Your are viewing a read-only archive of the old DiS boards. Please hit the Community button above to engage with the DiS !
"Australian women are among the most evil people on this planet"
CG could learn a thing or two
are a bunch of libertarian children, eh
my eyes started to glaze after a few paragraphs.
pay people at the bottom more because they'll spend more and that will boost the economy overall. it also allows for a reduction in government spending because it reduces the need for subsidies towards income and housing costs etc
There's some good dialogue to be opened with entrepreneurs, with foresight or otherwise, about basic growth-from-quality principles too.
At the moment in the UK, that's lacking. In the tech scene, for instance, you've got a small number of startups that pay their employees well from the outset. They're able to do it because they're growing slowly with a much longer-term plan (which of course, without better governmental help, usually requires pre-existing funds to burn).
But the vast majority of start-ups in tech here are working on a 'we can't pay you much now but...' principle. Because they're growing fast, and want the company to look desirable by presenting the image of a 'lean' company.
What should be obvious to them is that investors in a lean company are doing so BECAUSE of the mean efficiencies that keep the company barrelling for profit at high speeds. Which means when they scale, the CEO will be expected to blow some cash on high-level strategists, to give themselves a rise but expand the workforce at the lower end while keeping paying standards low/possibly even lower.
And it's not just fucking disgusting, operating in that way, it's also horrifically shortsighted. And in UK and Europe it's why there are only two tech giants that have ever made the leap from medium-size. Because they're a notable two that have paid well from the very beginning.
There's an entrepreneurial culture that seems to now stop at a fixed point on the horizon: make money, sell off the company and retire early.
So while the author is dead right about, there's a wider engagement that needs to be pushed: state investment in the right entrepreneurs thinking with social (and ecological, but that's something even bigger) responsibility, with incentives for remaining as such.
Everyone else has either stayed in the mid ground or sold to overseas and been relocated.
Could you expand on this a bit?
Name another tech company of that size built and kept in the UK, slugger.
depending on how you define 'tech'.
"...in UK and Europe it's why there are only two tech giants that have ever made the leap from medium-size" just feels like a very definitive statement without being based on a definitive scope.
Does pharma count? ARM should. But does it - or is it just mid-ground? How does it being based in the UK but Nasdaq-listed play in your thinking? Hasn't Microsoft-owned Skype been 'sold to overseas'?
And beyond specific companies, it's hmmm, interesting to note xylo the semi-tory bemoaning the lack of state investment/intervention in helping companies become bigger.
And it's equally hmmm, interesting to note the apparent assumption that bigger is better (together) in terms of being able to sustain better quality jobs.
Just seems like there were a hella lot of suppositions going on.
things/companies you've mentioned here.
But I think for the purposes of speed and getting on with my day, I'll focus on the little bitchy insult half way down your wonderfully smug post and tell you to go fuck yourself?
Yep. That seems about right.
I thought you'd put a riancoat on that rizla skin. What an overraction. take a deep breath and re-read what he wrote and reconsider.
Most of that post was pretty reasonable and I was pretty happy to start putting together a tl;dr reply, but the third para was just snirking. If that's a word.
And I can't be arsed to deal with snirking on a Monday morning tbh. (and it's been a shit morning).
Sorry! it's just not, unless you are massively offended by him calling you a semi-tory?... I thought it was pretty good natured tongiue in cheek. Sorry your mornign is shit.
Whatever the case. I retract the 'go fuck yourself' and replace it with a lighter ' do one, laddo'.
You turn into a right diva when you're hungry.
Surprised Xylo didn't slap you with his glove and challenge you to pistols at dawn...
oh so pretty...
xylo the semi-tory? i toyed with ex-tory. would that have been better or worse?
there are plenty of genuine points of engagement in that post. grow a pair or treat yourself to a day off of you're going to have one of /those/ days.
that would be good to get some teeth into, tbh. But I cannae be arsed with the aloof hmm interestings et al. I'm probably reading 'em wrong, but... nah.
The two companies thing has been pretty much undone, so not much mileage in that.
Defo interested to see why we should apparently be striving for (state assisted) huge tech companies, though. Especially considering the stark contrast of that with your current happier-than-ever employment circumstances.
Am having an astonishingly shite day and this little tantrum was the equivalent of punching a wall.
Going to take some time off of here (especially coz i'm about to die in GoT.
See you next week x
can someone reset the "days since xylo last quit" sign
see below aboynamedgoo's post
Other large European tech companies:
Cable & Wireless Communications
Yeah. i basically got served here ^^
Mainly because I was thinking/mulling in terms of soft rather than hardware, as that's where the majority of startups now (who could be encouraged to look at better pay etc) are focusing within, and that's where the investment panics/rushes are happening.
So I should have elaborated much much more. But yeah. Do it again for software if you can be arsed - it's a much, much lower number of companies
particularly the Software Integrators like Vodafone, DT and Cap Gemini and those that sell hardware en masse such as Nokia/Siemens.
