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'[OT]: $1-a-day wages'
2002\06\03@210313 by Jinx

face picon face
> Isn't that guy (or gal) probably glad to HAVE that job?

I can't vouch for how any employee feels, except to say
that having a job is better than not having one, especially
in any country that does not have a social welfare system

> And you would want to abolish it?

Of course - by improvement, naturally. I recall the story of
the Director General of British Rail, listening to complaints
about the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Class tiering. Complaints were
along the lines of "It's so unfair that 1st Class passengers
are treated so well". So he said "Alright, I'm going to abolish it"
"You're getting rid of 1st Class ?" "No, I'm getting rid of 3rd Class"

However, that's not to say that there are undoubtedly international
players who exercise social engineering in other countries to
keep profits up by keeping wages down. I'd cite the well-worn
examples of Nike, who it's said pay Tiger Woods (an individual)
more than their entire factory work force (many thousands)
combined, and The Gap's sweatshops. They say one person
can make a difference, but for most of us this is all out of our
league, and at the end of the day, the consumer is the one who
throws a wobbly when prices go up

As I mentioned in a previous post, I try to buy the best I can afford.
Not based on 'label" entirely, although that does have some bearing,
but price often does reflect the quality of a product. As an example,
personally I do not generally buy electrical goods made in China,
to name a name, as I've had and seen many problems with products
from that country. That said however, I'm sure that some consumer
products or parts thereof I have were in fact made in a country I'd
perhaps think twice about (see paragraph above)

This has nothing to do with the workers of course - it's a quality
control issue at management level

An interesting consumer report a few months back though did
a comparison of clothing from various sources. The conclusion
was that for clothing at least, an expensive brand name is no
guarantee of quality. All of us want value for money - you buy
cheap, you get cheap. You pay a bit more, you want something
better

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2002\06\04@095334 by Walter Banks

picon face
Jinx wrote:
>
> I'd cite the well-worn
> examples of Nike, who it's said pay Tiger Woods (an individual)
> more than their entire factory work force (many thousands)
> combined,
>

Nike was first targeted when Michael Jordan received a $20M
endorsement deal.

It is useful to judge the Nike's of the world in the local
terms. As third world countries industrialize the first industrial
capitalization is invested in industries that require little
formal skills and offer employment for many that are otherwise
face starvation and unbelievable poverty.  "Sweat shops" are
are the first of many steps that start the process of improved
living standards.

It interesting that Nike moved from Korea to Indonesia.  This
move can be looked at as a success story, Korea has now moved
to a different state of industrialization (and debt). It's people
have a better education and standard of living than they had
a generation ago. The failure of companies to invest at all in
third world countries has much more serious consequences in
human terms

At the time of Michael Jordan's endorsement deal Nike had a
profit margin of about 5.5%. (SEC filings)

Michael Jordan's $20 million is an interesting number to be
looked at closely.  Assume that Nike would profit from the
deal.  It would take $238Million in increased sales to
for the deal with Michael Jordan to break even.  That number
would translate into about 4000 new jobs world wide the bulk
of those jobs being in third world countries.

This deal is the classic definition of profit where everyone
benefited.  (I would not mind being Michael Jordan though)

Assuming that advertising works, one percent of a advertising
budget of $280 Million (1995) (Including the $20M paid to
Michael Jordan) diverted to salaries in would drop sales
of Nike products $470Million dollars and leave about
8000 people world wide without jobs.


My morning rant. I don't own Nike stock. After running the
gauntlet of protesters one time more than enough a couple
years ago I decided to find out if they knew what they
were talking about.

Walter..

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2002\06\04@103445 by Brandon Fosdick

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Walter Banks wrote:
> My morning rant. I don't own Nike stock. After running the
> gauntlet of protesters one time more than enough a couple
> years ago I decided to find out if they knew what they
> were talking about.

I've often watched various protests on tv and wondered if the "nuts" were
actually on to something. They certainly don't portray themselves as being of
sound mind. Of course I also wondered if they knew how crazy they appear and
whether they would do something different if they did know.

Then one summer I had a roomate who's girlfriend held an occupation that could
only be described as "professional protestor". She lived in DC with a group of
others in the same profession, sort of a mix between a convent and a bunch of
hippies. They essentially made a living by adding manpower to organized
protests. It didn't really matter what the protest was about (within limits, I
think they were/are a Christian group), they filled in wherever they were
needed. And they weren't just extra bodies, generally they were the really crazy
people, the ones you see the police hauling away on the news.

The thing that I think suprised me the most was her complete ignorance of public
opinion, which seemed odd since protests are ostensibly about swaying public
opinion. The idea that the actions of her group might undermine the credibility
of the cause(s) that they protest for was a completely alien concept to her. I
found that out when I asked if she (or members of her group) realized that they
tend to appear rather ridiculous. Again, clueless.

I still don't know if I should bother paying attention to protesters in general,
but knowing that such a group exists, and gets a lot of business, seriously
undermines their credibility in my eyes.

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2002\06\04@113354 by Russell McMahon

face
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> It interesting that Nike moved from Korea to Indonesia.  This
> move can be looked at as a success story, Korea has now moved
> to a different state of industrialization (and debt). It's people
> have a better education and standard of living than they had
> a generation ago. The failure of companies to invest at all in
> third world countries has much more serious consequences in
> human terms

etc

We've covered all this rather thoroughly some while ago (about 6 months
ago?).
One can always make some sort of a case for benignly moving one's production
fron the US to Mexico to Korea to Indonesia & China & Phillippines to
Bangladesh & ??? to ????????? etc. And yes, there are alays people who are
happy to work for the $1 a day or whatever the going rate is for
sub-subsistence level living.

But the reality, which is what the Nike protestors you had to wade through
were aware of, regardless of whatever clever accounting that can be done to
make th4e case look benign, is that we (including me of course) are living
on the forced labour of others who in the vast majority of cases have every
bit as much "right" to a reaosnable return for their llabour as anyone in
the "devloped" countries do.

While the putative $1 a day will but far more than it would in Western
economies, and is therefore misleading as a measure of its true value to the
recipient, there are many essential things that it will not buy. It goes
with back breaking (or body destroying) working conditons, unconscionable
working hours, child slavery (by any standard that you would set if they
were YOUR children involved) and inadequate resources to address either
resultant chronic disease and long term results of the working conditions.
Even in countries where the conditions are "half acceptable" (such as eg
Filipino workers in Taiwan) the pay for work and working conditions would be
utterly unconscionable in a Western society. Quite why we feel morally
entitled to inflict the cost of our living standards on other human beings
in such a manner is utterly beyond me. I'm well aware that many have no
qualms in doung so and will argue their right to do so. Many more (rarher
like me) will largely live on the results of the misery and suffering of
others with very little thought or care.



               Russell McMahon

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2002\06\04@115634 by Jim

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I think this is a classical case of 'differentiation
on a dis-continuous function' and one can therefore
interpret what small slice of the 'problem' they
see on the news in any context they wish.

The wage these people earn as well as the conditions
under which they earn that wage MUST be considered
in historical relationship to the period *prior* to
their present condition and employment -

- and examining these conditions usually reveals that
conditions were MUCH MUCH worse than those under which
they now *choose* to live under now.

It goes along the lines of a truism a friend of mine
and a buddy of his once concluded several decades ago:

  "One man's floor is another man's ceiling."

I also believe that those who would consciencably
choose to rectify these perceived social 'evils'
would have to do so by allowing substantial gov't
intervention and further erosion of the rights of
ALL those involved and to the detriment of everyone
except those in gov't positions of power and control ...

"Free Trade" - it's not just a slogan, it's a way of
life ALL people naturally seek unless repressed ...

_Jim



{Original Message removed}

2002\06\04@123236 by Roman Black

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face
Jim wrote:
>
> I think this is a classical case of 'differentiation
> on a dis-continuous function' and one can therefore
> interpret what small slice of the 'problem' they
> see on the news in any context they wish.
>
> The wage these people earn as well as the conditions
> under which they earn that wage MUST be considered
> in historical relationship to the period *prior* to
> their present condition and employment -
>
> - and examining these conditions usually reveals that
> conditions were MUCH MUCH worse than those under which
> they now *choose* to live under now.


Well said! Paying someone a wage they are happy to
work for is not immoral or oppressive. The real
problem is the poverty in those countries. Paying
the workers more than they got before for a better
job than they were doing before is only improving
their lives. If these bleeding hearts really want
to improve conditions for workers in third world
countries they must deal with the poverty in general,
and one way would be to establish their own businesses
in said country and pay higher wages. The workers
would gravitate towards the higher paying jobs and
the country would evolve as they all do... So in
effect, starting their own "exploitation sweat shop"
there is possibly the most effective way of curing
the problem... ;o)
-Roman

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2002\06\04@130921 by Bob Blick

face picon face
> the country would evolve as they all do... So in
> effect, starting their own "exploitation sweat shop"
> there is possibly the most effective way of curing
> the problem... ;o)

Yeah, then they can afford US$489 for the latest version of Microsoft
Office. And drive the kids to soccer practice in a Ford Excursion.

Face the facts, the rich have always maintained their wealth by exploiting
others. Explain it any way you need to in order to justify it to yourself.

Oh, I forgot, those big corporations don't go into third world countries
in order to make gobs of money. They do it to help the starving people.
That's what the shareholders want more than anything else, social justice
:)

"pinko" Bob

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2002\06\04@133052 by Dale Botkin

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face
On Tue, 4 Jun 2002, Bob Blick wrote:

> Oh, I forgot, those big corporations don't go into third world countries
> in order to make gobs of money. They do it to help the starving people.
> That's what the shareholders want more than anything else, social justice
> :)

Bob, crows are ugly, nasty birds, but they do serve their purpose.  Ditto
for cockroaches, worms, hyenas, mold...  it doesn't have to be pretty to
serve an important purpose.  I can remember many times reading about
civilizations that flourished and grew because of trade and commerce, but
can't for the life of me recall one that thrived on charity or
redistribution of wealth.

8-)

Dale

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2002\06\04@140059 by SM Ling

picon face
"Professional" managers getting higher and higher pay for playing with
numbers are the causes.  This is disgusting.

I can't resist this time.   The "professional" managers game is playing in
full-swing here.  Businesses and either paying top dollars for these people
to come here, or emulating them exactly.  Good people are being asked to
leave and replaced by new cheaper ones, so that short-term books can look
good.  By the time, the damages are due, these people are long gone with fat
bonuses.  Amazingly, they move on with even higher-pay to screw up more
people and businesses.

Cheers, Ling SM

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2002\06\04@140603 by Bob Blick

face picon face
> civilizations that flourished and grew because of trade and commerce, but
> can't for the life of me recall one that thrived on charity or
> redistribution of wealth.

How about Finland? Or does it have to be all-or-nothing for you?

-Bob

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2002\06\04@141548 by Hazelwood Lyle

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face
I enjoy the PIC list a great deal, and often feel
that there are many here who have similar
perspectives as my own. (Some people think I'm
crazy, others are more sure of themselves) 8^)

I have followed this thread with interest, and even enjoyed a light debate with my wife last night
that exposed both sides of the issue.

I only wanted to point out a simple irony.
Just a few minutes ago, a message providing
anothers persons insight was followed immediately
with a discussion of how to properly handle
the SLAVE_SELECT pin on a device.

Perhaps this is not as off-topic as I first thought?

I'd offer a personal opinion, but I'm too busy seeing
both sides of it to decide which I believe.

Lyle

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2002\06\04@144940 by Lawrence Lile

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All interesting points, gentlemen.

(I Don't think there are any women in on this thread yet..)

Well, the world is a dynamic place.  Nike changed a lot of things in their
factories in response to all the criticism, yet people still stigmatize Nike
because of actions that may have been rectified years ago.  Meanwhile, most
*everything else* you buy is actually manufactured in China, often under
poor conditions.  Nike's competitors all enjoy the same apalling conditions
that propmted protest, yet no one is squawking.

The last time I was in China (a few weeks ago) the factory manager told me
that the Chinese government had recently mandated a 40 hour work week, and
had begun to withhold social security taxes, meaning they expect to have a
surplus of elderly retirees at some point and a rudimentary social welfare
system.  This is BIG news, in 1997 when I was there, factories worked people
12 hours a day 6 days a week, and people who got their hands cut off in
presses had to beg.

I have PHOTOS of kids in factories, this particular child was not actually
working, just hanging around rotating machinery, hot presses and drop
forging machines breathing in toxic fumes.

Believe me, there is little in the way of consumer electronics that is not
made in Korea or China, sometimes in conditions you'd shudder to think
about.

Yes, it is appalling that there are a billion people who make less than $1 a
day, and another billion making less than $2 a day.  Those people are locked
out of this discussion here, for instance.  Their ticket out, unfortunately,
is the rapid industialization happening in Shenzhen, China, and elsewhere,
with accompanying costs of environmental problems.  It's gonna get worse
before it gets better.

--lawrence


{Original Message removed}

2002\06\04@150409 by Dal Wheeler

flavicon
face
Are you talking about Vikings?
----- Original Message -----
From: "Bob Blick" <spamBeGonebblickspamBeGonespamSONIC.NET>
> > civilizations that flourished and grew because of trade and commerce,
but
> > can't for the life of me recall one that thrived on charity or
> > redistribution of wealth.
>
> How about Finland? Or does it have to be all-or-nothing for you?
>
> -Bob

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2002\06\04@151937 by Rex Byrns

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Playing with numbers . . . hmmm

It is almost like the Enron thing was proof in point of how much you can get
away with, so now these guys are all doing it.

The economy is going to be scary when they get to the end of the 'playing
field'.

Of course the 'Dot Bomb' proved that the power of Rhetoric is enough to make
a 'virtual field' that can play a long way.

I am confident that the average consumer has a love of the truth that is
sure to keep all corporate and government evils in check.. . .. . .. ... ..

"The American Republic will survive and prosper
, until the government realizes that it can bribe it's people
with their own money" - - Some French Guy



> {Original Message removed}

2002\06\04@152835 by Dale Botkin

flavicon
face
Finland?  Small, rather typical European industrialized consumer economy,
relatively recently independent from Russia, flourishing on commerce and
trade...  I'm afraid I'm missing your point.  And no need to go on the
attack, Bob, have I taken an all-or-nothing stance on something that
offended you?

Dale
--
"Curiosity is the very basis of education and if you tell me that
curiosity killed the cat, I say only the cat died nobly."
         - Arnold Edinborough


On Tue, 4 Jun 2002, Bob Blick wrote:

> > civilizations that flourished and grew because of trade and commerce, but
> > can't for the life of me recall one that thrived on charity or
> > redistribution of wealth.
>
> How about Finland? Or does it have to be all-or-nothing for you?

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2002\06\04@160351 by Jim

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Nice summary of how labor and conditions evolved
here in the USA over the last 200 hundred years
Lawrence ...

It seem that most of the socialists on this list think these
changes occur instantly and as if the 'norm' has been
THE NORM since time immortal - and that ALL societies
ought to be changed NOW, as if a switch could be thrown
and all things made 'right'.

And that seems to be how TV news seems to portray it too ...

Jim


{Original Message removed}

2002\06\04@160359 by Matt Pobursky

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On Wed, 5 Jun 2002 01:58:21 +0800, SM Ling wrote:
>"Professional" managers getting higher and higher pay for
>playing with numbers are the causes.  This is disgusting.
>
>I can't resist this time.   The "professional" managers game is
>playing in full-swing here.  Businesses and either paying top
>dollars for these people to come here, or emulating them
>exactly.  Good people are being asked to leave and replaced by
>new cheaper ones, so that short-term books can look good.  By
>the time, the damages are due, these people are long gone with
>fat bonuses.  Amazingly, they move on with even higher-pay to
>screw up more people and businesses.

Exactly. Lawyers, accountants (the top level ones) and
politicians (who are ALL lawyers, not coincidentally) are the
main culprits. Top managers at most companies are some
combination of the three. The one common thread between all these
groups is that they've taught themselves to think in terms of
what is technically legal, what they can get away with and what
can be "schmoozed over" in the media. Right and wrong no longer
have much meaning to them.

What the Enron executives did and what Arthur Anderson so gladly
helped them conceal was nothing short of a massive fraud scheme.
What they did to their employees was criminal and I hope the
major execs involved all serve long and hard prison time. They
all knew exactly what they were doing -- planned it all in minute
detail even, but yet kept justifying it to themselves all along
the way. Not one person had the courage to step up and say "this
is wrong". It's a sad commentary on our (big) business culture
here in the U.S.

Our legal and financial accounting system in the U.S. has been so
complicated and cluttered by lawyer-types that it makes
Enron-like scams very attractive to those who are morally weak.
Until we get back to a simpler, more straight forward set of
laws, accounting practices and tax codes, I'm afraid it's only
going to get worse.

Matt Pobursky
Maximum Performance Systems

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2002\06\04@162013 by Doug Butler

picon face
As I recall one of the ENRON execs had been complaining to his partners how
what they were doing was wrong.  He committed suicide a few months ago...

As for the rest of them, they won't go to jail unless we can prove what they
did was actually illegal, not just wrong.

Doug Butler
Sherpa Engineering


> {Original Message removed}

2002\06\04@162057 by Matt Pobursky

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On Tue, 4 Jun 2002 13:47:40 -0500, Lawrence Lile wrote:
>Well, the world is a dynamic place.  Nike changed a lot of
>things in their factories in response to all the criticism, yet
>people still stigmatize Nike because of actions that may have
>been rectified years ago.
>Meanwhile, most *everything else* you buy is actually
>manufactured in China, often under poor conditions.  Nike's
>competitors all enjoy the same apalling conditions that propmted
>protest, yet no one is squawking.

Good point!

>The last time I was in China (a few weeks ago) the factory
>manager told me that the Chinese government had recently
>mandated a 40 hour work week, and had begun to withhold social
>security taxes, meaning they expect to have a surplus of elderly
>retirees at some point and a rudimentary social welfare system.
>This is BIG news, in 1997 when I was there, factories worked
>people 12 hours a day 6 days a week, and people who got their
>hands cut off in presses had to beg.

Well that's too bad. I guess the Chinese government has learned
from ours how to promise the people a "pig-in-a-poke" -- glorious
benefits promised down the road, while stealing their money at
the same time!

Probably a good thing about the 40 hour work week though. Then
again, I'm not too keen on any government mandates to private
business. Basic human rights and freedoms, yes. As long as
personal freedom and free will is maintained, the system will
balance itself.

>Believe me, there is little in the way of consumer electronics
>that is not made in Korea or China, sometimes in conditions
>you'd shudder to think about.

Yes, it's bad but your frame of reference is your life as you
know it. It probably looks different to you if you've lived in
China all your life.

>Yes, it is appalling that there are a billion people who make
>less than $1 a day, and another billion making less than $2 a
>day.

Why is this appalling? What were the conditions they were living
under before the $1 or $2 a day job? Again, it's all perspective.
I remember my first regular job -- it was mopping a grocery store
floor for $1/hr. Not exactly a glamorous job, but I did it the
best I could and moved up as my skill set improved and I was
worth more to my prospective employers. Right now those chinese
workers have nothing to sell but "human hours". They are worth
what the market is willing to pay. If you could get hourly labor
here in the U.S. for the same rate, you would -- right? You buy
it there because they are willing to sell it at a price you are
willing to pay or rather what your customers are willing to pay.

As Jim said earlier, over time the economic conditions will
advance and the labor rates will rise commensurate to the value
provided.

Matt Pobursky
Maximum Performance Systems

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2002\06\04@165516 by Matt Pobursky

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On Tue, 4 Jun 2002 14:59:13 -0500, Jim wrote:
>Nice summary of how labor and conditions evolved
>here in the USA over the last 200 hundred years
>Lawrence ...
>
>It seem that most of the socialists on this list think these
>changes occur instantly and as if the 'norm' has been
>THE NORM since time immortal - and that ALL societies
>ought to be changed NOW, as if a switch could be thrown
>and all things made 'right'.

You know Jim, I think you just hit on what irks the
socialist/leftist/liberal types so much -- the fact that they
just aren't patient enough to let the system change and balance
itself. Of course I also think there's some intellectual
arrogance and power envy involved too. The type of people who
wish to force change (their way) and control other's destiny are
exactly the types that fill our elected and appointed government
posts. The rest of us are too busy taking care of ourselves and
trying to be self-sufficient... ;-)

Matt Pobursky
Maximum Performance Systems

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2002\06\04@170400 by Matt Pobursky

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True, but he should have gotten out when they refused to listen.
Maybe even went to the media or the SEC, I know I would have
considered it.  I've been in a moral dilemna like that before
myself (on a smaller scale, obviously) and that's what I did --
left the company.

I guess that's why I feel I can live with myself (and have never
contemplated suicide). I can't imagine living with the thought of
knowing that you helped screw 1000's of employees out of their
life savings and retirement funds. :-(

Matt Pobursky
Maximum Performance Systems

On Tue, 4 Jun 2002 16:17:46 -0500, Doug Butler wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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2002\06\04@171455 by Bob Blick
face picon face
On Tue, 4 Jun 2002, Dale Botkin wrote:
> Finland?  Small, rather typical European industrialized consumer economy,
> relatively recently independent from Russia, flourishing on commerce and
> trade...  I'm afraid I'm missing your point.  And no need to go on the
> attack, Bob, have I taken an all-or-nothing stance on something that
> offended you?

How about health care and education in Finland versus here in the US? How
about the speeding ticket the Nokia executive recently got? How about
Linux? It's a completely different way of thinking from dollar-based
republics.

I think you're confusing me with someone who thinks a society is
successful based upon monetary wealth - I consider social justice and
equality to be much more important than financial success.

You can't offend me with market-based economy talk, it's what surrounds us
24/7. I don't agree with it, but neither am I someone who sees things as
black-or-white. The world is gray (mostly brown, actually).

Cheerful regards,

Bob

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2002\06\04@171506 by John Ferrell

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Interesting. Two generations back, (1930's) these parameters fit my
grandparents in West Virginia & Kentucky coal mines. In that circumstance
the young fellows found employment in the mines preferable to going to
school. A young girl married & started having children at 13 or 14 years of
age. Retirement was not an encumbrance, Black Lung got the men and the
general lack of medical attention got the women. People were old at 40 and
looked like the current 80 year olds.

This condition was created artificially by "providing jobs" to poor people
who were living in a culture of farming, logging and whatever. I know the
Rockefellers won, but did anyone else really benefit from the curse of those
jobs?

It keeps repeating...

{Original Message removed}

2002\06\04@173342 by Dale Botkin

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face
On Tue, 4 Jun 2002, Bob Blick wrote:

> On Tue, 4 Jun 2002, Dale Botkin wrote:
> > Finland?  Small, rather typical European industrialized consumer economy,
> > relatively recently independent from Russia, flourishing on commerce and
> > trade...  I'm afraid I'm missing your point.  And no need to go on the
> > attack, Bob, have I taken an all-or-nothing stance on something that
> > offended you?
>
> How about health care and education in Finland versus here in the US? How
> about the speeding ticket the Nokia executive recently got? How about
> Linux? It's a completely different way of thinking from dollar-based
> republics.

I have to admit I don't follow the local police blotter reports from
Finland, so I don't know what the average speeding ticket is there.  I do
know there's one hell of a difference between managing the health care an
education system for less than six million people, in an area less than
the size of Montana, under a single central government (Finland) and for
278 million people scattered throughout fifty semi-autonomous states.

> I think you're confusing me with someone who thinks a society is
> successful based upon monetary wealth

Not at all, I picked up on your point right off the bat.  I have a couple
of sisters who think the same way.  Well, used to anyway.

> I consider social justice and equality to be much more important than
> financial success.

Yeah, me too.  That's why I don't live in California (or Finland).
That's why not only do I pay a significant amount of money in taxes to
support government services, the poor, the disabled and the lazy, I also
contribute equally significant amounts (of money and time) to
organizations who do with it what they can to improve the situation.  I
believe in equal *opportunity*, not absolute equality...  big difference
there.  I won't give up my financial success, such as it is, so that
someone who chooses not to put forth the effort I have can enjoy the same
standard of living.  That would be at odds with my respect for social
justice.

Dale

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2002\06\04@175036 by Bob Blick

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> I have to admit I don't follow the local police blotter reports from
> Finland, so I don't know what the average speeding ticket is there.  I do

Hehe... It's based on your income. His ticket was over US $100K.

:)

Bob

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2002\06\04@175353 by Scott Stephens

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From: Rex Byrns <rexbSTOPspamspamspam_OUTTESTENGEER.COM>
Subject: Re: [OT]: $1-a-day wages


>It is almost like the Enron thing was proof in point of how much you can
get
>away with, so now these guys are all doing it.


The US worships Mamon; the God of greed. I am continualy amazed Our Lord
Greenspan is able to show such self control with the balls of the beast -
interest rate of the Federal Reserve Bank. But for mere mortals the penalty
for getting caught is death. The US government - the SEC, IRS, FBI, the
congress, the president (Clinton) could have put an end to accounting
shenanigans, offshore hedges and tax shelters long ago. They didn't because
they are greedy too. They let Arthur Anderson and Enron take all the rope
they wanted to hang themselves.

One congressman called it a bank robbery, Enron the robber and AA the
getaway driver. If so, congress was a whore paid by the robbers that was
screwing the bank guards (the SEC, IRS and FBI) as the robbery was
happening. If your competitor is offshore and pays no taxes, but your
corporation must pay taxes, is the federal government any better than a
goon, a thug that breaks your kneecap so your competitor can win the race?

Perhaps someone will correct my understanding. Enron basicaly insured its
success in high risk speculation by setting up 'hedge' entities that
guaranteed high risk ventures. Enron betted the environmentalists and Global
Warming kooks would silence any dissent over high California electric
prices. High prices that Enron and others were bidding up the price in.

Good 'ol boy Bush did the best he could for 'ol Ken Lay, the guy that so
kindly let Bush fly his jet around the country to campaign for president in.
Bush wanted deregulation (in the name of free capitolism) till the
California public and congress could stand it no more. In this case
deregulation  is not free market capitolism. The game was rigged. Rather
than breaking monopolies, the feds were cultivating them.

Enron insured itself and lost, the hedges, which were funded with Enron
stock, imploded. The only thing Bush and the Republicans can say is no
heroic effort was made to save them. There is no honor among those thieves
of the public trust.

Make no mistake, the greedy evil-doers want high energy prices and high
profits. Once upon a time the earths atmosphere had no oxygen. We are doing
the planet a big favor by recycling all the carbon that is buried. If we
don't volcanoes will. All the CO2 volcanoes can spew out gets turned into
carbonates - limestone by sea creatures or hydrocarbons by plants, and gets
buried again. Global warming is global greed - Europeans screaming the US
gets cheaper gas because our corporations are bigger and meaner. They tempt
the US government to share by offering a canard of 'global warming' to raise
US prices and make supply available elsewhere. Global warming is an excuse,
a soccer-mom environmental marketing ploy, an excuse to control the global
energy market.

>I am confident that the average consumer has a love of the truth that is
>sure to keep all corporate and government evils in check.. . .. . .. ... ..


The best defense of the dumbed down public is its ability to punish
politicians that screw up. But as "Homeland Security" gets more power, the
ability of the people to punish a corrupt and tyrannical federal government
will be severely impaired. When did America free slaves, give women the vote
and equal pay, or stop oppressing any minority because it was the right,
just thing, rather than because the minority organized and inflicted a
greater pain on the exploiters, than the pleasure derived from exploiting
them?

A patriot once paid the corrupt, evil, income tax in pennies. A non-violent
protest. A law was passed making that illeagal. A law making peacefull
protest illeagal. The feds don't want you punishing them for exploiting you.

The federal evil-doers will sustain their power until their own evil
implodes them, or a foriegn power gets tired of being exploited by American
corporations rigged to degrade, dominate and exploit the world for a greedy
tyrannical minority. I wouldn't be surprized if the Chinese bury nukes (real
nukes - 50 megaton H-bombs the patriots at Los Alamos and the FBI sold them)
in the sewers of 100 of our cities and put an end to America within 30 years
or so.

>"The American Republic will survive and prosper
>, until the government realizes that it can bribe it's people
>with their own money" - - Some French Guy


I thought it was Alexis De Toqueville ("Alexis de Toqueville opined in 1835,
"America will fail when the public discovers
that it can vote for itself largess from the public treasury.""; )

But perhaps it was Tytler?

"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can
only exist until a majority of voters discover that they can vote
themselves largess out of the public treasury."     - Alexander Tytler

Anyways whoever said it was right. The government isn't prosecuting Arthur
Anderson and Enron because what they did was irresponsible, deceptive,
dishonest, greedy, selfish betrayal of the stock-holders and the nation.
They are persecuting them because they got caught.

Scott

**********************************************************
If you are cheater 1 of 10, shame on you. If you are cheater 1 of 3, shame
on your leaders, shame on your culture, and shame on you if you get caught.

In a government of laws, existence of the government will be imperiled
if it fails to observe the law scrupulously. Our Government is the
potent, the omnipresent teacher. For good or for ill, it teaches the
whole people by its example. - Justice Brandeis - Olmstead v. US, 277 U.S.
438(1928)
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2002\06\04@175400 by Scott Stephens

picon face
From: Dale Botkin <KILLspamdalespamBeGonespamBOTKIN.ORG>
Subject: Re: [OT]: $1-a-day wages


>On Tue, 4 Jun 2002, Bob Blick wrote:
>
>> Oh, I forgot, those big corporations don't go into third world countries
>> in order to make gobs of money. They do it to help the starving people.
>> That's what the shareholders want more than anything else, social justice
>> :)


Indeed! Piss on their backs and call it rain. Use them like toilet paper and
tell them its chocolate. "Its for your own good (I exploit you)"! "Don't
make me beat you up"! I must find the historical list of all the reasons
slavery was justified.

>Bob, crows are ugly, nasty birds, but they do serve their purpose.  Ditto
>for cockroaches, worms, hyenas, mold...  it doesn't have to be pretty to
>serve an important purpose.

If you were weak or stupid, would you want to be exploited or educated? Do
you advocate allowing predators freedom to exploit others? By what standard
you judge, you will be judged. And with what measure ye mete out 'justice',
'justice' shall be meted unto you. If you want to play by the laws of the
jungle, dominating and degrading with force and deception, don't be
surprized if sowing such seed reaps a harvest of violence.

>  I can remember many times reading about
>civilizations that flourished and grew because of trade and commerce, but
>can't for the life of me recall one that thrived on charity or
>redistribution of wealth.
>
>8-)
>
>Dale


No civilization has ever known much peace has it?

Scott

**********************************************************
In a government of laws, existence of the government will be imperiled
if it fails to observe the law scrupulously. Our Government is the
potent, the omnipresent teacher. For good or for ill, it teaches the
whole people by its example.

Justice Brandeis - Olmstead v. US, 277 U.S. 438(1928)
**********************************************************

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2002\06\04@180411 by Jim

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I'm in the US, I've lived here all of my life and I
don't worship Mamon - wasn't this little piece just
a little bit too much of a generalization?

In fact, most people I know are working hard and
don't worship Mamon. I think this piece *is* an over-
generalization *with* a decidedly slanted view to
one side.

I wonder why that is ... someone who thinks they didn't
get their fair share of the 'wealth pie'?

Sounds like a piece truly borne out of the 'soul of
jealousy' - I could be wrong.

Which reminds me, I need get back to worshipping
Mamon -er- I mean back to work/'making a living' ...

Jim

{Original Message removed}

2002\06\04@180621 by Jim

flavicon
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Hmmm ... up to 'saving the world' all alone?

It's already been attempted - that cross
has been 'borne' already Scott ...

Jim

{Original Message removed}

2002\06\04@181242 by Uri Sabadosh

flavicon
face
Don't you guys see? Why the government did not fix the accounting laws (and
many others)? Because of the money influence. As long as there are
contributions and lobbyists the system is not fixed just being tinkered
with.

Uri



{Original Message removed}

2002\06\04@182113 by Jim

flavicon
face
Actually, Wall Street is showing it's disdain for the
'gone slightly awry' accounting practices of some.

And remember - this does not represent EVERYONE's practices!

I'm curious just what it is that you would like to
see implememted in the way of laws - personally, the
'product' I saw Enron marketing (as far back as 1998)
looked vaporous and short on delivery at that time!

Beware that which *sounds* too good to be true!

Jim

{Original Message removed}

2002\06\04@182316 by Rex Byrns

flavicon
face
perhaps "a slave to mammon" would be more appropriate. . . although nearly
the same.

> {Original Message removed}

2002\06\04@182939 by tundra

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Scott Stephens wrote:


You have a rich and vivid imagination, but little grasp of human economic
history ... comments throughout follow:


> The US worships Mamon; the God of greed. I am continualy amazed Our Lord
> Greenspan is able to show such self control with the balls of the beast -

No, the US "worships" the priciple of self-determination: that you have
a right to your time, your body, and your work product.  You also have
the right to freely associate as you see fit and combine your efforts
with others of like mind.  *That* is how corporations come into being.

Pretty much every material possession you enjoy is because someone was
"greedy" and wanted to make a profit.  Throughout the 10,000 or so years
of recorded human history it was only the onset of capital markets and
private enterprise that brought a meaningful middle-class into being.
Prior to Adam Smith and the Enlightenment thinkers *all* there were was
(mostly) poor and the (very few) rich.  "Greed" set in context of free
markets has produced more good for more people in a shorter period of
time than all the prior 9600 years of collectivized economies combined.

<SNIP Enron/Andersen Pontifications>

What you say is mostly nonsense.  A *few* people at Enron in collusion with
a *single* Andersen partner managed to crater Enron and fleece the investors.
This had the second-order effect of destroying Andersen, one of the most prestigious
accounting firms of all time, because the Congress and The Peepul needed someone
to blame.  I am virtually certain that the bulk of Andersen partners did not
have anything to do with this nor did they participate themselves, but Andersen
as a whole pays the price.

In any case, this did not happen with the collusion of the President,
the Congress, the Supreme Court, the Fed or any of the rest of the government
bunch.  It is simply criminal behavior no different than someone robbing a
bank.  Congress, especially, is mostly not smart enough to participate
in this kind of fraud at any meaningful level - they're too busy giving my
money away to people in exchange for their votes.

> Make no mistake, the greedy evil-doers want high energy prices and high
> profits. Once upon a time the earths atmosphere had no oxygen. We are doing

No, the supply/demand curve for petroleum products dictates the prices we
now have.  The demand remains fairly constant (high) and the blithering idiots
in government, influenced by even bigger blithering idiots in the "environmental
movement" (aka the neo-Marxist, anti-capitalist, anti-freedom, anti-human movement)
see to it that the supply does not increase (which would reduce prices) by doing things
like ANWR drilling and building more nuclear power generation facilitites.  Just for
the record, I grew up in Alaska, and it is fair to say that the majority of the people
in the region strongly favor ANWR drilling.  But no,  we get to have US energy policy
dictated by a bunch of city-dwelling, sandal-wearing morons whose closest contact
with nature is watching 'Bambi' on the Disney Channel and who think Moose, Elk,
and Deer are 'cute'.

No entity - private or governmental - in all of modern economic
history (since the Enlightenment, say) has ever had sufficient power to
dictate pricing in free markets.  The only way market pricing can be overcome
is by means of violence - *forcing* someone to buy something at the price
you demand.  As far as I know, Exxon, Shell, BP, and the rest have not yet resorted
to sticking guns in our ears.  You are perfectly free to not buy petroleum
products if you think they are "overpriced."

> the planet a big favor by recycling all the carbon that is buried. If we
> don't volcanoes will. All the CO2 volcanoes can spew out gets turned into
> carbonates - limestone by sea creatures or hydrocarbons by plants, and gets
> buried again. Global warming is global greed - Europeans screaming the US

Global Warming is a political cause with barely tenuous science to support it
at best - or at least, barely tenuous science to support that a) Human action is
responsible for the observed warming and b) Such warming is bad for the planet.
For able refutations of the Global Warming Gasbags, see:

"The Sceptical Environmentalist", Bjorn Lomborg
(http://www.greeningearthsociety.org/Articles/2001/vca41.htm)

"The Satanic Gasses", Ballings & Michaels

There are also many web resources which lay to waste the religion of Global
Warming.  Just a few:

www.economist.com/opinion/displayStory.cfm?Story_ID=718860
www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2001-08/uoia-wpi082001.php
http://www.heartland.org/environment/apr01/evidence.htm

I wrote a brief summary of why the current Global Warming nonsense is more like religion than
science at:

http://www.tundraware.com/Musings/EnvMyths/environ-myth.html


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2002\06\04@183146 by Uri Sabadosh

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How about conflict of interest for starters. Smart people now say, that is
(was) part of the reason Enron and companiy did what they did.

Uri




{Original Message removed}

2002\06\04@184049 by michael brown

flavicon
face
> > I have to admit I don't follow the local police blotter reports from
> > Finland, so I don't know what the average speeding ticket is there.  I
do
>
> Hehe... It's based on your income. His ticket was over US $100K.

Ouch, that sounds pretty harsh.  However, since it was probably set to be a
% of his salary, there is some overall fairness in that.  How else could you
have a truly fare traffic fine, if the system allows people to just pay a
"tax" and keep driving recklessly?  This way it hurts the nokia guy equally
as bad as anyone else that gets a ticket.  Kind of like those incredible
sports fines that occur so often in the US.

As far as the appalling working conditions in newly industrializing
countries, isn't that normal?  Hasn't that always been the way?  England,
the US, and now many Asian and South American countries.  It just seems like
this has been some kind of "requirement" to achieve industrialized status.
I'm not saying it's a good thing by any stretch, but it sure seems like a
"normal" thing.

michael brown (just sayin')

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2002\06\04@185204 by M. Adam Davis

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face
Well, I know there are more than a dozen reasons why things weren't
changed at certian points along the way, but the one overriding idea is
that a free market corrects itself.

Enron failed because it was not playing nice with the market.  Some
people noticed, but either did nothing or were not in a position to do
anything.  So what happened?  The darwinish free market left it by the
roadside after it was gutted.  Enron is still alive and kicking, but no
one is rushing to their aid - everyone is busy analysing things and
fixing (or covering) weak points in their own business so the market
doesn't eat them up as well.

You'll find that history repeats itself, and like a sine wave everything
goes up and down.  It's far from a stable system, but it isn't
oscillating wildly either, and is (by and large) self correcting.

Money is the power by which the system runs.  Every component tries to
provide the path of least resistance to the power so they can get
more/move more money than the next component - but move too much without
adequate heat sinking and you'll find your company lets its magic smoke
out.  The power source is the consumer.  An ideal situation is where you
get money from the consumer and you give it directly back to the
consumer.  Most businesses, however, buy from other businesses and sell
to other businesses or some combination of that.

I could go on, but the gist of the issue is that it wasn't necessarilly
in the country's interest for the government to step in.  It's not
laissez faire (no regulation or subsidy whatsoever, IIRC) but it's not
complete regulation.  There is political corruption, but much of what's
percieved as corruption is simply the politician doing his/her job.
When a large company gets tax free land, a subsidy, a research grant in
my state it's not only because they lined the politician's pocket - it's
because it will proide jobs and improve the local economy - which is
good for everyone in the area, and that's one of the reasons to choose a
good polician.

But there are a diverse array of opinions/thoughts on this exact
subject, and I'm simply glad we have much freedom to choose how things go.

-Adam

Uri Sabadosh wrote:

>Don't you guys see? Why the government did not fix the accounting laws (and
>many others)? Because of the money influence. As long as there are
>contributions and lobbyists the system is not fixed just being tinkered
>with.
>
>Uri
>
>
>
>{Original Message removed}

2002\06\04@185545 by Jim

flavicon
face
How about:

  "Invest wisely in companies you know something about: what
   their products are, what the state of their business
   environment is in."

(Aside from just a wide-open discussion about morals that is ...)

The Motley Fool wrote about those guys (Enron) several years
back - and asked some pretty pointed questions like: What
kind of shape would Enron be in if a biggie like the CBOT
(Chicago Board of Options) decided to get into "Energy Trading"
like Enron pioneered?

(Energy trading was what did Enron in - as the cost of natural
gas plummeted that last year Enron was still doing business)?


Jim


{Original Message removed}

2002\06\04@190225 by Jim

flavicon
face
  "As far as the appalling working conditions in newly
   industrializing countries, isn't that normal?"

Was that one of the requirements for the larger company
coming into the country - that everyone would give up
running water and working sewer systems as well as abandon
the five-day forty-hour work-week?

I wouldn't do that ...

Jim


{Original Message removed}

2002\06\04@190637 by Jinx

face picon face
> Oh, I forgot, those big corporations don't go into third world
> countries in order to make gobs of money. They do it to help
> the starving people. That's what the shareholders want more
> than anything else, social justice
> :)
>
> "pinko" Bob

It's called "Trickle Down Theory" eh Bob.

The "haves" say "buy our products, give us money, we'll pass it on".

The "have nots" see it as being peed on from ever-greater heights
if the company profits never make it past the fat cats

So, what happens if you buy a product made in a "3rd World"
economy, especially if it's not that much good, but you can't
resist a bargain. Who are you supporting - the multi-national
or the workers who made it ? By buying that item, are you
encouraging the manufacture of shoddy merchandise, or doing
your bit to give the workers a leg up ?

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2002\06\04@191245 by Jinx

face picon face
> Finland?  Small, rather typical European industrialized consumer
> economy, relatively recently independent from Russia, flourishing
> on commerce and trade

Home of Santa Claus, Dale......... (don't forget to do an age
check on list members before you bad-mouth Santa ;-)) )

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2002\06\04@191512 by Jim

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Blame it, ultimately, on nature.

I have needs: to drink, to eat, to breathe and
the need (in my society) to be clothed.

I have a budget to meet those needs (well, most
of them) and I strike the 'deal' that I see as
most profitable to me - when I shop the market.


How do you guys 'shop'?

How often does your 'conscience' enter into the
buy decision when cruising "the market"?

Jim


{Original Message removed}

2002\06\04@193206 by Jinx

face picon face
>
> How do you guys 'shop'?
>
> How often does your 'conscience' enter into the
> buy decision when cruising "the market"?

I'd have to say, honestly, the first requirement is value
for money. Am I getting a reasonable product at a
reasonable price ? We have a few $2 shops around here.
Some good stuff in there, but I give you the example
of some $2 tool kits. Not too bad really, but you would
not want to use the modelling knife - the plastic fell
apart when I took the wrapper off. It's that sort of junk
that is NOT value for money, as basically I've just made
a charitable donation to the $2 shop (if I chose not to
spend 1/2 hour getting my $2 back). Market forces should
take care of dodgy merchandise - if it's no bloody good,
no one will buy it, except it's never that simple is it. You
do need a certain determination not to be tempted by
what looks, at first glance, to be a bargain

That value for money also applies to brand names. I've
a pair of NZ-made work steel-capped boots that are
nearly 10 years old, yet they are in excellent condition.
They cost $30. I could've paid 4 times that. I will not pay
for a label. For example there is a huge array of trainers
that are not Nike. Luckiliy I'm past all that peer-pressure
business that teens go through, although at the time I was
a teen, yes it did matter if you had Levis or Amco, and you
got some stick if you turned up in anything less

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2002\06\04@194902 by rad0

picon face
you guys are spending a lot of time on this one....

for me, seeing korea myself, has convinved me

20 years ago, all the kids there were running around with new
shoes, and you could buy factory rejects for 50 cents...

without the factories, many would have died or not been born

if the 'shut down the big bad factory' crowd had their way,
korea would not now be building computers and cars


ethiopia and most of africa would probably love to be making
a dollar a day, they are starving, and hacking each other
to death...a dollar a day factory would atleast give them something
else to do...

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2002\06\04@202736 by Shawn Mulligan

picon face
>ethiopia and most of africa would probably love to be making
>a dollar a day, they are starving, and hacking each other
>to death...a dollar a day factory would atleast give them something
>else to do...
>
My wife, who was born in Ethiopia, agrees. Making a dollar a day in Canada
or the United States is not the same as making a dollar a day in a
third-world country. For example, six month's salary for an Internet cafe
worker in Ghana is about $100US. No multi-nationals involved --that's just
what the working class make. North American's wouldn't perform
third-world-style menial tasks for even 8-$10 per hour, yet we're great
consumers of third-world products -- electronics, clothing, food. And so it
goes...

_________________________________________________________________
Chat with friends online, try MSN Messenger: http://messenger.msn.com

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2002\06\04@204650 by Russell McMahon

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flavicon
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> It seem that most of the socialists on this list

Interesting. Have you mayhaps a socialist detector there :-) ?
I would have great difficulty being sure (or even fairly confident) that a
particular opinion here was being expressed by a Socialist. I imagine that
you are not falling into the trap of labelling people XYZalists because they
are expressing an opinion different than your own or attempting to discern
"truth' in an admittedly muddy arena. Do my views trigger your Socialist
detector? I would not so label myself but I'm happy enough to wear the label
if it helps someone else understand me. Trouble is, most labels are more
useful in helping us categorise others so that we can reject them rather
than try to see things from theor perspective.

> think these changes occur instantly

Interestingly, I haven't concluded that anyone who has posted on this thread
so far holds this opinion. I suspect that even the most starry eyed amongst
us is well enough versed in the real world that they know what it takes to
change things. Are you *seriously* suggesting people think this ?

> and as if the 'norm' has been THE NORM since time immortal

this is liable to be truer. It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking
history only extends as far as our unsupported memories will reach.

>- and that ALL societies ought to be changed NOW,

are you suggesting that desirable changes that COULD be achieved "now"
SHOULDN'T be achieved "now" ? Why?

> as if a switch could be thrown and all things made 'right'.

This is risking confusing what "ought" to be done with what "can" be done.
The two seldom match exactly. The problem with the above argument is that it
encourages people (not necessarily the writer) to argue (or rather, act)
along the lines "This should be done but it can't be done now so I don't
need to do it now so I don't need to do anything".

There are, of course, no "could" or "should" or "right' without absolute
terms of reference. If one does not acknowledge the existence of absolutes
(even if they exist)(or of they don't)  then one can skip from one argument
or defence to the next and, if there are no absolutes, that is indeed an
entirely valid thing to do, for on what grounds is anyone to say otherwise.
In the absence of absolutes I (and we all) have no obligations to anyone
else, be they kin or countryman or person_somewhere_far_away, EXCEPT that
which they can compel us to have. Which is in recent times a sore point
indeed and two other topics (almost) entirely.

> And that seems to be how TV news seems to portray it too ...

Just turn it off (or watch BBC)   :-)


           Russell McMahon

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2002\06\04@204853 by Russell McMahon

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> I don't agree with it, but neither am I someone who sees things as
> black-or-white. The world is gray (mostly brown, actually).

With a large tint of yellow therein :-)
Over 20% of the world population is "Chinese" at present.
"Chinese" of course encompasses a large range of historically separate
races.
Or were you referring to the colour of the ground ? :-)



           RM

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2002\06\04@205305 by Dale Botkin

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On Tue, 4 Jun 2002, Bob Blick wrote:

> > I have to admit I don't follow the local police blotter reports from
> > Finland, so I don't know what the average speeding ticket is there.  I do
>
> Hehe... It's based on your income. His ticket was over US $100K.

That would piss me right off...  if I commit the same offense as Joe
Schmoe a block away, I should expect to pay the same penalty.  Some brands
of "social justice" don't make any sense to me...  one more reason I'm not
looking to emigrate to some "worker's paradise".

Dale

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2002\06\04@205515 by Shawn Mulligan

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>>The world is gray (mostly brown, actually).

Blue, really.

_________________________________________________________________
MSN Photos is the easiest way to share and print your photos:
http://photos.msn.com/support/worldwide.aspx

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2002\06\04@211217 by Dale Botkin

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On Tue, 4 Jun 2002, Jim wrote:

>    "As far as the appalling working conditions in newly
>     industrializing countries, isn't that normal?"
>
> Was that one of the requirements for the larger company
> coming into the country - that everyone would give up
> running water and working sewer systems as well as abandon
> the five-day forty-hour work-week?

No, the reason the bigger sompany comes in is that the candidate work
force doesn't *have* those things to begin with.  A few years later, they
will.  I'd call that progress.  I saw Korea in the early 80's, before
anyone had ever heard of Hyundai or Samsung or Daewoo or Kia or even
Lotte...  I hear it's much better there now, after a coupel decades of
greedy capitalist exploitation.

Dale

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2002\06\04@211428 by Dale Botkin

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On Wed, 5 Jun 2002, Jinx wrote:

> So, what happens if you buy a product made in a "3rd World"
> economy, especially if it's not that much good, but you can't
> resist a bargain. Who are you supporting - the multi-national
> or the workers who made it ? By buying that item, are you
> encouraging the manufacture of shoddy merchandise, or doing
> your bit to give the workers a leg up ?

Ummmmm...  yes.

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2002\06\04@211436 by Dale Botkin

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Nonsense!  Everyone known Santa lives atht e North Pole ;)

Dale

On Wed, 5 Jun 2002, Jinx wrote:

> > Finland?  Small, rather typical European industrialized consumer
> > economy, relatively recently independent from Russia, flourishing
> > on commerce and trade
>
> Home of Santa Claus, Dale......... (don't forget to do an age
> check on list members before you bad-mouth Santa ;-)) )

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2002\06\04@212048 by Jim

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BBC?

You're kidding  - right?  (From the country that pioneered socialism?)

As to who is or isn't 'a socialist' the views expressed by several
certainly seem to fall into that category.

Those who would see someone, usually a government entity,
perhaps the UN, oversee, regulate or control the fates and fortunes
of others because they *perceive* certain possible social ills or
perceive oppression or in-equitable trade in my book overwhelming deserve
classification with that label.

Do you have an objection to such 'clinical' use of the term?

If so, why? Is it your background, training or experiences that attach
a negative connotation to that term?

If it makes you feel any better - you may call me a 'free trader' or
'a capitalist' and you will hear nary a whimper from me ...

BTW, nice touch dissecting and commenting on only this single
editorial, line by line, for the purposes of rendering certain
parts 'nicely out of context' with the rest of the discussion that
has taken place on this subject ...

Jim


{Original Message removed}

2002\06\04@212106 by Uri Sabadosh

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Investing wisely has no connection to what Enron did to California and it's
own employees 401K.

Uri


{Original Message removed}

2002\06\04@212933 by Russell McMahon

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> How often does your 'conscience' enter into the
> buy decision when cruising "the market"?

Any time I go shopping with my brother :-)



       RM

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2002\06\04@212957 by Russell McMahon

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Jim said

> Beware that which *sounds* too good to be true!

OK. We agree. This piece of good advice (which I agree with) is trotted out
often, usually soon after people have been badly burned by not thinking of
it beforehand.  Let's see if / how it applies to the current argument.

- Will work for (far far less than) food.

- Will work twice as many hours a week as "our" workers for the above income

- Don't expect and / or can't afford health care we would expect as normal
and/or essential. Will tolerate disease rates and mortality levels far
beyond what "we" will.

- Can be replaced from an endless labour pool waiting to take their jobs so
that "supply and demand" pressures do not drive up wages in the short to
medium term.

- Children of almost any age who can do a useful job will be employed to do
a useful job (and paid proportionately).

- Will happily and indefinitely churn out quality products for our use at a
very very very small fraction of the cost that we would do it for (in real
or absolute terms).

Too good to be true?

If not, then please send me your children asap - do I have a job for them!
Hey, at these rates I'll even pay the airfare (1 way)(special conditions
apply).
You can come too of course (is $NZ1 a day OK - we're poorer over here :-) )

Socialist utopia pie in the sky give-them-US-rates-and-conditions-right-now
is obviously unrealistic and unachievable. But what is done now which is
largely driven by what-the-market-will-(for now)-bear is also unrealistic.
There obviously has to be a balance and this is not it. Only those who have
no maker to stand before and no other belief in their obligation to
equitable treatment of their fellow man should sleep easy.

An independent late breaking thought. If we drew a chart with a continuum
between the typical western standard of living and that of the salve labour
workers "employed" by the Nazis in WW2 to produce eg V2 rockets, where on
the chart would you plot the conditions in various "3rd world" countries who
supply Western markets. Would be interesting to do.



       Russell McMahon

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2002\06\04@214421 by Jim

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Those employees had opportunity to shuffle around their
funds - those who had been there for the requisite
time period that is.

Sadly, not all were vested time-wise to be able to
move their 'funds' out of Enron stock.

The news accounts, BTW, were HIGHLY inaccurate that
Enron stock was FROZEN during the entire time that
the stock price 'slid' down - there was a week or
two period (that was it!) where access was frozen to
Enron stock.

Beyond that - one should also research who one is
working for as opposed to simply taking up with
some schlock firm! I think that the *promise* and
glitter of working in a perceived high-flyer as
Enron lured in many - BUT AGAIN there were a few
realists out there advising caution regarding
Enron and it's *risky* move into "Energy Trading".

What did Enron do to California?

Enron had nothing to do with California *freezing* the
price that electricity retailers could charge customers
when Cali instituted it's idea of "De-regulation" -
- and when Cali had an electricity *shortage* year before
year that forced the wholesale price on the *spot* market
up *without* any recourse for the retailers to recover
those costs (THAT"S why the State of Cali stepped in
and assumed that debt) ...

1) Are you for or against free markets?

2) Did Soviet-style Communism and central-planning work
better than western "free market" approach in accomodating
elastic supply and demand issues?


I only ask those questions to get some idea of your thinking
regarding things economic and 'market' wise ...


Jim


{Original Message removed}

2002\06\04@214844 by Jim

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It looks like you missed some earlier discussion on this
topic this evening.

Would you like to to resend an item or two?

Jim


{Original Message removed}

2002\06\04@215048 by Russell McMahon

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> > > I have to admit I don't follow the local police blotter reports from
> > > Finland, so I don't know what the average speeding ticket is there.  I
do
> >
> > Hehe... It's based on your income. His ticket was over US $100K.
>
> That would piss me right off...

It works !!!
That is indeed the object of the fine.
A "normal" fine, which has just that affect on Joe Average, would fail to
have any great affect on a millionaire.

> if I commit the same offense as Joe
> Schmoe a block away, I should expect to pay the same penalty.  Some brands
> of "social justice" don't make any sense to me...  one more reason I'm not
> looking to emigrate to some "worker's paradise".

Let's see if I can make sense of this one for you.
The condition for car driving is generally accepted as part of a social
contract. You all agree to share a road together and behave in a manner
which you jointly agree on to balance risks and benefits. If speeds etc are
set too low it takes too long to get places and may pollute more. If speeds
are too high the danger versus utility increases. An acceptable compromise
is set BY THE MAJORITY. (If you don't like how that part is arrived at, see
your Congress critter - we don't have them here - that part is another
issue.) However, once a social contract is set there will be some who
immediately seek to abrogate it. Penalties are set to encourage people to
keep it. Those who disagree may go and play somewhere else (eg buy a Lear
Jet). However, if a penalty is set in absolute dollar terms it has a
disproportionate deterrent affect probably in inverse proportion to the
square of your disposable income. Once you hit $1 million a year or so a
$400 fine isn't going to deter at all. IF the social contract enforcement
aspects are going to have real affect at all levels they need to have a
similar affect at all levels. It appears that Finland STILL hasn't got it
right as somebody is prepared to knowingly risk a $100k fine. If he wasn't
knowing that this was the risk he is probably as stupid as he is rich.

Now, I know you know all that and I didn't have to spell it out but as I
genuinely can't understand that you can't understand that this is in fact
"the same penalty" in the Finnish case I have done so so that we can be sure
what we mutually understand :-). (I think that make sense :-)).

Seriously, why is this NOT fair? What would be a fair way of discouraging
millionaires from speeding? Assuming that prevention of breaking of social
contract is a reasonable act (and some think it's not), should millionaires
be allowed to speed more than average people?



       Russell McMahon

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2002\06\04@215500 by Dale Botkin

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On Wed, 5 Jun 2002, Russell McMahon wrote:

> An independent late breaking thought. If we drew a chart with a continuum
> between the typical western standard of living and that of the salve labour
> workers "employed" by the Nazis in WW2 to produce eg V2 rockets, where on
> the chart would you plot the conditions in various "3rd world" countries who
> supply Western markets. Would be interesting to do.

About 2/3 of the way up the curve.  Conditions in various other "3rd
world" countries *NOT* supplying Western markets would be lower (places
like Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Laos, Angola).  Conditions in those countries
that *used to* simply supply Western markets (Japan, Korea, Taiwan, etc)
would be further up the curve.

Last time I checked, there were no reports of unemployed Malaysians or
Chinese being gassed or sent to the ovens.  I'd call that a pretty big
step up the "curve".

Dale

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2002\06\04@215512 by Jim

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How far back does your historical perspective go back Russel?

5 years?

10 years?

Have people in your country always had running water,
sewage systems and electricity?

At what point in your country did the labor movement
achieve some gains on behalf or the workers in the
sweatshops there?

Do you know who it was (what company) and in what era the
forty hour work week was established in the USA?

Can you go back 100 years in your historical perspective?

Jim

{Original Message removed}

2002\06\04@220650 by Dale Botkin

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On Wed, 5 Jun 2002, Russell McMahon wrote:

> > > > I have to admit I don't follow the local police blotter reports from
> > > > Finland, so I don't know what the average speeding ticket is there.  I
> do
> > >
> > > Hehe... It's based on your income. His ticket was over US $100K.
> >
> > That would piss me right off...
>
> It works !!!
> That is indeed the object of the fine.
> A "normal" fine, which has just that affect on Joe Average, would fail to
> have any great affect on a millionaire.

I disagree.  I work with and know several pretty wealthy people...  in
general, they don't have any greater tendency to violate the law than I
do.  They could indeed afford to do so, up to a point.  See, in the US (or
at least in every state I've lived in) if you get caught speeding too many
times, you lose your license., If you're caught driving without a license,
you are likely to end up in jail, which I think you would agree is just a
sbig a deal to the average millionaire as, say, Joe Six-Pack -- if not
more.

You seem to make the assumption, which I note is much mnore common among
those with socialist leanings, that the rich are more likely to ignore
laws.  I have found the opposite to be true.

> > if I commit the same offense as Joe
> > Schmoe a block away, I should expect to pay the same penalty.  Some brands
> > of "social justice" don't make any sense to me...  one more reason I'm not
> > looking to emigrate to some "worker's paradise".


> Let's see if I can make sense of this one for you.

<long pedantic rambling snipped...>

> Seriously, why is this NOT fair? What would be a fair way of discouraging
> millionaires from speeding? Assuming that prevention of breaking of social
> contract is a reasonable act (and some think it's not), should millionaires
> be allowed to speed more than average people?

No, but neither should they be penalized more simply because they have
more money.  Now instead of penalizing the poor with substandard working
conditions, you're penalizing the rich with a far greater penalty for the
same crime.

By your standards, if a rich person gets life in prison for murder, a poor
unemployed moron on the dole should be out in a week.

You can't bait me into class envy, I've worked my way up (and down, and
back up) through several of them and still haven't managed to work up a
good self-righteous attitude about either end of the spectrum.

Dale

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2002\06\04@222503 by Andrew Hooper

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Hmm, Where I lived we had no power, phone and the creek
was the closest to running water we had (northland 1984)

I wonder, Is that $1.00 before or after tax?

The other thing I wonder is.. Do these people pay for the
land they are living on?

I know several people in NZ who are earning $6.00 per hour
take the tax out of that, then rates, then gst on what you purchase
and then work out what its going to cost you for a roof over your
head, and thats before food.

