All Forums > General Discussion > Non-Sports > OT- North Carolina and Duke in a mess
10/26/2012 9:50 AM
Posted by tbird9423 on 10/25/2012 9:13:00 PM (view original):
Posted by Trentonjoe on 10/25/2012 8:51:00 PM (view original):
Are you saying 120 million people qualify for SSI?   I have a hard time believing that...

Since  only about 5% actually receive, I find it really hard to believe it.

I did look it up and SSDI goes to the disabled (and funded by the SS  payroll tax),  SSI (which is paid by "general revenues") goes to the poor, blind and disabled.  Some people (people who have paid in) are eligible for both.

Yes, that is what I am saying and you are correct in regards to SSDI and SSI.  Right now, most of the people who are eligible for SSI don't even realize it, as they could be eligible based off of their own situation or that of their parents. (I am eligible).   It is this "untapped" market that brings about the flood of lawyers paying millions of dollars (I don't know how much, probably more?) on advertising to capture a percentage of that market.  Kind of scary when you imagine that even if they (the lawyers, doctors, insurance companies,social service agencies, etc) capture half of the actual market, there would be about a 900% increase in payouts in that system. 

I just don't know where you are getting this information from.   To qualify for SSI or SDI you need to be Medicaly Disabled or Poor (income less than 17k  a year) or a dependent of someone who is.

If you are an adult who can work,  I don't see how you would be eligble.
10/26/2012 11:09 AM
?Why should they collect an unlimited amount from people who are the least likely to need it anyway?

They should collect the same amount from everyone. Since it is a percentage based tax levied upon income, to eliminate it altogether above X dollars lowers the percentage of income paid by those above X dollars by an increasing amount for every dollar they go above X dollars.

In other words, the more money you make, the less percentage you pay (once you get beyond X dollars). Any tax that works this way benefits the wealthy in an unfair manner.
as I fully comprehend I am part of the continuation of a system that is designed to relegate all but the richest of the rich into forced labor.
You are impressing me with a statement like this, because it takes not only a fairly firm understanding of capitalist economics to develop this point of view, but the ability to overcome all of the propaganda designed to suppress people from coming to or accepting this kind of thought.

Modern capitalism essentially turns most people into a modern version of an indentured servant. Instead of working for someone to pay a debt you owe to them, you work for your employer to pay the debt you owe to others in the form of your bills. Much like the indentured servants of older times, you have little chance of ever rising up to have enough money to avoid a life of indentured servitude, which is only afforded to the sufficiently wealthy. The difference is that in modern times the wealthy realize they have to give you the HOPE that you'll rise up and become like them with enough hard work or else you might become too disgruntled. Since there are far more indentured servants (employed people) than their are aristocratic landowners (employers and wealthy people), if the servants ever decide to join together and rise up as one in protest, the landowners are in serious trouble.

That's why politicians (and many wealthy individuals) don't like the idea that everyone gets a vote in America. There are too many people who are indentured servants who vote, which often overcomes the votes of the wealthy - unless the wealthy can fund campaigns and put out enough propaganda to convince the servants to vote their way, which happens plenty often.

If you aren't wealthy, your vote is the only thing that matters to most politicians. They won't admit it, but most politicians are only out to help the wealthy. The reason is because they want to get re-elected and the wealthy supporters will fund their campaigns. They still need your vote, though, so they'll pretend they have your interests at heart when all they really want is to stay in office and keep getting a government paycheck, benefits, and future pension.

Members of congress are very diverse in many ways, but the one group I can assure you who absolutely faces "taxation without representation" are the poor, particularly the working poor. No matter who is in office, by virtue of the job itself if not their other earnings, no one in a federal government elected position can represent the poor because they are NOT poor.

I think this is an injustice to all those considered "lower class" or "poverty" who are constantly told they get represented, and perhaps ideas are forwarded and legislation passed that sometimes does benefit them, but it is assuredly not done by one of their own, as no such person exists in congress.
 
