OtherGround Forums It Shouldn't be "Capitalism Vs Socialism"

13 days ago
1/1/01
Posts: 10715
jspeed - 
robert bentley -

Oh - and about corporate taxes. They do pay a lot in taxes, but not proportional to how much they benefit. They also find ways to hide as much of their money as possible. Do you remember when the Panama papers came out showing clearly how corporations everywhere avoided paying what they were supposed to in taxes by hiding all of their money? 

 

"They do pay a lot in taxes, but not proportional to how much they benefit."

 

Generally speaking, businesses provide far more benefit to a city than they receive, even if they pay 0% in taxes.

Amazons HQ2 in New York was going to bring 25,000 - 40,000 jobs at an average salary for $150,000.  An economic impact study showed that Amazons move into the state could bring about $27.5 billion to the state (if they hit 40,000 in employment)...

 

What percentage of their profit *should* they have to pay to the state in taxes in your opinion?


It's interesting seeing how this is framed. 

If a person works for a company - the company gets benefit, and the person gets a wage. This isn't the corporation doing anyone a favor - but an exchange. Amazon doesn't pay someone $150k unless they're capable of ensuring Amazon is able to pull in more than that number. Employment isn't a gift, it's something someone agrees to do in exchange for money. Without employees amazon would make precisely zero dollars, and Bezos would not be a billionaire. 

Amazon's status is made possible by the hard work of the employees (not just the acumen of Bezos), and their compensation for their work shouldn't be where Amazon's commitment ends. That's because they're not just benefiting from their employees work (which is what they're compensating them for), they're benefiting from the infrastructure, law enforcement, emergency services, and other publicly funded elements.

Elements they *aren't* paying for if they don't pay taxes.

This whole framing of the situation between employer and employee is peculiar (also VERY North American). While you might like your job, do you consider it a "gift" that you're grateful for and that you're not really providing any value to the company, or do you see yourself as someone who *earns* their wages by being a hard worker as a valuable revenue generating member of the company?

As far as what percentage of their profit should they have to pay? It would depend on how much they use and/or benefit from all publicly funded infrastructure/services. If a single family with one vehicle uses the roads X amount, and amazon's delivery trucks use the roads 10,000 times X - they should pay (with respect to that very specific aspect) 10,000 times what that family does for the roads (whatever that value would be). If the person in that single family is employed by Amazon - he's already given Amazon their benefit for the money they brought to his family, by being a valuable employee. Saying that Amazon deserves even more benefit on top of that is pure entitlement. 

 

13 days ago
1/1/01
Posts: 10716
The Jentleman - 
robert bentley -

"They also pay a lot in taxes and fees. Most roads are going to be state and local. They pay a lot of money in higher property taxes for commercial properties, higher tolls for those delivery trucks, licensing, etc.

I’m currently dealing with red tape. Much of it is about money and power. I actually have a lot of first hand knowledge regarding that.

I can name Newman’s Own and Costco off the top of my head. The technology firm I currently work with has been in business over 30 years with an excellent track record. In fact, I know lots of small and medium size corporations that are very good. They may not be billion dollar companies, because they’re not all about the money, but that’s why you never hear about them.

On the flip side, I can’t name a single government that hasn’t had any problems/issues/crimes that doesn’t exploit or cause long lasting damage, etc."

Can I ask the nature of the red tape you're dealing with? (totally cool if not, I'm just interested and know I'm not owed any information). 

Perhaps there's a (rought) correlation then between the size of a corporation and the level of its destructive power. You mention small and medium sized businesses - and perhaps simply having fewer disconnects between what's being done and the consequences of those actions make it harder for the people in charge to make purely selfish decisions. If the CEO ends up seeing and personally interacting with most of their employees their decisions regarding their welfare may be better motivated.

With respect to government crimes, the worst ones in American history (especially recent history) are *directly* tied to corporate influence. Wall Street favors (one of the most popular reasons people hated Hillary were her corporate ties), the entire prison industrial complex, a LOT of U.S foreign military involvement (Blackwater, Arms sales, companies profiting directly from U.S involvement in Iraq etc.). 

In developed countries with less corporate influence you'll see a government with less corruption. Of course there will never exist a government totally devoid of corruption, but increased corporate power is clearly a corrupting factor.

I don’t want to go into exact details but I will say that even though all things are done properly and would pass stringent inspections, and I’ve pulled all the necessary permits, I’m told there’s certain wheels that need to be greased first. Which would result in redoing licensing and permits from the local government which is for nothing but giving money.

The number of companies able to influence policies is very small in percentage. Plus there has to be corrupt people in government to be influenced. The governments that don’t have much corporate influence are usually those who are quite dictatorial. Not good for anyone.

That said, I would outlaw lobbying in a heartbeat. I don’t disagree that huge corporations have too much control. They help push “red tape” that hurt small companies and stifle their competition. It’s kind of funny because the corruption you’re pointing out with some of these corporations goes hand in hand with the corruption in government that hurts the rest of us. They’re married to one another in unholy matrimony. Two sides of the same coin.

I want to remove some of the power on one side (big corporations with too much influence), but not by giving it to the other side (big government with final say). Big government should lose some of it’s power too. 


I think we're getting close to squeezing this (pleasant) discussion for what it's worth, so I'd like to propose some common ground we can agree on. Feel free to correct me if I've made any false assumptions:

1)The power of the free market is valuable and essential for progress.

2)*Completely* unchecked corporate power/influence is a bad thing (I think we disagree on what this means exactly, and where to draw the line - but neither of us believe that total government control or total corporate control are good things)

3)There is at least some truth to the original statement of the thread - that the whole argument is usually approached in an overly simplistic fashion and that the whole "Team Capitalism Vs Team Socialism" tribalism rarely produces productive discourse. And that *perhaps* there are positive aspects to different systems around the world which can be constructively looked at to inform us for better policy (your example about stopping/limiting lobbying for example).

Anyway - thanks so much for contributing to the thread. I've learned a lot and I know our differences in opinion aren't for any nefarious reasons.

If there's anything you'd like to add (or change) to what I think might be points we can both agree on feel free to add. (I hope I was fair in my representation of your position)

13 days ago
10/6/17
Posts: 4317
robert bentley -
jspeed - 
robert bentley -

Oh - and about corporate taxes. They do pay a lot in taxes, but not proportional to how much they benefit. They also find ways to hide as much of their money as possible. Do you remember when the Panama papers came out showing clearly how corporations everywhere avoided paying what they were supposed to in taxes by hiding all of their money? 

 

"They do pay a lot in taxes, but not proportional to how much they benefit."

 

Generally speaking, businesses provide far more benefit to a city than they receive, even if they pay 0% in taxes.

Amazons HQ2 in New York was going to bring 25,000 - 40,000 jobs at an average salary for $150,000.  An economic impact study showed that Amazons move into the state could bring about $27.5 billion to the state (if they hit 40,000 in employment)...

 

What percentage of their profit *should* they have to pay to the state in taxes in your opinion?


It's interesting seeing how this is framed. 

If a person works for a company - the company gets benefit, and the person gets a wage. This isn't the corporation doing anyone a favor - but an exchange. Amazon doesn't pay someone $150k unless they're capable of ensuring Amazon is able to pull in more than that number. Employment isn't a gift, it's something someone agrees to do in exchange for money. Without employees amazon would make precisely zero dollars, and Bezos would not be a billionaire. 

Amazon's status is made possible by the hard work of the employees (not just the acumen of Bezos), and their compensation for their work shouldn't be where Amazon's commitment ends. That's because they're not just benefiting from their employees work (which is what they're compensating them for), they're benefiting from the infrastructure, law enforcement, emergency services, and other publicly funded elements.

Elements they *aren't* paying for if they don't pay taxes.

This whole framing of the situation between employer and employee is peculiar (also VERY North American). While you might like your job, do you consider it a "gift" that you're grateful for and that you're not really providing any value to the company, or do you see yourself as someone who *earns* their wages by being a hard worker as a valuable revenue generating member of the company?