Aside from that you've got the likes of:
An awful lot of the world's financial systems are built by British and German firms given that Frankfurt and London are two of the big stock exchanges.
they're large, I'm not disputing that large companies exist in Europe.
I'm saying that the software giants ain't from Europe. I have the full forbes 2000 drilled down into software somewhere. will upload and link x
If you actually mean "giants" rather than "large" then sure, I'd probably agree. All the companies listed above are large companies though with the possible exception of my last two, who are still huge in their sector.
I didn't make any definitions clear at all, so I don't know what i was expecting as a reply :D
Sure, size /can/ have benefits, but it can have a hell of a lot of downsides, too. So US megacorps aren't exactly my benchmark of success.
I guess I'm saying that encouraging people to pay better isn't going to necessarily be about appealing to their human side. some people just don't care.
But if you can argue that those with healthier pay structures = more potential for growth, it might be a better way of convincing people.
And with that, I yield.
I sort of laid down a gigantically vague post, and then went I'M NOT LISTENING when everyone went "hang on what?"
they're all more TMT than tech...
actually, isn't Bertlesmann a media company? And BAE a defence firm (or a cameroon defender)?
If you want to be entirely selfish and right-wing about it, and dismiss the idea of increasing people's standard of living for simply humanitarian and dignity grounds, it still stacks up.
At the moment, wealth doesn't trickle down, it trickles up, atrophying at the top.
If you inject money at the bottom, or seek to keep it moving around the bottom for as long as possible, it benefits the economy so much more.
because not only are the mega-wealthy getting ever wealthier (individuals and corporations) but their profits no longer benefit the nation-states they operate in. Governments apparently have neither the ability or willingness to challenge that.
Without wishing to start yet another tedious UKIP debate, I'm not even sure if the problem can now be fully addressed without supranational organisations taking it on.
I tend to think that, if anything, rather than seeking to be protectionist about these things, preventing people and companies from moving wealth overseas, you need to globalise things like tax rates and standardise financial legislation throughout the world.
really good talk
was stunned that TED removed it an' all that
seems like it might be quite a lot
not generalising or anything, but americans really are a bunch of stupid cunts
you think the UK doesn't currently have the same potential for reaching that level? Honestly?
i don't think anything honestly
With inflation like it is they just have to ignore it.
he makes some valid points and i'm sure his aims are very noble but
"there is no example in human history where wealth accumulated like this and the pitchforks didn’t eventually come out." - this is exactly what has been happening for hundreds of years under capitalism! before that, wealth has never been "accumulated like this" in human history. before the enclosures, private property ownership was constituted in a different way. it's only in the past few hundreds of years that people have been forcibly separated from their land and source of livelihood, and forced through economic necessity to work for somebody else for (low) wages. the original or "previous" accumulation of capital in adam smith's words, the "original sin" of capitalism in marx's words. only after this point did the accumulation of wealth by the few totally depend on the appropriation of the labour of the working class. also if i thought this guy was right, that there's a revolution coming and it's gonna be in america, then i wouldn't be trying to help him abate it by supporting his proposals.
"These idiotic trickle-down policies are destroying my customer base. And yours too." - who is he talking to? maybe for his own business model this is the case but not every business has a "customer base" or requires workers to have a significant disposable income to keep it solvent. capitalists have been saying essentially the same as this guy since like the 19th century. then the same sort of thing happens - the system tends towards crisis, some businesses lose profits (maybe he is correct and his would be included in this) , bank loans won't be repaid, banks stop lending, people go out of business, jobs are lost, employment is scarce, new equipment and labour are bought up cheap, momentum builds again. for some people, the whole thing has been nothing more than a renewal of the conditions for more profitable accumulation - "creative desstruction". so i'd be skeptical of any claim that it should be self-evident from the point of view of all capitalists that $15 minimum wage would be in their interests. in any case, "idiotic trickle-down policies" (such as low wages) are not just temporary connivances; they are central to the longterm dynamic of capitalism. I'd also be interested in hearing what he has to say about tackling high unemployment.
I totally support the $15 minimum wage but it's as if he doesn't realise that you can't just change one thing and not expect it to have far-reaching and largely unanticipated consequences. even though it seems quite modest.
His point is a capitalist one, though, which is what makes it interesting.
He's not bothered about lowering unemployment per se, he is saying that if they pay the employed enough, the state / charity can take care of who's left. That the economy will be big enough to handle it, so far as I can see.
doesn't he particularly address the employment issue
and deny raising MR will increase it?
But I assumed DD's point is about full employment. As in there aren't likely to be new jobs for a while, maybe ever.
His model is one of a boosted middle class that will based around people being paid more in their existing jobs and spending more to cover those boosted wages. As such, it won't necessarily increase general employment, it will just create a buffer of people interested in maintaining the status quo again, to the detriment of the lower classes, maybe.