 
10/26/2012 11:27 AM
"Modern capitalism essentially turns most people into a modern version of an indentured servant. Instead of working for someone to pay a debt you owe to them, you work for your employer to pay the debt you owe to others in the form of your bills."


Um, except workers in America have a choice in their employment and opportunity to change their career fields. 

It's nothing like indentured service.

10/26/2012 12:50 PM
trentonjoe,

Workers in America have some choices, yes. However, you're oversimplifying the situation about as much as is possible.

Work in modern capitalist America is EXACTLY like indentured service. I explained how in my last post, and yet you seem to have missed it, so I'll reiterate: Like indentured servants who worked for someone in order to pay off a debt that probably would never go away, the modern American worker is forced to be employed in order to pay off their own debt (in the form of bills they couldn't otherwise pay).

An indentured servant would be considered free once their debt was paid through their work, which rarely happened. It is the same today, when the only way someone can be free from working for an employer to pay bills is to gain sufficient wealth to be able to pay the bills without the employer and the job, and just as in the case of the indentured servant, this rarely happens.

Yet the wealthy keep dangling the carrot of freedom from employment "if you just work harder" in front of the workers because if they don't, the disgruntled workers might get smart and rise up and refuse, as a collective group, to tolerate the capitalist regime that has held them down for so long. This probably won't happen because there are processes and even laws in place to protect the establishment that keeps the wealthy in control, but if it ever did, they would be in a heap of trouble.

If you honestly believe the small choices people have in America mean people have a choice in employment, you don't understand how the system works. Some people are educated, trained, and have experience and yet are unemployed - NOT because of their own choices, as they would choose to have a productive job (or even to be independently wealthy) if they could - but largely because of economic factors completely out of their control. The "choice" of employment is so limited it the differentiation you seem to think exists between the modern worker and an indentured servant is next to nothing.

You can keep buying the propaganda of "you have choices so keep working hard and you too may become rich like me" and continue to be in denial if you want, or you can open your eyes and realize if you work for a living you are the modern form of an indentured servant. THAT is the real choice you have.
10/26/2012 2:02 PM (edited)
I understand your point, I just think it is assine.





10/26/2012 2:43 PM
It's incredibly assinine.  Basically all bistiza is saying is that most people have to work if they want food, shelter, and other basic essentials of life.  I'd love to hear him propose a system in which this would NOT be true.  At the end of the day, if most people don't work, productivity drops precipitously.  His last paragraph of his most recent post sums it up completely.  If you work  you're an indentured servant...  So in Bistizaland work should be optional?  Seriously?  I don't see any way you can read what you typed that would lead to any conclusion other than that bistiza believes that unless you can choose not to work you become a "servant," and society is basically enslaved until people have the option to work or not as they please.  As long as we want to continue to have food, scientific and technological research and development, etc, people have to work.  At least the vast majority.  Period.

Frankly, until this post your political and economic ideas were just unrealistically idealistic.  Now they're stupid.

10/26/2012 4:58 PM
Posted by bistiza on 10/26/2012 12:50:00 PM (view original):
trentonjoe,

Workers in America have some choices, yes. However, you're oversimplifying the situation about as much as is possible.

Work in modern capitalist America is EXACTLY like indentured service. I explained how in my last post, and yet you seem to have missed it, so I'll reiterate: Like indentured servants who worked for someone in order to pay off a debt that probably would never go away, the modern American worker is forced to be employed in order to pay off their own debt (in the form of bills they couldn't otherwise pay).

An indentured servant would be considered free once their debt was paid through their work, which rarely happened. It is the same today, when the only way someone can be free from working for an employer to pay bills is to gain sufficient wealth to be able to pay the bills without the employer and the job, and just as in the case of the indentured servant, this rarely happens.

