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  1. #61
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    Yes Misty Blue, but the problem is not that people expect more, but that their income is so low that they qualify for government assistance. And that bar is very low.
    Last edited by LauraKY; Nov. 25, 2012 at 02:21 PM.
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant


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  2. #62
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    MB, you speak in extremes, but reliably against the working stiff.

    The idea that we must incentivize executives doesn't make intrinsic sense. Heck, if you have a gangrenous foot, you need a guy with a bone saw far more than you need someone with a degree from Wharton.

    The problem becomes most obvious when you look at the pay differentials between the top- and bottom earners in large corporations. What risk did the guy at the top take that was worth, say 1,000 times, what the person working with dangerous machinery at the bottom take?

    But we justify that inequality in two ways and tend to pick whichever seems to do the convincing: Either we are rewarding acquired skill or compensating for risk.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat


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  3. #63
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    LauraKY...I agree with you on that. It's an issue of the cost of living rising faster than average wages.

    mvp...it might interest you to know *I* am a born and raised working stiff. I am 100% for the working stiff, blue collar and especially construction and manufactoring. IMO, too many people in pockets of the USA are getting college degrees and expecting everything once they get one. I think it sucks out loud that manufactoring is going the way of the dodo bird. And that's happening due to a combo of technology on some fronts and overzealous unions on most fronts. I'd LOVE to see the USA retain it's blue collar workers and product development and production. But for that to happen: unions have to dump the mafia structure and go back to supporting workers who WORK and not slackers. So that the owners can afford to keep production going on HERE at a cost that the average citizen can pay for when buying that product.

    And why does that CEO earn 1000x more? That CEO is responsible for having that company make the profits. The profits keep the company open. And the workers employed. And the investors happy and investing. Which keeps the company open and the workers employed. And the stock holders happy....follow me?

    Very few folks get to be CEO, CFO, COO, etc of a top earning company by luck, nepotism, etc. (despite what movies show) They have to constantly increase that company and very few are capable of doing that. Same as very few are capable of hitting home runs. Or writing and performing popular music. Or getting those starring movie roles and able to keep bringing in the huge box office numbers. The person at the top is responsible and necessary to keep every single person below them working.

    Despite the "we;re all special snowflakes" approach to life seen lately...the definition of equality has not changed even if some folks want it to. Equality does not mean everyone makes whatever the most vocal think they should earn. Equality means everyone has the equal opportunity to work their way up the ladders. Nobody should be banned based on race, religion, gender, creed, etc. It does NOT mean everyone SHOULD make a predetermined wage according to what others think is fair or unfair.
    You jump in the saddle,
    Hold onto the bridle!
    Jump in the line!
    ...Belefonte


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  4. #64
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    My income is good. The problem I see with my own budget is not wanton spending--I keep track of every cent, shop wisely and only when necessary--but that the cost of everything is rising and my income is not keeping pace.

    FWIW, internet IS a necessity for today's college kids. In my son's case, I don't know of a class that doesn't have some required online component.
    I'm not arguing, I'm just explaining why I'm right
    Violence doesn't end violence. It extends it. Break the cycle.


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  5. #65
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    I agree with internet being necessary for college.

    But neither college nor internet is necessary for living.
    You jump in the saddle,
    Hold onto the bridle!
    Jump in the line!
    ...Belefonte


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  6. #66
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    Now, now, MB.

    It indeed sucks out loud that we have glorified the college education to the extent we have. There are so many stoopid and also nefarious causes of that trend. It may have looked good for a minute in the Sputnik era, but more recently not so much. I do think that those in the industry of higher education have enjoyed their 15 minutes of unjustified profit and are currently trying to wring out the last of the money to be made there.

    But good lord, don't tell me that there is no halo effect of multiple layers of that at work in the life trajectory of the person who becomes the CEO as opposed to the assembly line worker! Starting with being born white and male, it continues. You need to pass muster with a lot of people who are very socially- and politically conservative in order to reach the CEO spot. That's true from at least the first moment you apply to a selective school.

    As to the CEO who's "responsiblity" for profits? Note you have changed the thing we are compensating here-- from risk, to skill to mere responsibility. If so, then those guys need a very, very different form of education. Call it Stewardship 101 if you like. I don't see how the AIG execs (for example) can be said to have taken the plight of either their employees or even their stockholders seriously. Hell, as someone who owns stock in some big corporations, I'd rather see CEOs paid less and more money ploughed back into productivity.

