What is Capitalism?

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What is Capitalism?

Check this "tour" of Capitalism out:

Capitalism Tour

What are your thoughts?

..zero..
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Lemme try to make this

Lemme try to make this short.

1. Demonstrate that exploitation is bad. Demonstrate that it is an objective phenomenon rather than subjective. If it is subjective, it is not real. If it is not real, it does not exist. If it does not exist, if it is subjective, you cannot treat it objectively with any form of objective enforcement action.

2. Most of your fallacies surround this one. You made the mistake of comparing the supply and demand of two different things. Supply of workers and demand for jobs? No, it's the supply of workers and the demand for workers. You can't buy and sell jobs. Jobs are not property and thus not subject to the supply/demand complex. Work is. Work has an objective manifestation. Jobs do not. What does not objectively exist cannot be property.

3. It is not possible for employers to keep work in short supply, as work is provided by workers.

4. You agree that value is set by the exchange. You also said it's exploitation to buy for $250 and sell for $400. These are contradictory positions. Is value subjective or objective? Is it something that is merely percieved and differs from person to person or is it real and consistance?

5. Legislation is telling a group of men with guns who they can shoot for doing what. Force does not produce, it can only destroy.


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Quote: 1. Demonstrate that

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1. Demonstrate that exploitation is bad. Demonstrate that it is an objective phenomenon rather than subjective. If it is subjective, it is not real. If it is not real, it does not exist. If it does not exist, if it is subjective, you cannot treat it objectively with any form of objective enforcement action.

Exploitation is not inherently bad. There are subjective degrees of exploitation. Almost everyone agrees that slavery is exploitation. Slavery is real and subjective. It does exist and should be treated objectively with subjective force.
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2. Most of your fallacies surround this one. You made the mistake of comparing the supply and demand of two different things. Supply of workers and demand for jobs? No, it's the supply of workers and the demand for workers. You can't buy and sell jobs. Jobs are not property and thus not subject to the supply/demand complex. Work is. Work has an objective manifestation. Jobs do not. What does not objectively exist cannot be property.

We are taking about two different perspectives. From the worker's point of view, it's the supply of workers and the demand for jobs (work). For the capitalists, it's the supply of work (jobs) and the demand for workers. Work and jobs are the same thing from different points of view. Employees offer work. Employers offer jobs. When a job is filled by a worker, it is deleted from the equation, and you are left with either unemployed workers or a demand for more workers. Jobs can then be created (bought) or destroyed (sold). Jobs are the property of the capitalist involved, objectively manifested in a dusty factory or a field of rotting crops.
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3. It is not possible for employers to keep work in short supply, as work is provided by workers.

Though it is possible to keep jobs in short supply, increasing a demand for jobs.
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4. You agree that value is set by the exchange. You also said it's exploitation to buy for $250 and sell for $400. These are contradictory positions. Is value subjective or objective? Is it something that is merely percieved and differs from person to person or is it real and consistance?

Ultimately the value of an item is subjective and determined by the market, it's true. Generally, the addition of labor will increase the value of the item.
I buy a car from Sam for $5000. I shine it up (little labor), and sell the car to Tom for $10000. That isn't exploitation because I didn't USE someone selfishly. It may have been a shitty deal for Sam and Tom, but if everyone feels that they've won, than no harm done. Right?....................Maybe!
I buy materials for $5000 from Sam. I want to build a car, but I don't know how. So I hire Bill to do it for $1000. Then, I sell the car to Tom for $10000. Is this wrongful exploitation? Well it depends on whether or not I knew I was going to get $10000 for the car. If I knew, than I wrongfully exploited Bill. He may not see it that way, especially if he doesn't know how much I profited, but I did. What if I told Bill that I sold the car for $7000? He thinks we each made a grand and we are both happy. Now what if Bill was my brother and I did this to him all the time. Would I be wrongfully exploiting my brother for his labor? Does it matter if it's my brother, mother, father, son, stranger, homeless man, homosexual, mexican, or whatever? We can disagree about the point at which exploitation becomes wrongful, but you can't say that exploitation isn't real.
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5. Legislation is telling a group of men with guns who they can shoot for doing what. Force does not produce, it can only destroy.

Legislation could also be telling a group of men who to fine or imprision for doing what. Force destroys slavery and wrongful exploitation (a good thing).

