Agree Agree:  0
Likes Likes:  0
Page 4 of 7 FirstFirst 1234567 LastLast
Results 46 to 60 of 101
  1. #46

    Re: The Rich Are Really Getting Richer

    Quote Originally Posted by dryrunguy View Post
    Iowa!
    Cute.

    Benito Mussolini's heirs would call it fascism. But that's such a loaded term so I choose to call it corporatism.

    Either way, as manolo said, it isn't free market capitalism.

    Not at all. Doesn't even exist, as far as I'm concerned.

    Anyway. What some people call "profit" I call greed. There is a difference. And how much more evidence do we need to "prove" that trickle-down approaches don't actually trickle down?

    Any farmer who isn't an indentured servant to corporations like Monsanto will tell you this: he/she is happy to merely break even at the end of a fiscal year. Farming, for those of us lucky enough to afford it, is a way of life, not merely an occupation. And I bet most farmers will tell you that if the government got out of the farming industry altogether, real farmers might be in a position to actually make a profit.

    Imagine that.


  2. #47
    Forum Director
    Forum Moderator

    Awards Showcase

    Asteroids Champion, 123 GO Champion, Ball Of Madness Champion, Solitare Champion, Deal or No Deal Champion, Connect 4 Champion, Penguin Arcade Champion, Yeti Sports 8- Jungle Swing Champion, Putt it in Golf Champion, Yetisports 10 - Icicle Climb Champion, mahjong Champion, 247 Mini Golf Champion, Flash Golf Champion, Battleship Champion, Solitaire Golf SLingo Champion, Slingo Para-Dice Champion, Yeti 1 Greece Champion, Yeti Sports 3 - Seal Bounce Champion, Archery Champion dryrunguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    South Central PA
    Posts
    51,425
    Blog Entries
    11

    Re: The Rich Are Really Getting Richer

    Quote Originally Posted by craighickman View Post
    Cute.

    Benito Mussolini's heirs would call it fascism. But that's such a loaded term so I choose to call it corporatism.

    Either way, as manolo said, it isn't free market capitalism.

    Not at all. Doesn't even exist, as far as I'm concerned.

    Anyway. What some people call "profit" I call greed. There is a difference. And how much more evidence do we need to "prove" that trickle-down approaches don't actually trickle down?

    Any farmer who isn't an indentured servant to corporations like Monsanto will tell you this: he/she is happy to merely break even at the end of a fiscal year. Farming, for those of us lucky enough to afford it, is a way of life, not merely an occupation. And I bet most farmers will tell you that if the government got out of the farming industry altogether, real farmers might be in a position to actually make a profit.

    Imagine that.
    As for the bolded part, I agree. I suppose it's part of the beast. And I agree that capitalism isn't all it's cracked up to be. Would love to see some new models take flight, be tested over time.

    And as for the farming part, I'm a hobby farmer. I never got into this to make money. Though that would be nice. It's purely a hobby that I will do as long as I'm able to provide proper care for my critters. But it's a tremendous tax shelter for me that yields loads of deductions. That's not hard to do when you have to purchase feed, hay, straw, veterinary supplies, equipment, etc. I'd feel differently about it if I relied on it as my primary source of income. The farming you do, however, is a completely different story that is far more labor intensive and produces a product that has to sell in smaller chunks.

    Government, however, has a profound impact on how farmers, or segments of small farmers, can survive. For example, in the sheep industry, when I was a kid, we sold wool to buyers for about $.50/pound to buyers, and the government subsidy added another $.50/pound on top of that. $1/pound in total. We had a breed that averaged about 15 pounds of wool on a 12-month clip per animal. That was a chunk of change. Average of $150 per each animal in the flock.