As I say, it then really comes down to the taxes generated and what that does for those left out of this loop of prosperity.
do you really want a "boosted middle class"? rather than better pay, conditions and public services for the poor?
would be largely comprised of the former poor? otherwise i don't understand what it means
just letting a few more people have decent wages so that they can buy more of his stuff. that's it.
there would still be millions of poor people (either in other countries cause, y'know, globalization or in the USA on 'welfare' - whatever that would mean in this new settlement).
just trying to understand what he's on about
The issue is that that 'middle-class' in the context of this article are the Baby Boomers of the modern times...erm. What I mean is the kind of people who did well in the 70s and 80s and are now writing hang-wringing articles in the Torygraph about how their own children are struggling to get the easy life they had.
I dunno, this is my interpretation of how he sees the economics of the situation. Obviously people in the lower classes will be better off if they're earning better wages but he isn't really trying to make everyone better off, just enough people to stop 'the pitchforks' coming out and destroying the way of life *he* has.
This article advocates giving more money to middle class people. That's why people are jizzing themselves.
Their use of the term 'middle class' is something very different to the UK's.
In the states it essentially has become to mean anyone that's working.
has it? pretty sure there's a huge working poor population.
still call themselves "middle class" (which you do hear quite a lot an it is tragic). but even if you just look at like migrant workers (millions of people) or something, i very much doubt those working people would consider themselves to be middle class or described as middle class.
it's just a label. it's not like the UK has the "correct" definition and they're deluding themselves, is it?
people considering themselves to be relatively well off when they're actually quite poor serves the interests of the powerful elite.
I mentioned the UK b/c this only makes sense if you have an idea of "middle class" as people who are actually better of than these people in america, i.e. the UK middle class
who are they differentiating themselves from? other poorer, more marginalized people. why do they need to do that? as far as i know we dont have any actual empirical research involving these people so we can only speculate about how they construct their class identities. but it is definitely interesting to me that it seems like people have to discursively distance themselves from the struggles of other marginalized groups and even place themselves in competition with them.
don't agree that notions of class have to be indexed to a particular context (e.g. the uk) to make sense. class isn't entirely a construct contingent upon our particular interpretations; it is material.
I guess go and tell america they're using words wrong
"who are they differentiating themselves from? other poorer, more marginalized people. why do they need to do that?"
Yes. Because AMERICAN DREAM.
US-conceived "middle class" bracket
I'm so confused
But as the last boom showed, when things are doing well there *is* a boost to the country's coffers and these services do increase.
I am a pragmatist. I would like to see an end to the weird idea that paying people better is bad. It's pernicious. If the last few years have taught us anything, it's that the lower classes of the West definitely aren't about to rise up and give the rich shit, no matter how bad things get.
but I guess it's the unsaid subtext of his argument.
It's an attractive argument he puts on paper - I'd like to read a sensible well argued rebuttal from another member of the 0.01% (as he puts it) that doesn't hinge on the ideological.
I felt like (and this makes sense from his POV) he was really talking about swinging things back a little bit to protect the position of the 0.01%.
there would be major externalities to the policy and it wouldn't benefit capitalists uniformly. they would have to adapt and the competition to get ahead in keeping production costs low would change or the rate of profit would fall.
"He's not bothered about lowering unemployment per se, he is saying that if they pay the employed enough, the state / charity can take care of who's left." he should be bothered about lowering unemployment.
It's about justifying higher pay to those at the bottom so that it benefits capitalists at the top in the long term. It's aimed at people who don't, and will never, care for lowering unemployment unless it can be demonstrated to be in their own economic interest.
"It's about justifying higher pay to those at the bottom so that it benefits capitalists at the top in the long term." - I am saying I don't think it's necessarily the case that it would benefit "capitalists at the top in the long term" or that this could be demonstrated.
i mentioned unemployment because his $15 min wage idea would undoubtedly have implications for unemployment and if the inability of the economy to provide enough jobs isnt part of his analysis then there's quite a lot missing. why has he not made the argument that we need fewer people unemployed so that they can buy his stuff, for example?
and i'm not sure why anyone would assume that the day is gonna come when full employment can be demonstrated to be in the interests of capital. it would be really magical if worker's interests became aligned with those of their employers. i'll cross my fingers for it ok.
Perhaps some kind of rotation system.
yes, that's full employment.
is this just DD doing marxist stuff again?
Submissions from people below it but I don't know how to get people to submit their stories cause I only know you people and you're all on 25-55k
when I realised it was just a viral marketing campaign
in that i dont think we should have demonstrate why its in the interests of capital (it's not in the interest of capital) before doing it.
but making the argument for it in terms that traditional opponents may actually favour seems a fairly sensible approach to me.
we should be fighting for the eradication of poverty and decent jobs for all those of working age, not just tempering and propping up the very economic system which creates poverty and leaves people without jobs. this sort of bland, platitudinous "look our interests aren't actually so different after all" liberalism is all the more power to the elites.
but hey, differing opinions make the world a more interesting place. I don't think something not being the perfect arrangement for all situations is a reason to oppose an argument for something that would improve things in many ways. I'd rather win 100 small victories along the way to getting to a better and more distributive economic system rather than just shoot for the big one and (most likely) miss, but I do understand your point of view and would agree that work needs to be done to reduce unemployment as well as raise the earning power of those already in work.
