Wealth Envy

Beyond Saving
atheist
Beyond Saving's picture
Posts: 5484
Joined: 2007-10-12
User is offlineOffline
Wealth Envy

 If you've been paying attention to the news at all over the last week, you have probably seen the stories reporting that the "typical" CEO is making between 10.5 and 13 million (depending on which news report and which numbers they choose to use) and the inevitable attempt to appeal to the wealth envy of the Brian37's of the world. We are supposed to be outraged because they make roughly 300 times what the "average" worker makes. Over the last month, Brian has been right about exactly one thing, I love numbers. Numbers don't lie and you can learn a lot from them. You can however, use numbers to mislead people who are uninformed. So let's look at the numbers they use every year to gin up some wealth envy.

First of all, your boss probably doesn't make anywhere near 300 times your wage. Unless you actually work for a fortune 500 company, your CEO isn't even in the ballpark, and unless you work for one of the top 100 revenue producing Fortune 500 companies or so your CEO makes less than 300 times average. Sure, these companies hire a lot of people, but you are talking the top 100 companies out of some 5,000 that are traded in the stock market. The top 2%. With another 10,000 companies that are publicly traded you are at the top 0.6% of companies. That isn't even accounting for the myriad of private companies that exist.

In other words, you are talking about a very small elite group who have convinced the shareholders that they are the best in the world at what they do. There is a huge gap between the top and bottom even of the Fortune 500. The bottom of the Fortune 500 CEO's make a little over a million. The actual median pay for CEO's accounting for all publicly known salaries is around $800,000. That means half of CEOs make less than $800k, or roughly 20 times the average salary (as calculated by the AFLCIO. The bulk of the rest of CEO's come in between $800,000 and $2 million. If you work in corporate America, odds are your CEO is making 20-40 times the average salary, if you work for most companies your head honcho probably makes under $400k. I'm not saying that it isn't a lot of money, but it makes a lot less sensational headline, which is why liberal outlets focuse on the top 100 and less liberal outlets focus on the top 300.

It is a blatant lie that the "typical" CEO makes $10.5 million. That is like looking at all the big Hollywood names and concluding that the "typical" actor/actress makes $20 million a movie. Obviously, the vast majority of people in acting don't make anywhere near that kind of money and if you go out to Hollywood, it would be unreasonable to expect that kind of money. That is the money you could make, if you are the top few percent of your field. If you were interested in becoming a CEO and wanted to know what kind of money you could expect to negotiate for, something in the $800k range is realistic and would be an impressive career. Expecting to make $10 million+ is the equivalent of the Hollywood wannabee going out expecting to be the next big superstar. It is possible, but the reality is that few will ever achieve it. 

Second, CEO's don't actually get paid that much. All these pay packages that are reported include restricted stock. Restricted stock is an agreement by the company to issue stock to the CEO with limitations. Generally these limitations prevent the CEO from selling the stock, may include provisions for revoking the stock if specified goals are not reached and might not be voting shares until a certain period of time has passed. So when you hear about a CEO getting 20, 30 or 40 million or whatever, they are not getting that in cash. It is a lot like a sports contract, where they could get that much money if they win, but won't if they lose. Boards do this for a variety of reasons. The largest is because it is a golden leash. It ensures that the CEO has a huge vested interest in the success of the stock price by giving them skin in the game at minimal cost to the investors. The CEO who got $40 million last year, could have all that money taken away if the company tanks. It is potential future money, not money in the hand today. 

Which brings up my third point, CEO's at the top ARE overpaid. (Read that again Brian, I said CEO's at the top ARE OVERPAID). And they are overpaid for a very simple reason, CEO's aren't rich. Sure, they are rich compared to me and you, but they are not the richest people in the world. With the exception of a few like Larry Ellison who still are CEO's of companies they started, CEO's report to boards that are made up of people wealthier than they are. It is the people who own substantial amounts of voting stock that are the uber rich. They don't make more than a few bucks off their salary, they make their money buying and selling companies. Their main concern is that the stock price of the companies they own goes up. So when negotiation time comes, they really want whatever CEO they think is best for the stock price. High cash salaries come out of the bottom line, while issuing new shares of stock has a very indirect effect. For example, when a CEO gets a few million shares of stock, it might be 1/10th of 1% or less of the total pool of stock, which has virtually no effect on the stock price. It is maybe a penny a share. So while the millions of dollars means alot to the CEO, to the board making the decision it is like deciding to leave the waitress an extra penny. When one party puts greater value on an item than the other, the advantage in negotiation is biased their direction and they are likely to get a better deal than they might be willing to settle for.

Which brings up my final point, there is no reason to flip out over CEO pay- you aren't paying it. For the most part, it isn't taken from the company funds that could otherwise be allocated to other employees, expanding or anything else- which is why it is absurd to compare it to wage worker incomes which do come directly from the bottom line. It doesn't come out of revenue, so the consumers aren't paying for it. So who pays? Well whoever in the future decides they want to buy stock in the company and the current owners of stock in the company (through a lower percentage of ownership). Until someone physically purchases that stock, the CEO doesn't have the money, only potential money in what people might be willing to pay him/her for the stock. The people making the decision are the ones who are paying by giving away their ownership in the corporation. Maybe it is a foolish purchase, but these are the same people who buy $100 million mansions which are often foolish purchases in my opinion. 

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


iwbiek
atheistSuperfan
iwbiek's picture
Posts: 4246
Joined: 2008-03-23
User is offlineOffline
yes, of course marx used

yes, of course marx used "dictatorship of the proletariat," but not nearly as often as most people think. engels seems to have seized on the phrase more often after marx's death and, of course, lenin loved it.


marx was a meticulous chronicler of 19th century capitalist europe but was notoriously vague on how a post-revolution society would look. the most common and, imo, still the best answer on what marx meant by "dictatorship of the proletariat" was that it was supposed to be the earliest phase of socialism, when the proletariat seized the organs of repression from the bourgeois democratic state and used them to effect the transfer of the means of production into their hands. as socialism grew into communism, the dictatorship of the proletariat would fade away, along with the organs of the state in general. this model, of course, owes much more to hegelian dialectics than economic theory.

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


iwbiek
atheistSuperfan
iwbiek's picture
Posts: 4246
Joined: 2008-03-23
User is offlineOffline
anyway, i'm not arguing if

anyway, i'm not arguing if marx was right or wrong. i'm arguing that brian is strawmanning marx, like he does everyone else, and that he's shooting his mouth off without putting any effort into doing his homework, as usual.


and if i didn't trumpet it to the heavens that brian is misquoting and misrepresenting marx, he would continue to do so, even if he found out the mistake himself, because he's a dishonest coward.


well, it doesn't matter anyway i guess, because he will continue to do so regardless, and just hope not many people read my posts. he probably won't read them himself. he certainly won't have the guts to respond to them, even if he does.

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


Brian37
atheistSuperfan
Brian37's picture
Posts: 15900
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
iwbiek wrote:Brian37

iwbiek wrote:
Brian37 wrote:
Marx still lead to Stalin
MARX ALSO LED TO THE MODERN EUROPEAN SOCIAL STATE, YOU FUCKING TWAT!!!
MARX HAD NO LESS TO DO WITH THAT THAN WITH STALIN!

SO THE FUCK WHAT, and again, still missing my point that ANYTHING left without checks and balances can be abused.

You do not simply have a revolution to have one. Stalin still dangled that populist idea and used it to create his own form of abuse. Much like assholes like the Koch brothers and WalMart dangle "free market" to gullible assholes to maintain a "free for all" market.

Nothing is all are nothing or black or white or either or.

ANYTHING ANYTHING ANYTHING public or private can be gamed and monpolized.