    But then Clinton chose China for Most Favored Nation status in trade, and part of the deal was that China would not have to buy American wool. And all government subsidies already had been eliminated before that. Today, when you approach a potential wool buyer, they all tell you the same thing: "We'll take it, and if we ever sell it, we'll pay you." And the price has been running about $.15-$.25/pound for years now. Even for high-quality, fairly clean wool. If you have spent you life in the sheep business and it's your primary farming operation, that hurts. The only other option is to market to spinners. But that presents a whole other series of headaches that even small operations can't manage.

    I would suspect you could find similar stories from any other aspect of the farming life, from hogs to crops to anything else.

  3. #48

    Re: The Rich Are Really Getting Richer

    Quote Originally Posted by dryrunguy View Post
    As for the bolded part, I agree. I suppose it's part of the beast. And I agree that capitalism isn't all it's cracked up to be. Would love to see some new models take flight, be tested over time.

    And as for the farming part, I'm a hobby farmer. I never got into this to make money. Though that would be nice. It's purely a hobby that I will do as long as I'm able to provide proper care for my critters. But it's a tremendous tax shelter for me that yields loads of deductions. That's not hard to do when you have to purchase feed, hay, straw, veterinary supplies, equipment, etc. I'd feel differently about it if I relied on it as my primary source of income. The farming you do, however, is a completely different story that is far more labor intensive and produces a product that has to sell in smaller chunks.

    Government, however, has a profound impact on how farmers, or segments of small farmers, can survive. For example, in the sheep industry, when I was a kid, we sold wool to buyers for about $.50/pound to buyers, and the government subsidy added another $.50/pound on top of that. $1/pound in total. We had a breed that averaged about 15 pounds of wool on a 12-month clip per animal. That was a chunk of change. Average of $150 per each animal in the flock.

    But then Clinton chose China for Most Favored Nation status in trade, and part of the deal was that China would not have to buy American wool. And all government subsidies already had been eliminated before that. Today, when you approach a potential wool buyer, they all tell you the same thing: "We'll take it, and if we ever sell it, we'll pay you." And the price has been running about $.15-$.25/pound for years now. Even for high-quality, fairly clean wool. If you have spent you life in the sheep business and it's your primary farming operation, that hurts. The only other option is to market to spinners. But that presents a whole other series of headaches that even small operations can't manage.

    I would suspect you could find similar stories from any other aspect of the farming life, from hogs to crops to anything else.
    Great examples.

    And you point out how a global economy has changed the reality for a ton of small farmers from livestock to organic produce.

    There are no easy answers. And I can say that a lot of farmers would like government out of farming (and mean it), but I know there's been a role for government in farming to make it a way of life that makes a living, if meager, for many small farmers. I can cite several local dairy farmers who would give anecdotes similar to yours. Still, many of them feel like welfare recipients waiting for their government subsidy check.

    There are no easy answers.

    But those who claim "free market capitalism" will solve all problems are simply ignoring (or are ignorant of) the realities on the ground.


  4. #49
    Forum Director
    Forum Moderator

    Awards Showcase

    Asteroids Champion, 123 GO Champion, Ball Of Madness Champion, Solitare Champion, Deal or No Deal Champion, Connect 4 Champion, Penguin Arcade Champion, Yeti Sports 8- Jungle Swing Champion, Putt it in Golf Champion, Yetisports 10 - Icicle Climb Champion, mahjong Champion, 247 Mini Golf Champion, Flash Golf Champion, Battleship Champion, Solitaire Golf SLingo Champion, Slingo Para-Dice Champion, Yeti 1 Greece Champion, Yeti Sports 3 - Seal Bounce Champion, Archery Champion dryrunguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    South Central PA
    Posts
    51,425
    Blog Entries
    11

    Re: The Rich Are Really Getting Richer

    Quote Originally Posted by craighickman View Post
    Great examples.

    And you point out how a global economy has changed the reality for a ton of small farmers from livestock to organic produce.

    There are no easy answers. And I can say that a lot of farmers would like government out of farming (and mean it), but I know there's been a role for government in farming to make it a way of life that makes a living, if meager, for many small farmers. I can cite several local dairy farmers who would give anecdotes similar to yours. Still, many of them feel like welfare recipients waiting for their government subsidy check.