A daughter of hope and fear, religion explains to Ignorance the nature of the unknowable. -Ambrose Bierce


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ShadowOfMan

ShadowOfMan wrote:
Exploitation is not inherently bad.

Thank you, that's all I needed to hear.

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Slavery is real and subjective.

Contradiction in terms. Something can't be both objective and subjective simultaneously. Perhaps you speak of "subjective" in terms of subject as opposed to ruler. I speak of "subjective" as opposed to "objective".

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It does exist and should be treated objectively with subjective force.

Force is interaction. Interaction occurs on the objective level. There is no "subjective force".

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We are taking about two different perspectives. From the worker's point of view, it's the supply of workers and the demand for jobs (work).

There is no demand for "jobs". There are individuals competing to sell their labor. "Jobs" are subjective. Subjective entities are not subject to ownership thus supply and demand. Workers competing for "jobs" are salesmen competing for sales. It's the exact same thing.

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For the capitalists, it's the supply of work (jobs) and the demand for workers.

No no no. There are not "jobs". They are not real.

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Work and jobs are the same thing from different points of view.

No. They are not. A job is a contract. It is not owned by either the employer or employee. Work is service. It is owned by the employee and sold to the employer.

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Employees offer work. Employers offer jobs. When a job is filled by a worker, it is deleted from the equation, and you are left with either unemployed workers or a demand for more workers.

There is not a limited number of jobs. Jobs are infinite just as time is infinite.

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Jobs can then be created (bought) or destroyed (sold).

No they can't. You can't buy a job from your employer and sell it to your friend or put it on ebay.

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Jobs are the property of the capitalist involved, objectively manifested in a dusty factory or a field of rotting crops.

Jobs are not property. Jobs are contractual sales. A "sale" is not property. You might say "I sold a car, it was my sale." Use of possessive wording is used in a corresponding sense, not an owner/property sense. You don't own your spouse, you don't own your job, your spouse does not own you, your employer does not own your job.

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3. It is not possible for employers to keep work in short supply, as work is provided by workers.

Though it is possible to keep jobs in short supply, increasing a demand for jobs.

Jobs are infinite, there is no shortage of jobs. Any shortage of jobs is caused by minimum wages. In the absence of minimum wages, anyone seeking a job can find a job. It's all just a matter of price. Jobs are infinite.

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Ultimately the value of an item is subjective and determined by the market, it's true. Generally, the addition of labor will increase the value of the item.

The first sentence is of absolute importance. The second is irrelevant. Correlation does not mean causation. If it is possible for value to increase independant of addition of labor, then the LTV is wrong. A theory which cannot explain all relevant aspects of reality must necessarily be incorrect.

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I buy a car from Sam for $5000. I shine it up (little labor), and sell the car to Tom for $10000. That isn't exploitation because I didn't USE someone selfishly. It may have been a shitty deal for Sam and Tom, but if everyone feels that they've won, than no harm done. Right?....................Maybe!
I buy materials for $5000 from Sam. I want to build a car, but I don't know how. So I hire Bill to do it for $1000. Then, I sell the car to Tom for $10000. Is this wrongful exploitation? Well it depends on whether or not I knew I was going to get $10000 for the car. If I knew, than I wrongfully exploited Bill. He may not see it that way, especially if he doesn't know how much I profited, but I did. What if I told Bill that I sold the car for $7000? He thinks we each made a grand and we are both happy. Now what if Bill was my brother and I did this to him all the time. Would I be wrongfully exploiting my brother for his labor? Does it matter if it's my brother, mother, father, son, stranger, homeless man, homosexual, mexican, or whatever? We can disagree about the point at which exploitation becomes wrongful, but you can't say that exploitation isn't real.

Exploitation is subjective. Because it is subjective, it is not real. Objective means real. Subjective means mental and not real.

You ultimately allocated your resources, the car, in such a way as to make Sam, Bill, and Tom all better off than they were before (otherwise they would not have chosen to trade with you). If you can help 3 people and create a $4000 surplus of value by buying and selling the resources to create it, you deserve that $4000. Had Tom done additional research, he might have found a lower price elsewhere. Had Bill realized you would make such a profit, he likely would buy parts for $5000 and assemble it with his own labor and sell it for $10,000 and make the profit for himself. He lacks knowledge, which all people do, and your knowledge got Tom a car he wanted.

