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Author Topic: For Rob and BCooter: Show Me The Money!  (Read 4474 times)
Slobodan Blagojevic
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« on: August 22, 2012, 02:14:11 PM »
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This is a continuation of the discussion that threatened to derail a thread with (mostly) beautiful professional photographs.

First, BCooter:
... Lately I don't get it.  It seems we all get upset when some group, public or private spends money to take our surroundings and life further, but regardless of funding, isn't that the goal . . . to move forward?

Everywhere we turn we hear austerity and in every country I work everyone says the same thing . . . don't spend money, don't build more, don't . . . well you get the idea....

And then Rob:
But itís not just people saying donít spend money; itís a fact that money simply isnít there for the spending....

Well, money has always been there... just not necessarily in the same pocket as yesterday:

Corporate Profits Just Hit An All-Time High, Wages Just Hit An All-Time Low



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Slobodan

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« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2012, 02:48:20 PM »
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This is a continuation of the discussion that threatened to derail a thread with (mostly) beautiful professional photographs.

First, BCooter:
And then Rob:
Well, money has always been there... just not necessarily in the same pocket as yesterday:

Corporate Profits Just Hit An All-Time High, Wages Just Hit An All-Time Low





How ironic ... normally such 'productivity' improvements are heralded as value-creating phenomena ... here, not so much. :-(
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Rob C
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« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2012, 08:09:48 AM »
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Well, money has always been there... just not necessarily in the same pocket as yesterday:



I'm not sure about that second bit. Neither am I totally convinced that money is created or destroyed. I suspect that those with money (lot's of it) still tend to have a goodly pile, but it's the governments (who have none of their own) that have a hard time finding enough of 'our' money to use on our behalf in the manners that they, governments, choose to use it, supposedly on our behalf.

I see million+ quid boats for sale every day; that doesn't imply that the owners are going or have gone bust, it can also suggest that they no longer want to support maintenance costs if these have to be met from capital rather than earnings. I sure am no rich guy, sadly, yet, but I face similar situations of my own every day. Was a time one could manage perfectly well from pension and bank interest - no more. The loss of a wife included the loss of a second pension coming into the pot; anyone who thinks catering for two equals twice catering for one is mistaken; the maths don't tell that tale at all. Just take winter heating as an example, the price of electricity if cooking at home, the price of petrol or diesel, these and many more are constants more difficult - impossible - to deal with on one pension instead of two. And when savings return an insult rather than interest...

Really, I think any salvation's going to come from an almost instantaneous spurt of international people-confidence; folks will arise on cue and say the hell with it, and just buy what they want to buy. A catalyst is required and we have to find it somewhere, but I do think it will be a matter of it coming to us rather than us doing the proactive thing.

As for Greece and the Euro - I think it will degnerate into another form of union altogether, possibly taking Spain along for the new ride.

It's like all clubs, ultimately; you can't have any great joy where some of the members are rich and want to go to Monaco for a week and others can't afford to join the trip.

Rob C
« Last Edit: August 23, 2012, 03:15:50 PM by Rob C » Logged

rgmoore
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« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2012, 10:21:06 AM »
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This is from a reply I posted over two years ago in response to Fred's thread: "What the hell is happening?"  It seems even more relevant today.


This is indeed a very interesting topic and the answer to the posed question involes numerous social, political, and economic changes over the years that have affected virtually every sector of the working world. Below are listed several items gathered from lectures on economics, radio discussions, news, and one of the books by Thom Hartmann entitled: "Screwed: the Undeclared War Against the Middle Class.

1. For about 150 years up until late 1970s in USA wages were steadily increasing and most could see that each generation
    did a little better financially and in general standard of living than the last.

2. During the last 3 decades wages have been stagnant and in some cases even decreasing if inflation is factored in.   
    A few explanations for these changes:
   
        a) Introduction of computers has increased productivity

            More women entering the work force

        c) Increase in the number of immigrants from Central and South America

        d) Deregulation of many industries and changes in trade policies and tax codes

        e) Moving entire factories overseas and outsourcing

        f) Weakening of labor unions     

3. The effects of these changes on the business sector

        a) Upper managemenet thought they died and went to heaven; they have a work force that is constantly     
            improving in productivity with the same wages
       
            Profits have soared as never before allowing cash heavy companies to take over other companies and
            astronomical salaries and bonuses for upper management
       
        c) The discrepency between CEO and laborers has increased to the extent that an average CEO makes more money
            before lunch on the 1st working day of the year than a laborer does for the entire year
   
        c) During the 1st decade of this century 400 richest individuals in US have doubled their wealth

4. Effects on the working families

        a) Working harder and longer hours with less time off while being happy just to have a job

            Disappearance of pensions and introduction of planned retirement 401(k)s, etc.

        c. Instead of higher wages working classes are provided with credit cards (more funds float to investor classes)

        d. Increased cost of healthcare and education

        e. At the end of their lives when illness drains lifelong savings people are given a chance for a reverse mortgage
            So no inheritance for the next generation.