    There are no easy answers.

    But those who claim "free market capitalism" will solve all problems are simply ignoring (or are ignorant of) the realities on the ground.
    They want government out of regulating safety. But they want the subsidies back (or to keep the few that still exist).

    ::

    It's a far cry from the days of my grandparents. They had farms because it was a sensible way to make a living for a family. They had kids to feed. Farming facilitated that.

    It's a different ballgame now. Unless you're Amish. They're still living in the days of my grandparents. And they manage to get by. They procreate their own workforce, plant what they need to survive, and make it happen. But they only survive. They don't make money at it. Almost all of the Amish men here have full-time jobs to make money. Farming is a means to cover the short-fall of full-time employment. Basically, that's where my parents were 30 years ago.

    ::

    SIDEBAR: I would imagine it's difficult for those born into wealth to comprehend the harsh realities in which much of the global population lives, works, and breathes. Economics shouldn't be about theories or principles. It should about people. If that's not the orientation, then the discussion is fairly pointless.

  5. #50

    Re: The Rich Are Really Getting Richer

    Quote Originally Posted by dryrunguy View Post
    ::

    SIDEBAR: I would imagine it's difficult for those born into wealth to comprehend the harsh realities in which much of the global population lives, works, and breathes. Economics shouldn't be about theories or principles. It should about people. If that's not the orientation, then the discussion is fairly pointless.
    Say it again.

    You just made the point I was trying to make a whole lot better than I was trying to make it.


  6. #51

    Re: The Rich Are Really Getting Richer

    Great replies after my posting. I would like to add a couple of things.
    I said that the posts were unrelated, but I really did not mean it. It was tongue in cheek. Because the reality is that I find them deeply related.
    When in the Fall of 2008 Joe, Jack, Jill and Jane Billionaire almost bankrupted the entire world because of dubious financial practices, all of the governments of the world came to their rescue. The total amounts are so staggering that they are almost incomprehensible; as we all know, just in the USA it was $1 trillion. Europe bailed out plenty of banks and insurance companies. This went completely against free trade and market economy theory. In that theory, those banks and companies should have been allowed to fail. The "invisible hand" of the market was doing its pruning. GM, Chrysler and other companies received huge government subsidies, becoming public companies for a while. All this was, again, against the theory of free market. Nobody said it better than Gary Trudeau: the system is such that the profits (thank you Craig for calling it for what it is) are privatized, but the losses are socialized. So when Joe Billionaire is bailed out when he is about to lose his billions (for his wrongdoings), but Joe Bankrupt loses his house to foreclosure (but not his own mistakes), you have to wonder if Joe Bankrupt's rage is not justified.
    I read that 150 million people lost their jobs. My posting was that 44 million people were going into extreme poverty. That is almost 200 million. Are we becoming so Economically Darwinian that we can accept this as "the way the system works"? If we do, lets be consistent. And when Fortis next goes belly up, let them. Nobody saved the dinosaurs because they were "too big to fail". There has to be some social justice to all of this.
    Second: Free trade? Where? Look at two examples. The original Free Trade agreement was NAFTA, involving Mexico with Canada and the USA. Has Mexico boomed? For some people, yes. The world's richest man is Mexican. But Mexico is nowhere near social equality and well being. If anything, the destruction of Mexico's industry due to free trade is well documented. Compare that to two countries that have been anything but free traders, China and Korea. Specially in Korea, high levels of protectionism have led to companies becoming world players: Samsung, LG, Kia, Hyundai, etc. All of this was achieved by special protectionism and government incentive (Ha-Joon Chang, "Bad Samaritans", 2008 and Erik Reinert, "How rich countries got rich and why poor countries stay poor", 2007). So the myth of free trade and market economies is completely that: a myth.