As far as what percentage of their profit should they have to pay? It would depend on how much they use and/or benefit from all publicly funded infrastructure/services. If a single family with one vehicle uses the roads X amount, and amazon's delivery trucks use the roads 10,000 times X - they should pay (with respect to that very specific aspect) 10,000 times what that family does for the roads (whatever that value would be). If the person in that single family is employed by Amazon - he's already given Amazon their benefit for the money they brought to his family, by being a valuable employee. Saying that Amazon deserves even more benefit on top of that is pure entitlement. 

 

I would say it’s just pointing out how all companies are a major part of this society. You can’t say they”benefit from society” moreso when they’re quite intricately woven into what makes a great society to begin with.

Again, I’m referring to the average company/corporation.

That “culture of corruption” that we discussed earlier that exists in some corporations has existed in our government for a very long time. I wouldn’t want those corporations making final policy decisions for major swaths of our economy because of that corruption, so why would I want our demonstratively corrupt government to have that same power?

13 days ago
10/6/17
Posts: 4318
robert bentley -
The Jentleman - 
robert bentley -

"They also pay a lot in taxes and fees. Most roads are going to be state and local. They pay a lot of money in higher property taxes for commercial properties, higher tolls for those delivery trucks, licensing, etc.

I’m currently dealing with red tape. Much of it is about money and power. I actually have a lot of first hand knowledge regarding that.

I can name Newman’s Own and Costco off the top of my head. The technology firm I currently work with has been in business over 30 years with an excellent track record. In fact, I know lots of small and medium size corporations that are very good. They may not be billion dollar companies, because they’re not all about the money, but that’s why you never hear about them.

On the flip side, I can’t name a single government that hasn’t had any problems/issues/crimes that doesn’t exploit or cause long lasting damage, etc."

Can I ask the nature of the red tape you're dealing with? (totally cool if not, I'm just interested and know I'm not owed any information). 

Perhaps there's a (rought) correlation then between the size of a corporation and the level of its destructive power. You mention small and medium sized businesses - and perhaps simply having fewer disconnects between what's being done and the consequences of those actions make it harder for the people in charge to make purely selfish decisions. If the CEO ends up seeing and personally interacting with most of their employees their decisions regarding their welfare may be better motivated.

With respect to government crimes, the worst ones in American history (especially recent history) are *directly* tied to corporate influence. Wall Street favors (one of the most popular reasons people hated Hillary were her corporate ties), the entire prison industrial complex, a LOT of U.S foreign military involvement (Blackwater, Arms sales, companies profiting directly from U.S involvement in Iraq etc.). 

In developed countries with less corporate influence you'll see a government with less corruption. Of course there will never exist a government totally devoid of corruption, but increased corporate power is clearly a corrupting factor.

I don’t want to go into exact details but I will say that even though all things are done properly and would pass stringent inspections, and I’ve pulled all the necessary permits, I’m told there’s certain wheels that need to be greased first. Which would result in redoing licensing and permits from the local government which is for nothing but giving money.

The number of companies able to influence policies is very small in percentage. Plus there has to be corrupt people in government to be influenced. The governments that don’t have much corporate influence are usually those who are quite dictatorial. Not good for anyone.

That said, I would outlaw lobbying in a heartbeat. I don’t disagree that huge corporations have too much control. They help push “red tape” that hurt small companies and stifle their competition. It’s kind of funny because the corruption you’re pointing out with some of these corporations goes hand in hand with the corruption in government that hurts the rest of us. They’re married to one another in unholy matrimony. Two sides of the same coin.

I want to remove some of the power on one side (big corporations with too much influence), but not by giving it to the other side (big government with final say). Big government should lose some of it’s power too. 


I think we're getting close to squeezing this (pleasant) discussion for what it's worth, so I'd like to propose some common ground we can agree on. Feel free to correct me if I've made any false assumptions:

1)The power of the free market is valuable and essential for progress.

2)*Completely* unchecked corporate power/influence is a bad thing (I think we disagree on what this means exactly, and where to draw the line - but neither of us believe that total government control or total corporate control are good things)

3)There is at least some truth to the original statement of the thread - that the whole argument is usually approached in an overly simplistic fashion and that the whole "Team Capitalism Vs Team Socialism" tribalism rarely produces productive discourse. And that *perhaps* there are positive aspects to different systems around the world which can be constructively looked at to inform us for better policy (your example about stopping/limiting lobbying for example).

Anyway - thanks so much for contributing to the thread. I've learned a lot and I know our differences in opinion aren't for any nefarious reasons.

If there's anything you'd like to add (or change) to what I think might be points we can both agree on feel free to add. (I hope I was fair in my representation of your position)

To not nitpick, I would say this was definitely a fair representation.

To be honest, if our government wasn’t so corrupt I would even give a closer look at Universal healthcare, even though I don’t believe it would be a better system than actually letting the free market work.

Thank you for the largely pleasant debate.

 

13 days ago
3/13/02
Posts: 12049
robert bentley - 
paw - 
robert bentley - 

This is a childish framing of the discussion and essentially a result of tribalism. People are less interested in discussing whatever the topics are at hand than they are yelling about which team they're on -- and in this case it's "Team Capitalism Vs Team Socialism"

It shouldn't be a one-or-the-other, it should be "How can we make our current system better" - period.

And if that means taking ideas from other systems, or tweaking aspects of your current system, then so be it. 

When you make a topic more about an identity to be protected, you're less likely to listen to good ideas. There are wonderfully functional free-market economies out there in the world that allow for wealth-generation, property ownership, and private enterprise...all while tackling issues such as worker's rights, poverty, education, healthcare, and social support systems.

These systems aren't perfect by any stretch of course - but there are *some* things they're doing better than the U.S and it would make sense to look at how they're tackling these problems instead of dismissing everything that isn't corporate worship as socialism or communism.

For example - I believe in the power of the free market and don't believe there should even BE a minimum wage. However - I also believe that employees should have more rights than they do now (particularly the right to organize/unionize). The general working class should have more control over what is and isn't acceptable with respect to their treatment, and when they have that power - a federally mandated minimum wage isn't necessary.

BUT - in the U.S perhaps a higher minimum wage IS necessary. If corporations and lobbyists aren't willing to cede ground in allowing people to organize etc then they have no real power to keep corporate interests in check. Perhaps in this scenario a mandatory minimum wage is necessary.

On a very general note there is the benefits to literally everyone in society when that society itself is elevated; so improvements to education, healthcare, and systems in place for when people fall on hard luck -- are all things which maximize the general talent pool. If you want more people contributing to the greater good, and more talent available for medical, scientific, or cultural advancements -- you're going to want fewer people starving or just barely scraping by. 

I


You'll have to point out specific problems that you want to try to solve for any meaningful discussion to start. 

The example you give "I also believe that employees should have more rights than they do now (particularly the right to organize/unionize)." is odd.  Workers in the US have the right to unionize, so....?


And corporations have the right to crush those attempts to unionize.

So effectively they don't have the right to unionize.

In Denmark for example - they don't have a minimum wage because it's not necessary. It's not necessary because the workforce have greater say in what can and can't be done to them. But that's only possible because there are limitations to what corporations can and can't do to bully and pressure their employees. Sure someone can be fired for misconduct or not doing their job properly - but they won't be let go for organizing etc. 


Ohhhh your Canadien, it doesn't work that way in the US.  We have the National Labor Relations Board, and while a company can contest unionization the NLRB makes the decision.  I went through this process and we were successful and unionized. 

13 days ago
8/2/19
Posts: 119
robert bentley -
jspeed - 
robert bentley -

Oh - and about corporate taxes. They do pay a lot in taxes, but not proportional to how much they benefit. They also find ways to hide as much of their money as possible. Do you remember when the Panama papers came out showing clearly how corporations everywhere avoided paying what they were supposed to in taxes by hiding all of their money? 

 

"They do pay a lot in taxes, but not proportional to how much they benefit."

 

Generally speaking, businesses provide far more benefit to a city than they receive, even if they pay 0% in taxes.

