37 ways to un-rig the U.S. economy so it no longer favors the rich

  • metta

    Posts: 39107

    May 16, 2015 4:53 PM GMT
    37 ways to un-rig the U.S. economy so it no longer favors the rich


    Fix The Financial Sector

    1. End “too big to fail” by imposing additional capital surcharges on systemically risky financial institutions and breaking up firms that cannot produce credible living wills.

    2. Better regulate the shadow banking sector.

    3. Bring greater transparency to all financial markets by requiring all alternative asset managers to publicly disclose holdings, returns, and fee structures.

    4. Reduce credit and debit card fees through improved regulation of card providers and enhanced competition.

    5. Enforce existing rules with stricter penalties for companies and corporate officials that break the law.

    6. Reform Federal Reserve governance to reduce conflicts of interest and institute more open and accountable elections.

    Incentivize Long-Term Business Growth

    7. Restructure CEO pay by closing the performance-pay tax loophole and increasing transparency on the size of compensation packages relative to performance and median worker pay and on the dilution as a result of grants of stock options.

    8. Enact a financial transaction tax to reduce short-term trading and encourage more productive long-term investment.

    9. Empower long-term stakeholders through the tax code, the use of so-called “loyalty shares,” and greater accountability for managers of retirement funds.

    Make Markets Competitive

    10. Restore balance to intellectual property rights to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship.

    11. Restore balance to global trade agreements by ensuring investor protections are not prioritized above protections on the environment and labor, and increasing transparency in the negotiation process.

    12. Provide health care cost controls by allowing government bargaining.

    13. Expand a variant of chapter 11 bankruptcy to homeowners and student borrowers.

    Rebalance The Tax System

    14. Raise the top marginal rate by converting all reductions to tax credits and limiting the use of credits.

    15. Raise taxes on capital gains and dividends.

    16. Encourage U.S. investment by taxing corporations on global income.

    17. Tax undesirable behavior such as short-term trading or polluting and eliminate corporate welfare and other tax expenditures that foster inefficiency and inequality.

    Make Full Employement The Goal

    18. Reform monetary policy to give higher priority to full employment.

    19. Reinvigorate public investment to lay the foundation for long-term economic performance and job growth, including by investing in large-scale infrastructure renovation: a 10-year campaign to make the U.S. a world leader in innovation, manufacturing, and jobs.

    20. Invest in large-scale infrastructure renovation with a 10-year campaign to make the U.S. a world infrastructure innovation, manufacturing, and jobs leader.

    21. Expand public transportation to promote equal access to jobs and opportunity.

    Empower workers

    22. Strengthen the right to bargain by easing legal barriers to unionization, imposing stricter penalties on illegal anti-union intimidation tactics, and amending laws to reflect the changing workplace.

    23. Have government set the standards by attaching strong pro-worker stipulations to its contracts and development subsidies.

    24. Increase funding for enforcement and raise penalties for violating labor standards.

    25. Raise the nationwide minimum wage and increase the salary threshold for overtime pay.

    Expand Access to Labor Markets and Opportunities For Advancement

    26. Reform the criminal justice system to reduce incarceration rates and related financial burdens for the poor.

    27. Reform immigration law to provide a pathway to citizenship for undocumented workers.

    28. Legislate universal paid sick and family leave.

    29. Subsidize child care to benefit children and improve women’s workforce participation.

    30. Promote pay equity and eliminate legal obstacles that prevent employees from sharing salary information.

    31. Protect women’s access to reproductive health services.

    Expand Economic Security And Opportunity

    32. Invest in young children through child benefits, early education, and universal pre-K.

    33. Increase access to higher education by reforming tuition financing, restoring protections to student loans, and adopting universal income-based repayment.

    34. Make health care affordable and universal by opening Medicare to all.

    35. Expand access to banking services through a postal savings bank.

    36. Create a public option for the supply of mortgages.

    37. Expand Social Security with a supplemental public investment program modeled on private Individual Retirement Accounts, and raise the payroll cap to increase revenue.

    http://www.salon.com/2015/05/16/37_ways_to_un_rig_the_u_s_economy_so_it_doesnt_favor_the_rich_partner/
  • bobbobbob

    Posts: 2812

    May 16, 2015 6:00 PM GMT
    There's not one thing on that list that wasn't either directly created by large government or is an unintended consequence of big government.... but by the warped reasoning behind the list, the answer is more big government. Go figure.
  • tazzari

    Posts: 2937

    May 16, 2015 6:41 PM GMT
    It's all very well to mention Big Government, but you fail to demonstrate how this (or these ideas) is a bad thing. Buzz words do not an argument make.