This outline is not meant to be comprehensive. It is from what I consider to be relieable sources and as best as I remember and it does reflect my own experience in the working world as a Registered Nurse in the hospital for over 30 years. Even doctors are struggling and some have left their private practices as they are tired of fighting with insurance companies and have joined HMOs. Believe it or not, HMOs and insurance companies tell doctors how to practice to a large extent. Some of my nurse friends have changed jobs and even occupations and have come to the conclusion that there is no where to go and
no place to hide. Most hope that they can last until their retirement. 

I am told that the brightest minds in USA have chosen not to enter medical schools. Instead, they have gone into insurance, management, or investment banking. That's one reason why there are so many foreign MDs in USA. And these minds are indeed bright; they don't have to deal with unwashed masses, they tell doctors what to do, they make a ot more money than MDs, and even when they run a company into the ground and fail, they end up with aseverence package/golden parashoot.

But, this is photography forum.... in the 90's just by word of mouth I made over 25% of my income from portrait work.
It all dried up when the new century started. And that is the same story I hear from professional commercial and advertising photographers  know in San Francisco.

My examples and information are US based, but from all that I have gathered the same scene may apply to other parts of the world. If memory serves me they are attempting to change labor policy in France - longer working week - to be competitive in the world market. And my relatives in European Eastern Block tell me they feel enslaved by the emerging corporate culture even with the high hopes of joining EU.

So the short answer to your question: "what the hell is happening?" - is what is and has been happening for a few decades is that increasingly more money and power has been going into fewer hands leaving the vast majority of the population in the industrialized world (working classes) destitute and struggling.

I would be very interested in reading ideas on this topic from different parts of the world.       
           
Richard
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16     Equipment & Techniques / Medium Format / Film / Digital Backs Ė and Large Sensor Photography / Suggestion on RZ67 lenses for digital use    on: December 05, 2009, 12:03:28 AM
T-1000, Thank you.

Richard
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Rob C
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« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2012, 04:07:10 PM »
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I've read and heard the very same complaint for most of my life; those at the top of any tree will get the biggest reward, always. It's nothing new.

I can't see why attacking the 'middle-classes' would strike anyone as a clever strategy towards world domination; if anything, I would see it as a suicidal move by the putative men in bowler hats!

It makes absolutely no sense that I can see to crush the market that is supplying the buyers for your products.  What in hell would it serve anyone to hold all the money in the world and be unable to buy, sell, lend, rent anything? Where would be the source of continuity? I see these philosophies as a lot of uninformed, socialist claptrap. People who have money want it to work for them. For it to work for them, there have to be factories as well as hordes of people able to buy the stuff those factories produce. It's so simple to understand that I could scream when I hear these fantastical Mr Big scenarios aired yet again.

That many people in many companies are able to fail and still come out smiling is beyond denial; that doesn't equate with a plot to rule the world; it simply means that there are zillions of pretty slack shareholders doing nothing with their vote. The power for change is there; it has but to be exercised. Any person in a position to make money easily will find it pretty impossible to refuse the chance; self-regulation seldom works, even when it's a matter of a person's own health; why expect better in the work space?

The post to which I am replying sounds just like every other similar bleat; it never mentions the damage caused to industry by the intractable, militant unions that even their membership has now deserted in droves. After a time, it takes a very blind person not to see the damage he suffers in direct consequence of the actions some such union leaders used to promote; and they ain't stopping yet!

Nope, I can't accept anyone could seriously believe in dark plots against humanity by the very people whose continued comfort depends on the survival and buying power of the so-called victims. Don't square.

On a personal note: I don't quite understand the poster's position: °s he saying that he was a full-time nurse for 30 years, but for a long time was/is also making 25% of his money from photography? Or was he a nurse and then gave that up to become a full-time snapper? If he was running both interests at the same time, please don't expect a lot of sympathy from any professional photographer here whose full-time job was being damaged by the nurse's part-time one. Portraits aren't exactly rare as staple diet for many professional shooters working in so-called social photography.... I'm confused: based on little information, maybe professional photographers in San Francoisco are fair game... willing rapes, to be topical. Who'd miss 25% of someone else's earning potential? Who'd be happy to eat 25% of another's trade? Gosh, maybe it's the awful men in bowler hats! But that's where we came in.

Rob C
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rgmoore
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« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2012, 10:31:57 PM »
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Hi Rob,

Thank you for your thoughtful reply and your ideas.  Exchange of information is a good thing.  That's why we read and participate in the forum.