Yet the wealthy keep dangling the carrot of freedom from employment "if you just work harder" in front of the workers because if they don't, the disgruntled workers might get smart and rise up and refuse, as a collective group, to tolerate the capitalist regime that has held them down for so long. This probably won't happen because there are processes and even laws in place to protect the establishment that keeps the wealthy in control, but if it ever did, they would be in a heap of trouble.

If you honestly believe the small choices people have in America mean people have a choice in employment, you don't understand how the system works. Some people are educated, trained, and have experience and yet are unemployed - NOT because of their own choices, as they would choose to have a productive job (or even to be independently wealthy) if they could - but largely because of economic factors completely out of their control. The "choice" of employment is so limited it the differentiation you seem to think exists between the modern worker and an indentured servant is next to nothing.

You can keep buying the propaganda of "you have choices so keep working hard and you too may become rich like me" and continue to be in denial if you want, or you can open your eyes and realize if you work for a living you are the modern form of an indentured servant. THAT is the real choice you have.
What's the alternative?

I'm as liberal as they come and I get that business has beaten the **** out of labor over the last 30 years and that there really aren't many "clock in and out. 40 hrs a week, still live in a big house near a big city" jobs anymore, but that's just the reality of the world we live in. There are more people than there are good jobs.
10/26/2012 5:45 PM
His point, I think, is that if the money was redistributed the amount our economy produces would be enough for everyone to have a good job.  That's not the point he made, but it ultimately leads there.  And this is true.  The hard part is finding a way to more evenly distribute the wealth without running into at least 1 of 3 problems:

1) someone assigns value to various forms of labor, which ultimately tends to lead to abuse of power

2) lack of motivation for individuals to work hard, which shrinks the economy and suddenly rather than everyone having a good job nobody has a good job

3) improper allocation of labor resources
10/26/2012 5:50 PM
Hmmm, ok. I think he could have made his point better by going after the lobbying and policy efforts made by the wealthy that have helped to concentrate wealth more and more that the very top. A "wealth incumbency," to borrow a phrase from Jon Stewart.
10/26/2012 6:23 PM
Not as concentrated now as it was during the time of the robber barons, but I certainly don't think wealth distribution in this country is getting better by any means...
10/26/2012 7:05 PM
Posted by dahsdebater on 10/26/2012 6:53:00 AM (view original):
And just one more aside relating to the passage I already quoted - I would STRONGLY argue that our elected officials were most "whores of the rich" in the first 30 years of our nations existence of any point in American history.  Also much moreso in the 1880s - 1920s than now.  More now than in the 1930s through '70s or '80s, maybe, but certainly not the worst it's ever been...
Dahs-- another guy I truly respect and have taken lots of advice so appreciate your objections coming back in the form they did.  I agree that my comment read literally would be somewhat confusing but meant citizens as in "anyone other than a professional politician."  Term limits would go a long way and any president could get that quickly enacted if they wished. 

The point above is true if you look at regional situations and am fine with you strongly arguing that, but you would have to give me some evidence if you want me to agree.  During the time frames you speak of, politicians were, of course, taking care of their friends and I don't expect that to ever change.  However, that "help" was still also helpful to the country, in that it was allowing the wealth accumulated in our country to be spent in our country.  I don't see the same thing happening now in the least so that is why I would say that without doubt, the last 30 years has most definetely been the timeframe where our leaders have done the most harm to the country.

Investment bankers and their ties to the housing crisis is a good example.  Leaders (both Repubs and Demos and beginning with Clinton) grew an entire industry to help make the rich richer.  When that backfired, leaders quickly convinced us the need to keep them rich even though most American's don't have stocks and most stocks are so diluted (mutual funds) that they are not even affected by the stock market in the least.  (I know arguments could be made here around indirect connection)  Even with that "rescue" homes still sit empty and jobs are still nowhere to be found (jobs is still decreasing at a very high level no matter what you read).  Compare that to your Robber Barons who got preferential treatment but at least increased GDP (or whatever they called it then), thereby helping American citizens.

I think we are beginning to come closer together as I agree with many of your points and can't wait for the majority of Americans to understand what you said about a third party candidate.

My aside is to let you know that the democrats you speak of some time ago is not the same as the democratic party of today.  Very different ideology between those two groups.

10/26/2012 7:32 PM
Trenton-- Umm, indentured servitude involved choice as well.  As for your SSI question, common sense would dictate you're correct but if you look into who/how that is determined, you'll find a group of government/social service agencies whose funding is directly correlated to the number of individuals they serve and therefore, even individuals who could work just fine, can easily be eligible.  I know a guy who has acid reflux (albeit a relatively rough case of it) and is on disability for that condition, which isn't even a qualifying condition.  He is under 30 and so you'll pay for him the rest of his life.

What's the alternative?  Hmm, seems like a good place to start would be to take back some of the wealth accumulated in 401k's and give that to the people that are making all of our lives (and baby boomers retirement) possible.  Seems like we might also want to utilize our natural resources in a smart and effective way.  How about admitting that sending jobs overseas will never increase our quality of life at home and bringing some of those back with an understanding that the costs of certain products will rise.  How about a novel idea of the country actually having a goal???  Don't we all have goals and don't we all know that successful people/entities set goals to then achieve them.  Seems strange like all of the leaders who have individual and party goals haven't come up with a goal for our country or the world?  Wonder if there is any reason for them liking that most American's goal right now is to get more square footage, a nicer car and of course, a bigger TV?

I don't know about Bis, but I am not saying everyone should have a good job, I am saying that we should look at who made the subjective decisions that equated to good and bad jobs.  Why is it that I can sit around and just tell people what I think and make more money than the person who milks the cows so I can have milk? 

It is so frustrating to see a young lady wearing her fast food outfit at the bus stop holding a baby in the cold and rain while I sit in my nice warm car and listen to tunes.  I'm fine with the answer of "you made better choices than her" and that might make sense.  But if that or "that's the world we live in" is your answer, you better not be considering yourself religious or a good American. 

When I give that girl $20, I am also well aware that has nothing to do with actually helping her situation and is really just me appeasing my guilt, which I think most American's do all the time without even realizing they are doing it. 

Anyways, don't know if I'll be able to get back on tonight but appreciate the conversation and hope everyone has a good weekend. 

10/29/2012 8:47 AM
?Basically all bistiza is saying is that most people have to work if they want food, shelter, and other basic essentials of life.  I'd love to hear him propose a system in which this would NOT be true.
 
I'm not saying people shouldn't have to work; I'm merely proposing the current system actually rewards many people for working LESS than others. For example, the structure of most businesses in modern American capitalism is to make income incredibly top heavy, with executives who make decisions making much much more than those who actually produce the majority of work effort for the business. The people on the bottom of the "ladder" are working just as hard or harder than those at the top, and yet there is this incredible pay disparity. Perhaps those at the top should earn a bit more, depending upon what they bring to the table in terms of skills, abilities, experience, education, etc. It just shouldn't be what it is now in most cases.

This kind of structure doesn't usually inspire people to work harder than is necessary to keep their jobs (unless they already have some other motivation which is personal to them). People are sold that capitalism inspires people to be innovative and work hard, but this is largely mitigated because of the non-linear relationship between hard work and success.

A better structure would be to allow employees to become more empowered and actually take pride in the success of the company. You do this by giving them an ownership stake, so that they get more money in their pockets when the company makes more, giving them direct incentive to want to be more productive. When all they see if the executives and owners make more if they produce more and the company makes more profits, they don't care (and if they're smart, they know they are getting ****ed over). But if they see an increase in their own paychecks when the company makes more, they sure have motivation to try to make that happen. It also inspires more team work and a feeling of being valued, which cannot be overstated.

