounds like orc-mischief to me....like 'social justice'

    You need to do something to support your life, and those that you are responsible for, right? In our world, that means you get a job, either from someone else, or by working for yourself. Correct?

    Your 'need' for a job is concomitant with your 'need' to continue living. Nobody else is responsible for your life. Nobody else is responsible to provide you with sustenance....they are not your slaves.

    You offer a skillset, they offer remuneration. If you agree to the exchange, you shake hands and begin work. Where is the coercion?

    Yes, there are people in dire economic conditions. Yes, there are people that will take advantage of that. Yes, I consider them immoral....but not criminal. I would like to see such people exposed and shunned and driven out of business. Voluntarily.
  • s73v3r 2012-12-03 16:44
    Bub:
    "rewarding people simply for already having money"

    No. 'Simply having money' is of great value to somebody that does not have money, and wishes to get something off the ground, or expand etc. Making that money available for them to use is itself valuable, therefore worthy of profit. Hence, "it takes money to make money"


    I didn't say that it shouldn't be rewarded. But clearly you have some kind of reading comprehension disorder, or you just have this need to misrepresent others.

    I said that the problem is that we are rewarding people simply for already having money MORE THAN THE PEOPLE WHO ACTUALLY DO THE WORK. There is no reason whatsoever that this should happen. Simply having money might have some value, but there is no way that it should be valued more than the people who actually do the work. When that happens is when capitalism fails, because having money is seen as more valuable than being productive.
  • ObiWayneKenobi 2012-12-03 16:44
    Free education and healthcare--really free healthcare, not Obamacare "We're going to force you to buy health insurance to pad the pockets of crooked insurance companies" type of healthcare--should be available to everyone, at a reasonable level of service. Those with the money to spend can "upgrade" as it were to better things, but the basics should be there. Sadly with healthcare as is proven in other nations that DO have free healthcare, the quality suffers drastically because you get doctors that don't care about helping the sick, they want money, and so they do a half-assed job because they can't charge for it.
  • s73v3r 2012-12-03 16:45
    Elron the Fantastic:
    Elron the Fantastic:
    Dave Insurgent:
    Elron the Fantastic:
    The reason governments are formed is for the purpose of protecting property. This this end, things such as militaries, police and firemen are formed, and these things are payed for by everyone for the good of society. There is nothing wrong with this, and it makes a good deal of sense to do so.

    The problem only occurs when the government acts outside of this one role; taxes for the basic funding of necessary services is not theft, but punitive taxes (like for smoking) and redistributive taxes (like food stamps) are theft.


    You could think of redistributive taxes as insurance rather than theft. Its insurance against desperate maginalized people attacking you and taking your life over a loaf of bread. Do you feel better using one word instead of another? I ask because you're not actually interested in thinking about the subject. You just want to equivocate something with theft because it reaffirms your selfishness and narrow mindedness.


    While you can make that case, there are 2 key differences between insurance and redistribution.

    1. I choose to buy insurance, and I choose what I wish to insure. This means that, for instance, as a man, I might not want an insurance policy that covers mammograms (unless I put on a good deal of weight). I cannot choose not to pay redistributive taxes (well, not without armed men storming my house).

    2. I can expect that an insurance I provide will provide that service. If they do not, I can take them to court. If the government fails to provide my service, or does a lousy job of it, to whom can I turn? I can sue the government, but most (granted, not all) such cases get smacked down.

    Although the two seem similar, they cannot be more different. One is a personal choice, and the other is mandatory.


    And I am a moron who completely missed your point.

    "Insurance against marginalized people..."

    However, do you really feel it's an acceptable option to keep the poor pacified by doling out free stuff? Would not the better solution be to allow them to lift themselves from poverty by providing the environment that allows for personal advancement?


    You're making the false assumption that this isn't what's happening. I, for one, know I can achieve far more when I don't have to worry where my next meal is.
  • operagost 2012-12-03 16:49
    If progressives really believe that the poor can be lifted out of poverty with social programs, why do they always speak of them as if they are serfs, with no hope of improving their position?
  • Bub 2012-12-03 16:49
    "Yes, some of them are self-made, but are they really worth 100000x what someone else is?"

    I guess that depends entirely upon whom you ask, and your calculus for 'worth'.

    A brain surgeon isn't worth shit when my septic tank backs up ;)
  • Dave Insurgent 2012-12-03 16:52
    operagost:
    Dave Insurgent:
    Elron the Fantastic:
    And I am a moron who completely missed your point.

    "Insurance against marginalized people..."

    However, do you really feel it's an acceptable option to keep the poor pacified by doling out free stuff? Would not the better solution be to allow them to lift themselves from poverty by providing the environment that allows for personal advancement?


    Without doubt. The "free stuff" is the rhetoric of the capitalists, it's used to demonize the poor and the sick. Most people don't want "free stuff" (I mean, sure, we all want free beer, but my point is that most people want to feel sufficient and self-reliant). The people who actually want the 'free ride' are the ones who will find one no matter what you do (even if it culminates in their becoming of a professional criminal).

    Free, universal, health care and education. That's your environment for personal advancement. A strong social safety net allows people to bounce back in the most metaphoric way.

    Excuse me a moment, but do you believe that any one impoverished person EVER "bounces back" out of poverty?


    I did.
  • ObiWayneKenobi 2012-12-03 16:53
    Bub:
    "Yes, some of them are self-made, but are they really worth 100000x what someone else is?"

    I guess that depends entirely upon whom you ask, and your calculus for 'worth'.

    A brain surgeon isn't worth shit when my septic tank backs up ;)


    And that's the point. They get to decide this themselves so OF COURSE the answer is "Yes". Same like in the article about the exec bonuses; did the execs warrant bonuses while R&D budget was cut and basic maintenance requirements were ignored? The execs themselves were given the right to decide the answer, and it too was "Yes". Greed.

    If you let the people who stand to benefit the most from a positive answer get to decide the answer, of course it's going to be what will benefit them.

    There's an old saying about democracy that I think illustrates this point perfectly:

    Democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding what to have for dinner.
  • s73v3r 2012-12-03 16:54
    Bub:
    "Interesting how you use the term "force and coercion" as if it were two words for the same thing. The truth is, there are many other forms of coercion besides (the threat of) physical violence."

    Interesting how you think my use of the term force is synonymous with physical violence. It isn't. Perhaps I should have written "forceful coercion" to be clearer. Coercion is but one manifestation of force. There are many others.

    "That's the thing these people never, ever get."

    Hmmm...it would seem that I do, indeed, 'get' it.

    "They don't think that economic coercion exists..."

    Sounds like orc-mischief to me....like 'social justice'

    You need to do something to support your life, and those that you are responsible for, right? In our world, that means you get a job, either from someone else, or by working for yourself. Correct?

    Your 'need' for a job is concomitant with your 'need' to continue living. Nobody else is responsible for your life. Nobody else is responsible to provide you with sustenance....they are not your slaves.

    You offer a skillset, they offer remuneration. If you agree to the exchange, you shake hands and begin work. Where is the coercion?

    Yes, there are people in dire economic conditions. Yes, there are people that will take advantage of that. Yes, I consider them immoral....but not criminal. I would like to see such people exposed and shunned and driven out of business. Voluntarily.


    And you have proven that you do not get it.

    You claim you'd like to see those that take advantage of the economic conditions "shunned and driven out of business". Yet you completely ignore the fact that Capitalism advocates and rewards exactly this! So how the fuck are they going to be "driven out of business" without using something like government to step in and make them play fair?

    And your rant of "you are responsible for your life" completely misses the point. I'm not interested in your natural law Libertarian bullshit. I'm interested in reality. And in reality, you are incredibly naive. Someone threatening to take away the means through which you support yourself, whether or not they are obligated to do so, is using force against you. They are coercing you, and that makes any exchange between you decidedly non-voluntary.
  • Bub 2012-12-03 16:55
    "I said that the problem is that we are rewarding people simply for already having money MORE THAN THE PEOPLE WHO ACTUALLY DO THE WORK. There is no reason whatsoever that this should happen"

    Yes there is. The investment capital is more valuable than the individual worker. The worker plays his part, but the investor provides the theater. Without it, there would be no work for anyone.

    Do you have an interest-bearing bank account? IRA? Stocks? You evil profit-monger, you!
  • Earp 2012-12-03 16:56
    Obviously not true if you think about it even a little.

    Its MUCH easier to keep track of people in an office. You can SEE them surfing youtube, etc, all day. Lync is not going to help with employees like that. I dont see how you can possibly think that the employee being aware they can be spied on is WORSE for monitoring of performance, considering when working from home, they dont have to worry about being spied on at all.

  • Mason Wheeler 2012-12-03 16:56
    s73v3r:
    Mason Wheeler:
    Bub:
    I make something. I have sole authority over it. It is mine. I decide to offer it for sale at a profit of 1000%. Somebody freely decides that the price is worth it. We both profit from our transaction. No coercion.

    or

    I make something. I do not have sole authority over it. Therefore, it is not truly mine. You decide I can only offer it at a certain arbitrary maximum price, dictated by your quasi-religious mantra of 'fairness' and 'greater good'. I get screwed, by you, out of optimally profiting from my work. You use force and coercion to accomplish this.


    Interesting how you use the term "force and coercion" as if it were two words for the same thing. The truth is, there are many other forms of coercion besides (the threat of) physical violence.


    That's the thing these people never, ever get. They think that the only way to get someone to do something against their will is to threaten to hit them. They don't think that economic coercion exists, because if you didn't want to do it, you just wouldn't.


    You know, as I think about it, I realize that there's an element of force to economic coercion after all.

    Let's say that you're starving, and someone is selling food, at a price you can't afford, and they say "pay what I ask or do without." If you choose to exercise your natural right to preserve your own life, you will be called a thief, and by the power of force in the hands of the state you will be arrested and imprisoned.

    Then again, there really is nothing new under the sun. This is hardly an original argument; it was the premise of one of the greatest and best-known novels in the history of literature, way back in 1862.

    It really says something about our priorities, though, that if I were to kill a man to preserve my own life, I'm considered justified before the law, but if I were to steal food to preserve my own life, I'd find myself playing Jean Valjean and not on a stage.
  • Bub 2012-12-03 17:00
    "Yet you completely ignore the fact that Capitalism advocates and rewards exactly this!"

    No. I disagree with this characterization of capitalism.

    "Someone threatening to take away the means through which you support yourself, whether or not they are obligated to do so, is using force against you. They are coercing you, and that makes any exchange between you decidedly non-voluntary."

    And, depending on the context, that same 'coercive' person may be committing a crime. A lawyer may well start throwing the words "unconscionable" and "untenable" around in the ensuing contract-law suit.
  • Bub 2012-12-03 17:02
    Earp:
    Obviously not true if you think about it even a little.

    Its MUCH easier to keep track of people in an office. You can SEE them surfing youtube, etc, all day. Lync is not going to help with employees like that. I dont see how you can possibly think that the employee being aware they can be spied on is WORSE for monitoring of performance, considering when working from home, they dont have to worry about being spied on at all.



    Now _you're_ the threadjacker ;)
  • Mason Wheeler 2012-12-03 17:02
    operagost:
    Dave Insurgent:
    Elron the Fantastic:
    And I am a moron who completely missed your point.

    "Insurance against marginalized people..."

    However, do you really feel it's an acceptable option to keep the poor pacified by doling out free stuff? Would not the better solution be to allow them to lift themselves from poverty by providing the environment that allows for personal advancement?


    Without doubt. The "free stuff" is the rhetoric of the capitalists, it's used to demonize the poor and the sick. Most people don't want "free stuff" (I mean, sure, we all want free beer, but my point is that most people want to feel sufficient and self-reliant). The people who actually want the 'free ride' are the ones who will find one no matter what you do (even if it culminates in their becoming of a professional criminal).

    Free, universal, health care and education. That's your environment for personal advancement. A strong social safety net allows people to bounce back in the most metaphoric way.

    Excuse me a moment, but do you believe that any one impoverished person EVER "bounces back" out of poverty?


    I did. I was raised in perpetual poverty, some of the worst conditions you can imagine while still in a first-world country (and yes, I know it can get a lot worse; I spent a few years living in a third-world country doing service there, and I know just how blessed we are here) due to my dad being a lazy, violent man who couldn't hold down a job. I've only ever had three things going for me:

    1. I'm smart
    2. I have a natural aptitude for computers
    3. I live in a country with enough of a social safety net in place that being smart alone can get you a formal education in computer programming, (which can get you a high-paying job in the same field,) even if you can't afford it out of your own pocket.

    Because of that, I'm now doing pretty well for myself. But I'd be a liar of the highest order if I were to claim that I earned it on my own merits.
  • Dave Insurgent 2012-12-03 17:03
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    Sadly with healthcare as is proven in other nations that DO have free healthcare, the quality suffers drastically because you get doctors that don't care about helping the sick, they want money, and so they do a half-assed job because they can't charge for it.


    Um, what?

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

    I don't know what your definition of "free" is in the context of government services, but mine means "affordable". (Nothing is "free", obviously, and any intelligent person understands a relationship between taxes and services).

    From the top:

    In Japan, health care is provided by national and local governments


    Hong Kong's medical infrastructure consists of a mixed medical economy, with 12 private hospitals and more than 50 public hospitals.


    Health care in Israel is universal and participation in a medical insurance plan is compulsory. Health care coverage is administered by a small number of organizations, with funding from the government.


    The Italian state runs a universal public healthcare system since 1978.[165] However, healthcare is provided to all citizens and residents by a mixed public-private system.


    Iceland has a universal health care system that is administered by The Ministry of Welfare (Icelandic: Velferðarráðuneytið)[138] and paid for mostly by taxes


    Health care in Australia is provided by both private and government institutions.


    Singapore has a non-modified universal healthcare system where the government ensures affordability of healthcare within the public health system,


    The Swedish health care system is mainly government-funded and decentralized, although private health care also exists.


    The French health care system is one of universal health care largely financed by government national health insurance.


  • Mason Wheeler 2012-12-03 17:03
    Bub:
    "Yet you completely ignore the fact that Capitalism advocates and rewards exactly this!"

    No. I disagree with this characterization of capitalism.

    "Someone threatening to take away the means through which you support yourself, whether or not they are obligated to do so, is using force against you. They are coercing you, and that makes any exchange between you decidedly non-voluntary."

    And, depending on the context, that same 'coercive' person may be committing a crime. A lawyer may well start throwing the words "unconscionable" and "untenable" around in the ensuing contract-law suit.


    Please, for heaven's sake, learn to use the QUOTE tag properly!
  • Elron the Fantastic 2012-12-03 17:03
    Dave Insurgent:
    Elron the Fantastic:
    And I am a moron who completely missed your point.

    "Insurance against marginalized people..."

    However, do you really feel it's an acceptable option to keep the poor pacified by doling out free stuff? Would not the better solution be to allow them to lift themselves from poverty by providing the environment that allows for personal advancement?


    Without doubt. The "free stuff" is the rhetoric of the capitalists, it's used to demonize the poor and the sick. Most people don't want "free stuff" (I mean, sure, we all want free beer, but my point is that most people want to feel sufficient and self-reliant). The people who actually want the 'free ride' are the ones who will find one no matter what you do (even if it culminates in their becoming of a professional criminal).

    Free, universal, health care and education. That's your environment for personal advancement. A strong social safety net allows people to bounce back in the most metaphoric way.


    You say the one's that want a free ride will always find one, but if their only choice in that regard is

    Before public education in America, the schools were funded by communities who got college educated teachers to teach their children all together, and our reading levels were the highest in the world. Now we're 35th (correct me if I'm wrong) in the world for reading. My state in particular leads the nation in high school dropouts.
    "Free" healthcare in other nations has lead to care rationing and long wait times - there's a reason Canadians come to the US for major surgery.

    I agree that everyone should have access to health care and education like you - I simply disagree with how we should do it. I don't believe that government should be the one to do it, because I don't trust them to do a good job with it. I would trust you more than I trust any congressman; at least you believe in what you say, and aren't just telling me what I want to hear to buy my vote.