The rough outline I presented is not from my own analyses, but from materials read and learned in classes.  I have very little interest in economics;  however, when the marked crashed in 2000 and the
"retirement plan" lost significant value it seemed necessary to become educated in matters of saving for declining years.  Interestingly enough the charts and graphs in the link offered by Slobodan in the
opening post are in agreement with my own findings.  Undoubtedly the same information can be interpreted in different ways.  If I am off the mark on any of these issues,  I will be more than happy to
stand corrected;  it's a small price to pay for education and growth.

Now to address your comments "on a personal note:"  I had a lifelong interest in photography long before becoming a nurse.  When the kids were grown up and the wife elected to go back to work I decided to
reduce my day job to four days a week and concentrate more on my avocation.  Even before that I was taking pictures of family and friends which gradually led to getting a business license, tax ID number,
business insurance and joining the local chapter of Professional Photographers Association. It was a very different world in the 1990's;  there seemed to be enough work for everyone.  The fellow photographers 
in the association showed a healthy air of competitiveness, cooperation and support.  Some were teachers and mentors.  Those of us in the group who were part timers were never made to feel that were
were "damaging the livelihood of professional photographers."

If I am seen as doing wrong by competing in a free market economy based on the strength of my portfolio, interpersonal skills and the ability to meet the needs of the clients in a timely manner, than I have
to plead guilty as charged.... My short career as a semi-pro gradually faded by 2001 as it did unfortunately for some other photographers.  No I don't expect sympathy from anyone, but I have sympathy for
others during rough times.  I was fortunate to have had nursing to fall back on and went back to hospital duty full time,  at least to help my youngest with college tuition.

Fast forward a few years and I am nearly retired.  Still taking pictures for community service; (and no, I am not taking anyone's livelihood away).  I am helping professionals who are also volunteers in taking
portraits of cancer survivors who participate in fashion shows to raise money for cancer research. One never knows what life will serve up.  As John Lennon said:  "Life is what happens when we make other
plans."

All the Best,

Richard     
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Rob C
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« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2012, 03:29:39 AM »
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  Even before that I was taking pictures of family and friends which gradually led to getting a business license, tax ID number,
business insurance and joining the local chapter of Professional Photographers Association. All the Best,

Richard     


Based on that information, you were doing the right thing and I've no bitch with you at all; at least you tried to do it properly/legally (work in photography), unlike those today who do not.

Don't feel bad about the 'short career' in photography - it is the same for many, many people and it doesn't always say anything or everything about their photographic skill set, it says a lot, though, about the vagaries of a business that's ever been a bit iffy, possibly because there seem to be no legal restrictions on the qualifications needed to set up shop. If we got rid of that open doorway and created a technical gateway instead, respect would happen as it does for all other professional systems. Seems odd to me that the public has no security when it comes to renting a snapper, neither in how competent he might be nor with what will/might happen with the pictures shot...

As Chuck said: too much monkey business.

Rob C
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jeremypayne
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« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2012, 04:24:24 PM »
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Based on that information, you were doing the right thing and I've no bitch with you at all; at least you tried to do it properly/legally (work in photography), unlike those today who do not.

Um ... Rob ... what is the illegal and improper way to sell photographic services?

BTW ... very gracious of you to have given Richard your retroactive blessing to earn a living.
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Rob C
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« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2012, 05:27:37 PM »
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Um ... Rob ... what is the illegal and improper way to sell photographic services?

BTW ... very gracious of you to have given Richard your retroactive blessing to earn a living.


1. He did the required legal bit as per his report. The improper way is to do it unofficially, as a stab in the back to anyone working at it for a living, you know, doing for kicks in the work arena what another does for money in order to feed his kids and, as a result, act as spoiler. It really isn't a difficult concept; I'm surprised you had to ask me. Or were you just being mischievous?

2. Not retrospective; if you read my post to which he replied you should be able to understand that. Sarcasm really isn't your style - you haven't quite got the pH right; but keep trying, you'll eventually manage to hurt someone!

;-)

Rob C
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2012, 06:31:07 PM »
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I see million+ quid boats for sale every day; that doesn't imply that the owners are going or have gone bust, it can also suggest that they no longer want to support maintenance costs if these have to be met from capital rather than earnings.

They probably sold the 1M yacht to buy a 4M one. Who still wants to ride those 40 feet wrecks?

Cheers,
Bernard
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A few images online here!
Rob C
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« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2012, 04:06:58 AM »
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They probably sold the 1M yacht to buy a 4M one. Who still wants to ride those 40 feet wrecks?

Cheers,
Bernard


Inflation must be running high in Japan; your million pounds could do you a better, longer deal here in the Med. Sometimes you're better off at home.

