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Author Topic: Economic Crisis Part II  (Read 6487 times)
Ray
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« on: July 27, 2013, 07:45:38 AM »
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Crikey! I never thought I'd see the day when Rob C closed a thread. What is it that's so sensitive about this topic, Rob? Are you the equivalent of a modern-day Luddite? You know, those 19th century English artisans who strongly objected to labour-saving machinery.

I actually rejoice in the increasingly sophisticated mechanization of the processes of production. All civilizations have been built on a type of slavery of some sort, ie, forcing or enticing large numbers of people to submit to no-pay or low-pay drudgery. It doesn't have to be like this with modern technology. It should be technologically possible for an entire population to live a lifestyle of security, freedom, creativity and reasonable but not necessarily equal luxury, based essentially on the slavery of huge numbers of robots.


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This thread has turned into a nonsense.

Egalitarian dreams built upon relatively limited supplies of personal, hands-on running of anything.

1. People are not born equally talented.

2. Pupžls in the same school, attending the same class will achieve vastly different degrees of success, despite sitting before the same teacher. Some kids are there to learn where others to disrupt and appear cooler than thou to their equally ignorant mates. The variations can and often do exist amongst kids from the same parents. I know this, from experience. It is not based on opportunity; it is based upon individual personality.

3. Employment. People find jobs because someone else needs them to perform a function for which they are, hopefully, trained. There is huge confusion in some circles about that relationship, some thinking that the employee is the person of principal value within that context. Yes, he or she can be, depending on rŰle, but more often than not can be replaced whereas the entrepreneur cannot.

4. Some are born into riches and develop them further; others simply squander and often the third generation closes the business down or loses control to outside money.

5. Supply and demand is always the factor that governs the success of something, and when that productís time is up Ė heavy engineering in the UK, for example, time is up, however hard it is for those once flourishing within it. It hits huge companies and even nationalised industries every bit as much as minnows such as myself. When it creased to make sense for me to plough money into stock photography, thatís the same logic that tells a government to stop backing redundant industries. That in my case itís a part of one family that takes the hit makes it no less real a hit; that miners and shipyard workers and their families get hit is unfortunate, but they deserve no more sympathy than do I and mine. Whether itís one or a group, the pain is the same.

6. This thread was never intended to create bitter splits in Lula, and perhaps it hasnít: it may have just given opportunity for the usual suspects to unwind their bloodied, crimson banners another time. Either way, Iím afraid I see no further value here on this theme.

Rob C
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2013, 09:01:32 PM »
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And now something completely different:

A dissenting and fresh view from the uber-rich (or someone very close to the really uber-rich - Warren Buffett's son):

The Charitable-Industrial Complex
« Last Edit: July 27, 2013, 09:03:15 PM by Slobodan Blagojevic » Logged

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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2013, 10:20:49 PM »
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Thanks for posting that link, SB. It does make one think.
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-Eric Myrvaagnes

http://myrvaagnes.com  Visit my website. New images each season.
Ray
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« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2013, 11:56:26 PM »
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Yes, that's an interesting article, Slobodan. Its sad that aid to developing nations is often not managed sensibly, does not always reach or help those in most need, and is often syphoned off by corrupt officials for their own purposes.

The bottom line as I see it is, whatever we do, whether starting a business, running a business, getting the plumbing in our house repaired, or helping poor people in undeveloped nations to raise their living standards, it should be done competently and effectively to achieved the desired outcomes. If it's not, the money, goods, services, and people's time are wasted.

However, feeling good from the mere act of giving is a reality. It is more blessed to give than to receive, is it not?  Wink

In Thailand there's a daily ritual of Buddhist monks walking the streets with alms bowl in hand, or under robe. They are not begging. They are providing the opportunity to the members of the community to feel good about giving.

To take the photo attached, I had to get up really early in the morning. Thank you barking dogs for waking me early.  Grin
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2013, 11:37:31 AM »
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Two illustrated (this is a photo forum after all Smiley) contributions to the debate (that are making circles on the Internet):



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Slobodan

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RSL
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« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2013, 01:12:33 PM »
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Hi Slobodan, How about defining a "living wage" for us.