    Another question is how, with such huge population, anything other than big government can effect the various jobs and goals we might have: up-to-date infrastructure, universal good health care, equal opportunity in the face of enormous and growing weal difference...

    Metta enumerated quite a few seemingly good and needed ideas; simply muttering "Big Government" fails to address any of the ideas - or the problems they address.
  • bobbobbob

    Posts: 2812

    May 16, 2015 7:10 PM GMT
    tazzari saidIt's all very well to mention Big Government, but you fail to demonstrate how this (or these ideas) is a bad thing. Buzz words do not an argument make.

    Another question is how, with such huge population, anything other than big government can effect the various jobs and goals we might have: up-to-date infrastructure, universal good health care, equal opportunity in the face of enormous and growing weal difference...

    Metta enumerated quite a few seemingly good and needed ideas; simply muttering "Big Government" fails to address any of the ideas - or the problems they address.


    Do you really want to help the poor on SNAP (food stamps) and the overall economy without expanding government and reducing it at the same time? Here's where to start.

    Press for the US government to remove ALL hidden taxes in foods that are collected on every purchase at the registers... They add up to 27% of the retail prices of foods.

    Get the US government and states to remove all hidden taxes on utilities that make up between 20 to 35% or rates depending on states.

    Press for sanity about the 48% of the price of gasoline taxes by Federal, state and local governments.


    http://www.ipi.org/ipi_issues/detail/hidden-taxes-how-much-do-you-really-pay
  • tj85016

    Posts: 4123

    May 16, 2015 9:47 PM GMT
    how about making these criminal bankers serve jail time when they get caught rigging the credit (LIBOR usually) and the currency (FX) markets

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/05/11/us-forex-rigging-pleas-idUSKBN0NW1SM20150511
  • Lincsbear

    Posts: 2605

    May 16, 2015 10:36 PM GMT
    It starts with thinking differently rather than being about dollars and cents(or pounds and pennies).
    Realize that rich people only work in their own interests, but exhort the poor to think of, and sacrifice, for the benefit of the country?
  • tazzari

    Posts: 2937

    May 16, 2015 10:41 PM GMT
    bobbobbob said
    tazzari saidIt's all very well to mention Big Government, but you fail to demonstrate how this (or these ideas) is a bad thing. Buzz words do not an argument make.

    Another question is how, with such huge population, anything other than big government can effect the various jobs and goals we might have: up-to-date infrastructure, universal good health care, equal opportunity in the face of enormous and growing weal difference...

    Metta enumerated quite a few seemingly good and needed ideas; simply muttering "Big Government" fails to address any of the ideas - or the problems they address.


    Do you really want to help the poor on SNAP (food stamps) and the overall economy without expanding government and reducing it at the same time? Here's where to start.

    Press for the US government to remove ALL hidden taxes in foods that are collected on every purchase at the registers... They add up to 27% of the retail prices of foods.

    Get the US government and states to remove all hidden taxes on utilities that make up between 20 to 35% or rates depending on states.

    Press for sanity about the 48% of the price of gasoline taxes by Federal, state and local governments.


    http://www.ipi.org/ipi_issues/detail/hidden-taxes-how-much-do-you-really-pay


    All good ideas - I'm all for transparency - but these are all policy ideas, or freedom of information ideas, not really "Big Government" issues,
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 16, 2015 10:59 PM GMT
    tazzari said... Another question is how, with such huge population, anything other than big government can effect the various jobs and goals we might have: ...
    Keywords there, "huge population."

    If a particular political party had its way about things, the population would be only a fraction of what it is now, cause it would only be straight, white, middle-aged, "Christian" males in the workforce. icon_wink.gif
  • bobbobbob

    Posts: 2812

    May 16, 2015 11:40 PM GMT
    paulflexes said
    tazzari said... Another question is how, with such huge population, anything other than big government can effect the various jobs and goals we might have: ...
    Keywords there, "huge population."

    If a particular political party had its way about things, the population would be only a fraction of what it is now, cause it would only be straight, white, middle-aged, "Christian" males in the workforce. icon_wink.gif


    ^^^^^^^^^
    No toehold on any truth in that.


