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Old Dec 3, 2012, 05:48 PM   #51
snberk103
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Originally Posted by marc11 View Post
My comment was only about me as an American wanting to support my own country and economy. You can do the same for your country if you like. Then cost of goods in your country and where they are made is really not my concern nor in my control.
Yes, but your desire to increase the cost of Apple goods because it is good for Americans affects everybody. It is not uncommon, though, Americans to be so self-centric. That is the philosophical view. The logical view, however is that while it may be argued that Americans might buy more expensive American made goods for patriotic reasons, the vast majority of the rest of the world is not. It is much more likely that Apple will suffer financially, which puts any initial American job gains at risk in the long term.

But like I also suggested, perhaps the Americans can set up a factory just for domestic production. Although, past experience seems to indicate that more than anybody else, American consumers actually purchase based on price above all other considerations. I would predict a quick failure of a factory dedicated to domestic production.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 07:05 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by Moshe1010 View Post
So you're proud of getting twice the salary, but doing half of the job in comparison to the private market?
I'm actually proud that I will have a pension when I retire and not rely on the disappearing Social Security that I paid into my entire life.

Don't know where you get that data from.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 07:06 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by unobtainium View Post
I'm the one being purposefully obtuse? You are aware that if the cost of living is rising and wages are staying stationary while salaries for CEOs balloon, that means wages are effectively dropping for labor and rising for top management right?

And you're right, Chinese workers with 15 hour days making $5 a day and living in squalor should be grateful for what the elites deign to pay them. After all, it's better than child prostitution right? We should all have that attitude!
1. I didn't say they were stationary. You are assuming that cost of living is rising and that wages are decreasing, which is incorrect. So yes, you are being purposefully obtuse.

Adverse Effect Wage Rate Chart

CPI Chart

Wages have kept pace with cost of living increases.

2. You are aware that your solution of magically having higher wages increases inflation, which in turn effectively decreases wages, yes?

As for child prostitution, everyone should have that attitude about child prostitution. Being paid for work is certainly a lot better than being a prostitute. It's a simple comparison. I would have imagined that no one could possibly disagree with that.

The cost of living in China is a lot lower than in America. They don't need to make $20/hr to be on par with someone here with that wage. And again, it is better than the alternative, and they'll agree, which is why they work instead of working the streets. They aren't being forced. Additionally, China's issues are a direct result of the absence of a free market. Your problem of the "elites deigning" to pay workes $X is a symptom of that issue. So thank you for helping my point.

But they are working on improving it, and things have improved in China as markets have been freed. They still have a way to go.

It just so happens that China is it's own case study. Look at Hong Kong. They have embraced the free market (it's actually more free than our own). Without the bureaucracy and regulation, it has grown from nothing to one of the most densely populated urban areas in around 50 years and it shows little sign of stopping.

But you've missed the major point. The free market is what keeps our wages where they should be and those who use the market benefit.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 07:13 PM   #54
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Without taking a particular position on unions, even though I have one, the advent of Health and Safety codes replaced the primary need for unions.

That's why they morphed to collective bargaining groups. There is no, zero, reason for a modern society to have unions in public sector workers at all. That is the source of about 90% of our state and federal budget crisis'.

I would like to see unions (and other associations) morph back into apprentice-journeyman systems. Valuable skills are transferred by learned and aged experienced workers.

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Old Dec 3, 2012, 08:14 PM   #55
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Quote:
Wages have kept pace with cost of living increases.
Oh look, you cherry-picked two statistics to prove your point. I can do that too:

- http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/20...with-inflation

The same situation in the UK: http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/n...=feeds-newsxml

Quote:
You are aware that your solution of magically having higher wages increases inflation, which in turn effectively decreases wages, yes?
But wage increases aren't keeping pace with inflation. Your facts are simply wrong.

Deflation can also be an issue, most notably in 2008-2009 under George W. Bush, when the financial crisis first hit. But more importantly, you are aware that there's more to this issue than simple wage increases, yes? Other factors that have an impact on quality of life...benefits, health care, time off, etc. You've heard of these things?

Quote:
As for child prostitution, everyone should have that attitude about child prostitution. Being paid for work is certainly a lot better than being a prostitute. It's a simple comparison. I would have imagined that no one could possibly disagree with that.
You brought it up because it's an emotionally charged issue and one that's only tangentially related to the topic. You figured that "no one could possibly disagree that child prostitution is a bad thing," which is true, but you introduced it to create the false impression that third-world workers should have only two alternatives: accept whatever low-paying, terrible working conditions they are offered, or send their kids off to be child prostitutes. This is called a straw man argument.