    If we have reached a point in our history in which we will measure the success of a society by macro-economic numbers, we are ready for a global Egyptian uprising. As Craig pointed out, when 100,000 American farmers barely break even, but Monsanto, Cargill, Bunge, Con-Agra, Continental et al drown in profits, you are asking for problems. And I do claim a bit of expertise in that area, since I toiled for 5 years in USDA, producing economic reports on commodity trading.

    So yes, I find it despicable that BHP makes 10 billion in profits in half a year, while hiring nobody. I find it sick when BP post losses of 5 Billion in 2010, but if you see that they are including the 20 Bn in losses from the Gulf Disaster, you see they made 15 Bn elsewhere. If we are going to let every monster company bathe in profits while we let people starve, lets stop calling it capitalism, because it is not. That is what we have governments for, to balance the well being of people VS special interests. If the Governments do not do that, what are they there for? If that is the case, let the corporations run the economy and the lives of people.
    Let Corporatism take over (as Craig called it). Only don't get too upset when 1 million people squat in a plaza or square, demanding justice.
    And somebody's head.
    Starry starry night

  7. #52

    Re: The Rich Are Really Getting Richer

    Well said, ponchi!

  8. #53
    Tour Champion manolo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Paris, France
    Posts
    1,818
    Blog Entries
    2

    Re: The Rich Are Really Getting Richer

    Quote Originally Posted by ponchi101 View Post
    Great replies after my posting. I would like to add a couple of things...
    Yes, I see your point of view, and believe me when I tell you that I also cringe every time I read about a new bailout or a new subsidy in the news... I also think that any croporation or bank that fails should be let down, no matter how big it is... That is not free-market capitalism and it definitely deserves the label of "corporatism" a lot of times. I am aware that free-market, as described in theory, doesn't exist in real life, I'm not delusional there.

    Where you and dry and craig and I part ways is when it comes to what do we see as the aims of capitalism and about what to put in place to improve the lot of poor people in the planet. And there, I still think that, the closer a system gets to letting market forces work, the better it is for most people. And I think there is enough evidence to show that it is the best that we've been able to come up with. As always, as a rationalist that I am, I'm willing to change my mind if a better system comes alog: i just haven't seen it.

    Also, I do not think profits are gross or bad, because this is not a zero-sum game, and they do trickle down, if you let the system work. And self-interest is what moves most of us. And It doesn't exclude cooperation. But I give precedence to freedom over excessive redistribution and tinkering by the government. I think capitalism, if correctly applied (and, I cannot repeat this often enough, this is not how it has been done, especially recently) holds the biggest potential for growth and opportunities for everyone.
    with Elena at IW 09!!!!

  9. #54

    Re: The Rich Are Really Getting Richer

    Quote Originally Posted by manolo View Post
    Yes, I see your point of view, and believe me when I tell you that I also cringe every time I read about a new bailout or a new subsidy in the news... I also think that any croporation or bank that fails should be let down, no matter how big it is...
    As always, as a rationalist that I am, I'm willing to change my mind if a better system comes alog: i just haven't seen it.

    ... I think capitalism, if correctly applied (and, I cannot repeat this often enough, this is not how it has been done, especially recently) holds the biggest potential for growth and opportunities for everyone.
    First the joke: Croporation? From the Greek Copros (Feces?)

    Serious question. What do you think of the Northern European systems?. Surely capitalistic, but also a great deal of government intervention and social redistribution of wealth (via taxation). These countries usually score very high in population satisfaction and happiness. And were conspicuously absent in the financial meltdown. What about that system?
    (I must say I am not an expert. If you have better info, please enlighten me).
    Starry starry night