Amazons HQ2 in New York was going to bring 25,000 - 40,000 jobs at an average salary for $150,000.  An economic impact study showed that Amazons move into the state could bring about $27.5 billion to the state (if they hit 40,000 in employment)...

 

What percentage of their profit *should* they have to pay to the state in taxes in your opinion?


It's interesting seeing how this is framed. 

If a person works for a company - the company gets benefit, and the person gets a wage. This isn't the corporation doing anyone a favor - but an exchange. Amazon doesn't pay someone $150k unless they're capable of ensuring Amazon is able to pull in more than that number. Employment isn't a gift, it's something someone agrees to do in exchange for money. Without employees amazon would make precisely zero dollars, and Bezos would not be a billionaire. 

Amazon's status is made possible by the hard work of the employees (not just the acumen of Bezos), and their compensation for their work shouldn't be where Amazon's commitment ends. That's because they're not just benefiting from their employees work (which is what they're compensating them for), they're benefiting from the infrastructure, law enforcement, emergency services, and other publicly funded elements.

Elements they *aren't* paying for if they don't pay taxes.

This whole framing of the situation between employer and employee is peculiar (also VERY North American). While you might like your job, do you consider it a "gift" that you're grateful for and that you're not really providing any value to the company, or do you see yourself as someone who *earns* their wages by being a hard worker as a valuable revenue generating member of the company?

As far as what percentage of their profit should they have to pay? It would depend on how much they use and/or benefit from all publicly funded infrastructure/services. If a single family with one vehicle uses the roads X amount, and amazon's delivery trucks use the roads 10,000 times X - they should pay (with respect to that very specific aspect) 10,000 times what that family does for the roads (whatever that value would be). If the person in that single family is employed by Amazon - he's already given Amazon their benefit for the money they brought to his family, by being a valuable employee. Saying that Amazon deserves even more benefit on top of that is pure entitlement. 

 

Providing a salary to an employee doesn't just benefit that employee however.  It benefits the government (that employee is not only paying taxes on that income, but he's also *not* leeching from some social assistance program) and it benefits the local economy (that person spends the money they earned).  The economic impact of having a company like Amazon move into your city is ENORMOUS - as I said before, the impact report found that Amazon would have led to over $27,000,000,000 in economic activity over 25 years.

What happens if someone like yourself is in charge and tells Amazon that they will NOT be receiving the $3B tax break they requested, because that's just entititlement?  Well what ends up happening (and what ACTUALLY happened in NY) is Amazon says 'bye', you cost your local economy 40,000 well-paying jobs and you lose out on $27B in revenue over 25 years. 

 

The ability of employing people especially a significant amount, and paying them a wage, is enormous leverage for a corporation.  If you choose not to bend the knee, no problem, someone else will.  Your economy will suffer and die out.

13 days ago
12/26/05
Posts: 43089
robert bentley -
jspeed - 
robert bentley -

Oh - and about corporate taxes. They do pay a lot in taxes, but not proportional to how much they benefit. They also find ways to hide as much of their money as possible. Do you remember when the Panama papers came out showing clearly how corporations everywhere avoided paying what they were supposed to in taxes by hiding all of their money? 

 

"They do pay a lot in taxes, but not proportional to how much they benefit."

 

Generally speaking, businesses provide far more benefit to a city than they receive, even if they pay 0% in taxes.

Amazons HQ2 in New York was going to bring 25,000 - 40,000 jobs at an average salary for $150,000.  An economic impact study showed that Amazons move into the state could bring about $27.5 billion to the state (if they hit 40,000 in employment)...

 

What percentage of their profit *should* they have to pay to the state in taxes in your opinion?


It's interesting seeing how this is framed. 

If a person works for a company - the company gets benefit, and the person gets a wage. This isn't the corporation doing anyone a favor - but an exchange. Amazon doesn't pay someone $150k unless they're capable of ensuring Amazon is able to pull in more than that number. Employment isn't a gift, it's something someone agrees to do in exchange for money. Without employees amazon would make precisely zero dollars, and Bezos would not be a billionaire. 

Amazon's status is made possible by the hard work of the employees (not just the acumen of Bezos), and their compensation for their work shouldn't be where Amazon's commitment ends. That's because they're not just benefiting from their employees work (which is what they're compensating them for), they're benefiting from the infrastructure, law enforcement, emergency services, and other publicly funded elements.

Elements they *aren't* paying for if they don't pay taxes.

This whole framing of the situation between employer and employee is peculiar (also VERY North American). While you might like your job, do you consider it a "gift" that you're grateful for and that you're not really providing any value to the company, or do you see yourself as someone who *earns* their wages by being a hard worker as a valuable revenue generating member of the company?

As far as what percentage of their profit should they have to pay? It would depend on how much they use and/or benefit from all publicly funded infrastructure/services. If a single family with one vehicle uses the roads X amount, and amazon's delivery trucks use the roads 10,000 times X - they should pay (with respect to that very specific aspect) 10,000 times what that family does for the roads (whatever that value would be). If the person in that single family is employed by Amazon - he's already given Amazon their benefit for the money they brought to his family, by being a valuable employee. Saying that Amazon deserves even more benefit on top of that is pure entitlement. 

 

I'm uncertain on your framing actually.

 

Something can be both a benefit and an exchange...in fact nearly everything involved in this process is both a benefit and an exchange.  

 

A company providing jobs and and income tax base for its citizens is both an exchange and benefit for both parties.

 

The exchange of labor and pay?  Same thing.

The exchange between the consumer and producer, same thing.

Almost all voluntary exchanges work this way, though the arrangement with the state often isnt voluntary.

Edited: 13 days ago
12/26/05
Posts: 43090

I'll use an absurd example just to make the point. 

 

Lets say there is a town of 10,000 unemployed people.  All drawing off services from the larger state in some way...to the last man. Mega-Corp works out a deal to move into town and build a factory that will supply 10,000 jobs for every single unemployed worker in the town, paying every single one of them 150K a piece.  Mega-Corp also points out the fact that this will bring an estimated additional 10,000 jobs through construction, service, and feeder/supplier businesses to the community, and also retailers/service providers to better service the 10,000 employees of their company, meaning more houses will have to be built, and workers will have to be imported to fill this growth.  They will also be hiring an executive team that will live in the area and be making anywhere from 500k to 10 million, with an upper management staff of about 30 people.  These people will likely not be from the area, but will still be imported with their high salaries to the community involved.

 

They will of course pay for their utility usage and service upgrades neccessary, but they will pay no tax for 20 years, which is the deal they want for moving to the town of unemployed people. 

 

Yes this is an absurd example to demonstrate my point, but the point relates to what happens all the time, at least here in the US.

 

You are going to have to tell me... exactly who is worse off in this scenario?  The draw on services is less, the tax base is much greater, everybody is gainfully employed, and Mega-Corp makes the profit they want. Are you saying you can demonstrate a situation like the one above actually financially harms areas that agree to things like this involving police, road, and fire protection costs, or are you simply making a subjective evaluation that you think they should pay more despite an agreement... or do you think the government should be legally barred from making such deals?

13 days ago
1/1/01
Posts: 10717
mongo54 - 
robert bentley - 
paw - 
robert bentley - 

This is a childish framing of the discussion and essentially a result of tribalism. People are less interested in discussing whatever the topics are at hand than they are yelling about which team they're on -- and in this case it's "Team Capitalism Vs Team Socialism"

It shouldn't be a one-or-the-other, it should be "How can we make our current system better" - period.

And if that means taking ideas from other systems, or tweaking aspects of your current system, then so be it. 

When you make a topic more about an identity to be protected, you're less likely to listen to good ideas. There are wonderfully functional free-market economies out there in the world that allow for wealth-generation, property ownership, and private enterprise...all while tackling issues such as worker's rights, poverty, education, healthcare, and social support systems.

These systems aren't perfect by any stretch of course - but there are *some* things they're doing better than the U.S and it would make sense to look at how they're tackling these problems instead of dismissing everything that isn't corporate worship as socialism or communism.