All power to you DD.
(i.e. your post is basically a rewording of what I say when DD & I reach the recurring independence debate impasse: that Scottish independence won't bring full socialism to the UK (and I go away wondering why bringing full socialism to Europe or the World is an acceptable missed target.))
of better pay. we should be trying to give more power to poor and working people to demand better pay, conditions and social security.
despite what this billionaire utopianist character seems to sincerely believe, it is impossible to make the capitalist system work for everybody. we need to challenge it by stopping people like him from making all that money in the first place.
in the meantime, I'd also like to see it improved. I don't really see that the two need to be mutually exclusive.
but i'm not gonna pretend this guys done like a gr8 diagnosis of the problem or that his opinion matters.
at least acknowledge that the best way forward isn't to squeeze those in poverty until they bleed.
sure, turkeys aren't known for voting for christmas etc, but it's nice to see at least a small level of dissent from amongst the moneybags ranks.
and his opinion matters in so much as money=power and he has the money, and he's allegedly trying to convince others nominally like him to challenge their preconceptions.
i'm not gonna whoop and holler about crumbs from the table, but i'm defo gonna scoff 'em when they turn up if that's pretty much all that's on offer at that point in time.
"pretty much all that's on offer at that point in time."
It must be a source of great comfort.
fighting to give workers more rights to bargain with their employers or create social movements to give more power to organized labour?
is the only option asking a billionaire super rich elite to consider the case for better pay on its merits from their point of view? even though for the mostpart higher wages are not going to be in their interests and the most you could hope to achieve is higher wages for a tiny amount of workers and even more profits for one or two rich guys.
- I do think there is.
- I don't think it is.
"fighting for the eradication of poverty and decent jobs for all those of working age" feels a bit platitudinous and (when using it as a response to the OP article type proposals) becomes an "all or nothing" POV.
my first post in this thread literally said:
"I totally support the $15 minimum wage but it's as if he doesn't realise that you can't just change one thing and not expect it to have far-reaching and largely unanticipated consequences. even though it seems quite modest."
people in this thread have responded with like "great piece" and "pretty much agree with everything he says" - i just don't think it's a great piece and i dont agree with everything he says. i dont think he even understands why wages are low in the first place.
if we *actually* want better pay and to eradicate poverty i really dont think we should be concentrating on winning over people like this billionaire. we need to give workers the power to organize for themselves and demand better pay even when it goes directly against the interests of their employers. pretending that there's not an important conflict between employers and employees doesnt help us.
Your selfquote and subsequent responses imply that you're not really down with improvements in the current system because a better overall system exists in theory.
Or maybe I'm reading things wrong.
that I support a massive increase in the minimum wage.
I think other stuff i've said about organized labour just there would be "improvements in the current system" rather than a change to the "overall system" so i really don't get how you could still think this is my position.
still slightly baffled by how much people see this article as like a move in the general right direction. he's basically asserted himself as a RAGING UNAPOLOGETIC CAPITALIST and somehow calculated that it's in the interests of the ruling class to dramatically increase pay. with no evidence, no reasoning. just some really facile 'earn more = spend more' stuff which just doesn't hold up and has long since been discredited as a possible wholescale response to the crisis. it might work for his businesses (selling consumer goods) but on the whole, a rise in wages is not going to benefit the capitalist class at large.
they should totally still raise the min wage to over $15 though, even though it goes AGAINST the interests of people like him.
"calculated that it's in the interests of the ruling class" [but they are] "not going to benefit" [and] "AGAINST the interests"...
I think your definition of "in the interests of" and "benefit" vary somewhat from his.
because your attack is from a purely ideological and politicised point of view without really seeming (I don't want to assume) to have grasped how the application of fundamental economic principles don't have to be alien to what you want.
It basically seems like you're demonising economics and saying we just need to forget about it because everything it does and has brought on the world is bad. Which is an easy argument to peddle post-crisis but a morbidly wrong one.
Hoping it annoys CG just as much.
i'm starting to wonder, lbc, maybe you're not a marxist?
I don't think it's compatible or practicable, and I think honestly, that you're a bit of a hypocrite for believing in it in this day and age.
But that doesn't mean we can't take ideas from it and from marxist thinkers. I'm just not an all or nothing person.
honestly can't believe you're saying this sort of crap and at the same time accusing someone else of not reading enough.
like, since you seem to have such an amazing grasp on this to hit out with shit like " I wonder how much economics you've really studied" and that i'm "a hypocrite for believing in it in this day and age", please tell me what is my "brand" of marxism exactly? really like to hear your thoughts on that.
the article hasn't annoyed me, i just think you're being really stupid for thinking it's any good.
