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America as two countries… literally?

mandown

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Jun 1, 2004
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Pesqueeb

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Feb 2, 2007
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In a free market economy where the strong survive, the weak don't simply disappear. They suffer and limp along watching the success they couldn't obtain for themselves. It's a never sleeping for want of eating machine. You can't just check the job box and call it done. The dynamic business cycle doesn't align with the human lifespan.
Sure, says the AIG drone. :p

In seriousness, I see your point, but surely we can agree that perhaps the system is just a tad askew?
 

mandown

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Sure, says the AIG drone. :p

In seriousness, I see your point, but surely we can agree that perhaps the system is just a tad askew?
agreed. the best part of Injustice For All was the Seattle business owner describing how he made more money than he could spend, and so he invested it, which made him even more money he couldn't spend. how about pushing some of that cash into the hands of your employees who pushed you up to that level of wealth?

if you build a money making machine, it will make you money. then competition will creep in, so you have to keep your edge by refining the machine and streamlining the process. to be fair, inertia is a bitch and it takes more energy to grow a business than to sustain it once it reaches maturity. that inertia means more man hours up front and more employees. once efficiencies are found and maturity is reached, you have to prune the work force to stay competitive. this all takes place faster and faster in the modern information age, and industries can rise and fall in a very short time. think of how short a run the CD industry had. introduced in 1982, a period of acceptance, then popularity, and nearly obsolete 34 years later. That is shorter than the career cycle of most humans in the western world. if you worked for the cd production plant from day 1, you'd have to change careers. that ignores the changes in production methods and geographic locations over the life cycle. getting a job and being supported by it until you retire is the american pipe dream.
 

Pesqueeb

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how about pushing some of that cash into the hands of your employees who pushed you up to that level of wealth?
Agreed. What I think this comes down to, is how does that happen? I think it's pretty clear at this point that it's not happening out of the goodness of peoples hearts. The Walton family, nor Lloyd Blankfein have been seen skipping down the street handing out cash to wayward orphans as far as I know, so is this where we decide that government has a role? I think everyone here understands that, capitalism® by its nature results in a certain level of "winners" and "losers". I'm of the opinion however, that at some point, there is a moral imperative to say, someone has either "lost" enough, or " won" enough. Now, I'm not smart enough to say that I know where those lines ought to be exactly drawn, but I feel fairly confident in saying that as far as the "winners" go, we have crossed way over the line of recognizing who the biggest swinging dicks in the room might be, and into the territory of being browbeaten with those dicks. NTTATWWT.
 
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Jm_

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Agreed. What I think this comes down to, is how does that happen? I think it's pretty clear at this point that it's not happening out of the goodness of peoples hearts. The Walton family, nor Lloyd Blankfein have been seen skipping down the street handing out cash to wayward orphans as far as I know, so is this where we decide that government has a role? I think everyone here understands that, capitalism® by its nature results in a certain level of "winners" and "losers". I'm of the opinion however, that at some point, there is a moral imperative to say, someone has either "lost" enough, or " won" enough. Now, I'm not smart enough to say that I know where those lines ought to be exactly drawn, but I feel fairly confident in saying that as far as the "winners" go, we have crossed way over the line of recognizing who the biggest swinging dicks in the room might be, and into the territory of being browbeaten with those dicks. NTTATWWT.
I think the publicly traded corporation is the root of many of our evils, and at the same time, it's allowed us to have a much higher standard of living much faster than would have been possible without, because they are able to amass so much money and backing for any project. The problem is when the company is ran and decisions are made by a bunch of shareholders, all they want is to increase their value, despite the cost or even possibly running it into the ground for a short term gain. This means the company has no real interest in their employees and putting out a quality product, only paying/compensating them just enough to keep them working and only making something just good enough to be bought or to fool someone into buying it. When you boil it down to a privately held company where the owner has to build it from the ground up, they have a much more direct line to these things, they have a much more direct understanding that valuing their employees is necessary and that the product needs to meet certain standards.