    IMO, the behavior of CEOs who make sure they are paid first and no matter what is self-serving and short sighted. Fine if that's a common human foible. But don't pay those mensches as though they were so different from the rest of us.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat


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  7. #67

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    what should the person who squirts the vanilla goo into a twinke make?
    (granted the factories are all highly mechanized now so the question is a little silly)
    but truly your job is to squirt creme in a cake. pull a handle,not fall asleep,nothing really more...

    Tamara
    Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
    I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.


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  8. #68
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    Maybe we need to define "living."

    Sure, nothing is "necessary" for life beyond some type of food, minimal clothing and shelter that keeps you from dying, but where's the "living" in that? Is it OK to have more than one pair of jeans? What about properly sized shoes or socks without holes, or should a person just be "thankful" they have any foot covering at all?

    Shouldn't people have the opportunity to enjoy life beyond work and sleeping?

    When did the "American Dream" of working your way up the ladder to a better home/car/clothing/whatever become entitlement mentality?
    I'm not arguing, I'm just explaining why I'm right
    Violence doesn't end violence. It extends it. Break the cycle.


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  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by LauraKY View Post
    Yes Misty Blue, but the problem is not that people expect more, but that their income is so low that they qualify for government assistance. And that bar is very low.
    Dude! But the alternative is worse... down right Dickensian.

    Wouldn't it make far more sense to raise the wages of what one could make putting in that honest 40 hours a week than keeping those wages so low that someone finds little to be gained by getting off the dole?

    Getting that done is a question of two confessions we'd have to make to ourselves:

    1. Living a human life-- birth to education to healthcare and end of life-- is expensive.

    2. We have long not paid what it costs to keep working people. We have, as a society, reaped the benefits of a government rather than business plus private charities holding up the bottom. Yet we bitch about it.

    So pick one: You can pay people adequately and they will fund their own life, or you can pay them inadequately and have them hold their hand out.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat


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  10. #70
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    But good lord, don't tell me that there is no halo effect of multiple layers of that at work in the life trajectory of the person who becomes the CEO as opposed to the assembly line worker! Starting with being born white and male, it continues. You need to pass muster with a lot of people who are very socially- and politically conservative in order to reach the CEO spot. That's true from at least the first moment you apply to a selective school.
    I'm not sure, other than TV, where you're getting your business model ideas from. It certainly isn't from business. On average it seems less than 30% of CEOs, COOs and CFOs are conservative. More are moderate. And independents too. In order to become CEO of a company, you need to prove proficiency in running it, delegating authority wisely, investing, growing the company, etc. Only on TV shows do you have to "pass muster" with the White Man Private Country Club Evil Doer set.
    You also do not have to go to a selective school.
    There are tons of CEOs COOs and CFOs who are there because they STARTED the company. Not all are white males. Many are female and/or other colors. The majority are white men, but it's not closed to anything or anyone else. And nobody is blocked from starting their own company. Seems people prefer to complain that the Already There Jobs aren't being handed to them and they're not willing or capable of taking on the risk of starting their own.


    As to the CEO who's "responsiblity" for profits? Note you have changed the thing we are compensating here-- from risk, to skill to mere responsibility. If so, then those guys need a very, very different form of education. Call it Stewardship 101 if you like. I don't see how the AIG execs (for example) can be said to have taken the plight of either their employees or even their stockholders seriously. Hell, as someone who owns stock in some big corporations, I'd rather see CEOs paid less and more money ploughed back into productivity.
    I'm unable to see where I mentioned that once they're responsible for profits they're no longer responsible for anything else. Assigning your own meaning to my words does not change them. I haven't changed a thing. Of course they still require skill, the ability to accept and mitigate risk too. As I said earlier. Responsibility is there too. And the profit is what keeps the workers employed. Profit is NOT a bad word or a bad thing. AIG was a sucktasticly run company. And there are others as bad. It is NOT the majority, the regular companies don't make the news or the internet. Just because you don't hear about them and only hear/read about the asshats does not make that SOP. You'll never hear a news story on good drivers, but they happen to far outnumber the drunk drivers.