Andrew

{Original Message removed}

2002\06\04@224003 by Jinx

face picon face
> Nonsense!  Everyone known Santa lives atht e North Pole ;)
>
> Dale

Right back at ya - people who live in Gdansk are North Polish.
Santa is officially a Lapp. You are possibly getting confused
with Santa Inc HQ and Mail Centre

http://www.lappland.net/

Frinstance, no reindeer at t'North Pole, just stamp collectors
and paper recyclers

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2002\06\04@225522 by Pic Dude

flavicon
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Considering where this thread started, how does all
of this help restore my LiIon battery condition? :-)

Cheers,
-Neil.



{Original Message removed}

2002\06\04@230545 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
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> Considering where this thread started, how does all
> of this help restore my LiIon battery condition? :-)

Are you some sort of a Socialist or something ???

:-)

More (maybe) on the other good questions sometime.
I've got to rush off to attend to a severe case of system failure (happens
to be a single PC but it's, almost, the lifeblood of the user, alas.



       RM

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2002\06\04@232506 by tundra

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Uri Sabadosh wrote:
>
> Investing wisely has no connection to what Enron did to California and it's
> own employees 401K.
>
> Uri
>

Just to be sure we're all calibrated on what Enron "did" to its
employees 401k:  The Enron contribution to the employees 401K was locked
for 2 weeks for an administrative change.  This is a fairly common
practice when 401K administrative changes are made and not unique
to Enron AFAIKT.  During this time, the stock fell from something like
$9 to $7, but as I understand it, this would only have affected the
stock that the *company contributed*, not the direct employee
contributions.

More importantly, the vast majority of the employee stock
equity loss occurred long *before* there were any 401K "locks".  In
Jan 2001, Enron stock traded around $70, so the employees had almost
a full year to liquidate and diversify their holdings, including the
company-contributed stock which was fully vested.

There are two huge problems with Enron:

1) The senior management team played sleight-of-hand with the bookkeeping
  thereby misleading all the investors - which includes those employees
  which held stock.

2) A significant number of *employees* failed to practices sound investment
  practices and kept "all their eggs in one basket", so to speak.
  While the loss of employee retirement funds is indeed tragic, I find
  it troublesome that Enron leadership is (rightly) criticized for their
  unethical practices and "greed', but the popular reporting on the topic
  almost inevitably fails to comment on the *employee* "greed" that caused
  them to allow their futures to be placed in such a high risk position.  Even/
  especially if the empoloyees in question where unsophisiticated investors,
  they should have sought professional investment advice from a financial
  planner.  Such a planner would almost certainly have recommended liquidating
  and diversifying these unbalanced portfolios.  (The guy I get advice from
  recommends that no more than *4%* of your total assets should be in any
  one company's equity instruments.)
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2002\06\04@232514 by M. Adam Davis

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face
LiIons only recharge 500 times or so, compared to 800 and more times for
NiCd and NiMH.

Right now no one is saying how to get one up and going again.  It'll
come eventually, but were I you I'd let it go and get a new pack.

You ought to research them and make sure you are doing the things that
will ensure long life.

-Adam

Pic Dude wrote:

>Considering where this thread started, how does all
>of this help restore my LiIon battery condition? :-)
>
>Cheers,
>-Neil.
>
>
>
>{Original Message removed}

2002\06\04@235710 by Jinx

face picon face
> Considering where this thread started, how does all
> of this help restore my LiIon battery condition? :-)
>

"Dear Santa, is that sled of yours FAA-approved to carry
batteries ? I'd like for Christmas, PDQ if possible, is....."

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2002\06\05@005319 by Scott Stephens

picon face
From: Jim <RemoveMEjvpollEraseMEspamKILLspamDALLAS.NET>
Subject: Re: [OT]: $1-a-day wages


>I'm in the US, I've lived here all of my life and I
>don't worship Mamon - wasn't this little piece just
>a little bit too much of a generalization?


Yes. I'm the seventh man of Indostan - the one the Elephant dumped on, and
was left out of the account.
(http://aries.phys.yorku.ca/~mmdr/elephant_theology.html )


>I wonder why that is ... someone who thinks they didn't
>get their fair share of the 'wealth pie'?


I don't believe in the 'wealth pie' to the extent the government does not
coerce me into paying for a good or service. They do owe me Social Security,
military protection, and every other service they extort revenue by force of
arms. But its so easy for them to say one day, "we will fight a war on
poverty - give us money"! And the next day say, "we meant well, but we are
enabling dependancy and sloth, and are too corrupt and stupid to be
effective, so we're quiting. Sorry we won't pay you back". But if I live to
collect my Social Security check, I'm sure they can print enough dollars to
cover the debt.

I'll bet corporate accountants just love how the government can borrow on
Social Security. But they don't own the mint.

>Sounds like a piece truly borne out of the 'soul of
>jealousy' - I could be wrong.

If I had been permitted to emulate predatory behavior, dominating and
degrading others with force and deception, I think I would be a fat, dumb
and happy predator too. I have played the role, but I'm not proud of it. I'm
like many that are angry over being robbed. You could say I'm jealous I play
the role of victim rather than thief. Cops and robbers is not a game I
voluntarily play. God willing, the predators will leave me for an easier
victim. Maybe if enough people shout "THIEF", then lock and load, and even
shoot at a few, the thiefs would go away.

>Which reminds me, I need get back to worshipping
>Mamon -er- I mean back to work/'making a living' ...


There is dignity in work. Ever see the Simpsons episode where Homer's boss,
Mr Burns, pays him to humiliate himself? Don't work too hard, or sell your
soul. I found life isn't without one. God makes you pay a high price if you
ask for it back.

Scott

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2002\06\05@005334 by Scott Stephens

picon face
From: Jim <.....jvpollspamRemoveMEDALLAS.NET>
Subject: Re: [OT]: $1-a-day wages


>Hmmm ... up to 'saving the world' all alone?


No, just venting my hostility at it. Writing is good therapy. I'll cry all
the tears God gives me to cry as best I can.

Scott

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2002\06\05@005339 by Scott Stephens

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From: Tim Daneliuk <EraseMEtundraRemoveMEspamSTOPspamTUNDRAWARE.COM>
Subject: Re: [OT]: $1-a-day wages


>Scott Stephens wrote:
>
>> The US worships Mamon; the God of greed. I am continualy amazed Our Lord
>> Greenspan is able to show such self control with the balls of the beast -
>
>No, the US "worships" the priciple of self-determination: that you have
>a right to your time, your body, and your work product.

This is why vulnerable minorities were/are discriminated against? Is the
principle worshiped in spirit and truth, or worn like a fig leaf - a
cultural delusion?

>Pretty much every material possession you enjoy is because someone was
>"greedy" and wanted to make a profit.  Throughout the 10,000 or so years
>of recorded human history it was only the onset of capital markets and
>private enterprise that brought a meaningful middle-class into being.

To what extent does our greed drive our creativity, and to what extent does
our greed motivate us to bust the caps of our competitors in the race?

>What you say is mostly nonsense.  A *few* people at Enron in collusion with
>a *single* Andersen partner managed to crater Enron and fleece the
investors.

All upper management? No, they were shredding documents in England too. And
I'm sorry but anyone who says, "Fee ver jus vollowing orderz" has reduced
themselves from the status of individual, autonomous entity, to that of a
mere tool, a little piece of a greater organism. I've watched some of the
hearings, Andersen wanted to set one person up as the scapegoat, but
congress to its credit, wouldn't have it.

>This had the second-order effect of destroying Andersen, one of the most
prestigious
>accounting firms of all time,

They are three time losers. They enabled a couple other corporation to screw
up big time too (Waste Management?). A billion stolen here and there adds
up. They can rot in hell for all I care (the corporate entity). I just wish
there was a time and date crowds of their victims could gather and cheer as
the switch gets thrown!

>In any case, this did not happen with the collusion of the President,
>the Congress, the Supreme Court, the Fed or any of the rest of the
government
>bunch.

I can't believe the SEC didn't know what was going on! The IRS with those
offshore entities! You put your money in one of those banks! They call it
tax evasion. As Orwell said, "Some animals are more equal than others".

>> Make no mistake, the greedy evil-doers want high energy prices and high
>> profits. Once upon a time the earths atmosphere had no oxygen. We are
doing

>No, the supply/demand curve for petroleum products dictates the prices we
>now have.

The government gets the price it wants. Our military insures it. The human
race lives on petroleum, it is our blood.

>  The demand remains fairly constant (high) and the blithering idiots
>in government, influenced by even bigger blithering idiots in the
"environmental
>movement" (aka the neo-Marxist, anti-capitalist, anti-freedom, anti-human
movement)

Do you really believe the worlds governments that go to war over oil, the
lifes blood of mankind, would allow a bunch of usefull idiots to throttle
economies without good cause? Maybe we do need to conserve and share. What
we don't need is to be treated like children, which only exacerbates the
hubris of politicians. The more politicians and media see and treat the
public as ignorant, irresponsible children, the more oppressed we will be.

>But no,  we get to have US energy policy
>dictated by a bunch of city-dwelling, sandal-wearing morons whose closest
contact
>with nature is watching 'Bambi' on the Disney Channel and who think Moose,
Elk,
>and Deer are 'cute'.


If the tree huggers really do have that kind of influence, the worlds
governments are really stupid. Smart enough to manage massive military
organizations, design microchips, nuclear devices, but too stupid to ignore
sandal-wearing morons. Sorry, I can't believe it. Maybe its true.

>As far as I know, Exxon, Shell, BP, and the rest have not yet resorted
>to sticking guns in our ears.  You are perfectly free to not buy petroleum
>products if you think they are "overpriced."


We are also free not to breath air or drink water and die.

Scott

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2002\06\05@005347 by Scott Stephens

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From: Jim <spamBeGonejvpollspam@spam@DALLAS.NET>
Subject: Re: [OT]: $1-a-day wages


>I have a budget to meet those needs (well, most
>of them) and I strike the 'deal' that I see as
>most profitable to me - when I shop the market.
>
>How do you guys 'shop'?
>
>How often does your 'conscience' enter into the
>buy decision when cruising "the market"?


Stop me before I sin again! When you are in a competition, do you degrade
yourself by paying a higher price? Will you be the first on your block to
free your slaves, and go out of business? Better to shoot the slave traders!
Isn't that what government is for? If the US President breaks his oath,
suborns perjury, takes bribes, obfuscates and redefines words, how can we
expect more from corporate CEO's?

Scott

**********************************************************
If you are cheater 1 of 10, shame on you. If you are cheater 1 of 3, shame
on your leaders, shame on your culture, and shame on you if you get caught.

In a government of laws, existence of the government will be imperiled
if it fails to observe the law scrupulously. Our Government is the
potent, the omnipresent teacher. For good or for ill, it teaches the
whole people by its example. - Justice Brandeis - Olmstead v. US, 277 U.S.
438(1928)
**********************************************************

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2002\06\05@015401 by Peter L. Peres

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I hate to join this kind of firestarter thread but I've come up with an
idea that may be utopic, or may be good.

I think that a system of import duties that relate to the real (as
evaluated by an expert panel *outside* the country of provenience) per
capita income would slowly fix this. This would mean that products made in
a country with a low income would pay high import duties, and one with a
high income, would pay low ones. This would wipe most of the price gap and
labor cost gap and allow competition on a quality basis. As a side effect
the 'cheap bargain c**p' would disappear and local manufacturing would
re-start in developed countries.

A developing country exporting would have to see that its workers get paid
reasonably well or else pay through the nose for the extra high import
duties.

Any country trying to cheat by setting too high import taxes to boost
local industry even more would be quickly rewarded by homemade expensive
c**p and possibly inflation if maintained for too long, to which electors
would respond vigorously.

Of course this is a kind of utopia under the present world market
situation and mentality. But if I'd be in a position to propose such a
thing I'd give it a good look.

Peter

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2002\06\05@035953 by Jafta

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And this would mean that I can not afford the Nike or what-ever-make
that I wear at the moment.  The reason that products get manufactured
at 1$/day in countries like mine, is to make it MORE affordable.

Regards

Chris A

{Original Message removed}

2002\06\05@063450 by Russell McMahon

face
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>...... who think Moose, Elk, and Deer are 'cute'.

They're not ???


           RM

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2002\06\05@081153 by Hazelwood Lyle

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Just my thoughts on the matter..


>I hate to join this kind of firestarter thread I am wary as well, it's a difficult topic.

>I think that a system of import duties that relate to the real (as
>evaluated by an expert panel *outside* the country of provenience) per
>capita income would slowly fix this. This would mean that products made
in
>a country with a low income would pay high import duties, and one with
a
>high income, would pay low ones. This would wipe most of the price gap
and
>labor cost gap and allow competition on a quality basis. As a side
effect
>the 'cheap bargain c**p' would disappear and local manufacturing would
>re-start in developed countries.

Based purely on my own observations and opinions, this would be a well-
intentioned bad idea. Any time that government assigns itself the
responsibility of regulating business, we all lose. The ideals of "free
market"
are self regulating, based on supply and demand. Any external forces
that seek to modify them can only harm the system.

Personally, I'd like to see our constitution amended to include a
"separation
of business and State". Our government is paying farmers to _NOT_ grow
crops
as a form of price control. This is ridiculous to me, especially when I
realize
that they are using my tax dollars to do it!

Many big business and corporate partners run to
the government for regulation anytime that offshore competition
threatens
to take a "share" of their market. Welcome to the real world, folks. If
someone
else makes a better product for a better price, I will PROBABLY buy it.
It is not in
my best interest to protect anyone from fair competition.

There are exceptions. There are some companies I avoid because I don't
like
their business ethics. I respond by not buying their products.

All other things equal, I prefer to buy American. This week I had to buy
two new cars. This is a very BIG expense in my budget. I need to get the
best value for my dollar that I can. My own experience/opinion is that
Toyota makes a fine car that is very reliable. If I could find an
American
made car with as good engineering/construction as a Toy, and a
comparable
price, I'd be right there.

My wife and I now drive matching Chevy Prizm's. Built here in America in
an assembly plant shared with Toyota. Rather than asking for
"protection"
from imports, Chevrolet decided to cooperate with them. The result for
me is the car I want, at a price I can afford, from an American company.


>Any country trying to cheat by setting too high import taxes to boost
>local industry even more would be quickly rewarded by homemade
expensive
>c**p and possibly inflation if maintained for too long, to which
electors
>would respond vigorously.

Electors SHOULD respond vigorously. Unfortunately here in the US the
choices
are too slim and the office of President is more commonly chosen based
on
party lines or a cantidates ability to look and act smooth. Too often
those
who do bother to vote choose based on the perceived lesser of the two
evils.
I voted for "X" because I don't want "Y" in the office.

>Of course this is a kind of utopia under the present world market
>situation and mentality. But if I'd be in a position to propose such a
>thing I'd give it a good look.

While I don't agree with all your points, I respect your right to an
opinion, and
I appreciate the opportunity to compare your perspectives with my own.

My reply is for similar reasons: I don't offer it as an argument, simply
as
another individuals thoughts on the subject.