America does have socialists ideas. Tax itself is a social idea. It pays for our military, our cops and firemen, and our SOCIAL SECURITY. Our species is SOCIAL, that is why we form governments, to have some order.

I was disscussing with Bob what your next move would be and as predicted you brought up Europe as an example. What is really funny is that you equated Hitchens to a Maoist which his utterly hypocritical considering he bashed Kimg Jong Ill as being a dictator. Explain to me how someone can bash a dictator and support oppression at the same time if that is what you want to accuse him or me of?

Now, I really don't care about fucking word games, you can call your idea socialism or Frank or peanut butter for that matter. What matters most is that the economy doesn't get out of whack to where one class or one party or business or one religion itself gets too big and to powerful.

The First Amendment is an anti trust law, which is a form of socialism, it is an attempt to level the playing field to insure that no one aspect of society gains a monopoly. My only problem with it is I would have written in language to include the private sector as well.

Cherry picking Marx is the same as cherry picking the bible. Marx FAILED like most humans do in taking into account that there are always going to be other humans that can take your ideas and game them.

I am not against your good intent. I am against your dreamworld utopia thought as if life is static. Europe gets alot of things right, but no human, not you, not me not Jefferson, not Hitchens, or Marx, is ever right about everything 100% of the time.

 

 

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37


iwbiek
atheistSuperfan
iwbiek's picture
Posts: 4246
Joined: 2008-03-23
User is offlineOffline
Brian37 wrote:iwbiek

Brian37 wrote:

iwbiek wrote:
Brian37 wrote:
Marx still lead to Stalin
MARX ALSO LED TO THE MODERN EUROPEAN SOCIAL STATE, YOU FUCKING TWAT!!!
MARX HAD NO LESS TO DO WITH THAT THAN WITH STALIN!

SO THE FUCK WHAT, and again, still missing my point that ANYTHING left without checks and balances can be abused.

You do not simply have a revolution to have one. Stalin still dangled that populist idea and used it to create his own form of abuse. Much like assholes like the Koch brothers and WalMart dangle "free market" to gullible assholes to maintain a "free for all" market.

Nothing is all are nothing or black or white or either or.

ANYTHING ANYTHING ANYTHING public or private can be gamed and monpolized.

America does have socialists ideas. Tax itself is a social idea. It pays for our military, our cops and firemen, and our SOCIAL SECURITY. Our species is SOCIAL, that is why we form governments, to have some order.

I was disscussing with Bob what your next move would be and as predicted you brought up Europe as an example. What is really funny is that you equated Hitchens to a Maoist which his utterly hypocritical considering he bashed Kimg Jong Ill as being a dictator. Explain to me how someone can bash a dictator and support oppression at the same time if that is what you want to accuse him or me of?

Now, I really don't care about fucking word games, you can call your idea socialism or Frank or peanut butter for that matter. What matters most is that the economy doesn't get out of whack to where one class or one party or business or one religion itself gets too big and to powerful.

The First Amendment is an anti trust law, which is a form of socialism, it is an attempt to level the playing field to insure that no one aspect of society gains a monopoly. My only problem with it is I would have written in language to include the private sector as well.

Cherry picking Marx is the same as cherry picking the bible. Marx FAILED like most humans do in taking into account that there are always going to be other humans that can take your ideas and game them.

I am not against your good intent. I am against your dreamworld utopia thought as if life is static. Europe gets alot of things right, but no human, not you, not me not Jefferson, not Hitchens, or Marx, is ever right about everything 100% of the time.

 

 

 




"my next move"? seriously, you're discussing with bob "my next move"? do you hear yourself? you two are pathetic.


anyhow, i'll take that as a no. you're not going to man up and admit you were wrong about marx. why, brian? why can't you just say "my bad"? i've done it several times around here.


brian, you know damn well i'm not accusing you of supporting dictatorships, and i'm not accusing hitchens of anything (you bring up hitchens waaaay more than i ever do), so stop with that shit already. you're just dodging, like always. i'm asking you, quite simply, are you going to grow a pair and admit you were wrong about something, for the first time ever? if no, at least be man enough to give me a simple "no."

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


iwbiek
atheistSuperfan
iwbiek's picture
Posts: 4246
Joined: 2008-03-23
User is offlineOffline
Brian37 wrote:iwbiek

Brian37 wrote:

iwbiek wrote:
Brian37 wrote:
Marx still lead to Stalin
MARX ALSO LED TO THE MODERN EUROPEAN SOCIAL STATE, YOU FUCKING TWAT!!!
MARX HAD NO LESS TO DO WITH THAT THAN WITH STALIN!

SO THE FUCK WHAT, and again, still missing my point that ANYTHING left without checks and balances can be abused.

You do not simply have a revolution to have one. Stalin still dangled that populist idea and used it to create his own form of abuse. Much like assholes like the Koch brothers and WalMart dangle "free market" to gullible assholes to maintain a "free for all" market.

Nothing is all are nothing or black or white or either or.

ANYTHING ANYTHING ANYTHING public or private can be gamed and monpolized.

America does have socialists ideas. Tax itself is a social idea. It pays for our military, our cops and firemen, and our SOCIAL SECURITY. Our species is SOCIAL, that is why we form governments, to have some order.

I was disscussing with Bob what your next move would be and as predicted you brought up Europe as an example. What is really funny is that you equated Hitchens to a Maoist which his utterly hypocritical considering he bashed Kimg Jong Ill as being a dictator. Explain to me how someone can bash a dictator and support oppression at the same time if that is what you want to accuse him or me of?

Now, I really don't care about fucking word games, you can call your idea socialism or Frank or peanut butter for that matter. What matters most is that the economy doesn't get out of whack to where one class or one party or business or one religion itself gets too big and to powerful.

The First Amendment is an anti trust law, which is a form of socialism, it is an attempt to level the playing field to insure that no one aspect of society gains a monopoly. My only problem with it is I would have written in language to include the private sector as well.

Cherry picking Marx is the same as cherry picking the bible. Marx FAILED like most humans do in taking into account that there are always going to be other humans that can take your ideas and game them.

I am not against your good intent. I am against your dreamworld utopia thought as if life is static. Europe gets alot of things right, but no human, not you, not me not Jefferson, not Hitchens, or Marx, is ever right about everything 100% of the time.

 

 

 




by the way, when did i call hitchens a maoist? when, you dumbass? was i blacked out or something? QUOTE ME. i know hitchens was a trotskyist at one point, but i never mentioned it and i really don't give a shit about it.


so, third question, brian: are you going to ADMIT YOU WERE WRONG about me calling hitchens a maoist? my guess is no.


now, go and discuss with bob how many times i'm going to call you stupid. or better yet, that motherfucker can come here himself and i'll discuss "my next move" with him in person. i'll wear a darth vader mask too. fuckin' cunts...

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


Vastet
atheistBloggerSuperfan
Vastet's picture
Posts: 13210
Joined: 2006-12-25
User is offlineOffline
ROFL reading brians constant

ROFL reading brians constant idiocy is truly painful, but at least the return fire is entertaining.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


Beyond Saving
atheist
Beyond Saving's picture
Posts: 5484
Joined: 2007-10-12
User is offlineOffline
Teralek wrote:Iwbiek,Do you

Teralek wrote:

Iwbiek,

Do you think there is a campaign to missinform people about Marx? I mean, Brian is far from being the only one thinking like this about Marx. Furthermore as you point out, Marx is missquoted on wikipedia.

Who do you think is behind this missinformation and what's the objective? Do you think this is still a remnant of the cold war, like others, who stubbornly don't go away?

I don't think it is any organized campaign. I think it is just lazy political rhetoric and the reality that understand Marx or any other economic philosophy require time and effort. I find an equal amount of ignorance about Keynes, Hayek, Smith and Friedman, both from their detractors and supposed supporters. 

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


Vastet
atheistBloggerSuperfan
Vastet's picture
Posts: 13210
Joined: 2006-12-25
User is offlineOffline
Personally I don't see any

Personally I don't see any sign of such a campaign. There USED to be one during the cold war, but it was part and parcel of anti-communist propaganda at the time, and based entirely on the USSR's take on what Marx said, as opposed to what he actually said.
I'm sure that, like everything else in that movement, there are some leftovers who continue unabated, but there's no command structure or vision the way there was when it was funded by western governments. Mostly it would be being perpetuated by weak minded fools who believe everything the government tells them, and never do their own research. If there's any actual authority doing such, they are being brilliant at keeping it quiet.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


EXC
atheist
EXC's picture
Posts: 3995
Joined: 2008-01-17
User is offlineOffline
Brian37 wrote: What you do

Brian37 wrote:
What you do is ban all monopolies of power and keep checks and balances on all aspects of society both public and private.

Hardly sounds consistent with your gun control position. Only the government has monopoly power to use deadly force?

So the people doing the banning must have a 'monopoly of power' in order to ban all other 'monopolies of power'.

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


EXC
atheist
EXC's picture
Posts: 3995
Joined: 2008-01-17
User is offlineOffline
Teralek wrote:Do you think

Teralek wrote:

Do you think there is a campaign to missinform people about Marx?

Is there any evidence that Marx was a deep thinker? He seems to just blame all the ills of the world on capitalism and the upper classes.

Does he ever address the deeper issue of what causes greed or why society is competive rather than cooperative? He seems to view capitalism and wealth disparity as a root cause of evil rather than a symptom of a deeper problem within human nature. I don't like how he dismissed and misreprented Malthus.

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


iwbiek
atheistSuperfan
iwbiek's picture
Posts: 4246
Joined: 2008-03-23
User is offlineOffline
EXC wrote:Teralek wrote:Do

EXC wrote:

Teralek wrote:

Do you think there is a campaign to missinform people about Marx?

Is there any evidence that Marx was a deep thinker? He seems to just blame all the ills of the world on capitalism and the upper classes.

Does he ever address the deeper issue of what causes greed or why society is competive rather than cooperative? He seems to view capitalism and wealth disparity as a root cause of evil rather than a symptom of a deeper problem within human nature. I don't like how he dismissed and misreprented Malthus.




maybe you should try reading him and find out. you certainly show no evidence of having read him here. he didn't believe in ridiculous notions like "evil," he didn't see capitalism as basically bad, and he didn't give two shits about "wealth disparity," just like he never said anything about "wealth redistribution."

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


EXC
atheist
EXC's picture
Posts: 3995
Joined: 2008-01-17
User is offlineOffline
iwbiek wrote: maybe you

iwbiek wrote:

maybe you should try reading him and find out. you certainly show no evidence of having read him here. he didn't believe in ridiculous notions like "evil," he didn't see capitalism as basically bad, and he didn't give two shits about "wealth disparity," just like he never said anything about "wealth redistribution."

I have read some of his writing and writings about his writings. I actually agree with much of his analysis. Workers are exploited by the capitialist. Capitalist employers do use surplus labor to make their profit at the workers expense. It is a terrible system where employers and landlords can get wealthier by taking advantage of the struggling workers. Workers should have access to the means of production which why I against private land ownership. I agree with all that.

So the question then is why are workers willing to work so many surplus labor hours to make their employers get even richer while they struggle to survive? Why the race to the bottom? Marx seems to suggest that Capitalists have some special hidden power to make an excess number people desperate for work at any wage. I never really could understand this part, maybe you can explain. The obvious cause of surplus labor and surplus workers is too many people fucking without birth control. So there is a never ending stream of desperate people that employers can exploit. Doesn't matter if the employer is private of public, they can exploit so they do exploit.

The problem that Marx and his follower have is blaming the capitalists for the problem instead of just saying they exploit the problem. A kind of 'shooting the messenger' phenomena.

If I start a business, I of course will maximize my profits by paying as low a wage as I can get away with. But how am I creating or perpetuating the problem of a lot of desperate people looking for a paycheck? Why are the Koch brothers responsible for the competitve job market but not the Duggar family?

 

 

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


iwbiek
atheistSuperfan
iwbiek's picture
Posts: 4246
Joined: 2008-03-23
User is offlineOffline
iwbiek wrote: 1. WILL YOU

iwbiek wrote:

1. WILL YOU ADMIT, UNQUALIFIEDLY, THAT YOU WERE WRONG ABOUT MARX CALLING CAPITALISM THE "DICTATORSHIP OF THE BOURGEOISIE" AND MISTAKING CAPITALISM FOR A FORM OF GOVERNMENT?


2. WILL YOU ACKNOWLEDGE, UNQUALIFIEDLY, THAT MARX HAD NO LESS OF A HAND IN BRINGING ABOUT THE MODERN SOCIAL STATE THAN HE DID IN BRINGING ABOUT THE STALINIST SOCIETY?


third question, brian: are you going to ADMIT YOU WERE WRONG about me calling hitchens a maoist? my guess is no.





brian, you unbelievable coward...

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


iwbiek
atheistSuperfan
iwbiek's picture
Posts: 4246
Joined: 2008-03-23
User is offlineOffline
iwbiek wrote: 1. WILL YOU

iwbiek wrote:

1. WILL YOU ADMIT, UNQUALIFIEDLY, THAT YOU WERE WRONG ABOUT MARX CALLING CAPITALISM THE "DICTATORSHIP OF THE BOURGEOISIE" AND MISTAKING CAPITALISM FOR A FORM OF GOVERNMENT?


2. WILL YOU ACKNOWLEDGE, UNQUALIFIEDLY, THAT MARX HAD NO LESS OF A HAND IN BRINGING ABOUT THE MODERN SOCIAL STATE THAN HE DID IN BRINGING ABOUT THE STALINIST SOCIETY?


third question, brian: are you going to ADMIT YOU WERE WRONG about me calling hitchens a maoist? my guess is no.





BRIAN, YOU'RE A FUCKING COWARD.

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


Atheistextremist
atheist
Atheistextremist's picture
Posts: 5134
Joined: 2009-09-17
User is offlineOffline
Wow, what a thread

 

Momentarily returning to the OP, as a small business owner in the real world I reckon Beyond is close-ish to the mark with some of his observations. Depending on the sort of year we have it's middle management wages with more grief. We've had good years and we've had outstandingly successful projects resulting in horror tax bills through lack of planning. One thing I can see is that most our business' income flows through our accounts on its way somewhere else - to contractors, staff, suppliers of different stripes, taxes, insurance, utilities and all the rest.

A business is an engine for moving money through an economy, or so it seems to me, and there needs to be sufficient motivation for folks to build these wealth gathering and sharing constructs. No doubt some key people earn obscene wages but that may be a price worth paying. 

I think there is inequality but where the responsibility for/answer to this lies I'm not certain. In Oz there's been a hollowing out of the economy - I think manufacturing might be about 6-7 per cent of economy, which is a lot of missing skillsets, most of which have gone OS, leaving breadwinners doing something, I don't know what, else. 

A while ago came the news Australia's richest 7 people earn more than 1.73 million average households. I assume they pay very little tax through thoughtful capital investment and other accounting devices, but the wages and contract payments these organisations pay are a vital part of the real economy, no question of that. There's an issue with offshore companies paying no tax on earnings in Australia - I assume this is a global problem. 

Subjectively, I'm happy to have enough so I don't have to worry about normal bills and growing up poor means I'm happy with a houseful of hand-me-down furniture. Further, I think becoming a father has made me much happier than having my own business, which was fulfilling for a time but then became a bit meaningless as I got older. 

Apparently rich people are miserable. I read that on the Internet. 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck