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  1. #121
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    Quote Originally Posted by nhwr View Post
    mvp, you are simply misinformed. You are referring to market forces, not individual choices.
    In a capitalist system, compulsion of the individual does not exist. One is free to depose of one's capital as one sees fit. There is no prohibition to selling an asset or your own labor below market value or even giving money away, if that is your choice.
    True, you are free to do this. But this individual is also irrational and too many of him screw up the whole theory.
    The armchair saddler
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  2. #122
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    Quote Originally Posted by redalter View Post
    Ok, got it.

    However.

    I know a number of people who have worked their way up and never by milking the system.

    Once many years ago, we lost everything we had, family issues.

    We went on food stamps.

    We worked out of it - it took awhile. And yes we were at ROCK BOTTTOM in a lot of ways. It happens.

    During that time, I had to go down to the city to apply in person.
    Then every month, I had to go get them, in person. (there was no car, and the money for the city bus MATTERED in the budget. I would hit the grocery store,
    then get on the bus with what groceries I could carry.

    The things I witnessed and heard, and experienced, helped me to form the opinion, that many many of those on government assistance? It's a way of life, good economy, bad economy, doesn't matter. They will always have an excuse.

    And many people will have low expectations - justifiying if you will, bad behaviour, because they are underprivilgeded, etc.

    Not fighting your post per se, just making an observation from an up close, unpleasant personal experience.
    Cool, so we agree so far.

    In order to complete an argument for "Yay, pure capitalism," you have to concede two things.

    1. The rich try to screw as many/behave as badly or whathaveyou as anyone else. That's just what rational actors do, regardless of their wealth.

    2. How much damage does each side-- rich or poor-- do? That's the debatable part that has to do with whether or not deregulation rocks.

    To me, it looks like rich corporations have the greatest ability to buy political influence. So you'd have to assume (as has happened in the past in the US), that they'd buy the government that increased their wealth.

    3. So who gives a fat rat's one if the poor are slackers? If we innoculated them with "work ethic" at birth, would that make a greater or lesser difference than our not reining in the larger, but equally callous and self-serving, actors?
    The armchair saddler
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  3. #123
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    vineyridge, with all due respect, you are wrong.

    Social Security was developed in the US in the 1930's (1935, if IIRC) to remedy poverty among the elderly. It provided benefits to retirees and the unemployed, and a benefit at death. Payments to current retirees are financed by a payroll tax on current workers' wages, half directly as a payroll tax and half paid by the employer. This began immediately in the 1930's when none of the recipients of benefits had paid into SSI and therefore is not an annuity.

    That is generally how the system
    continues to work today. One must contribute for a certain number of quarters to be eligible. But there is no correlation between amount of contribution made and amount of benefits one is entitled to receive as there would be with an annuity. This is why SSI is referred as an unfunded liability of the Federal government. As the number of workers (contributors) decline, the ability of the Federal government to pay benefits is undermined. This is why there is so much discussion of SSI going broke.
    See those flying monkeys? They work for me.


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  4. #124
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    I'm just not going to get into a fight. I have my opinions, you have yours.

    In pointing out my experiences, I in no way was advocating for pure capitalism. Nor was I defending the rich.

    I am entitled to be irked at what I saw and experienced of people gaming the system, you bet. Do the rich? Of course they do.

    Do you have statistics on who behaves worse - rich or poor? I assumed you did since you said they screw as many as the poor who are gaming the system. I could not begin to know that.

    As for political influence?

    From my perspective, the entitled seem to have a pretty good hold on political influence lately.



  5. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post
    Cool, so we agree so far.

    In order to complete an argument for "Yay, pure capitalism," you have to concede two things.

    1. The rich try to screw as many/behave as badly or whathaveyou as anyone else. That's just what rational actors do, regardless of their wealth.

    2. How much damage does each side-- rich or poor-- do? That's the debatable part that has to do with whether or not deregulation rocks.

    To me, it looks like rich corporations have the greatest ability to buy political influence. So you'd have to assume (as has happened in the past in the US), that they'd buy the government that increased their wealth.