If someone reading this has strongly opposing views, I congratulate you
for
having an opinion! I respect your right to choose, please respect mine.

Lyle Hazelwood

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2002\06\05@084750 by Joe Farr

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It's funny how this subject stirs strong reactions in people.

Lyle, well said !

Of course the question is 'why' are some of these countries in this mess in the first place and how do they get out of it - and I say 'they' get out and not us help them out. People are basically stupid (no disrespect to anybody reading this) and only learn from their own mistakes. They need to implement a solution themselves if their to solve their problems. Personally, I believe that these countries, and perhaps the rest of the world are missing the point in the word 'trade'.
Trade - I give you something you want, and you give me something I want.
It's worth is in how bad you want what I have, and how bad I want what you've got.
It would be interesting to see a system where you can't export goods unless you import goods of exactly the same value. If you want to sell your million dollars of footballs to another country, you have to import a million dollars of goods from a country (not necessarily the same one you sell to).
Local governments would make their whack on charging import duty on items.
Now if your a poor country that's wanting to export a million dollars of footballs, your being forced to accept a million dollars worth of goods. Those goods are going to end up with the people. Eventually, your going to have to import what the people want else your going to be out of government.
You set the value of the goods being imported and exported by their street value and not their 'perceived worth' so there's no fiddling.

But hey, I'm no economist - just a person who lives in a country where I've got plenty to eat and can spend my free time moaning about the price of that new 60" TV I've got my eye on.



{Original Message removed}

2002\06\05@094642 by M. Adam Davis

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Depends on how fast they're moving, and whether they are moving towards
or away from you.  :-)

-Adam

Russell McMahon wrote:

{Quote hidden}

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2002\06\05@101417 by Rex Byrns

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> > It works !!!
> > That is indeed the object of the fine.
> > A "normal" fine, which has just that affect on Joe Average,
> would fail to
> > have any great affect on a millionaire.
>

America has this same form of a "fine" --- it is called health insurance.

"Oh, you have insurance so that hospital blanket will cost you $125 (and
dont try to take it home)"
"Oh, you dont have insurance?  That blanket will not appear on your
bill." -- etc. . . etc . . . etc . . .

I have been both ways and it seems that with my 20%-80% policy, my 20% is
often more than what I pay total without insurance at all. (are we trying to
make more 'have nots'?)

(note: (without insurance) some county hospitals will still send you a bill
for the kagillions of dollars, but if you pay $10 a month for a year they
right off the overinflated amount as a loss to secure tax money the
following year)

Yes the socialist method is well in effect in America.

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2002\06\05@103151 by Herbert Graf

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I agree, you should pay the same penalty. Now, is a $100 fine for someone
who makes $20000/year the same penalty as a $100 fine for someone making $1
million/year? Of course not, $100 could mean the difference between eating
and not eating for the person with the $20000/year salary, for the $1
million/year salary person they won't even notice the $100. I hope this sort
of penalty formula comes to North America, maybe the rich would start taking
laws more seriously if a speeding ticket cost them $130000. TTYL


> {Original Message removed}

2002\06\05@110510 by rad0

picon face
rich people should pay more for everything they buy too,
there should be a rich-persons' price, and a normal price

those damn rich people...

----- Original Message -----
From: "Herbert Graf" <spam_OUTmailinglistspamKILLspamFARCITE.NET>
To: <RemoveMEPICLISTRemoveMEspamEraseMEMITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Sent: Wednesday, June 05, 2002 9:32 AM
Subject: Re: [OT]: $1-a-day wages


> I agree, you should pay the same penalty. Now, is a $100 fine for someone
> who makes $20000/year the same penalty as a $100 fine for someone making
$1
> million/year? Of course not, $100 could mean the difference between eating
> and not eating for the person with the $20000/year salary, for the $1
> million/year salary person they won't even notice the $100. I hope this
sort
> of penalty formula comes to North America, maybe the rich would start
taking
> laws more seriously if a speeding ticket cost them $130000. TTYL
>
>
> > {Original Message removed}

2002\06\05@110709 by Joe Farr

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They did try this in the UK (still do I think). It was called means adjusted fines, and speeding was one of the things that was means tested. The problem is as with any system, there's always ways around it.
For example, a company director typically doesn't pay himself a great salary but does give himself a great bonus at the end of the year. Since he's not at the end of the year and his company isn't doing as well as last year, the court doesn't know what his income actually is, so they fine him on his actual salary which is prob. less that a chap on social security/benefit payments.
They could of course run through his bank statements and 'average' up his income over the last say two years but I suppose there's ways around that and think what it would cost the court in time. And I suppose the court can't access his off shore bank accounts in any case.
They also introduced something called the poll tax whilst I'm on the subject. The idea was simple.
If there were 10 people living in the house over a certain age, they should pay more than a house that only has one person living in it, since, in theory, they use 10 times more community services.
Except that the house with 10 people in is a small two bedroomed house and the house with one person in it happens to have 30 miles of land around it and room for a small private airfield.... That scheme didn't work either and got tossed out of the window. Wonder how much of my tax money went in into dreaming up that bright idea.


The rich get richer and the poor get trodden on.... by the rich.
And that's an very large boot from where I'm sittin...



{Original Message removed}

2002\06\05@111126 by Jim

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Do we assess based on actual earnings, equity holdings,
real-estate holdings or IP holdings?

Do we assess at the first of the year, the middle of
the year or the end of the year?

Do we assess differently at the end of the year if
the 'holdings' that were in a stock that tanked?

How do we re-assess if the worth of those 'holdings'
as established at the first of the year diminished,
were destroyed or were given to offspring later in the
year?

How do we assess farm property (which can amount to
millions but produce only hundreds for a family
farmer) - which cannot easily be *sold* to pay a
silly speeding fine for 5 MPH or 10 KPH over some
ARBITRARY limit?

Perhaps we simply tie-in bank and stock accounts into
a main central government computer - better yet - we
let GOVERNMENT control those assets and BETTER make
decisions regarding the use of those assets!

We can call it "Central Planning*"!


... *wonderful* socialist ideas I hope never to see
implemented (some people seem to what the judgement of
heaven MORE expediantly than has been ordained - wait
long enough and you shall have it!)!

Jim


* No connection is implied or inferred to previous trys
at implementing "Central Planning" - as we now have the
computing power and networking (including wireless)
availble to equitably implememt such a system (See Orwell,
1984).

</heavy sarcasm>


----- Original Message -----
From: "Herbert Graf" <KILLspammailinglistspamspamBeGoneFARCITE.NET>
To: <PICLISTspamspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Sent: Wednesday, June 05, 2002 9:32 AM
Subject: Re: [OT]: $1-a-day wages


> I agree, you should pay the same penalty. Now, is a $100 fine for someone
> who makes $20000/year the same penalty as a $100 fine for someone making
$1
> million/year? Of course not, $100 could mean the difference between eating
> and not eating for the person with the $20000/year salary, for the $1
> million/year salary person they won't even notice the $100. I hope this
sort
> of penalty formula comes to North America, maybe the rich would start
taking
> laws more seriously if a speeding ticket cost them $130000. TTYL
>
>
> > {Original Message removed}

2002\06\05@111334 by Jim

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My envy is toward the middle class - so there
should be a "Middle-Class" price too.

Jim

/sarcasm

----- Original Message -----
From: "rad0" <RemoveMErden25spamBeGonespamRemoveMEMINDSPRING.COM>
To: <KILLspamPICLISTspamBeGonespamMITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Sent: Wednesday, June 05, 2002 10:02 AM
Subject: Re: [OT]: $1-a-day wages


{Quote hidden}

someone
> > who makes $20000/year the same penalty as a $100 fine for someone making
> $1
> > million/year? Of course not, $100 could mean the difference between
eating
> > and not eating for the person with the $20000/year salary, for the $1
> > million/year salary person they won't even notice the $100. I hope this
> sort
> > of penalty formula comes to North America, maybe the rich would start
> taking
> > laws more seriously if a speeding ticket cost them $130000. TTYL
> >
> >
> > > {Original Message removed}

2002\06\05@111555 by Bond, Peter

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Who is John Galt?

Peter
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2002\06\05@112456 by Jim

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   "rich people should pay more for everything
    they buy too, there should be a rich-persons'
    price, and a normal price"

This was tried in the US via something called "The
Luxury Tax" in the last decade.

Unfortunately, domestic production of so-called 'Luxury
Items' fell because *purchase* of such items declined
and turned out to hurt *those* who work to build such
items (which turns out to be a *lot* of middle class
peoples).

Moral of the story:

  "Go ahead - *Tax* my day (and I'll seek alternatives)!

Most socialists (and government types), it turns out, view
these 'systems' as wholy in-elastic and completely static
and do *not* take into account the dynamic adapatability
of those *making* the decisions when they spend their
dollars.

The only real alternative  to prevent these end-runs
around 'the system' is total government control (See
'Soviet Union', defunct 1990).

Jim




----- Original Message -----
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To: <RemoveMEPICLISTspamspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Sent: Wednesday, June 05, 2002 10:02 AM
Subject: Re: [OT]: $1-a-day wages


> rich people should pay more for everything they buy too,
> there should be a rich-persons' price, and a normal price
>
> those damn rich people...
>

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2002\06\05@112513 by Jafta

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Somebody read Ayn Rand?

Chris A

----- Original Message -----
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To: <PICLISTRemoveMEspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Sent: Wednesday, 05 June, 2002 17:14
Subject: Re: [OT]: $1-a-day wages


Who is John Galt?

Peter
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CONFIDENTIAL to
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2002\06\05@112515 by Jim

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Ans (Jeapordy style):

  "Who was the creation of Ayn Rand?"

Jim

----- Original Message -----
From: "Bond, Peter" <TakeThisOuTPBondRemoveMEspam@spam@TANDBERGTV.COM>
To: <EraseMEPICLISTRemoveMEspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Sent: Wednesday, June 05, 2002 10:14 AM
Subject: Re: [OT]: $1-a-day wages


> Who is John Galt?
>
> Peter
> This email, its content and any attachments is PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL to
> TANDBERG Television. If received in error please notify the sender and
> destroy the original message and attachments.
>

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2002\06\05@113035 by Jim

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    "Now if your a poor country that's wanting
     to export a million dollars of footballs,
     your being forced to accept a million dollars
     worth of goods."


This line, as written, does not make sense.

It may have to do with the misuse of a certain
word, not once but twice, in place of a common
contraction that actually represents the two
words 'you are'.

The only acceptable substitutes (in Texas) would be 'yer'.

Jim



{Original Message removed}

2002\06\05@113441 by Herbert Graf

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face
No, of course not, rich people wouldn't be "rich" if the prices for items
were more then the common man. However, remember what a "fine" is, it is a
penalty. Is $100 to a millionare the same "penalty" as $100 for someone
making $20000/year? Of course not, and that is the difference. I'm not
trying to get rid of "rich" people, I'm just saying that a $100 "penalty"
for someone who owns a $40 million house is not much of a penalty is it?
TTYL

> {Original Message removed}

2002\06\05@113650 by Herbert Graf

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face
It' amazing how people go overboard with this sort of idea. We live in a
capitalistic society, the degree at which a person is "doing well" is
determined by their income, simple as that. Of course there iwll be ways
around it, but at least that sort of system would be better then penalizing
a person who makes $4 million/year $100, wouldn't it?

> {Original Message removed}

2002\06\05@113654 by Herbert Graf

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face
No, there shouldn't, you are expanding "penalty" to include everything,
which is false.

> {Original Message removed}

2002\06\05@114313 by Dale Botkin

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face
On Wed, 5 Jun 2002, rad0 wrote:

> rich people should pay more for everything they buy too,
> there should be a rich-persons' price, and a normal price

Absolutely.  All prices, fines, fees, etc. should be scaled to be a
percentage of a person's income, thus making everyone totally equal.  That
way if I choose to pour coffee or mow lawns for a living, society will
recognize that my contribution is just as valuable as, say, a doctor or an
engineer.

Next we'll just have to see about redistributing all that property the
rich have unjustly accumulated.  We'll just scrap those big fancy cars and
partition up the larger houses so everyone has the same amount...  I'm
sure all will continue to work as hard as they can for the common good,
right?  If not we'll just re-educate them in a remote area somewhere until
they see things the right way.

> those damn rich people...

Yep.  We need to just shoot them all, let the real workers rule the
country.

Sheesh.  Where's Karl Marx when you need him?  Or was it Harpo?

Dale

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2002\06\05@115956 by Sid Weaver

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Boy, is my DELETE button getting a workout today ?

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2002\06\05@120223 by rad0

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equality before the law, eh?


----- Original Message -----
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To: <EraseMEPICLIST@spam@spam@spam@MITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Sent: Wednesday, June 05, 2002 10:35 AM
Subject: Re: [OT]: $1-a-day wages


> No, of course not, rich people wouldn't be "rich" if the prices for items
> were more then the common man. However, remember what a "fine" is, it is a
> penalty. Is $100 to a millionare the same "penalty" as $100 for someone
> making $20000/year? Of course not, and that is the difference. I'm not
> trying to get rid of "rich" people, I'm just saying that a $100 "penalty"
> for someone who owns a $40 million house is not much of a penalty is it?
> TTYL
>
> > {Original Message removed}

2002\06\05@120225 by Joe Farr

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    "Now if your a poor country that's wanting
     to export a million dollars of footballs,
     your being forced to accept a million dollars
     worth of goods."

I agree it doesn't make sense in today's society - and that's the problem.
The problem with trade is that we trade goods for money - and the people who amass the money keep it.
If you trade goods for goods, then the only way you can make money is to sell them to people in your own country - you can't export them because your be forced to buy more goods. If you want to sell the goods in your own country, your going to have to make sure that your people want them, and can afford them. This means you should pay them a decent wage in the first place.

We don't trade with poorer nations - we exploit them
Take the football scenario.
Big company wants a million footballs. They cost$10 in the USA to make or $1 in country X
So, you go to country X. You import them and sell them for $20 each.
Owner of the company in country X gets his million bucks (less expenses, materials etc) His workers get 10C for each item made and the big company in the USA makes 19 million.

But, if country X now has to buy a million worth of other goods, there going to have to finance that somehow. The only way a government can get money it to tax the people OR sell the goods to them that they were forced to buy. You can't tax people who don't earn it so all they can do is effectively introduce a minimum wage. Also, your left with all these goods in your warehouse that you need to sell to the people (who can now afford them IF there what they want since the minimum wage has been introduced)

Now the playing field is a bit more even. It might cost $10 in the USA per item, but now it costs $6 in country X. Still a saving, but not exploitation.
The government in country X can afford to tax it's people higher, so it can buy the goods. It can't afford to buy weapons or fund other hostilities.
We end up in a situation where everybody's frantically buying goods from everybody else and world peace arrives and nobody even notices.
Ok, so there are a few kinks in the plan, but I've seen government policy that had less thought and took a whole lot longer to dream up.


