View Poll Results: What should be done to battle income inequality in the USA?

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  • Do not intervene

    47 51.09%
  • Yes, do intervene

    45 48.91%
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Thread: Income Inequality

  1. #891
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    Re: Income Inequality

    Quote Originally Posted by Ganesh View Post
    You've pretty much summed up the conservative position right there. 100% cynicism, 100% self interest, and either ignorance, or disregard of the larger economic consequences.

    While you are squeezing a million dollars worth of labour out of your peons, you are also squeezing the economic life out of your country. Those same peons must have an income to buy products, or sales will fall. The balance between wages and prices is not the adolescent jousting match you may imagine, but the product of numerous factors, some of which are beyond the control of either party. Today labour is definitely the weaker partner, as capital ranges the world finding its best return, while labour is static- restricted to its own country, with some minor exceptions. Labour can be regulated by national authority, capital is much more elusive in today's global economy.

    But, this matters not the the far right. There are always greener fields. Wages in Cambodia or Bangladesh are lower yet, and if US consumers go broke, there is a rising market in China to sell to. Entrepreneurial opportunity is everywhere.

    Your 'opinion' is just that ... and completely false. You need to do some studying ...

    To start, I would suggest you review Thomas Jefferson's commentary about democracy being a collage of "competing self interests". Then, follow that up with Hernado De Soto's book, "The Mystery of Capital" .... that will get you started in the right direction.
    We're born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we're not alone.
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  2. #892
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    Re: Income Inequality

    Quote Originally Posted by Cephus View Post
    Which won't be much, the last I heard, there was a study that showed even if you paid minimum wage to Americans going out into the fields, the cost of produce would go up a few cents at most. I'll gladly pay that to get rid if illegal labor.

    But, we know that Americans won't work for minimum wage ... they get more on welfare. So, instead, we'll have to pay them $12-15, which will drive food cost up significantly. Then, because the canners have ALWAYS made more than the pickers, we'll have to raise their salaries. That will increase the cost of food even more!!! Then, just wait until the truckers find out how much the canners are making!! Etc., etc., etc.

    Then, all these costs - you seriously expect the food provider to take a cut in profits? No way ... he's going to get his share, too.

    It ain't simple ... but, that's what it takes.
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  3. #893
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    Re: Income Inequality

    Quote Originally Posted by tuhaybey View Post
    Yes, that is roughly correct. Compensation prior to the 1970s varied some as a percentage of productivity, but it was generally around the 95% line.



    Of course it is different lol. The profits an owner takes are waste. They are created by charging customers more than the things you sell them are worth and paying employees less than they are worth. It's a business failing to perform well.

    Now, to be clear, money a business owner makes up to their own productivity, that's the equivalent of their wages. That is not waste, that is them doing something useful and taking the amount of money for it that the market deems appropriate. I'm talking about profit taking- money taken above that line.
    Gotta love your circular logic ... even if it doesn't make any sense. It's not compensation because it's waste, and it's waste because it's not compensation. I don't know where you learned that, but you need to ask for your money back ... THAT was a waste!

    I wonder, though ... if we accept your premise, and be assured I most certainly do not - who gets to define how much money the business owner takes for their own productivity, and who decides, and by what criteria, how much is profit-taking?
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  4. #894
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    Re: Income Inequality

    Quote Originally Posted by GBFAN View Post
    Gotta love your circular logic ... even if it doesn't make any sense. It's not compensation because it's waste, and it's waste because it's not compensation. I don't know where you learned that, but you need to ask for your money back ... THAT was a waste!

    I wonder, though ... if we accept your premise, and be assured I most certainly do not - who gets to define how much money the business owner takes for their own productivity, and who decides, and by what criteria, how much is profit-taking?
    Ok, lets just start from basics. There is an economically optimal price for goods. If you charge below or above that price, that is waste. Are you with me that far?

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    Re: Income Inequality

    Quote Originally Posted by Dittohead not! View Post
    Then we really don't need the illegals to harvest crops, we just need to pay people enough to do the job.
    Actually...we just need to de-incentize Americans to NOT work. People need to become a little more hungry for work. They need to fight for jobs, even those low income jobs. We need to stop making it so easy for US citizens to be miserable failures their entire life.