    IMO, the behavior of CEOs who make sure they are paid first and no matter what is self-serving and short sighted. Fine if that's a common human foible. But don't pay those mensches as though they were so different from the rest of us.
    In cases like AIG, I agree with you 100%. But FWIW, it's not up to you or I what anyone is paid. Period.
    You jump in the saddle,
    Hold onto the bridle!
    Jump in the line!
    ...Belefonte


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  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by HighFlyinBey++ View Post
    Maybe we need to define "living."

    Sure, nothing is "necessary" for life beyond some type of food, minimal clothing and shelter that keeps you from dying, but where's the "living" in that? Is it OK to have more than one pair of jeans? What about properly sized shoes or socks without holes, or should a person just be "thankful" they have any foot covering at all?

    Shouldn't people have the opportunity to enjoy life beyond work and sleeping?

    When did the "American Dream" of working your way up the ladder to a better home/car/clothing/whatever become entitlement mentality?
    When the amount of work people are willing to put in went down. See the post about the girl who wanted a 100% raise because her COL was going up. Was she volunteering to work longer hours with more responsibility to make her LABOR worth more? Those horrible, awful, terrible, evil CEOs? Usually work 60+ hour weeks. And didn't START in the board room. If the guy flipping the Twinkie lever screws up, they lose a batch, fire him, and find someone else to flip the lever. The VP screws up? Company loses big-time, shareholders (the real risk-takers) lose big, and employees lose big. More risk, more responsibility, more reward. Does it hurt someone hourly to lose their job? Probably. Does it hurt MORE people for the guy making company-wide management decisions to screw up enough to lose his job? Yes.

    When did the "American dream" become "other people giving up THEIR wages and profits because otherwise it's just not fair?

    Guin: I lived in Waltham and worked in (among other places) Dorchester, downtown Boston, Needham, and walking distance on Moody Street (all at once, mostly.) I took commuter rail, I drove, I walked. I STILL DID NOT *NEED* $30,000 a year. That is all controlable expense. No one has to live in the Navy Yard, on Beacon Hill, etc. to work there. Even Southie is cheaper. Now, is it NICE? Not the greatest place, but I've seen uglier. And if you want even cheaper there's Allston-Brighton. (I did rentals, I know what you can get where and what the average was.)

    You do not have to live to upper-middle-class standards to consider it living. You do not NEED a smartphone, a new car, multiple vehicles, a house in a rich neighborhood, etc. You are entitled to work your butt off to try to get that with no guarantee you will. Some people are smarter, better-looking, harder-working, more naturally talented at something people consider valuable (be it finance, acting, athletics, whatever). Some people are more willing to take risks with bigger payoffs and greater potential for disaster. How exactly is it all supposed to be fair? Are employers supposed to pay based on what a person thinks they NEED to buy? Should my employer have to raise my pay so I can lower my insurance deductible? Or just so I can buy a nicer, newer car and cover the subsequent increase in my insurance? Since they don't have an infinite amount of money coming in, whose pay should get cut to balance that out? Heck, all of us working there, I'm sure, want things we can't afford--so should our owner stop keeping any money for himself so he can give us all raises? Should he cut down on the quality of the food and supplies he buys but keep charging the same prices to the customers? Raise all his prices and make the customers pay more (with no guarantee they'll keep coming in?) Why do line cooks get more per hour than dishwashers? Both jobs have to get done. Why do the server-managers get more than the other servers? They all wait tables.

    When it comes to people doing low-skill (and let's face it, who can't learn to stock shelves?), low-training labor that can be done by pretty much any hire, or even in service businesses where there's no steady income flow and product pricing is based in part on variable expenses, what's fair? And who bears the cost? What happens when those "fair" wages mean the prices on the product have to reflect reality and the customers suddenly don't think it's "fair" to them? Sure, 'well, then, your business model is faulty'...and that makes life better for all the unemployed people now the business is closed how?

    Life is unfair. There is absolutely no point in trying to make it fair. Everyone wants more, to have a perfect happy life, and they often don't get it and wind up doing things they didn't think they'd have to do to get by. Nothing is ever going to change that. The only thing trying to accomplishes is making MORE people miserable to balance things out.


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  12. #72
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    Sorry for the piss-poor quoting that makes this bit of the conversation hard to read.