    You talked about greedy businessmen who only care about "profit". Do you honestly believe the politicians who have to get campaign donations and votes are any different?
  • trtrwtf 2012-12-03 17:03
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    Free education and healthcare--really free healthcare, not Obamacare "We're going to force you to buy health insurance to pad the pockets of crooked insurance companies" type of healthcare--should be available to everyone, at a reasonable level of service. Those with the money to spend can "upgrade" as it were to better things, but the basics should be there. Sadly with healthcare as is proven in other nations that DO have free healthcare, the quality suffers drastically because you get doctors that don't care about helping the sick, they want money, and so they do a half-assed job because they can't charge for it.


    Speaking from Massachusetts, home of Romneycare, I agree with the first part of this: Romney's policy is not very well thought out, and it's astounding to me that it's considered a reasonable national policy. However, there are some aspects of the overall plan that are improvements over the previous free-for-all, so I'm going to just accept it while grumbling.

    However, having had experience with actual socialized health care, and having had direct reports from many people who have lived in countries with civilized health care systems, the latter half does not agree with anything I've experienced or heard from first-hand sources. I've experienced Finnish and German health care, and heard first-hand accounts from people who have experienced health and dental care in England, Canada, Germany, and Costa Rica, and all of them sound preferable to what we have here. Certainly my experiences were better in civilized countries, and hearing about a root canal in Costa Rica made me wish I'd been there when I had mine done.

    Don't believe the hype: the US health care system sucks, there's really no question about that.
  • Dave Insurgent 2012-12-03 17:09
    Bub:
    Yes there is. The investment capital is more valuable than the individual worker.


    I guess this is where we disagree. I think that, most likely, a "worker" (though it isn't one vs. one, it's one vs. thousands, you really like to mislead the argument) will be able to do something of utility to society, at least locally, in the absence of investors. In many cases the investor is only needed because another investor is holding on to some resource be it land or raw materials, and so on and so forth.

    When it comes down, especially, to the necessities of life, you could lose all the investors and capitalists in the world and still have a fairly healthy society. It sure pays to organize and work together, but I don't think that profit or investment return are the only terms in which people collaborate. That's actually fairly evident.
  • Mason Wheeler 2012-12-03 17:09
    Elron the Fantastic:
    The reason governments are formed is for the purpose of protecting property.


    Not sure where you're from, but the reason my government was formed is explicitly stated in its oldest and most sacred founding document to be the protection of its citizens' rights to life, liberty, and a lifestyle of happiness. (The common meaning of the word "pursuit" has changed significantly since then. It was meant as a noun, not a verb signifying "chasing after," Will Smith movies notwithstanding.) "Protecting property" is conspicuously absent from the rationale.
  • Bub 2012-12-03 17:09
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    Bub:
    "Yes, some of them are self-made, but are they really worth 100000x what someone else is?"

    I guess that depends entirely upon whom you ask, and your calculus for 'worth'.

    A brain surgeon isn't worth shit when my septic tank backs up ;)


    And that's the point. They get to decide this themselves so OF COURSE the answer is "Yes". Same like in the article about the exec bonuses; did the execs warrant bonuses while R&D budget was cut and basic maintenance requirements were ignored? The execs themselves were given the right to decide the answer, and it too was "Yes". Greed.

    If you let the people who stand to benefit the most from a positive answer get to decide the answer, of course it's going to be what will benefit them.

    There's an old saying about democracy that I think illustrates this point perfectly:

    Democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding what to have for dinner.


    I understand what you're getting at, but if the money is legally theirs to distribute, of what relevance is debating the merits of their decision? Maybe they have an understanding of someone's 'worth' that you and I do not share. Maybe it's an old boys club. Maybe they're retards. I don't know.....but if a crime isn't being committed, what's the beef?

    It certainly isn't _our_ money to decide what to do with.
  • Bub 2012-12-03 17:11
    Mason Wheeler:
    Bub:
    "Yet you completely ignore the fact that Capitalism advocates and rewards exactly this!"

    No. I disagree with this characterization of capitalism.

    "Someone threatening to take away the means through which you support yourself, whether or not they are obligated to do so, is using force against you. They are coercing you, and that makes any exchange between you decidedly non-voluntary."

    And, depending on the context, that same 'coercive' person may be committing a crime. A lawyer may well start throwing the words "unconscionable" and "untenable" around in the ensuing contract-law suit.


    Please, for heaven's sake, learn to use the QUOTE tag properly!


    NEVER! I will not submit to your oppressive tag coercion! ;)
  • Bub 2012-12-03 17:13
    "you could lose all the investors and capitalists in the world and still have a fairly healthy society"

    I don't believe you would like to live in that world ;)
  • Dave Insurgent 2012-12-03 17:16
    Elron the Fantastic:
    You talked about greedy businessmen who only care about "profit". Do you honestly believe the politicians who have to get campaign donations and votes are any different?


    Of course not! The difference is that those people are being deceptive. They're a perversion of their purpose. A properly accountable government (as we should be able to have, especially in this age of technology) should be scared shitless of its citizens! The private sectors true purpose is profit for the owners. You don't have them saying, "Oh, alright then, that's enough profit for this year, lets lower prices" or "you know what? we made a pretty good return on that new drug, lets drop the patent on it now so that everyone can enjoy affordable medication for their disease". It's their nature whereas your concerns, valid as they are, are not the correct nature of a representative in government. Corruption is not a reason to hand the controls over to someone who will behave in much the same way just because they're being honest about it.

    "Free" healthcare in other nations has lead to care rationing and long wait times - there's a reason Canadians come to the US for major surgery.


    This is part of the same type of arguing, which is that governments are inefficient so we should let corporations do everything (and somehow they will still make a profit while delivering more services to us). The correct answer is more accountability in government, more transparency. I should have a log every time an elected official farts, just in case.
  • Bub 2012-12-03 17:19
    "I guess this is where we disagree. I think that, most likely, a "worker" (though it isn't one vs. one, it's one vs. thousands, you really like to mislead the argument) will be able to do something of utility to society, at least locally, in the absence of investors"

    It was not my intent to mislead.

    OK, let's talk about thousands or workers. There's a one to many relationship between investors and the jobs they help create. That is of great value/utility to society, yes?

    They get a small slice of the pie for doing little more than reading the news and transferring digits between accounts. Yet the ultimate beneficial effect of their economic actions is tremendous. With enough investment, they can accrue greater amounts of money, which can be both spent and/or reinvested (even if only in a bank account). Regardless of the quantity of reward, their investment actions are still valuable. They don't cease to be so beyond an arbitrary level.
  • Elron the Fantastic 2012-12-03 17:19
    Mason Wheeler:


    Not sure where you're from, but the reason my government was formed is explicitly stated in its oldest and most sacred founding document to be the protection of its citizens' rights to life, liberty, and a lifestyle of happiness. (The common meaning of the word "pursuit" has changed significantly since then. It was meant as a noun, not a verb signifying "chasing after," Will Smith movies notwithstanding.) "Protecting property" is conspicuously absent from the rationale.


    You own your life, do you not? The government serves the role of protecting your life through laws, police, and armies.

    What is liberty? If you own your life, then you can do what you want with it - liberty, the ability to make your own choices. Government and law, too, should protect this, and any government which does not do so is not performing its proper role.

    And your lifestyle, well, that is a combination of your domicile, your possessions, and your personal activities which are covered by liberty. Whether you like a high lifestyle in an expensive high rise apartment or some cabin in the woods, the government must protect those things as well, typically with the aforementioned armies.

    All of these things are an extension of "property" which is a creation of "law". And that is why people form governments.
  • Bub 2012-12-03 17:21
    "The correct answer is more accountability in government, more transparency."

    Please excuse me, I just sharted.
  • Dave Insurgent 2012-12-03 17:26
    Bub:
    "you could lose all the investors and capitalists in the world and still have a fairly healthy society"

    I don't believe you would like to live in that world ;)


    I don't believe so either. You were participating in a dissection of the system to establish at what point it is irreducibly complex.

    I want to live in a world where all humans are guaranteed health, education and a job that pays them enough to live modestly but contently. Where fortunes amassed do not bestow power unobtainable by 99.999999% of the people to ever be born. Where the focus is more on leisure and creativity (software being a huge part of that), not on productivity and profitability.

    With our advancements in robotics and automation, I'd like to think that some day manual labor jobs will be a thing of the past. That food, cheap affordable food, will be harvested quickly and easily and no one will go hungry. The only thing I see standing in the way of that... isn't technology. It's someone asking, "but who will make a profit?" - the same goes for energy, be it fusion or whatever. The same goes for space exploration. As soon as we as a species decide we want to attempt to inhabit another celestial body, we have a huge clusterfuck of problems: who owns it? How much of it? Do I get to land on Mars and just run as far as I can and put a stake in the ground and say "this is mine"? This is why I focus on the chain of ownership break down that occurs when people try to talk about their rights/freedoms to do what they want. I I think that in order to progress, especially off this rock, we have to re-visit the idea of private ownership of everything as the basis for how we interact.

    Like I said, I certainly hope that my children's children (perhaps their children, don't want to be too hopeful) aren't working 40-60 hours a week just to afford a simple home. Our house is quite modest, one bathroom, etc. and cost $250,000 - the backyard isn't even big enough to throw a ball with my son, really.
  • Elron the Fantastic 2012-12-03 17:38
    Dave Insurgent:
    Elron the Fantastic:
    You talked about greedy businessmen who only care about "profit". Do you honestly believe the politicians who have to get campaign donations and votes are any different?


    Of course not! The difference is that those people are being deceptive. They're a perversion of their purpose. A properly accountable government (as we should be able to have, especially in this age of technology) should be scared shitless of its citizens! The private sectors true purpose is profit for the owners. You don't have them saying, "Oh, alright then, that's enough profit for this year, lets lower prices" or "you know what? we made a pretty good return on that new drug, lets drop the patent on it now so that everyone can enjoy affordable medication for their disease". It's their nature whereas your concerns, valid as they are, are not the correct nature of a representative in government. Corruption is not a reason to hand the controls over to someone who will behave in much the same way just because they're being honest about it.

    "Free" healthcare in other nations has lead to care rationing and long wait times - there's a reason Canadians come to the US for major surgery.


    This is part of the same type of arguing, which is that governments are inefficient so we should let corporations do everything (and somehow they will still make a profit while delivering more services to us). The correct answer is more accountability in government, more transparency. I should have a log every time an elected official farts, just in case.


    You're correct in that a properly accountable government with transparency would likely act in the best interest of its people. I agree with your desire for such a thing. However, the problem is that men creates the law, and men have a tendency to not dick themselves by creating laws that would hold themselves accountable. Power corrupts, as the saying goes; the founders tried to set up the government in such a way that it would be limited as possible to prevent its corruption, but it has grown too powerful. You keep governments honest by keeping them small (since they can't hide so easily).

    As for leaving it to corporations to handle everything, remember that the government in essence functions like an expansionist corporation. They too seek higher profits (through a combination of taxes, borrowing, and inflating the currency), but they have one major bonus in that the only way to not pay them (as S3V3R pointed out) is to move to another one. It's this one difference which makes corporations more efficient, because while corporations are incentivized to minimize costs to maximize profits, and have to compete, the government has no competition. We must do business with the government, so their incentive becomes maximizing their own personal benefits at the cost of us.

    We need governments but I think they should do as little as possible, precisely because it is so hard to get transparency and accountability from them. Sort of a "who guards the guards" deal.
  • Dave Insurgent 2012-12-03 17:45
    Elron the Fantastic:
    We must do business with the government, so their incentive becomes maximizing their own personal benefits at the cost of us.

    We need governments but I think they should do as little as possible, precisely because it is so hard to get transparency and accountability from them. Sort of a "who guards the guards" deal.


    We elect the government. Corruption comes in to play but that's a whole other matter. I'm asking you to compare them as they're both intended to function. Who guards the corporations? Other corporations? The government? How is that any better considering the track record? If we have the capability to keep the government accountable (so that they correctly guard the corporations) then have we not reached the goal and thus no longer need the corporations?

    I don't see what you're saying to be a solution, or even a clear problem description. You're basically playing in to the "power corrupts" hand, which is true - but if you assume / strive for a counterbalance to that power, then what do you end up with?

    - A responsible government that actually is accountable and transparent
    - A [???] corporation that [???]

    Can you fill in the blanks?
  • [Your Name] 2012-12-03 17:51
    trtrwtf:
    Don't believe the hype: the US health care system sucks, there's really no question about that.
    Healthcare is an outstanding example of how the American system has failed.

    What we had was Racketeering and Price Fixing by definition. The government couldn't stand for that and decided it would make it better by making it illegal to not self subjugate.

    Why is it that a dog owner can pay for a full chemo regimen for less than the cost of a single treatment for a person? It's not because the drugs are any different, if that's not too much of a spoiler. How much do you think the person's treatment would cost if health insurance wasn't so busy helping us?
  • Simon 2012-12-03 17:53
    biziclop:
    As soon as the roofs started leaking, the office would've been filled with "Slippery when wet" signs. Then it would've been closed down because the signs were obstructing fire evacuation routes.


    We used to have a cleaner who kept leaving those signs the kitchen and toilets after she'd cleaned the floor. One of the engineers then started sticking printed sheets to them, with a message to the effect of "Caution: hazardously placed warning sign".
  • Bub 2012-12-03 17:57
    Dave Insurgent:
    Bub:
    "you could lose all the investors and capitalists in the world and still have a fairly healthy society"

    I don't believe you would like to live in that world ;)


    I don't believe so either. You were participating in a dissection of the system to establish at what point it is irreducibly complex.

    I want to live in a world where all humans are guaranteed health, education and a job that pays them enough to live modestly but contently. Where fortunes amassed do not bestow power unobtainable by 99.999999% of the people to ever be born. Where the focus is more on leisure and creativity (software being a huge part of that), not on productivity and profitability.

    With our advancements in robotics and automation, I'd like to think that some day manual labor jobs will be a thing of the past. That food, cheap affordable food, will be harvested quickly and easily and no one will go hungry. The only thing I see standing in the way of that... isn't technology. It's someone asking, "but who will make a profit?" - the same goes for energy, be it fusion or whatever. The same goes for space exploration. As soon as we as a species decide we want to attempt to inhabit another celestial body, we have a huge clusterfuck of problems: who owns it? How much of it? Do I get to land on Mars and just run as far as I can and put a stake in the ground and say "this is mine"? This is why I focus on the chain of ownership break down that occurs when people try to talk about their rights/freedoms to do what they want. I I think that in order to progress, especially off this rock, we have to re-visit the idea of private ownership of everything as the basis for how we interact.

    Like I said, I certainly hope that my children's children (perhaps their children, don't want to be too hopeful) aren't working 40-60 hours a week just to afford a simple home. Our house is quite modest, one bathroom, etc. and cost $250,000 - the backyard isn't even big enough to throw a ball with my son, really.


    You clearly have a good heart, for which I cannot fault you :)

    "re-visit the idea of private ownership of everything"

    By all means, 'revisit' it. The bar is pretty high though.
  • Bub 2012-12-03 17:59
    Simon:
    biziclop:
    As soon as the roofs started leaking, the office would've been filled with "Slippery when wet" signs. Then it would've been closed down because the signs were obstructing fire evacuation routes.


    We used to have a cleaner who kept leaving those signs the kitchen and toilets after she'd cleaned the floor. One of the engineers then started sticking printed sheets to them, with a message to the effect of "Caution: hazardously placed warning sign".


    To which someone should have stuck a "Caution: hazardous obscuration of warning sign" message ;)
  • fwip 2012-12-03 18:03
    5 pages of comments, and nobody's pointed out that "Several floors have had their roof collapse."

    I don't know about you, but I find that usually only one floor has a roof.
  • Jack 2012-12-03 18:04
    Dave Insurgent:

    - A [???] corporation that [???]