  10. #55

    Re: The Rich Are Really Getting Richer

    Quote Originally Posted by ponchi101 View Post
    Great replies after my posting. I would like to add a couple of things.
    I said that the posts were unrelated, but I really did not mean it. It was tongue in cheek. Because the reality is that I find them deeply related.
    When in the Fall of 2008 Joe, Jack, Jill and Jane Billionaire almost bankrupted the entire world because of dubious financial practices, all of the governments of the world came to their rescue. The total amounts are so staggering that they are almost incomprehensible; as we all know, just in the USA it was $1 trillion. Europe bailed out plenty of banks and insurance companies. This went completely against free trade and market economy theory. In that theory, those banks and companies should have been allowed to fail. The "invisible hand" of the market was doing its pruning. GM, Chrysler and other companies received huge government subsidies, becoming public companies for a while. All this was, again, against the theory of free market. Nobody said it better than Gary Trudeau: the system is such that the profits (thank you Craig for calling it for what it is) are privatized, but the losses are socialized. So when Joe Billionaire is bailed out when he is about to lose his billions (for his wrongdoings), but Joe Bankrupt loses his house to foreclosure (but not his own mistakes), you have to wonder if Joe Bankrupt's rage is not justified.
    I read that 150 million people lost their jobs. My posting was that 44 million people were going into extreme poverty. That is almost 200 million. Are we becoming so Economically Darwinian that we can accept this as "the way the system works"? If we do, lets be consistent. And when Fortis next goes belly up, let them. Nobody saved the dinosaurs because they were "too big to fail". There has to be some social justice to all of this.
    Second: Free trade? Where? Look at two examples. The original Free Trade agreement was NAFTA, involving Mexico with Canada and the USA. Has Mexico boomed? For some people, yes. The world's richest man is Mexican. But Mexico is nowhere near social equality and well being. If anything, the destruction of Mexico's industry due to free trade is well documented. Compare that to two countries that have been anything but free traders, China and Korea. Specially in Korea, high levels of protectionism have led to companies becoming world players: Samsung, LG, Kia, Hyundai, etc. All of this was achieved by special protectionism and government incentive (Ha-Joon Chang, "Bad Samaritans", 2008 and Erik Reinert, "How rich countries got rich and why poor countries stay poor", 2007). So the myth of free trade and market economies is completely that: a myth.

    If we have reached a point in our history in which we will measure the success of a society by macro-economic numbers, we are ready for a global Egyptian uprising. As Craig pointed out, when 100,000 American farmers barely break even, but Monsanto, Cargill, Bunge, Con-Agra, Continental et al drown in profits, you are asking for problems. And I do claim a bit of expertise in that area, since I toiled for 5 years in USDA, producing economic reports on commodity trading.

    So yes, I find it despicable that BHP makes 10 billion in profits in half a year, while hiring nobody. I find it sick when BP post losses of 5 Billion in 2010, but if you see that they are including the 20 Bn in losses from the Gulf Disaster, you see they made 15 Bn elsewhere. If we are going to let every monster company bathe in profits while we let people starve, lets stop calling it capitalism, because it is not. That is what we have governments for, to balance the well being of people VS special interests. If the Governments do not do that, what are they there for? If that is the case, let the corporations run the economy and the lives of people.
    Let Corporatism take over (as Craig called it). Only don't get too upset when 1 million people squat in a plaza or square, demanding justice.
    And somebody's head.
    Preach.

    Preach.


  11. #56

    Re: The Rich Are Really Getting Richer

    Quote Originally Posted by manolo View Post

    As always, as a rationalist that I am, I'm willing to change my mind if a better system comes alog: i just haven't seen it.
    Profit is wonderful. Greed is toxic. Sinful, even. Among the "seven deadly sins" or some such. I won't turn this into the religion thread, but the seven deadly sins are considered capital sins (how telling that that phrase looks so much like capital ism) for they breed other sins.

    ::

    I'll say it again:

    Markets are not free.


  12. #57
    Tour Champion manolo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Paris, France
    Posts
    1,818
    Blog Entries
    2

    Re: The Rich Are Really Getting Richer

    Quote Originally Posted by craighickman View Post
    Profit is wonderful. Greed is toxic. Sinful, even. Among the "seven deadly sins" or some such. I won't turn this into the religion thread, but the seven deadly sins are considered capital sins (how telling that that phrase looks so much like capital ism) for they breed other sins.
    You're entitled to that view. But for me, greed is mostly good.
    And the concept of "sin" doesn't resonate with me, so I won't even consider that as an argument. The "seven deadly sins" is a nice concept for inspiring The Divine Comedy, but not for a discussion on economics.
    Last edited by manolo; 02-18-2011 at 02:48 AM.
    with Elena at IW 09!!!!

