Register | Sign In


Understanding through Discussion


EvC Forum active members: 48 (9179 total)
2 online now:
Newest Member: Jorge Parker
Post Volume: Total: 918,230 Year: 5,487/9,624 Month: 512/323 Week: 9/143 Day: 9/13 Hour: 0/0


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
Author Topic:   Wealth Distribution in the USA
NoNukes
Inactive Member


(1)
Message 79 of 531 (699533)
05-21-2013 12:16 PM
Reply to: Message 75 by Coyote
05-21-2013 1:08 AM


You're right, the current system is not equitable for those who actually create wealth.
Who creates 'the wealth' when a factory worker in Vietnam turns a few dollars of material into a pair of Adidas that sell for 150 dollars? Apparently not the factory worker who gets 60 dollars a month for doing so. Apparently only the company who manufactures the demand for sneakers is creating any wealth.

Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)
I would say here something that was heard from an ecclesiastic of the most eminent degree; ‘That the intention of the Holy Ghost is to teach us how one goes to heaven, not how the heaven goes.’ Galileo Galilei 1615.
If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass

This message is a reply to:
 Message 75 by Coyote, posted 05-21-2013 1:08 AM Coyote has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 82 by Coyote, posted 05-21-2013 12:40 PM NoNukes has replied

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


(3)
Message 83 of 531 (699538)
05-21-2013 1:03 PM
Reply to: Message 82 by Coyote
05-21-2013 12:40 PM


The factory worker earns his pay. The local company he works most likely earns a profit as well, as do the suppliers of the materials used in the shoes.
That's a cop out answer. The factory worker is given his pay which is a small fraction of the value he adds to the materials he starts with. Surely the value he adds is more than 2-3 dollars per day.
Your refusal to acknowledge an inequity in even the most gross circumstances is pretty telling.

Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)
I would say here something that was heard from an ecclesiastic of the most eminent degree; ‘That the intention of the Holy Ghost is to teach us how one goes to heaven, not how the heaven goes.’ Galileo Galilei 1615.
If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass

This message is a reply to:
 Message 82 by Coyote, posted 05-21-2013 12:40 PM Coyote has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 85 by Percy, posted 05-21-2013 1:21 PM NoNukes has replied

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


(1)
Message 89 of 531 (699546)
05-21-2013 2:13 PM
Reply to: Message 85 by Percy
05-21-2013 1:21 PM


Why shouldn't wages be set by the market?
Because even the 2-3 dollar rate is abusive and inhumane?
Edited by NoNukes, : No reason given.

Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)
I would say here something that was heard from an ecclesiastic of the most eminent degree; ‘That the intention of the Holy Ghost is to teach us how one goes to heaven, not how the heaven goes.’ Galileo Galilei 1615.
If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass

This message is a reply to:
 Message 85 by Percy, posted 05-21-2013 1:21 PM Percy has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 90 by Panda, posted 05-21-2013 2:35 PM NoNukes has seen this message but not replied
 Message 93 by Percy, posted 05-21-2013 4:03 PM NoNukes has replied

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 100 of 531 (699561)
05-21-2013 6:09 PM
Reply to: Message 93 by Percy
05-21-2013 4:03 PM


Is this person a slave?
Is slavery the only kind of abusive treatment you can imagine? People who take $2 a day to live on have few options, and being willing to pay such a person $2.50 a day doesn't make you some kind of philanthropist. It makes you yet another exploiter.
To answer your question about value, there are many ways to evaluate the value added by an employee, but one thing we do know is that the value added by manufacturing an item is always greater than the mere wages the laborer doing the making is paid. Were it not, nobody would be asking the laborer to do the work. Yet we have posters here who would claim that the laborer does not create any wealth because he has been paid some trifling percentage of the value he has created.
In fact, the value created by the labor of making a pair of shoes from a few dollars worth of materials pays almost every one else involved in the entire process. Most of the other people in the chain are extracting from the value added by the laborer.

Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)
I would say here something that was heard from an ecclesiastic of the most eminent degree; ‘That the intention of the Holy Ghost is to teach us how one goes to heaven, not how the heaven goes.’ Galileo Galilei 1615.
If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass

This message is a reply to:
 Message 93 by Percy, posted 05-21-2013 4:03 PM Percy has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 105 by Percy, posted 05-21-2013 6:58 PM NoNukes has not replied

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 110 of 531 (699573)
05-21-2013 7:12 PM
Reply to: Message 104 by Percy
05-21-2013 6:47 PM


Really? What was he doing before the employer built a factory in his country? Did the employer build the factory only by destroying the job he used to have?
Percy, all you are doing in your arguments here is rejecting labor theories of value in favor of pure capitalist systems of valuing labor. Why is your theory of value more accurate?

Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)
I would say here something that was heard from an ecclesiastic of the most eminent degree; ‘That the intention of the Holy Ghost is to teach us how one goes to heaven, not how the heaven goes.’ Galileo Galilei 1615.
If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass

This message is a reply to:
 Message 104 by Percy, posted 05-21-2013 6:47 PM Percy has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 113 by Percy, posted 05-21-2013 7:26 PM NoNukes has replied

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


(2)
Message 115 of 531 (699579)
05-21-2013 8:17 PM
Reply to: Message 113 by Percy
05-21-2013 7:26 PM


Value is determined by markets, not by politicians or bureaucrats.
That's true. The market determines that the value of a pair of sneakers is maybe a couple hundred dollars. The value of the raw materials only a few dollars. It is certainly the case that the assembler's wage is determined by the local market for his labor.
But the laborer's wage is a poor proxy for the value the laborer has added to the materials.

Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)
I would say here something that was heard from an ecclesiastic of the most eminent degree; ‘That the intention of the Holy Ghost is to teach us how one goes to heaven, not how the heaven goes.’ Galileo Galilei 1615.
If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass

This message is a reply to:
 Message 113 by Percy, posted 05-21-2013 7:26 PM Percy has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 117 by Percy, posted 05-21-2013 8:40 PM NoNukes has replied

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 118 of 531 (699583)
05-21-2013 8:42 PM
Reply to: Message 117 by Percy
05-21-2013 8:40 PM


If that had even an iota of a smattering of truth than diamond cutting would be one of the most lucrative occupations in the world.
Are you suggesting that a diamond cutter does not add value that exceeds his wages?
What I am suggesting here is the idea that only capitalists create wealth and that no laborer does is complete crap.
Edited by NoNukes, : No reason given.
Edited by NoNukes, : No reason given.

Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)
I would say here something that was heard from an ecclesiastic of the most eminent degree; ‘That the intention of the Holy Ghost is to teach us how one goes to heaven, not how the heaven goes.’ Galileo Galilei 1615.
If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass

This message is a reply to:
 Message 117 by Percy, posted 05-21-2013 8:40 PM Percy has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 120 by Percy, posted 05-21-2013 9:20 PM NoNukes has replied

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


(1)
Message 121 of 531 (699592)
05-21-2013 9:44 PM
Reply to: Message 120 by Percy
05-21-2013 9:20 PM


No, no, of course not. I thought your statement that, "...the laborer's wage is a poor proxy for the value the laborer has added to the materials," included an implicit, "But they should be equal."
Of course they are not equal. Capitalism would not work if that were so.
Workers contribute value equal to their wages.
I think that valuation is demonstrably wrong. A worker who only adds value equal to his wages will soon be out of a job because nothing he does would add to the bottom line. I am puzzled by your repetition of this assessment of value in the same post in which you acknowledge that a diamond cutter adds value in excess of his wages.
NoNukes writes:
Are you suggesting that a diamond cutter does not add value that exceeds his wages?
Percy writes:
No, no, of course not.
Edited by NoNukes, : No reason given.

Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)
I would say here something that was heard from an ecclesiastic of the most eminent degree; ‘That the intention of the Holy Ghost is to teach us how one goes to heaven, not how the heaven goes.’ Galileo Galilei 1615.
If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass

This message is a reply to:
 Message 120 by Percy, posted 05-21-2013 9:20 PM Percy has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 123 by Percy, posted 05-21-2013 10:35 PM NoNukes has replied

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 132 of 531 (699615)
05-22-2013 10:43 AM
Reply to: Message 123 by Percy
05-21-2013 10:35 PM


The value of a worker's labor is one thing, his contribution to his company is another.
No, they are not different. A laborer's contribution to the company is his value to the company.
What is the contribution to a company's value of the night watchman, the delivery truck mechanic or the computer repair guy? You just have no idea. Even the companies themselves can't break it down with any reliability.
Which makes the calculation difficult at least in the case of the night watchman. But it is not all that difficult to figure out the value added or subtracted by having onsite mechanics and repair people.

Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)
I would say here something that was heard from an ecclesiastic of the most eminent degree; ‘That the intention of the Holy Ghost is to teach us how one goes to heaven, not how the heaven goes.’ Galileo Galilei 1615.
If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass

This message is a reply to:
 Message 123 by Percy, posted 05-21-2013 10:35 PM Percy has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 133 by Percy, posted 05-22-2013 10:54 AM NoNukes has replied

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 138 of 531 (699622)
05-22-2013 11:49 AM
Reply to: Message 133 by Percy
05-22-2013 10:54 AM


AbE: Maybe this is just a terminology issue. In my lingo, the value of a worker's labor is what someone is willing to pay, which is his wages. The value contributed to a company by a worker's labor is not his wages but something different. Again, the diamond cutter example makes clear the distinction.
It seems to be a little bit more than that at least to you. Otherwise, you would have dropped the issue when I made clear that by value I mean 'value to the company'. Apparently even that phraseology does not sit well with you.
As Dr. Adequate has pointed out, the employee's wages are his wages. The employees value is something else. The fact that the value is, in some cases, difficult to calculate does not mean that the valuation does not work. As you're example points out, often we can make a calculation.
NoNukes writes:
But it is not all that difficult to figure out the value added or subtracted by having onsite mechanics and repair people.
Percy writes:
You're dreaming.
At a minimum we can estimate the impact of the downtime avoided by having onsite repair people. We can make those estimates both for preventative maintence and repairs performed by onsite people. In addition we can compare the difference in costs between having repairs done by wage earners rather than contractors.

Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)
I would say here something that was heard from an ecclesiastic of the most eminent degree; ‘That the intention of the Holy Ghost is to teach us how one goes to heaven, not how the heaven goes.’ Galileo Galilei 1615.
If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass

This message is a reply to:
 Message 133 by Percy, posted 05-22-2013 10:54 AM Percy has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 141 by Percy, posted 05-22-2013 12:40 PM NoNukes has replied

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 144 of 531 (699629)
05-22-2013 1:09 PM
Reply to: Message 141 by Percy
05-22-2013 12:40 PM


you want a worker's compensation to equal his contribution
Stop trying to put words in my mouth. I've already said that such a system would not work.

Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)
I would say here something that was heard from an ecclesiastic of the most eminent degree; ‘That the intention of the Holy Ghost is to teach us how one goes to heaven, not how the heaven goes.’ Galileo Galilei 1615.
If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass

This message is a reply to:
 Message 141 by Percy, posted 05-22-2013 12:40 PM Percy has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 151 by Percy, posted 05-22-2013 2:50 PM NoNukes has not replied

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 145 of 531 (699630)
05-22-2013 1:15 PM
Reply to: Message 142 by Modulous
05-22-2013 1:05 PM


So unless a business is somehow compelled to not increase their prices to reflect their larger overheads, they shouldn't need to discard jobs as a result.
The reason businesses cannot do this is because their prices should already be set as high as the market will allow. Raising prices when overhead increases should result in fewer sales.

Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)
I would say here something that was heard from an ecclesiastic of the most eminent degree; ‘That the intention of the Holy Ghost is to teach us how one goes to heaven, not how the heaven goes.’ Galileo Galilei 1615.
If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass

This message is a reply to:
 Message 142 by Modulous, posted 05-22-2013 1:05 PM Modulous has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 146 by Modulous, posted 05-22-2013 1:27 PM NoNukes has seen this message but not replied

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 213 of 531 (699763)
05-24-2013 11:42 PM
Reply to: Message 210 by Percy
05-24-2013 8:41 PM


Re: Minimum Wage
and they further believe that a job's contribution to a company's bottom line is far more than a person is actually paid, and that therefore companies are exploiting workers.
Who said, or suggested that getting the fact that an employee adds more to the bottom line means that the employee is being exploited? I don't believe this to be anyone's argument. It certainly is not mine, and Dr. Adequate explicitly denies that it is his.
I'm trying to imagine how a business could even operate successfully without the employees in toto creating value in excess of their salaries. Isn't creating value what employees are supposed to do.

Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)
I would say here something that was heard from an ecclesiastic of the most eminent degree; ‘That the intention of the Holy Ghost is to teach us how one goes to heaven, not how the heaven goes.’ Galileo Galilei 1615.
If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass

This message is a reply to:
 Message 210 by Percy, posted 05-24-2013 8:41 PM Percy has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 214 by Percy, posted 05-25-2013 12:48 AM NoNukes has replied

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 219 of 531 (699779)
05-25-2013 12:40 PM
Reply to: Message 214 by Percy
05-25-2013 12:48 AM


Re: Minimum Wage
This sure looks to me like an argument that wages should factor in value
It is an argument that $2 a day is inappropriate, yes. But it is not an argument that the laborer should be paid and that no one else should make any money. The laborer will always be paid some fraction of the value he creates. I'd argue that some people manage a ratio greater than 1.
But the diamond cutter example falsifies this view.
It falsifies a view that nobody holds. In my view getting paid $2 a day is so grossly unfair that it need not be explained by the value of what he makes. The worker is paid as he is because his access to the global labor demand i almost non-existent.
I'll be explicit about my position. Coyote has expressed the view that redistribution of wealth is unfair to those who create wealth. In my view that is a completely bogus view of the way wealth is actually created. That bogus view is a supported by the bogus accounting that you are promoting in which we pretend not to be able to notice that employees as a group are creating wealth and value in excess of their salaries.
Yes, the calculation of value is difficult to make for some individual employees. Even for the diamond cutter we can ask whether he is solely responsible for the extra value generated by his work. After all the cut stones must be set and sold. (Yet somehow you accept that we can calculate the value added by the diamond cutter and reject the idea that we can calculate the value added by a single worker making pairs of sneakers.)
But the main idea is that saying that the individual calculation is too difficult for people not in production, so we'll just call the net gain (value-wages) zero is a lie of the highest order. As you have agreed, the workforce, as a whole, does create value. And that value does not come from summing a bunch of zeroes.
Edited by NoNukes, : No reason given.
Edited by NoNukes, : No reason given.
Edited by NoNukes, : No reason given.

Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)
I would say here something that was heard from an ecclesiastic of the most eminent degree; ‘That the intention of the Holy Ghost is to teach us how one goes to heaven, not how the heaven goes.’ Galileo Galilei 1615.
If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass

This message is a reply to:
 Message 214 by Percy, posted 05-25-2013 12:48 AM Percy has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 221 by Percy, posted 05-25-2013 2:35 PM NoNukes has replied

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


(2)
Message 226 of 531 (699827)
05-25-2013 9:54 PM
Reply to: Message 221 by Percy
05-25-2013 2:35 PM


Re: Minimum Wage
Not in a country where $2/day is competitive with prevailing wages. Which it has to be, else they'll be unable to staff their enterprise.
There is no chance of my ever agreeing with you on this point. Occupying an adult exclusively and paying him or her wage that barely supports him returning to work the next day is an evil to be avoided. I don't accept the excuse that it's what everyone else is doing. I accept that you feel differently.
And apparently being caught doing that is something sneaker companies hate.
This looks like a response to what I explained to Dr A, that the value created by employees belongs to shareholders, not to employees.
Your argument does not resolve anything.
It is the profits, if any, and not the revenue or the value added that belongs to the shareholders. Expenses must be paid before the shareholders get to divvy up the profits, and the salaries include materials, taxes, and salaries. Employees and management, and the executives are all paid out of the revenue stream and all get theirs before the shareholders do.

Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)
I would say here something that was heard from an ecclesiastic of the most eminent degree; ‘That the intention of the Holy Ghost is to teach us how one goes to heaven, not how the heaven goes.’ Galileo Galilei 1615.
If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass

This message is a reply to:
 Message 221 by Percy, posted 05-25-2013 2:35 PM Percy has seen this message but not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 227 by ramoss, posted 05-26-2013 1:28 AM NoNukes has not replied

  
Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2023 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.2
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2024