Where was anyone actually wronged if everyone agreed to exchange?

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5. Legislation is telling a group of men with guns who they can shoot for doing what. Force does not produce, it can only destroy.

Legislation could also be telling a group of men who to fine or imprision for doing what. Force destroys slavery and wrongful exploitation (a good thing).

Slavery cannot exist without force. Exploitation is subjective so it's not real.

Legislation is telling a group of men with guns who to shoot for doing what. Take away the guns, and they become ineffective. The group of men fine and imprison, and if you resist that theft or slavery, you are murdered.


ShadowOfMan
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Quote: Exploitation is

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Exploitation is subjective. Because it is subjective, it is not real. Objective means real. Subjective means mental and not real.

I wrote that slavery is subjective at the beginning. That was a typo. I'm sorry. I meant exploitation is subjective. We agree hear then. I want to refine the definition further.

I would say that exploitation is objective. Only the point at which exploitation becomes "bad" is subjective. Bad is not real because there is no god to define it. Do you disagree?

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A job is a contract. It is not owned by either the employer or employee. Work is service. It is owned by the employee and sold to the employer.

Ok. A job is a contract and they are unlimited. But supply and demand still applies.
There is a supply of labor from the laborers and there is a demand for labor from the employers. The way things are right now, there is a greater supply of labor than there is a demand for labor. Minimum wages do contribute to a decrease in demand for labor, though just a little.
Jobs are arranged in order to exclude a certain percentage of the labor force from the labor demanded, creating a pool of unemployeed. (Laborers could share all the labor for a bit less money in order to solve the problem, but they won't.) This environment, with a pool of unemployeed, is exactly how exploitation is able to reach the wrongful levels it does. Laborers are willing to undercut each other into poverty. That's why minimum wages were inacted to begin with. Minimum wage is flawed, no doubt, but it was a quick fix.
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You ultimately allocated your resources, the car, in such a way as to make Sam, Bill, and Tom all better off than they were before (otherwise they would not have chosen to trade with you). If you can help 3 people and create a $4000 surplus of value by buying and selling the resources to create it, you deserve that $4000. Had Tom done additional research, he might have found a lower price elsewhere. Had Bill realized you would make such a profit, he likely would buy parts for $5000 and assemble it with his own labor and sell it for $10,000 and make the profit for himself. He lacks knowledge, which all people do, and your knowledge got Tom a car he wanted.
Where was anyone actually wronged if everyone agreed to exchange?

Just because everyone agrees, doesn't mean someone isn't wronged. I only reaped that $4000 through manipulation (something that is in our genes as well as our chimpanzee cousins). They may have accepted the terms of the trades, but only because I withheld some of the information that I had. Most people would do something like this to a complete stranger, but not to someone they respect. It's because we don't mind wrongfully exploiting a stranger. We would share the profits with someone we cared about and saw as equal.

A daughter of hope and fear, religion explains to Ignorance the nature of the unknowable. -Ambrose Bierce


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Quote:ShadowOfMan wrote:You

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=ShadowOfMan]You guys are good.
What, exactly, is a living wage, and why is anyone entitled to it?

You would say that a living wage is arbitrary, but it should be democratically (tyranically) determined by the masses.

Why?

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In my opinion, under socialism, there would be no need for a minimum wage. Everyone would have all they need to live for free.

And thus there would be little reason to innovate, excel, or undercut the competition by making things more efficient and cost effective.

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I always ask this question: if you advocate a "living wage" aka a "minimum wage", why not simply make that wage $100 an hour? Then everybody would be rich, right? Right?

You could do that but you'd screw certain industries that don't make that much profit, like restaurants.

And how is what I just proposed not a extreme version of what you propose? The resulf would be similar, the extent lesser. The increase in wage would be passed on to the consumer. Your employee is a consumer. Raise the wage across the board and you raise the cost of living across the board. In what sense is this productive?

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I'm more in favor of the idea that within each company, the highest paid is restricted from earning more than 5X the lowest paid. I'll call it the Anti-Explotation Act.

I agree sometimes execs are over-paid. So what? I invest in a company based on the bottom line. I could give less than a shit what the brass makes. If the company is doing well and growing, everyone wins.

Sometimes the guy who actually runs the company really is worth 1000x what the guy who mops the floors for the company is. Sometimes not. These are issues that concern stock holders, not the guys on the production line. This complaint is little more than a jealous quibble.