    3. So who gives a fat rat's one if the poor are slackers? If we innoculated them with "work ethic" at birth, would that make a greater or lesser difference than our not reining in the larger, but equally callous and self-serving, actors?
    Am I right that you're taking basically the Ayn Rand position? I'm not saying that's invalid--and I'm now going to spend all of chores-hour thinking about WHO the "grownup in the room" is supposed to be! (You got me there!)

    All I need to know about human nature I've learned in a herd of a dozen horses. There is NO difference! The Alpha will eat "first bucket." He knows he has the ability (privilege?) of kicking every single other horse out of HIS bucket if he wants to; up to and including eating everybody else's lunch PLUS his own while the rest of 'em stand there and watch and LET HIM!

    This illustrates the old saying, "The only thing required for tyrants to rule is for good men to do nothing."

    Now this can't all happen that way if I'm standing there keeping good order and discipline with dirty looks backed up by a longe whip.

    So: Who's holding the longe whip?


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  6. #126
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Eboshi View Post
    Am I right that you're taking basically the Ayn Rand position? I'm not saying that's invalid--and I'm now going to spend all of chores-hour thinking about WHO the "grownup in the room" is supposed to be! (You got me there!)
    Jesus, no, I'm not arguing that we *should* become the selfish ba$tards Rand thinks make the world go 'round. I'm explaining that capitalism does, more or less.

    Within a capitalist system, there certainly is a distribution of power-- or potential for it. After all, workers have to agree to sell their labor at a price. They can decide not to buy the widgets made and so on.

    It just seems to me that we are in a moment where the power differential between, say, the 1%-- particularly those who now buy political influence as much as they do building sites for factories-- have a tad too much power. That going on for a while makes it hella hard for the poor minimum wage schmuck to resist by refusing to work for poor wages, in unsafe conditions, not look for a 3% downpayment deal even though that screwed many like him previously.
    The armchair saddler
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  7. #127
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    True, you are free to do this. But this individual is also irrational and too many of him screw up the whole theory.
    Uh ... no. What you call "irrationality" is part of the theory.
    Capitalism regards unstable markets as opportunity. There are many factors that influence market stability, supply and demand, confidence, weather, foreign affairs and investor behavior to name a few obvious ones. These things are neither rational or irrational. They are natural.

    Government intervention or regulation (your grown up in the room) in the market seeks to minimize instability but is, by definition, a blunt force to the market and often results in unintended consequences (like the mortgage crisis).

    It is also worth noting that among the largest purchasers of political power are labor unions. In my state, California, public employee unions own the legislature. And the state now has a negative net worth of close to $130 Billion.

    PS Ayn Rand was an objectivist, not a capitalist.
    See those flying monkeys? They work for me.


    4 members found this post helpful.

  8. #128
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    Quote Originally Posted by nhwr View Post
    Uh ... no. What you call "irrationality" is part of the theory.
    Capitalism regards unstable markets as opportunity. There are many factors that influence market stability, supply and demand, confidence, weather, foreign affairs and investor behavior to name a few obvious ones. These things are neither rational or irrational. They are natural.

    Government intervention (regulation) in the market seeks to minimize instability but is, by definition, a blunt force to the market and often results in unintended consequences (like the mortgage crisis).

    PS Ayn Rand was an objectivist, not a capitalist.
    Yup, never said Rand was a capitalist.

    Where do you get the version of capitalism you hold?
    The armchair saddler
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  9. #129
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    This quote comes from a 1939 book called "American Labor", by Herbert Harris and published by the Yale University Press.

    The Social Security Act
    was approved by the President on August 14, 1935.

    . . . .

    What is new, and startling to many, are the two extremely important innovations: unemployment compensation and old-age benefits. With the exception of the so-called "annuity" part of the old-age benefits system, which is exclusively a national plan, the Act was designed primarily to enable and guide the states to pass their own laws to assist the unemployed and the aged, and to establish their own agencies which, it was believed, were better adopted to local needs and conditions.

    . . . . .

    The operation of the law as it affects old-age benefits resembles the unemployment-insurance provisions provisions in several respects . . . .In dealing with the question of old-age security, however, two drastically different methods are used: the one to satisfy immediate need, and the other to confirm an earned and cumulative right. In the first case, the basis of need, the states receive from the Federal government one-half of all sums paid to persons over sixty-five under their old-age laws, an amount limited to a monthly top of $15 dollars per pensioner plus $5 to reimburse the state for expenses incurred in looking after him.