And you wonder why people complain about your tone on here...
i know why. cause they're wee babies who dont like being challenged in an argument.
what are these useful "ideas" from "marxist thinkers" that we should borrow? since you've read so much of them.
when lemonbrickcombo said:
"No real time to respond but I wonder how much economics you've really studied"
I'm not claiming any definitive opinion on this matter.You, however, are. You're saying we're all wrong. I found the article interesting, apparently I'm stupid.
I studied economics, mostly qualitative, for three years and probably more if you count some of the stuff I did on my Masters. I don't particularly feel the urge to state my exhaustive list of reading on here and to be honest, I probably couldn't if you asked me right now.
I just believe, and feel free to prove me wrong, that you have never studied economics and you've never had to read anything that you've disagreed with. have you ever read Friedmann, or Ostrom? Or any number of others I could name drop pointlessly. That's not what my argument is about. There's a difference between reading marxist economic papers for pleasure and having to study the entirety of the discipline, the arguments and counter arguments, I'm sure you'd accept that.
In terms of things to take from Marxist thinkers, there have been plenty of ideas from Marx that have been taken up by modern economists - division of labour, the idea of valuation and how we calculate it, the role of surplus and how best to dsitribute it (hence almost all of welfare economics from pareto to the present day) He was a profoundly important influence, in one way or another on almost everyone writing today, just as Keynes and Adam Smith and Friedmann and everyone else is.
I just question a little how much you're really engaged in economics and I think you're coming at this from a more political than economic P.O.V.
defending the article is "stupid"( NB I haven't actually called anyone stupid). ITTTT more than one person has accused me of not "understanding" this very simple article.
I just don't agree with your criticism because I think you read who it was from and decided that you didn't like it because it appeared to you to be supporting a system to which you are politically opposed.
that because i'm coming at this from the point of view of political economy and within a Marxist tradition of critique (which btw I have studied and written about academically - not sure why you've assumed everything I've read is 'for pleasure' or somehow less rigorous than the things you've read) that i'm somehow REALLY BIASED AGAINST ECONOMICS. It's just such an incredibly futile point to make.
Are you suggesting that economics should be apolitical? Or that your position is politically neutral and that *i'm* contaminating with all my 'political' considerations? If that is the case then I can only assume *you* haven't read very much that's critical of economics or political economy. Nah, joking, I don't actually think it matters whether you've read it or not (it was you who brought up the weird contention that because someone hasn't formally studied something, they can't engage in a critique of it, which I think is a pretty elitist and undemocratic position to hold in the first place). anyway there's a hierarchy of credibility in which economics and economists try to discredit other competing accounts of social reality, which you seen pretty keen on defending.
just out of curiosity what is it about economics that you think I don't understand because I haven't done a degree in it? and why does it invalidate my opinion on this article?
but normally an expert is someone who can talk with some authority on something. doesn't preclude a debate, but does offer some authority to their voice.
however, doing a degree doesn't not an expert make. :D
why am i here
because of your ideological bias. That's all. We can agree on that.
If you want to be a fusty Marxist that's none of my business in the end. It's not like the world has enough useless academics pontificating on political and economic ideals that are completely impractical and unworkable.
leads to a heady ideal of utopia without really providing any good ideas as to how we get there. Marx provided a good critique of the problems but the solutions were not viable.
It seems to me to be disconnected from reality and from the actual constraints we're facing. Furthermore the impossibility of its central premise of a "to each according to his needs" is utterly futile, as everyone's needs grow exponentially whenever you provide them with something because they are now able to focus on other interests and pursuits once their previous more basic and fundamental need was fulfilled. You cannot give everyone what they want in a sustainable manner. You have to create a climate where his or her choices are limited based on their own individual valuation of what they would like to have, and this has to be measured up to what this choice will cost them, and what that cost will preclude them from doing otherwise.
(hence, "fair") as possible and for everyone to have equal access to those choices.
Is that so? Elaborate, please. Create a rudimentary web of exponential needs, beyond food, clean water, housing, transport and healthcare. I'm intrigued. (Obviously, housing can be grand, food can be lavish, transport can be private jet and healthcare can be cosmetic surgery, but let's keep it relatively sober here)
but yeah, beyond the basics of infrastructure and survival
they want to do more than just survive. They want to be entertained. They want to learn, they want to travel and they want to explore. The resources once dedicated to survival now have to be used to do something else. Otherwise: ennui, depression, anger etc.
Marxism also relies on the odd assumption that everyone is the same and should be treated as such. Capitalism actually enables us to be efficient by profiting from, and taking advantage of differences, if we're able to implement it properly.
However, I also think that changes more radical than you propose will be needed, otherwise the entropic flow of the situation will be for the greedy elites to lord it. One such change is radically altering our cultural attitude to money & its accumulation. Another is altering our attitude to work & its necessity.
what makes your position without "ideological bias?"
I really don't know where you are getting a lot of this from tbh. You're making out like I've expounded this pure dogmatic orthodox Marxism but I've said nothing of the sort.