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Working of your volition is never exploitation. You're working because it betters your situation, not for the exercise.
Goods are worth what people are willing to pay for them. Labor is worth what people are willing to work for.

Obviously working betters your situation. The alternative is digging in dumpsters.

Please, let's not play the false dichotomy game. You've always got options betwixt the two.

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That doesn't change the fact. If a company is as profitable as, say, Wal-Mart, and if there is an abundant, exploitable workforce, people have no choice but to work for whatever wages the company wants. The company could pay the workers more and keep its prices the same.

Please, tell me, how could they raise wages without passing that cost on to the consumer? Oh, they'll cut profit margins on Chinese TVs from 3% to 1% to make you happy? Don't make me laugh.

Why, exactly, is it that stores like Wal-Mart can sell goods for less than most shops? Think about this before you respond.

You need to reconsider what a wage is actually WORTH before you go arbitrarily increasing it. Increases on the low end propogate up - it makes EVERYTHING COST MORE. The ratio between worth and value are pretty much independent of what the wage or currency is at the time.

The wage goes up, the cost goes up, for all. The wage goes down, it falls for all. The main factor here is inflation, which is exactly what an artificial wage increase would lead to. There is no sense in paying you 10% more if it means a 10% increase in the cost of living. That only helps the already rich and digs the poor into a deeper hole.

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But they won't because they can exploit instead. A corperation is bound by law to do everything it can to increase profits at the expense of anyone. EVERYONE chooses to work, and most just want to be less exploited.

Ah, yes. It is all about greed. My lemonade stand won't ever change it's price, regardless of the price fluctuations in sugar!

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ShadowOfMan
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Quote: You would say that a

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You would say that a living wage is arbitrary, but it should be democratically (tyranically) determined by the masses.

Why?


Put aside all legislations that could be inacted. A living wage should be determined by the cost of living. Housing, transportation, utilities, food, healthcare. What does it take for a person to have what we would all concider to be a life in a given society? Why? Cause it's just good to know.

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In my opinion, under socialism, there would be no need for a minimum wage. Everyone would have all they need to live for free.

And thus there would be little reason to innovate, excel, or undercut the competition by making things more efficient and cost effective.


I'm refering to NEEDS. There is plenty of room for innovation in the WANTS market.

I've accepted the idea that minimum wages are a flawed way to protect workers from exploitation. In some small ways it exacerbates the problem. As you increase the minimum, you lower the demand for labor. This increases the exploitability of the labor force, and the capitalists will increase prices across the board. My only solution would be the 5X wage rule. It could be 10X, 25X, 50X. Anything is better than 400X (the current average for american corperations). Minimum wage laws don't work without maximum wage laws.

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Please, let's not play the false dichotomy game. You've always got options betwixt the two.

There are inbetweens, but non of them are good. Without work, you could steal, beg, or scavenge.
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Please, tell me, how could they raise wages without passing that cost on to the consumer? Oh, they'll cut profit margins on Chinese TVs from 3% to 1% to make you happy? Don't make me laugh.

No, keep prices the same. Increase the wages of the laborers by lowering the wages of the brass (as you called them)
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Why, exactly, is it that stores like Wal-Mart can sell goods for less than most shops? Think about this before you respond.

By cutting labor expenses of course. The same way the Walton family got richer in the process. They gained access to a labor force that undercut the traditional labor force. Deleting manufacturing jobs in America, making American workers more exploitable. Deleting retail jobs by out competing mom and pops, making the American workers more exploitable.

A daughter of hope and fear, religion explains to Ignorance the nature of the unknowable. -Ambrose Bierce


Yellow_Number_Five
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Quote:ShadowOfMan

Quote:
ShadowOfMan wrote:
You would say that a living wage is arbitrary, but it should be democratically (tyranically) determined by the masses.

Why?


Put aside all legislations that could be inacted. A living wage should be determined by the cost of living. Housing, transportation, utilities, food, healthcare. What does it take for a person to have what we would all concider to be a life in a given society? Why? Cause it's just good to know.

How do you not see that this "living wage" is what determines the price of everything you want covered by it? If this wage determines such, how will increasing it by force help anyone? You can jack the "minimum wage" to $10/hr, but if milk and rent goes up in price by 200% along with that increase, what, exactly, have we accomplished? You cannot change the VALUE of an item by ARBITRARILY changing its price.