Doing this in the midst of the present economy would also allow your company to have the pick of who it wanted, because everyone would want to work for a company like this.
I'm as liberal as they come and I get that business has beaten the **** out of labor over the last 30 years
I'm not sure what being liberal has to do with any of this.

But yes, those who work hard are taking the raw end of the deal on a continuous basis. I agree with that.
I'm fine with the answer of "you made better choices than her" and that might make sense.
I am personally NOT fine with giving that as an answer of why your life situation is better than this girl's in the example given.

We don't know her circumstances (and only you know yours), but it is possible she made BETTER choices than you did and still ended up in a worse situation. That is what modern American capitalism does. It's a cruel machine designed to make more money for the wealthy while holding everyone else down with the promise that if they work hard and do what the wealthy say they may too be able to rise up and become part of the wealthy elite so they too can hold others down to try to get more money for themselves.

This idea that wealthy people somehow make better choices, are smarter, work harder, etc. isn't always true (as I've been saying for some time now). It's part of the propaganda everyone else is supposed to believe - that the wealthy somehow "deserve" their wealth and everyone else "deserves" whatever they have or the lack of it. It's simply not true.

Let's dispel some of these myths right now:

Hard work does NOT translate into wealth in anything close to a linear fashion.

No one "deserves" their wealth or lack thereof based on anything they have done (even though what they have done can obviously contribute to it).

The current capitalist system is NOT the best economic system for everyone or even most people. It also does NOT serve as the best model to inspire people to work hard or be productive (as I stated above in this post).






10/29/2012 2:51 PM
Capitalism isn't successful exclusively because it rewards hard work, although inspiring/motivating hard work is certainly something it does reasonably well.  The great value of capitalism is that it encourages development.  It's all well and good to talk about giving employees a share of the company, and some corporations do that.  But at the end of the day, a whole bunch of unemployed people are never going to pool their nonexistant wealth and build a factory where they can all work.  The people with the capital are responsible for building business infrastructure, and if there wasn't significant potential for personal gain from building infrastructure or utilizing resources then there would be far less growth and development.  Obviously it isn't strictly FAIR that the people who own businesses make so much more than the people doing the work, but if that weren't the case there likely wouldn't have been a business in the first place.
10/29/2012 3:49 PM
dahs,

With all due respect, capitalism does NOT inspire or motivate hard work. The vast majority of people work only hard enough to gain and keep a job they see as sufficient to get them by, especially in this economy. A few strive for more, but most of those would probably do so without capitalism. What capitalism DOES do is allow the wealthy to make even more money while everyone else does the work to carry them to their wealth.

You talk about the people with the capital using it to innovate and build infrastructure. Those things, when they actually occur, are a mere byproduct of what those with capital really do, which is attempt to use it to create more capital and also to gain and keep power.

A proper socialist structure would destroy modern American capitalism in terms of production, innovation, etc because the workers would be far more motivated. There would actually be MORE potential for personal gain for the vast majority of people. In fact, the only people who wouldn't be better off are those who are made wealthy now by modern American capitalism. Everyone else, who represent the vast majority of people statistically, would be better off, more motivated, and most of them would work harder and produce more.

There would be plenty of businesses even without the wealthy dominating everything. When people everyone has an equal stake in what's involved, their pay increases with more production, they have all the incentive in the world to work harder and produce more.

But in the current system, as long as they can keep their job, what is their incentive to work harder? So the owner/CEO/other executives can make more money? Yeah, that's the ticket. I bet that motivates a great deal of people.

If I had to sum up everything I have to say about this, it would be: Modern American capitalism is horrible.

It actually stifles growth and innovation compared to a proper socialist system  (as I've attempted to explain as simply as possible). It puts the power all in the hands of the wealthy and gives everyone else (who represent far more people overall) a minimum to moderate level of motivation when they could have so much more under the proper socialist system. In fact, I would go so far as to say that if they were properly educated on economics, the ONLY people who would favor the current system over a well executed socialist system would be those who are currently wealthy.
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