Author Topic: In Praise of Greed  (Read 4327 times)

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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: In Praise of Greed
« Reply #116 on: May 11, 2013, 10:02:24 AM »
The minimum wage should be calculated by adding the cost of the American Dream which is around $3000.00@ month in NC and the employers annual income.  The min. wage in NC is $7.50@ hr that's $1200.00@ month.

Okay - that's a specific.  Raise the minimum wage by 150%.

How many small businesses will that put out of business?
How will companies react to the inflated wage bill?  Will they cut dividends (with the resultant effect on pension portfolios) or will they raise prices to compensate?

Because if we're just wishing, without analysing the consequences, then I vote for a minimum wage of $4000 a month.  Why be tight and restrict it to $3k?
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
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Offline Jag

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Re: In Praise of Greed
« Reply #117 on: May 11, 2013, 10:53:38 AM »
junebug, what exactly are you referring to with the phrase "the cost of the American Dream"? I'm kind of assuming home ownership? If so, keep in mind that home ownership is not a right, it's a privilege and a responsibility. Not everyone is suited to it, or in pursuit of it, and that's more than okay, that's exactly as it must be.

Angfauglir raises a yet another important point - the consequences to all parties must be considered. There are at least* two "laws" that need to be remembered whenever one wants to implement a sweeping change - the 80/20 rule and the law of unintended consequences, Pay particular attention to the third bullet point in the unintended consequences link - that one is exactly what I'm talking about.                             

In the days before the Republican party was the party of family values, they used to bill themselves as the pro-business party. It was hugely successful for them too - they presented themselves as the party of business, and the American public, being poorly trained in critical thinking, mistook that to mean that they were the party of business in general, as opposed to the party of business owners. In order to effect change, their stance needs to be remembered - they will always, always, always legislate in favor of business owners, not employees. The minimum wage could be tweaked, but you have to consider the implications too.

And this is not to say that Republicans are bad people, nor that Democrats are better. They have different approaches to the same problems, but it's hard to treat it like much more than political theater, as they rarely take action to alter the status quo (defined as: The existing state of affairs, esp. regarding social or political issues: "they have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo". Google dictionary).

*Edited to add: at least
« Last Edit: May 11, 2013, 11:10:10 AM by Jag »
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Offline Astreja

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Re: In Praise of Greed
« Reply #118 on: May 11, 2013, 11:40:21 PM »
Greed is just like any other self pleasure it is up to the individual to control it.  That's where things get tricky.  You don't want government involvement  but I don't see any other way. When individual greed harms society what do you do about it?  How do you fairly deal with it?

That is a tricky problem, JB.  One can only go so far with that old saw "Vote with your wallet," and a small number of people boycotting a product or service may not be enough to make an impact.  (It does, however, free up resources that one can spend in a more positive way, such as donating to a charity or making purchases at a local business, or paying down personal debt.)

Depending on the circumstances, change may come quickly, slowly or not at all.  Governments tend to be reactive rather than proactive, and it can take a long time to stir up enough interest in the halls of power to get results on an issue.  Changes at the local level are more likely to be successful than at the national level, IMO.  A good first step would be a crash course in civics.  Become versed in what authority and scope your local municipality or state actually has, to see if something you want to do is within their jurisdiction.   Start with a single local problem -- For example, a lack of affordable housing in a certain neighbourhood, or a shortage of some product that could be produced locally.  Brainstorm with like-minded people and be prepared to do a lot of number crunching, then get your best ideas into the form of a simple, positively-worded proposal.  By "positive" I mean making something new and exciting happen, rather than trying to get a law passed to prohibit something.

(You may even be able to appeal to the vanity of a company with deep pockets and friends in high places, and get financing for something that's good for the community and good for someone's business reputation.  Cynical, I know, but far stranger things have happened.)
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Offline Tonus

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Re: In Praise of Greed
« Reply #119 on: May 15, 2013, 02:14:53 PM »
Then who is going to work for minimum wage, that is the backbone of capitalism and how people get so filthy rich.

If people understood how compounding works, particularly over long enough time frames, plenty of people would work for minimum wage.  They would rightly see it as a step on the way to a better job and better wages, or as a way to earn some money until a better opportunity became available.  Fewer of them would be trapped in the "hand to mouth" cycle that keeps them working at miserable, low-paying jobs for years.  And this would have the effect of increasing wages, since a mobile workforce with the freedom to be picky means that employers would need a better incentive than "it beats starving" to keep workers in line.

I've made a good living for myself and am likely to be able to comfortably retire early, and this is in spite of the fact that for nearly all of my life I was pretty clueless regarding finances.  I did go after opportunities and took advantage of a lucky break or two.  But if I'd known at 18 what I know now?  I'd have stayed at New York Life Insurance in 1988 and build a nest egg that would've seen me retired by now.  Google "Andrew Hallam" to see how it's done.

Offline Irish

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Re: In Praise of Greed
« Reply #120 on: May 19, 2013, 11:22:28 PM »
Well I've been away for some time and I come back and...

Jesus tits this turned to a clusterfuck.  Oh well.
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