Quote:
The cost of living in China is a lot lower than in America. They don't need to make $20/hr to be on par with someone here with that wage. And again, it is better than the alternative, and they'll agree, which is why they work instead of working the streets. They aren't being forced. Additionally, China's issues are a direct result of the absence of a free market. Your problem of the "elites deigning" to pay workes $X is a symptom of that issue. So thank you for helping my point.
China's issues are a "direct result" of more than one simple factor. It's a country of billions of people with limited resources that has lived under a totalitarian regime for decades. Since the market has been opened up, the majority of the wealth has been channelled to elites, passing average Chinese people by. This is what typically happens unless social justice and fairness-minded entitites (including unions) are able to exert some pressure on society.

Quote:
But they are working on improving it, and things have improved in China as markets have been freed. They still have a way to go.
Dig a little deeper and you'll see that China is in dire straits. Because they refuse to introduce many of the most basic rights for workers, elites profit at the expense of the masses and as a result there is almost no domestic household spending in China, a situation that is soon to lead to disaster if you listen to many leading economists. They have focused relentlessly on exporting products to the rest of the world at the cheapest prices possible while ignoring the welfare of their own people. It will come back to haunt them, unfortunately. (And once again, it won't be the elites who suffer most.)

Quote:
But you've missed the major point. The free market is what keeps our wages where they should be and those who use the market benefit.
No, I'd say you've missed the major point. Your dogmatic worship of the free market has blinded you to history. There is such a thing as the past, you know...you might want to study it. The free market certainly did not desire to offer workers fair wages. That was hard fought for and won by previous generations at great expense. Those in power were too short-sighted then (as they are now) to realize that the real engine of growth in the United States has always been middle-class spending, fuelled by decent wages. Without that, all you have are a few rich oligarchs and then masses of plebs. It still mystifies me that many Americans would like to go back to that.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 09:50 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by marc11 View Post
Except if you support your own country with goods produced there, then more people have jobs.
And it's entirely probable that thing Z is, in fact, something most inexpensively produced by Americans. Had I spent more than I should have to buy thing X, I would not have had the money to buy thing Z. Meanwhile, having been able to afford both thing X - built overseas by an American company - AND thing Z, I am supporting MORE american jobs than I would by buying only thing X.

The rest of your argument is entirely moot.

P.s., I bet you're one of those folks who thinks WalMart is evil, aren't you?
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 10:30 PM   #57
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Any word of an assembly plant in the US? I suspect some minor attachments are done at the distribution centers so they can slap on that tag. Pretty dishonest if that is the case.

BTW, I believe many of the those who respond to every "made in China" thread are Chinese agents posing as right wing anti-union Americans. The arguments are always the same, like they have talking points they work from.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 11:41 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by carlgo View Post
I believe many of the those who respond to every "made in China" thread are Chinese agents posing as right wing anti-union Americans. The arguments are always the same, like they have talking points they work from.
The talking points come from FOX News, that bastion of thoughtful inquiry.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 11:49 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by SubZer0 View Post
Any idea what fostered the notion of worker's rights? Let's just say, it's not the company you work for. They will try to squeeze the worker for all their worth in the name of a better bottom line.

So, while you may not like unions, they do have a place. No system is perfect and there are individuals that take advantage of the protections put in place by any set of constraints. But that is true in all settings. There will always be an example of someone cheating the system.

Perhaps you would like to work for the company store? My guess is "Not so much"
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 11:52 PM   #60
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Originally Posted by carlgo View Post
Any word of an assembly plant in the US? I suspect some minor attachments are done at the distribution centers so they can slap on that tag. Pretty dishonest if that is the case.

BTW, I believe many of the those who respond to every "made in China" thread are Chinese agents posing as right wing anti-union Americans. The arguments are always the same, like they have talking points they work from.
If Foxconn is still making the iMacs, then it would be at one of their US facilities, they have one they bought from us here in Huntsville, there are at least two in California, one in Texas and they still have one in Philly as well I believe though its fairly limited. As for the anti-union rhetoric, realize that every one of the major contract manufacturers was basically created by a union strike at a major hardware vendor (IBM, HP, etc) most of the them in the US. So why do contract manufacturers exist, and most companies not make their own products, in their own factories, unions, that is a fact, pure and simple.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 12:39 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by marc11 View Post
Dude I said if I was offered the option to support my own county to buy goods made in my country I would pay more for that. ....
Good. Then come up with a solution that doesn't mess up the rest of the world just to give Americans jobs. Americans like to proclaim that they believe in free market enterprise. Then compete for those jobs. Create automated factories that can assembly the iDevices for about the same price. Those factories are entirely possible.... What hasn't happened is a company willing to make the initial investment. So don't suggest the rest of the world should subsidize American jobs just because no one there has (yet) decided to build the infrastructure.

