FTC goes after Reebok for deceptive adds, but not credit cards, banks or insurance?

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FTC goes after Reebok for deceptive adds, but not credit cards, banks or insurance?

The FTC is fining Reebock, and I think rightfully so, for making claims that wearing the shoes will lift and firm your butt.

But yet contractual shell games that stack the deck against home buyers, credit card holders, shareholders, and cell phone holders, all that gets a pass.

I really find it sick that big business tries to claim morals just because they have paid off law makers to rig the deck in their favor with the lame excuse "it's legal".

If they are willing to go after Reebok, then they most certainly SHOULD put some people in jail that caused this economic mess.

Its nice to see government stand up to corporate bullies. But when the hell are those responsible for our economic mess be held accountable?

 

 

 

 

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It'd also be nice to see bs

It'd also be nice to see bs public service announcements get targetted by the FCC or FTC, or whatever its called.

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 Reebok donated money to

 Reebok donated money to Jim Demint but none to Obama. The banks and wallstreet paid a shitload to Obama. Our government has reached the point where you have to pay protection money or they will come after you which is easy to do, especially with the FTC which is random at best in applying regulations. I mean really, how many late night infomercials make similarly ridiculous claims? I think it is a sad commentary that people buy into the bullshit.

 

While I find it hard to find sympathy for a company that blatantly lies about its product, I am also concerned with a government that decides to apply laws randomly (friends don't get punished for the same thing political enemies do). Reebok might cost me $50 if I am stupid enough to buy their stupid shoes the government is capable of causing far greater harm to me. We ought to use our own heads and research questionable claims ourselves rather than rely on government to do it for us as government will fail either through incompetence or corruption.

 

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


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Beyond Saving wrote: Reebok

Beyond Saving wrote:

 Reebok donated money to Jim Demint but none to Obama. The banks and wallstreet paid a shitload to Obama. Our government has reached the point where you have to pay protection money or they will come after you which is easy to do, especially with the FTC which is random at best in applying regulations. I mean really, how many late night infomercials make similarly ridiculous claims? I think it is a sad commentary that people buy into the bullshit.

 

While I find it hard to find sympathy for a company that blatantly lies about its product, I am also concerned with a government that decides to apply laws randomly (friends don't get punished for the same thing political enemies do). Reebok might cost me $50 if I am stupid enough to buy their stupid shoes the government is capable of causing far greater harm to me. We ought to use our own heads and research questionable claims ourselves rather than rely on government to do it for us as government will fail either through incompetence or corruption.

 

"I would rather us use our own heads"

ME TOO.

Great, something we rarely agree on.

MY POINT TO YOU is that you think that the private sector can never be dishonest and only government is out to get us.

OUR ECONOMIC MESS IS PRECISELY because the private sector bought off government to look the other way.

So if you insist on using your own head, instead of sucking the dick of the almighty dollar, you might find that corruption is not a government/vs private sector issue, but a greed issue. Politicians are greedy for power and the private sector is greedy for money.

And only oversight of BOTH is what keeps the boat from sinking.

 

 

 


 

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The fact that corporate

The fact that corporate America could buy the government speaks to flaws in the government more than flaws in corporate America.

Before anyone goes off the handle, this is not an attempted refutation of anything Brian or Beyond said, simply an observation of the situation.

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Vastet wrote:The fact that

Vastet wrote:
The fact that corporate America could buy the government speaks to flaws in the government more than flaws in corporate America. Before anyone goes off the handle, this is not an attempted refutation of anything Brian or Beyond said, simply an observation of the situation.

You are close so damned close.

Again it is not either or, BUT BOTH. Because NO law is perfect doesn't mean all government is bad. You in both situations are dealing with humans. ABUSE and cooruption and monopolies are NOT exclusive to only government or only the private sector.

ANYTHING left to it's own devices can go off the rails. So it is BOTH the private sector and government's fault. Neither is all bad or all good. But the top two percent have their boots on the necks of the rest of us.

What Beyond is NOT getting is that he thinks that the private sector can never do anything wrong. The fact that you admitted they bought off the government says that it IS BOTH the private sector AND government.

I am quite sure that Beyond is, and I know I am, am a huge fan of Jefferson. But Jefferson would apply the same anti-absolute power to the private sector as well. In other words, he would say everyone has the right to make money. But, just like if you plow a field too long and extract too much nutrients from the field, the crops will die long term.

It is the abuse of the top that caused this precisely because the government was bought off, which makes it the fault of BOTH.

I am FOR a free market, I am not for a government that allows the rich to buy our politicians. Our current climate(and no it is NOT a conspiracy, but a climate) at the top is an extraction market and the "competition" is at the CEO and shareholder level. And it's only goal, isn't to create livable wages or more jobs or even the lowest price, it's only goal is to make money "whatever the the market can get away with".

30 years ago is when the extraction attitude policies started and back then it was called "trickle down" economics, and we have been going down hill ever since.

I don't know what republicans call what they want now, but it has been the same sales pitch for 30 years and as a result the pay gap has exploded, profits have exploded, but we've seen MORE poverty and more jobs going overseas.

PRECISELY because corporate America WANTS(Not as a conspiracy, but as an attitude) buy our politicians. It IS our government's fault for allowing it to happen as much as it is businesses fault for doing it.

What has been lost to the top is what the founders advocated, advise and consent, checks and balances and oversight. If it is good enough for government it should be good enough an attitude in private business. NOT AS A LAW but as an attitude. And why workers, to me, have lost far to much of their bargaining power, which they need more of. Not just government workers, but private employees too.

Your employees are NOT your toys or lab rats, they are not numbers on a page. You DO have the final say, yes, but if you run a company like a dictatorship and throw people crumbs, most people, especially the middle class and working poor are going to care about you as much as you show them how much you care about them.

Paying people crappy wages and cutting back their hours doesn't motivate most people. It merely pisses them off. And when people go to work pissed off they care less about you or the product you sell. Which makes your product suffer and ultimately your bottom line suffer, not to mention if more of your workers, even if middle class, have less money to spend, they WONT buy as much of the product you sell.

Big business doesn't owe individuals anything, but collectively if they DON'T care about society, society wont care about them. You are seeing a rejection, not of the free market, you are seeing a rejection of abuse, BOTH by government AND private business.

 

 

 

 

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I'd be willing to assign

I'd be willing to assign blame to corporations if there was any responsibility inherent in a corporation to be anything more than profitable, but one can't blame an entity for following its nature.
It is the responsibility of government to regulate corporations so they cannot cause undue harm to the ecosystem, economy, public and foreign relations, the public or foreigners, the government, the nation, and whatever other things aren't immediately coming to mind, if any.
Technically, any damage done by a corporation that is not remedied or punished via legislation is the fault of the government for failing to address the problem.
Now I grant that corporations can and do circumvent the government and laws whenever they have the opportunity, motive, and desire to do so; but the inherent responsibility to deal with it and punish offenders is the governments'.

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V,do you consider there is

V,

do you consider there is any responsibility "inherent" in an individual person to do more than just maximize their individual wealth and/or personal pleasure? I guess that could follow from the idea of "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness". Although those are supposed to be rights rather than responsibilities.

There is a problem in relying on legislation, since that is really only applicable to identifiable and specific crimes and misdemeanours, not to a general approach and behaviour which 'merely' results in a much less functional and 'happy' society, at last for the bulk of its citizens.

Competition and the 'free market are not going to work to create that, except on an international level, and then only if people are free to move between nations when they get sufficiently pissed-off at conditions in the country they currently reside in. Maybe it can work to an extent between individual states in a nation.

This is why we see things like the 'Arab Spring' and the current Wall Street protests.

People tend to behave positively with each other due to our evolved traits of empathy and compassion, and the reward of positive responses from those around them to loving and caring behaviour on their part.

I think those interactions get diluted in large groups, so are not quite sufficient to overcome the urge for power and personal wealth that often drives corporations, or the sort of personality type that tends to get into and be successful in 'business'. Or Politics. Or running a whole country in the Middle East, or wherever.

Maybe we need more crashes, or perhaps a real revolution from 'the people', to get through to the minds of the border-line psychopaths that 'succeed' on Wall Street and Big Business that there is a real downside to endless greed and selfishness inherent in ignoring the welfare of society at large.