I cant really be bothered replying to the many other posts but elsewhere I saw that you've suggested I (or it might have been still_here, im not sure) stop "waiting" for the revolution.
I'm not really sure where you've gathered this idea that anyone's sitting about waiting for the revolution. You seem to be attacking more of a caricature of ("fusty") Marxism that you've read about in Political Theory 101 rather than against anyone's actual political position or analysis. I can assure you that I'm not sitting about "waiting" (?) for a revolution.
tbh I find this whole discussion a bit weird and it seems to follow a trend of you having a go at me for some imagined "ideological" dogmatic position that you think I have. pretty sure the last time we had a run in on the boards you were speculating that I had chosen to not have a job whilst studying (which as I pointed out isnt even true). anyway, yeah this was all a bit of a weird outburst attacking some idea of "marxism" (which you actually didnt even actually explain) that i dont even subscribe to.
All you do is throw rocks at people advocating altering the capitalist system without actually explaining what to do better. I don't honestly know what your position is, other than it's entirely anti-capitalist and undefined in any other sense.
And when someone suggests that maybe Marxism is absolutist and not workable, you'll pull something out like "radical democratic systems" or "new organisations". This is so typical of a lot of the economic and political discourse which is labelled as marxist - the lack of clarity or of clear, workable solutions. What frustrates me with marxism is not the way it attacks problems, which is valuable and has contributed to many interesting topics, but the way it consistently fails to provide viable, tested alternatives.
It's interesting in this thread that when I've given examples of how marxism fails, the only one to respond has been loui.
As for the job bit I never said that. I said I wasn't going to tell you to get a job, because it was your own choice.
no-one has ever convinced me that there is any fundamental difference in the behaviour of a state industry or worker organisation, when sufficiently large and powerful, and that of a corporation.
They both compete, each with other organisations and formations of the same type. So for me, there is no difference between corporate bodies and state or worker led institutions. The essential functions are the same, the risks are the same and the problems are, quintessentially the same. They both require oversight and regulation in the same manner. Some are more suited to certain tasks, due to natural monopoly type situations, others are more suited to open competition.
If Marxism can solve this issue by radically altering the conception of how we organise our power structures and how we ensure transparent, fair choice based on revealed costs then I think it has probably solved the "equation". But nothing that I have ever read has suggested it has come close, and recent history suggests the only way for it truly succeed as a long term endeavour is to enforce preferences based on a centralised, undemocratic and eventually, unrepresentative manner.
But I don't want you to think that marxism is a bête noir or that I'm some radical right winger. I acknowledge that marxism does indeed propose the ideal world and has made the best criticisms of capitalism. but it has never been able to show how we can actually implement this ideal world
it's kind of a broad concept...
forming a post-capitalist and post liberal democratic society
"All you do is throw rocks at people advocating altering the capitalist system without actually explaining what to do better. I don't honestly know what your position is, other than it's entirely anti-capitalist and undefined in any other sense."
not sure whether you've actually been reading my posts then since I've pretty clearly said I think we should try to build strong workers movements rather than asking capitalists to pay us more when they think it's in their interests.
But that's me. I don't have a problem with someone getting rich. I have a problem with the inequality between the very rich and the poor and the lack of respect the rich have for the environments that enabled them to become rich.
Anyway, we don't agree. You think I'm an idiot narc, I think you're a hare-brained radical who can't see the wood for the trees.
Business as usual
why would I have had to do that?
this is all getting tediously circular.
demonising capitalist economics though, not just economics
a defence of mainstream economics as a discipline and profession though.
because you're politically opposed to it. You wouldn't care about the economic basis because you disavow it entirely, whilst continuing to participate in and benefit from many of things it has brought about.
Alright, Louise Mensch
...but I do struggle to understand what most classical economists bring to the table these days.
Behavioural economics seems to be where the good stuff's at. But that strikes me as more about psychology than economics. But there you go.
agree behavioural is more interesting, and economics has always been a bit of a bastard science integrating other disciplines...
Be interesting to see the long-term impact of Piketty's book. I heard his talk at the LSE actually... he was great. Reassuringly boring and pragmatic. A world away from the `rock star economist` shit that lazy people have described him as and all the better for it.
Might get a copy in the coming weeks.
I've not read it either but the online review aggregator I've got going on in my head suggests it's a brilliantly-researched and important book analysing a potential economic and historical tipping point for the most part, until he goes a bit TAX THEM ALL batshit with his policy recommendations at the end.
people who "participate in" (i.e. exist within - since it is virtually impossible to escape or live apart from) capitalism shouldn't be politically opposed to it? right...
Might take some initial investment, but you could do it.
do you really think 'normal' people will approach an intrinsically and heavily politicised theory or argument without bringing their biases to the table? Cos that's entirely unrealistic, and I don't know why you expect someone to approach a particular argument from classical economics in a neutral way when they'll know full well (i assume) that they're ideologically opposed to the fundemental tenets of classical economics, which are themselves hugely ideological.