For example - I believe in the power of the free market and don't believe there should even BE a minimum wage. However - I also believe that employees should have more rights than they do now (particularly the right to organize/unionize). The general working class should have more control over what is and isn't acceptable with respect to their treatment, and when they have that power - a federally mandated minimum wage isn't necessary.

BUT - in the U.S perhaps a higher minimum wage IS necessary. If corporations and lobbyists aren't willing to cede ground in allowing people to organize etc then they have no real power to keep corporate interests in check. Perhaps in this scenario a mandatory minimum wage is necessary.

On a very general note there is the benefits to literally everyone in society when that society itself is elevated; so improvements to education, healthcare, and systems in place for when people fall on hard luck -- are all things which maximize the general talent pool. If you want more people contributing to the greater good, and more talent available for medical, scientific, or cultural advancements -- you're going to want fewer people starving or just barely scraping by. 

I


You'll have to point out specific problems that you want to try to solve for any meaningful discussion to start. 

The example you give "I also believe that employees should have more rights than they do now (particularly the right to organize/unionize)." is odd.  Workers in the US have the right to unionize, so....?


And corporations have the right to crush those attempts to unionize.

So effectively they don't have the right to unionize.

In Denmark for example - they don't have a minimum wage because it's not necessary. It's not necessary because the workforce have greater say in what can and can't be done to them. But that's only possible because there are limitations to what corporations can and can't do to bully and pressure their employees. Sure someone can be fired for misconduct or not doing their job properly - but they won't be let go for organizing etc. 


Ohhhh your Canadien, it doesn't work that way in the US.  We have the National Labor Relations Board, and while a company can contest unionization the NLRB makes the decision.  I went through this process and we were successful and unionized. 


That's great news - but there's also been quite a history of union busting in the U.S (which is why the rate of unionized workers is so low). And the biggest employers are famously doing well to ensure their workers don't unionize - see Amazon, Walmart etc.

 

13 days ago
1/1/01
Posts: 10718
The Jentleman - 
robert bentley -
The Jentleman - 
robert bentley -

"They also pay a lot in taxes and fees. Most roads are going to be state and local. They pay a lot of money in higher property taxes for commercial properties, higher tolls for those delivery trucks, licensing, etc.

I’m currently dealing with red tape. Much of it is about money and power. I actually have a lot of first hand knowledge regarding that.

I can name Newman’s Own and Costco off the top of my head. The technology firm I currently work with has been in business over 30 years with an excellent track record. In fact, I know lots of small and medium size corporations that are very good. They may not be billion dollar companies, because they’re not all about the money, but that’s why you never hear about them.

On the flip side, I can’t name a single government that hasn’t had any problems/issues/crimes that doesn’t exploit or cause long lasting damage, etc."

Can I ask the nature of the red tape you're dealing with? (totally cool if not, I'm just interested and know I'm not owed any information). 

Perhaps there's a (rought) correlation then between the size of a corporation and the level of its destructive power. You mention small and medium sized businesses - and perhaps simply having fewer disconnects between what's being done and the consequences of those actions make it harder for the people in charge to make purely selfish decisions. If the CEO ends up seeing and personally interacting with most of their employees their decisions regarding their welfare may be better motivated.

With respect to government crimes, the worst ones in American history (especially recent history) are *directly* tied to corporate influence. Wall Street favors (one of the most popular reasons people hated Hillary were her corporate ties), the entire prison industrial complex, a LOT of U.S foreign military involvement (Blackwater, Arms sales, companies profiting directly from U.S involvement in Iraq etc.). 

In developed countries with less corporate influence you'll see a government with less corruption. Of course there will never exist a government totally devoid of corruption, but increased corporate power is clearly a corrupting factor.

I don’t want to go into exact details but I will say that even though all things are done properly and would pass stringent inspections, and I’ve pulled all the necessary permits, I’m told there’s certain wheels that need to be greased first. Which would result in redoing licensing and permits from the local government which is for nothing but giving money.

The number of companies able to influence policies is very small in percentage. Plus there has to be corrupt people in government to be influenced. The governments that don’t have much corporate influence are usually those who are quite dictatorial. Not good for anyone.

That said, I would outlaw lobbying in a heartbeat. I don’t disagree that huge corporations have too much control. They help push “red tape” that hurt small companies and stifle their competition. It’s kind of funny because the corruption you’re pointing out with some of these corporations goes hand in hand with the corruption in government that hurts the rest of us. They’re married to one another in unholy matrimony. Two sides of the same coin.

I want to remove some of the power on one side (big corporations with too much influence), but not by giving it to the other side (big government with final say). Big government should lose some of it’s power too. 


I think we're getting close to squeezing this (pleasant) discussion for what it's worth, so I'd like to propose some common ground we can agree on. Feel free to correct me if I've made any false assumptions:

1)The power of the free market is valuable and essential for progress.

2)*Completely* unchecked corporate power/influence is a bad thing (I think we disagree on what this means exactly, and where to draw the line - but neither of us believe that total government control or total corporate control are good things)

3)There is at least some truth to the original statement of the thread - that the whole argument is usually approached in an overly simplistic fashion and that the whole "Team Capitalism Vs Team Socialism" tribalism rarely produces productive discourse. And that *perhaps* there are positive aspects to different systems around the world which can be constructively looked at to inform us for better policy (your example about stopping/limiting lobbying for example).

Anyway - thanks so much for contributing to the thread. I've learned a lot and I know our differences in opinion aren't for any nefarious reasons.

If there's anything you'd like to add (or change) to what I think might be points we can both agree on feel free to add. (I hope I was fair in my representation of your position)

To not nitpick, I would say this was definitely a fair representation.

To be honest, if our government wasn’t so corrupt I would even give a closer look at Universal healthcare, even though I don’t believe it would be a better system than actually letting the free market work.

Thank you for the largely pleasant debate.

 


Thanks - and with respect to a previous point about the importance of corporations or the benefit they can provide, I can at least partly agree (with caveats related to all of the details we've discussed).

Universal healthcare is another tricky fish but we can save that for a different thread ;-)

13 days ago
11/9/10
Posts: 67974

 

13 days ago
8/2/19
Posts: 120
robert bentley -
mongo54 - 
robert bentley - 
paw - 
robert bentley - 

This is a childish framing of the discussion and essentially a result of tribalism. People are less interested in discussing whatever the topics are at hand than they are yelling about which team they're on -- and in this case it's "Team Capitalism Vs Team Socialism"

It shouldn't be a one-or-the-other, it should be "How can we make our current system better" - period.

And if that means taking ideas from other systems, or tweaking aspects of your current system, then so be it. 

When you make a topic more about an identity to be protected, you're less likely to listen to good ideas. There are wonderfully functional free-market economies out there in the world that allow for wealth-generation, property ownership, and private enterprise...all while tackling issues such as worker's rights, poverty, education, healthcare, and social support systems.

These systems aren't perfect by any stretch of course - but there are *some* things they're doing better than the U.S and it would make sense to look at how they're tackling these problems instead of dismissing everything that isn't corporate worship as socialism or communism.

For example - I believe in the power of the free market and don't believe there should even BE a minimum wage. However - I also believe that employees should have more rights than they do now (particularly the right to organize/unionize). The general working class should have more control over what is and isn't acceptable with respect to their treatment, and when they have that power - a federally mandated minimum wage isn't necessary.

BUT - in the U.S perhaps a higher minimum wage IS necessary. If corporations and lobbyists aren't willing to cede ground in allowing people to organize etc then they have no real power to keep corporate interests in check. Perhaps in this scenario a mandatory minimum wage is necessary.

On a very general note there is the benefits to literally everyone in society when that society itself is elevated; so improvements to education, healthcare, and systems in place for when people fall on hard luck -- are all things which maximize the general talent pool. If you want more people contributing to the greater good, and more talent available for medical, scientific, or cultural advancements -- you're going to want fewer people starving or just barely scraping by. 

I


You'll have to point out specific problems that you want to try to solve for any meaningful discussion to start. 

The example you give "I also believe that employees should have more rights than they do now (particularly the right to organize/unionize)." is odd.  Workers in the US have the right to unionize, so....?