    Can you fill in the blanks?
    A for-profit corporation that creates wealth through a series of voluntary transactions.

    Every time "A" trades with "B" they do so because both of them expect to be happier after the trade. That additional happiness is called profit and they both enjoy it.

    Every profit-making transaction, invariably must make the world a better place, because it makes both parties happier. Profits are a measure of how much good one has done.

    Unless there's violence involved. If "A" forces "B" to part with property, that is not free trade. That is theft, and it is always harmful in the net analysis, though it may benefit the recipient of the stolen goods.
  • Dave Insurgent 2012-12-03 18:09
    Jack:
    Dave Insurgent:

    - A [???] corporation that [???]

    Can you fill in the blanks?
    A for-profit corporation that creates wealth through a series of voluntary transactions.

    Every time "A" trades with "B" they do so because both of them expect to be happier after the trade. That additional happiness is called profit and they both enjoy it.

    Every profit-making transaction, invariably must make the world a better place, because it makes both parties happier. Profits are a measure of how much good one has done.

    Unless there's violence involved. If "A" forces "B" to part with property, that is not free trade. That is theft, and it is always harmful in the net analysis, though it may benefit the recipient of the stolen goods.


    You assume all transactions are voluntary and that there exists no such thing as necessity (and thus, unfair trade). The whole thing deconstructs from that point. You've also clearly demonstrated that you made no effort to read the thread, as you have re-used an already defeated argument that implies violence is the only means of coercion. This is obviously not so.

    f I am given drugs to manage my disease, but there is in fact a cure being withheld (because it would not generate as much profit as ongoing medication) - how do you equate that?

    You don't, because you've horribly oversimplified.
  • Jazz 2012-12-03 18:10
    Randy:
    As an investor, you may also discover that there aren't many people who can reliably produce a return on your investment. Thus, you may be willing to provide a reward to the few who can. Let's call it a bonus. Someone gives you a hundred dollars return on your investment, and you happily reward that good behavior with a two dollar bonus. So do the other million investors -- gladly, voluntarily. That business leader who knew how to do what few others could earned a two million dollar bonus. Yes, earned it, by virtue of the wealth he produced with his superior abilities.


    Let's examine the process of "producing" that wealth and "earning" that two million dollar bonus from the point of view of the business leader.

    I'm J. Random Bossman, and I'm sitting on my yacht cruising along the Pacific coast. Looking at my data, I can see that another boss man somewhere is on track to be able to give you a return on investment of $80, while as it stands right now I am only able to give you an ROI of $60. I want the bonus you've offered, so I need some way to raise the ROI. Which means some way of getting extra profit without any extra expense.

    So I grab my cell phone, I call up the manager of each local production facility. I give him an option. "Either raise your profitability by X%, or you're fired. I don't care how you do it. Either fire people, or cut their benefits, whatever." And I hang up. Now it's someone else's problem. I don't actually have to figure out what to do -- I just have to hold the threat of being without a job over someone else's head so that they figure it out for me.

    Some managers decide to lay off huge numbers of workers. Some cut the benefits. So out of my 5,000 workers that I had at all facilities, 3,500 of them lose their jobs and the others now no longer have health care. Of course, if one of them complains to me, I get to hold up my hands and say, "I didn't fire them, the managers did. You should take it up with them," while I take another sip of single-malt scotch from the bar on my yacht. The savings I get from these layoffs allows me to return an extra $40 to you as an investor, bringing your ROI up and earning me the two-million dollar bonus.

    I just earned two million dollars by making ten phone calls and screwing ~15,000 people (5,000 employees and their family members) out of their living. I didn't actually PRODUCE anything! In fact, the capacity of the capital that I own to actually produce products has gone DOWN, since I have fewer workers with experience on my production line, and the workers I have left are likely to suffer increased attrition due to worse health over time. But I, sitting on my yacht, produced nothing. I hired other workers to produce something for me, but that demonstrates THEIR economic value -- not mine. As you said, "so it goes, back layer by layer, every capital tool was made by workers" -- you are correct. Every tool was made by WORKERS. None of the tools were made by OWNERS. The worker produces the good or service; it's the worker that has value. You can't count that value once for the worker and then again for whoever is paying him.

    So how does me producing nothing, over a thirty-minute time span, "earn" me sixty times more than one of my workers would have earned in a year? What output did I generate? What good or service did I produce? What exactly is it that you, Randy, value so highly about J. Random Bossman's half-hour of sailing that you believe he deserves two million dollars for?

    If your answer is, "well, what I value about his actions is that I just made an ROI of $100" then you're essentially saying "I value the fact that I am making money, regardless of the fact that in order for me to make it, many other people were dehumanized and will suffer going forward." Which is absolutely your right to say. Just like it's our right to think that that makes you and those like you cold-hearted Scrooges, who believe money is more ethically important than people. (And that's not an insult. That's a description.)
  • Tom 2012-12-03 18:16
    Jazz:
    the capacity of the capital that I own to actually produce products has gone DOWN
    So how are you going to produce a positive return on investment again next quarter?
  • Bub 2012-12-03 18:17
    "f I am given drugs to manage my disease, but there is in fact a cure being withheld (because it would not generate as much profit as ongoing medication) - how do you equate that? "

    Maybe they're playing a much longer game of "population control", and are, in certain people's eyes, heroes.

    Cull the herd, natural selection, blah blah blah
  • Dave Insurgent 2012-12-03 18:18
    ^ this times a million (actually, only 100, because no statement can be more than 100 times better than the worst).

    Seriously though. The how is a huge deal to some people. Whether or not it is to you really depends on whether or not you're a decent human being. And the fact is that those laid off people will go find work somewhere else, probably paying less because the same type of behavior is going on all over the place - the guy who got screwed out of the last bonus now has his managers on the line telling them to cut costs, which means closing more plants, moving them overseas or hiring all the laid off workers from the other plant at much lower wage with no benefits.

    Then in response to that situation, you cue the "well, if they din like them jerbs they should get new jerbs!" type victim-blaming.
  • Bub 2012-12-03 18:20
    "Every tool was made by WORKERS"

    And who invented the tool, thereby providing the worker with the blueprint to follow?

    And who invented the tools the workers use to make the tools?
  • Dave Insurgent 2012-12-03 18:21
    Bub:
    "Every tool was made by WORKERS"

    And who invented the tool, thereby providing the worker with the blueprint to follow?

    And who invented the tools the workers use to make the tools?


    People who work with their brain? That's still a worker. (You're aware which website you're on, right? You're aware that it is geared towards highlighting cases where workers who use their brain didn't do so?)
  • Elron the Fantastic 2012-12-03 18:23
    Dave Insurgent:
    Elron the Fantastic:
    We must do business with the government, so their incentive becomes maximizing their own personal benefits at the cost of us.

    We need governments but I think they should do as little as possible, precisely because it is so hard to get transparency and accountability from them. Sort of a "who guards the guards" deal.


    We elect the government. Corruption comes in to play but that's a whole other matter. I'm asking you to compare them as they're both intended to function. Who guards the corporations? Other corporations? The government? How is that any better considering the track record? If we have the capability to keep the government accountable (so that they correctly guard the corporations) then have we not reached the goal and thus no longer need the corporations?

    I don't see what you're saying to be a solution, or even a clear problem description. You're basically playing in to the "power corrupts" hand, which is true - but if you assume / strive for a counterbalance to that power, then what do you end up with?

    - A responsible government that actually is accountable and transparent
    - A [???] corporation that [???]

    Can you fill in the blanks?


    To answer your questions

    I don't believe it's ultimately possible to keep governments accountable, at least not as accountable as we would like. We can only limit it's power so it can't screw up too much.

    A [private] corporation that [competes against the other corporation(s) by offering better services or lower cost, which forces the other "bad" corporation(s) to change ways or go out of business.] So yes, in essence, corporations are the counter to other corporations; A corporation, is just a collection of people working for a specific purpose, which is usually making money. Ambitious people who recognize that a corporation is bad for one reason or another will form their own corporation that works better.

    I suppose I have been unclear, so let me make a clear statement then of what I perceive to be the main problem, and what I believe to be the solution.

    The problem that I see, is the government is insulated from public concerns, and they're managing areas they should be. You say we elect the government, but I don't believe that to be case; rather we're presented with a small list of candidates who are deemed "acceptable". These candidates enter government and work on behalf of various interest groups to enact legislation that is good for that group and bad for the nation. They also enact "nice sounding" legislation in order to trick the population in to thinking they represent them wall accomplishing nothing of real value.
    I believe that most of the nations problems can be traced to government interference; the government is attempting to manage areas in which it's not qualified to manage, such as education and healthcare. It is a monolith which is only capable of assigning priorities in a very blunt and broad fashion.

    The solution to the problem is to eliminate the excess laws that work outside of the primary purpose of the central government (protecting property), and reduce its overall power. By taking these powers away from the federal government, you put the power in the hands of the more local state governments, who are in a better position to address the concerns of their individual populations. The federal government must then return to its role of protecting the country, and preventing the states from dicking each other through stupid individual state laws like tolls.

    When the government acts in its proper single role, the rest of the jobs can be taken by the people. Who cares more about your child's education and healthcare than you? Who better knows your healthcare needs?

  • Bub 2012-12-03 18:25
    "People who work with their brain? That's still a worker."

    Really? Like investors and executives? They're workers too?
  • Friedrice The great 2012-12-03 18:28
    Randy:
    Dave Insurgent:
    If Socialism is an interface, you're only referring to the DictatorshipSocialism implementation
    I'm curious what, if any, other implementations exist.
    Dave Insurgent:
    those behaviors are the very spirit of capitalism. Take as much as you can, from anyone, from everyone.
    I think you're referring to theft, which, by the way, is openly advocated by socialism. Take from the productive and hand it out to people who haven't earned it.

    Capitalism is "Take as much as you can, from anyone, from everyone, with their consent." No one forces you to pay $2,000 for a TV. The buyer and seller agree on the price, otherwise no transaction occurs. As soon as a transaction is not voluntary -- when there is some element of force involved -- you are moving toward one of the criminal "isms" such as socialism.


    Yes, "isms" like monopolism.
  • Bub 2012-12-03 18:31
    Friedrice The great:
    Randy:
    Dave Insurgent:
    If Socialism is an interface, you're only referring to the DictatorshipSocialism implementation
    I'm curious what, if any, other implementations exist.
    Dave Insurgent:
    those behaviors are the very spirit of capitalism. Take as much as you can, from anyone, from everyone.
    I think you're referring to theft, which, by the way, is openly advocated by socialism. Take from the productive and hand it out to people who haven't earned it.

    Capitalism is "Take as much as you can, from anyone, from everyone, with their consent." No one forces you to pay $2,000 for a TV. The buyer and seller agree on the price, otherwise no transaction occurs. As soon as a transaction is not voluntary -- when there is some element of force involved -- you are moving toward one of the criminal "isms" such as socialism.


    Yes, "isms" like monopolism.


    Monopolies only exist with force. Typically the kind of force only derived from government interference...or organized crime....but I repeat myself.

    Unfortunately, there are many that define "monopoly" as being singularly successful. This is camouflage for their statist desire to attack anything that rises too high for their tastes.
  • Jazz 2012-12-03 18:31
    Jack:
    Every time "A" trades with "B" they do so because both of them expect to be happier after the trade. That additional happiness is called profit and they both enjoy it.

    Every profit-making transaction, invariably must make the world a better place, because it makes both parties happier. Profits are a measure of how much good one has done.

    Unless there's violence involved. If "A" forces "B" to part with property, that is not free trade. That is theft, and it is always harmful in the net analysis, though it may benefit the recipient of the stolen goods.


    Let's see: False, false, and false.

    When I am forced to buy, say, a city sticker for my automobile, I don't expect to be happier after it. The city chamber of commerce doesn't expect to be "happier" after it (how exactly do you measure the "happiness" of a legal entity, anyway?). It's just something that's in an ordinance and therefore I must legally do it whether it makes me happier or not. In fact, frequently I make transactions with the expectation that I will be UNHAPPIER after the transaction. Have you ever bought tickets to go see a movie with your significant other that you knew you were going to hate, but did anyway because your S.O. pressured you into it? Or how about when my employer raises the rates on our health insurance because the insurance company's saleslady showed him a good time last Friday? I certainly don't expect to be any happier after paying the extra $100/month and getting the exact same coverage. So the happiness test fails miserably, right out of the gate.

    The second claim -- that all transactions must make the world a better place -- relies on the first claim and therefore already has been shown false, but let's approach this from a different direction. If all transactions MUST make the world a better place, then the simplest way to make the world better and better every day would be for just two people to keep trading ALL the world's wealth between them. Right? If all the world's wealth is changing hands once per day, then each of those transactions must be making the greatest possible amount of improvement in the world. And therefore if you just had two people, trading the money back and forth as fast as possible, the world would get better... and better... and better! Right? Except that it only takes three or four brain cells to realize that if only two people controlled all the world's wealth, eight billion people would starve to death. So that would actually mean the world is getting worse. So there's a contradiction if we start from the premise that all transactions must make the world a better place. So that's false too.

    Lastly, the idea that A taking B's property against their will is ALWAYS harmful in the net analysis is also false. Let's say you have a city of 10,000 people. This city needs streets, sewers, water, power, police forces, EMTs, and firefighters. All 10,000 people get together and they decide between two options. They can either (a) each individually hire someone to build roads to their houses, someone to pump water to their home, someone to patrol the streets, someone to take them to the hospital when they have a heart attack, or they can (b) pool their resources and collectively buy these services in bulk, at "wholesale" rates. If they go with option (a), the individualistic method, each person may need to pay $75,000 each year (that's assuming that the policeman, EMT, and firefighter that each person hires doesn't mind working for about $20k... which is a hell of an assumption). But if they go with option (b), they are going to pay about $90,000,000 collectively, but that works out to only $9,000 per person. Now, Jim-Bob in the back row is a stubborn old man and refuses to vote for the collective purchase option (b). He'd like to buy all his own services. But he gets outvoted by everyone else, because they don't have an extra $75k lying around. Now the other citizens are forcing Jim-Bob to give up $9,000 against his will, but it is easy to demonstrate that for them to do so benefits Jim-Bob greatly. He's getting all the same services he would have paid for anyway, but at an 88% discount! He gets to keep that extra $66k and use it to bring himself other happiness. It also benefits the rest of the citizens of the town, in that Jim-Bob's participation allows them to also receive this discount. Everyone's life is improved, including Jim-Bob's, because he was forced to part with his property against his will.

    So... zero for three. But keep going, please!
  • Elron the Fantastic 2012-12-03 18:32
    Jazz:

    Let's examine the process of "producing" that wealth and "earning" that two million dollar bonus from the point of view of the business leader.

    I'm J. Random Bossman, and I'm sitting on my yacht cruising along the Pacific coast. Looking at my data, I can see that another boss man somewhere is on track to be able to give you a return on investment of $80, while as it stands right now I am only able to give you an ROI of $60. I want the bonus you've offered, so I need some way to raise the ROI. Which means some way of getting extra profit without any extra expense.

    So I grab my cell phone, I call up the manager of each local production facility. I give him an option. "Either raise your profitability by X%, or you're fired. I don't care how you do it. Either fire people, or cut their benefits, whatever." And I hang up. Now it's someone else's problem. I don't actually have to figure out what to do -- I just have to hold the threat of being without a job over someone else's head so that they figure it out for me.

    Some managers decide to lay off huge numbers of workers. Some cut the benefits. So out of my 5,000 workers that I had at all facilities, 3,500 of them lose their jobs and the others now no longer have health care. Of course, if one of them complains to me, I get to hold up my hands and say, "I didn't fire them, the managers did. You should take it up with them," while I take another sip of single-malt scotch from the bar on my yacht. The savings I get from these layoffs allows me to return an extra $40 to you as an investor, bringing your ROI up and earning me the two-million dollar bonus.

