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January 22, 2010

Comments

david beasley

zero writes: "... if people had good jobs and could keep them" and I see it as so much to do with personalities in the work place. For instance it is unmentionable what some ministers do to get to be ministers to big churches. And the trickle down stuff gets pretty rancid on the bottom line of folk where there isn't much room because of all the poor, many many, of whom Jesus said, They will always be with us. Of course Bauer R-SC says keep the top well fed men and women and their young to propagate righteously and justifiably by the republican standard, a billionaire's standard, and starve the bottom line til the kingdom comes. "...wouldn't want to be unclear." -- z. Me either.

zero

there's certainly no mistaking the intention of those at the top. they have the most and want more and keep it all for themselves. the hell with everyone else. sigh......

Philip Koplin

Further on the Republican Supreme Court:
http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/index.html?story=/opinion/greenwald/2010/01/28/alito

zero

judicial restraint? lol.......

an agenda? definitely! yikes!!!

Doug

Wow, you guys all spend a lot of time judging the motives of other people. Didn't Jesus talk about a log in our own eye?

I live in a county with predominantly conservative folks, many of them wealthy but not "upper class," and many of them very generous and ethical in their businesses. They create things of value to the community and to society. "Keeping things for themselves" is never considered as a description of these folks. It's quite unfair to characterize all "rich folks" as only caring about themselves. Obviously many of them did something for other people, otherwise the other people wouldn't have voluntarily given them their money!

Philip Koplin

We have an early nominee for the most naive comment on a blog, 2010: "Obviously many of them did something for other people, otherwise the other people wouldn't have voluntarily given them their money!"

evagrius

"Obviously many of them did something for other people, otherwise the other people wouldn't have voluntarily given them their money!"

While this may be true of some, it may also not be true of others.

The question isn't money but what's done with it and the basic problem now is that far too many "comfortable" people are quite willing to spend quite a bit to remain "comfortable" even if this means others go without.

After all, the upper class in ancent Judea/ Palestine was quite comfortable and we know what was thought of them.

zero

is it naive? doubtful. seems doug is more apt to propaganda than anything else. this country was founded on greed and the desire for money, money, money among those with power and influence and to this day that fact has not changed. the rest of us merely try to hold them in check as much as possible and, without a willing government to participate in this effort, it's not very successful.

david beasley

I live in a post democratic Wal-Mart community that snakes on out into Washington DC and China by way of republican ideology of economic paternalism... big daddyism/warbucks and the underlings.=. The Wal-Mart billionaires certainly do whatever they can for whomever or something like that, Doug. What pocket of America do you speak of?

Doug

Philip, how exactly is that "naive"? What business forces others to give it their money?

Zero, how exactly is that propaganda? Nobody is forced to work or shop at Wal-Mart, Target, the mom-n-pop store, or wherever. They don't require us to give them our money. If we don't want to patronize them, we don't have to. (With the government, however, we have no choice.)

And notice I'm not justifying every business or every businessperson. I started by explaining that there is wealth that can be and is created out of doing something for other people that they are willing to pay for.

zero

and sometimes there's no choice and that's not voluntary at all. but you don't seem to get that part of it and if you do you refuse to give that consideration.

i do not shop anywhere i don't agree with. that's difficult living in a place of few options but i do it anyway. i would like to avoid purchasing stuff made in china but that's almost impossible. a recent book by a family who spent a year doing just that proved how difficult it is. my solution is to purchase next to nothing new, avoid big box stores and get most of what i need secondhand. and most of all just do without.

Doug

Zero, I do just about everything you do, with regards to "new" things. Most "new" things lose value rather quickly, so we buy used goods when we can. Especially toys for my toddler... toys are sooo expensive... yard sales are awesome.

When I do patronize our local Wal-Mart, I'm incredibly thankful that the poor people that shop there alongside me (there is a more suburban Wal-Mart at the other part of the county) are incredibly grateful for time saved by getting everything in one location, money saved because things are affordable, and it's relatively close to them. You do realize that poor people benefit from inexpensive goods and services? And why avoid things made in China? Are you a racist? (I know you're not, in reality.) Is it because you'd rather the 10-year old girls have nothing to eat so you can have the satisfaction that you "bought American" to support unionized labor making twice the median income of their state?

I think your post cut off... all I see is "and sometimes..." but nothing prior to that. I think I know what you had typed, but I don't want to comment until you write it and I know what you want to say, rather than assume. Whatever it is that you think I "refuse" to give consideration, I'll wait to respond as well.

zero

there was nothing left out. that's where i began.

it gets complicated, doesn't it? i don't buy into the notion that poor people here benefit from cheap goods or that people making junk in china and other countries are so much better off because they have jobs making junk for stores like walmart.

a lot of the "poor" people who "benefit" from cheap at walmart actually work at walmart. and the state, we the taxpayers, foot the bill for their being on the public aid in the form of health care, food stamps and other programs. that's good for walmart. not so much for the rest of us. i would gladly pay more for everything if everyone had a decent, stable job that paid a living wage with benefits. everyone. if this way of thinking cuts into the money billionaires get, good.

and, doug. i implore you once again, no more about the principles of economics or the dutch. that's a broken record we don't need to hear again. it's "theory" that's contrived, therefore flawed.