    But more importantly ...
    if a political party's ideas for solving all problems with a population less than it is today have all been riddled in incompetency, disastrous unintended consequences, failures and bureaucratic abuses, corruption and incompetency what reason can anyone have more and bigger government can do better with an even larger population?
  • Hypertrophile

    Posts: 1021

    May 17, 2015 1:47 PM GMT
    What I'd like to know is where you can buy a bottle of beer for seventy-seven cents. Seems like some of the numbers aren't quite right in Bobo's link.

    One of the big lies from small government types is that corporate taxes get passed on to consumers, and in that statement is the false impression that they get passed on to all consumers. The reality is that all costs of doing business for a company, including payroll and taxes, get passed on to their consumers.

    Publicly traded corporations in particular are ruled rather than driven by profits, and that simply making a profit is not enough. You are expected to make more profits every month than the same month a year ago. This is unsustainable. Management is then forced to continuously seek new ways to enhance their bottom line and working to get their taxes cut is easier than increasing sales, but we need to keep in mind why those taxes are there in the first place. I'm not willing to give up environmental, consumer, and worker protections, just to enhance the bottom lines of companies I do no business with.

    That said, IMO there should be some types of corporations who, because they serve the majority of Americans (health care, food, energy, transportation), that should pay no corporate income tax, but at the same time are heavily regulated, including price and wage regulations.

    Other than that, it seems only fair to me that customers of a company pay for the costs of that company doing business, including their taxes.

    One thing I didn't see addressed in the OP was high-speed trading which I believe artificially affects stock prices. This practice should either be disallowed, or we should bring back stock transaction fees.
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 14348

    May 17, 2015 1:49 PM GMT
    tj85016 saidhow about making these criminal bankers serve jail time when they get caught rigging the credit (LIBOR usually) and the currency (FX) markets

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/05/11/us-forex-rigging-pleas-idUSKBN0NW1SM20150511
    How about taking away all those huge, generous bonuses from the executives of AIG since they were the ones responsible for the massive economic fallout late last decade.
  • tazzari

    Posts: 2937

    May 17, 2015 4:27 PM GMT
    if a political party's ideas for solving all problems with a population less than it is today have all been riddled in incompetency, disastrous unintended consequences, failures and bureaucratic abuses, corruption and incompetency what reason can anyone have more and bigger government can do better with an even larger population?

    Perhaps more to the point would be to ask which party has not "been riddled in incompetency, disastrous unintended consequences, failures and bureaucratic abuses, corruption and incompetency."

    Thoughtful people have always known that human society is prone to greed and corruption, and that power corrupts. Open democracy is perhaps the only counter-measure short of enlightened monarchy (which is a crap game). The beginning of the solution is for people to work to educate and bring out the voters.

    For my part though, I'll go with the party that at least bases its platform on equality of opportunity, access, greater equality in income, and the citizen; as opposed to fairy tails about trickle down (which usually means pissing on the guy below you), centralizing power in the plutocracy, and constant paranoia/war (and the resultant need for more control).

  • bobbobbob

    Posts: 2812

    May 17, 2015 5:32 PM GMT
    Lincsbear saidIt starts with thinking differently rather than being about dollars and cents(or pounds and pennies).
    Realize that rich people only work in their own interests, but exhort the poor to think of, and sacrifice, for the benefit of the country?


    ☝☝☝☝☝☝☝☝☝☝☝☝
    Lincbear just cornered the market on ignorant liberal reasoning to justify the idiocy of ignorant liberal reasoning.

    he said "Realize that rich people only work in their own interests."

    Has it ever occurred to you that EVERYONE works in their own interests? Even your ignorant liberal hypocritical self.

    Contrary to Liberal idiocy we humans are hardwired to be individuals, to innovate, compete to survive and excel in all we do. We are not a colony of mindless non thinking ants.

    Find some poor people who do not work in their own interests. Isn't supporting the political parties and candidates that offer them them most free shit a form of working in their own interests?

    Find me a corporation or even a guy mowing yards who are NOT working in their own interests. Corporations who don't stop existing. A yard man who doesn't work in his own interests soon starves and ends up broke.

    Come on Lincbear, be the first liberal in US history to stop being a hypocrite. Quit working in your own interest. Stop preaching the bullshit gospel of what-the-fuck-everyone-else-but=you-should-do. Give up all your wealth to help the poor, give up your salary, savings, car, credit cards and let the poor have them. Give up all the clothes you've bought in the mall and get in the discount line at the local 2nd hand store.

    The hypocrisy of liberals is revolting.