{Original Message removed}

2002\06\05@120636 by Roman Black

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Scott Stephens wrote:

> Indeed! Piss on their backs and call it rain. Use them like toilet paper and
> tell them its chocolate. "Its for your own good (I exploit you)"! "Don't
> make me beat you up"! I must find the historical list of all the reasons
> slavery was justified.


I think you might be misguided here Scott. :o)
Slavery? Really? You sound intelligent but don't
see the difference between displacing people from
their homes and forcing them to work for no pay
with no freedom and under violent force, to paying
people who were previously starving and offering
them work, income, increase in social standing and
the chance to climb one step further towards the
wonderful standards in your own country?

Sure, end the "exploitation" now, close the factories
and let them go back to digging in the dirt and
starving in typical subsistence fashion.

So what do you suggest? Close the factories and just
give them money for nothing? The sad fact is that
their society is lower on the scale of economic
evolution, as our societies were in their own time.
The happy fact is that the influx of money into these
countries ALWAYS results in an increase in local
wealth and improvement in standard of living. It
just doesn't happen overnight.

So what is exploitation? Wages are typically lower
here in Australia than in the US. If a US company
offers me a job in their factory earning more money
than I get now, and better working conditions, and
I happily accept, you think i'm being exploited?
It's the same thing. Don't blame corporate America
for the fact that China is overpopulated and
starving...
-Roman

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2002\06\05@120845 by Joe Farr

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Arthur C Clarke describes a society of 'optimisation' in his Rama books.

Your actions have a balance effect. As long as your pulling your weight, no matter what it is you've been assigned to do, then there's no problem. You can be a road sweeper for a brain surgeon, both jobs are important to the good of the society.
However, if you start to slip into the red and after several attempts to help you out, the situation is impossible to correct, then it's 'checkout' time.
Nobody should be a prolonged drain on society.

It has it's merits, although I might change my mind around retirement age...



{Original Message removed}

2002\06\05@121052 by rad0

picon face
in the philipines, used to happen anyway, if an american
would happen to run over a chicken, his penalty would
be $200, because he was an american

of course you could go to any farmer and buy a
chicken for a couple of bucks, but the american,
so it was argued, would be required to pay for the
dead chicken, and all the eggs that chicken would
have produced over his entire life, supposedly

back in reality land, a chicken is still only a chicken,
it's only a couple of bucks for the rich or the poor

dropping the context, is, well, dropping the context...

----- Original Message -----
From: "Herbert Graf" <spamBeGonemailinglistRemoveMEspamEraseMEFARCITE.NET>
To: <RemoveMEPICLISTKILLspamspamRemoveMEMITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Sent: Wednesday, June 05, 2002 10:38 AM
Subject: Re: [OT]: $1-a-day wages


> No, there shouldn't, you are expanding "penalty" to include everything,
> which is false.
>
> > {Original Message removed}

2002\06\05@122341 by Jafta

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Maybe some of the folk that wish to rid the world of the rich should
donate half their income to poor countries.  Then they can buy maize -
their staple food - rather than accept donations of food from the UN.

Or maybe Bill Gates can put up a M$ factory in Malawi, so that the
unemployed can pack all his products that the fortunate West can but.

Or maybe Northrop can build a fighter jet factory in Sudan, so that
the people there will not have to sell their children into Uganda as
warriors so the rest of the family can survive.

Or maybe the US of A can buy half of Africa, and tax it's rich,
privileged and employed US citizens to start the economies of these
African countries, who can then tax their own employed citizens and
buy some South Sea islands, and so on...

Or maybe they that feel they - and others - have too much, can send
send some this way.  I'll definately will find a way to apply the
generous donations to get my back washed!  :-)

Regards

Chris Albrecht

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2002\06\05@122755 by Byron A Jeff

face picon face
On Wed, Jun 05, 2002 at 10:21:18AM -0500, Jim wrote:
{Quote hidden}

I don't think that's necessarily true that total govt. control
is the only solution. The truth of the matter is that the
govt really should consider a modified version of what many
Republicans have been pushing for awhile: a simplified tax
with no taxation on capital gains.

However there must be a price and the original statement above
is pretty close to it: a progressive consumption tax.

It's pretty simple. One gets taxed for what one spends. And
the more that one spends, the higher the tax is. It promotes
saving and investing, and those who have the disposable
income to spend will only be taxed on the disposable income
that they spend. In short a luxury tax on everything, not just
specific items.

The flat tax that has been proposed time and time again doesn't
work simply because of the disparity of the amount of disposable
income that's left when it's applied. There's a vast difference
between a 10% tax on $10,000 and the same 10% on $1,000,000. Even
though the latter is paying a lot more in absolute terms ($100,000)
the amount of disposable income left over is staggering ($900,000).

I don't mind anyone having the $1,000,000. But there should be
an increasingly higher cost to spend it.

That's just my off the wall thought on the subject. In my mind it
would be equitable, promote savings, and greatly simplify the
tax system. I also wouldn't allow any loopholes or exemptions for
folks to slip through.

BAJ

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2002\06\05@123646 by Roman Black

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Herbert Graf wrote:
>
> No, of course not, rich people wouldn't be "rich" if the prices for items
> were more then the common man. However, remember what a "fine" is, it is a
> penalty. Is $100 to a millionare the same "penalty" as $100 for someone
> making $20000/year? Of course not, and that is the difference. I'm not
> trying to get rid of "rich" people, I'm just saying that a $100 "penalty"
> for someone who owns a $40 million house is not much of a penalty is it?


The system here in Australia works well AFAIK,
driving licences have "points" and the fines
are accompanied by loss of points. Rich or poor,
the penalty hurts just as much, and if you keep
it up, after a few fines you won't be driving anymore.

I find this argument ludicous really, if someone
has been smart and worked hard to make money over
their lifetime, you're saying they should be
punished more for driving badly?? Money is the
one COMMON EXCHANGE denominator, it's whole reason
for existence, and the punishment for a driving
offence should be equal for all citizens. The only
alternative is to say that money then is to be
devalued for rich people, which again leads to
that stupid socialist system where all people
receive the same income. Why should someone who is
lazy or stupid receive the same income I do??

What drives us to work harder or more brilliant
than others is the associated benefits. Without
that the human species would not develop. Systems
where everyone has the same income and social
benefits do not work and will not ever work because
people simply do not have the same value. People,
like apples, oranges or cars, exist in different
qualities, there are more valuable ones, and less
valuable ones. If you ever employed a stupid/lazy
employee and a really competent employee you could
never see logic in paying all people equally.

I think people should have experienced being both
an employee and employer, both a consumer and a
manufacturer, before they have the right to preach
about "exploitation". :o)
-Roman

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2002\06\05@124710 by Byron A Jeff

face picon face
On Wed, Jun 05, 2002 at 10:41:27AM -0500, Dale Botkin wrote:
> On Wed, 5 Jun 2002, rad0 wrote:
>
> > rich people should pay more for everything they buy too,
> > there should be a rich-persons' price, and a normal price
>
> Absolutely.  All prices, fines, fees, etc. should be scaled to be a
> percentage of a person's income, thus making everyone totally equal.  That
> way if I choose to pour coffee or mow lawns for a living, society will
> recognize that my contribution is just as valuable as, say, a doctor or an
> engineer.

I know that you're being facetious Dale, but actually up to a point I actually
agree with the above point. And not a percentages, because any flat taxation
is regressive, but an increasingly progressive percentage that's somewhat
less than a 45 degree angle. Finally it should only be on what you spend,
not what you make. So if one makes, saves, and invests a billion bucks, none
of the billion bucks gets taxes. If only $100000 of the billion bucks is
spent, then only a percentage of the $100000 is taxed. However if $350 million
of it gets spent... Then don't you think there should be a hefty slice taken
out?

>
> Next we'll just have to see about redistributing all that property the
> rich have unjustly accumulated.

Nope. However I think it's fair that they'll have to pay more to spend it.
Not keep it. Not invest it (in fact I'd drop all capital gains taxes). Just
spending it.


>  We'll just scrap those big fancy cars and
> partition up the larger houses so everyone has the same amount...

Nope. Buy the houses and the cars. Just a larger tax on the higher priced
items. Explain to me why someone who's buying a $150,000 vehicle, and who
clearly has that much disposable income should be able to pay the same tax
as someone buying a $15,000 car? All flat taxes, including sales taxes are
regressive and favor those with more money.

> I'm sure all will continue to work as hard as they can for the common good,
> right?

Sure they will. Rich folks are progressively taxed on their income now. Does
that stop those who want more from attempting to step up into the next tax
bracket? Of course not.


>  If not we'll just re-educate them in a remote area somewhere until
> they see things the right way.
>
> > those damn rich people...
>
> Yep.  We need to just shoot them all, let the real workers rule the
> country.

No. We just have to realize that when the top 10 percent of the population
owns 90 percent of the wealth, that there's an obligation for them to
contribute more to the common good. Saving and investing essentially puts
the wealth back into circulation for others to use and improve, while outright
spending benefits the spender more than anyone else. So spending should have
a cost associated with it. Not making money as is done now.

So to summarize:

1) Lose all income and capital gains taxes. Making money is free.
2) Spending should be progressively taxed. Only spending costs. Only tax
  what it spent regardless of income.
3) Control inflation and growth by manipulating the progressive cost of
  spending. Lower the rate to stimulate spending, raise the rate to slow
  spending.

That's it.

BAJ

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2002\06\05@125736 by Dale Botkin

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On Thu, 6 Jun 2002, Roman Black wrote:

> I think people should have experienced being both
> an employee and employer, both a consumer and a
> manufacturer, before they have the right to preach
> about "exploitation". :o)
> -Roman

Amen, brother!  Oh, and good to see you back, Roman.

Dale

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2002\06\05@130152 by rad0

picon face
what's really sad, is that these people are serious, below, below


this is an article I found a reference to yesterday that
describes what happens when these ideas are put into play

http://www.capitalismmagazine.com/2001/june/hu_capvsalt.htm

I can't count this 'high' in terms of the casualties.


this is sarcasm, just so the college boys know:
> > > rich people should pay more for everything they buy too,
> > > there should be a rich-persons' price, and a normal price

{Original Message removed}

2002\06\05@132741 by Herbert Graf

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Yes, of course it depends on your definition of "equality", either it's a
percentage of income (so that the "penalty" is equal) or it's a fixed amount
(an equal amount, but unequal level of penalty). Which is more fair in your
eyes?

> {Original Message removed}

2002\06\05@134543 by rad0

picon face
not really, equality before the law means that the law
treats everyone the same,

there is no such thing as a quantity of 'penalty'...

this is something that you are creating


> Yes, of course it depends on your definition of "equality", either it's a
> percentage of income (so that the "penalty" is equal) or it's a fixed
amount
> (an equal amount, but unequal level of penalty). Which is more fair in
your
{Quote hidden}

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2002\06\05@135640 by Jim

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  "As long as your pulling your weight"

What does this mean - can someone explain?

How can 'your' have two different meanings - my dictionary
only shows one!

Jim


{Original Message removed}

2002\06\05@140245 by Jim

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Byron A Jeff

    "I don't mind anyone having the $1,000,000. But there
     should be an increasingly higher cost to spend it."


Karl Marx:

   "To each according to his needs -
    from each according to his abilities" - 'to pay' -

eh?

I'm warming to a nice comforting color of 'Red'
now ... please pass the hammer and sickle, I need
to get back to work on the 'collective' ...

Jim


{Original Message removed}

2002\06\05@142911 by Byron A Jeff

face picon face
On Wed, Jun 05, 2002 at 01:00:04PM -0500, Jim wrote:
> Byron A Jeff
>
>      "I don't mind anyone having the $1,000,000. But there
>       should be an increasingly higher cost to spend it."
>
>
> Karl Marx:
>
>     "To each according to his needs -
>      from each according to his abilities" - 'to pay' -
>
> eh?

Not Eh. So I suppose that you're not OK with the current progressive income
and capital gains taxation system either, for that's exactly how it works.

I'm not proposing anything radical here. It's already how the tax system
works. There are exemption and credits for the things that the govt wants
you to spend money on and higher taxes on things they don't want you to
spend money on. It's also progressive, so that the more that you earn, the
more you're taxed. Gas, cigarettes, and booze, and short term capital gains
are heavily taxed, while property, education, charity, and energy efficiency
(among other things) gains exemptions, deductions, and rebates. The goal is
to encourage saving and investing and to penalize spending.

And we're having to go though a rat's maze of tax laws to accomplish it.

>
> I'm warming to a nice comforting color of 'Red'
> now ... please pass the hammer and sickle, I need
> to get back to work on the 'collective' ...

So I suppose that the current US tax system is socialist/communist also.

In my system the rich get richer and the less rich gets screwed less. What's
wrong with that?

BAJ

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2002\06\05@143538 by Jafta

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It is winter in my country, so, after following this debate for a
while, I am going to make some nice gluwine - misspelt, I know, but
I'm not German - light a fire in my fire place, and sit under my eider
down blanket and read an 8051 book.  I'm glad I do not earn a dollar a
day.  My abilities are mine to sell to the highest bidder - if any!

Regards

Chris Albrecht


{Original Message removed}

2002\06\05@150333 by Dale Botkin

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<Dons PICList admin hat>

Folks,

As stimulating (and at times entertaining) as this debate has been, I
think it's time we laid it to rest.  List traffic is now almost all [OT],
and the poor folks receiving digests are going to have one hell of a tie
wading through the chaff to get to the wheat.  As of now, let's either
drop the thing ot take it off-list.  Any further posts on this topic (or
the $70-a-day variant) after a reasonable time to let people get caught up
will earn the poster a sharp rap on the knuckles and a stern look.  *<8-)

Dale
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curiosity killed the cat, I say only the cat died nobly."
         - Arnold Edinborough

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2002\06\05@152147 by Shawn Mulligan

picon face
thanks. It was fun.

_________________________________________________________________
Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at http://explorer.msn.com/intl.asp.

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2002\06\05@152401 by Peter L. Peres

picon face
On Wed, 5 Jun 2002, Joe Farr wrote:

>It's funny how this subject stirs strong reactions in people.
>
>Lyle, well said !
>
>Of course the question is 'why' are some of these countries in this mess
>in the first place and how do they get out of it - and I say 'they' get
>out and not us help them out. People are basically stupid (no disrespect
>to anybody reading this) and only learn from their own mistakes. They
>need to implement a solution themselves if their to solve their problems.

Well some people in your country were of sufficiently different opinion
wrt. this point to start two wars in the last 50 years or so (well not
start, let's say enthusiastically participate in). This is not a criticism
of that fact, I understand it too well.

>Personally, I believe that these countries, and perhaps the rest of the
>world are missing the point in the word 'trade'. Trade - I give you
>something you want, and you give me something I want. It's worth is in
>how bad you want what I have, and how bad I want what you've got. It
>would be interesting to see a system where you can't export goods unless
>you import goods of exactly the same value.

Most large industrialised countries are deadlocked in something like that
exactly now, and are all being collectively ripped off by those
manufacturing countries that can underbid them seriously while being
insensitive to sanctions. See under automobiles and steel for example.