Doug

Zero, you are postulating that the same "poor people" work at Wal-Mart, which is not always true. It can be true, but you demonize Wal-Mart without actual knowledge of their operations other than the anti-Wal-Mart propaganda you read and hear about. Wal-Mart is not a saint company, but it is also not the evil you believe it to be.

So, let me ask you: what are you doing to help poor people in China? What are you contributing to their lives? Wal-Mart and other stores are giving them opportunity to develop skills that could otherwise not be used. Your goals about a "decent stable job with benefits" sounds wonderful, but it is naive. Should there be a global minimum wage? If so, what should it be?

You don't want to hear about the principles of economics because you do not wish to be held accountable to them. I'm not espousing theories about how the economy works or how it ought to work, but a description of how real world economics works. It's not a "theory" but observation, and is not contrived. Believing that the theory of gravity is faulty and contrived doesn't mean you don't have to operate within its effects.

I started reading a book by Steve Forbes called, "Why Capitalism Will Save Us," and I thought of you. I don't like the title at all, because it's presumptuous and a bit overstated, but the subtitle hits the nail on the head: "Why free people and free markets are the best for our economy." It is essentially a book of Q&A on the myths about capitalism. It essentially disproves all of your faulty notions about capitalism. (For what it's worth, I don't agree with everything he says, but it's a great start for somebody like you who doesn't believe economics matters.)

zero

the world of economics is about who wins and who loses. that is not what was intended for the world according to the way of the lord. let's take it from that premise, not the way the secular world wants it. that's where i come from in my thinking. and from my humanity. not from a bunch of dudes who figured out a "system" that sounds good but ensures that some will always be on top and others will always be on the bottom.

yes, i do want a global minimum wage and it won't be imposed by any authority. the one positive factor of all this work going to various parts of the world is that those that get a taste of better want, rightfully so, more. and they demand better wages and working conditions. good for them. what happens? businesses pick up and go elsewhere. the world has a finite geography in which the world's elite can exploit the common man. the day will come when they can't pick up and move the work elsewhere because there won't be any more elsewhere. good for the common man.

what i do or don't do for others isn't germane to the issue of how businesses treat workers.

talk about biased reading! steve forbes? give me a break. and how do you know i don't know anything about how walmart and other businesses function? that's a huge leap on your part, that assumption. just because i don't accept the premise doesn't mean i am ignorant.

so no, you didn't say anything about economic theory or the dutch but the tune is the same. i hope it all works out real well for you because there's plenty of evidence all around the world that for the majority it does not.

zero

one more thought....

what exactly does business do for those who work for them? the last time i looked, workers exchanged their labor for money. and maybe benefits besides. that's not something business is "giving" to workers. it's an exchange. and an uneven one at that.

my thoughts about a businessperson is that the second that person can no longer do all of their business on their own and must depend upon the labor of others to ensure success, that business person no longer "owns" that business even if they are the owner. for without the support of others there would be no business. therefore, business owners actually own workers more than they are ever willing to give.

Doug

Zero, the world of economics is not "who wins and who loses." That statement alone means you are, indeed, ignorant. And I mean no disrespect, but mostly everything you've written in response to economics or capitalism or free markets shows no resemblance to reality. That doesn't mean many businesses exploit labor; that doesn't mean some CEOs are evil and greedy; that also doesn't mean that people don't deserve a better wage. None of your goals or theology or philosophy about how things ought to be am I in disagreement with. I want the same things you want.

Let me illustrate the importance of economics (note I'm not talking about any particular theory, but the study of human action and interaction). If you want to fly, you have to understand the basic physics principles of gravity and aerodynamics. It doesn't matter how high you want to go, how fast you want to go, and how quickly you want to gain altitude, as humans we must operate within the basics constraints of restrictions upon us. Having a propellor doesn't mean we can climb 10,000 feet in a minute just because that's what we want out of the airplane. We have to continue to improve the aircraft we build.

Likewise, within our social world, you cannot just declare into existence a wage that everyone must have. The world doesn't work that way because people are not robots to be controlled by the whims of those in power who purport themselves to be smarter than everyone else.

Yes, Steve Forbes is biased reading. Would you expect anything but a biased book when it's about defending a particular side of the debate? You cite articles that are also biased, but I don't fault you for it; the whole point is to present a side (i.e. bias) to the discussion.

Most of what you've said about corrupt governments and businesses are very much addressed by implementing truly free markets. Big Business is anti-capitalistic because it threatens their existence. You want to solve the power problem in Big Business? Demand free markets, and the "power" will diminish rather rapidly because those businesses are using the government as a crutch to keep them afloat.

Doug

Oops... my first paragraph didn't use negatives like I intended... I meant to say, "It doesn't mean some business DON'T exploit labor..." etc etc

zero

when you can make truly free markets happen then we can talk. in the meantime, this world is full of winners and losers and it's all about money. that's economics.

Doug

how defeatist of you, zero... at least you are realizing that free markets would actually thwart the evils of Big Business and institutional corruption you so eschew.

By the way, you say it's all about money as if that's a bad idea, yet you want higher wages for everyone. Isn't that a little self-contradictory?

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