History seems to show this, unfortunately, although there are signs that nation-states, or societies, can develop a 'collective' awareness that more emphasis on cooperation and caring can lead to a more functional society than the naked 'greed is good' approach that is so manifest in the USA. The Scandinavian countries seem to epitomise this at the moment, but other democracies seem to be more successful at balancing greed and social welfare (in the broadest sense) than the US. 

The tendency of so many in the US to see such cooperation and caring as Socialism, or even Communism (shock horror! ) doesn't help.

I wonder if the experience of going through WWII was a big contributer to shocking much of Europe onto a more socially aware path. Horrible thought that an occasional disaster like that is what it takes.

Like the Great Depression was needed to get more 'enlightened' regulations in the US, which have progressively been whittled away.

Are we doomed to this endless cycle of 'Boom and Bust', War and Peace?

Of course, there is also evidence that diminishing the power and position of religious belief helps, but how much that is cause or effect is not certain.

An ancient problem....

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On a little more reflection,

On a little more reflection, I think that the spread of the idea, the 'meme',  that corporations have no broader responsibility than profitability, and that there is nothing wrong with that, IS the problem.

 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

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"do you consider there is

"do you consider there is any responsibility "inherent" in an individual person to do more than just maximize their individual wealth and/or personal pleasure?"

Other than following the law, because of the way the capitalist society has been structured, no, I don't.
It has nothing to do with my personal ethics, it is simply an observation. But the only responsibility people really have today is to follow the law, or at least to not get caught breaking it. There is plenty of motivation given to be profitable, and little reason to be ethical if it conflicts with profits. Being successful has become so important that people will lie, cheat, and violate multiple laws in order to prevent failure from being discovered. Such occurrences have managed to have widespread effects on the population, but go largely unpunished.
In todays society, individuals and corporations whom are most successful are those who are most profitable. There are no inherent responsibilities to be charitable or self regulate.

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Now I don't think it's

Now I don't think it's right, but it's the way things are.
We need to have a fundamental shift in society to change it. Away from limitless and unregulated aquisitions of wealth and toward investment in education and industry and science. We need a global charter that recognises the current threats to our survival and forces real effort to combat them as a primary goal of all societies.

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Vastet wrote:Now I don't

Vastet wrote:
Now I don't think it's right, but it's the way things are. We need to have a fundamental shift in society to change it. Away from limitless and unregulated aquisitions of wealth and toward investment in education and industry and science. We need a global charter that recognises the current threats to our survival and forces real effort to combat them as a primary goal of all societies.

That is actually pretty close to what I was saying.

I know there is no formal or semi-formal 'responsibility' for anyone to take seriously the general effect on society of their selfish pursuit of wealth into account in their personal decisions. You can't legislate ethical behaviour, only legislate against the more gross forms of unethical behavior, like assault, theft, deliberate deception, and so on.

The issue is definitely about how to cultivate such a shift in the general attitudes and prevailing 'ideals' in society. How to get more people to share your view that "you don't think it's right", and actually have that view govern their actions to a useful extent.

I keep thinking that re-designing the education curriculum as one of the areas that needs attention here.

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Redesigning the education

Redesigning the education system is something I view as necessary. It is too stale and clinical, with almost all the "fun" of learning leached out.
We know that the greatest methods of instruction are repetition and experience. We need to use that as dynamically as possible.
We need to better identify skills and concentrate on developing them more efficiently as well.
But as to legislation, it isn't strictly true that legislation cannot affect ethical behaviour. There are many concepts that were legislated which had an impact on cultural ethics. Homosexuality, child exploitation, internet laws, women voting, and a few more issues are where a legislative ethical battle is taking or has taken place.
Now it is certainly the case that legislation came after the ethical battle was over in many cases, but not all of them. Legislation has had a significant impact on US societies acceptance of homosexuals through the last number of years.

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They weren't accepted by the

They weren't accepted by the majority, their rights were forced on the majority by the constitution which protects their liberties. And they are still being forced on the majority in many states, slowly but surely.
So a change of legislation, if done the right way, can have a slow but inevitable change in the ethical opinion of the majority of the population.

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BobSpence1 wrote:On a little

BobSpence1 wrote:

On a little more reflection, I think that the spread of the idea, the 'meme',  that corporations have no broader responsibility than profitability, and that there is nothing wrong with that, IS the problem.

 

You fucking deserve a Nobel Prize for that.

The lay persons example is that "money equals happiness". I am happy with what I have, I am not happy that those I work for look down on me.

If money were the only tool in humanity's arsenal to determine "happiness" most of the art in human history wouldn't exist.

Profits matter, THEY DO, but for every person on top who is the head of this, there are far more many who do the work, who abdicate their ideas and sweat to those above them, and most of these hard working people die in obscurity.

Martin Luther King was a great man, but if he didn't have the numbers behind him, which of those names will never be monuments, he wouldn't be in marble now.

Steve Jobs was a great man. But both these men got to where they were at and the labor they put in is nothing to the labor of those who supported them collectively.

Ideas and movements are part of the market of ideas and are what progress humanity forward. But for every person we carve in stone, and quote, there are far more that go unnoticed who the without the support we wouldn't be quoting or putting in marble.

 

 

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Fuck Steve Jobs, he spent

Fuck Steve Jobs, he spent his life building a company that tries to take away consumer rights and worker's rights and  exploit  society's degeneration into petty, mindless, bourgeois consumerism.   He shouldn't be mentioned with Martin Luther King or anyone who ever attempted to help others. 

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Gauche wrote:Fuck Steve

Gauche wrote:

Fuck Steve Jobs, he spent his life building a company that tries to take away consumer rights and worker's rights and  exploit  society's degeneration into petty, mindless, bourgeois consumerism.   He shouldn't be mentioned with Martin Luther King or anyone who ever attempted to help others. 

 

I don't think we need a holiday named after him or anything like that, but I don't think there is a question that Steve Jobs' inventions improved the standard of living for people around the world. I am rather fond of the technologies that Jobs created and encouraged the creation of. Do you think that the people who worked for Apple, NeXT or Pixar would have been better off if those companies never existed? How do you think the computer your typing on gets in front of you? Things don't just magically appear at the store. Since the computer in front of you is an example of "petty, mindless, bourgeois consumerism", why are you using it?

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


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Brian37 wrote:Martin Luther

Brian37 wrote:

Martin Luther King was a great man, but if he didn't have the numbers behind him, which of those names will never be monuments, he wouldn't be in marble now.

Steve Jobs was a great man. But both these men got to where they were at and the labor they put in is nothing to the labor of those who supported them collectively.

 

The difference is that without MLK, those numbers behind him wouldn't have existed. Without Jobs, those who worked for his companies wouldn't have had their jobs. In any company, some employees are more vital than others. I know it hurts your liberal sensibilities, but it is reality. Some employees can easily be replaced because there are thousands of people capable of doing the job. Other employees can't be so easily replaced.

 

I believe that Tim Cook certainly has the business chops and from what I understand, he has been virtually running the business side of things, but there isn't anything that can replace the vision that Jobs had for R&D. His strength was pushing technology that would become popular and profitable. The vision to determine which technologies will work and which are a waste of time is extremely rare. That is the role where he will be missed the most and in time I suspect that Apple will lose its dominance as a technological innovator for small electronics. 

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


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Beyond Saving wrote:I don't

Beyond Saving wrote:

I don't think we need a holiday named after him or anything like that, but I don't think there is a question that Steve Jobs' inventions improved the standard of living for people around the world. I am rather fond of the technologies that Jobs created and encouraged the creation of. Do you think that the people who worked for Apple, NeXT or Pixar would have been better off if those companies never existed? How do you think the computer your typing on gets in front of you? Things don't just magically appear at the store. Since the computer in front of you is an example of "petty, mindless, bourgeois consumerism", why are you using it?

You have no idea what I purchase or why so it requires no explanation. Even if I grant that workers benefit from the jobs, and would be worse off without them that doesn't mean they haven't been wrongfully exploited. And I do believe that people in general would be better off without companies like Apple attacking their rights as consumers.