With that said... I would not be at all surprised to find that in fact Apple and Foxconn are starting to build the infrastructure to build things outside of China. They have, in fact, built a factory in Brazil. Not out of mindless and expensive patriotism, but because it makes good business sense to diversify. China and Japan are currently having a pissing match over a bunch of uninhabited islets south west of Okinawa. If it gets to the shooting stage, Japan will invoke the terms of the defence treaty they have with the US. Guess what China will do to keep the US from honouring that treaty?

China is also in disputes with Vietnam, Indonesia, Brunei, and the Philippines over the South China Sea. Do you think Apple has not thought through the implications of a trade war between China the American allies? I am only surprised that we haven't heard earlier of assembly plants outside of China. And... what makes you think that any new plants will be in US? Germany and Japan have the expertise automated systems. Canada has a measurable labour cost advantage (it's that socialism thing). Mexico has an even cheaper labour market. Goods made in Canada or Mexico can be imported into the US duty free.

It's a complex issue....
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 12:46 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by JoEw View Post
Sorry just a quick rant, I work at a grocery store where i make 10 cents over minimum wage, I am part time, and I have paid 500 dollars to the Union this year.. I work much harder then most of my coworkers infact my mangers even tell me this. The only thing the union has done for me is take my money, and give my lazy coworkers job security... If we were not union, even if i only got minimum wage I would still make more money then paying union dues. Also I would have likely gotten promoted since so many unneeded lazy works would be fired. Not everyone who is in a union likes it.
those are pretty excessive union dues. When I was in CWA local#9410, in the phone company, I think I paid half that in dues, on more pay.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 12:57 AM   #63
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This is a fallacy. First of all wages are not dropping. You're being purposefully obtuse with your words. Of course something that is rising makes something that is stationary or moving upward more slowly appear as if it's lowering.

In fact, just as almost always is the case, wages are either maintaining or increasing. And honestly it doesn't matter who it is because these a private companies, and like it or not, you have a choice to work there. If you don't like that the CEO got a raise, leave. It's a free market (kind of) and a free country.

Secondly, if what you say is true, most Americans would be making minimum wage. However, less than 11% in all groups of hourly workers make minimum wage. And that rate is 5% for people with a high school diploma. (Bureau of Labor Statistics) It's not unions that keep us from having "miserable working conditions and wages," it's a free market that does so. Wages are part of the market. If people want talented workers they have to pay for it. That's why those who switch jobs more frequently tend to make higher wages. Labor is a commodity.

And also, the terrible working conditions and wages in third world countries are better than the alternative. In countries where child labor is prevalent, the alternative is often child prostitution. But no one mentions that. Either is sad, but working in a factory is quite a bit better than children having intercourse for money.



And the people too.
good lord how on EARTH did you come up with that nonsense?
So it's either Oliver Twist or a Serbian film?
You can keep that Ayn Rand-ian universe to yourself thanks.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 01:50 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by calaverasgrande View Post
good lord how on EARTH did you come up with that nonsense?
So it's either Oliver Twist or a Serbian film?
You can keep that Ayn Rand-ian universe to yourself thanks.
It's not nonsense and I don't live in an Ayn Rand-ian universe. I live in the real world. And sadly it is either one or the other because that is reality. It's not some scenario I'm setting up for some perverse thought experiment on MacRumors. They either starve, work, or whore themselves out. What exactly is hard to understand about that? I'm not saying that is how it should be.

I know you guys don't like dealing in reality very much, but it exists and we have to live with it. The world isn't perfect for everyone. And there's not much that I can do to help the conditions of poor people in other countries.

But even doing nothing is better than sitting around like you guys hoping that magically the conditions will improve or that somehow we'll boycott X country's labor and everyone will be free from their chains of oppression. We can't force them to have higher wages, and even if we could inflation would keep them where they are anyway.

Hong Kong has demonstrated a viable path for China to take. You can disagree with Libertarian politics or economics all you want, but that doesn't make it any less of a fact that a free market economy was a total boon to Hong Kong. It doesn't make it any less of a fact that the places with the most corrupt government and the most closed markets are often the most poverty-stricken.