    In the second case, the basis of right, an annuity system--borrowed from the actuarial techniques of private life-insurance companies--has been established, and the Federal government itself assumes complete responsibility for it's administration. Under this arrangement, a tax is imposed upon every $3,000 of wages and payrolls up to $3000 per worker, both both employer and employee contributing at the following rates:
    . . . .

    Significantly enough, the money thus collected is paid into the Federal, not as a separate item, but as part of general revenue. To meet necessary outlays, Congress is to appropriate annually for an Old Age Reserve Account as sum which must be "sufficient as an annual premium to provide for the payments required" as well as to serve the purpose of establishing a reserve, the interest n which will defray the deficit in later years when annual taxes do not meet annual benefit claims. The major distribution of earned benefits is scheduled to begin on January 1, 1942, on the basis of wages received and paid out since December 31, 1936; for, as the [preceding table of rates] shows, both employer and worker contribute equal shares. From this Old Age Reserve Account, monthly payments will be made to all properly qualified persons. When, for example, a worker reaches the age of 65 on January 1, 1948, after earning $3000 a year from December 31, 1936, onwards, he is entitled to monthly ''dividends" calculated on graduated percentages as follows:
    1/2 of 1 per cent for the first $3,000, or $15
    1/2 of 1 per cent for the remaining $30,000 or $25
    adding up to $40 a month or $480 per year.

    (Footnote) [The Act also provides] that upon the death of a worker before he reaches 65 years of age, his heirs shall receive 3 1/2 per cent of his total wages upon which taxes have been paid.
    Everyone (1930's right and left) knew the Old-Age provisions of Act were very flawed; but it was what was possible at the time. It was thought of at the time as insurance and conceived to work like a private insurance annuity and payment was deferred for six years to allow a build up in the Reserve Account.
    "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
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  10. #130
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    It was initially intended that social security would be a fully funded system financed by payroll taxes. However, in the year 1939, the fully funded system was replaced by the pay-as-you-go system.


    http://www.nasi.org/learn/socialsecurity/overview
    What is Social Security?

    Social Security is the foundation of economic security for millions of Americans—retirees, disabled persons, and families of retired, disabled or deceased workers. About 157 million Americans pay Social Security taxes and 56 million collect monthly benefits in 2012. About one household in four receives income from Social Security.
    Social Security is largely a pay-as-you-go program. This means that today's workers pay Social Security taxes into the program and money flows back out as monthly income to beneficiaries. As a pay-as-you-go system, Social Security differs from company pensions, which are “pre-funded.” In pre-funded retirement programs, the money is accumulated in advance so that it will be available to be paid out to today's workers when they retire. The private plans need to be funded in advance to protect employees in case the company enters bankruptcy or goes out of business.



    BTW, it is likely we'll see the same type of funding manipulation with Obamacare. Already the program for pre-existing conditions has been terminated for new applicants because the funding was simply insufficient.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/nation...a13_print.html
    See those flying monkeys? They work for me.



  11. #131
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    Quote Originally Posted by nhwr View Post
    It is also worth noting that among the largest purchasers of political power are labor unions. In my state, California, public employee unions own the legislature. And the state now has a negative net worth of close to $130 Billion.
    This needs to be said again and again... since the traditional news media will not.

    See here ... http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...761790288.html

    total the amounts spent by unions against the amounts spent by the "Fat cats" and you'll see who really buys the political power.


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  12. #132
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    Quote Originally Posted by hosspuller View Post
    This needs to be said again and again... since the traditional news media will not.

    See here ... http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...761790288.html
    Um, hosspuller, the WSJ is about as traditional as news media gets, even more so now that Murdoch owns it.

    Also, this line is worth noting:

    The 2010 election could be pivotal for public-sector unions, whose clout helped shield members from the worst of the economic downturn.
    That's how unions are supposed to work -- for the workers.



  13. #133
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    Quote Originally Posted by JER View Post
    Um, hosspuller, the WSJ is about as traditional as news media gets, even more so now that Murdoch owns it.

    Also, this line is worth noting:
    The 2010 election could be pivotal for public-sector unions, whose clout helped shield members from the worst of the economic downturn.


