Evidence that having a degree doesn't make you less of a dumbass...
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30-05-2014, 09:38 AM (This post was last modified: 30-05-2014 09:50 AM by EvolutionKills.)
RE: Evidence that having a degree doesn't make you less of a dumbass...
(30-05-2014 07:59 AM)djkamilo Wrote:  This is the elephant on the wall that leftists usually recognize as an issue but wrongly attribute it to the free market. It's the by-product of a government that has hugely open the doors to entitlements first to those who are unfortunate and then to special interest groups that want in on the subsidy action, Open the doors to one, the other is sure to follow.

Wolff actually acknowledges this, and his answer is not regulation. Why? Because after every economic downturn, there has been the implementation of regulation. The problem isn't with the regulation per se, but with the corporations; because they are an entity which has a vested interest in subverting and undermining regulations and it has the power to do so. Capitalism seems to be great at generating profits at all costs, and here in the United States we are seeing that cost coming home to roost in the aftermath of the corporations moving their production overseas for cheaper labor. Capitalism was great when it gave Americans increasing wages for 150 years while there was a labor shortage, but as soon as that balanced shifted Americans found themselves in a labor surplus starting with the 70's and soon found themselves on the short end of the economic stick.

He advocates for a stronger labor force that can get things done, like they were able to do during their heyday of power in the 1930's when the C.I.O. alongside the American Communist and Socialist parties got President Roosevelt to to employ 12 millions Americans and establish Social Security in the middle of the Great Depression. Unfortunately Socialists and Communists were demonized in the Cold War era, and the wealthy who resented what Roosevelt did to them (a 94% tax rate on the highest bracket) in order to raise the money needed for what he did, had every incentive to destroy their opposition. There are a lot of things we debate in America, but capitalism isn't one of them; and in this stagnation it's very worst habits have been allowed to fester without scrutiny.

He's also not advocating a draconian restructuring of all corporations. He's advocating for stronger labor to counteract runaway corporations, a labor force strong enough to not get chipped away but constant demands for concessions under the threat of moving overseas. He advocates for worker co-ops, where the decisions (what gets made, how much gets made, what it sells for, and what to do with the profits) are made by the workers. This system indeed existed before the United States, and can work on both small and large scales; there are real world examples working today. Do you value democracy? It basically breaks down to that if you have to deal with the consequences of the actions, you deserve a right in making the decisions. How is that done now in corporations? A handful of major shareholders (15-20) appoint the board of directors (15-20) who make all decisions. If the workers themselves ran the business, do you think they'd vote in favor of using a hazardous chemical with terrible health risk for themselves and their community for a small profit gain? No, but I bet the board of directors would, and have, and will continue to do so.

Does Wolff have all of the answers? No. But he makes a lot of sense and appears to have the backing of history. None of us are served by just dismissing criticism of the capitalist system itself out of hand.

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30-05-2014, 10:30 AM
RE: Evidence that having a degree doesn't make you less of a dumbass...
(30-05-2014 09:26 AM)Revenant77x Wrote:  US Steel, Standard Oil. We can start with them if you wish. BTW the appeal to authority you keep invoking is cute, as if someone need to have a degree in economics to have an opinion on regulatory law.

Ok, as far as US Steel, it was able to maintain its marketshare by scaring the American public into advocating against free trade especially from Asia. Asian steel would pose a competitive nightmare for the Steel industry due to the lower prices offered. The narrative was that it would kill American jobs. I would argue that they would be freed to work other positions but what do I know.

Standard Oil is a good case to make. It had up to 91% of marketshare production at its peak. By the time the anti-trust case was launched against it their market share was in steep decline from other competitors. It was eventually broken off into smaller companies. It would have become less competitive over the years in my opinion anyways but no way of knowing for sure.

A similar thing happened to A&P (once the largest grocery chain in the world) but in their case the legal battles lasted for years. By the time other competitors had caused A&P's decline in the 50's, the antitrust case against them was irrelevant.