You know, I really don't understand. If you dislike free markets, small-businesses, any business, personal liberty (and responsibility), and fiscal responsibility, why would you continue to live in a country founded upon such rudimentary principles? That's assuming you actually live in the USA of course.

Those ideals are really the heart of Libertarianism, and they don't lead to a choice between poor working conditions and prostitution as you seem to believe. Erroneously equating that with how a Libertarian run world would be is kind of silly. You obviously mistake Rand, which is interesting to me because it's easy to note and I haven't had the chance yet to even read any of her works. Sure Libertarians are concerned with their self-interests but not at the behest of others and often their self-interests (like starting a business to make profit) help others (like creating jobs). That is why many people say greed has done more than charity. But I digress.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 02:03 AM   #65
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Originally Posted by snberk103 View Post
Americans like to proclaim that they believe in free market enterprise. Then compete for those jobs.
Ah see, you've fallen for it haven't you old boy? Note that as I sit here on this thread having my own side conversation about why free markets are wonderful, a few others have hefty, incorrect, disagreements.

Most Americans (sadly) don't want a truly free market. They feel they'll be taken advantage of. They think that businesses are out to get them. And the bigger those businesses are, the more they think they're out to get them. They will also completely ignore that the free market protects them as well. They don't realize that labor is also a market commodity, and it's price is also affected which negates the need for minimum wages. They somehow think that a truly free market will make us like the China of old without realizing that they ascribe to the opposing economic policy.

Most Americans are afraid to compete for jobs. Many are even afraid to actually go out and get a job. They're weary of those who choose not only to work, but also to start their own companies. Because then those people are business owners, and we all know that they're the most vile people. They never create anything to help anyone. Nope. They're all about hurting people and milking them of all of their hard-earned money.

Most Americans have no idea that businesses improve our living conditions, and create new markets and prosperity. Most Americans think that all Apple does is make shiny gadgets. They'll never understand that Jobs and Wozniak created a whole new system of wealth in this country. They just find their company to be greedy.

I could go on an on, and I have already. I beg your pardon.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 03:04 AM   #66
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Would have been nice for you to actually quote me so that I could respond.

Quote:
Originally Posted by unobtainium View Post
Oh look, you cherry-picked two statistics to prove your point. I can do that too:

[redacted for space]

But wage increases aren't keeping pace with inflation. Your facts are simply wrong.
I didn't cherry pick squat. I picked two government sources. One was direct and the other used government data. Additionally, they did show wages keeping pace with inflation because one source was the CONSUMER PRICE INDEX. The definition of inflation is basically the rise in the cost of goods and services over time. In other words, the best way to figure it out, is to take note of the trends in prices of goods and services, hence the consumer price index.

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Originally Posted by unobtainium View Post
Deflation can also be an issue, most notably in 2008-2009 under George W. Bush, when the financial crisis first hit. But more importantly, you are aware that there's more to this issue than simple wage increases, yes? Other factors that have an impact on quality of life...benefits, health care, time off, etc. You've heard of these things?
Yes, obviously. I'm only working with what you've given me here. Your initial argument was basically that unions kept us from poor wages and working conditions, remember? And my argument is that unions are irrelevant and that the free market is what protects us against that. Keep it straight.

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Originally Posted by unobtainium View Post
You brought it up because it's an emotionally charged issue and one that's only tangentially related to the topic. You figured that "no one could possibly disagree that child prostitution is a bad thing," which is true, but you introduced it to create the false impression that third-world workers should have only two alternatives: accept whatever low-paying, terrible working conditions they are offered, or send their kids off to be child prostitutes. This is called a straw man argument.
It's not a straw man. Here's why. I'm not misrepresenting your position. I'm giving you a fact. It's not that they should only have two alternatives. It's that all of their alternatives are crap and that is the least crappy one. The third alternative is to starve. Perhaps in some countries they could go to a military camp and never see their families again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by unobtainium View Post
China's issues are a "direct result" of more than one simple factor. It's a country of billions of people with limited resources that has lived under a totalitarian regime for decades. Since the market has been opened up, the majority of the wealth has been channelled to elites, passing average Chinese people by. This is what typically happens unless social justice and fairness-minded entitites (including unions) are able to exert some pressure on society.
The market hasn't been fully opened up. So your assumption that free market = bad for workers is false. The government still controls the majority of regulations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by unobtainium View Post
Dig a little deeper and you'll see that China is in dire straits. Because they refuse to introduce many of the most basic rights for workers, elites profit at the expense of the masses and as a result there is almost no domestic household spending in China, a situation that is soon to lead to disaster if you listen to many leading economists. They have focused relentlessly on exporting products to the rest of the world at the cheapest prices possible while ignoring the welfare of their own people. It will come back to haunt them, unfortunately. (And once again, it won't be the elites who suffer most.)
They have no market stability. You cannot spend money when there is no stability. That's the issue that the USA faces today. That's why "stimulus spending" has done little to improve our own economy.