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Quote: some employees are

Quote:
some employees are more vital than others.

BULLSHIT, and that attitude is exactly what allows you to look down on others.

I don't care if you collect trash or wash dishes or dig ditches. EVERY job is needed and vital.

I am sick of your shit. You couldn't do my job long term. You too much of a fucking snob to understand.

There is no such thing as unskilled labor. Low wages only means low wages.

Your narcissism is far too wide spread in our society and far too typical and mundane in human psychology.

You are NOT special no matter how much you think you are. You are only one needed aspect of society, but not the most important, or the only aspect of society.  There is no "most important". There are just people like you who confuse title with morality.

What makes a person moral is not their possessions or their class, what makes a person moral is how they treat others. You look down on people and are shocked when they judge you. You are a fucking fool who thinks they are hot shit.

I hope for your sake, before you get too old, you realize what is truly important in life. If you ever do, you will understand why I am angry at the state of things right now. You will understand that it has never been about desires, but tactic and attitude.

You treat others like trash or that they are less important than you, you are going to get what you deserve.

Keep showing everyone what a selfish snob you are.

 

 

 

 

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Brian37 wrote:Quote: some

Brian37 wrote:

Quote:
some employees are more vital than others.

BULLSHIT, and that attitude is exactly what allows you to look down on others.

I don't care if you collect trash or wash dishes or dig ditches. EVERY job is needed and vital.

I didn't say the jobs weren't needed, I said some people are more easily replaced than others. Some jobs can easily be done by a very large number of people, other jobs require people who are particularly talented or specialized. For example, we can see that Peyton Manning is not so easily replaced. There are only a handful of people in the world who can even compete with his talent at his job. I don't think it is any coincidence that the Colts are 0-5 the same year that Manning is injured. Last year, the Colts had many important players that were injured, yet they still got to the playoffs. Obviously, Manning is a more valuable asset to win games. That doesn't mean that Manning would win if he was the only player on the field, just that him missing from the game affects the team more than anyone else missing. Steve Jobs was the CEO equivalent of a Peyton Manning or Tom Brady, that is all I am saying.

 

Brian37 wrote:

I am sick of your shit. You couldn't do my job long term. You too much of a fucking snob to understand.

Probably not, as much as you talk about your boss I probably would have told him to fuck off a long time ago and gotten fired. I was never good at holding jobs down for long which is why I choose to no longer be employed. 

 

Brian37 wrote:

There is no such thing as unskilled labor. Low wages only means low wages.

Really? So a brain surgeon doesn't require more training than a garbageman? And you accuse me of living in a utopia. I will grant that skilled labor does not necessarily translate into higher wages, although in most cases there is a correlation between how much skill or training is required and the amount a job pays. The reason is that the more skill/training required means that the potential employment pool is smaller and the fewer eligible candidates for a given job, the more an employer will be willing to pay. 

 

Brian37 wrote:

You are NOT special no matter how much you think you are. You are only one needed aspect of society, but not the most important, or the only aspect of society.  There is no "most important". There are just people like you who confuse title with morality.

What makes a person moral is not their possessions or their class, what makes a person moral is how they treat others. You look down on people and are shocked when they judge you. You are a fucking fool who thinks they are hot shit.

I never said anything about morality nor did I suggest that Steve Jobs was the only aspect of society. I just note that Steve Jobs had more influence on the world than I or most of us will ever have. He was a genius and an exceptionally talented man, I believe that all of our lives are better for the work he put into making cool shit and making it available to us. 

 

Brian37 wrote:

You treat others like trash or that they are less important than you, you are going to get what you deserve.

Where did I ever say anyone was less important than me? I'm not under any illusion that the majority of the world is going to care if I die today. But inside any given company, there are positions that are harder to fill than others because they are more difficult jobs or sometimes undesirable jobs. The position that Steve Jobs filled for Apple will be an exceptionally hard one to fill, just like Peyton Manning's position as quarterback. I never claimed to have anywhere near the talent of either one.

 

I know my limitations and what I am good at and what I'm not good at. I prefer to hire people who are talented and can do things that I can't. Some of those employees are more easily replaced than others. Those that would be difficult/impossible to replace draw a higher salary than those who can be replaced quickly. Should I pay all employees the same regardless of skill/training/ability? 

 

 

 

 

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


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Quote:I didn't say the jobs

Quote:
I didn't say the jobs weren't needed, I said some people are more easily replaced than others.

Did it ever occur to you that THAT right there is the problem.

THAT is the problem. You treat humans as resources and numbers on a page rather than humans.

All you are saying is that it is more important to make money than it is to value a fellow human.

It will only get better when you stop thinking like that.

It's easier to fight your way out of a conflict than it is to reason your way out of a conflict. It is easier to use your power than it is to listen to those below you.

Again, just because it is easier to do something, doesn't make it moral, or even a long term solution. It just means you have figured out how to game the system.

AGAIN, you are NOT, nor ever will be more important than the lowest paid in your company, not even the janitor. Just because you can replace them more easily , only means they have less power to defend themselves. Try not cleaning your office for a year. Let the trash pile up because those who clean it cant defend themselves as well as you.

I can staple my nuts to the wall too, but just because I can doesn't make it a good idea.

 

 

 

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Brian37 wrote:Quote:I didn't

Brian37 wrote:

Quote:
I didn't say the jobs weren't needed, I said some people are more easily replaced than others.

Did it ever occur to you that THAT right there is the problem.

No.

 

Brian37 wrote:

THAT is the problem. You treat humans as resources and numbers on a page rather than humans.

All you are saying is that it is more important to make money than it is to value a fellow human.

I am not saying that. Determining an appropriate wage for an employee has absolutely nothing to do with their value as a human. It is simply a statement of the value they are willing and capable of providing to a particular company at a particular time. Their value as a human is completely unrelated to their job, income or value to any company. I don't pay people based on their value as a human, I pay them based on the value they are able to provide my business. It is nothing more than a trade, just like when you trade money to your barber in exchange for a haircut.

 

Just because you might pay a lawyer more money for 20 minutes of legal services than you pay a barber for a haircut, does that mean you value the barber less as a human? Of course not. Your argument is absurd.

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Quote:I am not saying that.

Quote:
I am not saying that. Determining an appropriate wage for an employee has absolutely nothing to do with their value as a human.

Keep it up and we can and will look like India and China.

Yes it does. You don't break molds by sticking to scripts.

Humans are not and never will be numbers on a page. Unless you realize that you will never understand why those protesters on Wall Street are doing what they are doing.

 

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There's nothing wrong with

There's nothing wrong with different jobs earning different wages. It's a motivator. Even a purely socialist nation would be foolish to establish a pure and unalterable payrate for all.
The problem is that the lowest pay scale is often most responsible for production, maintenance, security, and cleaning services (the most necessary and productive jobs in a company). While the highest pay scale sits at a desk pushing paperwork for a few hours a week (the least necessary and productive jobs in a company).

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Vastet wrote:There's nothing

Vastet wrote:
There's nothing wrong with different jobs earning different wages. It's a motivator. Even a purely socialist nation would be foolish to establish a pure and unalterable payrate for all. The problem is that the lowest pay scale is often most responsible for production, maintenance, security, and cleaning services (the most necessary and productive jobs in a company). While the highest pay scale sits at a desk pushing paperwork for a few hours a week (the least necessary and productive jobs in a company).

 

If you define "productive" as solely the amount of physical product created you are right. But companies are not concerned with making product. Their goal is to make money, and the person sitting behind the desk pushing papers is making decisions that have much larger implications on the companies profitability than the person who actually builds the widget. And while it is in most cases a job that is far less physically demanding, there are far fewer people who are capable of doing it extremely well. Since the companies goal is to produce money for its owner/investors, the people pushing paper are far more productive (or potentially damaging) in that since.