    Quote Originally Posted by MistyBlue View Post
    I'm not sure, other than TV, where you're getting your business model ideas from. It certainly isn't from business. On average it seems less than 30% of CEOs, COOs and CFOs are conservative. More are moderate. And independents too. In order to become CEO of a company, you need to prove proficiency in running it, delegating authority wisely, investing, growing the company, etc. Only on TV shows do you have to "pass muster" with the White Man Private Country Club Evil Doer set.
    You also do not have to go to a selective school.
    There are tons of CEOs COOs and CFOs who are there because they STARTED the company. Not all are white males. Many are female and/or other colors. The majority are white men, but it's not closed to anything or anyone else. And nobody is blocked from starting their own company. Seems people prefer to complain that the Already There Jobs aren't being handed to them and they're not willing or capable of taking on the risk of starting their own.


    You don't think the folks educated and groomed to become CEOs don't learn the rather conservative and simplistic economic theory of the market happily regulating all in favor during the last quarter of the 20th century?

    That's what I mean by conservative.

    I'm unable to see where I mentioned that once they're responsible for profits they're no longer responsible for anything else. Assigning your own meaning to my words does not change them. I haven't changed a thing. Of course they still require skill, the ability to accept and mitigate risk too. As I said earlier. Responsibility is there too. And the profit is what keeps the workers employed. Profit is NOT a bad word or a bad thing. AIG was a sucktasticly run company. And there are others as bad. It is NOT the majority, the regular companies don't make the news or the internet. Just because you don't hear about them and only hear/read about the asshats does not make that SOP. You'll never hear a news story on good drivers, but they happen to far outnumber the drunk drivers. /COLOR]
    We can certainly split hairs about whether your average corporation is more or less like AIG. But by the time CEOs pay themselves first and shareholders second, there's not much reason to think that responsibility has a whole lot of weight.

    This isn't like the ship's captain of yore. He's paid big, but he might lose big, going down with the ship, as well.

    If you are paid, say $10M in a single year and can finance the rest of your natural born life with that, where's the incentive to be responsible? I don't see the guys at the top losing big, sea captain big. Ever. Do you?

    Profit is not bad. Its role in all this, however, is misstated, I think. People are assuming that Big Pay is somehow proportionate to the work (or risk, or skill or responsibility) of those who make it. Isn't the usual argument: "No MBA-holding, capital-holding person in his/her right mind would get off the couch and found or run a company without 7 figures' compensation for doing so." I don't agree that it takes that much money to justify their effort. I also don't agree that a company can consider itself profitable when that margin is made by shorting employees.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat


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  13. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by HighFlyinBey++ View Post
    Maybe we need to define "living."

    Sure, nothing is "necessary" for life beyond some type of food, minimal clothing and shelter that keeps you from dying, but where's the "living" in that? Is it OK to have more than one pair of jeans? What about properly sized shoes or socks without holes, or should a person just be "thankful" they have any foot covering at all?

    Shouldn't people have the opportunity to enjoy life beyond work and sleeping?

    When did the "American Dream" of working your way up the ladder to a better home/car/clothing/whatever become entitlement mentality?
    Meh, I'm willing to define "living" like an economic hard-a$$. By earning a living wage, you are only entitled to the money it costs you to live and show up for work yet another day.

    All else is gravy... or things you can earn by working for more money than that.

    But the reason to consent to being so brass tacks about this is because folks are *not* making what it costs to sustain life. So we don't need to talk about some kind of universal right to joy even to get this ball rolling.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat


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  14. #74

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    =mvp;6685543]
    If you are paid, say $10M in a single year and can finance the rest of your natural born life with that, where's the incentive to be responsible? I don't see the guys at the top losing big, sea captain big. Ever. Do you?
    the reward is the chase itself.the catch.the job well done.doing what comes naturally and supporting others doing it.

    tamara
    Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
    I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.


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  15. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by LauraKY View Post
    I'm curious, if you find it obscene to pay sports athletes huge amounts of money obscene, do you also believe that wages and incentives paid CEOs who also make huge amounts of money are obscene too?
    [/URL]
    Of course. Especially when the CEOs are incompetent and destroy the company they were hired to run.
    "Sic Gorgiamus Allos Subjectatos Nunc"


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  16. #76
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    That is indeed, economically hard-a$$ed, particularly toward the underemployed homeless who earn enough to eat but not enough for rent. We don't have to discuss the value of "joy." We can stick to hard reality: do people have the right to shelter? What is "enough" shelter? Is a rat-infested fire-trap suitable? I don't live in a mcmansion or high-end condo. My "penthouse" apartment needs windows that don't leak, new carpet and walls that don't allow me to hear the "garage band" two full units over or the screams of Demon Child through the vent over my stove, but it's warm, dry and in a safe neighborhood. Doesn't everyone have the same right to "warm, dry and safe"?