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    Re: Income Inequality

    Quote Originally Posted by tuhaybey View Post
    Ok, lets just start from basics. There is an economically optimal price for goods. If you charge below or above that price, that is waste. Are you with me that far?
    Oh, I'm with you ... have always been with you ... I just adamantly disagree with you.
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    Re: Income Inequality

    Quote Originally Posted by GBFAN View Post
    Oh, I'm with you ... have always been with you ... I just adamantly disagree with you.
    I'm trying to figure out where you disagree. Again, do you agree that there is an economically optimal price and that charging more or less than that is inefficient?

  8. #898
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    Re: Income Inequality

    Quote Originally Posted by GBFAN View Post
    Your 'opinion' is just that ... and completely false. You need to do some studying ...

    To start, I would suggest you review Thomas Jefferson's commentary about democracy being a collage of "competing self interests". Then, follow that up with Hernado De Soto's book, "The Mystery of Capital" .... that will get you started in the right direction.
    De Soto's book, according to the blurbs on Amazon, centers around the thesis that successful countries are that way largely due to the rule of law, and in particular financial law. Property rights, contract law, banking rules, etc, must be fair and also honestly enforced, or at least reasonably so. Quite clearly, any country is going to be better off with an honest and competently enforced set of financial rules. And I agree completely. It is exactly due to government intervention in the economy by way of setting rules and standards that best benefit the majority, rather than a privileged few, that we have arrived at the middle class societies seen today in the more advanced countries. In fact, there has never been an example of a successful nation that embraced pure capitalism, without the moderating effects of social legislation. The America you see today is the product of FDR's new deal, and Johnson's great society legislation of the '60s.

    As for Jefferson, I have read some of his stuff, and it is interesting from an historical perspective. With economics though, I prefer to read those that are not two centuries out of date. I suspect that many conservatives like to refer back to those times because they feel the world is too complex and difficult today, and so yearn for simpler times. Alas, that is not possible. We are stuck with the world we have today, one in which many significant changes have occurred to society over the years. If you would like to read some more contemporary work in this field, by some award winning and highly regarded economists, I could recommend some to you.

    As for my opinion, the opening line contained a small bit of hyperbole, but after that, fact reigned supreme. Indeed it is one of the salient facts of economic life today that capital has truly sprouted wings and taken off. Many of today's new ventures are capital intensive, but not all that labour intensive. There are much less people needed to man the work stations at Google, than there were at the first Ford factory. Those with capital have much more advantage and ability to obtain even more. Money flashes around the globe in the blink of an eye, finding profit in perhaps currency speculation in Tokyo, then whipping over to a corrupt hotel deal in Cambodia, finally sheltering for a bit in the Cayman Islands.

    Meanwhile, the American worker is still here, and going no where. There has been a long term depression in wages caused by increasing automation and competition with low wage workers in the newly industrializing third world. This effect is further taken advantage of by employers such as yourself, who hope to squeeze a million dollars labour into a one dollar pay check, increasing the gap between the value of labour and accumulated capital.

    And by and large, folks like you are being successful. The middle class is being squeezed into the lower class, as competition for jobs increases, and wages and working conditions decline. Wealth for a very small minority is rocketing upwards, while it is stagnant or dropping for the majority.

    You can read all about it if you don't believe me. You won't find it in Jefferson though. You'll need an update.

  9. #899
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    Re: Income Inequality

    Quote Originally Posted by tuhaybey View Post
    No, it is. At least in economic terms. It is a company charging customers more than is economically optimal, paying employees less than is economically optimal, or both.

    Remember those supply and demand line charts you saw in econ class? Price is supposed to be set by the market where those lines meet. At that price point, there is zero marginal profit. Competition has driven the price down until it hit cost and couldn't go any lower at that point.

    Now, in reality, it is more complex. Some markets have efficiencies of scale, others have finite supplies, so you end up with situations where a company can legitimately make profit around the edges. But, the goal of the system is to minimize profits, not to maximize them.
    No....not in America

    Not in today's world

    Profit keeps a company healthy...employees employed.....and the market working
    “Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in one's own sunshine.”

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    Re: Income Inequality

    Incentive is like oxygen to the economy. Without it, people atrophy. Most people do exactly what it takes to get by- not more but less if possible. Perhaps it's a law of nature..some distorted version of conservation. Either way, profit is motive for people to work, succeed, and produce. Remove profit, humans go back to sketching stick figures on cave walls. Sad but true..

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