    That's how unions are supposed to work -- for the workers.
    Good for the gov't workers does not mean good for the public. There is no limit to the demands since taxes always increase in response. Of the top 5 political spenders, 3 are unions. Of those top three, two are primarily gov't employees

    When labor demands too much of a Business, the whole enchilada just goes bankrupt and everybody loses. It's self limiting



  14. #134
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    Quote Originally Posted by JER View Post
    Um, hosspuller, the WSJ is about as traditional as news media gets, even more so now that Murdoch owns it.

    Also, this line is worth noting:



    That's how unions are supposed to work -- for the workers.
    There is nothing wrong with that...unions were very much needed back in the day to protect employees from manufacturing abuse when we were an industrial, blue collar worker nation -- and to deal with child labor laws.

    But that was then, this is now. Who ever would have thought that umpteen decades later, those itty-bitty innovators who had a great idea that created a big industry that could employ millions are now are struggling to keep their doors open... because complusory union dues morphed into political clout and campaign contributions that determines who is elected.?

    Just sayin'. I'm not anti union. I'm anti union abuse of power that results from compulsory union dues from employees.


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  15. #135
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    I'd be very interested to see the comparison of union spending to PACs during the 2012 election.

    Here it is, from the WSJ. Things changed quite a bit in the 2 years between elections. And not for the good. We need campaign limits.

    http://projects.wsj.com/super-pacs/
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant



  16. #136
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    Unions were (may be) necessary to protect employees from potential abuses handed out by employers in an environment where a profit motive exists. There is no such motive, and therefore no such justification, in the public sector.

    George Meeney, former president of the AFL-CIO said “It is impossible to bargain collectively with the government.” F.D.R. considered the idea of a job action against taxpayers “unthinkable and intolerable.” Collective bargaining rights for public employee unions means that voters do not have the final say on public policy. Instead their elected representatives, many of whom are elected by union donations, must negotiate spending and policy decisions with unions. That is a blatant conflict of interest.
    See those flying monkeys? They work for me.


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  17. #137
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    Quote Originally Posted by nhwr View Post
    Unions were (may be) necessary to protect employees from potential abuses handed out by employers in an environment where a profit motive exists. There is no such motive, and therefore no such justification, in the public sector.

    George Meeney, former president of the AFL-CIO said “It is impossible to bargain collectively with the government.” F.D.R. considered the idea of a job action against taxpayers “unthinkable and intolerable.” Collective bargaining rights for public employee unions means that voters do not have the final say on public policy. Instead their elected representatives, many of whom are elected by union donations, must negotiate spending and policy decisions with unions. That is a blatant conflict of interest.
    EXACTLY. One does not need to hang a label on oneself as a liberal, conserative, independent, Dem, Repub, Lib or anything else to see this. It's a "right and wrong" issue.



  18. #138
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    Interesting LauraKY but it leaves out unions.

    Let's add them in too.
    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner...athan-collegio

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...DLABOR20120710

    It should be noted that most of the money used by unions come from the rank and file members who are forced through dues to contribute.
    See those flying monkeys? They work for me.



  19. #139
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post
    I was the first person to ask for the working definitions we'd use on this thread. I don't see how that's a game (meant to belittle or demean-- with winners and losers--as your calling it a "game" implies).
    The point was to create a common set of definitions folks here could work from. If you think that's an insult or a challenge that's too great, that's on you. It was a reasonable and inclusive request.
    I love how when someone overreacts and is called on it, they suddenly retreat and become Very Dignified. Yes, I understand you wished to define various words/ideas before arguing. While it was a reasonable request, that's all it was; a request. I declined to do it, and called it a game because it so often is. Abortion is murder! Wait, define murder! Weeeeellll, murder is - No! Murder is - Shut up, I know what murder is! It goes on and on and on, and you end up forgetting what you were originally intending to debate because you're too busy trying to google the 1912 ratification of Slovenia's constitution in order to prove that murder has once defined as the coloring of Easter eggs for the purpose of deciding national elections.



  20. #140
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    I'm sorry, maybe I'm being dense.

    What does the discussion of the many descriptions of what is called murder from the past an now have to do with unions influencing the outcome of elections by collecting compulsory union dues from employees who may differ from the bosses.

    "Capitalism" (power of a boss over an employee) run amok...only on the flip side. Double-edge sword.



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