And corporations have the right to crush those attempts to unionize.

So effectively they don't have the right to unionize.

In Denmark for example - they don't have a minimum wage because it's not necessary. It's not necessary because the workforce have greater say in what can and can't be done to them. But that's only possible because there are limitations to what corporations can and can't do to bully and pressure their employees. Sure someone can be fired for misconduct or not doing their job properly - but they won't be let go for organizing etc. 


Ohhhh your Canadien, it doesn't work that way in the US.  We have the National Labor Relations Board, and while a company can contest unionization the NLRB makes the decision.  I went through this process and we were successful and unionized. 


That's great news - but there's also been quite a history of union busting in the U.S (which is why the rate of unionized workers is so low). And the biggest employers are famously doing well to ensure their workers don't unionize - see Amazon, Walmart etc.

 

Incorrect.  The closure of unionized manufacturing jobs over the last 30 years is well documented.  These were unionized jobs that became non-union.  These were jobs that were lost: went overseas or shut down.

The reason there are so few union jobs is because jobs that have unions tend to go out of business.  This is not a surprise to anyone.

 

"for every 3 percentage points gained in union membership through card checks and mandatory arbitration, the following year’s unemployment rate is predicted to increase by 1 percentage point and job creation is predicted to fall by around 1.5 million jobs. Thus, if EFCA passed today and resulted in an increase in unionization from the current rate of about 12% to 15%, then unionized workers would increase from 15.5 to 19.6 million while unemployment a year from now would rise by 1.5 million, to 10.4 million."

-Dr. Anne Layne-Farrar

Edited: 13 days ago
8/2/19
Posts: 121
CavemanDave -

I'll use an absurd example just to make the point. 

 

Lets say there is a town of 10,000 unemployed people.  All drawing off services from the larger state in some way...to the last man. Mega-Corp works out a deal to move into town and build a factory that will supply 10,000 jobs for every single unemployed worker in the town, paying every single one of them 150K a piece.  Mega-Corp also points out the fact that this will bring an estimated additional 10,000 jobs through construction, service, and feeder/supplier businesses to the community, and also retailers/service providers to better service the 10,000 employees of their company, meaning more houses will have to be built, and workers will have to be imported to fill this growth.  They will also be hiring an executive team that will live in the area and be making anywhere from 500k to 10 million, with an upper management staff of about 30 people.  These people will likely not be from the area, but will still be imported with their high salaries to the community involved.

 

They will of course pay for their utility usage and service upgrades neccessary, but they will pay no tax for 20 years, which is the deal they want for moving to the town of unemployed people. 

 

Yes this is an absurd example to demonstrate my point, but the point relates to what happens all the time, at least here in the US.

 

You are going to have to tell me... exactly who is worse off in this scenario?  The draw on services is less, the tax base is much greater, everybody is gainfully employed, and Mega-Corp makes the profit they want. Are you saying you can demonstrate a situation like the one above actually financially harms areas that agree to things like this involving police, road, and fire protection costs, or are you simply making a subjective evaluation that you think they should pay more despite an agreement... or do you think the government should be legally barred from making such deals?

Remember, AOC fought against the TAX BREAK that Amazon requested becasue she said that NYC can't "give away" $3 billion to Amazon because that's money they could use to fix the subway and hire teachers... 

So Amazon gave her the finger and left, taking the $3billion plus another $27 billion in revenue with them.

 

Now *that's* absurd.

13 days ago
1/1/01
Posts: 10720
CavemanDave - 
robert bentley -
jspeed - 
robert bentley -

Oh - and about corporate taxes. They do pay a lot in taxes, but not proportional to how much they benefit. They also find ways to hide as much of their money as possible. Do you remember when the Panama papers came out showing clearly how corporations everywhere avoided paying what they were supposed to in taxes by hiding all of their money? 

 

"They do pay a lot in taxes, but not proportional to how much they benefit."

 

Generally speaking, businesses provide far more benefit to a city than they receive, even if they pay 0% in taxes.

Amazons HQ2 in New York was going to bring 25,000 - 40,000 jobs at an average salary for $150,000.  An economic impact study showed that Amazons move into the state could bring about $27.5 billion to the state (if they hit 40,000 in employment)...

 

What percentage of their profit *should* they have to pay to the state in taxes in your opinion?


It's interesting seeing how this is framed. 

If a person works for a company - the company gets benefit, and the person gets a wage. This isn't the corporation doing anyone a favor - but an exchange. Amazon doesn't pay someone $150k unless they're capable of ensuring Amazon is able to pull in more than that number. Employment isn't a gift, it's something someone agrees to do in exchange for money. Without employees amazon would make precisely zero dollars, and Bezos would not be a billionaire. 

Amazon's status is made possible by the hard work of the employees (not just the acumen of Bezos), and their compensation for their work shouldn't be where Amazon's commitment ends. That's because they're not just benefiting from their employees work (which is what they're compensating them for), they're benefiting from the infrastructure, law enforcement, emergency services, and other publicly funded elements.

Elements they *aren't* paying for if they don't pay taxes.

This whole framing of the situation between employer and employee is peculiar (also VERY North American). While you might like your job, do you consider it a "gift" that you're grateful for and that you're not really providing any value to the company, or do you see yourself as someone who *earns* their wages by being a hard worker as a valuable revenue generating member of the company?

As far as what percentage of their profit should they have to pay? It would depend on how much they use and/or benefit from all publicly funded infrastructure/services. If a single family with one vehicle uses the roads X amount, and amazon's delivery trucks use the roads 10,000 times X - they should pay (with respect to that very specific aspect) 10,000 times what that family does for the roads (whatever that value would be). If the person in that single family is employed by Amazon - he's already given Amazon their benefit for the money they brought to his family, by being a valuable employee. Saying that Amazon deserves even more benefit on top of that is pure entitlement. 

 

I'm uncertain on your framing actually.

 

Something can be both a benefit and an exchange...in fact nearly everything involved in this process is both a benefit and an exchange.  

 

A company providing jobs and and income tax base for its citizens is both an exchange and benefit for both parties.

 

The exchange of labor and pay?  Same thing.

The exchange between the consumer and producer, same thing.

Almost all voluntary exchanges work this way, though the arrangement with the state often isnt voluntary.


Well yes - everything can be an exchange, except when it's not.

An employer hiring someone to do a job is an exchange. But if they require the use of something that *I've paid for* and don't compensate me for that use, it's not an exchange - it's them taking advantage of their position. If the public is left with the bill for all of the publicly funded services then you're either going to get massive cuts to the maintenance and upkeep of those services or you're going to lose a good deal of any "benefit" you receive in wages.

If I have to cover the entire tax burden of infrastructure, law enforcement, emergency services, education, healthcare, and other publicly funded aspects of society that Amazon directly benefits from to make their enormous profits - they're taking advantage of a position of power and *not* engaging in a fair exchange.

When corporations stop paying taxes they don't suffer one bit, but the crumbling infrastructure, education, and publicly funded programs receiving massive cuts certainly do. 

 

13 days ago
1/1/01
Posts: 10721
CavemanDave - 

I'll use an absurd example just to make the point. 

 

Lets say there is a town of 10,000 unemployed people.  All drawing off services from the larger state in some way...to the last man. Mega-Corp works out a deal to move into town and build a factory that will supply 10,000 jobs for every single unemployed worker in the town, paying every single one of them 150K a piece.  Mega-Corp also points out the fact that this will bring an estimated additional 10,000 jobs through construction, service, and feeder/supplier businesses to the community, and also retailers/service providers to better service the 10,000 employees of their company, meaning more houses will have to be built, and workers will have to be imported to fill this growth.  They will also be hiring an executive team that will live in the area and be making anywhere from 500k to 10 million, with an upper management staff of about 30 people.  These people will likely not be from the area, but will still be imported with their high salaries to the community involved.

 

They will of course pay for their utility usage and service upgrades neccessary, but they will pay no tax for 20 years, which is the deal they want for moving to the town of unemployed people. 