  • tazzari

    Posts: 2937

    May 17, 2015 7:11 PM GMT
    bobbobbob said
    Lincsbear saidIt starts with thinking differently rather than being about dollars and cents(or pounds and pennies).
    Realize that rich people only work in their own interests, but exhort the poor to think of, and sacrifice, for the benefit of the country?


    ☝☝☝☝☝☝☝☝☝☝☝☝
    Lincbear just cornered the market on ignorant liberal reasoning to justify the idiocy of ignorant liberal reasoning.

    he said "Realize that rich people only work in their own interests."

    Has it ever occurred to you that EVERYONE works in their own interests? Even your ignorant liberal hypocritical self.

    Contrary to Liberal idiocy we humans are hardwired to be individuals, to innovate, compete to survive and excel in all we do. We are not a colony of mindless non thinking ants.

    Find some poor people who do not work in their own interests. Isn't supporting the political parties and candidates that offer them them most free shit a form of working in their own interests?

    Find me a corporation or even a guy mowing yards who are NOT working in their own interests. Corporations who don't stop existing. A yard man who doesn't work in his own interests soon starves and ends up broke.

    Come on Lincbear, be the first liberal in US history to stop being a hypocrite. Quit working in your own interest. Stop preaching the bullshit gospel of what-the-fuck-everyone-else-but=you-should-do. Give up all your wealth to help the poor, give up your salary, savings, car, credit cards and let the poor have them. Give up all the clothes you've bought in the mall and get in the discount line at the local 2nd hand store.

    The hypocrisy of liberals is revolting.



    You'll convince far more people if you stop calling them names. In fact, I strongly suspect more people would read your posts were you to adopt a more courteous tone. Your last sentence is a masterpiece of broad-brush painting, and regrettably, puts you very close to the "ignore" button: exactly the kind of rhetoric which has poisoned reasoned debate in this country.
  • bobbobbob

    Posts: 2812

    May 17, 2015 8:26 PM GMT
    tazzari said
    You'll convince far more people if you stop calling them names. In fact, I strongly suspect more people would read your posts were you to adopt a more courteous tone. Your last sentence is a masterpiece of broad-brush painting, and regrettably, puts you very close to the "ignore" button: exactly the kind of rhetoric which has poisoned reasoned debate in this country.


    What has poisoned reasoned debate is the accepting unreasoned bullshit like Lincbear's statement into debates.

    There are other considerations.
    1. Almost no one but the truly open minded change their minds on "ideas" through the courteous conversation. Courteous conversation should be reserved for times it's appropriate and not wasted in conversations where it will be wasted or ineffective.
    2. When people make statements that are ridiculous, lies, or totally irrational political mantra (as Lincbear's words were) they forfeit any expectation of courtesy reserved for people who are not ridiculous, dishonest or irrational.
    3. People who are embarrassed/ridiculed for their irrational, ridiculous and dishonest statements generally remember it longer than being treated with courtesy they had no right to expect.
    4. Courtesy is often interpreted as validating tolerance and acceptance of irrational, dishonest and ridiculous statements by the people who make them. As an analogy, accepting unreasoned, dishonest and ridiculous rhetoric into reasoned discussions is the same as knowingly accepting counterfeit currency as real,

    Lincbear repeated irrational ignorant socialist propaganda with his assertion that rich people only work for their own interests inferring that ONLY rich people work for their own interests. I give him credit for believing it because most likely he's heard it from people he trusted without once critically analyzing the idea for himself.

    Maybe the next time he thinks of saying it he'll remember how ridiculous it was for him to have said in the first place. Maybe he won't. Maybe others who read the comments will remember them the next time someone tells them "rich people only think about their own interests." Maybe they'll do as I have and confront the ignorant person who made the dishonest assertion that is a linchpin of the socialist ideology circus wagon.

    If you care to make an argument to defend Lincbear's ignorant and dishonest statement that the rich only work for their own interests - or that middle class and poor people don't do the same, please do so. In response to Lincbear, I took an intractable stand to defend reason and honesty. You presumed to criticize me for being less than courteous about dishonesty and ignorance being supplanted into an otherwise honest and reasoned debate. There's something wrong with that... real wrong.

    Showing no tolerance for dishonesty and unreasoned ignorance will restore reason to debate faster than courtesy to dishonesty and unreasoned ignorance ever will.

    I have to repeat and really don't care about your ignore button.

    The hypocrisy of liberals is really revolting.
  • bobbobbob

    Posts: 2812

    May 17, 2015 11:47 PM GMT
    Physiqueflex said What I'd like to know is where you can buy a bottle of beer for seventy-seven cents. Seems like some of the numbers aren't quite right in Bobo's link.

