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Is 99% really for Socialism? (In response to a poster who said "yes")
  • FullDemocracy October 2011 +1 -1
    @dboydm

    Right now we are currently spending $13.7 trillion on consumption.

    Under the plan I advocate where you will get paid between $115k and $230k, we will spend a total of $13.7 trillion on consumption.

    Since total consumption remains the same, there is no inflation.

    97% will get a pay increase. But that will be offset by the 3% who are getting a pay decrease.
  • Law October 2011 +1 -1
    @FullDemocracy -

    Your compensation plan is currently based on difficulty of the job. I mentioned effort of the worker, those are different. You should add a section that addresses this and how it would be determined that a worker in not keeping up.

    You seem to have expenses and income mixed up. You are quoting the GDP (Income of America) for a single year. But your plan would INCREASE the EXPENSES of labor, ie: $115-$230K per head. On a balance-sheet this would go into the liability (expenses) side of the sheet. This does not take into account that operating expenses of these businesses, materials, etc... What this would do is balloon the amount of debt we would need to issue to cover this or we just print the money and they will create massive inflation. I am trying to give you the benefit of the doubt and reasonable work through this proposal so I am not just being dismissive but I think we will start doing all the math we will see just giving people a fixed amount of money is not feasible.

    Even yourself, you used the word "costs" in giving me an example. So you understand what an expense is. It is income to the worker but a cost to the business. You example is fit well for your numbers but in the real world, most employees in America make far less ($44,000 is the last median income figure I have read), so you would be driving costs up quite a bit for all businesses. Please explain this?

    Remember this money has to come from somewhere AND we still need many materials from abroad so we will need to operate in the international markets to get these materials.

    Sidenote: You are correct, my assumption of your proposal was a mis-statement in a sense because you have two tiers of income division. BUT, in making your outright false statement about gender and what I didn't say is totally off-base and downright rude. They don't compare and if you want to have a constructive conversation then don't do that again. You could of just quoted me and made your statement and to this point I have addressed many of them.
  • FullDemocracy October 2011 +1 -1
    @Law

    Since this has nothing to do with whether the 99% want socialism, and since others may benefit from this answer who are interested in this idea, and to keep thses posts organized, I'm going to respond to your comment under the Replace Capitalism with Democracy post:

    http://occupytogether.com/forum/discussion/comment/3811#Comment_3811
  • Law October 2011 +1 -1
    @FullDemocracy - Agreed, I look forward to you response.
  • Brutal_Truth October 2011 +1 -1 (+1 / -0 )
    Law:
    Thank you for the kind words and I apologize if I was a bit brusque. You're right, we are more similar than I had thought and yes I hadn't really been following the discussion before this so I probably should have read more on what you both were saying before I weighed in. OK, regarding capitalism and democracy, though I will certainly agree that the situation has gotten increasingly undemocratic and unrepresentative as time goes on I would never really consider the U.S. as having been a genuine democracy in the fullest sense of the word even at its beginning. For example with the founders, with Jefferson's "all men are created equal" line. Now granted today we can look at "men" as having the meaning "people" as we would render it in modern times rather than strictly males but even if one is speaking of just all males in the time of the young United States being equal they certainly were not. White, male landowners was the original extent of the electorate but women, non-whites and renters/tenant farmers were excluded from the franchise. So even after the war for independence (I refuse to call it a revolution) slaves were still slaves, paid workers were still underpaid and exploited and women were still second-class citizens. As time went on some aspects of American life became more open of course but at no time from independence to the present day has the American government really been representative of the interests of the non-wealthy. Typical examples of its supposed generosity and concern for the non-wealthy's interests that are frequently cited are the New Deal social programs including Social Security and the Great Society programs of the Lyndon Johnson administration including Medicare, Medicaid and the Civil Rights Act. But when one really thinks about the circumstances surrounding these examples one can discern different motives. The periods of time in which these events occurred, during the Great Depression (and only a few years more a decade after the Russian Revolution) and during the tumultuous 1960s respectively were two times of great anxiety for the wealthy ruling elite, two eras in which they could easily imagine their whole world being upended. The thought was "What can we give these people to appease them and prevent something much more costly and destructive to the existing social order?" In the 1930s it was the New Deal and in the '60s it was the Great Society programs. The idea being to placate the working class and poor in the hopes that it will stave off a revolution that would truly end their gravy train.

    Granted, even the ruling elite doesn't think and operate entirely as one entity and there were (and are) divisions of opinion within it. See for example the "Bankers plot" in the '30s in which a few Wall Street bankers approached the Marine Corps Maj.Gen. Smedley Butler in the hopes that he could get the military to overthrow F.D.R. and head the provisional government himself. Smartly Gen. Butler turned them down and told Congress about the matter. But that's one example of the ruling elite not thinking all with one mind on a subject. Obviously the bankers were of the other mindset, the "Let's just exploit the s**t out of them and don't worry about any appeasement, we'll be gone before they figure it out" school of thought rather than Roosevelt's more calculating chess game designed above all else to keep the goose that lays golden eggs alive and well. But ultimately, just as the U.S. ruling elite doesn't do anything foreign policy-wise without ulterior economic motives it is the same story for its domestic policies. And the U.S. government has always acted as the handmaiden of the ruling class, sometimes more hamfistedly and overtly as when it orders in the National Guard as strikebreakers and sometimes more surrepticiously and covertly as when it forms groups like the S.L.A. and the Weather Underground with which to tar the genuine radical left as bomb-throwing terrorists. No American president gets where he is without the elite first being sure he is a loyal puppet. Even J.F.K. started out as one and remained so until the Bay of Pigs invasion blew up in his face, then the scales seemed to fall from the eyes and he realized that the C.I.A. was selling him a bill of goods. When J.F.K. began cutting the puppet strings by saying that if reelected in '64 he would "break the C.I.A. into a million pieces and give foreign covert operations to the military", that he would end the Vietnam War by the end of 1965, that he would end the 29% oil depletion tax credit and having his brother the attorney general go after the C.I.A.'s buddies in the mafia the elite had had enough, saw that he had "gone rogue" and had him assassinated. Ever since then they have made doubly sure that no American president will ever have anything like an independent mind again. Even Jimmy Carter's administration was riddled with Trilateral Commission scum. In any case what I'm getting at is that America has never really had a genuine democracy, one in which we could vote for candidates including those who can be reliably trusted to enact progressive policies, Obama being the latest perfect example. I haven't seen anything that would make me think that capitalism, in America at least, is in any way conducive to meaningful democracy. To the contrary, it controls the political process thoroughly to its own benefit and gives the electorate a pretty narrow set of choices.

    I just can't help but feel that an economic model that can only do what it does by exploiting tens of millions of people is exceedingly wrong and barbaric. People can have different definitions of exploitation but if someone is being paid less than what would be considered a living wage in their area then as far as I'm concerned that is certainly exploiting them, taking advantage of them because they are able to do so. I don't really see another way to end the abuse and wage slavery without putting the businesses in the hands of the workers themselves who we can be sure won't exploit themselves and I don't see another way to provide a real motivation for the average wage worker to put in any extra effort, pay close attention, in general to do quality work without him or her having a stake in the company. If someone is saying to themselves "I could work faster and do a better job but last month when I did that all I got extra out of it was extra tired" they are just going to slop along and do the bare minimum because there is no economic incentive for them to do otherwise. When it is their business along with their brother and sister workers then they have no reason NOT to do the best job they can, turn out the best quality products they can, make the most professional-looking presentation to the customer as possible etc. As I discussed with Marchelo last week I think it was, I think that even a plan as short-range in its goals as raising the minimum wage to make it approximate a living wage (in everyone's area) and pegging it to inflation so that if the dollar loses 15% of its value next year the wage would increase by 15% to compensate, even something like that, because the bourgeoisie has had things their way for so very long and had such a malleable puppet government such a large gap has grown between many workers' wages and the cost of living, that even timid remedial measures would literally feel like radical shock therapy to them. Either price raises to compensate for the added payroll expenses or massive layoffs or both would result and if a (representative, responsive) government acting on behalf of the non-wealthy working class and poor levied heavy taxes against business owners for layoffs beyond the target date for the wage increase, taxes equal to or slightly greater than the amount the business owner would be saving by laying them off in order to deter the wave of layoffs, the bourgeoisie would respond by throwing up their hands and closing their businesses outright, effectively laying all of its workers off, because they would be unable to make any kind of a real profit or enough for it to be worth their while to keep their doors open. So even then there would be no recourse for the worker-friendly government and it would still end up with huge amounts of layoffs. And again, that is over something as comparatively small-beer as raising the minimum wage to make it approximate a living wage, not with anything so different from what they're accustomed to as a transition to direct worker ownership of the means of production and exchange. I just don't see a way to better the average overworked, underpaid American wage slave's standard of living and still retain the overall capitalist economic framework. To me it would have to come down to a choice: either keep things the way they are and just try to accept the slavery, inequality and lopsided opportunities that go along with the capitalist model; or make a clean break with current notions of bourgeois property relations and start off in a different direction toward having a middle class opportunity in life as a birthright by rearranging the social order to reflect what's best for the average non-wealthy person instead of something that is best for the average Rockefeller.

    Capitalism had a place in the grand scheme of things, the destruction of the ancient feudal absolutist model and the laying of the groundwork for the next phase. It has served its purpose and is daily wearing out its welcome. I say time for humanity to grow into its next stage of development, one that recognizes that we all deserve to start out with a good opportunity for success in life, not just those that are fortunate by accident of birth. Let the ugly prehistoric-looking caterpillar finally turn into the beautiful, advanced butterfly, the sooner the better. This country needs a peaceful social revolution in our streets and in our hearts. Nothing less will win us emancipation.

    Agrees: Law