 

Yes this is an absurd example to demonstrate my point, but the point relates to what happens all the time, at least here in the US.

 

You are going to have to tell me... exactly who is worse off in this scenario?  The draw on services is less, the tax base is much greater, everybody is gainfully employed, and Mega-Corp makes the profit they want. Are you saying you can demonstrate a situation like the one above actually financially harms areas that agree to things like this involving police, road, and fire protection costs, or are you simply making a subjective evaluation that you think they should pay more despite an agreement... or do you think the government should be legally barred from making such deals?


What's missing from this of course is who is going to pay for the myriad of other expenses and things the corporations depend upon for their success. 

If the cost to keep a particular city or county running is billions of dollars (to cover the education of its citizens, upkeep of the roads and public transportation system, healthcare costs, sanitation, law enforcement, emergency services etc etc.) *someone* is going to have to pay those bills.

If the richest entity that is responsible for benefiting the most from these services refuses to pay those bills (because they're rich and powerful enough to make such demands) then someone else is going to have to cover it. So if Amazon uses the roads at a rate 100,000 times that of the regular citizen but refuse to pay for the upkeep, maintenance, and repair of those roads - the citizens are the ones footing the bill. Either the citizens taxes have to increase OR the services are allowed to suffer or be cut.

Now remember - none of this is happening because Amazon is hard-done-by. They're not saying they can't afford to cover these expenses, they're saying they shouldn't have to because they're just too powerful to negotiate with and if you don't like it you can piss off.

The people are being forced into a situation which you're trying to frame as one of glorious benefit for the people (they get to be employed by Amazon - which, if you've been following the news, isn't anywhere near the utopian job you might think it is. Reading about their warehouse staff it sounds like it's right out of a Dickens novel for crying out loud). 

These are the people who just want to work - will accept almost any condition, and are now going to be left with the bill for everything. 

Now perhaps you're okay with this. Maybe you don't see anything wrong with corporations being able to tell the government what to do. These companies that make enormous profits off of the hard work of American citizens are in a position where they can dictate what taxes they'll pay, what benefits they'll give, and in many cases - city policies in their favour. 

If you're okay with that fine - but I don't think it's either right or the best way toward a healthy society.

And for anyone losing their minds over things like progressive tax rates, or corporations paying more in taxes -- this isn't anywhere near a new concept. Corporations DID pay more in taxes decades ago in some of the United States' most prosperous periods. Things have been eroded, and the pay of the lowest earners has stagnated while those of CEOs has skyrocketed to astronomical amounts creating a situation where the U.S has the greatest wealth disparity in the world (among developed nations). 

And with this enormous wage disparity, stagnated wages, and rising costs... Jeff Bezos (who doesn't believe he's wealthy enough) is asking the citizens dealing with the repercussions of those problems to foot the bill to have the honor of his presence.

You don't see *any* problem with that?

13 days ago
10/6/17
Posts: 4326
robert bentley -
CavemanDave - 

I'll use an absurd example just to make the point. 

 

Lets say there is a town of 10,000 unemployed people.  All drawing off services from the larger state in some way...to the last man. Mega-Corp works out a deal to move into town and build a factory that will supply 10,000 jobs for every single unemployed worker in the town, paying every single one of them 150K a piece.  Mega-Corp also points out the fact that this will bring an estimated additional 10,000 jobs through construction, service, and feeder/supplier businesses to the community, and also retailers/service providers to better service the 10,000 employees of their company, meaning more houses will have to be built, and workers will have to be imported to fill this growth.  They will also be hiring an executive team that will live in the area and be making anywhere from 500k to 10 million, with an upper management staff of about 30 people.  These people will likely not be from the area, but will still be imported with their high salaries to the community involved.

 

They will of course pay for their utility usage and service upgrades neccessary, but they will pay no tax for 20 years, which is the deal they want for moving to the town of unemployed people. 

 

Yes this is an absurd example to demonstrate my point, but the point relates to what happens all the time, at least here in the US.

 

You are going to have to tell me... exactly who is worse off in this scenario?  The draw on services is less, the tax base is much greater, everybody is gainfully employed, and Mega-Corp makes the profit they want. Are you saying you can demonstrate a situation like the one above actually financially harms areas that agree to things like this involving police, road, and fire protection costs, or are you simply making a subjective evaluation that you think they should pay more despite an agreement... or do you think the government should be legally barred from making such deals?


What's missing from this of course is who is going to pay for the myriad of other expenses and things the corporations depend upon for their success. 

If the cost to keep a particular city or county running is billions of dollars (to cover the education of its citizens, upkeep of the roads and public transportation system, healthcare costs, sanitation, law enforcement, emergency services etc etc.) *someone* is going to have to pay those bills.

If the richest entity that is responsible for benefiting the most from these services refuses to pay those bills (because they're rich and powerful enough to make such demands) then someone else is going to have to cover it. So if Amazon uses the roads at a rate 100,000 times that of the regular citizen but refuse to pay for the upkeep, maintenance, and repair of those roads - the citizens are the ones footing the bill. Either the citizens taxes have to increase OR the services are allowed to suffer or be cut.

Now remember - none of this is happening because Amazon is hard-done-by. They're not saying they can't afford to cover these expenses, they're saying they shouldn't have to because they're just too powerful to negotiate with and if you don't like it you can piss off.

The people are being forced into a situation which you're trying to frame as one of glorious benefit for the people (they get to be employed by Amazon - which, if you've been following the news, isn't anywhere near the utopian job you might think it is. Reading about their warehouse staff it sounds like it's right out of a Dickens novel for crying out loud). 

These are the people who just want to work - will accept almost any condition, and are now going to be left with the bill for everything. 

Now perhaps you're okay with this. Maybe you don't see anything wrong with corporations being able to tell the government what to do. These companies that make enormous profits off of the hard work of American citizens are in a position where they can dictate what taxes they'll pay, what benefits they'll give, and in many cases - city policies in their favour. 

If you're okay with that fine - but I don't think it's either right or the best way toward a healthy society.

And for anyone losing their minds over things like progressive tax rates, or corporations paying more in taxes -- this isn't anywhere near a new concept. Corporations DID pay more in taxes decades ago in some of the United States' most prosperous periods. Things have been eroded, and the pay of the lowest earners has stagnated while those of CEOs has skyrocketed to astronomical amounts creating a situation where the U.S has the greatest wealth disparity in the world (among developed nations). 

And with this enormous wage disparity, stagnated wages, and rising costs... Jeff Bezos (who doesn't believe he's wealthy enough) is asking the citizens dealing with the repercussions of those problems to foot the bill to have the honor of his presence.

You don't see *any* problem with that?

But corporations do pay for their share of upkeep. Road maintenance is largely paid with gasoline/diesel taxes. If they’re using the roads 100,000 times more, then they’re paying 100,000 times more in those taxes. Even more so if they’re hauling product that requires large vehicles that burn up more fuel.

I’m no fan of Bezos but let’s not pretend that the average tax payer is actually giving him money through taxes. Let’s not pretend that having a 40,000 square foot facility of commercial property doesn’t cost a lot in taxes each year. Let’s not pretend that 25,000-40,000 jobs at 150,000 a year average wouldn’t be a great boon to any economy that would also generate a lot of tax revenue.

And as shown before. You can point to wage disparities of the riches, but the average CEO isn’t making skyrocketing wages. Making tax policy that affects every corporation in order to punish the small minority only hurts smaller companies more and prevents them from competing with the larger corporations. You’re not helping your economy, or making things “fairer” in the long run. You’re actually creating oligarchs that way; where the largest and most powerful will never be threatened from others.

13 days ago
1/1/01
Posts: 10746
The Jentleman - 
robert bentley -
CavemanDave - 

I'll use an absurd example just to make the point. 

