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Thread: Occupy Wall Street

  1. #21
    Fifty Fifty Member Bacon_Barbarian's Avatar
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    Funny statistic I found. It was the CEO to Laborer/Worker ratio. It's ridiculous. I'll try and find it for y'all.
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  2. #22
    Lucky Member Blue_Dragon's Avatar
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    Find it. And post it.

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  3. #23
    Fifty Fifty Member Bacon_Barbarian's Avatar
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    Not what I originally had, but it's very close and brings does a good job of ... Well ... Stating (what I think is) the obvious.

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  4. #24
    Super Senior Member CypressDahlia's Avatar
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    I don't think the rich are necessarily getting richer, just average people are getting poorer. Notice that the highest points are during the Great Depression era and the height of our recent recession. Basically the statistic becomes more evident when the average people are not working and/or losing their investments. CEOs don't have to worry about that. They have too much stake in their native company and practically write their own paychecks.

    So it's pretty misguided to get mad at rich people for being rich. The question they should ask is "why the fuck are we getting so poor and how can we fix it?"

  5. #25
    Regular Member Son44's Avatar
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    CypressDahlia: The rich have gotten richer:
    http://motherjones.com/politics/2011...ca-chart-graph

    I support the "Occupy Wallstreet" movement. The reason for this is that they are trying to do something. You can't go through the political channels in the USA with the policies they want. Why? The corporations and Wallstreet. The candidate would be blacklisted from the media (hello kucinich!), recieve almost no donations, would be targeted, indirectly, by so many lobby organizations and be the target of so many smear campaigns as well that the candidate wouldn't stand a chance. If you threaten them you can say goodbye to the white house ( again, Hello Kucinich and (newcomer) Ron Paul!).
    Sadly the protest moevement isn't well organized and I agree that they should put forth a political agenda and if they have one, maket it more clear.

    I think it was Hamachi who commented that distributing wealth doesn't work. As Frankling D. Roosevelt said: "Look to Norway" and you should do that as well Hamachi. Anyway, back to the topic:

    I see these protesters as a natural response to corporatism, much like marxism was a response to capitalism in 1800s. The American systems is fucked up because you have been brainwashed (sublte brainwashing, mind you) to belive that the guys on wallstreet don't need rules or regulations because the government will just be in the way, they have their own secure and good system that never suffers from any corruption, that the trickle down principle works, there is no speculation and that they want to make you wealthy. No they don't. Unless it's specialized goods or services they'll be happy to move that factory to China in order to cut down on wages, pensions etc.

    Personally I hope the thing they described in the Zeitgeist movie will "happen" and we'll see the economy change from money to resources. We can't go on like this.
    Last edited by Son44; 10-24-2011 at 06:51 PM.

  6. #26
    Super Senior Member CypressDahlia's Avatar
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    There is no evidence there to suggest that the rich have gotten richer, only that the average American has gotten poorer in comparison. Unless, of course, you take "rich" and "poor" as purely relative terms, in which case the wealth gap has increased recently. The 'average income' charts are misleading in the sense that they do not scale to inflation. More inflation = bigger numbers, naturally. We're comparing figures from 1979, when the cost of a gallon of gas was 86 cents.

    That's not to say the wealth gap isn't increasing, but surely there are plenty of other dominant factors than "rich people being rich". The reason I can't really get behind Occupy Wall Street is because they keep throwing 1% campaign slogans at me instead of telling me what their objectives are.
    Last edited by CypressDahlia; 10-24-2011 at 07:36 PM.

  7. #27
    Regular Member Son44's Avatar
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    Cype: Actually it has been scaled to inflation using the 2007 dollar as a standard.
    Jump to page 46:
    http://www.levyinstitute.org/pubs/wp_589.pdf

    The wealthgap has also increased a lot since the 1970s in the states.
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...since_WWII.svg

    I can see what the OWS is getting at. They're simply sick of the top 1% being able do to whatever they want without anyone being able to stop them. No politicians, lawyers etc. Again, I agree. They should put forward an agenda.
    Hey, atleast they're doing something.