I'm not sure the cost has been worth it, we've been able to increase our population many fold and have cars, planes, and all sorts of gadgets, but we've also allowed this to take a huge toll on the environment, treat people like trash at times, and make people fight for "scraps" of work. I think there needs to be far more accountability with corporations and the sacrifice we seem to have made to have all of this wonderful stuff is the ability to hold these entities accountable for their actions and effects.
 

mandown

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Toshi

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Bitching about higher standards of living semantics is only possible in nations that have actually emerged from subsistence farming. We have it good here. Many people are stupid and squander what they earn on baubles, sure, but that's a people problem, not an economy problem.
 

mandown

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Got into a "discussion" with my boss about choice of candidate. I mentioned Sanders. He recoiled in disgust saying "you'd support someone who wants to tax your income at 50%?!" I replied "if either of the others gets elected, you're gonna wish a few extra tax dollars was your only problem, you greedy prick." Well, in my head, I said that. Out loud, I just said yes.
 

Pesqueeb

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Got into a "discussion" with my boss about choice of candidate. I mentioned Sanders. He recoiled in disgust saying "you'd support someone who wants to tax your income at 50%?!" I replied "if either of the others gets elected, you're gonna wish a few extra tax dollars was your only problem, you greedy prick." Well, in my head, I said that. Out loud, I just said yes.
I'm certainly willing to pay more. Do svidaniya comrade!
 

mandown

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Pretty sure this immigration shuck 'n jive is just to spook the cash workforce in this country, doing the jobs America has no interest in doing. That way they won't try to get in on a piece of the rising minimum wage. Otherwise, people might figure out that raising the minimum just changes the number that is the minimum, but doesn't really change what it's like living on the bottom.
 

mandown

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Many Americans can’t remember anything other than an economy with skyrocketing inequality, in which living standards for most Americans are stagnating and the rich are pulling away. It feels inevitable.
It is inevitable. Wealth grows exponentially, so of course those with wealth will make more of it, faster. The issue is what the wealthy opt to do with it. They can voluntarily invest it in the economy, or they can be taxed heavily and the wealth can be distributed by the government. It seems that the wealthy are investing it in places that aren't benefitting the American working class, and the gap is becoming more evident.
 

jonKranked

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Nov 10, 2005
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It is inevitable. Wealth grows exponentially, so of course those with wealth will make more of it, faster. The issue is what the wealthy opt to do with it. They can voluntarily invest it in the economy, or they can be taxed heavily and the wealth can be distributed by the government. It seems that the wealthy are investing it in places that aren't benefitting the American working class, and the gap is becoming more evident.
that's when things get all fight club-y
 

Pesqueeb

bicycle in airplane hangar
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Speaking of housing, the poor are also consumers of it, they must be paying rent to someone. I know this because I work for a company that makes money on low-income housing. We take money from rich investors, then use it to construct and operate rental property for those deemed "low-income", including those who receive housing assistance from the government. The government then gives my company tax credits for operating low income housing (since it obviosly isn't as profitable as market rate housing). We then reroute the credits to our investors via pass-through tax entities, thus giving them a return on investment, just not in the form of cash dividends, by allowing them to reduce their federal tax liability each year.

...wait, did I just state that the government is funding Rich America by giving money to Poor America, only to have it result in Rich America paying less tax and thus reducing the source of funds available for the government to use to help Poor America? I sure as fvck did. Don't pay attention to the man behind the green curtain. Poor America is a consumer base for Rich America and a "mule" for smuggling government funds to the pockets of the rich.
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/poverty-politics-and-profit/
 

mandown

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Bringing up the average, for a change.
You're welcome.

I was just commenting on how I remember 20-30 years ago you'd see a savings rate of a few percent for a bank account, yet now you see a cash-back incentive of a few percent on various cards. The incentive is to spend money to "save" money. While the rate may be comparable, saving allows for compounding, which spending doesn't. The people pulling the strings clearly know how to bait the average bear, and structure the game in their favor.