    I just earned two million dollars by making ten phone calls and screwing ~15,000 people (5,000 employees and their family members) out of their living. I didn't actually PRODUCE anything! In fact, the capacity of the capital that I own to actually produce products has gone DOWN, since I have fewer workers with experience on my production line, and the workers I have left are likely to suffer increased attrition due to worse health over time. But I, sitting on my yacht, produced nothing. I hired other workers to produce something for me, but that demonstrates THEIR economic value -- not mine. As you said, "so it goes, back layer by layer, every capital tool was made by workers" -- you are correct. Every tool was made by WORKERS. None of the tools were made by OWNERS. The worker produces the good or service; it's the worker that has value. You can't count that value once for the worker and then again for whoever is paying him.

    So how does me producing nothing, over a thirty-minute time span, "earn" me sixty times more than one of my workers would have earned in a year? What output did I generate? What good or service did I produce? What exactly is it that you, Randy, value so highly about J. Random Bossman's half-hour of sailing that you believe he deserves two million dollars for?

    If your answer is, "well, what I value about his actions is that I just made an ROI of $100" then you're essentially saying "I value the fact that I am making money, regardless of the fact that in order for me to make it, many other people were dehumanized and will suffer going forward." Which is absolutely your right to say. Just like it's our right to think that that makes you and those like you cold-hearted Scrooges, who believe money is more ethically important than people. (And that's not an insult. That's a description.)


    With all do respect, you have a very "saturday morning cartoon villain" view of business leaders, and no real understanding of running a business. Certainly you may decrease your costs by making such unreasonable phone calls to lower costs for everyone, but the deminished productivity of those facilities would seriously damage the long-term profitability of those facilities and would very quickly get that leader a meeting with a very angry board of directors. Businesses cannot survive if they make such whimsical choices - they must plan for the long term.

    Also, if you really want to cut costs in that fashion, you don't diminish the costs of each facility by X%, you close X% of your facilities. That's just economics 101.
  • Karl 2012-12-03 18:34
    Bub:
    "People who work with their brain? That's still a worker."

    Really? Like investors and executives? They're workers too?
    No, no, NO!!! Investors have money. That makes them baaaaad! Executives just sit on yachts all day firing people. That's all they do. I know because I used to be one, before I got a heart.
  • Dave Insurgent 2012-12-03 18:35
    Elron the Fantastic:
    I don't believe it's ultimately possible to keep governments accountable, at least not as accountable as we would like. We can only limit it's power so it can't screw up too much.


    Then how can they keep corporations accountable or in check? Isn't that like attempting to add precision downstream of an algorithm?

    A [private] corporation that [competes against the other corporation(s) by offering better services or lower cost, which forces the other "bad" corporation(s) to change ways or go out of business.]


    What happens when instead they just simply offer more of the same? For example, see any oligarchy in communications, television, fuel, food.

    So yes, in essence, corporations are the counter to other corporations; A corporation, is just a collection of people working for a specific purpose, which is usually making money.


    When is it not making money?

    Ambitious people who recognize that a corporation is bad for one reason or another will form their own corporation that works better.


    You're not paying any mind to the barrier of entry to do so. No amount of ambition will make up for the wealth required to say, go against Wal-Mart. Now, you can say Target or K-Mart or whatever exist, but again they're all more of the same. If you open up your own shop and start to actually pose a thread to Wal-Mart they will run you out of business without breaking a sweat.

    The problem that I see, is the government is insulated from public concerns,


    Even local government?

    and they're managing areas they should be. You say we elect the government, but I don't believe that to be case; rather we're presented with a small list of candidates who are deemed "acceptable".


    Agreed, it's mostly a farce. It's actually a lot like... doing business with corporations! Televisions, home appliances, beer, all made by the same companies yet pretending that there is far more choice than there really is!

    These candidates enter government and work on behalf of various interest groups to enact legislation that is good for that group and bad for the nation.


    Couldn't agree more. Sounds like a perfect opportunity for some kind of reform.

    They also enact "nice sounding" legislation in order to trick the population in to thinking they represent them wall accomplishing nothing of real value.


    Which sounds like most of the products I've ever been asked to buy in my life. I suppose your point is that I didn't. That's fair.

    I believe that most of the nations problems can be traced to government interference; the government is attempting to manage areas in which it's not qualified to manage, such as education and healthcare.


    Given that we've established that the only goal of a for-profit entity is to make a profit, don't you feel like that is in conflict of interest with say, the goal of health care or education?

    It is a monolith which is only capable of assigning priorities in a very blunt and broad fashion.


    Not unlike a corporation - though you've already said that the government is a large corporation. I don't see how, yet, you've established that they're any different. The only difference I see thus far is that if the government does something good - accidentally even, if I give you that - it's actually doing what it's supposed to. If a corporation does, it's made a mistake.

    The solution to the problem is to eliminate the excess laws that work outside of the primary purpose of the central government (protecting property), and reduce its overall power.


    Can you give an example of a law that is unnecessary?

    By taking these powers away from the federal government, you put the power in the hands of the more local state governments, who are in a better position to address the concerns of their individual populations.


    Ah, so your argument isn't against big government, just centralized government?

    When the government acts in its proper single role, the rest of the jobs can be taken by the people. Who cares more about your child's education and healthcare than you? Who better knows your healthcare needs?


    Actually I don't know shit about my child's education and health care. Those are disciplines that require a lifetime of commitment in order to be competent, and just because it's "my child" doesn't mean I know what is best. I want to speak to a professional who is vetted by other professional peers about those. That's the most important part. The only difference between the government and a corporation then, is the access: in my version, the government may somehow make that affordable (as it has been shown to in many, many well-developed countries in the world). In your version, it costs as much as possible and no less, because that's contrary to the very nature of the entity offering me the access.
  • Bub 2012-12-03 18:40
    Jazz:
    Everyone's life is improved, including Jim-Bob's, because he was forced to part with his property against his will.


    Or Jim Bob could choose to not have a road going to his house, install his own well, buy a gun, pay for private emergency coverage, save a bunch of money, and not submit to the 'force' of the mob.
  • Bub 2012-12-03 18:42
    Karl:
    Bub:
    "People who work with their brain? That's still a worker."

    Really? Like investors and executives? They're workers too?
    No, no, NO!!! Investors have money. That makes them baaaaad! Executives just sit on yachts all day firing people. That's all they do. I know because I used to be one, before I got a heart.


    You have a heart? I have a CO2-spewing reactor fueled by infant aboriginal brains.
  • Bub 2012-12-03 18:46
    "Given that we've established that the only goal of a for-profit entity is to make a profit, don't you feel like that is in conflict of interest with say, the goal of health care or education? "

    If the focus of profit-making is the provision of that healthcare or education, then I would say that their interests and ours are well-aligned.

    What keeps their focus aligned to ours? Competition.
  • Friedrice The great 2012-12-03 18:47
    C-Derb:
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    America isn't capitalist anyways, it's corporatist, and that's a big part why things are so fucked up. Everything revolves around big business and the inevitable lobbying that they do.
    +1

    It is also a big part of why things are so hard to change. Show me a common sense solution to a widely acknowledged problem, and I will show you someone who will lobby against it because change will impact their bottom line.


    Machiavelli on change:

    "There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things. For the reformer has enemies in all those who profit by the old order, and only lukewarm defenders in all those who would profit by the new order, this lukewarmness arising partly from fear of their adversaries … and partly from the incredulity of mankind, who do not truly believe in anything new until they have had actual experience of it."
  • Mason Wheeler 2012-12-03 18:49
    [quote user="Dave Insurgent"][quote user="Elron the Fantastic"][quote]When the government acts in its proper single role, the rest of the jobs can be taken by the people. Who cares more about your child's education and healthcare than you? Who better knows your healthcare needs?[/quote]

    Actually I don't know shit about my child's education and health care. Those are disciplines that require a lifetime of commitment in order to be competent, and just because it's "my child" doesn't mean I know what is best. I want to speak to a professional who is vetted by other professional peers about those. That's the most important part.[/quote]

    This. Requiring (or even expecting) a person to know enough about these important matters to be able to make their own decisions by themselves is contrary to one of the most fundamental principles of civilization: specialization. Since the very beginning of civilized society, mankind has grown and advanced by carving out niches of knowledge and expertise that get handed off to specialists who are trusted to do a good job of it so that the rest of us don't have to.

    To speak against the principle of specialization is barbaric, not in the vernacular sense of "I don't like what my opponent is saying so I'm going to call it a mean name," but in the literal sense that to oppose specialization is to advocate barbarism, the opposite of civilization. And this is the point that libertarians, with their talk of "self-reliance" and "caveat emptor" never seem to understand. If we were to truly listen to them, we would not improve society; we would set the progress of civilization back by thousands of years.
  • Pete 2012-12-03 18:57
    Mason Wheeler:
    Since the very beginning of civilized society, mankind has grown and advanced by carving out niches of knowledge and expertise that get handed off to specialists who are trusted to do a good job of it so that the rest of us don't have to.
    Should you be allowed to choose which specialist you turn to for advice?
  • Friedrice The great 2012-12-03 18:58
    PedanticCurmudgeon:
    Mason Wheeler:
    So, given the choice between having that power in the hands of democratically elected representatives that I can vote out if they do a bad job, or having that power in the hands of a conqueror, I'll choose the former every time.
    You were doing OK up to this point, (except remember that history is written by the winners). Here's the thing: if a group of powerful people ever managed to take over the major political parties, your vote would be as useless as it would be living under a conqueror.


    Look up how the real capitalists ran things before the antimonopoly laws were around.
  • Dave Insurgent 2012-12-03 18:59
    Bub:
    "Given that we've established that the only goal of a for-profit entity is to make a profit, don't you feel like that is in conflict of interest with say, the goal of health care or education? "

    If the focus of profit-making is the provision of that healthcare or education, then I would say that their interests and ours are well-aligned.

    What keeps their focus aligned to ours? Competition.


    Again, in the case of health care, as I've spelled out already: the "competition" isn't "oh oh hey if you won't save that guy, I will!". First of all, for most reasons you'd be going to an emergency room, you're not going to shop around. Secondly, health care is the very opposite of profitability, of competition. It's about keeping the weak alive. That costs. The profit motive is, absolutely, at odds with the idea of spending money to save someone. I don't mean to appeal to conspiracies, but imagine if you will, what motive is there not to just pull the plug on you knowing that you will take millions of dollars in care after your injury? Only customers getting angry. What that means is the number of transgressions to make, and the extent of them, need only be small enough to go unnoticed or written off by apologists. Do we not have ample evidence of insurance companies trying to screw people out of payments because it affects their bottom line? Is that not the conflict of interest right there in front of you?

    I'd say the best argument against the idea that competition makes everything better is ... present day. If you don't see that, then I'm afraid we've reached a point where our life experiences render us mutually incapable of seeing the situation from the others perspective - which is to say, we've reached the point every argument on the internet ever reaches.
  • Dave Insurgent 2012-12-03 19:01
    Pete:
    Mason Wheeler:
    Since the very beginning of civilized society, mankind has grown and advanced by carving out niches of knowledge and expertise that get handed off to specialists who are trusted to do a good job of it so that the rest of us don't have to.
    Should you be allowed to choose which specialist you turn to for advice?


    That choice is an illusion. The best specialists won't see you because they can charge as much as they want. Odds are you will not be high enough on the totem pole to afford that. Don't kid yourself.

    But that's why it's supposed to be a profession, with standards and what have you. The problem is the fact you seem to want to see a different doctor or educator. Something is going wrong that is producing people with such a disparity in skill. The solution isn't to just mix it up and let everybody fight for themselves.
  • Bub 2012-12-03 19:08
    "we've reached the point every argument on the internet ever reaches."

    Agreed.
  • claymade 2012-12-03 19:12
    Dave Insurgent:
    We elect the government. Corruption comes in to play but that's a whole other matter.

    ...

    I don't see what you're saying to be a solution, or even a clear problem description. You're basically playing in to the "power corrupts" hand, which is true - but if you assume / strive for a counterbalance to that power, then what do you end up with?

    - A responsible government that actually is accountable and transparent
    - A [???] corporation that [???]

    Can you fill in the blanks?

    Given that the problem is "power corrupts, for both the State and the Corporation", I DON'T think that the solution is to give all the power to the State and then just concentrate on trying to rein in resultant corruption by means of the one vote each of us has with to elect who runs said uber-powerful State and gets corrupted by it.

    As has been said multiple times already, the more wealthy/powerful you are, the easier it is to usurp more wealth/power. Left unchecked, ANY locus of power has the potential to grow, to use that gravitational effect until it becomes a black hole of power, a singularity that pulls everything around it into it. (As in your example about how impossible it is to compete with Wal-Mart. The more Wal-Mart eats, the more powerful it gets, the easier time it has squashing any upstart competition trying to start up in the same space like a bug, and the less choice people have other than to shop at Wal-Mart.)

    So yes, it can absolutely happen in business; that's why we have anti-trust laws. Now, maybe those should be tighter, more stringent. Maybe they're not getting enforced nearly as much as they should be. That can be argued. But either way, I agree that they're necessary, because they're our mechanism for trying to stop the above-described "feedback loop" before it goes too far, trying to stop the power from being effectively all concentrated in too few hands that it becomes virtually impossible to take it back within the structure of the laws.

    (And this is definitely flying in the face of the pure "Libertarian, let me do my own thing" rhetoric. Because at whatever level you set it, it's a law limiting success, plain and simple. You could become a complete monopoly by the most scrupulous means imaginable, paying your workers generously all the way... but the point is that we, as a society, have decided that we can't risk letting anyone succeed quite THAT well, can't let THAT much power stay under one umbrella, such that the difference in power reaches the point where it can just SQUASH any competition from even having a chance in the market. There's no "fair" about it. It's a purely practical safeguard our society has adopted.)

    But by the same token, I think it's just as dangerous to let the balance of power tip too far in the other direction. Anti-trust laws and their like put a limit (or try to, in theory) on the ability of any given citizen to accumulate too much power to themselves personally through their business. But if you move TOO much of the power from the private sector citizen and into the hands of the State (elected or not) I see that as JUST as much a recipe for disaster as going the other way.

    You talk about how the State is "intended" to function (or more accurately, how YOU intend it to function) but I don't find the intent particularly meaningful one way or the other. Whatever the State is "intended" to do, put too much power in its hands and the people controlling it WILL find a way to use that power to their own benefit.

    So to answer your initial question, I don't see it as an either-or. I'd aim for a strong enough State that it can act as a check on private enterprise and personal economic power from running amok, but I'd ALSO aim to keep enough personal power in the hands of the private sector, distinct from the State, that it can push back and--yes--influence the State right back as well.

    It's not a question of which one of the two is better suited for not being corrupted by power. Neither of them are. Nothing is, EVER. So rather than concentrating the power in the State and trying to find some way to make it not corrupt, the idea is to spread the power around as much as possible, keep as little power in one place as you can.

    And the one nice thing about corporations in that respect, the one "superiority" they have over the State in terms of holding power, is that there can be a lot MORE of them to diffuse the power amongst than there are States. Doesn't mean that a monopoly CAN'T start to snowball, but that's always a danger.

    The State, on the other hand, to the extent in gains power, is for better or for worse a natural-made monopoly as far as its physical borders extend. If anything, that'd be one thing that makes tipping the balance more in its direction PARTICULARLY dangerous. Not to say that it's never necessary, or the best choice, but let's not kid ourselves about the danger.
  • Friedrice The great 2012-12-03 19:17
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    Free education and healthcare--really free healthcare, not Obamacare "We're going to force you to buy health insurance to pad the pockets of crooked insurance companies" type of healthcare--should be available to everyone, at a reasonable level of service. Those with the money to spend can "upgrade" as it were to better things, but the basics should be there. Sadly with healthcare as is proven in other nations that DO have free healthcare, the quality suffers drastically because you get doctors that don't care about helping the sick, they want money, and so they do a half-assed job because they can't charge for it.