    That link is from 2001. I still use it as a reference because it's easy for neophytes to hidden taxes to comprehend. Since then many new hidden taxes and fees have been put on products.

    Physiqueflex said One of the big lies from small government types is that corporate taxes get passed on to consumers, and in that statement is the false impression that they get passed on to all consumers. The reality is that all costs of doing business for a company, including payroll and taxes, get passed on to their consumers.

    This big lie you're talking about must be pretty small because I've never heard it before. It really isn't a lie but more a case of splitting semantic hairs. The phrase "Passed on to consumers" presumes that the listener or reader had the operational brain capacity to reason out the obvious. Now that you've brought my attention to this I'll start using pictures to explain how "passed on to consumers" works.

    Physiqueflex said Publicly traded corporations in particular are ruled rather than driven by profits, and that simply making a profit is not enough. You are expected to make more profits every month than the same month a year ago. This is unsustainable. Management is then forced to continuously seek new ways to enhance their bottom line and working to get their taxes cut is easier than increasing sales, but we need to keep in mind why those taxes are there in the first place. I'm not willing to give up environmental, consumer, and worker protections, just to enhance the bottom lines of companies I do no business with.

    Ooooooo boy. DAMN why do so many liberals love to describe the economy like they are painting with one color and five foot wide brush? So where did you get the idea that pubically traded corporations in particular are ruled rather than driven by profits, and that simply making a profit is not enough? BULLSHIT BULLSHIT BULLSHIT. They certainly are no more profit ruled and profit driven than any other business from the guy with a lawn service all the way up the food chain. ALL OWNERS AND MANAGEMENT are forced to continuously seek new ways to enhance their bottom line and working to get their taxes cut is easier than increasing sales.

    AND who pays for taxes? CONSUMERS, remember? We just agreed on that.

    So who-the-fuck really benefits the most from tax cuts?

    THE SAME FRIGGIN CONSUMERS WHO END UP PAYING THEM. DuuuuuuuuuuHHH!

  • Hypertrophile

    Posts: 1021

    May 18, 2015 1:48 PM GMT
    I said that about publicly traded corporations because, having worked for a number of Fortune 500 companies, I know how their incentive plans work. My income potential was always tied to profits. That my store made a profit wouldn't be good enough. The big money would come if we made more profit than the same month last year, and not reaching that goal on a regular basis would be considered poor performance and will damage your standing in the company if you're allowed to continue working there at all. But it's not just middle managers who were at risk if the company doesn't show growth. Everyone up to the CEO would be on the chopping block without steady increases in profits. This is what some call a "lizard mentality" and what I mean by being ruled rather than driven by profits, and it's clearly unsustainable.

    Sole proprietorships, on the other hand, don't have such draconian notions of how businesses should run. My income equals my company's profits, and I want to see my income increase every year, but I don't do it by cutting corners, and I'm not able to do it by bribing politicians. And if I don't, well, I still have my job.

    What you fail to consider regarding corporate taxes is this. Corporations consume government services, and I dare say at least as much as individuals do. If corporations didn't have to pay taxes then instead of the cost of those services being spread amongst their customers, they are spread amongst all taxpayers. And some of those expenses are pretty large. Consider the cost to the American People of a large national retailer who imports most of their goods from abroad. Who pays for the military to protect those shipments? If they also own manufacturing facilities, who pays for the protection of those "American interests"? If they are a potential polluter, who pays for the inspection of their facilities? Who pays the legal costs when they screw up? Sorry, I don't think I should have to pay for the consumption of public services by a non-public entity of which I am not a customer.

    Of course then there's the cost to the taxpayer of picking up the slack for companies who pay their full time workers an unlivable wage.

    Further, unless you are naive in the ways of human nature, or corporate nature as the case may be, you know that whenever we cut taxes on businesses, more often than not it results in greater profits for the business and rarely in more jobs, higher wages and lower prices.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 18, 2015 4:16 PM GMT
    modify political contribution law
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 18, 2015 5:38 PM GMT
    bobbobbob saidThe hypocrisy of liberals is really revolting.


    Bob, I was reading your posts with patience. Then your last line tanked your argument.

    Here's how this works:

    You'll have some people who WILL fit your mould of a hypocritical liberal. Will you reach them with a rant about hypocritical liberals? No.

    Then you'll have some people who'll read your post carefully, understand it, plan a counter argument and post that.