    Or we could just discuss what happens when my son, an actual grocery shelf stocker, doesn't get paid a living wage: he becomes eligible to apply for food stamps and rent assistance**. We can either pay for his wages directly by purchasing products in the store, or we subsidize his right to food and shelter through our taxes. You see, this company graciously allows the government to take care of its work force so its private industry execs can keep the profits. This is corporate welfare. This is also corporate socialism. The government covers what the company gets away with not covering. To those who enjoy this company's ample profits, it's welfare check money laundering. To those who tout "free market" principles, it's not one of them. It would be different if this company were a struggling little start-up where loyal employees believed in the company's vision, so being temporarily paid less than an intern is understandable or Brookes' business with its own set of needs. But since this particular multi-state company is by all measurements a great success, it should no longer be OK for them to benefit from government handouts. They need to pay people who work for them like people who work for them and not like disposable volunteers.

    Since grocery shelf stockers usually don't qualify for sick days, you (plural, not personal) might want to be a less freaked out about touching the cart handle and a little more wary of just who's been hacking on your produce, milk, canned goods and toilet paper...

    **Although my son qualifies for public assistance, he only receives it from me and my parents, not the government.
    I'm not arguing, I'm just explaining why I'm right
    Violence doesn't end violence. It extends it. Break the cycle.


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  17. #77
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    I live in Nepa. My husband works in a refrigeration unit dealing with liquid ammonia at a plant. He makes $17/hour which equates to about 35k a year.
    We have deductions for health insurance through his work.
    I also work about 30 hours a week making about $10 an hour.

    We just purchased a modest house with 5 acres.
    We have two older vehicles. Both paid off. Both with inexpensive insurance.

    We have no real debt and still we are very careful with our spending. I don't think we could pay our bills if either of us made any less.


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  18. #78
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    I'm living paycheck to paycheck. They just hired two people on to replace two retirements who do the same job as I do, only I'm a higher grade after 5 years. New employee earns about what I do. Newer employee (completely useless btw) earns $2/hour MORE than I do.

    Thus a little note was sent to my boss requesting an adjustment. We shall see.

    I have a 2-year degree. My younger sister has a master's in a field in which she should have just done the bachelor's and started work. She is working retail right now.
    It's a uterus, not a clown car. - Sayyedati



  19. #79
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    Just a note -- lots of hate and discontent directed at CEOs. I've had the opportunity to work closely with many senior executives of very large companies. You can find examples of bad ones. There are also many examples of good ones. Their jobs are unending, they work incredible hours, and have unbelievable pressure. They are not a dime a dozen. The combination of skills and experience required for the front office are hard to find -- which is why they are so highly compensated.

    I would agree that many are overcompensated. Boards and stockholders need to take control and halt that. But in general, I do not find the large disparity in their wages vis a vis the bulk of employees that troubling. One person in a million can run a huge company successfully. Just about anyone can stock a shelf.

    it's tempting to think anyone can walk into the front office and run the company. It's easy to critique, especially when you see only the decisions they make, and not all of the data and circumstances they considered in leading up to the decision. Some CEOs are terrible, but many are doing a hard job as well as it can be done, with good intentions.

    I understand the angst, but my time in industry has made me sensitive to the fact that it's easy to critique, and only the rare person can do it successfully.


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  20. #80
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    Get up, go to work, come home, go to sleep.
    Get up, go to work, come home, go to sleep.

    That's what life looks like for a lot of people.
    No disposable income to spoil yourself with.

    I do believe it was easier before to actually save for a trip, save for that car or save for the horse you wanted.

    Entry level wages now are at the same level they were 15 years ago.
    But gas is no longer $1/gallon.

    IMO there is too much greed in corporate today.

    How to fix that mentality? I don't know.

    ************************
    \"Horses lend us the wings we lack\"


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