  8. #28
    Super Senior Member Delphinus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Son44 View Post
    The candidate would be blacklisted from the media (hello kucinich!), recieve almost no donations, would be targeted, indirectly, by so many lobby organizations and be the target of so many smear campaigns as well that the candidate wouldn't stand a chance. If you threaten them you can say goodbye to the white house ( again, Hello Kucinich and (newcomer) Ron Paul!).
    Quote Originally Posted by Son44 View Post
    The American systems is fucked up because you have been brainwashed (sublte brainwashing, mind you) to belive that the guys on wallstreet don't need rules or regulations because the government will just be in the way, they have their own secure and good system that never suffers from any corruption, that the trickle down principle works, there is no speculation and that they want to make you wealthy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Son44 View Post
    Personally I hope the thing they described in the Zeitgeist movie will "happen" and we'll see the economy change from money to resources. We can't go on like this.
    A little paranoid here. In addition, Zeitgeist is just neo-Communism and would fail for exactly the same reasons every other communist state has failed in instituting a utopia.

    In my opinion, it would make more sense to gradually change economic policy to give greater regulatory powers to the state, while still allowing capitalism as a system to flourish: comparisons of economic systems over time have shown that capitalism is the most efficient in producing wealth and suffers the least leakages of cash. Where that wealth goes is the problem, but I have no problem with there being an unequal distribution of resources: it motivates those who are poor to succeed, except in cases where it's impossible for them to succeed (such as in many disadvantaged areas nowadays), in which case it becomes more likely that they'll turn to crime as a way of succeeding through non-traditional channels.

    What I suppose I'm advocating is a regulated capitalist system. This wouldn't be socialist, because socialism, for me, means 'the government controlling most of the wealth'; it's redundant to talk about socialism as we used to, given the welfare state, state schooling etc. can be called broadly socialist. Instead, the government would promote equal opportunity - meritocracy. The ultimate aim would be to make state schooling, healthcare, etc. as good and as efficient as the best private services, meaning that, no matter what background someone comes from, they have the opportunity to succeed if they have the will.

    Even in a case where a neo-communist society were successfully instated, it would lead to a stagnation. Think about it: if you can't gain anything through working harder, what incentive do you have to work? Indeed, if everyone gets the same amount, no matter the effort they put in, then nobody has any reason to work. This is part of the reason why the Soviet Union collapsed: why wouldn't it happen to this fictional, fantastic state called "Zeitgeist"? Zeitgeist is modernist bullshit.
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  9. #29
    Super Senior Member CypressDahlia's Avatar
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    It's pretty computationally biased to use 2007 as a reference point when referring to wealth considering that was the pits of the recession and unemployment rates were at their highest. What that analysis shows us is that the average American has gotten comparatively less rich, not that the rich have gotten richer. In other words, they're not getting ahead, //we're// falling behind. Given the context of the data, that is entirely understandable (not acceptable, by any means, but understandable). Furthermore, maintaining that the number of households is the same now as it was in 1983 is mathematically insane considering we've grown a literal 50% in population (233m vs. 307m). If we were to use more relevant data, I'm guessing the average citizen would come out a lot poorer and the 1% would come out not so much richer.

    Also, do you see a trend here? Wealth disparity comes and goes with waves of mass recession. What does that tell us?

    It tells us that it's entirely misguided to sit around being mad at rich people for being rich when our real problem is the recession. The average citizen isn't making money. Consider that we never whine about the 1% until two things happen: 1.) their taxes get cut or 2.) we get poorer. In other words, it only becomes an issue when we're comparatively poor and our tax burden is high. So instead of sitting around acting like rich people are suddenly stealing our money, let's instead find a way to lower our tax burden, raise theirs and get some jobs while we're at it. My one big complaint in all of this is that I have to compete with degree holders for starting positions at Macy's.

    Chances are, after this recession passes (if it passes), nobody will give a shit about the 1%.

