Socialist Safety Net: Implications for the US

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Malice
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Re: Socialist Safety Net: Implications for the US

Postby Malice » Fri Nov 14, 2008 7:46 pm UTC

tehmikey wrote:People often compare a CEO to the standard population, but many do not realize the involvement of their job requirements. Most people do not work the same number of hours or have such a stressful job that requires such a wealth of knowledge.


Yes. But the difference between the difficulties of the jobs is outweighed many, many times by the difference in salary. If I work twice as hard and twice as long as somebody else, but get paid 30 times as much, there's naturally going to be some resentment.

I like the idea of being able to provide the basics for people who cannot obtain it for themselves, but I think we need to distinguish between those who try to make a living and those who are simply free loaders. I want to see the number of hours worked a week or proof that each individual is actively looking for a job before I give them something for free.


Have you ever tried going through a job interview when:
-You're wearing clothes you can't afford to replace or wash;
-You haven't showered in weeks because you have no home;
-You're desperate for whatever terms they want to give you, because you haven't eaten in a while;
etc., etc. Often times even the hardest workers need a leg up, like a shower, a change of clothes, a good meal, and help finding a job, before they can go out there and justify that assistance.

I understand that you're trying to weed out the bad investments; but it's very hard to do that without also losing some good investments. It's also irrelevant if you look at the question from the point of view that everybody has the right to survive and the right to basics (food, shelter, health care), regardless of whether they'll end up paying you back.
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Re: Socialist Safety Net: Implications for the US

Postby tehmikey » Fri Nov 14, 2008 9:05 pm UTC

Malice wrote:Have you ever tried going through a job interview when:
-You're wearing clothes you can't afford to replace or wash;
-You haven't showered in weeks because you have no home;
-You're desperate for whatever terms they want to give you, because you haven't eaten in a while;
etc., etc. Often times even the hardest workers need a leg up, like a shower, a change of clothes, a good meal, and help finding a job, before they can go out there and justify that assistance.

I understand that you're trying to weed out the bad investments; but it's very hard to do that without also losing some good investments. It's also irrelevant if you look at the question from the point of view that everybody has the right to survive and the right to basics (food, shelter, health care), regardless of whether they'll end up paying you back.


In the ideal situation, it should never get this bad. If the programs were in place as I mentioned from the beginning, there would be no problem. However, implementing it at an arbitrary point in time means we have to make this startup sacrifice that you mention.

This is a large start up to reach this point, and there are issues with handing things out freely. They can never be taken back. If you do not put requirements on it now, they will not be implemented until the problem is worse than we can manage.

I disagree that everyone has the 'right' to survive. I think that everyone has the right to have a 'fair opportunity' to surive. Which is why I talk about regulations. The problem is that we need to define 'fair opportunity,' but this is an impossible task. It is a difficult line to draw, and people are by no means capable of making it. I am more on the side of "let us draw it on the side of investment" rather than "let us draw it on the side of humanity."

/edit: An interesting point in the CEO resentment comment, but I do not wish to side track here. I would like to start a discussion about just compensation for jobs. Something along the lines of how much more you 'deserve' for differing levels of ability, schooling, experience, and work effort. People will always be jealous of those above them, and it is not always justified.

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Re: Socialist Safety Net: Implications for the US

Postby Ixtellor » Fri Nov 14, 2008 9:18 pm UTC

tehmikey wrote:Should the minimum wage/living wage value be enough to support an individual, or should it support a family? How many hours a week should this be based upon?


Its a matter of taste.

The real questions come down to:
1) Is there enough pie to go around.
2) If I give you a living wage, will I have to fire another employee to make up the difference.
3) If I give you a living wage, will I be forced to increase prices and see a downshift in demand for my product/service, thus be less profitable, and ultimatly end up firing you.

In a perfect world everyone who was willing to work would make a living wage.

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Re: Socialist Safety Net: Implications for the US

Postby dabigkid » Sat Nov 15, 2008 5:11 am UTC

tehmikey wrote:Should the minimum wage/living wage value be enough to support an individual, or should it support a family? How many hours a week should this be based upon?

Wage is a straw man and I'm getting tired of overuse of the term "living wage." The real concern is income, which should be able to support whomever. When the government intervenes and increase's a person's income, it is doing significantly less damage in the process. The Earned Income Tax Credit (a wonderful little thing) should be increased to provide livable incomes; there should not be a minimum wage to provide "living wages."

tehmikey wrote:But the difference between the difficulties of the jobs is outweighed many, many times by the difference in salary.

I wouldn't say that. Productivity to the margin-- that is, the amount your labor is worth to those who use what you output-- is ultimately what determines wages. If you're getting paid thirty times as much as someone, then we can assume that you're approximately thirty times more productive (to the margin) than that other person, not only for your effort but your human capital and probably a little luck. So I wouldn't say it's "outweighed"; it's compensated.
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Re: Socialist Safety Net: Implications for the US

Postby clintonius » Sat Nov 15, 2008 5:34 am UTC

What about when we're talking 364 times the pay? Doesn't this create an unnecessary imbalance between the top-level execs and those who might be a bit more needing of some sort of safety net?
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Re: Socialist Safety Net: Implications for the US

Postby TheStranger » Sat Nov 15, 2008 4:29 pm UTC

clintonius wrote:What about when we're talking 364 times the pay? Doesn't this create an unnecessary imbalance between the top-level execs and those who might be a bit more needing of some sort of safety net?


I don't see why... it is not the US government paying those executives, it is the board of directors for each company that determines how much the CEO is paid (or some other group within the company).
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Re: Socialist Safety Net: Implications for the US

Postby clintonius » Sat Nov 15, 2008 4:56 pm UTC

True, regarding who determines executive pay; however, you'll note that I simply said "creates an unnecessary imbalance." I stand by that statement. Wages in the $10 million + arena are a significant factor in overall income disparity, which is one of the reasons we need to debate having a safety net in the first place.
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Re: Socialist Safety Net: Implications for the US

Postby ddxxdd » Sat Nov 15, 2008 9:37 pm UTC

clintonius wrote:True, regarding who determines executive pay; however, you'll note that I simply said "creates an unnecessary imbalance." I stand by that statement. Wages in the $10 million + arena are a significant factor in overall income disparity, which is one of the reasons we need to debate having a safety net in the first place.


Well, to have this argument, we first need to discuss whether "income inequality" is really a problem; I'd rather discuss helping the poor over hurting the rich.

Also, if we're gonna get into a debate over whether someone "deserves" their income, we're gonna get into a back-and-forth intellectual ping pong match; We're just gonna state our opinions, which can't be proved right or wrong.
e.g. "I think Bill Gates deserves $100 trillion a year. Do you disagree? Too bad."

And finally, here's my input over the debate over whether the rich deserve their money or the poor deserve government help:
Spoiler:
For assistance to the poor:
1. If taxpayers are paying for this, will taxpayers be getting anything back from it?
2. If the poor will use this assistance to get shelter, food, clothes, shower, grooming, etc., is there a possibility that they could pay the government back over the course of their lives?
3. What will we do to prevent our safety net from becoming a hammock to live on without looking for more jobs. With the new expansion pack for World of Warcraft coming out, people living off the system without trying to find a job poses a real danger.

For whether or not the rich deserve their pay:
1. For the prospect of $33 million, would you work 10 times harder to get promotions and become the CEO of your company?
2. How much leverage do you have on your boss? Would you threaten to quit your job if you didn't get a bigger share of the corporation's profits?
3. Is the prospect of $33 million a year enough to make you quit your job, start your own business, and work 80 hour weeks on a small salary?
I'm waiting for someone to say something worth sigging...


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