  13. #58
    Tour Champion manolo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Paris, France
    Posts
    1,818
    Blog Entries
    2

    Re: The Rich Are Really Getting Richer

    Quote Originally Posted by ponchi101 View Post
    Serious question. What do you think of the Northern European systems?. Surely capitalistic, but also a great deal of government intervention and social redistribution of wealth (via taxation). These countries usually score very high in population satisfaction and happiness. And were conspicuously absent in the financial meltdown. What about that system?
    (I must say I am not an expert. If you have better info, please enlighten me).
    That's a good point, ponchi.

    The Scandinavian model is a very interesting example and it has a lot of things running for it. But I also thing it owes a lot to factors that are very specific to these countries (I am excluding Norway from this, because their oil and gas wealth makes them even more unique). One of those unique factors is the fact that they're very small countries (5m in Denmark and Finland, 9m in Sweden), so they're almost forced to be open, because they cannot rely on a large internal market. You will see that some of the most open economies in the world, like Singapore and Hong Kong, have that in common as well. I think that this fact of having a small internal market makes Chinese-, French- and American- style industrial policy impractical, so the policies have wisely focused on creating the right conditions to develop high-value added, export-oriented industries that rely on free trade more than on state support.

    Another consequence of having a small population is that you need to have a very high participation rate (so as to have a workforce as large as possible) and they have to be very highly productive, which explains the focus on having schemes that enable women to work and workers to permanently acquire new skills. scandinavian governments have dedicated a lot of resources to this, and at the same time thay have delegated provision of this services to the private sector to a larger extent than other European countries.

    The problem that I see in this model is this: it carries a very large price tag that requires a very large public sector and may not be sustainable in the long term. And there are doubts on the fact that their unemployment rates are as low as they seem.

    On employment, for example, the figures make it appear as the unemployment rate is very low, but there's the way you count the unemployed: people in retraining schemes are usually counted as employed, even if not really working; the same as people in long-term sick leave, of which there are more than in other countries, given that you get so many benefits. You also have a rigid labour market (though not as rigid as, say, France's) that discourages job creation in low-skilled sectors due to the high payroll taxes. This has two effects: a growing underclass of non-skilled workers, mostly recent immigrants, and a large and growing public sector (the state employs a huge percentage of people) whose funding needs are constantly growing.

    Taxes are another result: to finance such a generous welfare state, you need very high tax rates: tax receipts are about 50% of GDP and growing. This has started to discourage the creation of new businesses, and it has made a lot of the huge companies (think IKEA and Nokia) increasingly shift production abroad and use tax structures designed to pay less taxes and thus avoid losing competitivity.

    So, yes, there are a lot of good things, but also a lot of structural issues that compromise the long-term viability of the model. And i think that the good things are for the most part those bits of the model that are more market-oriented. The fact that the Social Democrats lost the last elections in Sweden to the centre-right Moderates, who were advocating some limited tax and labour reforms (though without threatening the core of the model), make me think that Scandinavians are also realizing that the current model has to be tinkered with if they are to stay competitive.
    Last edited by manolo; 02-18-2011 at 02:53 AM.
    with Elena at IW 09!!!!

  14. #59

    Re: The Rich Are Really Getting Richer

    Quote Originally Posted by manolo View Post
    ...

    The problem that I see in this model is this: it carries a very large price tag that requires a very large public sector and may not be sustainable in the long term. And there are doubts on the fact that their unemployment rates are as low as they seem.

    ...