    As as been shown by numerous international studies that I'm too lazy to look up right now, those nations with free healthcare have much better health outcomes than we have in the USA. The USA is unique in paying huge amounts of money for mediocre healthcare results.
  • Happened to me 2012-12-03 19:18
    I used to work in a corner office with one other developer. Over the weekend, the roof caved in to about head-level. Luckily, nobody was in the office when it happened. When we arrived to work Monday, we could see blue sky through the gaping whole in the roof.

    The owner of the building had a contractor come look at the damage. He was up there about 20 minutes, then came down and announced "This entire building has been constructed incorrectly."

    Unlike TFA, this was due to negligence of parties long ago and nothing to do with company management. Still rather frightening.
  • Bub 2012-12-03 19:21
    Friedrice The great:
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    Free education and healthcare--really free healthcare, not Obamacare "We're going to force you to buy health insurance to pad the pockets of crooked insurance companies" type of healthcare--should be available to everyone, at a reasonable level of service. Those with the money to spend can "upgrade" as it were to better things, but the basics should be there. Sadly with healthcare as is proven in other nations that DO have free healthcare, the quality suffers drastically because you get doctors that don't care about helping the sick, they want money, and so they do a half-assed job because they can't charge for it.


    As as been shown by numerous international studies that I'm too lazy to look up right now, those nations with free healthcare have much better health outcomes than we have in the USA. The USA is unique in paying huge amounts of money for mediocre healthcare results.


    Thomas Sowell would disagree.

    I am amazed that our healthcare system has survived as well as it has, considering the staggering amount of government interference handicapping it.

    I can buy car insurance across state lines, why not health insurance? Hmmm....I wonder....
  • Norman Diamond 2012-12-03 19:26
    TGV:
    Why do I get the nagging feeling that this is a US-based operation?
    Beats me. Last weekend's tunnel collapse and last year's nuclear meltdowns weren't US-based.
  • Elron the Fantastic 2012-12-03 19:27
    Dave Insurgent:

    Then how can they keep corporations accountable or in check? Isn't that like attempting to add precision downstream of an algorithm?


    A large focus on few tasks is better than one with small focus on many tasks - this has been shown in production lines where it's more efficient to have one person stick arms on a doll torso, one person puts on the head, and other puts on the legs, rather than having each person make indivitual dolls. By extension, this applies to government, the less they do, the better they will be at it.


    What happens when instead they just simply offer more of the same? For example, see any oligarchy in communications, television, fuel, food.


    These oligarchies can only exist because government regulations (likely funded by the corporations) stifle new entries into the market by making the cost for entry prohibitive, where large corporations can afford the requirements.


    When is it not making money?


    When it's a non-profit organization that is focused on some other thing, like cancer research; these causes are directly subject to the votes of the people, because people vote with their dollars. If people don't like them, they will not pay.

    You're not paying any mind to the barrier of entry to do so. No amount of ambition will make up for the wealth required to say, go against Wal-Mart. Now, you can say Target or K-Mart or whatever exist, but again they're all more of the same. If you open up your own shop and start to actually pose a thread to Wal-Mart they will run you out of business without breaking a sweat.


    No legitimate business under the law can "run you out of business". They can use their position to force suppliers who do business with them to not do business with you, but that's against the law and they should be punished fully.
    If the government is actually doing it's job, all they can do is try to run a better business than you, and if you offer things they don't (for a long time Wal-Mart didn't sell contraceptives), then people will choose your business over theirs.

    Even local government?


    I should have been more specific - the federal governement. Local government should be much more subject to the will of their populace due to their locality. In my experience, however, people don't pay as much attention to local politics.

    Agreed, it's mostly a farce. It's actually a lot like... doing business with corporations! Televisions, home appliances, beer, all made by the same companies yet pretending that there is far more choice than there really is!

    You have a point on that - corporations have a tendency to copy anything that turns out successful. That's sort of the nature of the beast. But I still have more choices in who I buy my tv from, than who I vote for.

    Couldn't agree more. Sounds like a perfect opportunity for some kind of reform.


    Indeed, we do need reform.

    Which sounds like most of the products I've ever been asked to buy in my life. I suppose your point is that I didn't. That's fair.


    And you can always choose not to buy them.

    Given that we've established that the only goal of a for-profit entity is to make a profit, don't you feel like that is in conflict of interest with say, the goal of health care or education?


    I don't agree with that. If I was a doctor, I would try to do the best job I could to try and make the most money. The best brain surgeons make tons of money, precisely because they're good at their job.

    Not unlike a corporation - though you've already said that the government is a large corporation. I don't see how, yet, you've established that they're any different. The only difference I see thus far is that if the government does something good - accidentally even, if I give you that - it's actually doing what it's supposed to. If a corporation does, it's made a mistake.


    Hmm, this is an interesting insight on your views. Do you believe that corporations can do no good, and they only do harm? I know I certainly prefer to spend my money at corporations that provide me a benefit.

    If a corporation does a good job, people do business with that corporation. If they do a bad job, people go to another corporation, unless they're a monopoly which they're forced to business with, like the government.

    There only real difference between governments and corporations, except that governments have the power of law, and can throw you in jail for not doing business with them, corporations can't.

    Can you give an example of a law that is unnecessary?


    Hmm, at the state level, I believe it was Ohio that made it illegal to fish with a spoon.
    At the national level, I think tariff on steel imports and no child left behind were unnecessary; in fact, those were only passed to win the electoral votes needed for President Bush's reelection in 2004.

    There are laws created by politicians to win votes, and those are disgusting. But I also think we pass too many laws in general. It just seems to be a kneejerk reaction of people for whenever something bad happens to pass a law.

    Ah, so your argument isn't against big government, just centralized government?


    I oppose big, centralized government :P

    Actually I don't know shit about my child's education and health care. Those are disciplines that require a lifetime of commitment in order to be competent, and just because it's "my child" doesn't mean I know what is best. I want to speak to a professional who is vetted by other professional peers about those. That's the most important part. The only difference between the government and a corporation then, is the access: in my version, the government may somehow make that affordable (as it has been shown to in many, many well-developed countries in the world). In your version, it costs as much as possible and no less, because that's contrary to the very nature of the entity offering me the access.


    I'm not suggesting neccissarily that you teach your child yourself (although I certainly don't oppose home schooling), but you should have a general idea at least of what schools are better than others.

    As far as healthcare is concerned, most of the reasons the costs are high seem to be, to me, either the result of government action, or the failure of the government to act in its proper role.
    Individual states have mandates on what types of coverage insurance must provide in all their policies - this increases the cost of the insurance by forcing everyone to get covered for things they may or may not need, and limit the portability of policies from one state to another; the federal governments role as established in the constitution is to facilitate the free trade between states, they have not properly addressed this. Another thing that raises costs is simple inflation: why the inflation? The money supply more that quadrupled in the past 12 years.

    If you look at a medical procedure that hasn't been insured or heavily regulated, LASIC, you can see that the prices have actually gone down over time. In my view of how things should be, costs will be more effectively managed, because people are in control of where they put they're dollars.

  • Norman Diamond 2012-12-03 20:19
    snoofle:
    Hmmm. Here in the US, the IRS doesn't let you choose how much to pay in taxes, or when; it's mandatory. If you don't, they will eventually come after you and make your life miserable.
    WTF? Why would that be a problem? If you have taxable income, you should expect to be required to pay tax on it.

    The IRS collects more than the mandated amount of tax. If you declare the actual amount of withholding, they will eventually come after you and make your life miserable. When they figure out that you declared the actual amount of withholding, they refuse to refund it and they make your life more miserable.

    http://www.treasury.gov/tigta/congress/congress_05082012.pdf

    And they STILL don't stop. Socialism and capitalism have nothing to do with it.
  • Dave Insurgent 2012-12-03 20:42
    Elron the Fantastic:
    These oligarchies can only exist because government regulations (likely funded by the corporations) stifle new entries into the market


    No offense, but, surely you don't think that is true, right? I feel like your responses are one part brutal truth, the other part glistening idealism. It's literally like there are two people writing your replies.

    When it's a non-profit organization that is focused on some other thing, like cancer research; these causes are directly subject to the votes of the people, because people vote with their dollars. If people don't like them, they will not pay.


    I'm not sure how "people will pay for it if they want it" proves that corporations do things that don't make them money. They certainly do things that lead to indirect money in addition to direct money - but that's not my point. If there's no money in cancer research, they won't do it. I think it stands to some philosophical reason that not all things of value are worth money.

    No legitimate business under the law can "run you out of business". They can use their position to force suppliers who do business with them to not do business with you, but that's against the law and they should be punished fully.


    So you're saying you honestly believe that Wal-Mart can't afford to sell items at a loss for long enough for me to go out of business? How can you possibly expect to prosecute or enforce that with only local government? That's like pitting a child against a football player.

    I don't agree with that. If I was a doctor, I would try to do the best job I could to try and make the most money. The best brain surgeons make tons of money, precisely because they're good at their job.


    A doctor is not a corporation (and all use of the corporation past present and future means "large publicly traded entity" in my vernacular) -- he's not even a capitalist. He's a worker. Of course you want to do the best job you could, and you might not make a particularly good brain surgeon but you would do what you can to help people. On the other hand, if you were a corporation, and you had a choice: We can save two people and make $100 each, or one person and make $1000, which do you choose? The corporation must, and I mean it is legally bound to pursue profit, make the later decision. Even if the difference is not so much, if it's only $250 for the one person, that is the rational - that is the only choice of the corporation.

    Hmm, this is an interesting insight on your views. Do you believe that corporations can do no good, and they only do harm? I know I certainly prefer to spend my money at corporations that provide me a benefit.


    I certainly don't think they can never do good - but they act as a sort of good-pump. The consolidate money, which is power, in to the hands of thew few from the many. There will always be less owners than workers, that's just how it has to be in order for there to be a system at all, so that's what I mean when I say they consolidate the wealth, the power, in to the hands of the few. The way they do this varies, but history has shown us that they will do many things that do cause real harm - just not to their shareholders and possibly not to their customers (though that is not guaranteed: see tobacco companies). We'll cut the jobs and move the factory overseas, where we can pollute the local environment and produce cheaper goods to improve profits. There's no "Why?" (the answer is "for profit") and there's no "How?" (the answer is unpleasant).

    If a corporation does a good job, people do business with that corporation. If they do a bad job, people go to another corporation, unless they're a monopoly which they're forced to business with, like the government.


    Or an oligarchy, of which there are many. Your choices of food are very limited. So are televisions - you only buy from a small few, and nobody goes "Man, I really want to work hard and make TVs - I'll start a TV business!" - you will never, not ever, be able to compete with the prices and features of the competition. This is logical when you think about what I said before: capitalism, corporations, serve to consolidate power. It is the absolute nature of the beast.

    There only real difference between governments and corporations, except that governments have the power of law, and can throw you in jail for not doing business with them, corporations can't.


    Well, not yet at least :) Let's be honest, corporations have plenty of ways to screw you over, do I need to bring up Monsanto and the antics regarding farmers who have had seed merely blown in to their farms by wind? The corporations manipulate the government, and I don't see how shrinking government (while corporations continue to grow, as I've said, that part is inevitable) will lead to less of that.

    Hmm, at the state level, I believe it was Ohio that made it illegal to fish with a spoon.


    Ah, that's not what I meant (or thought you meant). That's an example of a stupid law, which I agree is not necessary, but I assumed you had some kind of example of a law where the government stepped in and did something that was "reasoned" but not useful. All you had to do was say Marijuana and you won :P

    There are laws created by politicians to win votes, and those are disgusting.


    Agreed! It's also a byproduct of the stupidity of the masses. I hate to break this to you, but those same stupid people dictate which products are made and which aren't, so you're in for some problems there too... at some point, only Brawndo will be available for drink.

    I oppose big, centralized government :P


    Well that's not fair: a lot of local government is still "big", but it's relative to the country. That's still big.

    I'm not suggesting neccissarily that you teach your child yourself (although I certainly don't oppose home schooling), but you should have a general idea at least of what schools are better than others.


    That's really not true. I mean, I can read about it, but the odds of finding an unbiased report are slim to none (especially considering that, in a purely profit-driven market, the person with the biggest bankroll will be able to "sponsor" the research. This happens right now, all the time). Furthermore, even if there is some kind of study that just lists empircal data, I don't necessarily know what's best. I don't oppose homeschooling either, but it's a very, very delicate subject not because it's sensitive, but because you're asking people who literally have no clue what they are doing to take on a huge responsibility. I don't practice home dentistry for this reason, nor would I attempt to perform some kind of amputation of a small appendage like a toe.

    As far as healthcare is concerned, most of the reasons the costs are high seem to be, to me, either the result of government action, or the failure of the government to act in its proper role.


    I won't dispute that! Canada is a prime example of this. But I will point at the numerous affordable, government run healthcare systems that top the list of countries by lifespan and greatly surpass that of the United States. Can you provide an example of a fully privatized health care system and it's resulting effect on public health?
  • Austin 2012-12-03 20:49
    And this is why you don't discuss entrepeneurship and economics on an IT website.
  • Bub 2012-12-03 20:52
    " If there's no money in cancer research, they won't do it. "

    Why would this position be wrong? In fact, there is vast amounts of money to be made, and they are making it...and cancer survival rates are improving accordingly - faster in the US than anywhere else. Only Israel comes a close second.

    I do not believe that you actually understand what "money" truly _is_

    It is a proxy token.....for _what_, I ask you?

    When you finally understand the answer to that question, your current worldview will unravel.
  • Norman Diamond 2012-12-03 20:52
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    Incidentally the Supreme Court also ruled at one point that it was unconstitutional to tax labor,
    Was that before or after the 16th amendment was enacted? Could it possibly be the reason why the 16th amendment was enacted?

    I'd say it's a worse problem when the IRS gives breaks to actual tax protestors (your kind of stuff), while making life miserable for honest taxpayers who can't afford to fight.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/propublica-review-of-pardons-in-past-decade-shows-process-heavily-favored-whites/2011/11/23/gIQAElnVQO_story.html

    http://edition.cnn.com/2012/03/20/us/tax-refund-scam/index.html

    And they still don't stop.
  • Bub 2012-12-03 20:53
    Austin:
    And this is why you don't discuss entrepeneurship and economics on an IT website.


    Nor relationship advice
  • Bub 2012-12-03 20:55
    "I don't practice home dentistry for this reason..."

    British NHS subjects doing just this...I wonder why?
  • justme 2012-12-03 20:56
    Mason Wheeler:
    Bub:
    I make something. I have sole authority over it. It is mine. I decide to offer it for sale at a profit of 1000%. Somebody freely decides that the price is worth it. We both profit from our transaction. No coercion.

    or

    I make something. I do not have sole authority over it. Therefore, it is not truly mine. You decide I can only offer it at a certain arbitrary maximum price, dictated by your quasi-religious mantra of 'fairness' and 'greater good'. I get screwed, by you, out of optimally profiting from my work. You use force and coercion to accomplish this.


    Interesting how you use the term "force and coercion" as if it were two words for the same thing. The truth is, there are many other forms of coercion besides (the threat of) physical violence.

    One is the interaction of simple necessity and Hobson's Choice. "Pay what I ask or do without" sounds like a fair proposition, until the thing being requested is necessary to sustain life and physical well-being. Things like food, shelter, access to medical care, and clean water. When "choosing to do without" is not a viable option, the statement "pay what I ask or do without" is itself a form of coercion.

    Isn't the intersection of neccesity and Hobson's choice an extortion?
    Additionally,I would argue that baring necessity,sometimes I am stuck with a double bind, where none of my choices yeild desirable outcome.
  • Bub 2012-12-03 20:57
    Taxes - the ability of a violent gang to siphon vitality from an economy.

    Stockholm Syndrome - when victims of this gang argue for its necessity.
  • Mark 2012-12-03 21:11
    Happened to me:

    The owner of the building had a contractor come look at the damage. He was up there about 20 minutes, then came down and announced "This entire building has been constructed incorrectly."


