US Government Shutdown

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Silvanus:

This is absolute bollocks.

To be a successful, maintainable business, you need a thousand more factors to be in your favour than that: geography, stability, and a huge chunk of capital-- quite outside what a lot of people are able to gather. You also need the ability to devote a large amount of time (far beyond what is needed to post on forums), to the point that many start-up business-owners feel the need to quit their old job... which then increases the capital required yet again. Depending on the type of business, you may also require land or a building, which are also prohibitively expensive. Then you need demand, market research, planning permission, training (often years' worth, depending on the field), legal permits. You need the money required to pay wages until the profits pay for them, which yet again increase the required capital, sometimes to ruinous levels.

And, if you want to start a business in a city, then you can increase every single one of the above factors twofold (and increase the required capital about fivefold). Keep in mind, if you don't want to start a business in a city, but you already live in one... then you'll need to relocate, or commute long-distance, thereby again increasing the time and money required.

This idea that starting a business is easy, and anybody can do it, is so distant from reality that I find it incredible people still buy into it. It puts me in mind of those who travelled into the West in the Pioneers' time, convinced that the American Dream awaited them, only to end up in a subsistence lifestyle, dreaming-- sometimes for decades-- of eventually building something.

It's a nonsensical myth. Even most of the mainstream right-wing have abandoned it.

Also, note ~25% of new businesses go bust within a year, and over 50% within five years. That's a lot of risk to take on for anyone without a very substantial financial cushion. Although there's limited liability, in practice the average professional would need to sink anything from most or all of their savings into starting up.

Mind you, that also to some extent emphasises the societal value of rich capitalists to do the investing and assume much of the risk.

One of the other interesting things is despite its championing of entrepreneurship, the rate of new business formation in the USA is lower than in most of Western Europe. The American dream is in many ways a lot less real than imagined.

tstorm823:

Literally hundreds of thousands of people start businesses every year, about half of those succeed past 5 years. About half of all employment in the country comes through small businesses, and more than half of new employment opportunities are created by small businesses. I don't need to argue in theory on why all the things you list won't stop people, because there are entrepreneurs from every walk of live succeeding right now.

Uhrm, yes, none of this contradicts what I said. Hundreds of thousands start a business... out of how many untold millions who would start one, if just anybody could do it? The who manage are the people who are able to fulfil those criteria I outlined, at least for a short while... And by your own admission, many thousands of those fail.

In fact, the number of businesses which close in a given year is far more than half the number of yearly start-ups (it's also often over 500,000; it can even exceed the number of yearly start-ups). And a large proportion of those which close are those which recently started, after the business proved impossible to sustain.

Also, according to Forbes, even the majority of those who succeed are non-employers.

tstorm823:
And also just make a plan and get a loan, I solved almost everything you're worried about.

"Make a plan". Oh, okay! Easy-peasy.

Hey, the same solution applies to becoming a millionaire! Just make a plan! Why didn't I think of that?

Silvanus:

Uhrm, yes, none of this contradicts what I said. Hundreds of thousands start a business... out of how many untold millions who would start one, if just anybody could do it? The who manage are the people who are able to fulfil those criteria I outlined, at least for a short while... And by your own admission, many thousands of those fail.

In fact, the number of businesses which close in a given year is far more than half the number of yearly start-ups (it's also often over 500,000; it can even exceed the number of yearly start-ups). And a large proportion of those which close are those which recently started, after the business proved impossible to sustain.

Also, according to Forbes, even the majority of those who succeed are non-employers.

Hey, the same solution applies to becoming a millionaire! Just make a plan! Why didn't I think of that?

Because it doesn't apply to being a millionaire, because being an employer isn't some pipe dream of the easy life where you sit back and let people do the work for you. You say untold millions would start businesses if anyone could do it, and I'm saying anyone can do it, and untold millions don't want to. This is my counterpoint to the person who thinks employment is exploitation and ownership is reserved to the lucky few. The vast majority of people would rather live comfortably employed by someone else than take on the burden of creating their own enterprise. It isn't that people can't be in charge, it's that they don't want to be. Most people don't want to be a boss, including that majority of non-employers you point to. It's not a position with wide appeal, people don't want the stress of managing others. So pointing at employers like they're fat cats sucking off the labor of their employees while saying he's just not lucky enough to start a business (but even if he was, he's not immoral enough to do it) is such trash.

tstorm823:

Because it doesn't apply to being a millionaire, because being an employer isn't some pipe dream of the easy life where you sit back and let people do the work for you. You say untold millions would start businesses if anyone could do it, and I'm saying anyone can do it, and untold millions don't want to.

Right.

Let's see. So, let's be charitable and say that only half of all start-ups close their doors within 5 years. That's pretty immense risk; if you've put your savings into it, as many people do, you'll have lost them. If you've taken a loan to finance it, you'll be in debt, potentially for over a decade. You'll also have lost all the pension contributions and potential for promotion elsewhere that those 5 years could have given you, as well as any years spent training.

Do you genuinely believe that that tangible, demonstrable, 50-percent-plus risk simply doesn't put anybody off? That entrepreneurship, for some reason, transcends the fundamentals of human behaviour?

tstorm823:

This is my counterpoint to the person who thinks employment is exploitation and ownership is reserved to the lucky few. The vast majority of people would rather live comfortably employed by someone else than take on the burden of creating their own enterprise. It isn't that people can't be in charge, it's that they don't want to be. Most people don't want to be a boss, including that majority of non-employers you point to. It's not a position with wide appeal, people don't want the stress of managing others. So pointing at employers like they're fat cats sucking off the labor of their employees while saying he's just not lucky enough to start a business (but even if he was, he's not immoral enough to do it) is such trash.

So you believe stress puts people off management and ownership (even though, as I've pointed out above, the majority of start-ups are non-employers, showing the whole argument to be a waste of time).

Do you believe that management is fundamentally more difficult than other roles? This relies on such a simplistic view of the work ladder, I find it difficult to credit at all.

Silvanus:

So you believe stress puts people off management and ownership (even though, as I've pointed out above, the majority of start-ups are non-employers, showing the whole argument to be a waste of time).

Do you believe that management is fundamentally more difficult than other roles? This relies on such a simplistic view of the work ladder, I find it difficult to credit at all.

Yes, people are put off management. Ask people if they want to be their own boss, the majority say yes. Ask people if they want to be a boss, and they say no. This applies just as much to people who own a business as people working within a large corporations. Management isn't an attractive job, people don't want to do it.

The majority of start-ups being non-employers doesn't undermine the point I'm trying to make, it helps illustrate it. People don't want to be employers.

And I don't think anyone who starts their own business is suffering from lack of employable experience. Having "I owned and operated a business for 5 years" on your CV is better than "I hucked boxes in a warehouse".

tstorm823:
*snip*

God fucking dammit, I had another wall of text going point by point, pointing out the thousands are without dignity right no on food stamps because their amoral (as in has no morals) corporation is run by rich assholes who ARE exploiting them by not paying them enough to live.

How your government is so bought and paid for that they will gladly spend trillions on tax breaks to people who have more wealth than is imaginable, or on pointless offensive wars, but the second the american people demand something for themselves they are told there is no money for it. A government too corrupt and bought to Trust-Bust those giant monopolies that you agree are screwing people horrendously.

How you keep saying that because things work for some people, the system is fine, ignoring the tens of thousands who need to go on food stamp programs or to their local food charity to not starve because their wal-mart minimum wage does not pay them enough to live with the dignity to pay their own way. The tens of thousands who literally die because they can't afford health care.

How you keep pointing that because some companies like Nintendo have shareholders who actually DO give a long-term shit about the company, you ignore so many other huge ones have shareholders who treat investment like a get-richer-quick scheme, and that the suffering caused by that is plain to see.

But the page crashed and I lost the last terribly misguided hour of my life arguing with someone who doesn't see this wide-scale suffering as a problem caused by the extremely wealthy and powerful who are out for their own benefit, abusing a system that is easy to abuse for extreme greed and power.

And I am tired. I'm emotionally drained from a rough past few weeks in a fruitless job search that keeps looking up but then leading nowhere, plus grandpa having cancer treatments, etc etc, and hell no I'm not redoing that entire thing.

So I'll close off with this.

Take a good long look at why Trump won. It's not because most of america is racist. It's not because everyone wants a meaningless border wall. It's because your country is suffering severely at the hands of the rich and the powerful and are desperate for change. It's because he conned people into thinking that he was going to "drain the corruption" that was hurting them and his opponent kept telling the people that "Everything is fine!" when they know it's not. It's because record numbers of the population didn't vote because they feel their government is completely corrupt and salvageable.

From where I'm sitting in a somewhat stable country, where most people aren't one 500 buck emergency away from falling into debt, looking at your country and thinking that you guys are two, maybe even one financial crash away from full blown food riots in the streets.

So go ahead, keep thinking that a few tweaks around the edges will fix things. Go ahead and keep thinking that the representatives of the people being corrupted by large donors who visibly keep extracting wealth and stashing it in tax haven nations isn't the problem.

Your own country disagrees with you. It wants radical change. It needs radical change. That's why things are getting so aggressive these days. It's why Trump won. It's also why Bernie Sanders is so insanely popular despite endless smears of "SOCIALIST! HE WANTS US TO BE VENEZUELA!". It's why even fox news polls show that most of the country is on board with taxing the rich more heavily.

If the extremely rich and large corporations buying your politicians and refusing to give them what they need, as many of them exploit their workers with a minimum wage that can't give them what they need to survive isn't the problem, what the hell IS?

Meanwhile, I'm going to be over here, supremely relieved that my country is one where my grandfather does not have to worry about going broke trying not to die from cancer, because we value lives over theoretically maybe moving to a better system that still cares about giving greedy middlemen a profit.

aegix drakan:

Take a good long look at why Trump won. It's because your country is suffering severely at the hands of the rich and the powerful and are desperate for change. It's because he conned people into thinking that he was going to "drain the corruption" that was hurting them and his opponent kept telling the people that "Everything is fine!" when they know it's not. It's because record numbers of the population didn't vote because they feel their government is completely corrupt and salvageable.

It seems it was because he said he was going to lower their taxes too or something. Either way, those ones aren't happy with Trump's government anymore...


tl;dr: lowering the taxes for the rich means money has to come from someone else down the ladder. Lowering the taxes for corporations means money has to come from the employees.

aegix drakan:

So I'll close off with this.

Take a good long look at why Trump won. It's not because most of america is racist. It's not because everyone wants a meaningless border wall. It's because your country is suffering severely at the hands of the rich and the powerful and are desperate for change. It's because he conned people into thinking that he was going to "drain the corruption" that was hurting them and his opponent kept telling the people that "Everything is fine!" when they know it's not. It's because record numbers of the population didn't vote because they feel their government is completely corrupt and salvageable.

From where I'm sitting in a somewhat stable country, where most people aren't one 500 buck emergency away from falling into debt, looking at your country and thinking that you guys are two, maybe even one financial crash away from full blown food riots in the streets.

So go ahead, keep thinking that a few tweaks around the edges will fix things. Go ahead and keep thinking that the representatives of the people being corrupted by large donors who visibly keep extracting wealth and stashing it in tax haven nations isn't the problem.

Your own country disagrees with you. It wants radical change. It needs radical change. That's why things are getting so aggressive these days. It's why Trump won. It's also why Bernie Sanders is so insanely popular despite endless smears of "SOCIALIST! HE WANTS US TO BE VENEZUELA!". It's why even fox news polls show that most of the country is on board with taxing the rich more heavily.

If the extremely rich and large corporations buying your politicians and refusing to give them what they need, as many of them exploit their workers with a minimum wage that can't give them what they need to survive isn't the problem, what the hell IS?

Meanwhile, I'm going to be over here, supremely relieved that my country is one where my grandfather does not have to worry about going broke trying not to die from cancer, because we value lives over theoretically maybe moving to a better system that still cares about giving greedy middlemen a profit.

Honestly, I think I can respect* people who voted for Trump cause they are racist more than I could someone who was THAT stupid to think the living parody of evil businessmen was somehow going to stop evil corporations.

*I don't actually have any respect for racists though.

Saelune:
Honestly, I think I can respect* people who voted for Trump cause they are racist more than I could someone who was THAT stupid to think the living parody of evil businessmen was somehow going to stop evil corporations.

*I don't actually have any respect for racists though.

Fair enough, although I do have to point out that if you're dying of thirst and an obvious snake oil salesman is selling you "I can't believe it's not water", you're going to be more likely to believe him.

Case in point, the many people latching onto faith healing scams to cure their cancer, or thinking that eating ginger will cure your Alzheimers, or any number of stupid things. Desperation makes you stupid.

aegix drakan:

Saelune:
Honestly, I think I can respect* people who voted for Trump cause they are racist more than I could someone who was THAT stupid to think the living parody of evil businessmen was somehow going to stop evil corporations.

*I don't actually have any respect for racists though.

Fair enough, although I do have to point out that if you're dying of thirst and an obvious snake oil salesman is selling you "I can't believe it's not water", you're going to be more likely to believe him.

Case in point, the many people latching onto faith healing scams to cure their cancer, or thinking that eating ginger will cure your Alzheimers, or any number of stupid things. Desperation makes you stupid.

I have just come to accept that a majority of humans are just THAT stupid and terrible. What with these people, anti-vaxers, Brexiters, and all the other popular garbage that exists, seriously I don't have faith in humanity as a whole, I just fucking don't.

aegix drakan:

How your government is so bought and paid for that they will gladly spend trillions on tax breaks to people who have more wealth than is imaginable, or on pointless offensive wars, but the second the american people demand something for themselves they are told there is no money for it ignoring the tens of thousands who need to go on food stamp programs or to their local food charity to not starve because their wal-mart minimum wage does not pay them enough to live with the dignity to pay their own way. The tens of thousands who literally die because they can't afford health care.

Yes, I believe all of this is a negligent, gross caricature of reality. To give trillions in tax breaks, they'd have to drop the tax rate from 100% to 0%. The tax breaks weren't on the people with more wealth than you imagine, they were breaks for the corporations, most of which went to growth, wage increases, and stock buybacks (which for some reason everyone admonishes even though it's literally becoming less beholden to the wealthy investors you also admonish while freeing investment capitol to be passed to new companies that need it more). You think that when people demand something, they're told their is no money, but we spend it anyway. The United States is perfectly average as far as social spending per person by the government, and then you add in the private social spending and find America is one of the most generous places in the world to live, even in relative terms. They say there's no such thing as a free lunch, but it's really easy for someone who needs it to get a free lunch. The charity that goes into healthcare in the US is put up as evidence that the system is failing people, but really it's evidence that people aren't being left to suffer. And anyone claiming literally tens of thousands are dying cause they can't pay for healthcare is misled at the very least. America's social safety net is outrageously enormous, and a lot of it being voluntary is, in my opinion, a great thing.

It's because he conned people into thinking that he was going to "drain the corruption" that was hurting them and his opponent kept telling the people that "Everything is fine!" when they know it's not.

There's a perpetual investigation going on in the executive branch that's indicting any corrupt person involved in Trump's administration. There are career politicians resigning cause they've had enough. There is a freshman class of young people moving into Washington. What do you expect draining the swamp to look like if not this?

From where I'm sitting in a somewhat stable country, where most people aren't one 500 buck emergency away from falling into debt.

