Comments on: In favour of the living wage Wed, 07 Oct 2015 17:23:32 +0000 hourly 1 By: NorthernLight Wed, 17 Apr 2013 11:58:14 +0000 >>zotdoc

“do gooders”? That’s not what a recent poll suggested.. the majority of American Public believes they are terrible. If there was no minimum or maximum wage, people would be paid for the value they can bring to society… scary thought for those out there who don’t bring anything.

By: zotdoc Mon, 15 Apr 2013 16:19:30 +0000 there should be no minimum or maximum wage. Let the market, not armchair do gooders, decide.

By: satori23 Fri, 12 Apr 2013 23:30:18 +0000 @paintcan

Wonder what sort of verbal mishap happened in Cyprus; perhaps it’s manifestation of big depositors’ fears?

It seems to me that you’d find it easy to conjure thoughts that relate dying systems to dying beliefs.

I like the virtue of your ‘OOTS post’…

By: jh123 Fri, 12 Apr 2013 18:11:46 +0000 What this article fails to recognise is that there is a huge difference between the notion of ‘social judgement’ and social responsibility.

The principle of social judgement used by the author is quite dangerous as it inherently implies that the state or a majority has the right to determine what occupations or actions have merit and their value. This principle cannot do anything except open an economy up to distortions as resources are allocated by some arbitrary power rather than according to market forces. However, even more importantly, to suggest that a man’s reward should be decided by others and not by what he produces given his effort is essentially an authoritarian proposition. Therefore, although I would agree that to some extent this does occur in our society it is very much not the principle we should follow if we desire to preserve freedom and prosperity. Finally, social judgement is very much not the prime determinant of income.

On the other hand social responsibility is a principle that can be used along side the market. The notion that every person should be guaranteed a certain standard of living and that those who produce and therefore, have been paid the most should contribute accordingly is entirely right. Although, crucially no one is imposing a certain value on certain occupations but rather people are doing the best they can with their given skills and being remunerated accordingly but there as floor underneath the standard of living. The height of this floor is a debate all societies should rightly have.

By: paintcan Fri, 12 Apr 2013 06:08:14 +0000 I meant to say – those who aren’t affluent are considered undeserving. My eyes are garbage now.

@Satori – it seems to me that all the classic economic systems are either dead or dying. The future may look for an economic system that isn’t tyrannical like Communism, too dependent on state aid like socialism or too bi-polar like capitalism.

I won’t live long enough to see the birth of the chimera.
And maybe it will be still born even if it is possible for the classic systems to make a truly successful hybrid at all? But, all sorts of hybrids live now.

But whatever economic or social system eventually evolves will have to deal with all the issues that gave rise to the three classic systems or it will struggle too and maybe even die. All of the classic systems seem to attract “belief” like they were religions and the people who seem to do best are the unbelievers or those who were already well endowed by the classic system they were controlled by in one way or another. The old party members seem to be those who benefited most by inside connections to the Kremlin when communism fell. The same seems to be true for China but, I suppose, even the insiders loose their status and advantage after awhile.

Do you really think you live in a state of satori? Do they use money? There is a very strong current in most of the major world religions to avoid it or to handle it under special controls and with very limited access.

Perhaps that’s what the future will revive? Many people aren’t very good at language skills.

By: JamesGoddard Fri, 12 Apr 2013 05:06:08 +0000 This is a thoughtful, measured and welcome article. Those respondents who equate a decent minimum wage with socialism or communism clearly have no understanding of this subject. When a minimum wage was introduced in the UK, over ten years ago now, some Conservatives made dire predictions about its negative effects. They were wrong.

By: satori23 Thu, 11 Apr 2013 16:31:32 +0000 NorthernLight,

There are many faces of capitalism/socialism… if you remember ‘Titan Grizz’ who caused flurry of comments with his remark on 1 euro wage and lazy French workers, you’ll see that there’s self-defeating side to it. Like Rinehart, Grizz is eager to undervalue work to the point where his tires can’t find market. Not sure how obvious it is, but kindred self-defeat is hidden in policies deployed throughout the Europe. We’re all well aware that without bottom line, there’s no foundation to the pyramid. Effect of bottomless competitiveness is reflected in our reality and inability to kick-start economy. These calls to probe unorthodox ways aren’t necessarily calls to arms framed within some ideological quest; they may as well be means of self-preservation. As stated earlier, it’d be a bummer if things fall apart before breakthrough.

I think it’s important to stress/asses realities behind global policies that force populations of the nations into the race to the bottom, so much so if we’re aware that game is foxconned. Perhaps Lew came to query about that too, because trade data today already suggest that things will go awfully amiss tomorrow.

Regardless, if possible, I’d steer away from old terminology, in sense that near future, may it be one in which we can print what we like, wouldn’t translate well. It’s hard, at least for me, to frame such proposed and tangibly within the reach ‘golden age’ with socialism/communism and similes. Not to say that it’s irrational and unfair to pit perfect equality against human ability.


By: paintcan Thu, 11 Apr 2013 15:30:15 +0000 OOTS still lives with the dream of a capital driven undeveloped territory ready for exploitation where people could head “out west’ with nothing but their wagon and some household effects and start from scratch. For the owner of a homestead the issue of minimum wage was beside the point. But people in the regulated, monetized and very demanding urban world can’t live like that. They can’t be ignored as easily.