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In my opinion, under socialism, there would be no need for a minimum wage. Everyone would have all they need to live for free.

And thus there would be little reason to innovate, excel, or undercut the competition by making things more efficient and cost effective.


I'm refering to NEEDS. There is plenty of room for innovation in the WANTS market.

You seem to forget that today's "needs" were the luxuries of 50 years ago. Other than that, you've dodged the point put to you concerning innovation. Would we have more efficient light bulbs without capitalism? Would we have lightbulbs at all?

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I've accepted the idea that minimum wages are a flawed way to protect workers from exploitation.

This would be fine if such a wage actually protected workers from exploitation - it doesn't.

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In some small ways it exacerbates the problem. As you increase the minimum, you lower the demand for labor.

So you do understand. Understand too though that you lose jobs as you increase price and the bottom line.

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This increases the exploitability of the labor force, and the capitalists will increase prices across the board. My only solution would be the 5X wage rule. It could be 10X, 25X, 50X. Anything is better than 400X (the current average for american corperations). Minimum wage laws don't work without maximum wage laws.

How, exactly, does limiting the wage of the BIG BIG Boss help the guys on the line? You think the savings are going to be passed on to the workers? LOL!

The MARKET determines what a good is worth, and this in turn determines what your labor is worth. Value has little to do with what the executive makes unless that appreciably affects the selling price of the product - and sometimes it can be a justifiable expense if such costly leadership it keeps the company in business and competitive. Granted, this is not always the case. Limiting what the person who is responsible for the company's ultimate success though is not only unfair, but could potentially put the entire operation out of business - then there would be no need to talk of "living wages". The guy who keeps the company rolling is infinitely more valuable than the guy who mops the floors. How much more is debatable, but should be left up to investors and the company, not arbitrary big brother edicts.

How, exactly, could I procure productive and innovative CEOs if you limit what I can pay them?

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Please, let's not play the false dichotomy game. You've always got options betwixt the two.

There are inbetweens, but non of them are good. Without work, you could steal, beg, or scavenge.

Or find other work, or go back to school, or suck it up and train for advancement within your company. Sorry, I don't feel sorry for people with jobs, jobs they took of their own volition. Yes, it would be grand if everyone could live in the big house with the pool on the hill - unfortunately, that simply isn't possible. I fully believe that anyone who WANTS a job in this country can get one. That job may not provide for you in a manner in which you feel you are entitled too (why people think they are entitled to things baffles me), but it typically will put food in your mouth and roof over your head.

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Please, tell me, how could they raise wages without passing that cost on to the consumer? Oh, they'll cut profit margins on Chinese TVs from 3% to 1% to make you happy? Don't make me laugh.

No, keep prices the same. Increase the wages of the laborers by lowering the wages of the brass (as you called them)

And why would any company do that? The "brass" are the people who set the prices and pick the store locations - they are why the store is there in the first place, why the company lasts. Why, exactly, should they be forced to give up what they earn? Do you simply hate managment?

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Why, exactly, is it that stores like Wal-Mart can sell goods for less than most shops? Think about this before you respond.

By cutting labor expenses of course. The same way the Walton family got richer in the process. They gained access to a labor force that undercut the traditional labor force.

Oh, they did find a cheap labor source, they're called the Chinese. They sell stuff produced for a fraction of the "living wage" you demand in other countries to the very people you advocate this "living wage" for. What they pay thier clerks is actually comparable to most US retailers.

Want to rethink this?

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Deleting manufacturing jobs in America, making American workers more exploitable. Deleting retail jobs by out competing mom and pops, making the American workers more exploitable.

Deleting manufacturing jobs, lol! They are doing no such thing - the jobs have simply gone overseas, there's still just as much demand for the product. Why do you think they make it in China instead of the US? Could it have something to do with the "living wage" you demand?

If it costs $500 to make a widgit in the US and only $200 to make in China, where would you make your widgit? What do you think "livinging wages", tariffs and excises have to do with this?