 

If I found a market to sell a widget, it is extremely easy for me to pay people to build a factory, to build the machines that make the widget, and people to operate those machines. Each of those jobs might be physically demanding, but for most products the labor can be completely inexperienced and people can literally be pulled of the street to do the job. Indeed, many factories here in the states routinely hire people from temp services that work for a week or two and are completely untrained. While it is important in the sense that you need the product to sell, it isn't really an important consideration in a modern economy in the sense that in most cases you can get someone to make the product faster than you are able to sell it. If any single person on the line quits, it isn't really a big deal, even if they were exceptionally good at their job because you can hire someone new and expect them to step into the job tomorrow. Production might be slightly lower, but in the grand scheme it usually isn't enough to cause severe problems. 

 

The people "pushing papers" are the ones who find a market to sell to, manage the logistics to make sure factories have enough raw material, and organize the labor to make sure it is efficient. They determine how much of the product to send to which outlets, how much to charge, what markets to advertise in and which not etc. Ultimately, whether or not the company is profitable rests in their hands. A company can produce tons of product but still lose money. When someone who is really good at "pushing papers" quits, it can have a very large effect on the bottom line of the company. Nothing sinks a company faster than an incompetent CEO. And nothing can make a company more profitable than a talented CEO. That is why paper pushers get paid well. 

 

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


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Without the producers, there

Without the producers, there would be no paper to push. They are simply less necessary to the company, and more replacable because of it. There's also nothing especially difficult about what they do.

If your production line quits, it's going to cost you millions of times more than a few paper pushers. The training is almost exclusively in-house for most production, while it is external for paper pushers (college/uni). So you have to hire a whole new production team, then you have to train them, all the while producing less or no product while you wait = masive losses, plant shutdowns, and potential bankruptcies.

A few paper pushers quit, you take out an ad and do it yourself until someone successfully applies.

There is no justification for the pay discrepancy. The most valuable, productive, and labour intense part of a company also receives the least pay. That MUST change.

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Quote: Their goal is to make

Quote:
Their goal is to make money,

DUH! Thanks Einstein.

But, when that is the ONLY GOAL it fucks over the rest of society. And that is the part you don't fucking get.

"Me me me me me me me me me me me me me me"

Is what you value, and unfortunately your mindset has set the polices for the past 30 years that have exploded the pay gap and funneled the money upwards and shipped jobs overseas.

THAT IS THE FUCKING PROBLEM, our market is solely about making money, not building, not educating, not improving the lives of others.

WHEN you get that through your thick fucking skull you will understand what I have been arguing.

It is NOT all about you or all about one class. There are THREE CLASSES so get fucking used to it. What we will not do any longer is allow the same polices to exist and allow your class to be the sole lawmakers that get to dictate to the rest of us so idiots like you can throw crumbs as the rest of us and expect us to accept it.

"Let them eat cake" isn't going to fly any longer.

Wise up, we will win at the voting booth long term. YOU will lose.

I am sick of your lies and your bullshit.

 

 

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Vastet wrote:Without the

Vastet wrote:
Without the producers, there would be no paper to push. They are simply less necessary to the company, and more replacable because of it. There's also nothing especially difficult about what they do. If your production line quits, it's going to cost you millions of times more than a few paper pushers. The training is almost exclusively in-house for most production, while it is external for paper pushers (college/uni). So you have to hire a whole new production team, then you have to train them, all the while producing less or no product while you wait = masive losses, plant shutdowns, and potential bankruptcies. A few paper pushers quit, you take out an ad and do it yourself until someone successfully applies. There is no justification for the pay discrepancy. The most valuable, productive, and labour intense part of a company also receives the least pay. That MUST change.

 

Then how do companies set up factories in countries with extremely low education levels and in some cases hire kids? Production simply isn't difficult for most products. Training for the vast majority of production jobs isn't difficult and more and more the actual production is done by machine. There are exceptions, but for most products that you use on a daily basis, you can't tell the difference if the people who made it were all brand new at their job or veterans with 20+ years experience.

 

Name me a company that has shut down because it was unable to produce. The only time you have significant production problems related to the workers is when unions strike. Even then most companies continue to produce some product and if the laws were not written so favorably for unions, most strikes would probably just be a hiccup in the supply chain that most customers wouldn't notice.

 

And you talk about the entire production line quitting and compare it to a "few" paper pushers quitting. Obviously, for any company to experience a large number of people quitting at the same time there is going to create problems even if it is the cleaning staff. If a few people quit on the line it is no big deal. If every paper pusher in the company quits, the company is DOA. If every person on the production line quits, the company will take a big hit but might survive. Companies have survived through walkoffs and strikes on production lines in the past.

 

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


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"Then how do companies set

"Then how do companies set up factories in countries with extremely low education levels and in some cases hire kids?"

Because the money they save on wages and a lack of environmental and safety regulations makes training an insignificant cost. There's also less union activity and government assistance to union culture. All that combined with much higher national unemployment rates than have been seen in North America for a hundred + years combine to create a gold mine of employees to exploit that doesn't exist here.

Training isn't necessarily difficult, but it IS time consuming. You simply cannot argue that training a replacement isn't more costly than keeping an employee. It's SO proven that nearly every military organisation uses it to the greatest efficiency of ANY organisation.

As for failing companies due to lack of production, how about you show me one that fired or lost all its producer employees that survived.

I compared a few paper pushers to a mass of production because that's the way it is.

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I've worked in a number of

I've worked in a number of different organisations and know the ratio of office staff to production is always huge. Like 1:5 or 10 huge. So when I say firing a few paper pushers, I'm comparing it to firing the entire production line. As in ALL the paper pushers. Which is actually a relatively common occurance, when companies are bought and sold. I've watched it happen at least twice. Never seen the production line go unless a plant was shutting down though.

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Quote:product and if the

Quote:
product and if the laws were not written so favorably for unions,

What planet do you live on?

The power of unions in this country have gotten worse because of assholish mindsets like yours. We need MORE unions and more union power in this country, not less.

The "union" that needs to be broken is the union between the rich owning our government.

 

 

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Vastet wrote:Training isn't

Vastet wrote:

Training isn't necessarily difficult, but it IS time consuming. You simply cannot argue that training a replacement isn't more costly than keeping an employee. It's SO proven that nearly every military organisation uses it to the greatest efficiency of ANY organisation.

Well sure, in general it is best to keep current employees if they are capable of producing the desired results. I fail to see how that has any relevance to the relative value of a high paid executive compared to the production line worker. Your comparison to the military is interesting because in the military the highly paid "paper pushers" (officers) are clearly recognized as more vital than the private who actually does the fighting. Military organizations go through great pains to protect higher ranking officers that they do not go through to protect the front line soldiers. 

 

Vastet wrote:

As for failing companies due to lack of production, how about you show me one that fired or lost all its producer employees that survived. I compared a few paper pushers to a mass of production because that's the way it is.

Apple. They closed all of their factories and now contract their factory work through 3rd parties. Apple has been an extremely successful company throughout the recent economic downturn. But more relevant to my point would be a list of companies that failed because of poor management. My point was that companies don't fail because of problems caused by production workers, they fail or succeed because of decisions made by paper pushers. Therefore, who you hire as a paper pusher is far more important to your bottom line than who you hire to produce. It is a financially sound decision to be willing to pay a much higher wage to a skilled paper pusher than you would pay for a skilled factory worker. 

 

Which companies are those? Take your pick of any company that has failed. Off the top of my head, Circuit City, Borders, Blockbuster, Montgomery Ward, ATA, Lehman Brothers etc. 

 

 

Vastet wrote:
I've worked in a number of different organisations and know the ratio of office staff to production is always huge. Like 1:5 or 10 huge. So when I say firing a few paper pushers, I'm comparing it to firing the entire production line. As in ALL the paper pushers. Which is actually a relatively common occurance, when companies are bought and sold. I've watched it happen at least twice. Never seen the production line go unless a plant was shutting down though.

 

Sure, they replaced the paper pushers with their own people. Generally when a company is purchased it is because the purchasing company believes they can manage it better. Why do they generally do massive layoffs of paper pushers but leave the production workers alone (unless they are relocating or something)? Because paper pushers are more important to the bottom line. They fire paper pushers because the new owners believe that whatever paper pushers they put in place will do a better job. 

 

 

The production plant simply has to produce, it doesn't matter who is working there as long as they are producing the proper amount of product at an acceptable cost at an acceptable speed. There might be layoffs if it is determined that product is being overproduced. A new owner might replace the shift managers, but there is little reason to replace the line workers because it doesn't really matter who is there. 

 

 

Now I will grant that there is a tendency for companies to hire too many paper pushers as they grow. I believe this is because it is much more difficult to notice unproductive paper pushers than unproductive factory workers. It is pretty easy to look busy and make your job look important if you are a talented paper pusher. When too many factory workers are hired, the effects can be seen quickly in the form of too much production or workers standing around doing nothing. As such, over hiring of production workers tends to be corrected quickly. Too many employees in upper-middle level management can be more difficult to spot quickly, especially in large corporations. A well ran corporation will occasionally clean house and lay off excess management. But that doesn't change the reality that who is in a paper pusher position is generally far more important than who is working on the production line as far as their influence on the bottom line. 

 

 

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p { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }

p { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }

I am not even going to try to multi quote this line of discussion. The fact is that training is never at no cost to the employer. At the very least, there is a period of reduced productivity. That is determined by the complexity of the job. Simple jobs might have minimal time for that but even so, it is never zero.

 

A factory worker might have the job of grabbing bags off of pallets and keeping hoppers fillled. That should not take all that long to learn but if the guy puts the wrong product into a hopper, you have just lost a batch of whatever. On that level, there is a good incentive for companies to keep people around as the cost to lost labor is far more than the couple of days that it takes for the new guy to get it right.

 

Other jobs that may look simple also have their own hidden costs that can hose a company. Working a loading dock in a complex situation with a few trucks in at any one time requires the workers to do a sort of ballet to make sure that people are not crossing in front of each other.

 

Jobs of that caliber tend to stay stateside but just move to wherever they can get the best tax advantage.

 

Most of what is headed overseas are the jobs which are about pressing three buttons in the right order. The time that it takes to get that sorted out may not cost the employer enough to worry about the consequences of losing a half hour of assembly line product.

 

That and the Indian help desk jobs where the phone is answered as: Hello, my name is Dave, how may be I am helping you? But they are not skilled workers either. Hence the reason why they are really useless for tech support. All that they are doing is regurgitating what you could get from trying to use the windows help meny yourself.

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1: Difference being the

1: Difference being the military is a strict self regulating organisation that promotes based on merit and experience. The military also conducts ALL training itself. EVERYONE starts at the bottom. A paper pusher in the military is a veteran who earned his way up the ladder through hard work, skill, leadership abilities, and the respect of their underlings.
The same is not true for corporations. Not even close.

2: Apple never fired it's entire production line. Companies like Apple always hold onto a core group of engineers and researchers and often lawyers as well.
Factories are not the only producers for a company that develops software.

3: They replace the paper pushers because it is easy to do, and they'll have work for their own paper pushers (which can cost them too much to let go thanks to severance).
They don't replace the production line because they can't without shutting down for a week or three to conduct new training.

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The fact is that paper

The fact is that paper pushers are more replaceable and less necessary to the capability of a company to make money, and are paid far too much for a job that most people could do. Most of it needs no more than a grad of highschool math.

No production, no company. Put the money in the hands of the production workers who make the money, where it belongs.

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Vastet wrote:1: Difference

Vastet wrote:
1: Difference being the military is a strict self regulating organisation that promotes based on merit and experience. The military also conducts ALL training itself. EVERYONE starts at the bottom. A paper pusher in the military is a veteran who earned his way up the ladder through hard work, skill, leadership abilities, and the respect of their underlings. The same is not true for corporations. Not even close. 2: Apple never fired it's entire production line. Companies like Apple always hold onto a core group of engineers and researchers and often lawyers as well. Factories are not the only producers for a company that develops software. 3: They replace the paper pushers because it is easy to do, and they'll have work for their own paper pushers (which can cost them too much to let go thanks to severance). They don't replace the production line because they can't without shutting down for a week or three to conduct new training.

 

1. Utterly false. Enlisted people and officers do not take the same path through training. And advancing through hard work? Don't make me laugh.

 

2. Not really worth the time arguing over it.

 

3. Evidence? Production lines shut down for weeks fairly regularly; for most companies a shutdown for a week or two is hardly a catastrophe. Sure, it would be an expense, but if you buy a company that is failing and by your assertion the production line plays the most important role, it seems to me that the expense of replacing them with better people would be a worthwhile investment.

 

And to your last post, if your so sure a company could be ran by paying paper pushers so much less, why don't you go run a company? If it works as you say the savings would be huge and you would be making money hand over fist. I'm skeptical, but I've never owned a factory so I am hardly an expert in manufacturing. In my areas of expertise I could manage far better with workers that do the manual labor quitting than my professional paper pushers. 

 

If you could pay paper pushers 50k per year and get the equivalent results you would revolutionize the industry and become an incredibly wealthy man. It sounds extremely naive to me, but the great thing about a relatively free market is that people with ideas that go against conventional wisdom can attempt to build companies and succeed or fail. Good luck with that.

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1: Ridiculous and false

1: Ridiculous and false response.

2: Because you're wrong and you know it.

3: Production line shutdowns that occur regularly are scheduled months or years ahead of time, necessary to keep the plant and line in operation; and therefore are not a problem or loss of significance to the company. NOT comparable to a walk out.

4: I have no funding. You sound like exc. IF I'd EVER been paid what my work was worth, maybe I'd be able to. But I've been underpaid all my life. Despite ensuring the safety and security of twin skyscrapers with dozens of head offices and thousands of people and getting paid minimum wage for my efforts while the big money showed up for work once a week and refused to so much as lock the door to their office containing all sorts of stuff that would be of interest to a thief or activist or even a terrorist.

You're defending the indefencable.

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Vastet wrote:1: Ridiculous

Vastet wrote:
1: Ridiculous and false response. 2: Because you're wrong and you know it. 3: Production line shutdowns that occur regularly are scheduled months or years ahead of time, necessary to keep the plant and line in operation; and therefore are not a problem or loss of significance to the company. NOT comparable to a walk out. 4: I have no funding. You sound like exc. IF I'd EVER been paid what my work was worth, maybe I'd be able to. But I've been underpaid all my life. Despite ensuring the safety and security of twin skyscrapers with dozens of head offices and thousands of people and getting paid minimum wage for my efforts while the big money showed up for work once a week and refused to so much as lock the door to their office containing all sorts of stuff that would be of interest to a thief or activist or even a terrorist. You're defending the indefencable.

 

1. In what way? Officers receive different training and don't even necessarily come from enlisted ranks. They can come from ROTC, a military academy or be directly commissioned for certain jobs (doctors, lawyers, chaplains). Everyone goes through basic but beyond that enlisted and commissioned soldiers take very different routes. Furthermore, in my experience, promotions are far more based on kissing the right asses than performance and most people I know in the military would agree with that assessment. Of course, the same can be said of any organization, it seems to be human nature to offer rewards to people who kiss your ass. Few people are able to set aside their personal preferences and promote solely on merit. Those who can should be extremely highly paid paper pushers.  

 

3. I didn't say they were the same. Companies have survived walkouts and strikes in the past, it is a reality of doing business especially if your company is unionized. Verizon just went through a strike here in the states and is still going strong. If a company isn't unionized, it is that much easier to deal with because you can fire everyone. I worked for a company that happened at, our employees staged a walkout, we fired all of them and within a few weeks we hired back those who performed well and weren't directly involved and replaced the others with new employees. It hurt our numbers in the short run, but in the long run it didn't matter so much. A well ran company is prepared for unexpected obstacles. Weather, technical problems, natural disasters, fires and employee problems are always dangers you can't prevent. You deal with the issue, repair the damage and move on. Paper pushers are the ones primarily responsible for dealing with unexpected problems, which is why a good paper pusher is so valuable. 

 

4. So what? Get some. No one has money when they are starting out. I didn't have money, the people I invest in didn't have money (hence why they needed mine), several people who are billionaires today didn't have money. If you have a brilliant idea, go find someone with money and persuade them to invest in you. If I was in Canada and didn't have money to invest in a company I wanted to start I would head to Ottawa. http://www.angelinvestor.ca/ and be around that summit in November. The sunday before, monday morning and wednesday afternoon would be a great time to be hanging out at bars near the nicer hotels in the area. Strike up a conversation with anyone who looks like they might be attending the summit. When you find someone, exchange business cards and leave a good impression. You should be able to meet at least a half dozen potential investors and if you are lucky, maybe more. 

 

A few weeks later, send them a comprehensive business plan and follow up with a phone call requesting a meeting to pitch your idea. Don't be afraid to be persistent, business people appreciate persistence, vision, enthusiasm and balls. You probably aren't going to find someone who will invest $1 million to build a factory, but if you start with a smaller business idea that could start with something around $50k initial investment, you would have a respectable chance. I would recommend starting out with something in your current field (security?) since you have that experience to draw on. Once that business is a success, the investor will probably be willing to invest more in future endeavors and/or recommend you to their friends who are looking for places to invest. 

 

Most people who do angel investing are willing to take large risks. It is the most risky way to invest, but also has the potential to be extremely profitable. They are gambling, and know it is gambling. Since you don't have any collateral, you are an extremely risky investment and would have trouble getting funding from VC's or banks. Your best shot would be to impress an angel investor with your ideas and convince them you have the personality and skills to make it work. Angel investors are specifically looking for people with little to no money, but have really good ideas and the ability to make them a reality.  

 

What do you have to lose? If you try and get shot down, where are you going to be? Exactly where you are right now.

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 BS, it's hard for me to

 BS, it's hard for me to take you seriously when you sound like Herman Cain while having your daddy get you started in business...

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jcgadfly wrote: BS, it's

jcgadfly wrote:

 BS, it's hard for me to take you seriously when you sound like Herman Cain while having your daddy get you started in business...

Beyond and Cain sitting in the tree.................

"LET THEM EAT CAKE"

Sucks for them that the "peasants" are getten all "uppity".

Freedom of speech sucks doesn't it Beyond? Funny how you masturbate over the free market of ideas, but when others "compete" to drive the political car, you bitch like a street whore who didn't get paid.

 Thats the thing about morons like Cain. They are so proud of running a fast food chain which makes him and his shareholders money hand over fist, but for the majority of employees of that chain, they don't give one fuck if most of them are starving. And then they project their pathetic narcissism on the rest of us thinking we are jealous of  a company that creates more poverty.

Making slaves out of others is morality, like decapitation is neurosurgery.

 

 

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1: In almost every way.

1: In almost every way. About the only thing you got right was that officers receive different training than regular soldiers. Which means less than no difference considering a regular soldier can still transfer to be an officer, and that you can choose what direction you go when you sign up.
And I have yet to hear a soldier complaining about ass kissing in the military, religion excepted. Every soldier I've known has taken great pride in their rank/position and the fact that they EARNED it. They didn't have to kiss ass.

3: Because they accepted a new contract before they lost too much to be solvent. I still haven't seen any indication that any semi-major company has ever survived it's entire production staff leaving permanently. No paper pusher could handle that. And no paper pusher walkout would be as devastating.

4: Money doesn't grow on trees, unless you're the US gov't. I've TRIED making money. But I NEED money to make money. Thanks to the paper pushing theives, that's not possible.
Before you try to

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counter that, education

counter that, education costs money. And I don't have the required education to start a business or seek investors. I'm on my own. I'm also smart enough to know this, so I'm not wasting scarce resources in failed grandiose efforts to make a fortune.

I've probably received more business instruction from you and other people I've debated with than any other source. I appreciate it, and seek to learn more.

But that doesn't mean your idea of business makes any logical sense. NOTHING any CEO has EVER done qualifies their wages compared to the lowest rung. Nor anyone in other paper pusher positions.
I'm not saying THEY should get minimum wage and that the production staff should get millions a year, I'm saying the wages need balancing. The production should make more, and the paper should make less. Because the production DOES more, and are more necessary. Because it'll save the rich from the very greed that has the poor kill them off every couple hundred years. And because it would jump the economy overnight.

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Gauche wrote:Fuck Steve

Gauche wrote:

Fuck Steve Jobs, he spent his life building a company that tries to take away consumer rights and worker's rights and  exploit  society's degeneration into petty, mindless, bourgeois consumerism.   He shouldn't be mentioned with Martin Luther King or anyone who ever attempted to help others. 

What is it with black and white thinking. You are the mirror opposite of Beyond.

The influence peddling of big money on government SHOULD be addressed. But technology should not be thrown out, nor the open market simply because a monopoly exists by one class. You don't blame the tool for how people abuse it when using it.

If it were not for the internet or cell phones in general, the "Arab spring" and even my own ability to challenge the monopoly that money has on government COULD NOT HAPPEN without the types of products Jobs made.

It is bullshit to expect everyone to be poor and be 100% always supported in every aspect of life, by government. It is equally bullshit to have no rules and "every man for themselves" like Beyond thinks.

ABUSE is the problem. Monopolies of ANY KIND, be they political party, religion, or private sector.

I am damned glad I have a computer. This computer was created by private industry and sold by private industrty. And without it atheists would not have grown in the past 10 years as quickly as they have.

Bill Gates is a big piece of shit as far as making crappy products and SHOULD be sued for making such crap. But that does not mean that computers should not exist because of his abuse.

I'll tell you what I tell Beyond. NOTHING IS BLACK AND WHITE AND NOTHING IN LIFE IS EVER "EITHER OR".

The key is not to be a "nanny state" or a free for all. The key is to stop abuse of power and monopolies and go with what works.

BOTH you and Beyond are getting it wrong.

 

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Quote:I'm not saying THEY

Quote:
I'm not saying THEY should get minimum wage and that the production staff should get millions a year, I'm saying the wages need balancing.

BINGO!

Inequity has to exist in an open market, but just like the temperature in a tropical fish tank, too much of a gap will kill the fish, including the ones at the top.

A class monopoly is what we have. It is no different than the political monopoly China has. It is no different than the religious monopoly Iran has.

Having an open market does not mean it cannot be monopolized or abused.

The vast majority of protesters don't want to end the open market, they simply don't want to starve to death.

MONOPOLIES, ABUSE OF POWER, is the issue.

It is bullshit to expect everyone to be poor. And it is bullshit to think everyone will get rich. The three class system CAN work well when not abused. But what is going on now will only in the future produce more poverty and end up like the slave wages of India and China.

 

 

 

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I didn't say throw out

I didn't say throw out technology or the open market. I don't believe there is an open market but that's beside the point because I never said it should be thrown out.

I criticized Steve Jobs' exploitation of workers and consumers. If you think that exploitation is somehow necessary to have technology or an open market then you're welcome to show that but even assuming you could I still see no reason to hold up a man who is perhaps one of the worst offenders as an exemplary human being. 

Even if it were true that the only way you could have a computer is that people who work in Apple's Chinese factories do so under conditions so abysmal that many of them commit suicide, or that Apple collude with book publishers in price fixing of digital books, your need for those things to happen or the possibility for you to benefit from them say absolutely nothing about the ethical implications of doing that. Beyond that I don't believe it is true.

 

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Japan ??

BobSpence1 wrote:

V,

do you consider there is any responsibility "inherent" in an individual person to do more than just maximize their individual wealth and/or personal pleasure? I guess that could follow from the idea of "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness". Although those are supposed to be rights rather than responsibilities.

There is a problem in relying on legislation, since that is really only applicable to identifiable and specific crimes and misdemeanours, not to a general approach and behaviour which 'merely' results in a much less functional and 'happy' society, at last for the bulk of its citizens.

Competition and the 'free market are not going to work to create that, except on an international level, and then only if people are free to move between nations when they get sufficiently pissed-off at conditions in the country they currently reside in. Maybe it can work to an extent between individual states in a nation.

This is why we see things like the 'Arab Spring' and the current Wall Street protests.

People tend to behave positively with each other due to our evolved traits of empathy and compassion, and the reward of positive responses from those around them to loving and caring behaviour on their part.

I think those interactions get diluted in large groups, so are not quite sufficient to overcome the urge for power and personal wealth that often drives corporations, or the sort of personality type that tends to get into and be successful in 'business'. Or Politics. Or running a whole country in the Middle East, or wherever.