  10. #30
    Regular Member Son44's Avatar
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    Edit: I just noticed that due to either European/Scandinavian stupidity, or whatever you'd like to call it, that we use the word Social Democracy and Socialism interchangeably in daily life. I'm sorry. This pretty much changes the whole arguement because instead of writing socialist i would say social democracy/democrat as an ideal system. Again, I'm sorry:

    Doubble Edit: I managed to remove some parts of my older post. I'll fix it right away

    Quote Originally Posted by Delphinus View Post
    A little paranoid here. In addition, Zeitgeist is just neo-Communism and would fail for exactly the same reasons every other communist state has failed in instituting a utopia.
    USSR was state capitalist, not socialist or marxist and even marxists and socialists in the USSR complained about this.
    Secondly: Zeitgeist isn't communist because there is no money. On the other hand money was the reason why socialism and marxism appeared.

    Quote Originally Posted by Delphinus View Post
    In my opinion, it would make more sense to gradually change economic policy to give greater regulatory powers to the state, while still allowing capitalism as a system to flourish: comparisons of economic systems over time have shown that capitalism is the most efficient in producing wealth and suffers the least leakages of cash. Where that wealth goes is the problem, but I have no problem with there being an unequal distribution of resources: it motivates those who are poor to succeed, except in cases where it's impossible for them to succeed (such as in many disadvantaged areas nowadays), in which case it becomes more likely that they'll turn to crime as a way of succeeding through non-traditional channels.
    Of course capitalism is going to be more efficient when it's the most common system used around the world. Ideal marxism/socialism cannot exists as long as there is a majority of capitalist nations.

    The last part of the paragraph - That attitude is what has caused the problem in the first place. You won't do anything because you expect they to fend for themselves, which is logical. Sadly society suffers because some people will fall off and then more will follow, especially with immigrants who have to adjust to a new culture.


    Quote Originally Posted by Delphinus View Post
    What I suppose I'm advocating is a regulated capitalist system. This wouldn't be socialist, because socialism, for me, means 'the government controlling most of the wealth'; it's redundant to talk about socialism as we used to, given the welfare state, state schooling etc. can be called broadly socialist. Instead, the government would promote equal opportunity - meritocracy. The ultimate aim would be to make state schooling, healthcare, etc. as good and as efficient as the best private services, meaning that, no matter what background someone comes from, they have the opportunity to succeed if they have the will.
    So you're basicly advocating social democracy. Now, I consider myself a socialist, but under the current system I support Social Democracy because (again) most countries are capitalist.

    Quote Originally Posted by Delphinus View Post
    Even in a case where a neo-communist society were successfully instated, it would lead to a stagnation. Think about it: if you can't gain anything through working harder, what incentive do you have to work? Indeed, if everyone gets the same amount, no matter the effort they put in, then nobody has any reason to work. This is part of the reason why the Soviet Union collapsed: why wouldn't it happen to this fictional, fantastic state called "Zeitgeist"? Zeitgeist is modernist bullshit.
    First of all, why use the USSR as an example of how motvation doesn't work? The problem with USSR was that in 80s they couldn't keep the population happy. You see, thats the biggest obstacle if you want to bring down a dictatorship: You need to make the population unhappy. Thats not an easy task, but sometimes it happens automaticly. This is what has happened in the Middle East. If you keep the population happy, but opressed, the majority won't care as long as they are well off. The best example of this is Iraq or Bosnia. A lot of Iraqis and Bosnians joke around and say that "back in the good old days...", before the liberation of their countries, they had a lot benifits and security.

    Secondly: Watch this clip.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrkrvAUbU9Y

    Thirdly: If you walk into any classroom around the world, you'll never hear this: "I want to become a prostitute ! I want to become a drug dealer!! I want to become an underpayed officerworker!! I want to break my legs and let the state take care of me!!!" They want to to achieve something like becoming an actor, a game designer, artist etc. No one wants to become the local guy standing in the 7/11 around the cornor or the immigrant lady cleaning the offices.

    I'm just wondering, but have you watched the last Zeitgeist movie? Because you would already have known that motivation isn't an issue.
    Last edited by Son44; 10-25-2011 at 03:23 PM.

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