Debt is a painful burden, but it's also a first-world problem. Falling into debt is the privilege of people living in society so well off that they can say "yeah, pay me later, I'm sure you're good for it." If you look up a graph of where different wealth brackets are in the world, America has a huge percentage of the very top and the very bottom, because if you're actually living in abject poverty, you don't get the offer to go $1 million dollars in debt. People's lack of savings is pointed at as "people live paycheck to paycheck and barely get by", but nearly 100% of this country is living with luxuries they don't actually need, and there are studies showing that people could usually painlessly save more for the future. But most of the people spending all their paycheck do so with the confidence that a $500 emergency can't put them in a debtors' prison.

Meanwhile, I'm going to be over here, supremely relieved that my country is one where my grandfather does not have to worry about going broke trying not to die from cancer, because we value lives over theoretically maybe moving to a better system that still cares about giving greedy middlemen a profit.

I'm am making some assumptions here, but your grandfather in America would probably be old enough for Medicare. And if not, and you're going broke, he'd qualify for Medicaid. 40% of the US's "higher than everyone else" spending on healthcare comes from the government in just those 2 programs, because as a country, we decided to make sure the poor and the elderly have healthcare, and his chances of surviving cancer are higher here than just about anywhere else in the world. We didn't decide to apply that to literally everyone, but when everything is considered, the US government dedicates as much resources to healthcare as many nations that have "socialized" medicine. I quote that because there are tiered systems and limited systems that make my statement true, I don't want to imply we compete with places that have absolute universal healthcare. But your vision of America as a wild-west darwinian nightmare ruled over by rich elites is just imagination. People elected Trump because they don't want Hillary Clinton, and he's almost as far from Hillary Clinton as it gets.

tstorm823:

Yes, people are put off management. Ask people if they want to be their own boss, the majority say yes. Ask people if they want to be a boss, and they say no. This applies just as much to people who own a business as people working within a large corporations. Management isn't an attractive job, people don't want to do it.

Right. So you believe that lots of people are put off by the risk, and concede that 50% fail in very short order... But also simultaneously believe that "anyone" can do it.

Do you see the issue here?

The majority of start-ups being non-employers doesn't undermine the point I'm trying to make, it helps illustrate it. People don't want to be employers.

Your first post on this tangent specifically said that Seanchaidh had everything he needed to be an employer. To back that up, you brought up the numbers for start-up businesses... most of which aren't employers.

I think you're forgetting your own argument.

Silvanus:

tstorm823:

Yes, people are put off management. Ask people if they want to be their own boss, the majority say yes. Ask people if they want to be a boss, and they say no. This applies just as much to people who own a business as people working within a large corporations. Management isn't an attractive job, people don't want to do it.

Right. So you believe that lots of people are put off by the risk, and concede that 50% fail in very short order... But also simultaneously believe that "anyone" can do it.

Do you see the issue here?

The majority of start-ups being non-employers doesn't undermine the point I'm trying to make, it helps illustrate it. People don't want to be employers.

Your first post on this tangent specifically said that Seanchaidh had everything he needed to be an employer. To back that up, you brought up the numbers for start-up businesses... most of which aren't employers.

I think you're forgetting your own argument.

I'm not, I'm just not making the argument you think I'm making. I'm not saying that becoming a successful business owner is easy. I'm not saying he can just do it, I'm not saying everyone can do it, I'm not saying it doesn't take hard work and determination, I'm not saying there's no possibility of failure. I ask why he doesn't just do it not because I think he will, I ask because the answer he won't give is that he doesn't want to because his life is is more comfortable not doing so. I don't know if he is someone's employee, but if he is, I'm betting he prefers that to ownership and isn't being exploited at all.

What I am saying is that anyone could do it. You have to decide to, you have to work hard, you have to take on risk, sure. But there is no magic criteria that you need to have handed to you as a prerequisite. I'm distinctly arguing against this sentence: "The source of profit is exploitation of workers; taking the surplus value that they produce and appropriating it for oneself because you have the necessary ingredients that allow you to be an employer." The necessary ingredients to become an employer, beyond your own determination to be one, are almost non-existent. Sure, you could be wealthy and well-educated an have a head start, fine, but those aren't necessary qualities. If you think someone like a poor, disabled immigrant woman is somehow incapable of starting a prosperous business in America, I question that worldview. There is no privilege required to become an employer.

tstorm823:

I'm not, I'm just not making the argument you think I'm making. I'm not saying that becoming a successful business owner is easy. I'm not saying he can just do it, I'm not saying everyone can do it, I'm not saying it doesn't take hard work and determination, I'm not saying there's no possibility of failure. I ask why he doesn't just do it not because I think he will, I ask because the answer he won't give is that he doesn't want to because his life is is more comfortable not doing so. I don't know if he is someone's employee, but if he is, I'm betting he prefers that to ownership and isn't being exploited at all.

This is pure presumptuousness. You don't know anything about what he does, or why, so passing judgement on his reasons is far beyond your experience or knowledge. Focus on the merits of the argument, because anything else is frankly unduly personal and entirely unmerited.

tstorm823:
What I am saying is that anyone could do it. You have to decide to, you have to work hard, you have to take on risk, sure. But there is no magic criteria that you need to have handed to you as a prerequisite.

A huge chunk of inheritance sure helps. The ability to leave your current job to free up time, or the ability to relocate sure help. The ownership of a building or land sure both help, too.

It's possible without these things, but it gets harder and harder and harder. The risk increases, and the damage of failure increases alongside it, to ruinous levels. That notion-- that anyone could do it-- is a technical truth in the sense that anybody could survive a plane crash.

Silvanus:

This is pure presumptuousness. You don't know anything about what he does, or why, so passing judgement on his reasons is far beyond your experience or knowledge. Focus on the merits of the argument, because anything else is frankly unduly personal and entirely unmerited.

There are no merits to that argument. It's a silly argument that clearly hasn't been thought through. It takes 10 seconds of thought to realize "oh, the money I'm paid is worth more to me than my time and effort" and suddenly you know personally and absolutely that employment isn't exploitation by nature. That's the only way he's ever going to acknowledging the problem with his theory.

A huge chunk of inheritance sure helps. The ability to leave your current job to free up time, or the ability to relocate sure help. The ownership of a building or land sure both help, too.

It's possible without these things, but it gets harder and harder and harder. The risk increases, and the damage of failure increases alongside it, to ruinous levels. That notion-- that anyone could do it-- is a technical truth in the sense that anybody could survive a plane crash.

Those things help less than you think they do. Most people starting businesses have to do so by seeking outside funding, and inter-generational wealth isn't the constant people think it is. I know Trump's "small million dollar loan" is a gross privilege, but there aren't a whole lot of Trumps in the world. Statistically, both the absolutely wealthy and the absolutely poor don't maintain that status more than a couple generations. Economic mobility isn't 100%, but it's way more than 0.

tstorm823:
But your vision of America as a wild-west darwinian nightmare ruled over by rich elites is just imagination.

You're right it's not like that...

YET.

But it's on the way there.

I dunno what to tell you, man, if you don't see the desperation and anger brewing in your country by the poor that's aimed at the rich and elite, you're not paying attention.

Anyway, I think it's clear at this point that we'll never see eye to eye on this and I'm honestly exhausted, so I'm unlikely to check back in here.

I just hope that the political revolution that's starting to kick in (Thank you, Bernie, Justice Democrats, AOC, and others) will fix the situation. Because I don't want to see that desperation and rage grow until you have an event that makes Occupy Wall Street look like a game of patty cake.

I'm am making some assumptions here, but your grandfather in America would probably be old enough for Medicare.

Very fair point, he would be. He's pretty old.

I should have brought up other people I know who are chronically ill and depend on the system, but to be fair, grandpa's recent diagnosis has been really weighing on me and it was the first and most personal example that came to mind.

aegix drakan:

I just hope that the political revolution that's starting to kick in (Thank you, Bernie, Justice Democrats, AOC, and others) will fix the situation. Because I don't want to see that desperation and rage grow until you have an event that makes Occupy Wall Street look like a game of patty cake.