Maybe we need more crashes, or perhaps a real revolution from 'the people', to get through to the minds of the border-line psychopaths that 'succeed' on Wall Street and Big Business that there is a real downside to endless greed and selfishness inherent in ignoring the welfare of society at large.

History seems to show this, unfortunately, although there are signs that nation-states, or societies, can develop a 'collective' awareness that more emphasis on cooperation and caring can lead to a more functional society than the naked 'greed is good' approach that is so manifest in the USA. The Scandinavian countries seem to epitomise this at the moment, but other democracies seem to be more successful at balancing greed and social welfare (in the broadest sense) than the US. 

The tendency of so many in the US to see such cooperation and caring as Socialism, or even Communism (shock horror! ) doesn't help.

I wonder if the experience of going through WWII was a big contributer to shocking much of Europe onto a more socially aware path. Horrible thought that an occasional disaster like that is what it takes.

Like the Great Depression was needed to get more 'enlightened' regulations in the US, which have progressively been whittled away.

Are we doomed to this endless cycle of 'Boom and Bust', War and Peace?

Of course, there is also evidence that diminishing the power and position of religious belief helps, but how much that is cause or effect is not certain.

An ancient problem....

You mention Scandinavian countries have a balanced approach. What are you thoughts on Japan in this light?

Humans are self-centered. It is hard to see beyond our own brain and therefore community tragedies are what it takes to wake us up at least for a little while. Dying at 70 or 80 and new generations having to re-learn doesn't help. The religious think they can  gain wisdom  from their holy books, but they don't. They cannot even hope to see it the way even the authors intended. We certainly have a version of Christianity today that would be unrecognizable in the 1st century. They might use some of the same words, but that's it.

 

Religion Kills !!!

Numbers 31:17-18 - Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

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Vastet wrote:counter that,

Vastet wrote:
counter that, education costs money. And I don't have the required education to start a business or seek investors. I'm on my own. I'm also smart enough to know this, so I'm not wasting scarce resources in failed grandiose efforts to make a fortune. I've probably received more business instruction from you and other people I've debated with than any other source.

What education would you get? College is absolutely worthless if you want to learn how to run a business unless you are going into a field that requires certain technical knowledge. All an MBA shows is that you were stupid enough to pay a college tens of thousands of dollars to learn about business from people who for the most part have never been personally involved in a business when you could have used those same thousands to invest in a business.

 

When I am looking at investing in someone, whether or not they have any formal education is irrelevant. Many successful small businesses are ran by people with no or little college education and many people who founded the most profitable companies in the world either didn't go to college or dropped out. You know, modestly successful people like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, James Cameron, Mark Zuckerberg. Wally Amos multi-millionaire founder of Famous Amos cookies, Ken and Diane Hendricks billionaires who founded ABC Supply, Les Wexner billionaire founder of Limited Brands, Ty Warner creator of Beanie Babies, the list goes on and on.  

 

The only way to really learn business is to do it and learn from your mistakes. You can learn from the mistakes of others, but every business is different and even the same business can change with time. What works for one business at one time might not work for another business or even the same business at a different time. Running a business is very much about predicting or creating future trends, being adaptable and dealing with obstacles and the unexpected. The best way to learn how to start a business is to talk to people who started successful businesses. And I guarantee that damn near every one of them will be able to tell you of the people who told them when they were starting out that their dreams were "grandiose" and they were "wasting time". If you buy into that claptrap it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.  

 

When you say you can't start a business because you don't have financing, that is simply an obstacle. A very common obstacle for businesses, even established businesses will run into cash flow problems from time to time. It isn't insurmountable. There are a variety of ways to get funds, each with positives and negatives. Getting an investor is a double edged sword, an investor may be willing to help you in areas where your personal expertise is lacking but the investor/entrepreneur relationship can be very strained. Plus, the investor is going to expect a significant amount of your profits thereby reducing your personal reward and your control over the company. If the investor is an asshole they can be more of a hindrance than help. The plus side is that an investor can usually get your business started on a larger scale and more quickly than you might be able to do on your own.

 

The other option is to simply save your own money. When I graduated college I was dead broke because I wasted my money on college, girls, booze and a bad investment. So I worked several different jobs, (I think I had 5 different employers total that year) while living in my car and 2-3 nights a week getting a room in a really cheap motel ($16/night). It really sucked, but I could put up with it because I knew it was temporary. After a little over a year of this I had saved $20,000. Voila, seed money. I invested my money while cutting back my work to a single regular job until my investments became profitable enough that I could afford to not be employed. I daresay that the majority of people could work a few extra hours, cut a few extra expenses or otherwise massage their budget to save a reasonable bankroll. The more uncomfortable you are willing to be in the short term, the faster you will be able to save that money.  

 

Other options include getting loans, starting a low cost business or going into business with a co-founder who has funds but might lack expertise in an area that you can provide. 

 

 

Vastet wrote:

I appreciate it, and seek to learn more. But that doesn't mean your idea of business makes any logical sense. NOTHING any CEO has EVER done qualifies their wages compared to the lowest rung. Nor anyone in other paper pusher positions. I'm not saying THEY should get minimum wage and that the production staff should get millions a year, I'm saying the wages need balancing. The production should make more, and the paper should make less. Because the production DOES more, and are more necessary. Because it'll save the rich from the very greed that has the poor kill them off every couple hundred years. And because it would jump the economy overnight.

What is more logical than paying someone the amount required to get a person capable of performing a particular job at a level you find acceptable? I think most of your argument is simply based on ignorance of what a high quality CEO or other highly paid paper pusher can bring to a company. There are certainly CEO's out there I believe are overpaid and some I suspect probably get paid less than they are truly worth. 

 

Maybe you could be successful running a company while paying the CEO, CFO etc. a couple hundred grand. You could certainly get some up and comer to accept the job that turn out to be a genius. The problem is that as soon as that person started making the company a success, head hunters would be coming out of the wood works offering that person much higher wages. Either you match the wage, or that person leaves and you have to find someone new. Eventually, you are not going to be lucky enough to find someone capable who is willing to work cheap and the whole business is going to crash and burn. 

 

If you were successful in creating a corporation of any meaningful size that could operate at a decent profit by paying paper pushers substantially less than their current market value, you truly would revolutionize the business world. I won't say it is impossible, such revolutions have happened before like when Henry Ford started paying his factory workers what were extremely high wages at the time. Ideas that go against conventional wisdom tend to be either extremely successful or spectacular failures. I am extremely skeptical but would love to be proven wrong. 

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


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For every uneducated

For every uneducated business person who does well, there are a thousand who failed.
And how am I to gain experience when I have no capitol to start a business to gain experience?

Getting money isn't remotely as easy as you suggest. Investors don't hang around street corners waiting to be approached, they hide behind secretaries who ensure only people with valid proposals can even make an appointment.
Going to conventions requires money, so that's out too.
Saving is impossible. Every time I get close to having a few grand life steps in and the money I spent years saving vapourises. That it took years to save a few grand is part of the problem, I've never been paid enough.
Multiple jobs aren't an option, I'd be lucky to have one full time job in this economy.
Cofounder requires connections I don't have. Loans require good credit, which I don't have.

You capitalists never appreciate that you got lucky and met the right people.

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Vastet wrote: You

Vastet wrote:
You capitalists never appreciate that you got lucky and met the right people.

 

He has posted elsewhere that one of these people was his own Dad. 

My uncle went from rags to riches.  Well, middle class to upper middle class.  He did it by antagonizing most of his relatives and many other business people in town.  He spent next to no time with his family and went after the money - first, last and foremost.  Many of us chose not to take that path and it doesn't make us lazy or stupid.

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

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Vastet wrote:For every

Vastet wrote:
For every uneducated business person who does well, there are a thousand who failed.

So? If you go into business there is a great chance you will fail. In the words of the great philosopher Adam Savage "failure is always an option". Many of the people who failed went on and built successful businesses. You lose your money and hopefully learn a lesson or two so next time you succeed. Even large business tycoons have spectacular failures from time to time. We are human; mistakes and failures are a fact of life. It really isn't even a question of if your going to fail, it is when and how bad.  

 

Vastet wrote:

And how am I to gain experience when I have no capitol to start a business to gain experience? Getting money isn't remotely as easy as you suggest.