I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world. - Richard Dawkins

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ShadowOfMan
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I don't hate management. I

I don't hate management. I am management. I am the front desk manager at a hotel. Let me speak from a point where I am personally familiar.
There are 17 employees (including management) here every day on average. The hotel earns on average $9000 a day from room rentals. The housekeepers work harder than anyone here for $6/hr, while front desk makes about $8. We currently have an average daily labor cost of $1200 including the 5 dept head's wages. I doubt $500 is spent everyday on upkeep (toilet paper, soap, continental breakfast, light bulbs, yadda, yadda). That's $1700 expences per day, and a profit of $7300 PER DAY!

All their wages (and mine) could be raised to $20/hr without effecting our prices. That's a fact! Total labor expenses would then be $2720 per day. Even if $3500 is spent everyday, that's still $3500 into the pocket of the owner EVERYDAY. THAT'S WITH $20 AN HOUR WAGES FOR EVERYONE.

This is just the hotel portion of the business. In addition, there is a bar on site. A restaurant. A banquet hall (that's the real money maker). He also owns a real estate business (owning probably 15% of the whole town. He probably hasn't actually labored more than a day in 98 years (unless you count allocating resourses to exploit more people).
Even if we were paid $20, I'd still want the greedy bastard taxed all to hell. He could then LOWER the prices and still profit big.

But, the way it will turn out if the minimum wage is increased, the general manager will raise the prices of the rooms, because he gets a bonus for keeping the expenses down (which he shares a portion with me like a bribe).
If it were up to me, I would love nothing more than to pirate the hotel out from under the owner. Pay everyone that works in the hotel the same wage. We would all work better if we are all in it together, and noone would risk losing such a sweet job.

Minimum wage is intended to lessen the wrongful exploitation of laborers. That's why strikers demanded it. Inflation is a price increase sometimes occuring after minimum wages are increased. In this case, prices are increased because the capitalists want to maintain there wealth levels.

Minimum wage is usless without an income cap or maximum wage. Or you could use the X-wage restrictions I've refered to before.
Believe me, I understand all of your perspectives on the matter. You think that because my boss can get away with this he should. I think he shouldn't just because he can.
You either believe that exploitation isn't a bad thing or it is subjective, therfore it's not real. I disagree.
Exploitation is bad because you wouldn't do it to someone you care about.
Exploitation is objective. Wrongful exploitation is subjective, just like the entire idea of land ownership is subjective.
Enough people together decided the rules of land ownership, just like people are debating the rules of wrongful exploitation.

A daughter of hope and fear, religion explains to Ignorance the nature of the unknowable. -Ambrose Bierce


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ShadowOfMan wrote:I would

ShadowOfMan wrote:
I would say that exploitation is objective. Only the point at which exploitation becomes "bad" is subjective. Bad is not real because there is no god to define it. Do you disagree?

Seeing as you never use the word in positive terms, you're always using it in negative terms, thus you're only using it when it's bad, and so every time you use it, it's subjective, because as you said, the point at which exploitation becomes "bad" is subjective. By using the ordinary definition without the negative connotations, there is essentailly no interaction which is not exploitation, in which case the world means everything and thus means nothing. In order for exploitation to be anything worth arguing about, it must be subjective and not real.

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There is a supply of labor from the laborers and there is a demand for labor from the employers. The way things are right now, there is a greater supply of labor than there is a demand for labor. Minimum wages do contribute to a decrease in demand for labor, though just a little.

Demand for labor is unlimited because labor can solve human wants and needs and human wants and needs are infinite. Minimum wages are the only reason anyone could possibly not be able to find a job irrelevant of price.

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Jobs are arranged in order to exclude a certain percentage of the labor force from the labor demanded, creating a pool of unemployeed. (Laborers could share all the labor for a bit less money in order to solve the problem, but they won't.) This environment, with a pool of unemployeed, is exactly how exploitation is able to reach the wrongful levels it does.

Jobs are not arranged to exclude some of the labor force. In absence of minimum wages, everyone who wants a job can find one. Only laws and the thinking of the unemployed arrange part of the labor force to be unemployed.

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Laborers are willing to undercut each other into poverty. That's why minimum wages were inacted to begin with. Minimum wage is flawed, no doubt, but it was a quick fix.

If labor prices fall, product prices fall. If everyone took a 50% wage cut, all prices would fall by 50%, thus real wages stay constant. So if people are undercutting each other, they can't do it into poverty because in doing so they will make everything cheaper.

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Just because everyone agrees, doesn't mean someone isn't wronged.

Not true. Wrongs are crimes, and crimes must have victims. If the so-called victim does not want to prosecute the so-called criminal, no crime took place, and thus no wrong took place. Everyone agrees because nobody was wronged.


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Seems there's more confusion

Seems there's more confusion on economics.

Input prices do not determine product prices. Supply and demand determine product prices. Product prices determine input prices.

Your lemonade stand might change it's product prices if the price of sugar goes up (I should point out that the price of sugar in the US is about 4x the world sugar price). But if people stop demanding your lemonade after you raise your prices, you will have to cut prices to sell what you have made. If you discover that nobody wants to buy any lemonade at prices you can earn a profit at, you just close down the lemonade stand and look for something else to do. You could also wait out the supply shift and after everyone else's lemonade stands sell out, prices will go up slowly as supply decreases, those demanding lemonade at higher prices will start buying at the higher prices.

Minimum wages do not cause inflation. The proper definition of "inflation" is an increase in the money supply. It wasn't until that asshole Keynes made economic idiocy fasionable that inflation started to mean an increase in prices. A consequence of an increase in the money supply is an increase in prices. An increase in money inflation causes an increase in price inflation. An increase in input prices (i.e. minimum wage or other price controls) does not cause price inflation. It causes a cutback in demand which causes a cutback in supply which eventually increases prices. Minimum wages do not directly increase prices.

So while in the long run and under normal conditions, increasing the input prices will increase product prices, it's not always true. If there is a real shortage of lemonade, for example, increasing input prices will increase your expenses, not your prices. You can try to increase your prices, but you'll drive customers away, or decrease your prices and not have enough lemonade to sell to all potential customers. If there is a surplus of lemonade, an increase in input prices will not cause an increase in product prices until the surplus is gone.


Yellow_Number_Five
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ShadowOfMan wrote:I don't

ShadowOfMan wrote:
I don't hate management. I am management. I am the front desk manager at a hotel. Let me speak from a point where I am personally familiar.
There are 17 employees (including management) here every day on average. The hotel earns on average $9000 a day from room rentals. The housekeepers work harder than anyone here for $6/hr, while front desk makes about $8. We currently have an average daily labor cost of $1200 including the 5 dept head's wages. I doubt $500 is spent everyday on upkeep (toilet paper, soap, continental breakfast, light bulbs, yadda, yadda). That's $1700 expences per day, and a profit of $7300 PER DAY!

You've left out the fact that the housekeepers get tips, left out property and wage tax, left out the mortgage, left out depreciation, left out insurance, left out a whole bunch of shit. The profit isn't nearly what you THINK it is, and this shows your short sightedness. Oh, and who is taking the risk of investment here? If the company folds, you find a new job at another hotel - the owner declares bankruptcy and is ruined.

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All their wages (and mine) could be raised to $20/hr without effecting our prices. That's a fact!

No, they couldn't, and THAT's a FACT.

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Total labor expenses would then be $2720 per day. Even if $3500 is spent everyday, that's still $3500 into the pocket of the owner EVERYDAY. THAT'S WITH $20 AN HOUR WAGES FOR EVERYONE.

Wow. You've obviously NEVER run a business.

And none of this shows me how the owner does not deserve this margin or that the employees deserve more. Just because I COULD pay you more does not mean your services are WORTH that or that I SHOULD pay you more. I could give the kid who mows my lawn $200 a week - I don't, why should I?

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This is just the hotel portion of the business. In addition, there is a bar on site. A restaurant. A banquet hall (that's the real money maker). He also owns a real estate business (owning probably 15% of the whole town. He probably hasn't actually labored more than a day in 98 years (unless you count allocating resourses to exploit more people).

Fuck that. You don't consider running a business that employs dozens of people labor? Just because you don't get blisters, does not mean you don't work. What you call "allocating resources to exploit more people", I call creating jobs. I have several friends in the real estate racket - they work 80 hour weeks, you have to in order to turn a profit in most cases.

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Even if we were paid $20, I'd still want the greedy bastard taxed all to hell. He could then LOWER the prices and still profit big.

Or, in the real world, he'd sell the hotel and you'd be out of a job.

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But, the way it will turn out if the minimum wage is increased, the general manager will raise the prices of the rooms, because he gets a bonus for keeping the expenses down (which he shares a portion with me like a bribe).
If it were up to me, I would love nothing more than to pirate the hotel out from under the owner. Pay everyone that works in the hotel the same wage. We would all work better if we are all in it together, and noone would risk losing such a sweet job.

You know what, I'm sure if you and all the employees pooled your money you could buy that hotel and run it any way you wished - all of you assuming equal or relative risks and responsibilities. Right now, that simply isn't the case, is it? Buy the hotel and run it as a collective - nobody is stopping you, many people do exactly that. This is a case of sole proprietership though - one man assuming the majority of the risk, and thus, one man taking the majority of dividend.

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Minimum wage is intended to lessen the wrongful exploitation of laborers.

If only it did that. It doesn't.

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That's why strikers demanded it.

No, unions stike and collectively bargain for wages above and beyond the minimum. There is a very distinct difference here.

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Inflation is a price increase sometimes occuring after minimum wages are increased. In this case, prices are increased because the capitalists want to maintain there wealth levels.

No, in this case, prices increase, because COSTS are artificially inflated.

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Minimum wage is usless without an income cap or maximum wage. Or you could use the X-wage restrictions I've refered to before.

Why should there ever be a cap on what a person can earn? You're advocating communism, and we've seen how well that works. Somethimes the guy who runs the company really IS worth 10000x what the guy who mops the floors is. Who are you to dictate what the investors want?

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Believe me, I understand all of your perspectives on the matter. You think that because my boss can get away with this he should.

Wrong. You've not understood me at all.

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I think he shouldn't just because he can.

No, you think he shouldn't, because you don't fully understand the situation and are a bit spiteful that he makes more than you.

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You either believe that exploitation isn't a bad thing or it is subjective, therfore it's not real. I disagree.

Wrong. I don't see exploitation AT ALL. You seem to define exploitation as people entering into a contract under their own volition and some people earning more than others. That fits no definition of the word exploit I'm aware of.

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Exploitation is bad because you wouldn't do it to someone you care about.

And I wouldn't have a problem paying my kids or my nieces or my cousins what you and your coworkers earn if they worked in my hotel. That is what the job they are doing is WORTH - were I to pay them more, it would simply be nepotism.

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Exploitation is objective. Wrongful exploitation is subjective, just like the entire idea of land ownership is subjective.

Ownership is not subjective.

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Enough people together decided the rules of land ownership, just like people are debating the rules of wrongful exploitation.

That sentiment frightens me. When you do away with private property, you might as well scrap all civil liberty,

Now, if you wouldn't mind answering directly:

"How do you not see that this "living wage" is what determines the price of everything you want covered by it?"

I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world. - Richard Dawkins

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Zhwazi
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Yellow_Number_Five

Yellow_Number_Five wrote:
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All their wages (and mine) could be raised to $20/hr without effecting our prices. That's a fact!

No, they couldn't, and THAT's a FACT.


Yes they could. But they'd go out of business in very short order and then all the employees would be unemployed and the customers would go without goods/services. I bet the employees would rather have low wages than no wages at all, but that's just me.

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That's why strikers demanded it.

No, unions stike and collectively bargain for wages above and beyond the minimum. There is a very distinct difference here.


Unions do want minimum wages, to keep unskilled labor unemployed, so they can keep their wages up. See the elevator example I used in one of these threads.

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No, in this case, prices increase, because COSTS are artificially inflated.

Prices are set by supply and demand, not costs.

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Wrong. I don't see exploitation AT ALL. You seem to define exploitation as people entering into a contract under their own volition and some people earning more than others. That fits no definition of the word exploit I'm aware of.

"ex‧ploit2  /ɪkˈsplɔɪt/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[ik-sploit]
–verb (used with object)
1. to utilize, esp. for profit; turn to practical account: to exploit a business opportunity.
2. to use selfishly for one's own ends: employers who exploit their workers.
3. to advance or further through exploitation; promote: He exploited his new movie through a series of guest appearances."

It's consistent with definition 2. If you assume that exploitation is one-way, then it doesn't exist in a free market. In a free market, every time two people exchange property, they are both exploiting each other. In which case exploit means everything and a word that means everything means nothing. So there is no free-market exploitation.

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Ownership is not subjective.

Actually yes it is. It's subjective, but it has an objective basis. Like libertarian morality. Ultimately it's subjective because it's an idea. It's not a thing that actually physically manifests, it's an idea.