    When your thought-out, somewhat reasoned post gets derailed by a generalization, your previous paragraphs get erased by the reader because FLAMING MOLOTOV COCKTAIL landed in the discussion. Not literally, but all focus goes on the generalization then, right? Stop that. You're a smart guy.

    You're inviting every liberal to counter your argument with the millions of examples of conservative (or small government--not that they're the same) hypocrisy. And, by god, we liberals have been keeping track of THAT. So...resist the urge. Char that motherfucker if you must, but with a laser sight. If someone's an idiot, call them an idiot (because their post proves it). But we liberals are just as handy with a flamethrower. Not your best weapon to keep the topic.
  • bobbobbob

    Posts: 2812

    May 18, 2015 7:33 PM GMT
    @ Mickey

    Rushing at lunch time. Here's something you are not looking at or don't know about.

    If my company's taxes go down that gives us a reduction in operation costs.

    I make a product I sell for $100 with a $40 profit. I can handle it two ways.

    1. Continue to sell that product at $100 and make a $50 profit that will keep my prices the same as the competing market.

    2. Reduce the price to $90 and make the same $40 profit and be able to undersell the competing market.

    By going with the second option I am making the same amount in profit and gaining a competitive advantage over the competing market price. Do I have to elaborate about how customers feel and react to saving 10% ?

    In a real world competitive profit driven market the bottom line is not determined just by raising prices, gouging customers, "cutting corners" etc. as you present in your simplistic representation of the issue.
    //////////////////////////////////////////////////

    I freely admit that on some products we make over a 70% profit because of innovation and no market competition for that particular product. In other words, we seek out things no one else is producing and introduce them to the consumer market. When competitors copy our innovations our prices go down and we introduce new innovations that repeat the cycle. The innovations we introduce to the consumer market each year account for as much as 30% of our sales each year and retail customers of all things appreciate the "next big thing" and are willing to pay more for it. Making a higher profit margin on innovative products increases the company's overall profit margin to such an extent that we can reduce retail prices on items in which we are in direct competition in the regional market.

    In other words if the market price on standard mass produced products seasonal products have a 30% markup the items we sell at over 70% allow us to reduce retail prices on the other things below the 30% marketplace mark up in order to increase our sales volume. That increases sales volume dramatically over competitors and volume. We'd much rather sell 1,000 units with a 20% profit than 500 at the standard market 30%. Do the math yourself.
    //////////////////////////////////////////

    You really have done a great job at misrepresenting "cutting corners." I run garden shops and a nursery. (To make the best out of the ACA mandate for 50+ employees, we leased all the garden shop operations to their managers - which was the best thing we ever did for everyone involved) Many of my competitors minimum wage pay employees to water by hand. There's virtually nothing in my operations that's watered by hand. Everything is watered automatically and more efficiently than can be done with a hose. Many of the plants are under irrigation systems that provide water soluble fertilizers. (Ever seen a box store fertilize anything ?) In the nursery operation this eliminates at least 40 man hours a day. On the retail level this means consumers never have to trip over hoses, never look at dry, wilting plants and never pass up a purchase because it's too wet to put into their car.

    By installing irrigation throughout we didn't eliminate jobs. We freed up hourly employees to spend more time in production which boosted sales.

    EVERYONE in business cuts corners and for you to say otherwise is disingenuous. To cut corners we bought soft drink machines that we can stock with drinks that cost less than those delivered weekly. To cut corners we changed our heating systems. To cut corners we eliminated retail sales at the nursery so we could close on weekends. To cut corners we switched to a propane delivery truck. To cut corners we reduced the top three salaries during the recession, eliminated management bonuses, bought less expensive supplies. We have switched liability and vehicle insurance -
    ///////////////////////////////////////////////

    You'd think we'd hire loads of minimum wage employees like other nursery operations and box stores, wouldn't you? Aside from the three new employees in the dozen seasonal workers (Jan - May) everyone else makes more than they could make doing the same work for any of our competitors. Why? When we find hard working conscientious self motivated reliable employees it's more practical to price them out of the job market in order to make leaving us to work for any competitor a substantial cut in income.

    Also there's bonuses... for all employees that are mailed out in June and for full time employee again in December. They're based on sales and days worked. Also by creative scheduling EVERY hourly nursery employee who works their scheduled hours gets a four day weekend every month without losing hours.