Also the idea that you can't be a marxist and exist within the socio-economic system you were *born into* without being a hypocrite is a really, really, really poor one. I can't imagine a worse way for a marxist to try to bring about actual marxism than by completely refusing to engage with capitalist society.
v slow off the mark
and this is crazy
but join this forum
and paraphrase me
(fwiw it's worth, i bothered my arse to actually read your post after posting ^that, and i concur)
one would hope he'd prefer to be right than not a cunt tbh
I'm on a roll with these positive insults, wonder who to do next
I'd like to know why you're a hardline Marxist and what evidence you can provide me apart from 'the world's not perfect right now' to support your belief.
Might surprise you but I was most academically interested in environmental economics, the idea of managing scarce resources that are common goods and which are currently excluded from our concepts of value. The principle of marxism, with its insistence on the importance of humanocentrism, is really not compatible with that kind of thought, the idea of properly valuing and ensuring that people understand how much their consumption is costing. Feel free to show me a paper or a resource that proves otherwise, but I have never found a convincing political or economic argument which advocates that marxism and command economies are resource efficient and able to fully value . It's just not compatible with our current circumstances, unless you want to start talking about year zero style ideas. Capitalism at present isn't either. But there seems, from what I have read and what I believe, to be more scope to actually improve it. We can make the market value the environment and energy, but we have to provide the right guidelines and limits, and let above all, the end consumer see, in terms of monetary value, what all their goods and services really cost.
And yeah I do think it's hypocritical. It's frustrating to me that people can't seen the obvious problems that extreme, unflinching ideologies cause and have always caused. They fragment and divide, the biggest advances always come through conciliation and reconciling of the individual component ideals. There is so much history about this kind of failure that I don't even need to cite it. It's never worked and it never will work. Stop sitting around and waiting for the revolution, or for the magician who's going to distil marxism and world socialism into a workable form, because it's not going to happen. Go and do something and try and improve what we've got because it's the only chance we have.
i'm just anti-capitalist. I don't really see myself as a revolutionary leader who'll inspire others to believe what I believe, so don't feel the need to have some sort of holistic political theory to propose. I'm quite happy critiquing the current system and leaving the active advocacy of constructive ideas to people who are smarter and more motivated than me.
wrt your last paragraph, which is more aimed at DD, i would say that the idea that we shouldn't welcome the opinion of a self-avowed capitalist who's happens to be saying something that chimes with left-wing ethics isn't one that can be seen as particularly extreme. It's obviously radical, in that it rejects the reconciliation of capitalist power with left wing ideals. But, given the context, the choice seems to me almost binary; ideologically accept capitalism and the idea that capitalist power, wielded ideologically by capitalists, can be a force for good, or reject capitalist power (and the relevant moral implications) entirely whilst obviously welcoming any improvement in the material conditions of the lowest paid workers. I don't think that (what could be construed as a binary choice) could ever produce an 'extreme' viewpoint. But idk.
I've specifically said that the article is aimed at the 1%, or even the 0.01%, who don't and will not ever care about full employment and good living standards for all.
The article isn't aimed at me, or others who believe in full employment, good living standards for all, worker's rights and breaking the grip the 1% holds on capital, but it does offer a channel of argument through which the aims can be realised in the face of people who will never care about anything other than their own money and well-being.
I am really confused though and you're a lot smarter than me so can you please set out what you think my point was and why I have misunderstood the article.
"You're not understanding the point of the article.
It's about justifying higher pay to those at the bottom so that it benefits capitalists at the top in the long term. It's aimed at people who don't, and will never, care for lowering unemployment unless it can be demonstrated to be in their own economic interest."
I understand he's trying to address other super rich people. However, I don't think his argument will be convincing from the point of other super rich or most people who have the power to raise wages.
I don't really get why you keep saying the same thing - that he's aiming it at them. I haven't disputed that and nothing I've said contradicts it. You confuse me sometimes :D
"think we should have demonstrate why its in the interests of capital (it's not in the interest of capital) before doing it."
Nope, I've never said that, just that if you want to be "entirely selfish and right-wing about it, and dismiss the idea of increasing people's standard of living for simply humanitarian and dignity grounds, it still stacks up."
Personally, I'd say fuck the 1% and do it anyway.
His argument is that supply-side trickle down economics is a fallacy (which I'm pretty sure you agree with) and that wealth is shifting up (which I'm pretty sure you agree with), and just sitting there or shifting overseas, out of the reach of regulation and government (which I'm also pretty sure that you agree with).