BTW, I'm not appealing to authority as much as asking for basic economic concepts to be understood in order to understand the market, otherwise the conversation turns into a fuckfest of personal attacks and talking points. I never said you need a degree in economics, heck my background is Engineering, but at least do read some basics on it to have a field of communication that amkes sense.

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30-05-2014, 10:49 AM
RE: Evidence that having a degree doesn't make you less of a dumbass...
(30-05-2014 09:38 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Wolff actually acknowledges this, and his answer is not regulation. Why? Because after every economic downturn, there has been the implementation of regulation. The problem isn't with the regulation per se, but with the corporations; because they are an entity which has a vested interest in subverting and undermining regulations and it has the power to do so. Capitalism seems to be great at generating profits at all costs, and here in the United States we are seeing that cost coming home to roost in the aftermath of the corporations moving their production overseas for cheaper labor. Capitalism was great when it gave Americans increasing wages for 150 years while there was a labor shortage, but as soon as that balanced shifted Americans found themselves in a labor surplus starting with the 70's and soon found themselves on the short end of the economic stick.

He advocates for a stronger labor force that can get things done, like they were able to do during their heyday of power in the 1930's when the C.I.O. alongside the American Communist and Socialist parties got President Roosevelt to to employ 12 millions Americans and establish Social Security in the middle of the Great Depression. Unfortunately Socialists and Communists were demonized in the Cold War era, and the wealthy who resented what Roosevelt did to them (a 94% tax rate on the highest bracket) in order to raise the money needed for what he did, had every incentive to destroy their opposition. There are a lot of things we debate in America, but capitalism isn't one of them; and in this stagnation it's very worst habits have been allowed to fester without scrutiny.

He's also not advocating a draconian restructuring of all corporations. He's advocating for stronger labor to counteract runaway corporations, a labor force strong enough to not get chipped away but constant demands for concessions under the threat of moving overseas. He advocates for worker co-ops, where the decisions (what gets made, how much gets made, what it sells for, and what to do with the profits) are made by the workers. This system indeed existed before the United States, and can work on both small and large scales; there are real world examples working today. Do you value democracy? It basically breaks down to that if you have to deal with the consequences of the actions, you deserve a right in making the decisions. How is that done now in corporations? A handful of major shareholders (15-20) appoint the board of directors (15-20) who make all decisions. If the workers themselves ran the business, do you think they'd vote in favor of using a hazardous chemical with terrible health risk for themselves and their community for a small profit gain? No, but I bet the board of directors would, and have, and will continue to do so.

Does Wolff have all of the answers? No. But he makes a lot of sense and appears to have the backing of history. None of us are served by just dismissing criticism of the capitalist system itself out of hand.

I see.

To be sincerely honest, a democratic system in a business is just not going to get done voluntarily, if done by force (legislation) that will have terrible consequences for economic progress.

It's asking to share the profits, decisions, etc with those who didn't participate in the risk of the capital investment of the business to begin with and can't realistically share in the losses of the investment in the case that the business fails. The free market is a loss and profit system. Both of these tell a business to stay in course or to change course to avoid extinction. It has no values, morals, etc, just incentives. Unlike libertarians, I hold governement to be needed and helpful (though most times very inefficient) at dealing with negative externalities (sometimes called neighborhood effects) that a business creates that affect third parties uninvolved in the transactions of business and customer. This is particularly environmental effects but other potential externalities do occur from time to time that have to be considered.

I havent even seen Paul Krugman consider something like what Wolff is advocating for. It seems to me unrealistic and economically careless. But what do i know.

I do believe his motives are honorable, but as they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. An economist probably coined that imho.

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30-05-2014, 11:27 AM
RE: Evidence that having a degree doesn't make you less of a dumbass...
Having a degree and IQ are two separate items for sure. I am in college full time at the moment, and it amuses me to no end to see how stupid some of the instructors are, how they are unable to spell, put a sentence together or articulate a thought....don't get me started on the students....wow...

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30-05-2014, 11:38 AM
RE: Evidence that having a degree doesn't make you less of a dumbass...
(30-05-2014 10:30 AM)djkamilo Wrote:  
(30-05-2014 09:26 AM)Revenant77x Wrote:  US Steel, Standard Oil. We can start with them if you wish. BTW the appeal to authority you keep invoking is cute, as if someone need to have a degree in economics to have an opinion on regulatory law.

Ok, as far as US Steel, it was able to maintain its marketshare by scaring the American public into advocating against free trade especially from Asia. Asian steel would pose a competitive nightmare for the Steel industry due to the lower prices offered. The narrative was that it would kill American jobs. I would argue that they would be freed to work other positions but what do I know.

Say what? Nowhere in Asia was there even remotely comparable steel production. The largest industrial power there was Japan (and, at the time, Japanese Korea/Manchuria), and even then they were incredibly dependent on imports from the US (and prior to that, UK/Germany), since they couldn't meet their own demand in either quality or quantity.

Steel production in India only seriously started in the late 1930s; likewise for China.

I've literally never heard such a claim before. Source?

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30-05-2014, 11:41 AM
RE: Evidence that having a degree doesn't make you less of a dumbass...
(30-05-2014 11:27 AM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  Having a degree and IQ are two separate items for sure. I am in college full time at the moment, and it amuses me to no end to see how stupid some of the instructors are, how they are unable to spell, put a sentence together or articulate a thought....don't get me started on the students....wow...

Where do you go? if you dont mind me asking

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30-05-2014, 11:43 AM
RE: Evidence that having a degree doesn't make you less of a dumbass...
(30-05-2014 10:49 AM)djkamilo Wrote:  I see.

To be sincerely honest, a democratic system in a business is just not going to get done voluntarily, if done by force (legislation) that will have terrible consequences for economic progress.

False.

The MONDRAGON Corporation is a corporation and federation of worker cooperatives based in the Basque region of Spain. It was founded in the town of Mondragón in 1956 by graduates of a local technical college. Its first product was paraffin heaters. It is the seventh-largest Spanish company in terms of asset turnover and the leading business group in the Basque Country. At the end of 2012, it employed 80,321 people in 289 companies and organizations in four areas of activity: finance, industry, retail and knowledge.

Mondragon cooperatives operate in accordance with Statement on the Co-operative Identity maintained by the International Co-operative Alliance.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mondragon_Corporation


It is worker owned, but not worker managed. However it's the workers who select, hire, and fire the managers through yearly reviews. It is a far more egalitarian alternative way to participating in the greater capitalist system. This system is by no means perfect (no system is), but it's a compelling alternative. It's an option, another way of doing business.



(30-05-2014 10:49 AM)djkamilo Wrote:  It's asking to share the profits, decisions, etc with those who didn't participate in the risk of the capital investment of the business to begin with and can't realistically share in the losses of the investment in the case that the business fails. The free market is a loss and profit system. Both of these tell a business to stay in course or to change course to avoid extinction. It has no values, morals, etc, just incentives. Unlike libertarians, I hold governement to be needed and helpful (though most times very inefficient) at dealing with negative externalities (sometimes called neighborhood effects) that a business creates that affect third parties uninvolved in the transactions of business and customer. This is particularly environmental effects but other potential externalities do occur from time to time that have to be considered.

As opposed to what, Detroit? Where GM, Ford, And Chrysler can all just pick up and leave with zero consequence? Those in control of the surplus (the profits) of those companies get to make those decisions, and the workers in Detroit have no say in what happens. Doesn't matter if the workers moved to Detroit, doesn't matter if they lose their pensions, doesn't matter if their exit absolutely guts the city, doesn't matter if they can't make their mortgage payments when the corporations leave town; the corporations have zero responsibility. I don't think that's right. I think that needs to be fixed. Because I think that is absolute bullshit.

To say the workers have no risk, and are entitled to no input, is absolute bollocks. No risk? ENRON. End of story.

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30-05-2014, 11:44 AM
RE: Evidence that having a degree doesn't make you less of a dumbass...
(30-05-2014 11:41 AM)djkamilo Wrote:  
(30-05-2014 11:27 AM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  Having a degree and IQ are two separate items for sure. I am in college full time at the moment, and it amuses me to no end to see how stupid some of the instructors are, how they are unable to spell, put a sentence together or articulate a thought....don't get me started on the students....wow...

Where do you go? if you dont mind me asking

Saint Leo University Laughat perhaps that explains it ConsiderSmartassDrooling

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30-05-2014, 12:35 PM
RE: Evidence that having a degree doesn't make you less of a dumbass...
(30-05-2014 11:38 AM)cjlr Wrote:  Say what? Nowhere in Asia was there even remotely comparable steel production. The largest industrial power there was Japan (and, at the time, Japanese Korea/Manchuria), and even then they were incredibly dependent on imports from the US (and prior to that, UK/Germany), since they couldn't meet their own demand in either quality or quantity.

Steel production in India only seriously started in the late 1930s; likewise for China.

I've literally never heard such a claim before. Source?

Yes, I realized I was speaking in regards to much more recent years. I apologize.
In its peak in the early 1900's US steel held up to 50% to 70% of market share in the US if I'm not mistaken. They won an anti trust case in 1920 because the supreme court found us steel not to have engaged in illegaly driving out competition in spite of being a very large company. In spite of having been a strong player other competitors have driven it down from the 1st to the 10th largest steel company in the world.

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30-05-2014, 01:12 PM
RE: Evidence that having a degree doesn't make you less of a dumbass...
(30-05-2014 11:43 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  False.

The MONDRAGON Corporation is a corporation and federation of worker cooperatives based in the Basque region of Spain. It was founded in the town of Mondragón in 1956 by graduates of a local technical college. Its first product was paraffin heaters. It is the seventh-largest Spanish company in terms of asset turnover and the leading business group in the Basque Country. At the end of 2012, it employed 80,321 people in 289 companies and organizations in four areas of activity: finance, industry, retail and knowledge.

Mondragon cooperatives operate in accordance with Statement on the Co-operative Identity maintained by the International Co-operative Alliance.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mondragon_Corporation

It is worker owned, but not worker managed. However it's the workers who select, hire, and fire the managers through yearly reviews. It is a far more egalitarian alternative way to participating in the greater capitalist system. This system is by no means perfect (no system is), but it's a compelling alternative. It's an option, another way of doing business.

....
As opposed to what, Detroit? Where GM, Ford, And Chrysler can all just pick up and leave with zero consequence? Those in control of the surplus (the profits) of those companies get to make those decisions, and the workers in Detroit have no say in what happens. Doesn't matter if the workers moved to Detroit, doesn't matter if they lose their pensions, doesn't matter if their exit absolutely guts the city, doesn't matter if they can't make their mortgage payments when the corporations leave town; the corporations have zero responsibility. I don't think that's right. I think that needs to be fixed. Because I think that is absolute bullshit.

To say the workers have no risk, and are entitled to no input, is absolute bollocks. No risk? ENRON. End of story.

That's a very interesting company. I will look into it. Thanks.

As for Detroit, I'm not going to defend the businesses at all. They shouldnt have been given a bailout, this is exactly what tells businesses to keep doing the same old shenanigans. They need to face their mistakes when they run at a loss and change course if possible to survive. No one is as careful with the money of others as they are with their own.

It is unfortunate that workers in Detroit are so affected by the decline of the US car companies. It's terrible. The local corrupt politicians in Detroit dont help either. I dont see how it's the company's responsibility per se to make sure people pay their mortgage and so on after staff has been downsized unless agreed by both parties as the conditions of cease of employment.

I dont think there's an easy fix for a situation like that, just tradeoffs.

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