    The end product of this is employee loyalty, pride in work and positive attitudes. Every seasonal worker this year has returned for at least 5 years (three have worked for over 15 years, four others are 2nd generation- children of current or retired employees) Four of the nine full time employees have been with us over 20 years. This virtually eliminates training new employees and reduces the need for supervision.
    ////////////////////////////////////////

    Reading over your last post about me going off about Lincbear's totally untrue statement straight out of liberal rhetoric - I concede you have a point. I could have been less abrasive about it. That was yesterday and it can't be changed. Understand that when I read that line - which was total bullshit I was not only offended but outraged due to (don't take this the wrong way - I'm not putting myself on a pedestal) - my 44 years of daily experience in working for my own interests and surrounding myself with people equally working for their own interests.... right down to the newest employee.

    The majority of us who support free market economies don't do so blindly in the name of profit and only profit. We do it because we understand how it works for the benefit of all involved in it.. right down to the newest employee. We understand how a free market motivates and inspires everyone to be productive.. right down to the newest employee through wages and other rewards for being productive contributors to the overall economy.

    Socialism does not do that.






  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 18, 2015 8:15 PM GMT
    Better that this nonsense comes from Salon than from any Solon, though there are probably a few of the latter who'd buy it lock, stock, and barrel.
  • bobbobbob

    Posts: 2812

    May 18, 2015 8:44 PM GMT
    MGINSD saidBetter that this nonsense comes from Salon than from any Solon, though there are probably a few of the latter who'd buy it lock, stock, and barrel.


    So true.
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    May 19, 2015 4:01 AM GMT
    Government isn't the problem. We need to make it work for us. I'll take a bureaucratic government over a plutocracy any day. Buzz words are like "trickle down economics". The middle class has been fleeced enough after 35 years. The income gap of the last 35 years has been filled with debt to maintain the facade on our standard of living to benefit a few. Since we can no longer continue to borrow, those that have benefitted from this transfer of wealth want to blame the rest for the debt by dividing and conquering the workers. Hopefully Americans will be smarter than that. Don't drink the tea. Republicans are right. Nothing is free. Wealth isn't infinite. It came from the middle class. Party's over. It's pay up time. If you want to live in a third world country for lack of a better word, feel free to leave. Most Americans don't want to live that way. This idea that I'm fine so screw you has got to go. Actions speak louder than words. P.S. I would have voted Republican pre-1980.
  • Hypertrophile

    Posts: 1021

    May 19, 2015 2:32 PM GMT
    While I think that Bob is mostly wrong in his thinking, he is on the right track to a point regarding a free market, though I'm sure he'll disagree with where I'll go with this.

    A completely free market would do the exact opposite of what he's suggesting. Without patent and copyright protection, innovation would be completely stymied. Without anti-trust regulations, duopolies and monopolies would develop leaving consumers with fewer choices. Without safety and efficacy regulations, the quality of goods and services would decrease, and injuries would increase. Without competition, prices would increase and wages would plummet. Without securities and exchange regulations, Americans investment and retirement savings would be more at risk. It's why we have regulations. To define the market and keep sociopaths from running rough shod over everyone. Unfortunately, the unholy alliance between business and those who should be representing the people has resulted in some regulations designed to maintain the status quo and make it harder for new businesses to enter each vertical market.

    Consider one of the regulations Republicans want to eliminate as part of their agenda to gut the Affordable Care Act, and that is to permit insurance companies to do business across state lines. They say it will give consumers more choices. I say it will do exactly the opposite, eventually, as the industry contracts, just like virtually every other industry has, to five or fewer companies.

    The fact is that when someone talks in generalities about free markets and deregulation, what they're really talking about is changing regulations to favor those already in power.

    If you want to talk about specific regulations and changing them back to favor the people, including small businesses like Bob's, that is a conversation I'd like to have.
  • bobbobbob

    Posts: 2812

    May 20, 2015 4:24 AM GMT
    Physiqueflex said While I think that Bob is mostly wrong in his thinking, he is on the right track to a point regarding a free market, though I'm sure he'll disagree with where I'll go with this.

    ooooh boy.
    I don't have to disagree with you on any of this below. History disagrees with you, logic disagrees with you and you are doing something akin to seeing a woodchuck and describing it as a bear. Read on and possibly learn.


    Physiqueflex said A completely free market would do the exact opposite of what he's suggesting. Without patent and copyright protection, innovation would be completely stymied.


    I fail to recall ever using the words "completely free market" or discussing a completely socialized economy. Make a note of that.