It hasn’t been that way since the industrial development of this country, or it faded rapidly as the country became thoroughly industrialized and now lives in a post industrial world.

This country is becoming a winner take all country and they forget they can’t responsibly care for all that they take. Even mega-business can be gluttons, power mad, and frantic to keep up with their competition, or worse, attempt to destroy them. They have been driven by mania, fraud and fashion too.

A country that devolves into a society that has a gilded and very powerful elite, a struggling and heavily indebted middle class and an enormous number of those barely scraping by, will not be much of a role model and will be just like the undeveloped countries they despise now.

And lets face it – the standard of living here will shrink without a living minimum wage and that will put at risk a lot of the value of the hard assets that need an affluent society to ensure they don’t become tomorrows white elephants and slums. Minimum wage is a landlord’s friend, so to speak. But the developing economies of the world are what will tend to control our wage scales and they are appallingly low. We will start to resemble them is every way imaginable and that means our physical settings will start to look tired and worn out too. The wealthy will have to invest in civic improvements directly and possibly for charity or the workers, at whatever level of pay they get, will rapidly start to hate them and attempt to destroy them. Captain Bly must never forget the prospect of mutiny.

All money is funny money, including gold. All of its value is relative and a bit phony. All types of money can suffer inflation. Money is just a tool and a language to stitch a society together and allow it to stay about the level of subsistence and barter.

OOTS always reduces every argument about special concern for the have-nots to the argument that those who are affluent are undeserving and any legal assurances or help is getting something they have no right to. But he isn’t so concerned when the nation attempts to bully or dominate other countries for its own interests or the interests of its elites. Having a mass of barely surviving and desperate “workers”, whose lives hinge on their admittance into the greater economic world, ignores the enormous leverage that can be brought to bear so that they do what no one of the better paid wants to do. He also ignores the innate social appeal of being employed at all. Having a job was a road to a social life and even a reason to get up in the morning. And they may not actually be working all that hard or even efficiently. Efficiency can also be a matter of job training or structure too and if you’ve never seen the efficient way of doing things it’s rather hard to imitate. It is also impossible to do if you don’t have the right tools or the right support. And the right tools and support can be a matter of proprietary knowledge and even that can be rolled up and more tightly controlled by those attempting to control anything that can be bought up and controlled.

Even the wealthy and powerful can be bone lazy and stupid. They can accustom themselves to dependence on skivvies to do all the jobs that don’t pay well and don’t bring any power and control and bigger gains. OOTS doesn’t mention the nearly ruthless attempts to gain power and control. If they are allowed free reign, the wealthy can become fascist pigs, and I’m not just using an old 60s pejorative – I mean they can be gluttonous and destructive and squander all OOTs so called “efficiency” as well as the lives of all those they insist on controlling and even owning. The majority of a country’s population must have social protections and the means to control its own masters. They are only human beings after all, but wealth and power can go to their heads and make them think they are something so much more.

And the really rotten thing about the powerful, they make damned certain society cannot punish them for the mistakes they make with the games of power they play. In the postmodern world, that has been almost enshrined. They also ignore the fact that their own social ethic or work habits and life style choices don’t have to be models of efficiency or any other of the truisms OOTS likes to cite because immense wealth is a dandy insulator against reprisals.

Wealth lives with the horror that someday they will loose the money and power and sink back into the difficulties, the built in inefficiency and waste of effort that tends to typify life for the less lofty and well healed. They always have. It often takes ruthlessness and enormous amounts of double talk to gain entry into the upper levels of a society. But if left to their self-serving devices and appetites, the affluent can make sure that the less affluent live in even worse situations than those they may have been raised from themselves.

By: NorthernLight Thu, 11 Apr 2013 11:36:12 +0000 Satori23, I appreciate the non-combative and humble approach to your arguments above. Even though we share entirely different ideals, I respect your stance a lot more than Edward here who appears to be trying to start a revolution. One thing I feel you have nailed on the head is that we are ever so close to creating a society where socialism and/or communism might just work– when robots can do every aspect of work, and 3-d printers can print full houses with minerals mined from robots and trees cut by machines in assembly style. When I can print a 50 foot Yacht with the push of a button, these ideals put forth may just work.

However, until that time, Capitalism is really our best solution. In no other time in the history of man has there been a system where the smartest men on the planet are given the desire to produce something without fear of somebody taking it away from them (or taking their profits away, if they are more interested in society ‘owing them one’ [money = society owed favor]). In Communism, the smartest people will gravitate towards politics because that’s the only position with power. In Capitalism, the brightest minds gravitate towards CEO and leader of empires which churn out cheaper food, gadgets and luxuries. I’d rather have the smartest working for me, trying to sell me their products, than controlling me. Instituting a minimum wage reduces society’s ability to employ everyone, which slows down our common goal of freedom from want. Simple as that.

By: Urban_Guerilla Thu, 11 Apr 2013 09:24:29 +0000 I agree with just about everything said here, but there is an important fundamental point that is missed.

If an employer does not pay a living wage to a worker, and that worker must receive benefits in order to survive, the employer is getting a subsidy from the government. If an employer cannot afford to pay a living wage for a job, they cannot afford the employee.

Simple as that.