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Capital vs. Social - A Different Look

PretzelCorps

Registered Member
For context, this began as a reply to this thread: http://www.generalforum.com/other-n...rns-out-unhappy-workers-84426.html#post990856

Since it kinda grew out of proportion, now it gets its own thread.

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If you're going to pay someone $8 an hour, you're going to get $8 an hour work, along with all the problems that come with paying a large number of people such a dismal wage (although I think you may be better able to live in the US on $8/hr than in Canada). That said, I wouldn't necessarily assume that Ikea's prices are based on the Swedish model; we don't necessarily know that all of their production plants are located in Sweden alone.

Anyway, if your argument is that wages are determined based on an employer/employee agreement, then you can't put all the blame on the union. The company holds waaaay more cards than the individual worker, and the union is an inevitable (and necessary) result. History has told us again and again and again the same story; if you put all of the power and wealth into the hands of a few over many, tension builds until the subjugated troupe can't take anymore, and explosive violence is the result. I am well aware of the damage caused by too-big, corrupt, unions, but at the same time, there is just as much damage caused by too-powerful, corrupt, corporations; it comes from both sides of the fence.
The Aphorism:
I agree that wages, etc. should be determined by market value, HOWEVER, it's important to recognize that 'market value' is determined by a majority power. Our aim should be to level the playing field between worker and corporation, so that the needs of both can be negotiated fairly; if you strike out the power of one side, you will quickly find that the other side no longer negotiates market value, but rather dictates it. That goes for both the too-powerful union, as well as the too-powerful corporation.
Administration positions should be paid more, yes, but some of the differences in income Stateside is just ridiculous. The so-called 'stresses' of administration are not enough to warrant such a broad gap in some areas. The proof of this is simple: if I had to be paid $8/hr to perform a job of my choice, I would immediately jump for the admin position, rather than spend 8 hours a day sitting in front of a conveyor belt. To me, this implies that the 'stresses/skills gap' simply isn't as broad as we'd like to believe; at the very least, not broad enough to justify CEOs and corporate heads making personal incomes well into the millions. A meager influx of $100,000/year into the employee pool is enough to raise the wages of 48 full-time employees by a full dollar/hour.



This probably isn't as organized as it should be, and I'm out of time, so I'll just bluntly throw my argument out there: The Industrial Revolution gave us Capitalism at its worst; the Socialist Revolution gave us Socialism at its worst --> Stemming from these separate events, the great success of the West was largely predicated on a beautiful harmony created between these opposing ideas, that saw the worker and corporation negotiating on a predominantly level playing field, in a Capitalistic environment.

The recent trend in American politics has been to believe that one side or the other (Capitalistic or Socialistic) must be destroyed completely, and deprived of all its power. Market values will be dictated, rather than determined; I believe that will destroy the harmony I spoke of, and ultimately destroy the West. So to speak.
 
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qweerblue

Registered Member
Dude, I love to read your writing. It's always balanced and thought-provoking and often includes perspectives that I haven't considered and knowledge that I don't have.

I'm not sure what you're hoping for with this thread, but after reading the OP several times, the thing that keeps buzzing 'round my noggin is "freedom". It took me far more years than I care to admit to realize that US citizens consider themselves the freest of all people and that their conception of freedom is rooted in the notion of individualism as opposed to collectivism. The arguments used to defend and support capitalism constantly invoke these notions, right down to calling the system a "free market." People are free to choose what jobs they want, people are free to choose not to support certain businesses and corporations, people are free to offer pocket lint as compensation for work, people are free to leave a job that dissatisfies them, people are free to close US companies and re-open shop in developing nations ... It's like as long as we frame everything as some exercise of "freedom", all is right with our world.

Socialism, here in the US, whether it is the abomination of it, as in the USSR et al, or whether it is a tweaking of it, as in Denmark, is still met with cries of, "That's not freedom!" I am always bemused by this, and it makes me wonder how we came to the point where we use ideas of freedom to justify deep poverty and the gargantuan income- and wealth-gap that marks the US. To hear most conservatives tell it, all we have to do is slash taxes, mandate little-to-no corporate and economic regulations, shrink government down to the size of a sugar-cube in a barrel of tea, and suddenly we would all be showered with material comfort. I don't buy it. I'm willing to accept a modified capitalistic system where workers' rights are elevated, where corporations are held accountable for their actions, and where basic needs, such as housing and health care, are guaranteed, but even that conversation gets derailed by the constant refrain of, you know, "That ain't freedom!"...
 

SmilinSilhouette

Registered Member
The idea that workers represent socialism and corporations represent capitalism leaves out the ruling class that controls both and is the one that actually impinges the god given freedom and liberty of individuals. Decentralized power is best for individuals and some form of reasonably regulated capitalism does that best. The problem with every system comes from the centralization of power always sought after by the ruling class.
 

Jeanie

still nobody's bitch
V.I.P.
The idea that workers represent socialism and corporations represent capitalism leaves out the ruling class that controls both and is the one that actually impinges the god given freedom and liberty of individuals. Decentralized power is best for individuals and some form of reasonably regulated capitalism does that best. The problem with every system comes from the centralization of power always sought after by the ruling class.
Who said freedom was god-given?
 

Jeanie

still nobody's bitch
V.I.P.
By that same token, I could say that I have a god-given right to make a decent wage and only other men can take that away.
 

SmilinSilhouette

Registered Member
By that same token, I could say that I have a god-given right to make a decent wage and only other men can take that away.
Did you read from the link provided? How does the individual have a right to that which does not belong to them (the wealth of others)? Free men have the right to enter into agreement. Free men can not be compelled to agree to that with which they disagree.
 

Jeanie

still nobody's bitch
V.I.P.
No I didn't. I'm going by that you said so. In other words, I'm trying to say that your argument - calling freedom "god-given" is asinine.
 

SmilinSilhouette

Registered Member
No I didn't. I'm going by that you said so. In other words, I'm trying to say that your argument - calling freedom "god-given" is asinine.
Sweet, respekin' my authoratii! Gotta dig that. :lol: ('cept the asinine part) but it is an integral part of what made the US the greatest! Even in doubt of our creator.

Follow the link to see the logic that I prescribe to, I'm sure it will be enlightening;)
 

Ilus_Unistus

Registered Member
I have seen this movie "Capitalism: a love story" by Michael Moore. I am not a Micheal Moore fan and I think he thinks in extremes mostly. With that said, I think in this film he proved an important point. If more companies were "worker owned" vs the capitalistic dream, then wages would be more fair for all, people would work harder for THEIR business to thrive. Private sector unions would have little to no power or control any longer, saving workers Billions each year.

I am sure there maybe a down side to this someone will point out, but to be honest to you, I can think of no downside, except that instead of 1 person in the company reaping all the benefits, all the employee/owners would. It is a socialist Ideal I think, but I believe it is one that could be more successful than the capitalist way.
 
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