 

I never said it was easy. If it was easy it probably wouldn't be so profitable. The whole debate in this thread started because I was arguing that paper pusher jobs are not easy. It is quite difficult, scary, exhilarating, stressful and may require a significant amount of risk taking. If your looking for the easy road you should probably stick to being an employee. On the flip side, when you are successful, your life can be significantly more comfortable than most forms of employment can provide. It is a question of risk vs reward and what kind of life you ultimately want to live.

 

Vastet wrote:

Investors don't hang around street corners waiting to be approached, they hide behind secretaries who ensure only people with valid proposals can even make an appointment. Going to conventions requires money, so that's out too.

Actually we are out and about in the world just like anyone else. We drink at bars, go bowling, go to the movies, shop at the mall and do pretty much everything every other human being does from time to time. Making friends with people who have disposable investment money isn't different from making friends with anyone else. Although, even if you decide to approach them at their business getting around a secretary isn't impossible, you just have to get the secretary to like you by being persistent but polite. 

 

The reason I suggested being around that convention isn't to actually go to it. The convention costs thousands of dollars to attend and is designed specifically for people who are interested in investing large sums of money into start up businesses. So around the time of the convention there is going to be a higher than average concentration of potential investors who not only have the ability but an active interest in investing in high risk/high reward people who have no money.

 

The have a couple hundred thousand laying around and for whatever reason do not want to start a business themselves, maybe they are retired, lazy or are simply not interested in managing the day to day operations of a business. They have business experience and are usually willing to serve as a mentor or use their black books to aid the business with their connections. They need someone with a viable idea, enthusiasm and a willingness to put in the necessary work.

 

Following the suggestion I outlined in the previous post to meet and get business cards from people around that convention would go a long way towards putting you ahead of the competition when they are actually deciding who to invest in. You will have shown an enthusiasm, creativity and willingness to take risks that most others won't. It isn't going to get you the money, but it should at least give you the opportunity to pitch your idea to them.  

 

Vastet wrote:

Saving is impossible. Every time I get close to having a few grand life steps in and the money I spent years saving vapourises. That it took years to save a few grand is part of the problem, I've never been paid enough.

 

Bullshit. Do you have a budget? I don't mean some general sense of how much you make and how much you spend every month. I mean a very detailed accounting of any penny you spend. If you have limited income and are serious about saving cash you have to have a gumball from a machine in your budget before you buy it. 

 

There are a variety of different systems and a variety of prominent proponents of different ones. There is certainly some radio show that plays in your area that discusses budgeting, usually in the form of paying off debt but the same principles work for saving as well. Around here the prominent radio personalities are Dave Ramsay and Clark Howard. Some advocate setting up various bank accounts/subaccounts, others suggest using envelopes with cash to keep funds separate etc.

 

The fundamentals are the same whichever system you use. Account for every penny you spend, set up a strict budget where you pay yourself first by putting $X in an account that you cannot or will not access- until it reaches your set goal that money doesn't exist. Then put $X into an emergency/rainy day fund earmarked for things like car breakdowns or other emergencies. Then list all your expenses in order of priority, ruthlessly cut anything that isn't absolutely necessary for survival, find ways to save more perhaps through smarter shopping, coupons, giving up certain luxuries etc. 

 

The hard part isn't really creating the budget, the hard part is following it. If you budget $35/week for food you have to avoid the temptation to eat out or buy that tasty looking steak. You have to make sure your food budget for the week is at or less than $35 and put the remainder in your savings. If you blow your budget early and have to eat ramen noodles for three days straight, well next week you will be more careful won't you?

 

The problem is that budgeting is like dieting, it can be done but most people cheat and try to rationalize it away. You ever see the person on a diet who says "well just one little piece of cake won't hurt"? It does hurt, and exceeding your budget by a penny hurts. Everyday people dig themselves out from massive amounts of debt, you have higher than average intelligence, I'm sure if you really applied yourself you could save a decent amount of money. You need to decide to do it and and be very strict with yourself. Maybe you have to take extreme measures, but then you have to make the decision if the end result is worth the discomfort.

 

Vastet wrote:

Multiple jobs aren't an option, I'd be lucky to have one full time job in this economy.

Sure, I was doing so in an economy that favored employees and was able to pick up jobs at will. But I wouldn't say it is impossible if you are not picky about the job. Sales would be a good area to look for jobs in as they are always hiring and the skills you learn in sales are very applicable to any business. But if you have to work at a fast food place or stand by the road with one of those stupid boards on your chest, oh well. With Christmas coming up many retail stores will be hiring temp help which could serve as a second job. It is best that second jobs are temporary anyway because it helps avoid burnout if you are constantly doing something different. It might take a little time and effort, but if you're willing to do anything I am sure you could find a second job. 

 

Vastet wrote:

Cofounder requires connections I don't have. You capitalists never appreciate that you got lucky and met the right people.

 

Then make the connections. Connections are not made by happenstance. I have the connections I have because I consciously decided to meet people. Every person I meet I find out what their occupation is, get an idea how long they have been doing it, can generally figure out if they enjoy it, can usually get a rough idea of how much money they make at it and I often find an opportunity to discuss what they want to do in the future. Then if I think they might be useful at some point in the future I get their contact information. If they have a business card I jot down a few details about them on the back like where I met them, what subjects we talked about etc. so that if I ever do call them I can refresh my memory. If they don't have one I jot a note into my phone. Many of these never turn into anything useful, but when I am looking for someone with a particular set of skills or someone who might know someone who could help I have a list of people I can call that I have a some kind positive relationship with.

 

It really isn't that hard, people like to talk about themselves, what they do and what their dreams are. All you have to do is start the conversation, ask questions as they naturally fit into the conversation and make mental notes (and then physical notes after). It is a numbers game. The majority of people you meet won't be able to offer anything useful to you and you won't be able to offer anything useful to them, but if you meet enough people your needs will match what they supply or what you supply will meet their needs. I met the woman I co-own the wine shop with at a beer tasting festival she was working (I was just talking to her cause she is hot, I was drunk and looking to make an entirely different kind of investment), I met the guys I co-own the appraisal company with while sharing a campfire and playing cards in hunting camp, I met the guy who is running the furniture shop I bought at a poker club.

 

I guess any one of those meetings could be considered "luck" in that had our lives not collided at those particular moments in time I wouldn't even know their faces. But just as easily I could simply be sitting with the memory of the cute server with the sexy accent at the beer festival, some fun guys at hunting camp and that damn kid who hit his flush on me. All three turned into relationships that could be potentially profitable all around because I went through the effort to question, get to know them and got their contact information. How many people have you met in your life that you might have had a good conversation with for a couple of hours then each of you went your separate ways never to talk again? Is it possible that one or more of them might have been able to provide you with a business opportunity? 

 

And I have a host of other people I have met who might turn into business possibilities in the future. For example, there is an excellent bartender at one of my favorite watering holes who dreams of owning her own bar. She is accepting what will probably be a pay cut to go manage a restaurant to get experience. I plan to keep in contact with her because she is the type of person I would seriously consider investing in. When she is ready to own her own bar maybe I can help with the money if I have enough at that time. Another guy I met last year grows wine grapes and is interested in purchasing his own vineyard. I got his contact information as it might be something I would be interested in investing in the future. Will either investment every happen? I don't know, but the possibilities are out there, and I will make the decision at the appropriate times. If I do, and they turn into profitable investments it is hardly "luck" they are intentionally made relationships that lead to an intentionally made investment. 

 

Since you have a particular need, someone with money available for investment, you have the advantage of knowing exactly what kind of people you desire to meet. I would recommend you create a specific business idea and arrange to put yourself in situations where you can meet people with that kind of cash. Volunteering at charity events would be a good potential avenue as by definition people who attend charity events have disposable income. So you can kill two birds with one stone, volunteer for a charity that you care about and make potentially profitable contacts without spending any of your own money. Go to community events in wealthier areas of town. Go to your local chamber of commerce or whatever Canada's equivalent is and ask for a calender of events. Go to ones you find interesting and meet people. Worst case scenario, you might make a few new friends.

 

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X