    So, not unlike what software development contractors do then.
  • Norman Diamond 2012-12-03 22:06
    Dave Insurgent:
    Wikipedia:
    In Japan, health care is provided by national and local governments
    Well that needs a rewrite.

    Health INSURANCE is mandated by the national government.

    Health INSURANCE PREMIUMS can be administered by local governments or by employers' groups, and are actually taxes (computed based on income, mandated by the national government though the national government delegates administration to local governments or industry groups).

    Health INSURANCE BENEFITS are mostly mandated by the national government, usually 70% of medical fees, though paid by the same organizations that collected the premiums.

    Health CARE is provided by private practitioners and by privately operated hospitals and by local government operated hospitals and by national government operated hospitals and by university operated hospitals etc. So yes local governments are involved, but they're not a majority and not even a plurality.
  • justme 2012-12-03 22:09
    Mason Wheeler:
    s73v3r:
    Mason Wheeler:
    Bub:
    I make something. I have sole authority over it. It is mine. I decide to offer it for sale at a profit of 1000%. Somebody freely decides that the price is worth it. We both profit from our transaction. No coercion.

    or

    I make something. I do not have sole authority over it. Therefore, it is not truly mine. You decide I can only offer it at a certain arbitrary maximum price, dictated by your quasi-religious mantra of 'fairness' and 'greater good'. I get screwed, by you, out of optimally profiting from my work. You use force and coercion to accomplish this.


    Interesting how you use the term "force and coercion" as if it were two words for the same thing. The truth is, there are many other forms of coercion besides (the threat of) physical violence.


    That's the thing these people never, ever get. They think that the only way to get someone to do something against their will is to threaten to hit them. They don't think that economic coercion exists, because if you didn't want to do it, you just wouldn't.


    You know, as I think about it, I realize that there's an element of force to economic coercion after all.

    Let's say that you're starving, and someone is selling food, at a price you can't afford, and they say "pay what I ask or do without." If you choose to exercise your natural right to preserve your own life, you will be called a thief, and by the power of force in the hands of the state you will be arrested and imprisoned.

    Then again, there really is nothing new under the sun. This is hardly an original argument; it was the premise of one of the greatest and best-known novels in the history of literature, way back in 1862.

    It really says something about our priorities, though, that if I were to kill a man to preserve my own life, I'm considered justified before the law, but if I were to steal food to preserve my own life, I'd find myself playing Jean Valjean and not on a stage.

    Clap. Clap. Where I live, a few months ago,aguy called 911 because a local fast food place did not give him part of his order. Police were upset,said "It is a civil matter.",and charged the guy for calling 911. Now, if the guy had reached over and taken fodd,it would have been theft. Corporation takes from me,it is a civil matter.I take from corparation,it's theft. Says a lot about us.
  • justme 2012-12-03 22:44
    Tom:
    Jazz:
    the capacity of the capital that I own to actually produce products has gone DOWN
    So how are you going to produce a positive return on investment again next quarter?

    I am going to quit this CEO position a la Mark Hurd.
  • Dave Insurgent 2012-12-03 22:55
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/01/us/supreme-court-takes-up-question-of-patents-in-gene-research.html?src=recg&_r=0

    The patents were challenged by scientists and doctors who said that their research and ability to help patients had been frustrated. “Myriad and other gene patent holders have gained the right to exclude the rest of the scientific community from examining the naturally occurring genes of every person in the United States,” the plaintiffs told the Supreme Court in their petition seeking review. They added that the patents “prevent patients from examining their own genetic information” and “made it impossible to obtain second opinions.”


    Free market! Competition! Rah!
  • Paul Neumann 2012-12-04 00:54
    Norman Diamond:
    http://www.treasury.gov/tigta/congress/congress_05082012.pdf
    And a link to a study on tax fraud through identity theft does what to prove your point?
  • Norman Diamond 2012-12-04 01:17
    Paul Neumann:
    Norman Diamond:
    http://www.treasury.gov/tigta/congress/congress_05082012.pdf
    And a link to a study on tax fraud through identity theft does what to prove your point?
    If you actually read the report, the IRS admitted that insiders participate in thefts and the IRS makes life miserable for honest taxpayers. I was replying to someone who asserted that the IRS makes life miserable for cheaters.
  • Jochen 2012-12-04 03:47
    Totally agree. The biggest problem in society is greed. it's what causes company's to move to third world countries where they can create their products cheap.
  • Anon. 2012-12-04 04:01
    Sounds reminiscent of my industrial placement year during uni. The office was a part converted barn on the owners farm, power provided by an extension lead strung from the farmhouse, with a join outside, taped over for weatherproofing.

    If it rained, the power went out, if someone turned on the washing machine in the farmhouse, the power went out.. one of the servers (repurposed old desktop) power supplys was knackered and its fan would require a poke to get started in the morning. And there was no heating. And the farmyard outside was unlit, and crisscrossed with 3ft deep trenches for pipework and cabling that never got put in.

    Working there reminded me of the poor denizens of doom levels going to work. 'but I have to go through the lava, then get the yellow key to get the blue key to get the red key..'

    One morning I turned up and the water in the toilet was frozen over. After taking emergency measures to unfreeze it I went home.

    TRWTF was the software. The interview described it to me as 'like ebay, but with a client side app. And everything, even the UI is XML. We wrote our own parsing + interpreting engine'

    Unsurprisingly it didn't take off.



  • pouzzler 2012-12-04 05:04
    I never get tired of saying this: this has nothing to do with "Information Technology", and shouldn't appear here.
    If a guy smokes pot in his office, gets fired, and happens to work at IBM, will you put that here too, because the guy worked in IT?
  • Hatshepsut 2012-12-04 05:07
    PiisAWheeL:
    I believe Margaret Thatcher said is best: "The problem with socialism is eventually you run out of other peoples money."

    I think capitalism has run into that problem a couple of times too.

  • Jochen 2012-12-04 07:17
    Bub:
    "When competition, win-or-lose, live-or-die, is the spirit of your essence, I can't see how that can be good for most of the inhabitants of our planet."

    You may not be aware of this, but you have just described the operating ruleset of all life on this planet. Seems to have been working out OK for millions of years.

    Your "greater good" philosophy is a quasi-religious luxury afforded to the intellectually idle, cosseted by their astonishing - and unappreciated - wealth.



    so you wouldn't have a problem if somebody showed up at your door and kicked you out of your house while you can do nothing about it because hey you lose he wins.
  • Rick 2012-12-04 07:41
    Dave Insurgent:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/01/us/supreme-court-takes-up-question-of-patents-in-gene-research.html?src=recg&_r=0

    The patents were challenged by scientists and doctors who said that their research and ability to help patients had been frustrated. “Myriad and other gene patent holders have gained the right to exclude the rest of the scientific community from examining the naturally occurring genes of every person in the United States,” the plaintiffs told the Supreme Court in their petition seeking review. They added that the patents “prevent patients from examining their own genetic information” and “made it impossible to obtain second opinions.”


    Free market! Competition! Rah!
    Excuse me, but what you've just pointed out is government granted monopoly, enforced by men with guns not free market competition.

    So, thanks for finally coming over to the correct side.
  • Van The Man 2012-12-04 08:02
    As you say, "long-term" is the key... As the owner, this makes sense. But if you're simply employed as a manager, doing this is perfect: it gives you the short-term bonus, and that's all they care about. Think about the sub-prime debacle, where traders got bonusses based on "good" trades, that just was not good.
  • Ken 2012-12-04 08:11
    Van The Man:
    Think about the sub-prime debacle
    Yes, let's think about that for a moment, shall we?

    First you had politicians from both sides saying we want to legislate an outcome -- more poor people in houses they own. Guns driving transactions again. Will they ever learn?

    So they created "incentives" (through laws) for lenders to make risky loans.

    Then when the loans failed, they bailed them out.

    It is a game of heads you win tails the taxpayer loses. Impossible without those guns forcing money to flow where it shouldn't.
  • J Ware 2012-12-04 09:14

    I like turtles.
  • PedanticCurmudgeon 2012-12-04 09:24
    Friedrice The great:
    PedanticCurmudgeon:
    ]You were doing OK up to this point, (except remember that history is written by the winners). Here's the thing: if a group of powerful people ever managed to take over the major political parties, your vote would be as useless as it would be living under a conqueror.
    Look up how the real capitalists ran things before the antimonopoly laws were around.
    How does this relate in any way to what I posted?
  • Realist 2012-12-04 09:33
    Making sure people only work 8 hours a day and have enough disposable income is how corporations can survive. If you turn back the clock to 1700s where a farmer struggled to survive and only a rich minority could afford "luxuries" such as new clothes every year, the market was tiny

    Those workers that many despise are actually consumers as well. Who will buy the products that factories produce? In the U.S. there are people with two jobs that still need food stamps to survive. Between work and sleep they have little time to consume

    You should read what Henry Ford had to say about this:

    http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/HENRY_FORD:_Why_I_Favor_Five_Days%27_Work_With_Six_Days%27_Pay
  • Dave Insurgent 2012-12-04 10:43
    Rick:
    Dave Insurgent:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/01/us/supreme-court-takes-up-question-of-patents-in-gene-research.html?src=recg&_r=0

    The patents were challenged by scientists and doctors who said that their research and ability to help patients had been frustrated. “Myriad and other gene patent holders have gained the right to exclude the rest of the scientific community from examining the naturally occurring genes of every person in the United States,” the plaintiffs told the Supreme Court in their petition seeking review. They added that the patents “prevent patients from examining their own genetic information” and “made it impossible to obtain second opinions.”


    Free market! Competition! Rah!
    Excuse me, but what you've just pointed out is government granted monopoly, enforced by men with guns not free market competition.

    So, thanks for finally coming over to the correct side.


    Actually its about property, which is what you believe the government should protect. On your side, you've not established any limitations on property (especially intellectual) and therefore it is the world you wholly endorse: ownership of information. Enforced by a minarchist government. Who are you to say that the corporation who undertook the effort to discover the knowledge has no right to own it? That is your rhetoric. Can we take it from them? Use it wout permission? How about digital copies of anything? Or 3D printed designs at home?

    Thanks for showing that natural law libertarianism can't handle the situations presented by the world we live in. That, in addition to being perversely selfish, those that endorse it havent even started to think it through.
  • PedanticCurmudgeon 2012-12-04 11:06
    Dave Insurgent:
    Actually its about property, which is what you believe the government should protect. On your side, you've not established any limitations on property (especially intellectual) and therefore it is the world you wholly endorse: ownership of information. Enforced by a minarchist government. Who are you to say that the corporation who undertook the effort to discover the knowledge has no right to own it? That is your rhetoric. Can we take it from them? Use it wout permission? How about digital copies of anything? Or 3D printed designs at home?

    Thanks for showing that natural law libertarianism can't handle the situations presented by the world we live in. That, in addition to being perversely selfish, those that endorse it havent even started to think it through.
    9/10. Would definitely flame.
  • Bub 2012-12-04 11:23
    Jochen:
    Bub:
    "When competition, win-or-lose, live-or-die, is the spirit of your essence, I can't see how that can be good for most of the inhabitants of our planet."

    You may not be aware of this, but you have just described the operating ruleset of all life on this planet. Seems to have been working out OK for millions of years.

    Your "greater good" philosophy is a quasi-religious luxury afforded to the intellectually idle, cosseted by their astonishing - and unappreciated - wealth.



    so you wouldn't have a problem if somebody showed up at your door and kicked you out of your house while you can do nothing about it because hey you lose he wins.


    It would be the 'somebody' that would have the problem, not me.

    Multiple, large calibre, bleeding, penetrative problems. In their skull.

    I win.
  • ObiWayneKenobi 2012-12-04 12:38
    Realist:
    Making sure people only work 8 hours a day and have enough disposable income is how corporations can survive. If you turn back the clock to 1700s where a farmer struggled to survive and only a rich minority could afford "luxuries" such as new clothes every year, the market was tiny

    Those workers that many despise are actually consumers as well. Who will buy the products that factories produce? In the U.S. there are people with two jobs that still need food stamps to survive. Between work and sleep they have little time to consume

    You should read what Henry Ford had to say about this:

    http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/HENRY_FORD:_Why_I_Favor_Five_Days%27_Work_With_Six_Days%27_Pay


    And the worst part is that this never evolved further. When you're working six days, working five is an improvement. But this should have moved down to working four days and being paid for five a long time ago.
  • PiisAWheeL 2012-12-04 13:29
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    Realist:
    Making sure people only work 8 hours a day and have enough disposable income is how corporations can survive. If you turn back the clock to 1700s where a farmer struggled to survive and only a rich minority could afford "luxuries" such as new clothes every year, the market was tiny

    Those workers that many despise are actually consumers as well. Who will buy the products that factories produce? In the U.S. there are people with two jobs that still need food stamps to survive. Between work and sleep they have little time to consume

    You should read what Henry Ford had to say about this:

    http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/HENRY_FORD:_Why_I_Favor_Five_Days%27_Work_With_Six_Days%27_Pay


    And the worst part is that this never evolved further. When you're working six days, working five is an improvement. But this should have moved down to working four days and being paid for five a long time ago.
    Don't worry, now that we have obama care, full time is now 30 hours a week. But I don't think you are getting paid for the extra ten.
  • ObiWayneKenobi 2012-12-04 13:59
    PiisAWheeL:
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    Realist:
    Making sure people only work 8 hours a day and have enough disposable income is how corporations can survive. If you turn back the clock to 1700s where a farmer struggled to survive and only a rich minority could afford "luxuries" such as new clothes every year, the market was tiny

    Those workers that many despise are actually consumers as well. Who will buy the products that factories produce? In the U.S. there are people with two jobs that still need food stamps to survive. Between work and sleep they have little time to consume

    You should read what Henry Ford had to say about this:

    http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/HENRY_FORD:_Why_I_Favor_Five_Days%27_Work_With_Six_Days%27_Pay


    And the worst part is that this never evolved further. When you're working six days, working five is an improvement. But this should have moved down to working four days and being paid for five a long time ago.
    Don't worry, now that we have obama care, full time is now 30 hours a week. But I don't think you are getting paid for the extra ten.


    If you are on salary (as most of us IT pros are) then it shouldn't matter; unfortunately it seems many companies either don't understand that salary is meant to be a fixed amount of pay regardless of the hours, or just don't care - every company I have ever worked for has felt free to dock my pay the equivalent hourly rate if I missed a day had was not eligible for/didn't have PTO, but the days I worked extra got the old "No overtime pay for you, you're salary" routine. Strange, if you don't have to pay more for > 40 hours, then you shouldn't pay less for < 40 hours, yet everyone does.
  • PiisAWheeL 2012-12-04 14:06
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    PiisAWheeL:
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    Realist:
    Making sure people only work 8 hours a day and have enough disposable income is how corporations can survive. If you turn back the clock to 1700s where a farmer struggled to survive and only a rich minority could afford "luxuries" such as new clothes every year, the market was tiny

    Those workers that many despise are actually consumers as well. Who will buy the products that factories produce? In the U.S. there are people with two jobs that still need food stamps to survive. Between work and sleep they have little time to consume

    You should read what Henry Ford had to say about this:

    http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/HENRY_FORD:_Why_I_Favor_Five_Days%27_Work_With_Six_Days%27_Pay


    And the worst part is that this never evolved further. When you're working six days, working five is an improvement. But this should have moved down to working four days and being paid for five a long time ago.
    Don't worry, now that we have obama care, full time is now 30 hours a week. But I don't think you are getting paid for the extra ten.