He then goes on to say that the 1% should believe in paying higher higher wages through the state using the mechanism of the minimum wage, because it feeds the economy on the demand side. It's Keynesian economics, albeit with an added argument (that it's in the interest of the wider economy) that rebuts the main historical opposition to this from supply-side Chicago-school advocates.
like a lot of others in this thread i feel more strongly about this stuff than the 0.1% ever will, but i enjoyed his argument and think its really interesting that a multi-billionaire would be compelled to put this out that there. of course his perspective is still governed by self interest, but agree roughly with what Wza posted upthread (and also, as he mentioned, what he posted in the Scottish independence thread). i think in this day and age any small shifts back to a somewhat compassionate mainstream political environment have to be embraced. guys like this can have more of an influence on moving away from this hyper-capitalistic nightmare the western world seems to be moving toward.
im on a similar page to DD, and i fully feel the anger she does. however when you write stuff like: 'i'm fundamentally not interested in winning over these "traditional opponents"', i think you're basically consigning yourself to fighting the good fight, but fighting a losing battle. to me that kind of thing signals that you're unwilling to compromise on personal ideology, and although the 'all or nothing' arguments might be simplistic and a tad unfair on DD, they're not that wildly off the mark. the 0.01% are never going to be ideologically or politically sympathetic to our desires, but it seems to be cutting off your nose to spite your face to refuse any common ground simply because they don't go far enough.
tl;dr. cliffs: i think more super rich people thinking like this guy would more than likely have a positive impact on a lot of lives worldwide, and would represent a small step towards us climbing out of the hole the west is currently burying itself in.
"they don't go far enough" but that it is the wrong approach.
but i don't agree that its 'wrong' per se. i think it would represent a marked improvement over the current state of affairs in america.
wanting to show capitalists it's in their interests first was a lie and I know that's not what you said
what would act against inflation? If Walmart employees suddenly get more disposable income to spend on Walmart products, why wouldn't Walmart just jack up prices to maximise their profits?
economics 101 would suggest that if demand goes up, prices generally increase if the supply-side can't fulfill it. Unless there's a fundamental issue with the raw resources or the like (e.g. capacity at gigs, silicon for computer parts), for most products where they aren't trying to create a artificial demand the suppliers would increase their production levels.
Obviously, production increases take time to come online which is one of the arguments made against dramatic increases in minimum wage/benefits etc - if earning power increases quicker than production levels can cope, then inflation becomes inevitable.
All economics at a 101 level - real economies are much more complex :)
but glad he's said it. Know what I mean?
Anyway anyone who has responded to this with more than thirty words is a crashing thundercunt.
not just because of the practical nature of it, but because, as mentioned in the article, the idea of keeping costs lower to supposedly prevent jobs being outsourced is gaining a lot traction.
but i do not know which
in favour of raising the lowest wages, not sure how this deals with the crisis of work-as-exploitation and worker obsolescence that we face
fyds mentioned a basic income guarantee, wonder if this nick chap is in favour
suddenly creating a huge increase in demand won't do an awful lot of good. Rather than creating the basis for a long-term sustainable increase in productivity (because that only happens when you use supply-side tools to promote economic activity), it'll just speed up the cycle of making suppliers over-produce, whilst increasing the price. Eventually production will overheat because the technological advances to accommodate an '''artificial''' increase in demand can't be met, meaning job losses/price increases/whatever.
I guess if you do it at the right time in the cycle, the effect won't be immediately recognisable and i guess it could all be fine cos economists know fuck all when it comes down to it, but i'm pretty sure what i've just said is pretty much ok by classical economic teaching 101 standard.
the complicated financial tools and instruments that banking uses (especially when it comes to avoiding taxation) means that supply-side policies are now almost exclusively resulting in syphoning off capital and preventing it from moving around the economy.
that capitalism fucking sucks
doesn't suck to some degree (varying opinions on how much it sucks), the discussion's more about how to address that and negotiate it, no?
insufficient demand, it's insufficient profit
any attempt to economically restructure
Which is unsustainable in every sense.
from the Science Museum? Someone should crank that up and give us an answer once and for all.
through the cracks in the floorboards and into the irrevocable catchment of the military-industrial profiteers
Old MONIAC's still got it.
o - All your consumer base are belong to us!
(If I remember correctly, Marx refused to let anyone take a picture of him without his beard when he was ill towards the end of his life, so this may well be true)
originally called 'Are You Being Served By Capitalism?'
Inman's character would shout "I'm free!" at the end of the play after killing the manager character with the moustache.
Some jerk sold it to the TV for £££ though and they made it into a silly sitcom. Inman is the only actor who appeared in both versions.
I will try and read the whole thread and respond but I'll probably miss everyone's posts as I don't have time to look at DiS during the day...I think the article is well written and persuasive but drops some massive clangers on macroeconomics, politics, logical fallacies e.t.c.
That one of the "great intellectuals" of these boards was not in a position to deny the allegation that they had not read Friedman or Ostrom.
I tip my fedora to your eagle-eyes good man!
That individuals can claim to possess such a deep understanding of the problems of capitalist societies without having read and engaged with the arguments of those who provide the intellectual underpinnings for contemporary, mainstream economic thinking.
He's an intellectual hydra
when did anyone say they hadn't read Friedman or Ostrom?
(also I don't think I have ever held myself up as being an "intellectual")
lemonbrickcombo on the other hand invoked the idea of academic credibility to bolster his argument. before going on to try to rubbish the entire Marxist canon, badly.