If they stop talking nonsense, maybe they'll do some good. As it stands now, almost every big policy people like Bernie and AOC put forward I feel would be counterproductive. Medicare for All seems unlikely to pull our healthcare costs back down; free college probably doesn't offer many new people college opportunities as the people who need the most help are high school dropouts and paying for tuition is just a handout to the rich enough to already afford college; abolishing ICE is stupid, it's the agency that hunts down international human traffickers, I get they don't like some ICE activity, but abolishing the whole thing suggests to me they aren't thinking past the catchphrase; raising the tax brackets is reasonable, but isn't going to fund anywhere near the money they imply cause 8 figure incomes aren't exactly common; Green New Deal is vague enough to have my support, but if it doesn't involve nuclear power, I'm complaining. Basically, I appreciate their ability to identify problems and think all their solutions are trash.

tstorm823:

aegix drakan:

I just hope that the political revolution that's starting to kick in (Thank you, Bernie, Justice Democrats, AOC, and others) will fix the situation. Because I don't want to see that desperation and rage grow until you have an event that makes Occupy Wall Street look like a game of patty cake.

If they stop talking nonsense, maybe they'll do some good. As it stands now, almost every big policy people like Bernie and AOC put forward I feel would be counterproductive. Medicare for All seems unlikely to pull our healthcare costs back down; free college probably doesn't offer many new people college opportunities as the people who need the most help are high school dropouts and paying for tuition is just a handout to the rich enough to already afford college; abolishing ICE is stupid, it's the agency that hunts down international human traffickers, I get they don't like some ICE activity, but abolishing the whole thing suggests to me they aren't thinking past the catchphrase; raising the tax brackets is reasonable, but isn't going to fund anywhere near the money they imply cause 8 figure incomes aren't exactly common; Green New Deal is vague enough to have my support, but if it doesn't involve nuclear power, I'm complaining. Basically, I appreciate their ability to identify problems and think all their solutions are trash.

1)Single-payer literally pulls costs down everywhere else (the market power of monopsony is a thing), there is no reason to think it wouldn't do the same here unless by deliberate design-- in which case, do it without malfeasance.
2)Stopping the creation of massive student debt and (additionally) paying off all the existing massive student debt helps a lot of people and the rich are welcome to come get their free education at state schools instead of Harvard/Yale/Princeton (and so on).
3)ICE was literally created in 2003. It's not necessary.
4)Who cares how much money it raises? It's about stripping the rich of some of their power. Ideally it'd raise nothing; no one would be making more than ten million in the first place!
5)OK.
6)They're the only people talking about real problems and their solutions are fine, though they fall short of instituting fully automated luxury communism.

tstorm823:

There are no merits to that argument. It's a silly argument that clearly hasn't been thought through. It takes 10 seconds of thought to realize "oh, the money I'm paid is worth more to me than my time and effort" and suddenly you know personally and absolutely that employment isn't exploitation by nature. That's the only way he's ever going to acknowledging the problem with his theory.

Quick question, before I respond: Do you genuinely believe that nobody is underpaid? That everybody is paid what their labour is worth? That is what the above section seems to imply to me.

tstorm823:

Those things help less than you think they do. Most people starting businesses have to do so by seeking outside funding, and inter-generational wealth isn't the constant people think it is. I know Trump's "small million dollar loan" is a gross privilege, but there aren't a whole lot of Trumps in the world. Statistically, both the absolutely wealthy and the absolutely poor don't maintain that status more than a couple generations. Economic mobility isn't 100%, but it's way more than 0.

They seek outside funding, yes-- for which existing assets are often vital, or even requisite. And, if they're in that 50% who fail, that funding transforms into debt. In fact, it'll quite possibly transform into chronic debt even if they don't fail, if they're just making ends meet-- which means we're now talking about the majority of start-ups.

This discussion of individual factors is ultimately tangential, though. What you've written above shows an extraordinarily rose-tinted vision of entrepreneurial capitalism, in which success awaits anybody who tries, and justice somehow mystically rules the market, ensuring everybody's rewarded if they work for it.

This is a notion that even the right-wing or free-marketeering parties have abandoned, so far is it from the common experience. This is a notion that even Adam Smith-- who coined the "invisible hand"-- strenuously warned against. There is a reason that employment is relatively high, yet employment satisfaction is historically low, and wage stagnation is rampant. There is a reason that many thousands of people in the UK require food banks even when they're employed full-time.

It makes one feel better to imagine that economic injustice does not exist, or that it's not a big deal, but it's frankly pig ignorance.

Silvanus:

Quick question, before I respond: Do you genuinely believe that nobody is underpaid? That everybody is paid what their labour is worth? That is what the above section seems to imply to me.

That's not the argument. He thinks that all profitable employment is exploitation. That if you make more money because you hired someone to work for you, that means you stole wealth from your employee. Just pasting the comment again to be perfectly clear: ""The source of profit is exploitation of workers; taking the surplus value that they produce and appropriating it for oneself because you have the necessary ingredients that allow you to be an employer." He's not saying "well, companies are underpaying and that's a bad thing", he's saying if an employer benefits from having an employee, it is fundamentally exploitation. That the compensation for labor is unfair by definition unless the employer gains nothing from the exchange. He thinks the very concept of employment is exploitative.

This discussion of individual factors is ultimately tangential, though. What you've written above shows an extraordinarily rose-tinted vision of entrepreneurial capitalism, in which success awaits anybody who tries, and justice somehow mystically rules the market, ensuring everybody's rewarded if they work for it.

I'm not saying any of that. I'm arguing against the opposite view that people are born into their class, and anyone not lucky enough to "have the necessary ingredients" is trapped in misery forever, enslaved by the capitalist employers.

Seanchaidh:

1)Single-payer literally pulls costs down everywhere else (the market power of monopsony is a thing), there is no reason to think it wouldn't do the same here unless by deliberate design-- in which case, do it without malfeasance.
2)Stopping the creation of massive student debt and (additionally) paying off all the existing massive student debt helps a lot of people and the rich are welcome to come get their free education at state schools instead of Harvard/Yale/Princeton (and so on).
3)ICE was literally created in 2003. It's not necessary.
4)Who cares how much money it raises? It's about stripping the rich of some of their power. Ideally it'd raise nothing; no one would be making more than ten million in the first place!
5)OK.
6)They're the only people talking about real problems and their solutions are fine, though they fall short of instituting fully automated luxury communism.

1) First off, I don't buy that. The US healthcare industry is a crap shoot and more expensive than the rest of the world, but I don't see evidence that other nations saw costs drop by adopting single-payer systems. And not all single-payer systems are the same, if we change nothing except who's writing the check, I suspect we wouldn't get the drop you predict at all.
2) Paying off the massive student debt helps a lot of relatively well off people, and if you offer free crappy school to everyone (you think rich people all go to Ivy League schools and not state schools? Ha! There are way more rich kids than slots at Yale, and a lot of them are C- students) you're just going to actually segregate the population as you pack people without money into overcrowded colleges that the rich will no longer be willing to touch.
3) ICE, like most government agencies, was just taking things other agencies did and consolidating them into one place. If you think it's not necessary because it didn't exist before 2003, you're just arguing for moving those roles to different departments again. That's just the same stupid lip service Republican politicians give about "abolishing the EPA" knowing full well they would keep all the programs anyway.
4) You are an exceptional individual, giving proof to every claim made on the right that it has nothing to do with making people's lives better, you just hate the rich.
5) Stop being a communist.
6) Communism is bad.

tstorm823:

Seanchaidh:

1)Single-payer literally pulls costs down everywhere else (the market power of monopsony is a thing), there is no reason to think it wouldn't do the same here unless by deliberate design-- in which case, do it without malfeasance.
2)Stopping the creation of massive student debt and (additionally) paying off all the existing massive student debt helps a lot of people and the rich are welcome to come get their free education at state schools instead of Harvard/Yale/Princeton (and so on).
3)ICE was literally created in 2003. It's not necessary.
4)Who cares how much money it raises? It's about stripping the rich of some of their power. Ideally it'd raise nothing; no one would be making more than ten million in the first place!
5)OK.
6)They're the only people talking about real problems and their solutions are fine, though they fall short of instituting fully automated luxury communism.