The "elites" you speak of are government cronies. China has a relatively closed market and crony capitalism. Such issues are irrelevant in a truly free market.


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Originally Posted by unobtainium View Post
No, I'd say you've missed the major point. Your dogmatic worship of the free market has blinded you to history. There is such a thing as the past, you know...you might want to study it. The free market certainly did not desire to offer workers fair wages. That was hard fought for and won by previous generations at great expense. Those in power were too short-sighted then (as they are now) to realize that the real engine of growth in the United States has always been middle-class spending, fuelled by decent wages. Without that, all you have are a few rich oligarchs and then masses of plebs. It still mystifies me that many Americans would like to go back to that.
You're kidding, right? Perhaps you ought to study the past as well. Just after the industrial revolution this minor thing happened. Yeah, it's called government intervention. Somehow you think that more of it is good. Because of that, we haven't had even a modicum of a free market since the 30s. And the market before that was insulated. News didn't spread as quickly. People weren't informed consumers. And the choice that we enjoy today wasn't available then. Strikes were relevant then. Now they just aren't. Goods, services, and labor is more fluid. I can get on a plane tomorrow and start work in New York, London, or Tokyo. That wasn't a possibility for most people back in 1922.

And because of that unions have turned to lobbying to make sure that companies can't move factories to other states, etc. And what does that become? Crony capitalism.

So if, as you still seem to believe, unions keep us from low wages, why is it that 89% of people are paid above minimum wage? I'm curious. Enlighten me.

I'll consent that unions helped people back in the day because the market was so insular. But in 2012 they are irrelevant. The reason that people don't want union labor these days is because it costs more and the product isn't as good because the weak aren't culled. Union members like to act as if every member contributes just as much as the others, but history shows that this is impossible. And you can't get rid of them.

The real engine of growth isn't middle-class spending. That's not even logical. That's a chicken and egg situation. You need business spending for middle-class spending to exist.

The real engine of growth is a stable environment with low regulation and low taxes. That's why Hong Kong outpaces us in growth. And the killer of that is the additional thousands of pages of regulation, taxes, etc. we add each year. If you can anticipate what is coming, you can plan for it. You can spend money. You can hire someone. You can start a business. This administration and the previous one have done a terrible job at creating stability. And now we reap the "benefits."

If you make it easier for people to start and run businesses (which are our backbone) we will prosper. I just don't understand how many Americans think a free market won't work when we've never fully had the chance to try it. Yet we've almost always tried government intervention and regulation (at least in modern times). It is curious that it doesn't seem to work. Wait, no. It's obvious.


Quote:
Originally Posted by carlgo View Post
BTW, I believe many of the those who respond to every "made in China" thread are Chinese agents posing as right wing anti-union Americans. The arguments are always the same, like they have talking points they work from.
Actually, I'm Libertarian. I'm from the South and I'm anti-union. But I won't want to tell you what to do or care what you do in the bedroom. I would imagine that the reason the arguments are the same is because they're logical. And you know what? You probably could find some of my old posts on here that were pretty Liberal. I used to believe the BS that I was taught in school about how wonderful unions are.

Then I rethought my position and refined it, married a teacher, and realized I was wrong. Thankfully her union loses more ground with each passing day. There are some really crap teachers out there that need to go. They don't deserve a job because they pay $15 a pay period to keep it.

I always leaned Libertarian, but I always held on to some Liberal ideas through college, and shed them as soon as I figured things out and learned to debate with facts.

Also, I wouldn't have even gotten into this conversation if I hadn't noticed erroneous information about unions keeping us from poor wages and poor working conditions in 2012.


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Originally Posted by Rockoar View Post
Yes, a headache to corporations such as Apple. The economic meltdown in which the US is right now its caused because there's little regulation over what corporations can do, and that includes how they treat and pay their workers without whom they couldn't even survive.
Entirely incorrect. There are TONS of regulations over what corporations can do. Here's just one simple example. Next year, when I start my LLC, I'll have to keep meeting minutes even though I'll be the only person in the meeting.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 03:43 AM   #67
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Originally Posted by zync View Post
Ah see, you've fallen for it haven't you old boy? Note that as I sit here on this thread having my own side conversation about why free markets are wonderful, a few others have hefty, incorrect, disagreements.

Most Americans (sadly) don't want a truly free market. They feel they'll be taken advantage of. They think that businesses are out to get them. And the bigger those businesses are, the more they think they're out to get them. They will also completely ignore that the free market protects them as well. They don't realize that labor is also a market commodity, and it's price is also affected which negates the need for minimum wages. They somehow think that a truly free market will make us like the China of old without realizing that they ascribe to the opposing economic policy.

Most Americans are afraid to compete for jobs. Many are even afraid to actually go out and get a job. They're weary of those who choose not only to work, but also to start their own companies. Because then those people are business owners, and we all know that they're the most vile people. They never create anything to help anyone. Nope. They're all about hurting people and milking them of all of their hard-earned money.

Most Americans have no idea that businesses improve our living conditions, and create new markets and prosperity. Most Americans think that all Apple does is make shiny gadgets. They'll never understand that Jobs and Wozniak created a whole new system of wealth in this country. They just find their company to be greedy.

I could go on an on, and I have already. I beg your pardon.
So you ignore the fact that Apple was created, rose to power, and became insanely profitable in the age of government regulation you so despise? You say that we haven't had a truly free economy since the industrial revolution and you seemingly imply that you'd like to go back to that pre-regulated state of affairs? Do you really believe all this Ayn Rand BS?

Corporations aren't evil, nor are they good. They are (literally) amoral. They are designed to accrue profit to stakeholders at the top of the food chain. The wages paid to workers are whatever the market demands, no less and certainly no more. There's nothing inherently wrong with that - it's how our economy works. But it only works well when regulations and - yes, unions - help counterbalance the interests of the powerful few at the top. Allowed free reign, such a system not only leads to hardship for workers, but actually sabotages long-term prosperity for almost everyone, because it will eventually lead to the undercutting of the middle class and thus the loss of America's greatest economic engine, domestic consumers. This is what I don't understand about libertarians. You think that by cutting taxes and removing social programs that make life easier for the middle and working classes that you're actually going to help the economy in the long term? Nope. You'll temporarily help those with the most money now, while shrinking the economy (through shocks to the middle and working classes) to the point that the number of those elites actually shrinks and you're left with a very few oligarchs at the top and masses of people with much lower qualities of life than the average American enjoys now.

Also, deregulation is actually what led to the current economic mess we are in. Do libertarians just pretend that's not true? That deregulation of financial instruments that began with Reagan and carried on right through Clinton (yes, Democrats are just as complicit) and George W. Bush is not what led to the credit crunch in 2008? So the answer is somehow...more deregulation, of everything?

I'm more and more convinced every day that libertarianism is basically just a form of willful ignorance.

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Hong Kong has demonstrated a viable path for China to take. You can disagree with Libertarian politics or economics all you want, but that doesn't make it any less of a fact that a free market economy was a total boon to Hong Kong.
Hong Kong has a population smaller than greater San Francisco. It was long an isolated island of capitalism where foreign economic interests could gain a foothold near China. It's now part of (an increasingly capitalist) China, and it's still benefiting from its past prosperity. So tell me...what exactly does this exceedingly exceptional region have to do with the plight of greater China? Do you really think that rural China can turn overnight into an international centre of banking? This is an egregious example of making general arguments from the particular. I'm afraid China is doomed to go through hell in the next few decades, whichever direction they take, and the example of Hong Kong won't provide them with much help.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 04:24 AM   #68
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I'm more and more convinced every day that libertarianism is basically just a form of willful ignorance.
You're only convinced of that because you're easily convinced of fallacies.

Yes, Apple rose to power in the age of regulation—and at a time before their industry was regulated or even existed. A few bright spots doesn't destroy the argument. And in fact it hurts yours. That system is the one that breeds the few bright spots that bring in the most money. Regulation and government intervention makes the highs high and the lows low because those people are easily bought and sold to keep competition to a minimum because the barrier of entry becomes increasingly higher (due to more regulation). Using the government allows them to keep smaller competition out.

I would indeed like to go back to the pre-regulated state of affairs because it hasn't been tried in modern times, with instant communication. For example, look how quickly Chick-Fil-A recanted their statements when challenged by consumers. Of course I believe in Libertarianism because I understand it. And again, I actually haven't read Rand.

You have this issue with the top of the food chain, but you fail to understand that without the bottom there is no top. This is what the union aims to take control of. But that is also what the market controls. And that is precisely why unions are unnecessary.

Allowed free reign such as system allows individuals to more easily leave and start their own ventures if they do not like their current employment. With our current system, there are additional burdens to entry. In my case, I either pony up the money to the government to recognize my business, and then pay someone else to file my needlessly more complicated taxes or I file my own and pay about 35% in taxes.

Here is what you don't understand about Libertarians. You think that domestic consumers are the "greatest economic engine" but without business, those consumers have no money with which to consume. That's a chicken and egg issue.

The natural order of modern society is for everyone to be employed in some fashion. Libertarians want to make it easier, and cheaper to employ someone, so that more of the wages (determined by the market) and more of the profit can be shared by the employer and employee. And Libertarians also want to make it easier, and simpler to start businesses because businesses employ people and generate revenue—revenue that can then be spent in the market. This is more than a temporary help. It's a permanent change.

Saying that deregulation led to the current economic mess is simplistic. There was a complex system of buying mortgages on margin and repackaging mortgages that were poorly performing and selling those as "good." And then iterating on that. That had not been done before. The market and regulation cannot predict the future. The bankers would have found something else, as they have always done. The natural market response would have been failure to said entities. Instead we interfered as we always do. We decided to bail out those entities because they were "too big to fail," even though failure is exactly what should have happened.

Here's the part your side always ignores, so I'll give you the chance to remedy that. Bailing out failing banks and businesses sends the message to these entities that it is ok to take huge risks. You are too big to fail, and so the American people will not let you fail. So there is no consequence for your actions.

If I told you that no matter what, I'd give you money to keep you afloat, do you think you'd make good safe decisions with your money, or would you be a risky investor because you're not really playing with your own money?

Libertarians don't pretend that any of that is true or not. It's irrelevant. We don't portend to know the future. It's impossible to stop everything. The market can only be reactionary, and the same holds true of regulation. The one thing we do know is that saving these entities gives them a free pass to continue to play with money because there are no consequences.

I don't understand how you can't fathom that it is precisely government intervention that allows these things to happen. You believe that it is possible to stop any sort of economic problem with just the right bit of regulation. So you try and then you come up surprised when it fails. Then you pass more regulation that sets the market in a stalemate while business owners work out how much the new regulation is going to cost them and who they have to lay off to maintain their profits (which is within their rights). And because most of your compatriots don't understand business they wonder why there's a credit crunch and why the economy won't grow, even when you throw money at it. And then there's more talk of this law and that money doing this and that, and then you know what? Maybe I can't hire that new assistant because I might need to pay my accountant more money next year to keep track of something else the government now deems necessary. That is instability. That is why jobs come back slowly.

Libertarians believe that we should let those entities fail. Smart companies will self-regulate, and those that don't will fail. The remaining companies will assume their market share, grow, and then have need for the employees of the other companies. This sort of thing still happens in the market. You just never notice it. There's no need for regulation because failure is the ultimate regulation.

I'm more and more convinced each day that Liberalism is just a belief in clairvoyance and magic.

------------

I'd address your Hong Kong statements at length, but obviously you won't get it because you're too busy looking for logical fallacies where there are none. The point is that they have little government regulation, and economic freedom. Obviously China can't be fixed immediately, but that's the best path they can take. As for Hong Kong's past prosperity, they haven't rested on their laurels.

------------

Anyway, this is going nowhere. I've wasted enough time on this. We had a nice argument. You think what you want, and I'll think what I want. And whoever comes along after can think what they want too. After all that's part of what America is about.

Have a good rest of the night/morning.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 08:01 AM   #69
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Good. Then come up with a solution that doesn't mess up the rest of the world just to give Americans jobs. Americans like to proclaim that they believe in free market enterprise. Then compete for those jobs. Create automated factories that can assembly the iDevices for about the same price. Those factories are entirely possible.... What hasn't happened is a company willing to make the initial investment. So don't suggest the rest of the world should subsidize American jobs just because no one there has (yet) decided to build the infrastructure.

With that said... I would not be at all surprised to find that in fact Apple and Foxconn are starting to build the infrastructure to build things outside of China. They have, in fact, built a factory in Brazil. Not out of mindless and expensive patriotism, but because it makes good business sense to diversify. China and Japan are currently having a pissing match over a bunch of uninhabited islets south west of Okinawa. If it gets to the shooting stage, Japan will invoke the terms of the defence treaty they have with the US. Guess what China will do to keep the US from honouring that treaty?