    If you are on salary (as most of us IT pros are) then it shouldn't matter; unfortunately it seems many companies either don't understand that salary is meant to be a fixed amount of pay regardless of the hours, or just don't care - every company I have ever worked for has felt free to dock my pay the equivalent hourly rate if I missed a day had was not eligible for/didn't have PTO, but the days I worked extra got the old "No overtime pay for you, you're salary" routine. Strange, if you don't have to pay more for > 40 hours, then you shouldn't pay less for < 40 hours, yet everyone does.
    Yes but with obamacare EMPLOYERS must pay for health insurance for (or pay the fine) "full time" employees. Full time employees are defined as "working 30 or more hours". They don't care if you are paid salary or not. So if you live in the US you may see an hour (and probably a matching pay) cut before the end of next year. I just hope enough states opt out to make it fail cause it is the most detrimental thing to our economy right now.
  • ObiWayneKenobi 2012-12-04 14:07
    PiisAWheeL:
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    PiisAWheeL:
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    Realist:
    Making sure people only work 8 hours a day and have enough disposable income is how corporations can survive. If you turn back the clock to 1700s where a farmer struggled to survive and only a rich minority could afford "luxuries" such as new clothes every year, the market was tiny

    Those workers that many despise are actually consumers as well. Who will buy the products that factories produce? In the U.S. there are people with two jobs that still need food stamps to survive. Between work and sleep they have little time to consume

    You should read what Henry Ford had to say about this:

    http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/HENRY_FORD:_Why_I_Favor_Five_Days%27_Work_With_Six_Days%27_Pay


    And the worst part is that this never evolved further. When you're working six days, working five is an improvement. But this should have moved down to working four days and being paid for five a long time ago.
    Don't worry, now that we have obama care, full time is now 30 hours a week. But I don't think you are getting paid for the extra ten.


    If you are on salary (as most of us IT pros are) then it shouldn't matter; unfortunately it seems many companies either don't understand that salary is meant to be a fixed amount of pay regardless of the hours, or just don't care - every company I have ever worked for has felt free to dock my pay the equivalent hourly rate if I missed a day had was not eligible for/didn't have PTO, but the days I worked extra got the old "No overtime pay for you, you're salary" routine. Strange, if you don't have to pay more for > 40 hours, then you shouldn't pay less for < 40 hours, yet everyone does.
    Yes but with obamacare EMPLOYERS must pay for health insurance for (or pay the fine) "full time" employees. Full time employees are defined as "working 30 or more hours". They don't care if you are paid salary or not. So if you live in the US you may see an hour (and probably a matching pay) cut before the end of next year. I just hope enough states opt out to make it fail cause it is the most detrimental thing to our economy right now.


    My state (Florida) was one of the first to jump on it, and the vote to opt out was soundly defeated. Yay stupid white trash.
  • Jazz 2012-12-04 15:19
    Elron the Fantastic:
    With all do respect, you have a very "saturday morning cartoon villain" view of business leaders, and no real understanding of running a business. Certainly you may decrease your costs by making such unreasonable phone calls to lower costs for everyone, but the deminished productivity of those facilities would seriously damage the long-term profitability of those facilities and would very quickly get that leader a meeting with a very angry board of directors. Businesses cannot survive if they make such whimsical choices - they must plan for the long term.

    Also, if you really want to cut costs in that fashion, you don't diminish the costs of each facility by X%, you close X% of your facilities. That's just economics 101.


    Sure, the "saturday morning cartoon villian" portrayal was some theatrical license on my part. I mean, not all of these business leaders have yachts. Some of them just have to make do with a Lexus instead. Yes, I was painting a picture, but it's a picture based on several people that I've met and others that I see every day here in Chicago.

    You do have a point about closing X% of facilities rather than cutting the costs of each facility by X%. That's what would be more likely to happen. But in the end, roughly the same number of people would lose their jobs and/or their health. If I have six factories employing 2,000 people each, it doesn't matter whether I fire 50% of the people at each factory or if I close three factories; either way 6,000 people get fired. The exact approach would be different, but the ethical and philosophical considerations would be nearly the same.

    But your point about diminishing the long-term profitability of the business is part of my point. Investors are in it to get their ROI. Once they have that, and they've liquidated their holdings, what do they care about whether the business is around for another two decades or two months? Executives are in it to get their quarterly or annual bonuses. It happens every day that an executive does something great for short-term profit and lousy for long-term profit, and gets rewarded for it. The compensation structure for executives is set up to reward this sort of approach. In the USA, at least, shareholders can even take an executive to court if they don't focus enough on short-term profitability!

    In the specific case I described, sure, it's an even more short-sighted decision than usual, but trading long-term stability for short-term profit is common in the business world. J. Random Bossman is going to go to the board of directors and he's going to say, "I just improved our quarterly profit projection by 44%," and they'll all look at how much that improved their stock portfolio, and forgive him. And even if they don't forgive him, so what? The worst they could do is fire him and give him more time to hang out on his yacht with his two million bucks. I would love to have problems like that.
  • Jazz 2012-12-04 15:26
    Bub:
    Jazz:
    Everyone's life is improved, including Jim-Bob's, because he was forced to part with his property against his will.


    Or Jim Bob could choose to not have a road going to his house, install his own well, buy a gun, pay for private emergency coverage, save a bunch of money, and not submit to the 'force' of the mob.


    Do you even read? Jim-Bob would actually LOSE MORE MONEY in that scenario, because as it turns out, the cost of digging and maintaining his well, purchasing his gun, and paying for private emergency coverage is FAR MORE than the taxes he would pay to the city to provide those things.

    He also loses a great deal of opportunity cost because, since he is not entitled to use the city's roads, he spends much more of his time getting to and from work on foot, or horseback I guess.

    Jim-Bob would not save any money. He will pay roughly an order of magnitude MORE.
  • Jazz 2012-12-04 15:32
    Tom:
    Jazz:
    the capacity of the capital that I own to actually produce products has gone DOWN
    So how are you going to produce a positive return on investment again next quarter?


    Who said anything about next quarter? Man, I got my two million dollar bonus already. If next quarter looks like it isn't going well, I'll just retire. Then whoever takes over after me gets blamed for the lousy profits, and I get to spend two million dollars from the deck of a yacht.
  • Jazz 2012-12-04 15:36
    justme:
    Tom:
    Jazz:
    the capacity of the capital that I own to actually produce products has gone DOWN
    So how are you going to produce a positive return on investment again next quarter?

    I am going to quit this CEO position a la Mark Hurd.


    Precisely. Also note that Mark Hurd was paid more than 30 million dollars (12 million in severance and another 22 million in stock options) just to resign. To resign!
  • trtrwtf 2012-12-04 16:05
    Jazz:
    Bub:
    Jazz:
    Everyone's life is improved, including Jim-Bob's, because he was forced to part with his property against his will.


    Or Jim Bob could choose to not have a road going to his house, install his own well, buy a gun, pay for private emergency coverage, save a bunch of money, and not submit to the 'force' of the mob.


    Do you even read? Jim-Bob would actually LOSE MORE MONEY in that scenario, because as it turns out, the cost of digging and maintaining his well, purchasing his gun, and paying for private emergency coverage is FAR MORE than the taxes he would pay to the city to provide those things.

    He also loses a great deal of opportunity cost because, since he is not entitled to use the city's roads, he spends much more of his time getting to and from work on foot, or horseback I guess.

    Jim-Bob would not save any money. He will pay roughly an order of magnitude MORE.


    This. Bub is taking "not-invented-here" to a whole new level.
  • Dave Insurgent 2012-12-04 16:16
    Jazz hit it on the head. His theatrical license was, I thought, for the sake of humor or relief - not congruent to the portrayal of the behavior.

    You don't need any artistic license or imagination. It's in the papers - frequently.

    The behavior is justified. It makes sense. It's only wrong when you attribute it to be wrong. Which we seem to be doing and others seem to be opposing based on the right to ownership.

    Libertarianism is a defeated ideology. It's invocation is a source of mockery, a signal that you don't really want to think progressively or at a capacity that reflects the modern era, the humanist side of policy making. A sign that you endorse, as it has been said already, barbarism.

    Between simple summaries and some other more detailed criticisms it's a pretty open-shut case unless you're deficient in reading comprehension or otherwise just can't let go.
  • Kurt 2012-12-04 16:43
    In the late 1990's, working at a small ISP, I learned empirically of a reliable indicator for when you need to spruce up and circulate your resume:

    When the big bottle on top of the water dispenser stays empty.
  • Fanfare 2012-12-04 19:13

    Before public education in America, the schools were funded by communities who got college educated teachers to teach their children all together, and our reading levels were the highest in the world. Now we're 35th (correct me if I'm wrong) in the world for reading. My state in particular leads the nation in high school dropouts.


    This is a false line of reasoning. Education was far from universal. Neither was it college-level. Moreover, unlike today, lack of formal academic education was not nearly the barrier to earning a living that it is today. Native smarts and a willingness to work hard could take you very far even absent an education.

    I would also hope that it would be clear that under this scheme the poorest people would receive the worst education or none at all.


    You talked about greedy businessmen who only care about "profit". Do you honestly believe the politicians who have to get campaign donations and votes are any different?


    In the current system probably not. But it is not the nature of the politician's job that he work against the interests of those he represents. We have a political system where money is used to induce this behavior. A politician will often find that taking actions that serve the majority of citizens or society at large is also in his electoral self-interest.

    The main interest of the corporation is profit, not society. Corporations will freely take actions that are against the broader interest of the nation (say pollute the water supply) if such an action is profitable in the short-term. Only a government with sufficient authority can deter this behavior by rendering it unprofitable (fines, jail terms for execs, etc.).
  • Fanfare 2012-12-04 19:25
    Sorry. First post. Meant to quote Elron.

    Elron the Fantastic:

    Before public education in America, the schools were funded by communities who got college educated teachers to teach their children all together, and our reading levels were the highest in the world. Now we're 35th (correct me if I'm wrong) in the world for reading. My state in particular leads the nation in high school dropouts.


    This is a false line of reasoning. Education was far from universal. Neither was it college-level. Moreover, unlike today, lack of formal academic education was not nearly the barrier to earning a living that it is today. Native smarts and a willingness to work hard could take you very far even absent an education.

    I would also hope that it would be clear that under this scheme the poorest people would receive the worst education or none at all.

    Elron the Fantastic:

    You talked about greedy businessmen who only care about "profit". Do you honestly believe the politicians who have to get campaign donations and votes are any different?


    In the current system probably not. But it is not the nature of the politician's job that he work against the interests of those he represents. We have a political system where money is used to induce this behavior. A politician will often find that taking actions that serve the majority of citizens or society at large is also in his electoral self-interest.

    The main interest of the corporation is profit, not society. Corporations will freely take actions that are against the broader interest of the nation (say pollute the water supply) if such an action is profitable in the short-term. Only a government with sufficient authority can deter this behavior by rendering it unprofitable (fines, jail terms for execs, etc.). This is where I would draw the line for "big enough, but no bigger".
  • justme 2012-12-04 20:28
    Jazz:
    justme:
    Tom:
    Jazz:
    the capacity of the capital that I own to actually produce products has gone DOWN
    So how are you going to produce a positive return on investment again next quarter?

    I am going to quit this CEO position a la Mark Hurd.


    Precisely. Also note that Mark Hurd was paid more than 30 million dollars (12 million in severance and another 22 million in stock options) just to resign. To resign!


    I have often heard this quote against welfare: "If you pay people to be poor, there will be poor people."

    But what about this? That was not the first time we have heard of an executive being paid to leave because they screwed up so much. Some thing If you reward failure, who cares if I fail? So I cut deep to the bone, I get a bonus for cutting and then get a severance to leave because I sent it into the ground.
  • justme 2012-12-04 20:32
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    Realist:
    Making sure people only work 8 hours a day and have enough disposable income is how corporations can survive. If you turn back the clock to 1700s where a farmer struggled to survive and only a rich minority could afford "luxuries" such as new clothes every year, the market was tiny

    Those workers that many despise are actually consumers as well. Who will buy the products that factories produce? In the U.S. there are people with two jobs that still need food stamps to survive. Between work and sleep they have little time to consume

    You should read what Henry Ford had to say about this:

    http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/HENRY_FORD:_Why_I_Favor_Five_Days%27_Work_With_Six_Days%27_Pay


    And the worst part is that this never evolved further. When you're working six days, working five is an improvement. But this should have moved down to working four days and being paid for five a long time ago.


    I once watched a program on TV. Germany was in trouble. Someone said they could not afford all the "benefits" they gave there workers ( decent pay, healthcare, etc ) and asked ,"Why don't you adopt this model. It would be better for the economy." And the reply was along the lines of "Yes, but not at the expense of the workers. We don't want to live in a world like that."
  • Decius 2012-12-04 21:51
    If you need to get the developement budget from 15% of the total budget to 12% of the total budget, point out that adding 25% of the current total budget to executive bonuses meets that goal without reducing anybody's budget.
  • Nick B 2012-12-04 23:33
    Geoff:
    Penny wise pound foolish. I wonder how much money they saved delaying apparently pretty obviously needed repairs to the building. Once you factor in the cost of the water damage, cleanup, and unscheduled loss of use of the facility from the collapse of a snow loaded roof; one of those record bonus earning executives ought to get walked out of the other building.

    I see we've got a comedian here.
  • AN AMAZING CODER 2012-12-05 00:32
    NotHere:
    ObiWayneKenobi:

    And to the guy who said about developers working from home; good luck finding a place smart enough to allow that. Most places seem to be stuck in the factory mentality. I've noticed that this epidemic is primarily in companies established and owned/operated by the older generation; the ones who remember a time before the advent of the internet and the virtual office. A company started by a younger person ingrained in the digital world is much more likely to allow, if not support entirely, remote work, while your typical 10+ year old established business owned by a 40-something (or older) person is going to treat workers like this was still the 80s, because the last time that person worked at a job (as opposed to being the owner) there was no (or very limited) internet, and nobody even thought of working remotely; that mentality gets carried over by the owner and infects everyone. You get some exceptions of course, but usually middle aged owner of an established company = 1980s worker mentality.


    We have a relatively young company, less than 3 years. The owners are less than 40. And we require devs to be at the provided desk during normal working hours.

    There are several reasons for this. Some people will happily put in the requisite hours to get the job done; while others will just as happily stretch out a project while no one is looking. I'd like to say it was only contractors that I've had this experience with but sadly that's not true.

    With them in the office, it's actually pretty easy to tell who is making progress and who is blowing smoke. With them off site, I have no idea if that data load of 100 records is really taking them 8 hours or if they spent 7 hours with their kids at the Zoo and 30 minutes on the job.

    In the past year, I've contracted 4 offsite devs to take care of 4 different tasks. 2 completely disappeared; 1 took a month before coming back with no idea how to compile / deploy the project and another 2 months to turn in absolute crap that had to be thrown out. The 4th? Well, it took 2 weeks before I got an email saying that he was going to do the task the way I asked for it...

    And before you say I need to be on top of them with daily status reports, guess what, when they are in the office I can walk by and see what's happening. When they are out of the office I can call or send an email and easily be put off for a couple hours.

    So, with those results I'll happily require devs to be onsite. At least when they are struggling it's a 30 second conversation instead of waiting for someone to pull their head out of their ass and ask a question via phone/email.





    I'm a tech lead, and I completely agree with this. I was on the other side of the fence untill I had to actually manage a team. Now, I don't even really like to work at home myself due to all of the distractions. It's also much harder to collaborate with people when you can't just sit down next to them and hash it out.

    Working remote seems to only work well if you have a specific and sufficiently sized deliverable that you can work in isolation on.
  • Bub 2012-12-05 11:03
    Dave Insurgent:
    Jazz hit it on the head. His theatrical license was, I thought, for the sake of humor or relief - not congruent to the portrayal of the behavior.

    You don't need any artistic license or imagination. It's in the papers - frequently.

    The behavior is justified. It makes sense. It's only wrong when you attribute it to be wrong. Which we seem to be doing and others seem to be opposing based on the right to ownership.

    Libertarianism is a defeated ideology. It's invocation is a source of mockery, a signal that you don't really want to think progressively or at a capacity that reflects the modern era, the humanist side of policy making. A sign that you endorse, as it has been said already, barbarism.

    Between simple summaries and some other more detailed criticisms it's a pretty open-shut case unless you're deficient in reading comprehension or otherwise just can't let go.