If you like daydreaming, as I do, try the Sunseeker, Fairline and Riva sites, to name but a few.

Rob C
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jeremypayne
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« Reply #11 on: August 26, 2012, 09:49:30 AM »
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@RobC ... What a ridiculous attitude towards part-time work!  I'm sure there are lots of folks like myself around these parts that sell a print here and there and do some portrait work on the side that would take issue with your characterization ... but anyways ... 

Did someone say Sunkeeker?



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Rob C
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« Reply #12 on: August 26, 2012, 11:50:22 AM »
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@RobC ... What a ridiculous attitude towards part-time work!  I'm sure there are lots of folks like myself around these parts that sell a print here and there and do some portrait work on the side that would take issue with your characterization ... but anyways ... 

Did someone say Sunkeeker?



Part-time work.


People selling prints (as in art) do nothing to bother the majority of full-time pros; neither did those same people bother me in the main line of business that I was in. Where they did bother me, and where their effect has been radical, is in the stock photography business where they have, basically, ruined my pension plan.

Apart from girls, I would take advantage of my trips to shoot stuff that was destined for travel brochures etc. and that did sell reasonably well. Then, in came digital and everything went sour. From needing a modicum of expertise to shoot anything well, the cheapness of digital exposure and the inevitable multi-bracketing of everything opened a flood of crap that swamped an already fairly full industry. This, along with the appearance of microstock, made any form of stock shooting pretty well pointless because the prices sank below the floor. Yes, the odd, lucky shot will still get some money for the shooter, but as an industry, it's dead. Even the agencies are in a death struggle with the hope of being last man standing.


It's not the bigtime shooters who suffer; nobody gets to do fashion, architecture or advertising just because they have a website with their name on it; it's the smaller pros that carry the burden, the guys with the little studio doing general people shots, portraits, weddings, graduations that are slowly driven out of business.

But what's the point? Everybody knows the reality, and it's just a matter of looking the other way or looking, but keeping the mouth clenched firmly closed.

Rob C
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jeremypayne
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« Reply #13 on: August 26, 2012, 02:20:47 PM »
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...

To summarize ... the stock industry was illegally and improperly spoiled by local, part-time portrait and event shooters and now you don't have any money to enjoy your retirement.

Got it.




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Rob C
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« Reply #14 on: August 27, 2012, 03:35:13 AM »
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To summarize ... the stock industry was illegally and improperly spoiled by local, part-time portrait and event shooters and now you don't have any money to enjoy your retirement.

Got it.




1. What money I have has nothing to do with the 'pension plan' and is distinct.

2. I thought you could read but you can't; what have portrait and events shooters to do with me and my interests in stock?

3. Got it: no, you never will because you don't want to.

(Note to 3. Your pH is still a little off as, clearly, is your sense of logic... but keep trying.)

;-)

Rob C


« Last Edit: August 27, 2012, 04:16:47 AM by Rob C » Logged

Rob C
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« Reply #15 on: August 27, 2012, 09:56:48 AM »
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On further thought, Jeremy, I would imagine that for the sake of the rest of the folks here, the best course would be for us to ignore each other in perpetuity; there's nothing positive to come from further interaction as a peep into the past would show. We just don't work.

Ciao -

Rob C
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jeremypayne
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« Reply #16 on: August 27, 2012, 10:22:36 AM »
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On further thought, Jeremy, I would imagine that for the sake of the rest of the folks here, the best course would be for us to ignore each other in perpetuity; there's nothing positive to come from further interaction as a peep into the past would show. We just don't work.

Ciao -

Rob C

I reserve the right to make comments when you say stuff that doesn't make sense.
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kikashi
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« Reply #17 on: August 27, 2012, 12:18:16 PM »
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I reserve the right to make comments when you say stuff that doesn't make sense.

Since you're discussing stuff that doesn't make sense, you might like to think about the phrase "I reserve the right to...". I realise that it's much beloved of lawyers, but it's meaningless. If you have that right, you've no need to reserve it; and if you haven't, you've nothing to reserve.

Jeremy
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #18 on: August 27, 2012, 12:35:32 PM »
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Hmmm... perhaps I shall open another thread, reserved for discussing the semantics in this thread? Wink
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Slobodan

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jeremypayne
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« Reply #19 on: August 27, 2012, 06:07:18 PM »
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Since you're discussing stuff that doesn't make sense, you might like to think about the phrase "I reserve the right to...". I realise that it's much beloved of lawyers, but it's meaningless. If you have that right, you've no need to reserve it; and if you haven't, you've nothing to reserve.

Jeremy

"Copyright, All Rights Reserved" ... used to be the required verbiage from some old-school international copyright treaty, no?
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