Competing with an economy that can afford to take 90 degree turns with
disregard to profits (and to hell with the workers - they better follow
the party line or else) under some illustruous leadership and rewrite laws
from scratch as it goes to keep it 'legal' is like fighting windmills.
Letting something like that loose in a well-regulated and benevolent
economical backyard is like putting the fox in the chicken pen and turning
the light off.

Peter

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2002\06\05@155613 by Peter L. Peres

picon face
On Wed, 5 Jun 2002, Herbert Graf wrote:

>Yes, of course it depends on your definition of "equality", either it's a
>percentage of income (so that the "penalty" is equal) or it's a fixed amount
>(an equal amount, but unequal level of penalty). Which is more fair in your
>eyes?

The one that hurts me less ? Eventually any tax system is imperfect and
thus unfair up to a point. The problem starts where the taxes are used to
buy votes in the form of subsidies, allowances, etc. Once that system is
started any discussion is academic. You are in the trap, locked and
bolted, and there is no way out. Take this country for example.

I do not realise what the situation is wrt. this in the USA. Maybe they
are still mostly outside the pentagram ...

Peter

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2002\06\05@155648 by Peter L. Peres

picon face
On Wed, 5 Jun 2002, rad0 wrote:

>not really, equality before the law means that the law
>treats everyone the same,

That would assume that the law is perfect and perfectly applied at all
times to all individuals. Not very likely.

>there is no such thing as a quantity of 'penalty'...

Yes there is. The penalty can be quantified in relation with something,
thus it is given a value. F.ex. a democracy might consider months of
prison a value of penalty. A homeless who gets deliberately arrested to
have a roof over his head has a different view on this value.

>this is something that you are creating

Not him, someone. That's the point. Who is the someone who sets the ratio
of values in your life. Is it someone who thinks like you would or did you
lose the elections again.

Peter

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2002\06\05@161127 by Bob Blick

face picon face
On Wed, 5 Jun 2002, Peter L. Peres wrote:
> of values in your life. Is it someone who thinks like you would or did you
> lose the elections again.

So you're saying in a democracy each person gets a vote, and the one who
gets the most votes wins? Sounds great, I wish the US had a system like
that.

-Bob

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2002\06\05@164047 by Peter L. Peres

picon face
On Wed, 5 Jun 2002, Jafta wrote:

>And this would mean that I can not afford the Nike or what-ever-make
>that I wear at the moment.  The reason that products get manufactured
>at 1$/day in countries like mine, is to make it MORE affordable.

Er, no, it would mean that someone would make affordable shoes eventually
especially since YOUR wages would be related (by normally operating market
laws, which could function dues to the strange utopia I proposed) in a
reasonable manner to the price of shoes. Notice that the utopia works both
ways, do not see it as something that increases costs, ebcause it also
increases income (by making local manufacture rentable).

If you would have a very low income but that would be your income in that
country then the price of imported shoes would have to be about on par
with the price of local shoes, Nike or not.

Imho the current world economy thing is a reaction to the previous rigid
tariff and overtaxing system. Both missed the mark very far. What I was
proposing was kind of a middle of the road between these two, based on
metrics related to real income (not the fantasmagorical inventions some
official bodies assign for this in various countries).

Peter

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2002\06\05@165303 by Herbert Graf

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So you are saying treating a $20000/year person with a $100 fine is the same
as treating a millionare with a $100 fine?? I think people sometimes forget
WHY there are laws, what they are meant to accomplish. If you go under the
assumption that law is supposed to "help" people make certain choices, with
the knowledge that NOT choosing one way will result in penalty, will the
"penalty" of a $100 fine to a millionare persuade his descision? Of course
not, $100 is nothing to him. The situation is completely different with the
other person. "equality" before the law doesn't necesssarily mean that if I
steal a piece of bread I deserve death because a person who murdered a bunch
of people got a death sentence (after all we both committed a crime, and
wshould be treated equally, right?).

> {Original Message removed}

2002\06\05@165746 by jamesnewton

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source= http://www.piclist.com/postbot.asp?id=piclist\2002\06\05\161127a

I've come to realize that democracy (one person, one vote, majority rule) is
really the only form of government that exists. The key is that the members
of the democracy often don't realize it. They think they are in a
dictatorship or a representative democracy or whatever and so they don't
enforce their right to vote. How do they get that idea? News. Media. Stories
from the other town were someone who resisted got hauled off in the night,
etc... If every member of any country stood up together, there would be no
question that a democracy existed.

But then again, maybe it is best that other forms of government are
accepted. The average intelligence of the masses are far below the
intelligence of the people who have found a way to convince the masses to
follow them. Frequently, the leaders, despite their excesses or corruption,
do a better job of running the country than the average sheep could. And
even if the average sheep in your country is smarter than most, there is an
inverse effect on intelligence as population increases. Anyone who has
served on a committee would recognize that.

I personally am very happy to have the best con-men in the business running
the USA. At least the other countries won't get away with much.

P.S. I would also like to complement each and every member who has
participated in this discussion: Personal insults have been avoided, thanks
to proper topic tagging, no one complained about the off topic discussion,
and we all got to see different points of view. This is what keeps me
interested in the PICList and what, in my opinion, makes it better than any
other mailing list in the world.

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2002\06\05@172050 by rad0

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----- Original Message -----
From: "Herbert Graf" <KILLspammailinglistspamTakeThisOuTFARCITE.NET>
To: <TakeThisOuTPICLISTspamspam_OUTMITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Sent: Wednesday, June 05, 2002 3:54 PM
Subject: Re: [OT]: $1-a-day wages


> So you are saying treating a $20000/year person with a $100 fine is the
same
> as treating a millionare with a $100 fine?? I think people sometimes
forget
> WHY there are laws, what they are meant to accomplish. If you go under the
> assumption that law is supposed to "help" people make certain choices,
with
> the knowledge that NOT choosing one way will result in penalty, will the
> "penalty" of a $100 fine to a millionare persuade his descision? Of course
> not, $100 is nothing to him. The situation is completely different with
the
> other person. "equality" before the law doesn't necesssarily mean that if
I
> steal a piece of bread I deserve death because a person who murdered a
bunch
> of people got a death sentence (after all we both committed a crime, and
> wshould be treated equally, right?).

geez louise...

equality before the law,
means that everyone stealing a piece of bread, gets the same fine

can you really not understand this??

This is basic fair play, from basic common sense, logic.

if you don't set up a system that is guided by this idea,
you really have a system where anything goes, over the long run

someone somewhere will always take it upon himself to determine
how the rich guy isn't getting enough pain, or the guy with a hook nose,
or the girl with blond hair and big breasts...it becomes out of control, the
minute you unhook it from a fixed penalty for everyone, and you have
a judge or a bureaucrat dialing up more pain for the unpopular group
or individual...to prevent this, you make it the same for everyone

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2002\06\05@175539 by Russell McMahon

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> It' amazing how people go overboard with this sort of idea. We live in a
> capitalistic society, the degree at which a person is "doing well" is
> determined by their income, simple as that. Of course there iwll be ways
> around it, but at least that sort of system would be better then
penalizing
> a person who makes $4 million/year $100, wouldn't it?

He was attempting to demonstrate, somewhat tongue in cheek,  that the idea
was unworkable and/or that some people could bend it to their will.

Starting off with the value of the vehicle would be a good approxomation in
many but not all cases. A speeding combine harvester or Mack Truck may be
penalised innappropriately.

Mind you, if LARGE trucks were liable to attract a speeding fine
proportionate to their cost I'm certain there would be a lot less of them
and 40 odd tons of logs etc swaying drunkenly in my rear view mirror 1 metre
off my rear bumper while travelling as fast as their (not so) little hearts
will carry them  Now there's a good idea  ! (Now look what you've done :-) )



       RM

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2002\06\05@175558 by Russell McMahon

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> > rich people should pay more for everything they buy too,
> > there should be a rich-persons' price, and a normal price

> Absolutely.  All prices, fines, fees, etc. should be scaled to be a
> percentage of a person's income, thus making everyone totally equal.  That
> way if I choose to pour coffee or mow lawns for a living, society will
> recognize that my contribution is just as valuable as, say, a doctor or an
> engineer.

Now we have people being sarcastic about the sarcasm and / or playing team
tag wrestling to take turns building up the (so far) not actually tendered
contrary points.

> Sheesh.  Where's Karl Marx when you need him?  Or was it Harpo?

I think it was Chico or Zeppo.
How does it go -
"From each according to their needs, to each according to their means" isn't
it ? :-)
Sound about right, no ?

> If not we'll just re-educate them in a remote area somewhere until
> they see things the right way.

Gutanamo Bay may be available for a remote but still nearby reeducation area
in due course, perhaps a little busy right now.



       Russell McMahon

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2002\06\05@182453 by Russell McMahon

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> So what do you suggest?

This wasn't asked of me, but here's what I suggest sounds fairer to me. Only
a straw man of course. Stems partially from the self evident proposition
that all men are created equal, and the second but co-equal greatest
suggestion that one should love one's neighbour as one's self. *

- Establish the "fair" remuneration levels in your own community. These have
very largely already been set.

- Find the cheapest country that you can that will make goods for you at a
standard that you and your customers find acceptable.

- Translate the "fair remuneration" levels into REAL TERMS in the target
country - these will typically be FAR lower than the rates that you pay at
present but not down to the level which you could "get away with" in that
country. Setting such levels is an extremely difficult but not impossible
task. You'll know well enough whether you've got it right. If your own
society has an 8 or 9 or 10 hour day aim at that in the target country too.
If you pay overtime or extra rate payments in your own country CONSIDER
doing that too. If you don't or are not allowed to employ 8 year olds then
don't employ them here either. (Do however think about the impact that this
has on local incomes and wonder if you can do something about it). If you
can profitably run the plant for 16 hours a day consider running two shifts
and giving twice as many people a chance at equitable employment. Consider
playing God and paying lower wages than above but using the excess funds to
bring your costs up[ to the same level IN REAL TERMS in the target country.

- Consider very very strongly NEVER paying corruption/bribes/backhanders.
(This is, arguably (of course), THE greatest thing holding most poor
countries in their poverty traps).

Will you save money? - yes (or if you don't then you need to consider why)
Will you have a vast queue of workers to choose from? (you answer that)
Will they love you? (some will)
Will they hate you? (some will)
Will the local governments welcome you (even if you don't support corrupt
practices)?
Will you be competitive against your competitors who pay absolute minimum
possible sweat shop rates in collusion with corrupt local governments? - No!
(but when people see what you do the world MAY change faster than you may
have expected)(And it may not).

I could expand on this but I imagine I have provided enough material for
tearing apart already.

More, perhaps, anon



               Russell McMahon



* Sources: US Constitution (with or without the 14th amendment) and the
Bible

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2002\06\05@183451 by Jim

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Byron - I'm for a flat tax and equity under the law.

I'm also not of the belief that the 'rich simply get
richer'.

I think that actually they get poorer and *new* people
take their place OTHERWISE people like Bill Gates and
Ross Perot would still be peons (I can name OTHERS too) ...

And I have to agree with Dale - this topic has run it's
course.

All from me on this topic (EVEN THOUGH Russel has failed
to address two questions directed squarely at him!).

Jim


{Original Message removed}

2002\06\05@200223 by Russell McMahon

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> All from me on this topic (EVEN THOUGH Russel has failed
> to address two questions directed squarely at him!).

I'll try to find them and give them a reasoned response. I'm skimming the
vaaaast quantity of mail that is building up in a bow wave at present
(PICList the most voluminous single item but only alas a small part of the
whole). Maybe Jim could send the questions to me offlist - DON'T put piclist
in the title line though or my filters may hide it with piclist stuff.

I'm reading this while eating breakfast at 11:20 am (bacon and keyboards -
nice mix :-) ) having just got to it. Life is fulllll to the banks and far
beyond at present and I see no short term end.

I'll happily address ANY honestly put question if I can get to it - I
promise no silent running away because I think the answer is too hard or too
unconvincing. (Comes perhaps from the arrogance of thinking one is always
right ? :-) )(Nah).

I really do FEEL that I understand the range of perspectives that have been
put here (and I try to at least glance at the lessons of world history for
the last 6,000 years or so where possible.) I, of course, must disagree with
some opinions but partially that is because more fundamental things would
need to be addressed before we could discuss on a level playing field. (eg
ARE there absolutes and if so, what are they. Without absolutes every point
is moot.)(Including this one :-) ).

More anon.


       Russell

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2002\06\05@204720 by Russell McMahon

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Perhaps pertinent to the present thread - here's some interesting and
somewhat neutral comments on the 14th amendment to the US Constitution and
how it is interpreted in US law and practice.

       http://www.constitutioncenter.org/sections/work/educlinks.asp

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2002\06\06@025108 by Peter Crowcroft

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>Date:    Wed, 5 Jun 2002 13:54:34 -0700
>From:    "James Newton. Admin 3" <spamBeGonejamesnewtonspamBeGonespam@spam@PICLIST.COM>
>Subject: Re [OT]: $1-a-day wages
>MIME-Version: 1.0
>Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
>Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

>P.S. I would also like to complement each and every member who has
>participated in this discussion: Personal insults have been avoided, thanks
>to proper topic tagging, no one complained about the off topic discussion,
>and we all got to see different points of view. This is what keeps me
>interested in the PICList and what, in my opinion, makes it better than any
>other mailing list in the world.


1. Unfortunately, I do not think a single person who has contributed thus
far has actually been to any of these supposed $1/day countries within
their lifetimes let alone the last few years. Most opinions seem to be what
they have seen on CBS, NBC or maybe if they are intellectual, CNN,
Discovery and BBC, read in those wonderful worldly magazines, Time and
Newsweek, then masticated by their own mid-western USA prejudices after
dinner and before going to a nice warm bed with sheets.

So a courteous discussion, yes, but as for information content, sorry no.


2. Even in 1980 when I managed a tuna and frozen food factory in Bangkok
the wages were 65Baht or USD2.70 per day. And there were 100's of girls
outside each day looking for work. '$1/day'  is just simplistic. The real
situation is much more complex. Each country has to be judged by itself.
Not just smeared with a general '$1/day' term.


3. To me it is distressing that America gets so involved with Fad issues
like the Nike wages paid to its workers and that real issues get
unmentioned. Please note that everyone on this lists supports the supposed
low wages paid in Chinese, Thai and Filipina factories for their ICs and
electronic components.


4. If these non-conforming views get me again thrown off the List, then so
be it.







regards,

Peter Crowcroft
           DIY Electronics (HK) Ltd
     PO Box 88458, Sham Shui Po, Hong Kong
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2002\06\06@115305 by Mina Nichols

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(By the way, Bill Gates was never a peon, both his parents are lawyers; thus
his big skill isn't engineering or programming, it is manipulating the law.)

{Original Message removed}

2002\06\06@172136 by Jim

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     "1. Unfortunately, I do not think a single
      person who has contributed thus far has
      actually been to any of these supposed
      $1/day countries"

Careful reading would have revealed there was
one (that I distinctly recall) and possibly
a second (Roman chimed in with an observation
and he would be the possble second - rad0 being
the first) ...

Jim


{Original Message removed}

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