    What a lot of adolescent nonsense. Derisive dismissal is a sign of immaturity. I know a few big-L Libertarians (and more small-l ones) and find them to be extremely insightful people prepared to address serious issues with a focus on protection of rights over mindless ideology.

    Some of their views are rather grating at times, but I have yet to really identify a fundamental lack of consistency - unlike 'other' loudmouths I have encountered.

    Far from being defeated, I suspect it is experiencing a genesis. Time will tell.
  • Dave Insurgent 2012-12-05 11:20
    Bub:
    Dave Insurgent:
    Jazz hit it on the head. His theatrical license was, I thought, for the sake of humor or relief - not congruent to the portrayal of the behavior.

    You don't need any artistic license or imagination. It's in the papers - frequently.

    The behavior is justified. It makes sense. It's only wrong when you attribute it to be wrong. Which we seem to be doing and others seem to be opposing based on the right to ownership.

    Libertarianism is a defeated ideology. It's invocation is a source of mockery, a signal that you don't really want to think progressively or at a capacity that reflects the modern era, the humanist side of policy making. A sign that you endorse, as it has been said already, barbarism.

    Between simple summaries and some other more detailed criticisms it's a pretty open-shut case unless you're deficient in reading comprehension or otherwise just can't let go.


    What a lot of adolescent nonsense. Derisive dismissal is a sign of immaturity. I know a few big-L Libertarians (and more small-l ones) and find them to be extremely insightful people prepared to address serious issues with a focus on protection of rights over mindless ideology.

    Some of their views are rather grating at times, but I have yet to really identify a fundamental lack of consistency - unlike 'other' loudmouths I have encountered.

    Far from being defeated, I suspect it is experiencing a genesis. Time will tell.


    It was good of you to put such words as "adolescent", "nonsense", "immaturity" and "mindless ideology" close to "Libertarians". They sit well together. Consistency is no measure of the merit of any philosophy or ideology. In fact, science is, probably, the most inconsistent thing you could imagine: in light of knowledge, evidence, it always changes - and it is our most valued manner of thinking.

    Attempting to deride your beliefs was only a return of the favor for you sit smugly self-assured of your righteousness, flinging your rhetoric and feigning enlightenment over the rest of us... despite very well put criticisms of the practicality and morality, among other things, of libertarianism.

    To assert that if my dismissal had been more tactful, it would change the absurdity of your beliefs, is just as absurd. More so, the criticisms I linked are not at all derisive - you made no effort to respond or acknowledge them (just as you made no effort to respond to acknowledge numerous rebuttals I made throughout these posts).

    Make no mistake, I respect your right to be a fool - but I reserve my right to ridicule you for it. I do so in the light of reason and thought. You defend yourself with rhetoric and appeals to abstraction.
  • Dave Insurgent 2012-12-05 11:26
    ...

    In fact, it is your declared significance of consistency that would appear to contribute to your poor thinking, for some logical fallacies present themselves out of the intent to discredit one based on a basis of inconsistency (such as between what was done yesterday, compared to today, or what one suggests should be done, compared to what they do or in contrast to their character). It is through this that I suspect you impede your ability to reason, and a poorly reasoned ideology appeals to you.
  • Bub 2012-12-05 12:52
    Dave Insurgent:
    ...

    In fact, it is your declared significance of consistency that would appear to contribute to your poor thinking, for some logical fallacies present themselves out of the intent to discredit one based on a basis of inconsistency (such as between what was done yesterday, compared to today, or what one suggests should be done, compared to what they do or in contrast to their character). It is through this that I suspect you impede your ability to reason, and a poorly reasoned ideology appeals to you.


    Not my ideology at all. You're the one with the bizarre obsession with maligning it, and it's adherents.

    It's all so easy to blather on in a forum such as this....and pointlessly so....so I'll simply restate "time will tell"

    If you think you can accomplish better results, go for it....but it'll require much more _actual_ work than just blowing steam on the intertubes
  • Dave Insurgent 2012-12-05 13:17
    Bub:
    Dave Insurgent:
    ...

    In fact, it is your declared significance of consistency that would appear to contribute to your poor thinking, for some logical fallacies present themselves out of the intent to discredit one based on a basis of inconsistency (such as between what was done yesterday, compared to today, or what one suggests should be done, compared to what they do or in contrast to their character). It is through this that I suspect you impede your ability to reason, and a poorly reasoned ideology appeals to you.


    Not my ideology at all. You're the one with the bizarre obsession with maligning it, and it's adherents.

    It's all so easy to blather on in a forum such as this....and pointlessly so....so I'll simply restate "time will tell"

    If you think you can accomplish better results, go for it....but it'll require much more _actual_ work than just blowing steam on the intertubes


    I vote. I encourage my family to vote, and I encourage them to read and think prior to doing so. We don't agree on various subjects, sometimes leading to voting for different parties. That's fine. As far as actual work goes, you might consider actually reading some of the criticisms I linked. Just because they disagree with you and admit so upfront doesn't detract from their validity, their value, or mean you're being intelligent by avoiding or dismissing them.
  • Bub 2012-12-05 13:38
    Dave Insurgent:
    Bub:
    Dave Insurgent:
    ...

    In fact, it is your declared significance of consistency that would appear to contribute to your poor thinking, for some logical fallacies present themselves out of the intent to discredit one based on a basis of inconsistency (such as between what was done yesterday, compared to today, or what one suggests should be done, compared to what they do or in contrast to their character). It is through this that I suspect you impede your ability to reason, and a poorly reasoned ideology appeals to you.


    Not my ideology at all. You're the one with the bizarre obsession with maligning it, and it's adherents.

    It's all so easy to blather on in a forum such as this....and pointlessly so....so I'll simply restate "time will tell"

    If you think you can accomplish better results, go for it....but it'll require much more _actual_ work than just blowing steam on the intertubes


    I vote. I encourage my family to vote, and I encourage them to read and think prior to doing so. We don't agree on various subjects, sometimes leading to voting for different parties. That's fine. As far as actual work goes, you might consider actually reading some of the criticisms I linked. Just because they disagree with you and admit so upfront doesn't detract from their validity, their value, or mean you're being intelligent by avoiding or dismissing them.


    Believe it or not, there are much more efficient ways of keeping abreast of differing ideological, philosophical & economic arguments (be they coherent or not) than chasing down every link posted by self-important soi disant 'intellectual' keyboard commandos.
  • Dave Insurgent 2012-12-05 14:56
    You could have just said "but I don't wanna!"
  • Uncle Al 2012-12-05 14:58
    AN AMAZING CODER:
    NotHere:
    ObiWayneKenobi:

    And to the guy who said about developers working from home; good luck finding a place smart enough to allow that. Most places seem to be stuck in the factory mentality. I've noticed that this epidemic is primarily in companies established and owned/operated by the older generation; the ones who remember a time before the advent of the internet and the virtual office. A company started by a younger person ingrained in the digital world is much more likely to allow, if not support entirely, remote work, while your typical 10+ year old established business owned by a 40-something (or older) person is going to treat workers like this was still the 80s, because the last time that person worked at a job (as opposed to being the owner) there was no (or very limited) internet, and nobody even thought of working remotely; that mentality gets carried over by the owner and infects everyone. You get some exceptions of course, but usually middle aged owner of an established company = 1980s worker mentality.


    We have a relatively young company, less than 3 years. The owners are less than 40. And we require devs to be at the provided desk during normal working hours.

    There are several reasons for this. Some people will happily put in the requisite hours to get the job done; while others will just as happily stretch out a project while no one is looking. I'd like to say it was only contractors that I've had this experience with but sadly that's not true.

    With them in the office, it's actually pretty easy to tell who is making progress and who is blowing smoke. With them off site, I have no idea if that data load of 100 records is really taking them 8 hours or if they spent 7 hours with their kids at the Zoo and 30 minutes on the job.

    In the past year, I've contracted 4 offsite devs to take care of 4 different tasks. 2 completely disappeared; 1 took a month before coming back with no idea how to compile / deploy the project and another 2 months to turn in absolute crap that had to be thrown out. The 4th? Well, it took 2 weeks before I got an email saying that he was going to do the task the way I asked for it...

    And before you say I need to be on top of them with daily status reports, guess what, when they are in the office I can walk by and see what's happening. When they are out of the office I can call or send an email and easily be put off for a couple hours.

    So, with those results I'll happily require devs to be onsite. At least when they are struggling it's a 30 second conversation instead of waiting for someone to pull their head out of their ass and ask a question via phone/email.





    I'm a tech lead, and I completely agree with this. I was on the other side of the fence untill I had to actually manage a team. Now, I don't even really like to work at home myself due to all of the distractions. It's also much harder to collaborate with people when you can't just sit down next to them and hash it out.

    Working remote seems to only work well if you have a specific and sufficiently sized deliverable that you can work in isolation on.


    So, I'll confess to being an over-40, but I'm a big fan of having employees working in the office for all the reasons outlined above *plus* the fact that it allows employees to define work-life balance. I've had developers tell me that they prefer working in the office to working at home because, when they're working from home, they find themselves working more hours simply because they *can* and losing family time. Coming to the office helps them to draw a line between work time and family time.
  • Bernardo de la Paz 2012-12-05 15:17
    Jazz:
    Jack:
    Every time "A" trades with "B" they do so because both of them expect to be happier after the trade. That additional happiness is called profit and they both enjoy it.

    Every profit-making transaction, invariably must make the world a better place, because it makes both parties happier. Profits are a measure of how much good one has done.

    Unless there's violence involved. If "A" forces "B" to part with property, that is not free trade. That is theft, and it is always harmful in the net analysis, though it may benefit the recipient of the stolen goods.


    Let's see: False, false, and false.

    When I am forced to buy, say, a city sticker for my automobile, I don't expect to be happier after it. The city chamber of commerce doesn't expect to be "happier" after it (how exactly do you measure the "happiness" of a legal entity, anyway?). It's just something that's in an ordinance and therefore I must legally do it whether it makes me happier or not. In fact, frequently I make transactions with the expectation that I will be UNHAPPIER after the transaction. Have you ever bought tickets to go see a movie with your significant other that you knew you were going to hate, but did anyway because your S.O. pressured you into it? Or how about when my employer raises the rates on our health insurance because the insurance company's saleslady showed him a good time last Friday? I certainly don't expect to be any happier after paying the extra $100/month and getting the exact same coverage. So the happiness test fails miserably, right out of the gate.

    The second claim -- that all transactions must make the world a better place -- relies on the first claim and therefore already has been shown false, but let's approach this from a different direction. If all transactions MUST make the world a better place, then the simplest way to make the world better and better every day would be for just two people to keep trading ALL the world's wealth between them. Right? If all the world's wealth is changing hands once per day, then each of those transactions must be making the greatest possible amount of improvement in the world. And therefore if you just had two people, trading the money back and forth as fast as possible, the world would get better... and better... and better! Right? Except that it only takes three or four brain cells to realize that if only two people controlled all the world's wealth, eight billion people would starve to death. So that would actually mean the world is getting worse. So there's a contradiction if we start from the premise that all transactions must make the world a better place. So that's false too.

    Lastly, the idea that A taking B's property against their will is ALWAYS harmful in the net analysis is also false. Let's say you have a city of 10,000 people. This city needs streets, sewers, water, power, police forces, EMTs, and firefighters. All 10,000 people get together and they decide between two options. They can either (a) each individually hire someone to build roads to their houses, someone to pump water to their home, someone to patrol the streets, someone to take them to the hospital when they have a heart attack, or they can (b) pool their resources and collectively buy these services in bulk, at "wholesale" rates. If they go with option (a), the individualistic method, each person may need to pay $75,000 each year (that's assuming that the policeman, EMT, and firefighter that each person hires doesn't mind working for about $20k... which is a hell of an assumption). But if they go with option (b), they are going to pay about $90,000,000 collectively, but that works out to only $9,000 per person. Now, Jim-Bob in the back row is a stubborn old man and refuses to vote for the collective purchase option (b). He'd like to buy all his own services. But he gets outvoted by everyone else, because they don't have an extra $75k lying around. Now the other citizens are forcing Jim-Bob to give up $9,000 against his will, but it is easy to demonstrate that for them to do so benefits Jim-Bob greatly. He's getting all the same services he would have paid for anyway, but at an 88% discount! He gets to keep that extra $66k and use it to bring himself other happiness. It also benefits the rest of the citizens of the town, in that Jim-Bob's participation allows them to also receive this discount. Everyone's life is improved, including Jim-Bob's, because he was forced to part with his property against his will.

    So... zero for three. But keep going, please!


    Qualify the first with "voluntary" (voluntary exchange), as was probably intended, and that fixes it.

    You dropped profit-making from the second, which would put paid to the "circulate the world's cash for infinite happiness" idea. Intentional deception or accident?

    You can't measure utilities, but harm caused can be at least observed, if perhaps not compared well: and in the contrived example, Jim-Bob is harmed if extorted by the majority voters and not if not. Net harm for coercing him to pay is trivially greater than none at all.
  • Neil 2012-12-06 08:21
    NotHere:
    ObiWayneKenobi:

    And to the guy who said about developers working from home; good luck finding a place smart enough to allow that. Most places seem to be stuck in the factory mentality. I've noticed that this epidemic is primarily in companies established and owned/operated by the older generation; the ones who remember a time before the advent of the internet and the virtual office. A company started by a younger person ingrained in the digital world is much more likely to allow, if not support entirely, remote work, while your typical 10+ year old established business owned by a 40-something (or older) person is going to treat workers like this was still the 80s, because the last time that person worked at a job (as opposed to being the owner) there was no (or very limited) internet, and nobody even thought of working remotely; that mentality gets carried over by the owner and infects everyone. You get some exceptions of course, but usually middle aged owner of an established company = 1980s worker mentality.
    We have a relatively young company, less than 3 years. The owners are less than 40. And we require devs to be at the provided desk during normal working hours.

    There are several reasons for this. Some people will happily put in the requisite hours to get the job done; while others will just as happily stretch out a project while no one is looking. I'd like to say it was only contractors that I've had this experience with but sadly that's not true.

    With them in the office, it's actually pretty easy to tell who is making progress and who is blowing smoke. With them off site, I have no idea if that data load of 100 records is really taking them 8 hours or if they spent 7 hours with their kids at the Zoo and 30 minutes on the job.

    In the past year, I've contracted 4 offsite devs to take care of 4 different tasks. 2 completely disappeared; 1 took a month before coming back with no idea how to compile / deploy the project and another 2 months to turn in absolute crap that had to be thrown out. The 4th? Well, it took 2 weeks before I got an email saying that he was going to do the task the way I asked for it...

    And before you say I need to be on top of them with daily status reports, guess what, when they are in the office I can walk by and see what's happening. When they are out of the office I can call or send an email and easily be put off for a couple hours.

    So, with those results I'll happily require devs to be onsite. At least when they are struggling it's a 30 second conversation instead of waiting for someone to pull their head out of their ass and ask a question via phone/email.
    Where do you advertise your vacancies?
  • Farmed Ted 2012-12-07 13:50
    > I don't recall why, but for some reason the place had been overrun by flies.

    The reason is not disposing of carcasses. Flies lay their maggots in dead flesh. Lots of flies lets you know there is lots of dead things laying about for a long time.
  • n.podbielski 2012-12-12 13:05
    I think that to. I also think that US is great country of money, luxury and opportunities. Thankfully I live someplace else.
  • Valued Service 2013-01-09 14:30
    Dave Insurgent:

    I've said this before elsewhere: if, in another 200 years, we're still working 40-60 hours a week trying to pay off mortgages and credit cards and people still have to choose between pain-reliving (or even life-providing) medication and nutritious food and clean water, I'd say we've failed to advance as a species. Failed miserably.


    Then somehow, somewhere, we're going to have to choose a system that neither one of you like.

    Because socialism Robin-Hood, and capitalism hierarchy, neither provide the world you want to see.

    The only way to reach a world that benefits workers for their production equally, is under the rule of a perfect selfless leader with absolute control, because as a whole people are flawed and evil intentions always win.