1) First off, I don't buy that. The US healthcare industry is a crap shoot and more expensive than the rest of the world, but I don't see evidence that other nations saw costs drop by adopting single-payer systems. And not all single-payer systems are the same, if we change nothing except who's writing the check, I suspect we wouldn't get the drop you predict at all.
2) Paying off the massive student debt helps a lot of relatively well off people, and if you offer free crappy school to everyone (you think rich people all go to Ivy League schools and not state schools? Ha! There are way more rich kids than slots at Yale, and a lot of them are C- students) you're just going to actually segregate the population as you pack people without money into overcrowded colleges that the rich will no longer be willing to touch.
3) ICE, like most government agencies, was just taking things other agencies did and consolidating them into one place. If you think it's not necessary because it didn't exist before 2003, you're just arguing for moving those roles to different departments again. That's just the same stupid lip service Republican politicians give about "abolishing the EPA" knowing full well they would keep all the programs anyway.
4) You are an exceptional individual, giving proof to every claim made on the right that it has nothing to do with making people's lives better, you just hate the rich.
5) Stop being a communist.
6) Communism is bad.

1)Communism is good, actually
1a)You don't have to buy it; you're entitled to your own wrong judgments of fact. But if you understood basic economics, you'd know why it's true. Know how monopolies tend to raise prices for consumers? Monopsonies (a single buyer) tend to lower prices for the single buyer. It's called market power. Why does it work? Because it changes the question of "who is offering the most" to a different one: "take it or leave it". Companies that can make a profit by taking the deal will take it instead of deciding the price arbitrarily for themselves while a mass of individual buyers bids it up. This is literally just basic economic theory about competitive vs. non-competitive markets. And unlike in the right-wing "see these two curvy lines? That's why the poor must die" case, more advanced economics doesn't change the conclusion.
2)It helps a lot of people who went deeply into debt to get a college education on what in many cases was the false promise that a college education would lead to a better life than that of their parents. It does lead to a better life, relatively, just not compared to previous generations who could do much the same with a high school diploma and (apparently, according to the IQ tests which you seem to give credence) less intelligence.
3)ICE currently functions as the American Allegemeine SS. Abolish it and if there is something it did that is actually necessary, fine, do that with another agency. This, obviously, isn't necessary:

4)Do I hate the people who are running our society into the ground for their own selfish benefit, and who would resort to violence to maintain their hold on outsize power? I mean, I probably should, I guess. Sounds like the correct thing to hate, if anything.
4a)Your argument amounts essentially to an unsupported assertion that wanting to take away the power that rich people have over our society amounts to nothing more than "hatred".
5)

6)Communism is good, actually.

tstorm823:

That's not the argument. He thinks that all profitable employment is exploitation. That if you make more money because you hired someone to work for you, that means you stole wealth from your employee. Just pasting the comment again to be perfectly clear: ""The source of profit is exploitation of workers; taking the surplus value that they produce and appropriating it for oneself because you have the necessary ingredients that allow you to be an employer." He's not saying "well, companies are underpaying and that's a bad thing", he's saying if an employer benefits from having an employee, it is fundamentally exploitation. That the compensation for labor is unfair by definition unless the employer gains nothing from the exchange. He thinks the very concept of employment is exploitative.

You've shifted the goalposts.

You passed judgement on him specifically-- you claimed that his life is more comfortable as an employee. When challenged on the presumptuousness of that, you said that "10 seconds" of thought is all it takes to realise one isn't being exploited.

Obviously, for that to be generally applicable, one would have to believe that no employees are being exploited. Otherwise, those 10 seconds of reflection would lead them to wildly different conclusions, depending on their circumstances. But you spoke generally, and insisted without any existing knowledge that this applies so someone you've never met.

I'm not saying any of that. I'm arguing against the opposite view that people are born into their class, and anyone not lucky enough to "have the necessary ingredients" is trapped in misery forever, enslaved by the capitalist employers.

Nobody has made the opposite argument, that class is always inescapable. You are the only one who has been speaking in absolutes-- that "anyone can do it" by just simply "making a plan", regardless of circumstances.

Silvanus:

You are the only one who has been speaking in absolutes.

Quote's from the person I was addressing from the last 2 pages:

"There is no business out there that actually thinks this way outside of public relations pablum. They will absolutely take everything you have if they can because then they get it."
"Individual businesses will maximize their own profit at everyone else's expense (certainly including the expense of other businesses) unless compelled otherwise by some outside force like a government."
"The source of profit is exploitation of workers; taking the surplus value that they produce and appropriating it for oneself because you have the necessary ingredients that allow you to be an employer."
"Whether or not I or anyone else has the resources at their disposal to start a business-- and whether or not I could do that successfully-- it would be built on exploitation in the theoretical best case scenario."
"I'm interested in tipping the whole structure."
"A company will try to maximize its income, and that includes ruining people's lives-"
"though they fall short of instituting fully automated luxury communism."
"Communism is good, actually."

He's not just been absolute, he's been consistently absolute. He's not saying "capitalism lets people do bad things sometimes", he's saying capitalism is evil and should be destroyed. He's saying he lacks the ability to become an employer, and if he could, he would choose not to own a business and employ people because he considers that exploitation. Read that: that's not "employers sometimes exploit their workers", that's "the best case scenario, starting a business is exploitation." Admittedly, as far as the part about class structures, I'm drawing from previous arguments in different threads where he's expressed fear and loathing of the imaginary capitalist class that's born rich, does no work, and gains continually more control of the economy through only investment profits.

I've passed judgment on him specifically because in the abstract, he's floating in space, a million miles away, and has no intention of coming back to earth. I can't debate reality against science fiction, I need to bring him to the ground.

Seanchaidh:

1a)You don't have to buy it; you're entitled to your own wrong judgments of fact. But if you understood basic economics, you'd know why it's true. Know how monopolies tend to raise prices for consumers? Monopsonies (a single buyer) tend to lower prices for the single buyer. It's called market power. Why does it work? Because it changes the question of "who is offering the most" to a different one: "take it or leave it". Companies that can make a profit by taking the deal will take it instead of deciding the price arbitrarily for themselves while a mass of individual buyers bids it up. This is literally just basic economic theory about competitive vs. non-competitive markets. And unlike in the right-wing "see these two curvy lines? That's why the poor must die" case, more advanced economics doesn't change the conclusion.

That's only going to pull down prices if the single buyer has incentive to pay less. But the perverse incentive that government and insurance have in common is that their measurement of how necessary and successful they are is how much money they spend. The people who are pro-military brag about how much we spend on the military. The people who are pro-education brag about how much we spend on education. The people who are pro-medicare brag about how much we spend on medicare: in both how much we theoretically do for the people on it, and in how high a percentage of the money is spent on care rather than administration. And I don't think the federal government has real incentive to bring down the costs of things. They'd hold up the amount being spent as a badge of honor.

2)It helps a lot of people who went deeply into debt to get a college education on what in many cases was the false promise that a college education would lead to a better life than that of their parents. It does lead to a better life, relatively, just not compared to previous generations who could do much the same with a high school diploma and (apparently, according to the IQ tests which you seem to give credence) less intelligence.

Just to be clear, I don't think IQ tests are some direct measure of intelligence, they're only a measure of the ability to take IQ tests, and that measure happens to correlate with other things. I don't think it's controversial to suggest current generations have more talent and experience with abstract problems than previous generations did.

If you think that college education is a false promise of a better life and people could do better with just a high school diploma in the past, why would you offer more college education? Correct me if I'm wrong, but you seem to be suggesting that college has no real value and is just a competitive advantage in the rat race, so why would you push even harder to waste years of people's lives to gain nothing?

3)ICE currently functions as the American Allegemeine SS. Abolish it and if there is something it did that is actually necessary, fine, do that with another agency. This, obviously, isn't necessary:

Oh my god! They interviewed people! Those bastards. Basically Auschwitz.

5)

6)Communism is good, actually.

That's not what anyone means by competition. When people talk about market competition, they're talking about the incentive businesses have to provide better services at lower prices than other businesses to attract more customers. It's not a moral or philosophical position on the worth of individuals, it's a description of one economic phenomenon.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/democrats-shutdown-proposal-could-make-immigration-detentions-under-trump-even-worse-immigration-advocates-warn

tl;dr: In the debate about border control that threatens continued shutdown, Democrats are trying to bring in the issue of how many people we're detaining in what circumstances, but they want to do so by cutting the number of beds we have for detained individuals and by putting a cap on how many people currently residing in the US ICE is allowed to detain. This article's fear is that by capping the number of people detained internally, most of whom are actual criminals beyond just being undocumented, they're opening up a big hole where ICE can spend more time holding asylum seekers in detention when they should be processed as quickly as possible.

But personally, this is the crap that pisses me off. Nobody cares if ICE is detaining and deporting too many people if they're the right people to detain and deport. This is the golden opportunity to change the rules almost at will, Trump and Republicans basically have to pass anything with even a hint of wall funding at this point, they can write in all sorts of things: they could be regulating the treatment of asylum seekers, they could be limiting the scope of ICE activities for non-criminals, they could be demanding recent restrictions on refugees be lifted, but their big ask is bed limits? Their game plan is "well, the laws as written have ICE detaining all these people, but if we put a numerical limit on the number of people, we can trust them to use proper discretion on which laws to enforce." Like, who the hell is that supposed to please?

Somebody please tell me I'm not crazy. That's just super dumb, right?

tstorm823:
https://www.thedailybeast.com/democrats-shutdown-proposal-could-make-immigration-detentions-under-trump-even-worse-immigration-advocates-warn

tl;dr: In the debate about border control that threatens continued shutdown, Democrats are trying to bring in the issue of how many people we're detaining in what circumstances, but they want to do so by cutting the number of beds we have for detained individuals and by putting a cap on how many people currently residing in the US ICE is allowed to detain. This article's fear is that by capping the number of people detained internally, most of whom are actual criminals beyond just being undocumented, they're opening up a big hole where ICE can spend more time holding asylum seekers in detention when they should be processed as quickly as possible.

But personally, this is the crap that pisses me off. Nobody cares if ICE is detaining and deporting too many people if they're the right people to detain and deport. This is the golden opportunity to change the rules almost at will, Trump and Republicans basically have to pass anything with even a hint of wall funding at this point, they can write in all sorts of things: they could be regulating the treatment of asylum seekers, they could be limiting the scope of ICE activities for non-criminals, they could be demanding recent restrictions on refugees be lifted, but their big ask is bed limits? Their game plan is "well, the laws as written have ICE detaining all these people, but if we put a numerical limit on the number of people, we can trust them to use proper discretion on which laws to enforce." Like, who the hell is that supposed to please?

Somebody please tell me I'm not crazy. That's just super dumb, right?

Those people who have committed other crimes are already supposed to be detained under the rules that are within those particular laws. The limits proposed are strictly for those being detained as illegal immigrants. You know, cutting costs by not detaining people who have been overwhelmingly shown to show up for their court dates?

Claiming these limits will cause the release of people being held as murderers, rapists, et al, is a complete load of horseshit being used by select political hacks in order to drum up the Republican base and has no basis in reality.

tstorm823:
Trump and Republicans basically have to pass anything with even a hint of wall funding at this point,

But do they though

They've shown no desire to avoid another shutdown and look to be quite happily barreling towards using a state of emergency

tstorm823:
He's not just been absolute, he's been consistently absolute. He's not saying "capitalism lets people do bad things sometimes", he's saying capitalism is evil and should be destroyed. He's saying he lacks the ability to become an employer, and if he could, he would choose not to own a business and employ people because he considers that exploitation. Read that: that's not "employers sometimes exploit their workers", that's "the best case scenario, starting a business is exploitation." Admittedly, as far as the part about class structures, I'm drawing from previous arguments in different threads where he's expressed fear and loathing of the imaginary capitalist class that's born rich, does no work, and gains continually more control of the economy through only investment profits.

I've passed judgment on him specifically because in the abstract, he's floating in space, a million miles away, and has no intention of coming back to earth. I can't debate reality against science fiction, I need to bring him to the ground.

What if capitalism is actually a corrosive force and the reason I think so is because I understand how it works and what its process naturally leads to? What if your imagination that I am 'floating in space a million miles away' is merely an argument from personal incredulity based on your lack of familiarity with the view rather than its relation to reality?

davidmc1158:

Those people who have committed other crimes are already supposed to be detained under the rules that are within those particular laws. The limits proposed are strictly for those being detained as illegal immigrants. You know, cutting costs by not detaining people who have been overwhelmingly shown to show up for their court dates?

Claiming these limits will cause the release of people being held as murderers, rapists, et al, is a complete load of horseshit being used by select political hacks in order to drum up the Republican base and has no basis in reality.

Well, the article I linked was the Daily Beast, I don't think that's trying to drum up the Republican base. The Democrats themselves say their goal by limiting beds is specifically to force ICE to prioritize only the most criminal immigrants, which sort of flies in the face of your summary.

I'm pretty sure you're just making things up here. It's not like this is going from "we have absolute control of all criminals" to "rapists in the streets!" The reality is that there are rapists in the streets, and if you put arbitrary limits on law enforcement, you're going to have more of them.

undeadsuitor:

But do they though

They've shown no desire to avoid another shutdown and look to be quite happily barreling towards using a state of emergency

To my knowledge, Trump still has not vetoed anything. Just get something to his desk, and he'll sign it.

Seanchaidh:

What if capitalism is actually a corrosive force and the reason I think so is because I understand how it works and what its process naturally leads to? What if your imagination that I am 'floating in space a million miles away' is merely an argument from personal incredulity based on your lack of familiarity with the view rather than its relation to reality?

You think the free exchange of work for money is somehow exploitative of the person providing the money half of the exchange. You fundamentally misunderstand the concepts of labor, money, and wealth. There are people who prescribe the same solutions as you without putting a wall between their real experience and their theoretical utopia. I'm familiar with your viewpoint, you don't understand what capitalism is, you don't understand how it works, and you don't seem to have noticed that it's leading to a better world than your utopia.

tstorm823:

Seanchaidh:

What if capitalism is actually a corrosive force and the reason I think so is because I understand how it works and what its process naturally leads to? What if your imagination that I am 'floating in space a million miles away' is merely an argument from personal incredulity based on your lack of familiarity with the view rather than its relation to reality?

You think the free exchange of work for money is somehow exploitative of the person providing the money half of the exchange.

Not always. There are two kinds of exchange that involve paying money for labor:

1)Exchanges between a consumer and an independent good or service provider-- such as an independent plumber or baker or a self-owned hotdog stand.
2)Exchanges between an employer and an employee, for the purpose of making money for the employer.

#2 is the one that is always exploitative.

Worker makes money for owner. Owner gets money for existing, owning things. That is an exploitative relationship. One is doing the work and the other isn't. And because owners needn't be doing work-- needn't expend their time at working to get money out of the worker-- they can employ theoretically limitless numbers of people.

Workers are forced into the position of selling a commodity (their labor) in order to get money so that they can then exchange that money for the commodities necessary for continued existence. This is a process which can balance perfectly: a subsistence wage.

Capitalists, on the other hand, offer money for a commodity (labor) which they use to make a product that they can then exchange for money. This is a process which is pointless if it balances perfectly-- at least according to the logic of capitalism. The fact that such a process would produce goods and services is immaterial to a capitalist; what he cares about is the amount of money generated for himself. So the owner pays less than the exchange value of the product produced by the worker.

We can say, then, that as a deal between employer and employee approaches fairness-- fairness being that the worker is compensated for precisely the value that the worker produces-- it equally approaches never, ever actually happening. The exploitation is the point for the capitalist. If the relationship between employer and employee weren't an exploitative one, profit-seeking employers wouldn't do it.

tstorm823:

He's not just been absolute, he's been consistently absolute. He's not saying "capitalism lets people do bad things sometimes", he's saying capitalism is evil and should be destroyed. He's saying he lacks the ability to become an employer, and if he could, he would choose not to own a business and employ people because he considers that exploitation. Read that: that's not "employers sometimes exploit their workers", that's "the best case scenario, starting a business is exploitation." Admittedly, as far as the part about class structures, I'm drawing from previous arguments in different threads where he's expressed fear and loathing of the imaginary capitalist class that's born rich, does no work, and gains continually more control of the economy through only investment profits.

He's spoken in absolutes on the topics of Capitalism and the role of business, yes. Perhaps I should have been clearer: nobody is arguing that people are entirely unable to leave the class they are born into. Nobody is arguing that social mobility is impossible.

... But it is exceptionally rigid, and restricted by a host of factors far beyond personal control. Social mobility is not utterly impossible, but it is fucking rare, relative to the millions of people on this planet.

And no, the argument that people don't take management or ownership positions simply because they all prefer working for others, despite chronic wage stagnation, shoddy workplace protections, redundancy and terrible treatment? It's bloody nonsense. Even the right has abandoned this naivety, and concedes (in words, though not in actions) that things must improve for the working classes.

aegix drakan:

tstorm823:
*snip*

Take a good long look at why Trump won. It's not because most of america is racist. It's not because everyone wants a meaningless border wall. It's because your country is suffering severely at the hands of the rich and the powerful and are desperate for change. It's because he conned people into thinking that he was going to "drain the corruption" that was hurting them and his opponent kept telling the people that "Everything is fine!" when they know it's not. It's because record numbers of the population didn't vote because they feel their government is completely corrupt and salvageable.

That isn't why Trump won. Trump won because Clinton ran a disgustingly stupid campaign that caused things like tens of thousands of Democratic voters in Michigan voting a straight Democratic ticket, but leaving the President vote blank. Ya know...in that key state she didn't campaign in...that she lost by a tiny margin. She caused a stupid amount of apathy not only because she's out of touch, but because her campaign manager was a notorious moron who doesn't know what the hell he's doing....and yet still keeps getting hired to this day for some reason.

Trump pulled out the same base that always votes for the Republicans, and it is a very reliable voter base. The whole "he won over the working class" bit is nonsense. He did flip some voters, but it was not even remotely a significant portion of the electorate. Over 50% of his voter base makes around 100k a year. In fact over half of Clinton's voter base is the same, making around 100k a year. Some of the polls at the time were also classifying "working class" people as being anyone making under 100k a year. Also the most important issue among Trump voters was, and still is, overwhelmingly "immigration"....make of that what you will. And I doubt the Republican base is genuinely worried about corruption outside of what they're told on Fox News or in Facebook memes. They are infinitely more terrified of Antifa-style Democrats letting MS-13 take over North Dakota or whatever the fuck, than they are of the massive amount of corruption in D.C. Hell if it benefits them in any way, they don't give a shit.

Nedoras:

aegix drakan:

tstorm823:
*snip*

Take a good long look at why Trump won. It's not because most of america is racist. It's not because everyone wants a meaningless border wall. It's because your country is suffering severely at the hands of the rich and the powerful and are desperate for change. It's because he conned people into thinking that he was going to "drain the corruption" that was hurting them and his opponent kept telling the people that "Everything is fine!" when they know it's not. It's because record numbers of the population didn't vote because they feel their government is completely corrupt and salvageable.

That isn't why Trump won. Trump won because Clinton ran a disgustingly stupid campaign that caused things like tens of thousands of Democratic voters in Michigan voting a straight Democratic ticket, but leaving the President vote blank. Ya know...in that key state she didn't campaign in...that she lost by a tiny margin. She caused a stupid amount of apathy not only because she's out of touch, but because her campaign manager was a notorious moron who doesn't know what the hell he's doing....and yet still keeps getting hired to this day for some reason.

Trump pulled out the same base that always votes for the Republicans, and it is a very reliable voter base. The whole "he won over the working class" bit is nonsense. He did flip some voters, but it was not even remotely a significant portion of the electorate. Over 50% of his voter base makes around 100k a year. In fact over half of Clinton's voter base is the same, making around 100k a year. Some of the polls at the time were also classifying "working class" people as being anyone making under 100k a year. Also the most important issue among Trump voters was, and still is, overwhelmingly "immigration"....make of that what you will. And I doubt the Republican base is genuinely worried about corruption outside of what they're told on Fox News or in Facebook memes. They are infinitely more terrified of Antifa-style Democrats letting MS-13 take over North Dakota or whatever the fuck, than they are of the massive amount of corruption in D.C. Hell if it benefits them in any way, they don't give a shit.

Clinton got more votes.

Trump won because we don't live in a Democracy, and a number of people greater than the population of France was entirely ok with a racist, sexist, rapist bigot who is a living parody of evil businessmen taking office, and a population more than double that couldn't care enough to contest that.

Anyone who blames Hillary is just flat out wrong.

Silvanus:

Nobody is arguing that social mobility is impossible.

... But it is exceptionally rigid, and restricted by a host of factors far beyond personal control. Social mobility is not utterly impossible, but it is fucking rare, relative to the millions of people on this planet.

Rare? Starting businesses is rare, social mobility is incredibly common in developed countries. Of those born in the poorest 5th of people, well over half climb up, and of those born in in the richest 5th, well over half drop down. 95% of millionaires get there within their lifetimes, only 5% inherit that wealth, and there is a culture among many of those people that they won't pass their wealth on to their children. Intergenerationally, if you gues a childs future wealth based only on their parents' wealth, you've got a worse than 50% chance of guessing right, and intragenerationally, almost everyone gets richer as they get older. The highest earners are middle aged adults, and the wealthiest people are older than that, and then they die. People talk about wage stagnation as though it's a personal issue, but it's not. It's a statistical average. The wage of an individual increases almost linearly over time, the reason the average stagnates is because old people die or retire, and young people get paid less at the bottom of the ladder. And like, all of my knowledge is about the US, a place where there's reasonable criticism that our social mobility is less than other wealthy nations.

And no, the argument that people don't take management or ownership positions simply because they all prefer working for others, despite chronic wage stagnation, shoddy workplace protections, redundancy and terrible treatment? It's bloody nonsense.

Here's some google and back of the envelope math. Like 10% of working age Americans own businesses, and like 80% of those have no employees. That leaves 2% of people who are owners with employees. Comparatively, 35% of people born in the bottom 5th of wealth rise to the middle 5th, which is 7% of everyone. 2% of people are owner/managers, 7% of people climbed from poverty to average wealth or higher, so at least 5% of the total population escaped poverty without employing anyone. It's not bloody nonsense, employment is comfortable and enriching.

Seanchaidh:

Worker makes money for owner. Owner gets money for existing, owning things employing people. That is an exploitative mutually beneficial relationship.

You act as though "work" has objective value. It doesn't. The value of labor is situation dependent. If I work alone, my time might be worth $10 per hour I put into it. If I work for an employer who gives me resources and networking, my efforts might be worth $20 per hour I put into it. And then the employer might pay me $15 an hour. You keep looking at the employer who made $5 per hour of the employees labor, and fail to notice the employee is also making $5 more per hour from the same amount of effort they'd be putting in otherwise. The sum of the efforts and resources are worth more than their individual parts. Everyone benefits. Not exploitation.

One is doing the work and the other isn't. And because owners needn't be doing work-- needn't expend their time at working to get money out of the worker-- they can employ theoretically limitless numbers of people.

This just has to be a joke. Employers needn't work? Are you kidding? If you own a business, you are never not working. If you ultimately have responsibility for a business, you are effectively on call at all times. Owners tend to be on the clock longer than employees. CEOs tend to be on the clock longer than employees. Managers tend to be on the clock longer than employees. Once again, the value of the employees labor is situation dependent. Even if the people who work for you put in consistent effort, if you do not provide the conditions that allow them to increase the value of their effort, you will fail. And it's not just take one person's money and pass some of it along to the people working. Demands in the economy change, costs of resources change, employees leave for any number of reasons and need to be replaced, the list of difficulties is substantial. Managing all these things is hard work.

And "theoretically limitless" is the worst part. No, you can't just employ theoretically limitless numbers of people. If you don't manage people, you won't profit from their efforts. You can't just say "I've got 10 dollars an hour for whoever can make me $15 an hour" and wash your hands of it. And no amount of middle management will take ultimate responsibility for success or failure away from the people who own the business. It takes an exceptional organization with dedicated leadership to scale up like that, and even then, you still hit the fundamental limit of the economy's demand for whatever you provide.

Workers are forced into the position of selling a commodity (their labor) in order to get money so that they can then exchange that money for the commodities necessary for continued existence. This is a process which can balance perfectly: a subsistence wage.

Employers are forced into the position of selling a commodity (a commodity) in order to get money to exchange for the labor necessary for continued existence.

Or, nobody is forced into anything except by the inherent nature of existence.

Capitalists, on the other hand, offer money for a commodity (labor) which they use to make a product that they can then exchange for money. This is a process which is pointless if it balances perfectly-- at least according to the logic of capitalism. The fact that such a process would produce goods and services is immaterial to a capitalist; what he cares about is the amount of money generated for himself. So the owner pays less than the exchange value of the product produced by the worker.

Once again, employers pay employees more than their labor would be worth outside of employment but less than it's worth inside of employment, and that's where the profit derives from. There is no inherent "exchange value" for goods or labor, all things are context dependent. Providing that context is valuable. A person whose only talent is flipping burgers will generate no value, but when put into a business that has grills, burgers, buns, spatulas, cashiers, seating, sides, beverages, and a recognizable brand, that burger flipper can generate huge amounts of value. Employment is an opportunity to turn time and talent into concrete value for yourself and others. Business is the catalyst that take people's skills and efforts and transforms them into wealth. You don't look at a chemical reaction involving a catalyst and say "well, you had the same amount of catalyst before and after, so the catalyst didn't do anything and doesn't deserve credit for the reaction."

We can say, then, that as a deal between employer and employee approaches fairness-- fairness being that the worker is compensated for precisely the value that the worker produces-- it equally approaches never, ever actually happening.

There are different values for a person's labor. There's the value generated by an employee's efforts within a business, and there's the value that would be generated if there person were working independently, and voluntary employment happens when a wage is somewhere between the two. If an employee is paid the amount of value they generate personally, you're right that employment wouldn't happen. But if the employee is paid the amount they would generate unemployed, employment also wouldn't happen. Just like you wouldn't buy a Twinkie for more than it's worth to you, and the grocery store wouldn't sell it for less than their cost, so you end up paying somewhere in the middle where both parties stand to benefit from the exchange. Nobody is being exploited.

tstorm823:
Worker makes money for owner. Owner gets money for existing, owning things employing people. That is an exploitative mutually beneficial relationship.

Applying the same method you evidently used, you can decide that feudalism and slavery are mutually beneficial relationships. In a narrow sense, sure-- I get to rule over you, you get to survive is a "mutually beneficial relationship" in a system where the default is that the poor don't get to survive without employment. Or the peasants don't get to survive unless they work both their own fields and those of the lord. Or the slaves don't get to survive unless they obey the masters. A facile analysis such as yours which takes the moral assumptions of an economic system for granted can appear to justify any economic system: a worthless approach.

In the case of the master and slave, the master abuses the legal structure which supposes that the laborer is his property; the exploitation of the slave is a matter of the master's property rights.
In the case of the lord and serf, the lord abuses the legal structure which supposes that the land is his property. The exploitation of the serf is a matter of the master's property rights.
In the case of the employer and employee, the employer abuses the legal structure which supposes that the means of production-- tools, equipment, land, and so forth-- are his property. The exploitation of the employee is a matter of the employer's property rights.

In all of the above systems, the interaction between the various participants is "mutually beneficial" just so long as you don't interrogate the moral assumptions that underwrite those systems or the class position of the participants.

tstorm823:
This just has to be a joke. Employers needn't work? Are you kidding? If you own a business, you are never not working. If you ultimately have responsibility for a business, you are effectively on call at all times. Owners tend to be on the clock longer than employees. CEOs tend to be on the clock longer than employees. Managers tend to be on the clock longer than employees. Once again, the value of the employees labor is situation dependent. Even if the people who work for you put in consistent effort, if you do not provide the conditions that allow them to increase the value of their effort, you will fail. And it's not just take one person's money and pass some of it along to the people working. Demands in the economy change, costs of resources change, employees leave for any number of reasons and need to be replaced, the list of difficulties is substantial. Managing all these things is hard work.

The difference between management and ownership seems to be a real hangup for you, so I'm going to give you a concrete example: Education Secretary Betsy Devos.

https://www.dcreport.org/2018/06/07/a-peek-inside-the-education-secretarys-stock-portfolio/

Are you actually under the impression that Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, on top of doing her job of trying to screw over people with student loans and expanding charter and religious schools, is keeping close track of all the various businesses she owns large stakes in?

tstorm823:
You act as though "work" has objective value. It doesn't. The value of labor is situation dependent. If I work alone, my time might be worth $10 per hour I put into it. If I work for an employer who gives me resources and networking, my efforts might be worth $20 per hour I put into it. And then the employer might pay me $15 an hour. You keep looking at the employer who made $5 per hour of the employees labor, and fail to notice the employee is also making $5 more per hour from the same amount of effort they'd be putting in otherwise. The sum of the efforts and resources are worth more than their individual parts. Everyone benefits. Not exploitation.

Work done for an employer generally has measurable value to the capitalist in the fact that it creates profit for the capitalist. Worker takes other inputs (which cost the capitalist Y) and makes chair (X, the value added by the worker's labor), capitalist sells chair (for the price Z; the item's exchange value).

Hence follows some very simple algebra.

X=value from the point of view of the capitalist that is added by a worker's labor
Y=cost of tools, materials, etc. (inputs other than labor)
Z=sale value of produced item(s)

X+Y=Z; X=Z-Y

Value added by worker's labor (in terms of what a capitalist cares about) is the difference between the cost of the tools and materials used to produce it and the sale value of the produced item.

W=wage
P=profit

W+Y=business expenses
P=Z-(W+Y)
Y=Z-X
P=Z-(W+(Z-X))
P=Z-W-Z+X
P=-W+X
P=X-W
Profit=value added by worker's labor minus wage; workers in profitable companies are paid less than the value they add as a rule.

Simple algebra. Feel free to challenge any of of those steps.

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