 

Lets say there is a town of 10,000 unemployed people.  All drawing off services from the larger state in some way...to the last man. Mega-Corp works out a deal to move into town and build a factory that will supply 10,000 jobs for every single unemployed worker in the town, paying every single one of them 150K a piece.  Mega-Corp also points out the fact that this will bring an estimated additional 10,000 jobs through construction, service, and feeder/supplier businesses to the community, and also retailers/service providers to better service the 10,000 employees of their company, meaning more houses will have to be built, and workers will have to be imported to fill this growth.  They will also be hiring an executive team that will live in the area and be making anywhere from 500k to 10 million, with an upper management staff of about 30 people.  These people will likely not be from the area, but will still be imported with their high salaries to the community involved.

 

They will of course pay for their utility usage and service upgrades neccessary, but they will pay no tax for 20 years, which is the deal they want for moving to the town of unemployed people. 

 

Yes this is an absurd example to demonstrate my point, but the point relates to what happens all the time, at least here in the US.

 

You are going to have to tell me... exactly who is worse off in this scenario?  The draw on services is less, the tax base is much greater, everybody is gainfully employed, and Mega-Corp makes the profit they want. Are you saying you can demonstrate a situation like the one above actually financially harms areas that agree to things like this involving police, road, and fire protection costs, or are you simply making a subjective evaluation that you think they should pay more despite an agreement... or do you think the government should be legally barred from making such deals?


What's missing from this of course is who is going to pay for the myriad of other expenses and things the corporations depend upon for their success. 

If the cost to keep a particular city or county running is billions of dollars (to cover the education of its citizens, upkeep of the roads and public transportation system, healthcare costs, sanitation, law enforcement, emergency services etc etc.) *someone* is going to have to pay those bills.

If the richest entity that is responsible for benefiting the most from these services refuses to pay those bills (because they're rich and powerful enough to make such demands) then someone else is going to have to cover it. So if Amazon uses the roads at a rate 100,000 times that of the regular citizen but refuse to pay for the upkeep, maintenance, and repair of those roads - the citizens are the ones footing the bill. Either the citizens taxes have to increase OR the services are allowed to suffer or be cut.

Now remember - none of this is happening because Amazon is hard-done-by. They're not saying they can't afford to cover these expenses, they're saying they shouldn't have to because they're just too powerful to negotiate with and if you don't like it you can piss off.

The people are being forced into a situation which you're trying to frame as one of glorious benefit for the people (they get to be employed by Amazon - which, if you've been following the news, isn't anywhere near the utopian job you might think it is. Reading about their warehouse staff it sounds like it's right out of a Dickens novel for crying out loud). 

These are the people who just want to work - will accept almost any condition, and are now going to be left with the bill for everything. 

Now perhaps you're okay with this. Maybe you don't see anything wrong with corporations being able to tell the government what to do. These companies that make enormous profits off of the hard work of American citizens are in a position where they can dictate what taxes they'll pay, what benefits they'll give, and in many cases - city policies in their favour. 

If you're okay with that fine - but I don't think it's either right or the best way toward a healthy society.

And for anyone losing their minds over things like progressive tax rates, or corporations paying more in taxes -- this isn't anywhere near a new concept. Corporations DID pay more in taxes decades ago in some of the United States' most prosperous periods. Things have been eroded, and the pay of the lowest earners has stagnated while those of CEOs has skyrocketed to astronomical amounts creating a situation where the U.S has the greatest wealth disparity in the world (among developed nations). 

And with this enormous wage disparity, stagnated wages, and rising costs... Jeff Bezos (who doesn't believe he's wealthy enough) is asking the citizens dealing with the repercussions of those problems to foot the bill to have the honor of his presence.

You don't see *any* problem with that?

But corporations do pay for their share of upkeep. Road maintenance is largely paid with gasoline/diesel taxes. If they’re using the roads 100,000 times more, then they’re paying 100,000 times more in those taxes. Even more so if they’re hauling product that requires large vehicles that burn up more fuel.

I’m no fan of Bezos but let’s not pretend that the average tax payer is actually giving him money through taxes. Let’s not pretend that having a 40,000 square foot facility of commercial property doesn’t cost a lot in taxes each year. Let’s not pretend that 25,000-40,000 jobs at 150,000 a year average wouldn’t be a great boon to any economy that would also generate a lot of tax revenue.

And as shown before. You can point to wage disparities of the riches, but the average CEO isn’t making skyrocketing wages. Making tax policy that affects every corporation in order to punish the small minority only hurts smaller companies more and prevents them from competing with the larger corporations. You’re not helping your economy, or making things “fairer” in the long run. You’re actually creating oligarchs that way; where the largest and most powerful will never be threatened from others.


You keep mentioning that most CEOs don't make that much, but their *average* disparity as compared to the lowest income workers seems to disagree with that assertion. 

"Pay Gap between CEOs and Average worker by country"

https://www.statista.com/statistics/424159/pay-gap-between-ceos-and-average-workers-in-world-by-country/

"For every dollar the average US worker earned, a CEO earned an *average* of 354$"

That's the *average* CEO earning 354 times what the average worker makes.

Other sources:

https://fortune.com/2015/09/30/america-wealth-inequality/

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/6/26/18744304/ceo-pay-ratio-disclosure-2018

 

13 days ago
10/6/17
Posts: 4327

I’ve already covered this and that number is a complete lie. I’m a little disappointed that you don’t remember this or didn’t even look at it.

They take only the average of the highest earners when the true average of all CEO’s is around 5-1 against the average full time employee. And we know that CEO’s hardly ever only work a normal 40 hour work week.

While the average Union boss makes considerably more.

 

https://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/big-labor-slams-ceo-pay-while-ignoring-fat-salaries-for-union-bosses/

 

“Income Inequality: Every year the AFL-CIO puts out a grossly misleading but widely covered report on "excessive" CEO pay. But what about top union bosses? Turns out their salaries are actually bigger than that of the average CEO.

The latest report from the AFL-CIO claims that the CEO-to-worker pay ratio in 2016 was 347 to 1. In other words, for every dollar the average worker makes, the top CEOs in the country make $347. That's up from 123 to 1 in the mid-1990s, and 20 to 1 in the 1960s.

That's the story anyway. And every year, the statistic gets extensively reported as an indicator of increasing income inequality in the U.S., and is used to push for limits on CEO pay or tax hikes on the rich. But as University of Michigan economist and American Enterprise Institute scholar Mark Perry explains, this pay gap is wildly exaggerated because the AFL-CIO is comparing an inflated CEO compensation number to a lowball estimate of worker pay.

For CEOs, Perry notes, the AFL-CIO uses the average total compensation for just 400 of the S&P 500 chief executives, which works out to $13.1 million each.

For the worker pay, however, it uses data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics on the average hourly cash wages earned by nonsupervisory workers. For 2016, that was $21.56 an hour. The AFL-CIO multiplies this hourly wage by 52 weeks to come up with an average annual wage of $37,600. But the BLS data is for an average workweek of just 33.6 hours. And, this number doesn't include the value of health and other benefits provided by employers.

So, the AFL-CIO is comparing the full compensation packages for a thin slice of the highest paid CEOs in the country — who put in 40, 50, 60 or more hours a week — to just the cash wages of a mix of full- and part-time workers.

No wonder the gap is so big.

Perry notes that if you include only those working 40-hours a week, and include their fringe benefits, the CEO-to-worker pay ratio is cut almost in half — down to 198 to 1.

Even that's a gross exaggeration, since the AFL-CIO report only includes at a tiny sample of CEOs.

Bureau of Labor Statistics data show that there are 223,260 chief executives in the country, most of whom work for small and midsize firms. And the average wage for all CEOs in 2016 was … $194,350.

If you use that figure, the CEO-to-worker pay ratio drops all the way down to 5 to 1, which hardly seems shocking at all.”

Edited: 13 days ago
10/6/17
Posts: 4328

Sorry, but 5-1 is no where near the 354-1 you cited which is just not true.

From your Vox article.

“Unsurprisingly, the gap is obscene. The average chief executive of an S&P 500 company earned 287 times more than their median employee last year, according to an analysis of the new federal data released Tuesday by the AFL-CIO labor federation. America’s CEOs earned a staggering $14.5 million in 2018, on average, compared to the average $39,888 that rank-and-file workers made. And CEOs got a $500,000 bump compared to the previous year, while the average US worker barely got more than $1,000.”

They picked the CEO’s from only the S&P 500 and measured it against the AFL-CIO numbers that doesn’t even show full employment with benefits the average worker makes.

It’s a scam measurement.

13 days ago
1/1/01
Posts: 10749

I've seen the link.

And using the information you provided it reduces the total compensation to "just" 198 times that of the average worker.

Then it uses the very misleading statistic of average *wage* (not total compensation - including bonuses, stock options etc - which amount to far more than the average worker could dream of) to get the "5-1" ratio. 

And the numbers comparing each country are using comparable data by country, not changing what they use depending on which country they're looking at.

Here's another source talking about a vastly different number, and providing sources for that number:

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/01/22/heres-how-much-ceo-pay-has-increased-compared-to-yours-over-the-years.html

(and another thing to mention here - the article you're siting is older and came out prior to the report mentioned in the Vox article, a report that many companies were fighting to prevent its publication)

So what makes your older article true, and all of the other sources false - particularly the one mentioning the new report that companies were trying to keep quiet?

13 days ago
1/1/01
Posts: 10750
The Jentleman - 

Sorry, but 5-1 is no where near the 354-1 you cited which is just not true.

From your Vox article.

“Unsurprisingly, the gap is obscene. The average chief executive of an S&P 500 company earned 287 times more than their median employee last year, according to an analysis of the new federal data released Tuesday by the AFL-CIO labor federation. America’s CEOs earned a staggering $14.5 million in 2018, on average, compared to the average $39,888 that rank-and-file workers made. And CEOs got a $500,000 bump compared to the previous year, while the average US worker barely got more than $1,000.”

They picked the CEO’s from only the S&P 500 and measured it against the AFL-CIO numbers that doesn’t even show full employment with benefits the average worker makes.

It’s a scam measurement.


First of all you're assuming the average worker gets a lot of benefits. At best they might receive health benefits (I'm talking *average* worker here). 

But for some reason your 5-1 ration depends on ignoring stock options, bonuses, and benefits that are FAR higher than anything the average worker would have access to. 

You say "scam measurement" - but these are the same measurements applied to every country when doing country to country comparison. Why is it you think only the numbers for the U.S are massaged?

 

13 days ago
1/1/01
Posts: 10751

Just an FYI when comparing Salaries.

Jeff Bezo's salary is just a modest $81,000 per year.

If I wanted to show how he's really not that rich, I could just say his wage is more or less just double that of the average person.

But both you and I know this just isn't the case. So comparing "wage" or "salary" is the definition of misleading.

13 days ago
10/6/17
Posts: 4329
robert bentley -

I've seen the link.

And using the information you provided it reduces the total compensation to "just" 198 times that of the average worker.

Then it uses the very misleading statistic of average *wage* (not total compensation - including bonuses, stock options etc - which amount to far more than the average worker could dream of) to get the "5-1" ratio. 

And the numbers comparing each country are using comparable data by country, not changing what they use depending on which country they're looking at.

Here's another source talking about a vastly different number, and providing sources for that number:

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/01/22/heres-how-much-ceo-pay-has-increased-compared-to-yours-over-the-years.html

(and another thing to mention here - the article you're siting is older and came out prior to the report mentioned in the Vox article, a report that many companies were fighting to prevent its publication)

So what makes your older article true, and all of the other sources false - particularly the one mentioning the new report that companies were trying to keep quiet?

“Then it uses the very misleading statistic of average *wage* (not total compensation - including bonuses, stock options etc - which amount to far more than the average worker could dream of) to get the "5-1" ratio.”

It’s not misleading at all. It’s adding in the wages of small and mid sized CEO wages. They don’t have stocks options or bonuses. They’re not publicly traded companies in order to get those.

And many workers do get healthcare and other compensation that isn’t included. Not all, but it should be added into the “average”.

As far as your Vox article, it’s average compared earnings for the highest CEO’s was actually considerably lower than the one I posted (287 compared to 347). So is it trending downward? If so, then it’s probably less than 5-1 now. 

You also have to take into account that these are averages. So for all those CEO’s with extravagant disparages there are numerous more who are at less than 5-1 to get that average.

The numbers aren’t as “massaged” if you’re talking about top earners compared to the average worker, but it’s a complete lie if you’re using that as an average for all CEO’s. Who’s pay is much, MUCH lower.

13 days ago
10/6/17
Posts: 4330
robert bentley -

Just an FYI when comparing Salaries.

Jeff Bezo's salary is just a modest $81,000 per year.

If I wanted to show how he's really not that rich, I could just say his wage is more or less just double that of the average person.

But both you and I know this just isn't the case. So comparing "wage" or "salary" is the definition of misleading.

Again, those were added in, but not all CEO’s are of publicity traded companies. As an example , my CEO gets the same benefits I do, and only makes slightly higher pay. Only about 20% higher. Neither one of us is hurting but he’s under the 5-1 average.

13 days ago
1/1/01
Posts: 10752
The Jentleman - 
robert bentley -

I've seen the link.

And using the information you provided it reduces the total compensation to "just" 198 times that of the average worker.

Then it uses the very misleading statistic of average *wage* (not total compensation - including bonuses, stock options etc - which amount to far more than the average worker could dream of) to get the "5-1" ratio. 

And the numbers comparing each country are using comparable data by country, not changing what they use depending on which country they're looking at.

Here's another source talking about a vastly different number, and providing sources for that number:

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/01/22/heres-how-much-ceo-pay-has-increased-compared-to-yours-over-the-years.html

(and another thing to mention here - the article you're siting is older and came out prior to the report mentioned in the Vox article, a report that many companies were fighting to prevent its publication)

So what makes your older article true, and all of the other sources false - particularly the one mentioning the new report that companies were trying to keep quiet?

“Then it uses the very misleading statistic of average *wage* (not total compensation - including bonuses, stock options etc - which amount to far more than the average worker could dream of) to get the "5-1" ratio.”

It’s not misleading at all. It’s adding in the wages of small and mid sized CEO wages. They don’t have stocks options or bonuses. They’re not publicly traded companies in order to get those.

And many workers do get healthcare and other compensation that isn’t included. Not all, but it should be added into the “average”.

As far as your Vox article, it’s average compared earnings for the highest CEO’s was actually considerably lower than the one I posted (287 compared to 347). So is it trending downward? If so, then it’s probably less than 5-1 now. 

You also have to take into account that these are averages. So for all those CEO’s with extravagant disparages there are numerous more who are at less than 5-1 to get that average.

The numbers aren’t as “massaged” if you’re talking about top earners compared to the average worker, but it’s a complete lie if you’re using that as an average for all CEO’s. Who’s pay is much, MUCH lower.


So in your example - we're supposed to arrive at an "acceptable" average number for CEO wages by removing the top earners?

Doesn't that scream pure data manipulation to you? Sure if we're going to compare average to average we can't ignore the largest (and not-coincidentally most powerful) group of CEOs. 

Remember - we're measuring wage disparity. What do the wealthiest earn vs what the average (or lowest wage - depending on which study you're looking at) earn. To accurately measure this means including all relevant information, not ignoring one entire end of the spectrum to come up with a number you're more comfortable with.

Also - just in case it wasn't clear before - none of this reflects badly on you. The impression I get is that you're doing pretty well for yourself and one day hope to have a comfortable retirement. You make "a lot" by the general standards of things but you wouldn't consider yourself rich or super wealthy. But because you're making a decent living, you find yourself dealing with a lot of aggravation from people on the left chastizing you for doing well.

That's not me - if what I just wrote is accurate, I can only assume that you are where you are because you're smart and worked really hard. Some of the bullshit you have to deal with every day is going to be outside my realm of experience (for now), and you're going to bring a different perspective to these discussions. 

I mention all of this because I don't want to give the impression that I have anything against rich people. I'm trying to argue for better working conditions and an improved general environment for everyone - but I know that doesn't mean I have to demonize another subsection of the population. I might be left-leaning, but I'm not of the "eat the rich" or "bring out the guillotine" variety.