China is also in disputes with Vietnam, Indonesia, Brunei, and the Philippines over the South China Sea. Do you think Apple has not thought through the implications of a trade war between China the American allies? I am only surprised that we haven't heard earlier of assembly plants outside of China. And... what makes you think that any new plants will be in US? Germany and Japan have the expertise automated systems. Canada has a measurable labour cost advantage (it's that socialism thing). Mexico has an even cheaper labour market. Goods made in Canada or Mexico can be imported into the US duty free.

It's a complex issue....
What does china have to trade war with? They only have a abnormal license agreement, they have no real patents of their own.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 01:38 PM   #70
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Will those who think the minimum wage is a good thing please explain to me how it is better to be unemployed than underpaid? Thank you.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 02:05 PM   #71
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What does china have to trade war with? They only have a abnormal license agreement, they have no real patents of their own.
Um, all they have to is slow down exports of the goods they manufacture (note: I did not say stop... just, say, hold up all exports for a week or two while customs inspectors inspect the export paperwork.) All the big western companies will start putting huge pressure on the US government to settle. Can you imagine if China totally embargoed exports? They'd have to make some pretty quick deals with some neighbours to provide food for themselves... but China has a history of thinking in decades and centuries. A little short-term pain for complete ownership to the South China Sea? Yeah.. I could see that.

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Will those who think the minimum wage is a good thing please explain to me how it is better to be unemployed than underpaid? Thank you.
It's interesting you ask that... Canada, whose lowest minimum wage is still higher than the highest US minimum wage (and while all provinces have a minimum wage, not all states do) has an unemployment figure that historically matches the US - over the long term. (Note, that you have to count the unemployed in the same way. Canadians and Americans count their unemployed in slightly different ways... we tend to count more of those who would like to work, and can't find a job. While the US stats stop counting those earlier.)

It's not fair to compare current unemployment rates because this is a blip and more of a problem due to the US financial sector, and not strictly just economics.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 02:11 PM   #72
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Welcome to the new global economy. Tons of companies do business like this. Components are made all over the world and they're assembled in or near the market they are going to be sold in. Ends up being cheaper.

Looks like Apple's now doing it with BTO macs. Honda and many car companies have been doing this for years. Hell, even Airbus and Boeing have been doing this with the A380 and 787.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 02:12 PM   #73
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Will those who think the minimum wage is a good thing please explain to me how it is better to be unemployed than underpaid? Thank you.

Underpaid? Come on, if we have people making less than minimum wage, we'll be spending even more on food stamps and Medicaid for them. Are you OK with subsidizing Walmart's workforce?
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 02:37 PM   #74
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Will those who think the minimum wage is a good thing please explain to me how it is better to be unemployed than underpaid? Thank you.
You seriously think minimum wage is a bad thing?

You'd rather have millions of people living in the streets like it's Ethoipia or Somalia here?

You have to be ****ing kidding me.

Minimum wage is already $2-$4 per hour below what the living wage is for one single person in this country. Living wage for one adult with one kid is nearly TRIPLE what minimum wage is.

American taxpayers are ALREADY subsidizing tons of huge corporations who are paying their workers minimum wage. These people work full-time yet still don't make a living wage so they qualify for welfare and food stamps. Why the **** should MY tax dollars pay for these people's homes and food so Walmart, Target, Best Buy, etc can make more profit? Maybe if companies paid their workers a living wage instead of trying to bend them over we wouldn't need minimum wage, but that will NEVER happen.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 02:46 PM   #75
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You seriously think minimum wage is a bad thing?

You'd rather have millions of people living in the streets like it's Ethoipia or Somalia here?

You have to be ****ing kidding me.

Minimum wage is already $2-$4 per hour below what the living wage is for one single person in this country. Living wage for one adult with one kid is nearly TRIPLE what minimum wage is.

American taxpayers are ALREADY subsidizing tons of huge corporations who are paying their workers minimum wage. These people work full-time yet still don't make a living wage so they qualify for welfare and food stamps. Why the **** should MY tax dollars pay for these people's homes and food so Walmart, Target, Best Buy, etc can make more profit? Maybe if companies paid their workers a living wage instead of trying to bend them over we wouldn't need minimum wage, but that will NEVER happen.
Considering that according to our own government statistics, only 5% of people with a high school diploma make minimum wage, I'd say that you're highly incorrect. And that number including those without a high school diploma is still only 11%.

The market pays more than minimum wage because that is what is required to keep workers. At least 89% of hourly workers make more than minimum wage. Raising minimum wage kills jobs for unskilled workers (students, etc.) because employers expect to get more for their money. They can't pay more for less skilled labor.
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