    And where do you get the idea that patents and copyrights are not based in free market principles more than socialist principles? Intellectual property and products innovations are personal property in free market economies. Stealing them is as much of a crime are any other form of theft. Under the principle of - "from each according to his ability; to each according to his need" - you'll have a butt load circular rationalizing to do to make patents and copyrights compatible with socialism's creed. Not only that claim that the suppression of innovations and ind inventions being undermined by a free market system is absurd when you consider the multi-tiered rewards free market systems gives to individual innovators/inventors above those in a socialist states. (there are exceptions to this in free market systems in which bureaucracies have made the process of obtaining patents/copyrights so expensive and convoluted they favor the large corporations and monopolies...which leads to your next fallacy.

    Physiqueflex said Without anti-trust regulations, duopolies and monopolies would develop leaving consumers with fewer choices.

    Totally false and history backs this up with a 100% track record. If you think about it rationally a free market economy cannot produce monopolies like the ones you describe without the consent, interference/intervention/or protection of government. Any time and every time a large corporation cuts wages and increases prices they create a environment for competitors to pay better wages and sell at lower prices than the so called monopolists - unless they have the government stacking the deck against upstart companies as happens in systems in which monopolies have and do exist. All the big famous monopolies of the early 20th century and even today have become so with the overt or covert help of government. This was is as true of monopolies in the US as it was for those in the Roman Empire, Egypt, and throughout Europe, China and other nations up to this day.
    Physiqueflex saidWithout safety and efficacy regulations, the quality of goods and services would decrease, and injuries would increase. Without competition, prices would increase and wages would plummet.

    The Pure Food and Drug Act and Meat Inspection Act. This legislation holds some distinctions that make it unique. The most amusing one is that it was passed in 1906 less than nine months later primarily due to public hysteria over Upton Sincliar's "The Jungle" which was a work in fiction. That being said there was some truth in it, but as I humorously warn people about books and movies "based on a true story" as The Jungle was in part, "based on a true story" really means "it's not all bullshit."

    That was 1906. Until after WWII that The Pure Food and Drug Act and Meat Inspection Act only applied to the slaughterhouses in the largest thirty cities in the US. In other words the conditions which Sinclair described only existed in the most congested and unsanitary cities of the nation. Smaller operations in smaller cities could not have stayed in business very long producing unsanitary. foods. Aside from all of this is the fact that in 1906 the medical comprehension of microbiology that causes diseases was barely beyond its infancy. Outside of the metropolises meats seldom went less than hours from being slaughtered to stoves and ill livestock was treated with the same ancient taboos from the bronze age and was disposed of.

    Even unsafe working conditions addressed in the 1906 legislation were primarily a problem of large cities.
    Physiqueflex saidWithout securities and exchange regulations, Americans investment and retirement savings would be more at risk. It's why we have regulations. To define the market and keep sociopaths from running rough shod over everyone. Unfortunately, the unholy alliance between business and those who should be representing the people has resulted in some regulations designed to maintain the status quo and make it harder for new businesses to enter each vertical market.


    Another problem in low wages and unsafe working conditions you're not considering is they are the product of a surplus of available workers thus like any commodity, when they flood the market the price goes down. History taught this when the black plague decimated the populations of Europe and had the unintended consequence of reducing workers to the point they could demand and receive better conditions and wage and get them... which ended serfdom in most of western Europe. This cannot be resolved through socialism except in the manner chosen by Lenin/Stalin and other radical socialist regimes who replicated the effects the plague had workers by starvation, deprivation of medical services and wholesale executions to reduce their numbers. If you want information on this there's a multitude of resources about it in radical socialist regimes.

    The better way to do this would only be possible within a free market system in which more jobs would be created in which would restore family sizes to numbers parents could afford to raise. With so many forms of birth control the idea of "rights" to irresponsibly reproduce beyond number which individual parents can afford is reprehensible and one of the leading causes of poverty. Do the logic yourself. We spay cats and dogs to reduce their populations to reasonable numbers but we do not expect individual humans to exercise their free will to do the same thing. Incentivize it by making it financially impractical - less people in poverty, less cheap labor, poverty is reduced, quality of living rises...and no government bureaucracy is required. No one killed or starved in the process.

    Physiqueflex said Consider one of the regulations Republicans want to eliminate as part of their agenda to gut the Affordable Care Act, and that is to permit insurance companies to do business across state lines. They say it will give consumers more choices. I say it will do exactly the opposite, eventually, as the industry contracts, just like virtually every other industry has, to five or fewer companies.

    Protecting insurance companies from out of state competition is just another example of how monopolies are created with the aid of government but don't think that it's only Republicans who're gui