Seems to me I read somewhere that the UN defined it for third-world countries as $2 a day, but according to "Investopedia" "The goal of the living wage is to allow employees to earn enough income for a satisfactory standard of living." (emphasis added)

Does a "satisfactory standard of living" include an SUV? How about a color TV in each room in the house? How about central air conditioning?

What, exactly, is a living wage? Unless you can define it in dollars and cents there's no way to know whether or not companies are providing it. It also would help for the definition to include exactly what parts of the "living wage" are to be spent on what. If you don't specify that there's no way to know whether or not the "living wage" is being reduced to an "unliving wage" by irresponsible expenditures.

Until we have a clear definition of a "living wage" talking about it is meaningless. Isn't it?
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2013, 01:52:41 PM »
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Russ, I think you've been in contact with Isaac way to often, so some of his sophism and hairsplitting seems to have infected you Wink

Like pornography, you'll know it when you see it. When a welcome package to new employees includes "friendly" instruction how to apply for food stamps, you known it is not a "living wage," for instance.
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Slobodan

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RSL
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« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2013, 02:39:30 PM »
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So, in other words, you haven't a clue what a "living wage" means, but we'll know it when we see it?

In other words the term "living wage" means whatever the person using it intends it to mean. Is that Humpty Dumpty sitting there next to you, Slobodan?
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Ray
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« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2013, 08:33:50 PM »
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C'mon Russ! It's pretty obvious. A living wage is that which is sufficient to provide the necessities of life, such as food, clothing, shelter, and medical care.

However, as a result of the varying levels of competence, knowledge and understanding that different individuals possess, a wage that one person may consider adequate to provide those essentials, may be considered as inadequate by another.

To take just one example, a person who is used to gorging herself on tasty but junk food, and eating far more than she needs, paying a premium for foods such as gourmet or connoisseur ice cream, and casually throwing away a whole carton of eggs because one of them is cracked, may find it difficult to adjust to a so-called living wage.

In my view, when people go on unemployment benefit, they should be required to attend a brief course on how to sensibly manage their minimum wage. People can be surprisingly ignorant on very basic issues. I came across a report recently that indicated that approximately 50% of all Americans are not aware that it takes one year for the earth to encircle the sun.  Wink
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Ray
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« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2013, 10:23:37 AM »
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Very strange. I was about to post a reply in this thread to a Pete Ferling who had made a fairly long post baring his soul, then discovered his post has disappeared without a trace. He's not only deleted his post but appears to have ceased his membership to the forum. Perhaps he was worried he'd been too frank about his background, revealing too much.
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Manoli
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« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2013, 11:06:45 AM »
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Very strange. I was about to post a reply in this thread to a Pete Ferling who had made a fairly long post ..

Likewise.
It was lengthy, but also eloquent and succinct, seemingly without any 'posturing'. Credit to the man.
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RSL
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« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2013, 11:18:03 AM »
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+1
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RSL
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« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2013, 11:26:43 AM »
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C'mon Russ! It's pretty obvious. A living wage is that which is sufficient to provide the necessities of life, such as food, clothing, shelter, and medical care.

However, as a result of the varying levels of competence, knowledge and understanding that different individuals possess, a wage that one person may consider adequate to provide those essentials, may be considered as inadequate by another.

To take just one example, a person who is used to gorging herself on tasty but junk food, and eating far more than she needs, paying a premium for foods such as gourmet or connoisseur ice cream, and casually throwing away a whole carton of eggs because one of them is cracked, may find it difficult to adjust to a so-called living wage.

In my view, when people go on unemployment benefit, they should be required to attend a brief course on how to sensibly manage their minimum wage. People can be surprisingly ignorant on very basic issues. I came across a report recently that indicated that approximately 50% of all Americans are not aware that it takes one year for the earth to encircle the sun.  Wink

And exactly what wage is sufficient to provide the necessities of life Ray? Right after you made that statement you pointed out that what's a necessity to one person can be an extravagance to another.

I'd agree with your final paragraph, though I doubt the people who need the course would stay awake during the presentation. And if you think the fact that 50% of Americans aren't aware that it takes a year for the earth to go around the sun, consider that probably 80% haven't a clue how many branches of government we have, much less what their names are and what they're supposed to do. Seems to me I remember a survey of college students that showed 50% of them had no idea what country is south of the U.S. All of these people vote. Think that might be a problem?
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Vladimirovich
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« Reply #13 on: July 29, 2013, 12:00:47 PM »
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And exactly what wage is sufficient to provide the necessities of life Ray? Right after you made that statement you pointed out that what's a necessity to one person can be an extravagance to another.

I'd agree with your final paragraph, though I doubt the people who need the course would stay awake during the presentation. And if you think the fact that 50% of Americans aren't aware that it takes a year for the earth to go around the sun, consider that probably 80% haven't a clue how many branches of government we have, much less what their names are and what they're supposed to do. Seems to me I remember a survey of college students that showed 50% of them had no idea what country is south of the U.S. All of these people vote. Think that might be a problem?

and how is that related to your son not providing a medical insurance to his employees ? yawn.
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RSL
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« Reply #14 on: July 29, 2013, 12:12:32 PM »
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Who said he doesn't? Vlad, you need to learn to read more carefully.
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Ray
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« Reply #15 on: July 29, 2013, 12:15:16 PM »
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And exactly what wage is sufficient to provide the necessities of life Ray?

Russ,
A wage which is determined from an analysis of the average cost of food in the particular country, the cost of modest accommodation, and the general cost of living. Such wages and benefits, once established, are usually indexed to the inflation rate.

In the Lucky Country, civilized Australia, the maximum unemployment rate for a single person without family is close to $500 per fortnight. In addition to that, an unemployed single person living in rental premises could receive up to another $123 per fortnight rental assistance. All medical services, including dental treatment, would also be free for the unemployed.

Those with a bit of nous may be able to use some of their spare time, when not looking for a job, to make such payments stretch further, especially if their house has a garden. They could try growing a few vegetables, for example.  Grin
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RSL
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« Reply #16 on: July 29, 2013, 12:55:44 PM »
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So what you're saying is that what constitutes a wage "sufficient to provide the necessities of life" depends on a political decision.

Strikes me that whether or not an employee is making a "living wage" depends on whether or not the employee is able to live. If he can't, then he has two choices: die, or find another job.

People here in the U.S., living in the kind of luxury experienced even by those below the "poverty threshold," as defined in the U.S. by the department of Health and Human Services, get all bent out of shape about what they consider a "non-living" wage in countries they've never been in and have absolutely no conception of. When I hear somebody bleating about a "living wage" it almost always turns out that the bleater either is an over-educated college kid with not the faintest clue what poverty actually is, or somebody tooting a left-wing propaganda line for political reasons.
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #17 on: July 29, 2013, 01:09:25 PM »
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...When I hear somebody bleating about a "living wage" it almost always turns out that the bleater either is an over-educated college kid with not the faintest clue what poverty actually is, or somebody tooting a left-wing propaganda line for political reasons.

And Costco CEO fits where?
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #18 on: July 29, 2013, 01:14:20 PM »
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...he has two choices: die, or find another job...

Excellent summary, Russ! *

And given the abundance of the latter, the former seems like a no-brainer (or would it be a blow-brainer?)


* That would be sarcasm, Russ, but I am sure you have no trouble recognizing it Wink
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Slobodan

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RSL
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« Reply #19 on: July 29, 2013, 02:31:26 PM »
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And Costco CEO fits where?

Come on Slobodan. You supposedly know enough about economics to understand that raising the minimum wage doesn't result in a "living wage." What it results in is less people making a wage at all. It never ceases to amaze me how many people think the laws of economics are elastic. Even most of the politicians who come across with this crap don't really believe what they're saying. They know better, but telling the truth doesn't boost their reelection prospects.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2013, 02:34:23 PM by RSL » Logged

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