    So, yes, there are a lot of good things, but also a lot of structural issues that compromise the long-term viability of the model. And i think that the good things are for the most part those bits of the model that are more market-oriented. The fact that the Social Democrats lost the last elections in Sweden to the centre-right Moderates, who were advocating some limited tax and labour reforms (though without threatening the core of the model), make me think that Scandinavians are also realizing that the current model has to be tinkered with if they are to stay competitive.
    Ok. Thanks for the info. I highlighted to areas because of my worries.
    1. You say there are doubts the systems are sustainable. How about the sustainability of the American system? The debt keeps ballooning, unemployment seems to be here to stay. With the Reagan, Bush I and Bush II administrations, it was repeatedly stated that they were just simply borrowing money from the future generations. They were pawning their children's and grandchildren's lives. That is a prophecy/prediction that now seems to be spot on. So how do you balance that?
    2. That still leaves the issue of social responsibility in companies. I work for Oil Companies, and I always have the same problem with their Social Programs. They are hoaxes and are never completed. So I say, tax them and have proper social organizations run the projects. My main point remains: the level of profits are so monstrously huge and the poverty around those companies so large that it is basic decency to point them out.

    Joke time. You believe greed is good? Maybe we can start calling you Manolo Gecko, if you don't mind.
    Starry starry night

  15. #60
    Tour Champion manolo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Paris, France
    Posts
    1,818
    Blog Entries
    2

    Re: The Rich Are Really Getting Richer

    Quote Originally Posted by ponchi101 View Post
    Ok. Thanks for the info. I highlighted to areas because of my worries.
    1. You say there are doubts the systems are sustainable. How about the sustainability of the American system? The debt keeps ballooning, unemployment seems to be here to stay. With the Reagan, Bush I and Bush II administrations, it was repeatedly stated that they were just simply borrowing money from the future generations. They were pawning their children's and grandchildren's lives. That is a prophecy/prediction that now seems to be spot on. So how do you balance that?
    2. That still leaves the issue of social responsibility in companies. I work for Oil Companies, and I always have the same problem with their Social Programs. They are hoaxes and are never completed. So I say, tax them and have proper social organizations run the projects. My main point remains: the level of profits are so monstrously huge and the poverty around those companies so large that it is basic decency to point them out.

    Joke time. You believe greed is good? Maybe we can start calling you Manolo Gecko, if you don't mind.
    1. I don't think the current American system is sustainable either, and all of the recent administrations have contributed to it in different degrees. It's so full of distortions now and of promises made with the money of future generations. and there's no political courage on either side to do something about it, IMO. Take the budget deficit: two commissions produced reports recently on how to tackle the debt problem. Their recommendations were sensible, but they meant reducing, among other stuff, entitlements and defense spending, which are sacred cows, so they were ignored. Both parties have just been proposing stuff that tinkers with the little problems: they rail against earmarks, propose freezes in non-discretionary spending, etc. But that is the smallest part of the problem. The biggest part is entitlements, and until that is reformed (yes, reducing benefits if need be), the debt is here to stay. And the only way to reduce them, short of default, will be to inflate them away. Unless there's a big switch in demographic trends, entitlements are basically a Ponzi scheme.

    2. This will sound blunt, but I do believe that the social responsibility of companies is to make profits. To do that, they'll hire the best that they can when they need them and produce what people want to consume. They are already being taxed and are paying royalties, so why should they assume the burden of what the governments taxing them are supposed to do? If the governments of Angola, Nigeria, Russia, Venezuela, Bolivia, Saudi Arabia, etc, etc, were doing what they promise to do instead of siphoning off the money, you would see the trickle down effect on profits. But taxing 90% of their profits is not what is going to do it.

    3. As for your joke: "Greed is good" doesn't capture the essence of it, here's the quote as I like to use it: "The point is, ladies and gentleman, that greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right, greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms; greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge has marked the upward surge of mankind". Not just money, see? If you use that one, yes, use Manolo Gekko.
    with Elena at IW 09!!!!

Page 4 of 7 FirstFirst 1234567 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •